Chaa Creek — started small before “eco” was a word
Kids and caterpillars meet up at Chaa Creek resort in Belize

Chaa Creek — started small before “eco” was a word

Mick Fleming approached in a dugout canoe. “But there was something about the place,” he recalls more than 30 years later. His wife Lucy, who arrived on horseback the day after he saw the overgrown farm, agrees. “This place always had a certain amount of magic -- a pull. I felt it. We were young and crazy -- no money and decided to be pioneers.”

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Seeing Mayan ruins and tubing through a cave
Mayan ruins at Xunantunich in Belize

Seeing Mayan ruins and tubing through a cave

Right after breakfast, we head out with our guide, Wilbert Moh, to the Mayan site of Xunantunich, about 15 minutes from the Ka’Ana resort. It means Stone Maiden -- so named, Moh explains, because a hunter in the late 1800s claimed he spotted the apparition of a beautiful Mayan woman here. The structures -- including one that is the second highest in Belize – rise up to 525 feet.

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On to the Cayo District
Our bungalow at Kaana in Belize

On to the Cayo District

The 36-acre resort, which is growing popular with families, also has a terrific pool and a young chef who is said to be among the best in Belize. Most of the vegetables and herbs are provided from the organic garden -- everything from zucchini and peppers to cilantro, dill and parsley. (How about tipsy tequila shrimp or beef carpaccio, homemade pasta or tenderloin? Did I mention the wine cellar? The spa?

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To a favorite Colorado ski town that’s as much fun in summer as winter
Eva Weinbers with ski instructor at Crested Butte CO

To a favorite Colorado ski town that’s as much fun in summer as winter

A gem of a mountain (no lift lines here!) just minutes on a free, festively painted shuttle bus from the tiny (less than 2,500 people) town of Mt. Crested Butte, so steeped in mining history that most of the downtown area, with its wooden, multicolored, 19th-century buildings, is on the National Register of Historic Places. (Ever see a two-story outhouse?)

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Park City in the Summer and Winter

The Utah Olympic Park was the venue for Nordic jumping, bobsled, luge and skeleton events during the 2002 Winter Olympics here. Today, world class athletes train here -- you may see them if you visit Tuesday through Saturday. They train in summer as well as winter. Today the Park also continues to serve as a year-round competition site.

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A visit to Yellowstone at Christmastime
Eileen Reg and Mel get set to board the snow coach to Old Faithful

A visit to Yellowstone at Christmastime

Did you know Yellowstone has more thermal feature than anywhere in the world? And I’d rather visit in winter anytime. The last time we were here in the summer, there were so many people, the kids could barely see Old Faithful. Now we’re hiking in snowshoes around the geyser basin and there’s no one but us and Miguel.

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Looking back on a memorable holiday trip to Ecuador
Matt Yemma checks out a blue-footed booby in the Galapagos Islands

Looking back on a memorable holiday trip to Ecuador

Have you ever gone to a party on the wrong day? When we arrive Christmas afternoon, the hosts and their kids clearly aren't expecting company. In fact, we catch them snoozing. But we barge in anyway -- we have come so far, after all, to see them. Our hosts, the Sea Lion family, live on San Cristobal island in the Galapagos

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