The Northeast Winter of 2012 will go down in the record books as being light on snow and moderate in temperatures. Normally, I wouldn’t complain but as I’ve gotten better at snowboarding, the more I want it to snow. So this year, instead of praying for a snow day (last year I had three!) to go boarding in the middle of the week, I headed up to Vermont for a three-day weekend. The snow-making is in full-effect in the mountains up there. The temperatures are at least 10 degrees cooler and when it rains down here, it snows up there, but it’s still not enough snow to make for good snowboarding or skiing.
Eric and I stayed in Manchester, a quick 15-minute drive from Bromley, a small resort, but less crowded than Stratton. It was a good choice for a half-day to get my boarding legs warmed up for a full-day at Stratton. The lift lines were practically non-existent and there some good green runs. I’m consistently linking my turns on the board and getting more confident on solid greens. Around 3 o’clock it started to snow so I carefully grabbed my iPhone while I was on the lift and took a picture. I then Instagram-ed it to post it on Facebook. You can’t really make out the snow, but it was beautiful and rarity this winter season.
The next morning we headed to Stratton excited about the 3 inches of snow that had fallen the night before. It was packed, but the lines moved quickly. I took a group lesson with one other woman and then went off on my own to brave the gondola and long green run down to the bottom. I’ve been to four resorts in Vermont: Killington, Mt. Snow, Bromley and Stratton. Stratton is my favorite because of the decent green runs and the village shops, restaurants and cafe down below for some great après-ski time!
Last weekend, Eric and I went hiking into this amazing gorge in Watkins Glen State Park located about 20+ miles from Ithaca and a 5-hour drive from New York City. We also camped nearby and slept in a tent during a massive thunderstorm that made me actually believe, for a brief second, that the rapture might actually have been fact not fiction.
If you’re an avid traveler and you’ve wondered (as you should), ‘what do the locals think about tourists in their country,’ the Local Perspective on Tourism website gives you just that — a local’s take on tourism in their countries. For instance, read an interview from a cafe worker in Cambodia who says foreigners think $7 a day for a motorbike rental is expensive, or learn about what an owner of a rock-climbing school in Laos thinks of bikini-clad tourists.
Ethical Traveler has compiled a list of the best ethical destinations. What makes a destination ethical, you may ask, well, there are many factors to this including: what the country has done in terms of social welfare, human rights and environmental protection.
Included in the list are countries that are budget-friendly like Argentina, Costa Rica and Poland.
(Full-disclosure: I write articles every other month for Ethical Traveler on a volunteer basis)
My beach gal and food-lover ways combined in perfect unison for my trip to Hawaii where I spent my days either at the beach or eating at locals spots from a list of recommendations that I compiled from guidebooks and friends. This group of photos is from my visit to Oahu. The shave ice with under $5, as was the sweet corn. The lunch at Irifune was under $10. And, for my trip to Hanauma Bay, I took a bus from Waikiki Beach that only costs $2.50 each way! Despite the outrageous cost for lots of things to do in Hawaii, there are ways to see and do things while sticking to a tight budget. There’s more photos to come and tips on traveling frugally in Hawaii; from volcanoes on the Big Island to amazing hiking in Kauai.
(If the photos are not appearing, click on the grid pattern on the bottom right corner of the black box above)
In anticipation of my trip to Hawaii in less than a week, I’ve been researching ways to see, do and eat things on a budget! I found this great link from Frommer’s Budget Travel website that lists bargains in Oahu for under $10. Among some of the things listed that I want to check out are: The shave ice (known locally as snow cones) near the North Shore at Matsumoto’s; riding the bus around the island for $2; and Japanese food at Irifune.
Wise Bread, a personal finance and frugal living resource, has compiled a list of websites that will help you save money on travel. The list includes information on budget lodging, cheap airfare and overall budget travel advice.
Travelzoo compiled a list of Halloween deals and here is a sampling of just a few of them:
For $95 a night (midweek) you can stay at the hotel featured in the moving “The Shining,” located an hour from Denver on the Eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. Daily ghosts tours are $15. Blackout dates: Oct. 22-24, 29-31; Nov. 5-7; Dec. 31
Halloween weekend in the Poconos Mountains where kids stay for half-price! Rates start at $320 for two nights and six meals. Activities include a Haunted Hay Ride, costume party, pumpkin hunt and petting zoo.
For $119 per night, stay at a Conde Nast-rated best hotel in haunted Savannah, Georgia. The 4-diamond historic hotel occupies an original 1888 Victorian mansion. Black-out dates are: Oct. 23-25, 29-30; Nov. 5-6, 12-13, 19; Dec. 5-6, 3.