Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bringing the College Kid Home for Summer

Or... The drive through the desert in the "Purple Sauna"

I am sitting at my desk in Vail on a beautiful June day.  The sky is blue, trees are green, and wildflowers are coloring the landscape.  It's supposed to be 80° and sunny today.


So, I'll talk about one of those 'mandatory' trips.... How about picking up your college freshman and bringing her home for summer break?

Her Stuff...
How did ALL this fit into a dorm room?  And why are we traveling with skis in June in Las Vegas? Are there ANY clean clothes, or is everything 'my laundry'?

An Old Broken-in Car...
I bought that car new when the now-college-age-kid still needed a car seat.  It's no longer pretty; the purple paint is peeling, the seats are torn, and there's a smell (maybe that's the laundry?).  NO AIR CONDITIONING!!! It's 115° in the desert, OMG!  But it's a safe car; reliable, maintained, and perfect for a person who does not yet earn their keep :-)

An Executable Plan...
Drive a total of 16 hours over the course of 2 days.  Leave early in the morning to avoid the 'heat of the day'.  For all stops, park in the shade.  Take lots of breaks and cool down in air-conditioned shopping malls and restaurants.

Highly Essential Mental Game...
Road Trip..... Away Game... Have Fun???  YIKES!

And Off We Go....
Do you know how loud the volume must be to even hear the radio when traveling 80 mph with the windows open?  And how LOUD it becomes when you make an intermittent stop? There's the excuse for so many youth who drive with excessively loud music, right??  And what psycho-minded meteorologist claimed the term 'wind CHILL'??? C'mon...
The wind (filled with bugs) in my hair, the desert air (dirt and debris) on my face, the truck driver tan on my left arm (start a new asymmetrical trend in women's fashions?)... And many cold drinks initiating extra bathroom stops (Where is that next town?)...

Viva Las Vegas...
We decided Las Vegas would be best to spend the very hot afternoon.  It probably has the most cubic feet of air conditioning of any place on earth.  We wandered in a LARGE (they all are) casino to 'dry' off and then enjoyed lunch INSIDE, absolutely NOT on the 90° restaurant patio.
More wandering through the various shopping vestibules.. No buying stuff, however. There's no room in the car to carry much more than a postcard.
We finally came upon the Flamingo Hilton and found a bird sanctuary. Then we told all of the relatives that we went 'birding' today. We called it our mini-vaca' and posted the photos.


Whoever told you that the desert cools off in the evening was not being truthful, but we needed to move on. And why is it that when the AC fails, the thermostat continues to work perfectly and flash the outside 3-digit temperature in the driver's face endlessly?
We found another shopping mall for a late dinner and were careful to sit far from any other patrons so as not to impose our 'sweat' of the day upon others.  We finally arrived at our hotel and ran straight to the showers, yay!

The End...
We arrived safely the next day.  The ride through the higher altitudes was cool and comfortable.  The car, the skis, the stuff, the 'laundry' and all applicable aromas are now home in Vail... where it makes perfect sense to not replace broken air conditioning in your car, whew!

And the Future...
We think that the fall semester start date should align with a drop in the desert temperature. But if that doesn't work out, we'll grin and bear it! :-)

Make your journey a pleasant one, always! :-)



Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer in the mountains

Summer time is still the most favorite time to travel for most people. The kids are out of school, the weather is nice and everyone is ready to escape to a different place, away from the everyday routine. For most parts, lodging gets more expensive in the summer though which makes a summer vacation not very affordable. Did you know that this is different for the mountains? Prices for lodging drop in the summer and most hotels offer great promotions

Do you know what my favorite part is about summer time in the mountains? The weather (74 degrees, NO humidity), no bugs (Thank God!) and there is SO much to do.
Just last Sunday, I got to enjoy an adventurous off-road trail that lead to this beautiful lake in the middle of nowhere called Blue Lake. It was gorgeous! Crystal clear water and no other people around! I just had to share this moment with you.

Does this make you want to come to the mountains as well? Call  (866) 981 SNOW or email me at Janine@snowsportvacations.com.

I look forward sharing more of my adventures with you J


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lake Tahoe - Snow Lover or Nay-sayer, all is Good

I just spent a few days touring some of our great destinations in Lake Tahoe, CA.  Oh, so fabulous. The sights are endless.  Sometimes a little too distracting when you are driving, oops..

One of the challenges about a ski / ride vacation is that oftentimes, we have friends and family who we like to vacation with, but they don't want to ski / ride.  As a result, over the past 2 decades, the snow resorts have gotten pretty good about becoming more 'versatile' with non-ski recreation options to lure the nay-sayers to the snow resorts.  The resorts at Tahoe are the best, though...

When I first arrived, I wasn't much of a fan.  OMG!! After all, I've lived in Vail for almost 30 years and these resorts don't measure up statistically with # of lifts, vertical drop and few other (now) irrelevant issues.  In a very short time, I was 100% sold on the lure of NV / CA skiing and riding, but mostly about how truly versatile these places are for everyone.

For instance, in Squaw Valley, a non-skier can ride the tram to High Camp and enjoy impeccable views of the Sierras, as well as enjoy a visit to the Olympic museum, where Squaw hosted the 1960 Olympic games.  Enjoy fabulous food and drink while soaking in more views, or even poolside beverages.  But most of all... be with your friends and family, where the snow sport lovers and 'nons', can share a mid-day visit.

Northstar will satisfy your retail shopping urge both before or after your 2:00 PM complimentary champagne toast.  Later, give the kids a treat and watch them fly on the bungee trampoline.  With a just-the-right-size user friendly base village, you'll instantly be in your comfort zone... making the best memories ever!!

Ant then there's Heavenly.. really the gem for the non-skier / rider.  So much to do in this lakeside city.  A mini-Vegas, so gamble or see a show.  How about a dinner cruise on Lake Tahoe?  A ride on the gondola?  Inside or outside, a perfect destination. I don't know that there's another place where you can combine such a wide variety of attractions.

And last, a true favorite.. Hyatt Regency, Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino.  The catch all.  Stay here, play here.  Enjoy family friendly activities, luxurious rooms, kid stuff, snow stuff, casino stuff... all the stuff.  Ski and ride shuttles to the resorts AND only 40 minutes from Reno airport.  This place was magical.  There's nobody who can't be pleased here. Yay!

So, there's my pitch on Tahoe.... Add easy and reasonably priced flights to Reno, and we'll help you sort out the rest.  But really, let me share my passion.  This one works for everybody.

Best Regards,

Joyce :-)