Twist Travel Magazine Issue 9

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editor's note Hot cocoa, an extra cup of coffee in the morning, and an endless basket of fuzzy socks are what I look forward to most as the calendar rolls from autumn to winter each year. My boys pray for snow, doing a dance to bring on that white fluffy stuff that brings the city (and school buses) to a stand still. I look forward to quieter moments at home, days out on the slopes and getting ready for the holiday season. Before we know it, the new year will be upon us, along with new schedules, activities and, of course, travels to plan. We get it, we are all moms and women who work hard so we can play just as hard. Whether you have kids or not, we've got an issue packed with adventures to keep you busy this season, the styles that will get you out the door and looking good, a few great recipes that will make sure you stay fueled all week long, definitely not forgetting that dopamine hit with a bit of chocolate, and easy ways to switch over to more eco-friendly products as we try to do our part to make this world just a bit better for the next generation. Best of all, we are taking you to one of my favorite places in the world, Banff and the Canadian Rockies. I naturally gravitate towards warmer destinations, but there is something about those mountains and this town that I keep going back to, no matter the season or amount of snow on the ground. I have a feeling you will fall in love with it too.



Amy Whitley

Angie Orth

Cheryl San Emeterio

Claudia Laroye IG @amywhitleywrites IG @angieaway IG @cherylsanemeterio IG @thetravellingmom

Erin Kirkland

Genevieve Buckmiller

Jade Broadus IG @akonthego IG @genevieve_maria IG @vagabond3

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Karyn Locke

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Kelley Ferro

Kirsten Maxwell

Lara DiPaola

Nicky Omohundro IG @kelleyferro IG @kidsareatrip IG @ dipaolamomma IG @lilfamadventure

Issue No. 9 Publisher: Walking On Media LLC

Rachael Hutchings

Rachel Orth

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Editor-in-Chief: Keryn Means Contributing Editors: Claudia Laroye, Amy Whitley and Tawny Clark European Editor: Katja Gaskell Food Editor: Rachael Hutchings Copy Editors: Laura McKeever and Natalia Badziak Designers:

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...I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air. —Nathaniel Hawthorne COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Twist Travel Magazine is published by ©2019 Walking On Media LLC No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission of the publisher. Digital issue may contain affiliate links. WWW.TWISTTRAVELMAG.COM


Table of Contents 5 | THE TWIST Winter is coming bringing with it cozy cabins, snowy adventures, warming soups and more.

31 | FINLAND: WINTER WONDERLAND Discover the magic of winter in Finnish Lapland, the real home of Santa Claus.



Pear makes its way into this season's cocktails in the most unexpected ways.

Charming decor to make your home feel as cozy as a cabin on a cold, quiet night.



Our favorite clean products to nourish your skin from within.

Pairing old world charm with wild west adventure during Idaho's ski season.



Two ways to enjoy this city, whether you’re pinching pennies or driving the fanciest carriage on the block.

The perfect Mexican beach escape for a real vacation with kids in tow.



Enjoy great food, Broadway theater and plenty of outdoor activities in this southwest college town.

Four of the most unique hotels for you to rest your head from an old jail to a former junior high school.



How one woman is changing the family vacation rental experience.

The best of Banff and beyond for outdoor adventures that the whole family will enjoy.


photo via Canva


It's time to wave goodbye to Autumn and give a big warm embrace to winter. Colder days - and the possibility of snow allow for fuzzy socks, thick sweaters and our favourite winter boots. Time to fill our favourite mug with hot cider, tea or coffee with a twist, and dive into some of our favourite things that come with the changing of the seasons.





For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter is definitely on its way. The night air has turned cooler, the leaves have turned, and the aroma of pumpkin spiced everything can’t be escaped. And with that, the crispness of winter is definitely upon us. Welcome in this season’s change with a few updates to your home.


HOME Mrs. Meyer's Fall Cleaning Trio • $10.99 A great alternative to the pumpkin spice craze! Freshen up your home with Mrs. Meyer’s Fall Trio in Acorn Spice. Made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients, this set can clean up little messes naturally.

Plaid Napkins • $16.99 Just because warm weather is fading doesn’t mean you can’t embrace warm colors in your home. Easily layer on that warmth around your table with beautifully smart, plaid napkins.

Apple Cider 3-in-1 Shower Gel • $18.00 Fall is for apple picking! Bring the scents of your harvest into your shower with Philosophy’s Apple Cider 3-in-1 Shower Gel. Use it as a shampoo, shower gel, or bubble bath.

KITCHEN Bronze Boots Tray • $49.99 Those boots were made for walkin’! Keep your floors clean by storing your autumn appropriate footwear on a stylish boot tray. No need for boring, a copper or bronze tray will instantly upgrade your entryway.


Sweater Knit Pillows • $21.49 It’s time to start packing up the swimsuits because sweater weather is here. Cozy up on your sofa with sweater knit pillows. The soft cotton fabric and thick cable knit pattern will keep you warm while you cuddle under blankets.

Autumn Welcome Wreath • $40 | • $28.03 | • $80 What better way to welcome in autumn than with a gorgeous front door wreath? Whether you choose to DIY or to purchase one, a beautiful wreath can make a great first impression for your guests. With so many types to choose from you’re bound to find a wreath to fit your style.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven • $199.95 Who doesn’t love coming home to the delicious smell of simmering soup on a chilly day? Le Creuset is well-known for their heirloom-quality cookware and this round Dutch oven is the perfect example of that. Extra deep, this piece is ideal for a large batch of warm soup to share.



By Martha Gellhorn • First published in 1979, this memoir by journalist Gellhorn describes her global adventures. With razorsharp humor and exceptional insight, she tells of time spent with dissidents in Moscow; days in a disused water tank on the Red Sea; and her journeys by sampan during the Sino-Japanese War. A YEAR IN THE WORLD

By Fances Mayes • Anyone who loved Mayes’ memoir-turned-film Under the Tuscan Sun will appreciate her second volume that expands the notion of experiential travel and relationships. Mayes takes readers from Tuscany to the Mediterranean and to North Africa. A FLY GIRL: TRAVEL TALES OF AN EXOTIC BRITISH AIRWAYS CABIN CREW

By Amanda Epe • Imagine being a flight attendant for the verytraditional British Airways as one of the company’s first Women of Color. Epe weaves all the social stereotypes of women while infusing her own experience resulting in an often-humerous narrative of her time spent soaring the not-always friendly skies for BA. THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME

By Monica McInerney • Willful and somewhat eccentric Lola Quinlan is off on the trip of a lifetime, taking along her granddaughter and greatgranddaughter. Sixty years earlier, Lola emigrated to Australia and she’s on a mission to fulfill a secret personal promise to return to her Irish homeland.




By Beppe Severgini • This collection of travelthemed stories provides lighthearted and often poignant points about culture, identity, and global connections. Train travel has long been Severgini’s preferred mode of travel and in this book he shares both his obsession with trains and lessons from life along the rails. SEVEN AT SEA: WHY A NEW YORK FAMILY CAST OFF CONVENTION FOR A LIFE-CHANGING YEAR ON A SAILBOAT

By Erik & Emily Orton • Why, indeed, would a family of seven give up a successful urban life to sail more than 2,500 miles of unpredictable Atlantic Ocean from New York to the Caribbean? Risk, adventure, education, and discovery are all chronicled in this entertaining and richly-insightful book. THIS MUCH COUNTRY

By Kristin Knight Pace • Kristin Knight Pace had just about given up on herself after a failed marriage but then she packed up her gear and her dog, and set out along the Alaska Highway settling just outside Denali National Park to work as a backcountry ranger. Follow her journey to the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race, marriage, and parenthood in this riveting memoir. GRANDMA GATEWOOD'S WALK

By Ben Montgomery • When 67-year-old Emma Gatewood told her family she was “going for a walk", little did they know she was planning to walk the entire length of the Applachian Trail. In 1955, this strong woman, who had faced domestic abuse and had less than $100 to her name, stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin, triumphant and victorious.





Ratatouille is a stewed vegetable dish from the south of France. This delicious version is made easier by cooking everything together in the Instant Pot. 8 servings. INGREDIENTS • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1 yellow onion, chopped • Fine grain sea salt • Fresh ground black pepper • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 teaspoons dried Herbes de Provence • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped • 3 medium zucchini, chopped • 1 medium eggplant, chopped

STEPS 1. Set the Instant Pot to "saute," then add the olive oil (or use water to water saute). When the olive oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. 2. Add the red and green bell peppers, and an additional pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to saute for 5 minutes. 3. Add the garlic and Herbes de Provence and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is fragrant, about 1 minute. 4. Add the tomatoes, and an additional pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. 5. Add the zucchini and eggplant and stir everything to combine. 6. Press the "cancel" button on the Instant Pot. Then lock the lid in place and make sure the valve is turned to "sealing." Set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 3 minutes.

7.When the pressure cooking is complete, press the "keep warm/cancel" button, then carefully turn the valve to "venting" to quick release the steam. When the steam stops, carefully remove the lid. Taste the ratatouille and add additional salt and pepper as needed.

RECIPE NOTES Dress your ratatouille up however you like. My favorite additions are fresh basil and thyme. Sometimes I'll add a bit of fresh lemon zest or a pinch of chili flakes. Not traditional, but super delicious!

Sweet Potato Soup



Winter is quickly approaching. The change in temperature makes this sweet potato soup the perfect way to warm your belly. Made with in-season produce and a little spice, it is the perfect easy dinner recipe. Serves 5 INGREDIENTS 2 teaspoons oil 1 cup chopped onion 2 cloves garlic 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 cups vegetable stock 2 large sweet potatoes 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup half and half Parmesan cheese or bacon, optional

STEPS 1. Place the oil in a medium pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until they are soft. Add the garlic and cook one additional minute. 2. Stir in the cumin, paprika, salt, and stock. Bring to a boil. 3. While the stock is heating, halve the sweet potatoes, length wise. Place cut side down into a 9-inch microwave safe dish. Pour the water around the potatoes and heat for 7 minutes, or until fork tender. 4. Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, gently peel the skin from the potatoes and discard. Place the potatoes into the vegetable broth mixture. Use an immersion blender or food processor to pulse until smooth. 5. Stir in the half and half and heat until warmed. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese or chopped bacon.



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INGREDIENTS 2 oz unsweetened chocolate 1/4 cup salted butter 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt large pinch cayenne 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

STEPS 1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking tray with parchment or silicone mats. Set aside. 2. In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter with the chocolate for 40 seconds, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool while you prepare the next step. 3. In a large measuring cup combine the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cayenne. Whisk together with a fork and set aside.

4. Combine both of the sugars with the melted chocolate mixture in the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl once. Add the vanilla extract and egg until incorporated followed by the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips. 5. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of dough onto your prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between each. Bake 12-14 minutes or until the edges are firm.


y t n u o B e h t g n i k n i r D l l a of F


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The Anise-ton or,Mama's Cup of Tea

The air is cooler, the leaves are changing colors, the kids are back in school. The schedules are back to semi normal. The petri dish of the playground is back in full swing. Perhaps you just want a warm cuppa with something extra. This twist on the classic hot toddy with warm you up in no time. 1 cup brewed black tea (we love Kusmi Anastasia) ½ oz Spiced Simple Syrup (or more, to taste) recipe below 1 oz whiskey 1 oz pear nectar In a teacup, blend the tea, syrup, whiskey and pear nectar. Garnish with star anise or cinnamon stick for added aroma. Cozy up in your favorite plush blanket and watch the rain stream the windows while you enjoy the steam of your warming toddy.

Spiced Simple Syrup: 1 cup water 1 cup cane sugar 6 whole star anise 2 cinnamon sticks Tablespoonful dried orange peel In a small saucepan, heat water to boiling; stir in sugar until dissolved. Turn off heat, add spices. Cover and let steep for at least 8 hours. Strain to use. Keeps refrigerated for up to a week. A NOTE ON INGREDIENTS Pear juice and pear nectar nectar are usually available at most semi-healthy food stores like Whole Foods, as well as online. Pear juice is often 100% pear, while nectar may be blended with other juice, like apple. If you’re looking for a pure flavor, be sure to check the ingredients. We used Biorganic Pear Nectar, which was somewhat thin in body but full flavored and kid approved by our young tasters.



1 oz pear nectar 1 oz amaretto liqueur Splash of apple juice (or calvados, if you want to kick up the alcoholic bite) Dash aromatic bitters Brut champagne

A little bitter goes a long way: these are the secret punch of any cocktail, adding a finessing layer and complexity with just a dash. We love Scrappy’s Bitters - organic, hand crafted and robust.

In a champagne glass, layer in the first 4 ingredients. Slowly add the champagne slowly, so you don’t overflow the fizz. Cin cin, friend.

Pera Spritz Miel Surprisingly bright but full of the rich notes of fall, this is a lovely porch slammer for those Indian Summer days when summer’s just not ready to quit. 43 (Cuarenta y Tres) is a Spanish liquor produced only in Cartagena, Spain and based on a recipe that’s almost 2000 years old. While it’s ingredients are a closely guarded secret, the floral, honeyed vanilla flavor is unique and heady. 1 oz pear nectar 1 oz dark rum ½ oz 43 (quarenty y tres liqueur) Juice of ½ lime (or more, to taste) Ice Soda water Luxardo cherries and juice Add ice to a shaker, then add the first 4 ingredients. Shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe or collins glass. Slowly pour in about ½ oz cherry juice and a splash of soda water. Garnish with Luxardo cherries. Sip slowly, savoring the last warm rays of summer.

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Eco Life

10 easy sustainable beauty switches

The plastic-free, clean-living revolution has finally hit our bathrooms and make-up bags - and it’s about time, as the beauty industry is thought to produce 120 billion units of packaging yearly, much of which ends up in landfill. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of smart new products on the market, making it easy to swap those plastic bathroom beasties for low-impact, natural alternatives. Here’s our round up of the best eco beauty products out there: BY ZOEY GOTO • .ZOEYGOTOCOM


ETHIQUE SOLID BARS Trade-in your plastic-clad shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and facial scrub for zero waste bars from this hip New Zealand brand. If you’re going to embrace beauty solids, it’s also worth investing in their compostable holder, to stop the bars turning to mush.


INIKA VEGAN MASCARA This cult Australian beauty company pride themselves on making the world’s healthiest make up. Their vegan mascara is completely plant derived and natural, making it a winner for sensitive eyes.


BECO HONEY BLOSSOM SHAMPOO BAR These nifty shampoo bars not only fight against plastic waste, they also create jobs for their workforce of whom 80% are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. Lather up and do some good.


BYBI BABE BALM Don’t judge this plastic looking tube by its cover – its packaging is actually made from sugar cane, which is entirely biodegradable. This vegan beauty balm is the perfect little remedy for dry lips and flaky skin.


LUSH HAIR DOCTOR For a dose of hair and scalp TLC, pick up the packagingfree hair doctor treatment stick from Lush. Simply melt the treatment into a mug of hot water and wait for it to cool, before applying it to your locks and letting the natural oils work their magic.


THE ORDINARY ORGANIC ARGAN OIL This multi-tasking moisturising oil is reasonably priced, comes in a recyclable glass bottle and is 100% organic – tick, tick, tick! Use a couple of drops on skin and hair daily for a healthy glow.


ALEXANDRA SOVERAL FACIAL BRUSHES Massaging with these ultra soft brushes is the 100% natural way to exfoliate your face, stimulate blood flow and flush out trapped toxins – plus it makes your skin feel zingy and alive.


DIPTYQUE SOAP Switching over to bars doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on luxury. Diptyque’s beautifully scented soaps are a great alternative to shower gel and use natural ingredients such as almond oil to keep your skin baby-soft.


KJAER WEIS CREAM FOUNDATION Join the refill revolution with these beautifully designed Kjaer Weis compacts, which can be refilled endlessly, eliminating the need for waste packaging. Founded by Danish makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, all of the makeup products are made from organic ingredients.


HERBIVORE PINK CLAY CLEANSING BAR Packed with rejuvenating French clay, this plastic-free facial cleanser leaves skin wonderfully clean and nourished, without drying it out.

Eco Travel


The Twist Eco Hot List returns, bringing you the latest environmentally friendly travel news from around the globe! ROAD-TESTING ECO-ALTERNATIVES IN SWITZERLAND Our eco destination prize this issue goes to…scenic Switzerland! Not only are Swiss citizens world champions when it comes to recycling, but they’ve also taken a green approach to the resurfacing of their road junctions in Zermatt, using waste plastic that would otherwise have gone to landfill in the asphalt: FOOD RECYCLING JUST GOT FUN! At Country Kids, a luxury farm-stay in the South of France, kids learn about food recycling by getting very hands-on. Each family is given a bucket to collect their leftovers, which the children then feed to the resident animals on their daily farm visit, where they also collect hen’s eggs: KEEPING IT LOCAL IN LAKE CONSTANCE Lake Constance in Europe boasts not one, but two restaurants featuring ‘0-kilometer’ menus. Both The Ittingen Charterhouse restaurant, built in a former monastery, and The Schloss Wartegg Hotel restaurant, use produce from their onsite gardens and fish from the local waters, to help the region’s CO2 reduction:

THE WORLD'S FIRST CORK-CLAD HOTEL The Tivoli Evora Ecoresort resort has found an inventive way to sustainably insulate their chic hotel, by cladding the entire main building in cork - a material found locally in abundance. The cork finish has been a great success, allowing for effective thermal and acoustic insulation, plus it looks pretty chic: BREEDING THE CONSERVATIONISTS OF TOMORROW Wilderness Safaris are trailblazers in African ecotourism and they’ve now added the Bush Buddies programme to their family-friendly offerings. Kids are teamed up with a mentor who teaches them about the local environment through fun and educational activities. And amazingly, this bespoke service is complimentary for families:

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Long cardigan, leggings, and booties - the quintessential fall outfit. We love cardigans in neutral colors for every day, but there are options in cute stripes or animal prints as well, in a variety of fabrics.


LOFT $65

LOFT $75

Anthropologie $130

Amazon $30



Spanx $98

Steve Madden $130

Zella $59

Marc Fisher $130


LOFT $60

Banana Republic $75

Express $50

SKIRTS Banana Republic $100

JCrew Factory $60

1901 $79


A skirt and blouse combination is a classic holiday look. Separates in tones of red/pink, green, and black are perfect for mixing and matching.

Sundance Catalog $188

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Winter Clean Beauty

ILIA TINTED MOISTUIZER When the air is dry, your skin needs all the nourishment it can get. We love tinted moisturizers because they combine makeup and skincare in one. FRENCH GIRL LIP POLISH Exfoliating is key in the winter, especially on the lips. The French Girl rose lip polish is unique in that the exfoliating sugar is suspended in a moisturizing oil that nourishes your lips even after you wash the sugar off.

INDIE LEE SQUALANE OIL Squalane oil is particularly good for skin that is acne prone because of how light it is, but make no mistake – it is super effective. This Indie Lee one is one of our favorites because it is pure oil, isn’t fragranced, and feels incredibly soothing and comfortable on the skin. It’s also priced very affordably at $34 per bottle. BIOSSANCE LIP BALM This clean lip balm is a must for chapped lips in the winter. A little goes a long way and this tub comes with a fair bit of product that will last a while.

RMS BEAUTY OIL We couldn’t pick just one facial oil since it’s so key to use one in winter. This one from RMS beauty is a winner. It is packed with nourishing oils and rosehip extract which acts as a protector against the environment. ILIA EYESHADOW PALETTE Clean powder eyeshadows are notoriously difficult to formulate but thankfully Ilia have got us covered. Use either the cool or warm toned eyeshadow palette to create the perfect eye look for all your holiday parties.

Boots are the best thing about cold weather, but not all are created equal. We've curated our Favorite boots of all heights, shapes, and possible weather conditions. $199 $150 $150 $90

PANGEA ORGANICS FACE CREAM How delicious does this facial cream sound? Upon applying, it has the most beautiful spa-like scent and most importantly – it moisturizes without being heavy. ACURE SOOTHING LOTION In the winter, all you want to do is slather yourself in copius amounts of body lotion. Since your body lotion covers such a high surface area, it’s important to choose one made with non-toxic ingredients. This one from Acure is affordable and made with the purest of ingredients. We are huge fans.

Winter reboot $130 $60 $170


Outerwear PLAID WOOL COAT If prints are your thing, then consider adding a plaid wool coat to your winter wardrobe. Choose one in a chic neutral color palette and it’ll be as timeless as navy or black.

CLASSIC PARKA A true classic that comes back year after year. This wool coat wears so well over the years and is an affordable way to add this classic silhouette to your wardrobe. It retails for $298 but since it’s Jcrew Factory, there are always sales that get it down below $150. HOODED PARKA We love a parka made in a durable matte material. This one comes from a reputable brand and ticks all our boxes for musthave design features in a winter parka: storm flap, snap-off hood, fleece lining, and side pockets. WRAP COAT The wrap style on a wool coat is something a little different from the traditional pea coat. We love it in this Oatmeal color, which will lighten up any dreary winter day.

WOOL BLAZER For the office, nothing is classier than a wool blazer. A soft shade like this camel color is a great alternative to the regular black, and just as versatile.

HATS We’ve tried a lot of felt hats and this one from Free People is the best. Structured yet feminine, it comes in gorgeous neutral colors. Chunky beanies are the perfect topper on a cold-weather outfit. Several colors at the right price point give you options on whether to go for a neutral look or a pop of color. If you don’t want hat hair, earmuffs are a chic alternative that still keep your ears warm from the wind. These ones from UGG come in several colors.

TEDDY JACKET How cozy does this faux shearling jacket look? We can just imagine it with black jeans and boots for a chic look that keeps you warm all winter long.

LEATHER JACKET A black vegan leather jacket pairs well with so many fall outfits, such as dark floral dresses, jeans and a t-shirt, and leggings and tennis shoes, just to name a few!

accessories Can you just imagine yourself all cozied up with this thick fringe scarf? We certainly can, and think it would pair really well with a cup of hot chocolate.

SCARFS We are suckers for a good poncho. It gives us all the fall feels, especially paired with leggings and riding boots!

Blanket scarves are so versatile for fall/winter. You can use them as a scarf, a wrap, a blanket - the possibilities are endless! We love these in beautiful abstract prints to jazz up an all-black outfit.

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Travel Planning 101

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Prepping Your Car for Winter




No one wants to drive around on poor-performing brakes. Add slippery roads into the mix and you really want your brakes in the best shape possible. If you notice any rubbing, hear squeaking or squealing, or even if you have a gut feeling, take your vehicle in to be inspected. Pronto.

Look for low levels in the windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. While you should be checking all of these frequently anyway, inspect for signs of leakage too. And always keep an eye on your oil level. If you’re not sure where to find or how to check for these fluids in your vehicle, look them up in the owner’s manual or Google.

CHECK YOUR TIRE TREAD - WITH LINCOLN’S HEAD Take a penny and place it in the tread of your tires. If you can see the top of Abe’s head when it’s upside down, you need new tires. Technically, it means that your tire tread is less than 2/23 of an inch. And that means you’re driving on not-so-ideal conditions. Now’s the time to start looking for tire sales to save some cash. TEST YOUR BATTERY It’s just one of those things: car batteries tend to work perfectly until cold weather sets in. Crazy truth, but as expensive as car batteries can be, their lifespans are between two and five years. If you’re in a northern climate, you’ll probably get a little more usage out of yours. Just to be on the safe side, take your vehicle in for a free battery test. Many parts stores and repair garages offer the service, and it only takes a minute or two for peace of mind. Consider purchasing a battery charger to leave in your vehicle, but definitely have a set of jumper cables in the trunk. FILL ‘ER UP! Never let your gas tank level drop below half full if you can help it. Fuel can have both water and sediments in it that sink to the bottom of your gas tank. Drop the gas levels low and you’ve got a better chance of them hitting your fuel line. It’s also a good idea to keep your tank full just in case you get stranded - you’ll need that extra fuel to heat up your vehicle and keep warm. If it ever does happen, remember to heat the car in spurts.

Travel Budget 101



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What comes to mind when you think of Williamsburg, Virginia? If it’s just Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum, you’re missing so much of what makes this area special. We filmed the latest episode of The Jet Sisters in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and found a destination steeped in history, to be sure, but also filled with thrills, fun and all the modern conveniences. So whether you’re pinching pennies on vacation or driving the fanciest carriage on the block, we have some incredible ideas for accommodations, dining options and activities for your next visit.

BUDGET Activity: Historic Yorktown Greater Williamsburg is known for its historic ties, so checking out some of the most popular spots in American history is a must. We loved Yorktown and its many historic sites including the site of the Battle of Yorktown, Cornwallis’ Cave and the Nelson House. This is also where you meet the famous schooner Alliance at Riverwalk Landing Pier to sail along the tidewaters of Chesapeake Bay. Hotel: KOA Williamsburg A family friendly favorite, we had so much fun at the local KOA. It’s so much more than just a campground, with resort-style amenities including an outdoor pool, splash pad, disc golf, jumping pillows and a pet playground. Tent and camper sites are always a popular choice, but you can also stay in a comfy cabin or a yurt that sleeps up to six. KOA Williamsburg is close to all the attractions, so it’s a great choice for a family with littles who love to play outside. Dining: Williamsburg Tasting Trail In colonial times untreated water was a considerable issue for the settlers, thus fermented beverages like whiskey and wine were valued as a safer option for hydration. The Williamsburg Tasting Trail honors this history with a hopping craft brew scene. There are nine official stops on the trail, featuring award-winning breweries, wineries, distilleries and even a meadery.


LUXE Activity: Elite VIP Tour at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Busch Gardens Williamsburg has some of the best roller coasters in the US, but that’s not all. Winner of World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park award every year since 1990, the park hosts annual events like the Food and Wine Festival, Howl-O-Scream and a sparkly holiday celebration with more than 10 million lights. The Elite VIP Tour is the best way to see and do everything in one visit. You get front-of-the-line access, a dedicated guide, food and drinks and a behind-the-scenes look at the Europeanthemed park. So fun and so worth the splurge! Hotel: Kingsmill Resort The Kingsmill Resort has a little bit of everything - historic roots, a luxurious spa and a multitude of waterfront accommodation options for big families or small ones. We loved the free shuttle to the area’s attractions, including the theme parks and museums. Dining: Rockefeller Room at the Williamsburg Inn Just steps from Colonial Williamsburg, the Rockefeller Room is the perfect spot for a splashy night out on one of the oldest towns in America. Try a tasting menu for locally sourced oysters, shrimp and produce from creative Chef Matthias Maihoefer.

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3 d a y s

FIRST DAY: TAKE IN THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Start your day off right with a healthy, locally-sourced breakfast from the Farmer’s Market at Singh Meadows. Yes, they have a market, but there is also a café with a covered patio in back. You may never want to leave.

After you have had your fill, head downtown to South Mill Avenue for a little walking tour of Tempe’s public art. You will find more sculptures than murals here, thanks to the scorching heat and sand. Paint doesn’t hold up for more than a few years, while bronze and other sculpture mediums will last for decades in the desert climate. You don’t have to go far either; the post office always has a local exhibition in the windows and the ASU Art Museum is free and open to the public. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll down the streets and alleys of Tempe too. You may walk by and miss a piece of art, especially at the light rail stops.


Not your typical college town, Tempe, AZ brings together a youthful vibe, along with great food, Broadway theater and enough outdoor activities and natural exploration to keep everyone entertained during a weekend away. Whenever we are in the city, we shack up at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel for a little luxury or the Graduate Hotel Tempe when we want a place with a funkier vibe. If we have the kids with

us, and need some space, the Residence Inn Downtown/ Tempe is where we go for the rooftop pool, complimentary breakfast and extra bedrooms. While there are plenty of things to do throughout the year, one event you won’t want to miss is the 6th Street Market. Held on Sundays, this market is where you will find artists selling their wares, local produce and fresh foods ready to eat on the go.

It’s not just about artwork on the walls and streets of town either. Nope, Tempe has the only theater in Arizona that gets the big Broadway

shows. Missed Hamilton? Tempe didn’t. Want to see Come From Away? Tempe residents and visitors will, thanks to the Frank Llyod Wrightdesigned ASU Gammage theater. Grab tickets to a matinee or evening performance before you come to town as tickets do sell out. Make sure you have dinner at Tempe Public Market Café before or after the show. The outdoor patio is the perfect spot to rehash the show over great food and drinks.

SECOND DAY: HIKES AND HORSES Get up early to climb to the top of Hayden Butte, lovingly referred to as 'A' mountain by the Arizona State University students thanks to the giant A they placed up there. After all that hiking, you deserve a reward with breakfast at Daily Jam at the base of the hill. Don’t get too comfy though, before the sun gets too high, drive over to the Desert Botanical Garden to get a true taste of what this area has to offer. Unlike other gardens, you won’t see a lot of leafy greens spilling onto the pathways.

Instead, enjoy the different desert terrains and check out the art exhibit in the garden. There is always something spectacular to look at, besides the butterflies flittering around the pavilion.

muscles you used on your horse ride yesterday. If you prefer to bike, Papago Park has several trails that will take you across flat terrain for hours or you could just bike to your next lunch spot.

Enjoy lunch at Perfect Pear Bistro before you drive to the KOLI Equestrian Center at the Gila River Indian Community. Later in the day is better, if the temperatures are already making you sweat. You also have a better chance of seeing the wild horses of Arizona. What you won’t see are any palm trees. No, they aren’t native to the desert. You will, however, see a lot of brush, jack rabbits, and smaller cactus, which is the real desert landscape.

Speaking of lunch, SweetestSeason Bakery & Café is where you will find small-batch, made-from-scratch artisan breads and pastries, as well as a nice lunch to get you through the afternoon. Get in touch with your creative side at Burst of Butterflies art studio, where you can walk-in at any time to do activities like glass painting, glass fusing and painting on canvas.

End the day at Postino Annex, where bruschetta is taken to new heights and is always paired perfectly with a glass of Cava.

THIRD DAY: STAY IN TOWN Go to Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, before you head to Tempe Town Lake to do some paddle boarding. You will want a little exercise to work out those

Finish your trip off on a high note with a leisurely dinner at House of Tricks, one of the best restaurants in town. This restaurant is literally in an old house, spilling out into the front yard, with a cocktail menu that shouldn’t be ignored. If you have boisterous children with you, have no fear, head to the Thirsty Lion Gastro Pub in Tempe Marketplace. You can even do a little shopping after your meal or listen to a band on the District Stage.

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Zoie is the founder of Kid & Coe, an upscale home rental company that is a bit like Airbnb for families, only way cooler. The company started in 2013 out of personal necessity; Zoie had been traveling the world for years with her DJ husband and children in tow but was struggling to find stylish, upmarket alternatives to hotels, that no longer fit the needs of her family. She didn’t just want any old rental, Zoie wanted somewhere that made her family feel at home no matter where they were in the world. And so, Kid & Coe was born and today the company has over 1,400 kid-friendly property rentals in over 50 countries and continues to grow. We sat down with Zoie – in a virtual sense, we’re hoping for a poolside cocktail in the near future! - to ask her a few questions about traveling with kids.


WHAT’S THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR HAVING A FAMILY HOLIDAY WHERE EVERYONE IS HAPPY? It can be difficult to make everyone happy, but in our family the magic formula is allocating time for each person’s interest. For example, on a recent trip to Madrid, my soccer obsessed son and husband wanted to visit the Bernabeau stadium and museum, and I hoped to check out the Goyas at the Prado, which is across the street from El Retiro park which keeps the toddler smiling. My daughter typically wanted to visit a local toy store. We could all agree on churros and hot chocolate! I like to let my older kids learn about a destination and figure out a spot or two that they want to visit. I think this keeps everyone happy, but I’m a strong believer in leaving enough free unscheduled time to be spontaneous and wander.

WHEN DID YOU START TRAVELING? DID YOU TRAVEL AS A CHILD? Yes! Both my parents worked for the airlines and we got to fly non-revenue, or standby, growing up. So, it wasn’t uncommon for them to announce we were going to go to Paris or Milan for the weekend with not a lot of notice. I’m still a pretty spontaneous traveler in this way, although of course with kids (and multiple airline tickets!) it’s not so easy. HOW OLD WERE YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY FIRST STARTED TRAVELING AND WHERE DID THEY TRAVEL TO FIRST? My eldest son Luca was 2 months old, and we went to the Turks and Caicos. By the time he was 2 years old, we had been to Australia and Asia. Twice! India, my second child, was also about 2 months old and we went to London. Ivy was born in Ibiza so she went to Madrid at around six weeks to get her American passport from the Embassy. HOW HAS TRAVELING BENEFITED YOUR FAMILY? I think my kids are fairly adaptable thanks to traveling. I think it’s important for them to learn to adapt to the environment around them, not vice versa all of the time. Traveling, seeing the world, just makes humans better.

WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO HOLIDAY STYLES / DESTINATIONS WITH BABIES? I think babies are the easiest traveling companions and can be taken just about anywhere. When I was breastfeeding, a baby carrier and some diapers and you’re good to go. We had some of our best meals when our baby was napping in the stroller in a different country! WHAT ABOUT WITH TODDLERS? I love beach holidays with toddlers. City breaks can also be fantastic too - playgrounds, play-spaces, classes and more are available to you - and a lot of museums and cultural institutions have toddler-friendly art spaces and more. Crawling babies and young toddlers on a plane can be challenging, especially long haul. Traveling with toddlers is probably the trickiest. We recently took a trip to Singapore and Bali with my three children, when my baby was 1.5. She’s very active and that was challenging. I played ‘hide the goldfish’ and ‘post the sticky note’ for about 12 hours. Red wine helps, relaxing standards help not stressing if they’re going to sleep or not helps. Just engaging with your little and having endless little tricks up your sleeve does help. I have to admit – all three of my kids have been on bottles longer than they probably should have because it was the thing that always kept them quiet on planes!

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AND WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN? School children are wonderful to travel with: they’re open books and so curious and you don’t have to worry about the airplane dramas. We try and take trips around their studies: we went to Rome which my eldest was studying and to the Met to see the Manets after art class. It’s such an opportunity to see their studies come alive. WHAT WAS THE EUREKA MOMENT BEHIND KID & COE?

I used to travel a lot with my husband, a DJ, and we travelled extensively with our kids when they were younger. We were on tour in Sydney as a family and were fortunate enough to be checking into a nice hotel, planning to base there for an extended period. But within two days we realized it wasn’t going to work for us as a family. Once Luca was asleep at night, we were tiptoeing around him in the dark, whispering so we wouldn’t wake him. I think all parents that have stayed in hotel rooms with their kids know this scenario! We realized he wouldn’t be eating any healthy home-cooked meals, and we just needed more space to enjoy our family time together (and alone!). CAN YOU SHARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE KID & COE PROPERTIES? It’s hard to pick three favorite! Right now, I’m currently loving: The Anchor Residence The Petra Villa The No. 38 Residence WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST ORIGINAL PROPERTIES THAT YOU HAVE LISTED? The Galapagos Safari Eco Camping The Shore Road Residence The Crib Residence GALAPAGOS SAFARI

She Gets Around WHAT WAS THE EUREKA MOMENT BEHIND KID & COE? When I started the process of looking for an apartment to rent, it took days. Most were unsuitable for a young child, so I personally went to check them all out. When we found somewhere that did work, I needed to source a baby equipment rental firm to kit us out with high chairs, stair gates and the rest. It took a chunk out of our trip just getting to that point. But then everything opened up. As soon as we were situated, it felt that all of Sydney was our Sydney: we had a base to find local fresh grocers, nearby playgrounds, farmers markets, and cafés.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT KID & COE THAT YOU BELIEVE MAKES IT STAND OUT FROM OTHER BOOKING SITES THAT LIST FAMILY PROPERTIES? I think there are websites that are fantastic and offer a great service. Our difference is that we are singularly designed for families- every property we review, every partnership we consider, every article we write, has the same clear purpose of helping families explore the world, together. NO. 38

That’s how it started. From that I realized that staying in a house as a family was a good way to go. Spending too much time going through uninspiring websites looking at uninspiring houses that claimed they were family-friendly made me realize there was a real lack in the market for people who need the space of a home the most. HOW DO YOU SOURCE PROPERTIES FOR KID & COE? WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU HAVE TO MEET IF YOU WANT TO BE A HOST? A property can make the Kid & Coe cut because it is in a great location for family travelers, it is safe and appropriate for kids, it is stylish, and/or it has amenities unique for families such as cribs, high chairs, play areas, or toys. We always say families come in all shapes and sizes and try and remember that families with younger kids will be searching for a different kind than those with older children, or multi-generational.


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I SEE THAT YOU’RE GOING TO START LISTING HOTELS ON THE WEBSITE, CAN YOU TELL US SOME MORE ABOUT THAT? Yes, it’s something I have wanted to do for a long time, as I believe that there are some great hotels out there offering amazing services for kids outside of the traditional ‘kids club’ environment. I like a kids’ club as much as the next person, but I find those environments can be slightly sterile also. We stayed at the Shangri-La in Singapore for a few nights to break up our trip to Bali and it had such amazing family facilities. Being able to identify and offer them to our family market would be a dream. HOW MANY PROPERTIES DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE LISTED AND IN HOW MANY COUNTRIES? WHAT COUNTRIES ARE ON YOUR WISH LIST? We have about 1,400 properties in just over 50 countries. I would love to have more properties in South America, Asia and Australia one day!

"Traveling, seeing the world, just makes humans better" THE CRIB RESIDENCE

CAN YOU SHARE YOUR TOP THREE DESTINATIONS (EVER!) FOR A FAMILY HOLIDAY? I love Brazil and South America as a whole is fantastic for travel for Americans as you’re not too far away, timezone wise, and such a warm culture that welcome children. Sydney, Australia is also one of my favorite places to gowith the kids: it’s a hell of a trip but once you’re there it’s worth it: amazing fashion, wine, food, and so much to do with kids. Closer by, we have loved Portugal recently - it’s great value, easy to get to, and everybody speaks English! AND FINALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR ESSENTIAL CARRYON ITEMS? A scarf, Vaseline rosy lips, and my wireless headphones for listening to music while I finish interviews. If I’m with the kids, lollipops to pull out as pressure pops, iPads and those Melissa and Doug paint with water books are amazing and have kept my toddlers occupied on many aflight.

FINLAND The Real Winter Wonderland


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As the December winds raced through our outer layers, we hurried as fast as humanly possible to our rental car, parked 50 meters away. Our flight hadn’t landed until 11.35pm, everyone was tired and cold, and my husband was not looking forward to trying to fix a car seat in subzero temperatures. When we got to the car, however, we found it running, with the heating on full blast. If this is how the Finns cope with winter temperatures I thought, then we were going to be ok. We had arrived in Finnish Lapland, a sparsely populated area in the country’s northernmost region. We came in search of the Northern Lights, promises of reindeer rides through the snow and maybe even the chance to catch a glimpse of Santa himself. Tour packages from the UK offer three-day, four-day or even a 24-hour winter wonderland experiences. These tours cram in as many snowy activities as possible, all in branded ski wear. We’ve never been a big fan of group holidays, however, so we decided to organize everything ourselves, and I’m so pleased that we did. This is a truly magical corner of the world that deserves to be enjoyed and experienced at a leisurely pace. There are two main areas to visit in Finnish Lapland: Rovaniemi, the official home to Santa Claus where it is Christmas every single day and the village of Äkäslompolo, a laidback town located next to Ylläs, one of Finland’s most popular downhill ski resorts. We opted for the later and found that it was a wonderful place to base yourself for an arctic family adventure.

Back at Kittila airport we climbed into the rental car and carefully followed the directions that had been sent to us by our host, Nicola. Much like our rental car, we arrived at our cottage, Yllashilla, to find it warm and welcoming and everyone soon fell into a deep slumber. If you’ve ever traveled with kids, or at least my kids, you’ll know that no matter what time they go to bed they still wake up at the crack of dawn. What we quickly discovered in Finnish Lapland, however, is that there is no dawn. During the winter months the sun never quite makes it above the horizon resulting in a period that the Finns called Kaamos, also known as the Polar Night. The Polar Night only occurs above the Arctic Circle and lasts anywhere from several weeks up to two months in the northernmost regions. Although it is the darkest period of the year, it is not pitch black. Instead, for a few hours in the middle of the day, the sky is painted in sherbet strips of light blue, dusky pink and pale orange. What this means as a parent, is that your child will sleep very well! The following morning, having put on at least two more layers than were probably necessary, we set out to explore our snowy surrounds. One of my main concerns about visiting Lapland was dealing with –20C

temperatures with Sam, who was only two-and-a-halfyears-old at the time (Alfie and Tess were seven- and nine-years-old). But, as a wise friend said to me predeparture, “people in Finland have babies, too you know”. The first day in Äkäslompolo set the tone for the rest of our week-long holiday: a gentle start to the day followed by an adventurous activity, and then dinner at home or at one of the restaurants in town. We soon fell into an easy rhythm and by day two we were imagining what life would be like living permanently in the arctic circle. Our first afternoon involved a snowmobile tour with Snow Fun Safaris. We met as the pastel skies were fading and were given our helmets with visors and goggles. The kids and I jumped in a sleigh that was pulled by our guide Joosef’s snowmobile and snuggled down under the reindeer hides to keep warm. Nick hopped on a snowmobile of his own and shouted with delight when he realized that the handlebars were heated. Joosef led us out of town and into the inky-black forest, illuminated only by the lights of the machines. It was otherworldly; trees stood sentinel along the track, their branches heavy with snow and above us the night sky was blanketed with stars. We stopped half-way through the journey at a kota, a traditional Finnish hut often found along hiking trails, for a cup of berry juice and to warm up by the fire, before we were on our way again. Day two took us to the Snow Village, an ice hotel open to guests for an overnight stay or just a day trip. Every year a new snow village is constructed using around 20 million kilos of snow and 350,000 kilos of crystal-clear natural ice. The design changes annually; the theme during our visit was The Game of Thrones complete with the Iron Throne carved entirely from ice. As well as suites and standard rooms, where the beds are made out of blocks of ice, there’s the Ice Restaurant, Ice Bar, Ice Chapel and even a cinema made from, you guessed it, ice. Not surprisingly, the kids loved the Ice Slide the best. The next couple of days were spent with Timo, one of the owners of the shop Sisu Outdoor, and they rank among our favorite experiences. Timo, along with his wife and two daughters, have lived in Äkäslompolo for years and are hugely passionate about the area. With him we learned to snowshoe, pulling Sam along in a sled behind. If you weren’t traveling with three noisy children this would be an idyllic way to experience the golden silence of the forest. Even more fun, however, was seeing the children pretending to be explorers setting off on an arctic expedition. We spent several hours stomping through the forest, the snow crunching under our feet, stopping only at a kota for what we all quickly agreed were the best doughnuts in Finland.

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THE RIDE THROUGH THE FOREST IN A TRADITIONAL FINNISH SLEIGH WAS MAGICAL BUT THE STANDOUT PERFORMANCE WAS BY HANNU, THE REINDEER HERDER. Buoyed by our success on snowshoes we decided to try one of the other popular Finnish pastimes, cross-country skiing. Cross-country ski tracks crisscross the countryside where locals glide along effortlessly. For us beginners it was not so straightforward. Cross-country skis are very long, very thin and very lightweight. Staying upright and moving forward requires a lot of balance and an element of natural grace, something that we all struggled with! Fortunately, Timo was a patient teacher and by the end of the lesson we were sliding along the paths with relative ease.

experience a reindeer safari. The ride through the forest in a traditional Finnish sleigh was magical but the standout performance was by Hannu, the reindeer herder. Once we had disembarked from our sleighs, we sat in a tipi around a fire drinking hot berry juice and eating arctic cloudberry tarts while this charismatic man charmed us all with his tales of life as a reindeer herder. The children were delighted when he told how he used to travel to school by reindeer and there was a collective happy sigh when Hannu told us how he courted his wife on a reindeer ride.

Next, we decided to tackle the downhill slope, a place where we all feel much more confident. Ylläs has two separate ski resorts, Sport Resort Ylläs on the Ylläsjärvi village side and Ylläs Ski Resort on the Äkäslompolo village side. In high season, around February time, the lifts linking the two resorts are open and you can ski from one resort to the next. When we visited, however, we remained in Ylläs Ski Resort and were grateful for the gondola lift given that it was —1F (-18C) outside. Skiing in Finland is very different to skiing somewhere like the Alps or the Rockies. The resorts are small and the terrain not particularly challenging, especially if you’re an experienced skier. What it does offer, however, is beautiful fluffy snow, wide open slopes and a distinct lack of people. We loved it.

Back at our cabin we settled down for our last night in Finland, reading stories by the fire. There were only two things we hadn’t managed to achieve; seeing the Northern Lights (despite some rather frantic late-night excursions in the car to try and spot them) and meeting Santa Claus. “He’s probably very busy,” we reasoned, “it is, after all, nearly Christmas”. And then, as if by magic (or some very careful planning by a mum and dad keen to keep a belief alive for as long as possible) there was a knock at the door. The children jumped up to find Father Christmas himself standing on the wooden porch. Dressed in traditional Finnish clothes, with a long beard and carrying a sack, he looked like the Santa of stories and my children were spellbound. He stayed with us for an hour or more, telling legends of the Northern Lights, sharing stories of life as Father Christmas and singing traditional songs in Finnish. In a holiday stuffed full with highlights, this evening was simply unforgettable.

On our penultimate day we joined up with Snow Fun Safaris once more and travelled into the countryside to

Rustic Mountain Lodge

cozy up

Photo: kevinlaytonphotography

By Jordana Gagnon• with Tai Kojro-Badziak

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Like a lone wolf’s howl in the dead of night, the vast and rugged mountain wilderness can bring a chill to your bones even the chunkiest sweater can’t shake. But with mountain lodge-inspired rustic home decor, you have the power to change your home from stark and cold, to warm and inviting as a cozy mountain cabin. Join us as we slide down those frosted mountain tops and into the warmth and coziness of your very own mountain lodge this season. Discover a robust and charming palette with matching pieces that will make you want to get snug as a bug in a (designer) rug! From rich and frothy hot drinks, to cozy social gatherings, your home can become the neighborhood haven for friends and family to gather when baby, it really is cold outside. So go on, snuggle into a plush chair with a hot cup of cocoa, listen for that crackling fire and enjoy these little pieces of mountain lodge home decor inspiration. Hopefully, it will stoke up your heart like the man in flannel on the fire log channel. MOUNTAIN LODGE INTERIOR DESIGN INSPIRATION FOR YOUR HOME

Inspiration abounds for a mountain lodge retreat - think deep leather chairs, rich rugs, and layered throws to ward off that winter chill. You’ll need some woodsy side tables and plenty of alpine accessories to round it all out.


IRVING ROLL ARM LEATHER ARMCHAIR WITH NAILHEADS The distressed leather and nailhead trim invites a tête-àtête with Hemmingway, posthike. Dream of what your conversation would sound like with the famous author, or enjoy a chapter or two of ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ as you relax by the crackling hearth.

Library Leather Chair This stylish, rich chocolate leather chair will add a splash of sophistication to your home office, transforming it from a North American study to a European reading room. Whatever you’re using it for, rest assured you’ll feel right at home in this robust and comfy chair.

Malachy Rustic-Modern Side Accent 2-Piece Nesting Tables Perfect for living rooms, hallways or bedrooms, these two-tone end tables, with their rich, distressed wood and dark metal legs bring to mind a secret cabin in the woods.

30" Mountain Lodge Backgammon Table Upholstered Dining Chairs Elegant and charming chairs aren’t just for the living room – add them to the kitchen for lodge-inspired home decor while you eat! Depending on the style of your home, choose the right color to suit your mountain lodge look, from a rich, dark fabric, to a bright white to match the snow outside!

1930’s Soda Fountain Stool For a classic old-world meets new-world flair, add some leather-bound stools to your bar. Exchange some tall tales with your guests as you whip up some hot toddies to enjoy around the nearby fireplace.

Slow to the speed of cabin-life and try your hand at a game of backgammon or checkers. The nostalgic look of this board adds charm to every room and is sure to be a hit with your friends and family.

Reclaimed Stump End Tables/ Stools Great for the living room, these tree stumps are cut from Canadian cedar, providing a raw, natural texture and tone. Add them as side tables for drinks, or use them as extra seats for when company comes over.

Alaterre Pomona Reclaimed Wood and Metal 42-inch Coffee Table This natural reclaimed wood coffee table is the final piece to pull your cozy living room together. Gather around it with friends, family and hot drinks to exchange stories about your day on the slopes.

Live Edge Slab Table Large enough to seat the whole family, this table will catch everyone’s eye, and draw compliments like those fresh fish you just caught in the river. This gorgeous slab table is one-of-a-kind. The tropical hardwood creates a rich, natural look that’s impossible to emulate.

Timberlane Dining Table Barnett Wingback Chair Enjoy the peace and quiet as you rest after a long day’s work in this classic wingback chair. Kick back and peruse the paper or relax with your favorite adventure book and get carried away in comfort.

Gather the family close round this gorgeous cabin-inspired dining table and enjoy a feast of all your favorite comfort foods. The solid wood design paired with bold shaped legs creates an instant character piece for any room.

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Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace Who says you need a real fireplace to enjoy the heat of a fire? Installing this sleek, wallmounted fireplace inside your home will create an instant aura and the feel of an alpine cabin.

Wood 6-light Chandelier with Seeded Glass Shades Los Angeles Antler 6-Light Drum Chandelier Adding warmth to all your family gatherings, this chic antler chandelier brings woodsy charm to every dining occasion. This chandelier fits six lights and is dimmable.

Rustic doesn’t have to be kitschy bring home the inspiration of a cedarscented sunset with this reclaimed wood and wrought iron chandelier. The design is luxurious, but the price is completely affordable!

Fireplace Mantel Shelf A classic-looking shelf designed to sit above your fireplace, it’s solid, beautiful and will give your home a dash of mountain lodge allure. The unfinished alderwood offers a beautiful, warm tone, but can be stained to your desired hue to match your living room palette.

Knotty Alder Beam Fireplace Mantel

Maverick Ceiling Fan

This richly colored beam is hand-carved and will bring a luxurious mountain cabin feel to your fireplace. It’s 100% alderwood and has been distressed to bring out the natural grains of the wood.

Inspired by a 1950’s airplane propeller, this fan is also reminiscent of canoe paddles. Whatever it reminds you of, it will add rustic charm to your mountain lodge decor.

Loop Drum Chandelier Consider the slopes while admiring the beautiful curves of this contemporary fixture, while the gray-washed color will bring to mind the crisp weather of the season. This chandelier makes a great centerpiece above any dining room table.

Infrared Electric Stove With a plug and play fireplace, you can chase away the cold in an instant. And with an adjustable thermostat and a remote control included, it makes warming your home even easier.

Wood Burning Stove Every good mountain lodge has a roaring fire, and with this direct vent wood burning stove, you’ll enjoy all the sounds and smells of crackling wood, and of course, the glorious, bone-warming heat.

RAW CABINETS + STORAGE SPACES Sycamore Cabinet Store your most inspiring books, put on display your most charming woodsy dishware, and set out your coziest little cabin knick-knacks inside this gorgeous sycamore cabinet. The branchshaped, brass-coated handle truly brings the outside in.

Ringgold Storage Cabinet

Wooden Bathroom Vanity

Aged wood always brings to mind charming mountain lodge designs. And this cabinet accomplishes just that with its distressed and rustic allure.

Add some reclaimed charm to the bathroom with this gorgeous bathroom vanity. Its soft yet rich look will give your bathroom a sophisticated atmosphere inspired by nature.


Vintage Bar Cart Splurging on this vintage bar cart will bring a character to your cabin-inspired decor you won’t find anywhere else! The gorgeous features and lavish designs will make you feel like the king or queen of your cabin-castle.

Cloud Forest Bedroom

Industrial Queen Standard Bed

Create a nature-inspired retreat inside your own bedroom. From dreamy wallpaper to the jagged antler lamp and rough-edge mirror that looks like its a part of your wall, this cloud forest bedroom design is sure to inspire you!

Create a bedroom fit for a woodland queen. This queen standard bed comes in three different wood tones and will have you feeling like you're on a wilderness retreat.

Pair IT! Here’s a Natural Live Edge Teak Wood Mirror to start you off.

Rosaline Bar Cart This affordable, stylish and compact bar cart will fit into the smallest of log cabins. It’s sure to be a hit with family and friends – even before you stock it up with your favorite spirits!

Antique Cabinet Knobs The deep color and dimpled texture of these knobs will add an antique touch to any cabinet in your home.

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Cowhide Rug

Galvanized Compass Get your bearings with this galvanized metal compass. Hang it indoors over the mantlepiece, or on the patio outside above BBQ to ensure it never gets lost.

Reclaimed Wood Vanity Mirror Brighten up your living room with this whitewashed wood vanity, which brings to mind a still winter day with heavy snow coating the silent birch trees like cake icing.

Bear Pillow The design is adorable – but the fabric is irresistible! Throw this hooked bear pillow onto your bed, or inside the guest bedroom for some extra cute, cabinthemed fun!

Nothing says “home on the range” like an authentic cowhide rug. This classic comes in every color, shape and style. Works anywhere in the home, from living room to the study or bedroom.

Ombre Spice Rug Burque Cork Tote Made from 100% Portuguese cork, these totes are not only stylish and useful, they add a bit of natural charm to your coat rack or closet.

Plaid Throw Pillow Seedlings Hidden Animals 2019-2020 Planner Start planning for next year now with this hidden animal daytimer. A little bit of animal charm goes a long way.

A great neutral, yet undeniably lodge-themed design, this plaid throw pillow is a subtle pop of character for the bedroom, guestroom, or on any couch or chaise lounge.

Bring in the heat of a toasty fire whether you’ve spent the morning chopping wood or not. This rich red ombre rug is inspired by the crackling flames of a roaring fire and will keep you cosy warm.

Downtown Gramercy Area Rug Oriental Kilim Pillow Beachwood Natural Driftwood Branch Table Lamp Consider curling up with a good book next to the warm glow of this driftwood reading lamp.

Animal Cast Brass Hook Add a little character to your mudroom or bathroom with these gorgeous solid brass stag hooks.

For a twist on cabin life we’re throwing in some Oriental warmth whose color-palette suits our lodge theme. Add this pillow to any room and wait for the compliments.

This rug whispers of quiet forests with its surreal color and ghostly tree print design. It will transform your living room or guest room into the wilds of the woods. It’s stain-resistant and made from polyester which makes it easy to clean too.



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One full day into my stay in Sun Valley, Idaho, and I still couldn't figure out what this popular winter and summer destination had decided to be when it grew up: an American western town packed with outdoor adventure or a nod to an old European ski village. The USA’s original destination ski resort, Sun Valley is somehow a mix of both, offering a mountain experience that’s steeped in history while alive with newfound vigor. From the moment you arrive at picturesque SUN airport in Hailey, Idaho, you’ll have no trouble seeing the European inspiration behind this iconically American ski resort; somehow, Sun Valley manages to marry the Austrian charm of its resort village with the Wild West-yet-gentrified vibe of Ketchum, creating an inviting and distinctly original cocktail of culture, cuisine, and fresh mountain air that draws outdoor enthusiasts by the droves. In winter, visitors come here to ski with Sun Valley’s two distinct Alpine mountains ready for fresh turns through Idaho’s light powder. But if you’re a snow bunny who prefers town life, you're equally in luck: Ketchum is drawing celebrated chefs, innovative hoteliers and a line-up of entertainment options to its indoor and outdoor performance spaces, able to compete with any major city.

STAY AT THE HISTORIC SUN VALLEY INN Located in the Sun Valley Village, the Inn (circa 1937), oozes history and charm. The soul of the hotel is without question its iconic Ram Restaurant with attached Ram Bar, where visitors can still view (and sample) ‘heritage’ menu items such as liver and onions and Hungarian goulash along side its still ever-popular cheese fondue and Idaho Ruby Trout.

Amenities at the Sun Valley Inn include roaring fireplaces, stunning views of Bald Mountain, and a heated outdoor pool and fitness center on-site. For more on tap, guests must brave the short (but chilly) walk to the nearby Sun Valley Lodge for spa services, a larger outdoor pool and hot tub complex, a small bowling alley, and an ice skating rink. Don’t neglect to linger in the guest hallways and lobby to take in the framed photos of famous past and present guests, ranging from Earnest Hemmingway to Marilyn Monroe.

DINE IN BOTH THE VILLAGE AND IN TOWN Sun Valley Village dining offers convenience without sacrificing quality if you’re staying at the Sun Valley Inn; just steps away, guests can’t go wrong at the Village Station for casual pub fare with some healthy options, and, for breakfast, both Austrian-inspired Konditorei or Gretchen’s in Sun Valley Lodge are sure bets, the latter named after Gretchen Fraser, the first American to win an Alpine Olympic gold medal. In Ketchum, Warfields is the region’s go-to distillery and brew pub, currently making their own gin and vodka, with whiskey coming soon. If you want something even more distinctly local, the Casino is right down the street, with pool tables and affordable (but strong) drinks and plenty of local flavor (21 and over). At the Limelight hotel, Ketchum’s newest lodging option, their large ‘living room’ serves as an informal dining option, with space for kids to spread out and play (a big plus for parents).

IF YOU GO The Covey is one of Ketchum’s newest restaurants and popular enough to warrant a line outside the door when it opens at 5:30 pm (no reservations taken). The atmosphere is cozy but modern, with an open kitchen concept and a wide selection of beer and wine. Try the winter squash appetizer if it’s still on offer, given their ever-refreshed menu.

SKI ON TWO DISTINCT MOUNTAINS True to its European inspiration, the skiable acreage at Sun Valley is spread over two mountains, accessible by shuttle or car. Dollar Mountain is the beginning mountain, housing the snowsports school, the daycare, and a very innovative ‘Terrain that Teaches’ program, for which the snow is actually sculpted in such a way that helps you learn (and is totally fun, too). Dollar is very manageable for families with young kids; the day lodge is beautiful and quiet, there’s a full rental system in place, and terrain parks for those who want to challenge themselves. If all you need is Dollar, you’ll pay a lower lift ticket price, too. Bald Mountain, or Baldy, boosts the advanced terrain, and they do mean advanced. The grooming on Baldy is phenomenal, so you can usually count on groomed blues and greens, but the steep vertical still makes them very challenging. With over 2000 total acres, everyone who is intermediate-level and above will find something perfect for their ski and snowboard needs. There are two main base areas at Baldy: River Run and Warm Springs. Warm Springs recently went through a complete face lift, making it the place to grab that aprés ski drink at the bar overlooking the slopes.



WHAT ELSE NOT TO MISS The window shopping in Ketchum is worthy of a leisurely afternoon, which can be concluded with a show taken in at the region’s newest performance space, The Argyros, which hosts annual events such as the Sun Valley Film Festival. If you haven’t gotten your fill of mountain sunshine, the Sun Valley Nordic and Snowshoe Center is the hub for all winter snowsports activity aside from downhill skiing. (In the summer, this area transforms into a golf haven.) At the Nordic center, visitors can snowshoe, classic XC ski, or skate ski on the perfectly groomed 25-mile trail system, which includes dedicated snowshoe trails as well. Keep an eye out for elk and fox.

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Montage Los Cabos As I drove down the questionably named 'tourist corridor', the main road of behomoth beachfront hotels that connects Cabo San Lucas with San Jose del Cabo, I started to feel skeptical of our holiday destination. It was my first time to Los Cabos, which was rather surprising given that I'm an LA resident. I’d been told by everyone and their dog that it is “So great!” So easy!” So beautiful”, and that the guarantee of a relaxing break was just what I needed as a breastfeeding, working from home mom. But as I watched high rise after high rise out of the car window, I began to wonder: was this going to be just a generic hotel with a view? Turns out, my worry was for naught. My 10-month-old daughter and I braved the zippy twohour flight together, our first without dad in tow, even though it was her 11th flight. Dad was going to meet us 48 hours later. A few short meltdowns, lots of dropped snacks and some very understanding flying companions later, we were almost at our hotel, the Montage Los Cabos, a beachfront hotel located on Santa Maria Bay. From the moment I stepped inside the entryway, I felt like I had stepped onto a different planet. This celestial feeling was quite fitting as the natural landscape of Los Cabos is what I imagine Mars would be like; dry and sunburnt yet entrancing in its starkness. The design of the Montage celebrates

the raw natural beauty of its surroundings and adds a big touch of luxury. Succulent lined paths link the hotel buildings, designed to blend with the natural environment. Infinity pools lead into glistening bays and cream canvas umbrellas pop on a glowing beach, one of the only sandy beaches in all of Los Cabos. And every smiling staff member knows your name. I was shocked to hear so many sincere greetings of “buenos dias” to Aurora from every single person we met. Did we just land on Planet Paradise? This was going to be good. As a family with a little one, we spend a lot of time in hotel rooms when on vacation. At the time of this trip, we were on two naps a day, a daily splash-filled bath time, frequent breastfeedings and a 7 pm bedtime. This schedule meant a lot of time indoors. Our one-bedroom king suite couldn’t be better suited to traveling as a family. The oversized living room and low couches were baby-proofed already. A wooden crib was waiting for us, complete with a hand-embroidered pillow with our daughter’s name on it along with baby bath toys and soaps, a monitor, diaper pail and a giant handmade welcome sign on the wall. We soon learned that the blackout shades really worked, another boon for our light sensitive sleeper. Instantly I knew that Montage Los Cabos understood exactly what families need and I started to relax. I guess this wasn't the generic hotel I had originally feared it could be.

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g n i v i L d o o g the h t i w life w o t n i y b ba Instantly I knew that Montage Los Cabos understood exactly what families need and I started to relax.

A sliding door separated our living space from the bedroom. I could have kissed that door! Others parents understand that separate rooms are key to parents having some time off. While the little ones nap, we can talk, order room service, have an adult conversation or just enjoy quiet time. The bedroom faced the balcony, which was the width of the entire suite, had a full table, lounge chairs, couch and more. Did I mention it also had a view of the ocean? Needless to say, we spent the majority of our time hanging out here, a special highlight being the morning we ordered breakfast to be enjoyed al fresco. (Don’t worry, the balcony railings are safely designed with children in mind). But do leave the room because outside is even better. The hotel has at least five pools. The most central one is so expansive you have to turn your head to see it all. This is the family-friendly pool, but it is so spread out that you barely see your neighbors and the attentive service keeps the water, cold milk or cocktails on hand at all times. It’s unique shape wraps around a sunken seating area centered around a fire pit and includes a peninsula for extra private lounging and a beach-like sloped entrance, which is great for little ones. Just off this pool was the coolest kids' pool that I have ever seen. Water spouts out of natural rock, there's an endless waterfall and an adjacent sand area has a stream for even more fun. We spent a lot of time in this pool, but I really didn’t mind it.

SANTA MARIA BAY IS A TREASURE IN LOS CABOS AND THE MONTAGE KNOWS IT. The Serenity Pool, an adults only infinity pool, is the closest to the ocean and worth it for a childless plunge. It looks out at the beach, which in my opinion, is the focal point of the entire resort. Santa Maria Bay is a treasure in Los Cabos and the Montage knows it. It is impeccably clean, free from any beach sellers, loud music or party boats. The public can access this beach on the far end, but the Montage has the prime real estate. Our little girl loves the water and was running along the thick sand into the clearest clean waves. Luckily, the beach restaurant, Marea, is set just above the beach so you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner while looking out at this tranquil scene. For a 'treat yourself' moment, the Spa Montage is out of this world. The architecture alone is stunning, and the his/her private areas have palm lined refuges, various hot tubs and an additional pool for a few moments of child free time (kids are not allowed). I didn’t try a treatment but the setting alone made me feel rejuvenated.

For a “treat yourself” moment, the Spa Montage is out of this world.

The Paintbox is the kids club and it was well decorated and stocked with all sorts of thoughtful toys and activities. They offer full day programming for kids ages 3 years and up, including some evening movie nights so parents can go to dinner. Our 10-month-old was too young but we were happy to stop in and meet the caring staff, while Aurora drew on the chalk wall or played with the locally crafted dolls. They even let us borrow sand toys and books for our room. In the evenings, the resort toasts the sunset with champagne and live music in the lobby lounge, which also has a tremendous water view. Mezcal, the Mexicanfusion restaurant, served us one of our most memorable meals on the trip, complete with smoking mezcal cocktails, avocado butter, shrimp tacos and fish caught that morning. Guess what? Their kids' menu was just as delicious. No we didn’t leave the resort. But did we want to? Absolutely not. There’s so much to think about, plan, pack and rush when you have a baby. The Montage Los Cabos took all of that away. We could walk (or take a golf cart) to all that we desired, including food, beach and pool. Repeat. Life was that simple. I am positive that Los Cabos has some amazing experiences outside of the resort, but sometimes it’s nice to just remove yourself from the rest of the world and exhale in your own little family universe.

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Sonnenalp Hotel, Colorado



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REPURPOSED PROPERTIES TO REST YOUR HEAD THIS YEAR Sure, sometimes a generic hotel chain works on our travels but most of the time we're looking for somewhere a little more exciting to rest our heads. If, like us, you feel that an average hotel room just doesn't quite cut it then you'll love the hotels featured in this issue. From an old junior high school and a one-time jail to a hotel positioned within the former Ford Motor Company, an old bank and what was once the TWA Flight Center, the following hotel rooms are some of the most exciting places to stay the night. Now all you have to decide is which hotel to book first!



21C MUSEUM HOTEL By Nicky Omohundro •

LIBERTY HOTEL By Terumi Pong •


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McMenamins Anderson School Hotel BY TARA CANNON • PINTSIZEPILOT.COM

The McMenamin brothers purchased the decommissioned Anderson Junior High (built in 1931) from the city of Bothell in 2010 and reopened it as a hotel in 2015. No expense was spared in restoring the campus – converting the former classrooms into 72 whimsical guest rooms, transforming the old school theater into a dine-in (and licensed) cinema, and completely revamping the pool into a tiki-themed aquatic complex. For guests, part of the fun in visiting The Anderson School is roaming the halls to admire the whimsical artwork and beautiful art-deco lighting (without fear of being sent to the office). In fact, a visit to The Principal’s Office is a most enjoyable affair, involving only morning coffee and pastries or happy hour cocktails.

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The campus offers several lively dining venues including The North Shore Lagoon (Caribbean), The Tavern on the Square (Pacific Northwest ) and The Woodshop (classic pub fare). McMenamin chefs use natural, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible – working closely with Pacific Northwest farmers. Strolling through the gardens, visitors can see that a variety of herbs and vegetables are grown using organic methods right on site. There is no shortage of entertainment at The Anderson. Guests can choose to take a dip in the North Shore Lagoon pool, challenge fellow guests to a pinball or shuffleboard tournament in the The Woodshop or grab dinner and a movie in The School Theater. The Anderson is also an ideal place for a pub crawl with half a dozen unique venues to choose from – without ever having to leave the school grounds! Can’t get enough of the old school vibe? You can also visit the Kennedy School (Portland, OR) and the Old St. Francis School (Bend, OR). Tip: Make the most of a visit to any McMenamins property by checking the live music and events schedule prior making a booking. ADDRESS 18607 Bothell Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011 WEB SITE STARTING PRICE $125/night

Photos courtesy of The Anderson School

If all junior high schools were as fun as The Anderson School in Bothell, Washington, we’d all want to go back and repeat a year. If you have yet to set foot in a McMenamins hotel property, you are in for a surprise! Since the mid-80s, Portland-born brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin have been buying up historical buildings in the Pacific Northwest and reimagining them into eclectic music venues, pubs, restaurants, theaters and hotels. As if this wasn’t enough for this ambitious team along the way, they have added to their hospitality brand a winery, numerous breweries, a cidery, a distillery, a creamery and even a coffee roaster!



The 1960s were the height of the jet age and there was no place more in the thick of it than the TWA Flight Center at JFK airport. Built in 1962 and designed by the architect Eero Saarinen, the TWA flight center in New York was the hub of TWA flights. It closed in 2001 but was recently reopened and reimagined as the brand-new TWA Hotel.

Photos courtesy of TWA Flight Center/Max Touhey

The hotel has two entrances – an exterior entrance where guests can valet park their cars and walk in, or an interior entrance connected to JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) at JFK. Regardless of which entrance you arrive through, you’ll immediately feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 60s. Red-carpeted tubes lead from the T5 entrance to the main entrance of the hotel, which is part of the original building. There, guests can check in to their room and make their own room keys at the automated kiosks in the original TWA ticketing area. While the original main building is part of the hotel, additional buildings were added to house the hotel rooms. The TWA Hotel offers several different room types, including standard view, Historic TWA view, or Runway view. They are small, similar to other New York City hotels, but have lots of midcentury modern decorations. These include rotary phones, TWA stationary with pens, and robes. There’s also a full minibar. The rooms do not have closets, however, so you’ll probably want to keep your clothes packed in your suitcase during your stay.

Of course, you won’t plan to spend much time in your room, because there’s so much more to explore at the hotel. A rooftop pool overlooks one of the runways and is open year-round. Food and beverage service is offered at the pool. The centerpiece of the main lobby is the Sunken Lounge – a red carpeted lounge serving cocktails and appetizers. From the Sunken Lounge, you’ll have a great view of the Connie, an original Lockheed Constellation aircraft that has been restored into another cocktail lounge. Guests can enjoy a beverage as they sit in one of the plane’s original seats. The Connie can be accessed by walking outside the hotel. Interested in the history of TWA? There are several museum exhibits located throughout the hotel offering glimpses into the past, including uniforms and flight gear from the TWA years. In addition to the lounges, there are several other eateries in the hotel. The Paris Café, overseen by chef Jean-Georges, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s also a food hall with booths from some of New York City’s popular eateries. Other amenities at the hotel include a huge fitness center, a TWA shop filled with logo merchandise, and several other shops. It’s definitely a must-visit for an aviation buff. ADDRESS Terminal 5, 6 Central Terminal Area, Jamaica, NY 11430 WEB SITE STARTING PRICE $250/ night (day stays are also available)

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Museums have an uncanny ability to pique our interest and bring the past into our future. The trendy 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City is an expansive contemporary art museum housed inside the former Ford Motor Company assembly plant that was built in 1916. Guests can spend the night at the museum housed in a building with a rich history.

The museum’s contemporary art collection spans the 14,000 square feet exhibit space. The River of Time, a mixed media installation by James Clar, was commissioned for the property and resembles an assembly line. Guests and passersby can stroll the galleries 24/7. Docents offer guided tours on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Today, industrial and architectural elements from the building’s automotive past are woven into the hotel’s contemporary design. It’s this something new and something old that gives this hotel a relaxed vibe perfect for the modern traveler. The hotel’s onsite restaurant, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, is reimagining New American cuisine and demonstrates what is possible when you bring together fresh ingredients and a little ingenuity. Some of our favorites are the OKC hot fried chicken sandwich and skillet cornbread with the chef’s signature spicy butter.

There’s also a bar/lounge for drinks with friends and an outdoor patio called Train Shed that features live music on select nights. Guests looking to spend the night at the museum will enjoy well appointed, spacious rooms with sitting areas, flat screen TVs, and original art. Like each of the 21c Museum Hotel locations, Oklahoma City has their own signature color penguins. Here it’s purple penguins and guests will find these plastic molded figurines throughout the hotel and are HIGHLY encouraged to move them around, pose with them, and take photos. Other on-site amenities include pet-friendly rooms, complimentary shuttle service to popular locations, 24 hour fitness center, free WI-FI, and spa with sauna and steam room. Massage services are available by appointment. ADDRESS 900 West Main Street, Oklahoma City, OK, 73106 WEB SITE STARTING PRICE $145/night

Photos courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel

Here the Model T rolled off this assembly line granting the average American the ability to own a car and road trips became possible. Decades later Route 66, which is just a few miles away, would become the “Mother Road” for the quintessential All-American road trip.



Photos courtesy of Terumi Pong & Liberty Hotel

A whirlwind vacation to Boston with kids can be almost overwhelming with the amount of history parents need to explain in a short amount of time. Walking in the literal footsteps of Paul Revere and other American greats on the Freedom Trail will definitely fully immerse your family in the past. The Boston Tea Party Museum will have your kids virtually reliving the "single most important event leading up to the American Revolution" as they can play a part in the re-enactment and throw tea into the harbor, too. But history is shaped in so many ways and Boston is a city that is constantly evolving. This is why a stay at the Liberty Hotel is a compelling way to really tie the present to the past without having to walk anywhere or think too much about what happened in history class. On the outside, this hotel is shiny, luxurious and modern but this is not a "new" hotel by any means. From 1851-1990 this building was the Charles Street Jail, home to some really interesting history makers including Malcom X, suffragettes who were imprisoned for protesting as well as murderers and petty thieves.

ADDRESS 215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114 WEB SITE STARTING PRICE $295/per night

In the early 2000's the jail was converted into a 298room hotel. The original structure was designed by Griffey James Fox Bryant, an architect renowned for being one of the most accomplished architects in Boston during his time. The transformation from jail to hotel took place with input from historians and conservationists thereby maintaining a lot of the integrity to the original design. You can still see, for example, the jail's granite exterior indicative of the "Boston granite style" popular in 19th century. The Charles Street Jail may have had issues with overcrowding but visitors today will find spacious rooms with intriguing elements like exposed brick, wrought iron and lock and key motifs. The Liberty Hotel is where families who are curious about architecture or even the idea of reusing old things to become something different, can see the melding of old and new. Parents might slip away for a drink at the Alibi Room that used to be the prison "drunk tank" but the whole family can learn about the history of the hotel in one of the wings where you can see some of the original cell walls. You can even ask about taking a historical tour. Because Boston is such a walkable city, you don't need a car if you stay here even with kids. A 10-15 minute walk from the hotel and you'll see the original Cheers bar and the “Make way for Ducklings” statue. The Esplanade playground on the Charles River is a great place for kids to climb and play and the Museum of Science is also within walking distance of the Liberty hotel too.

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San Diego Downtown

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On the corner of Broadway and 6th streets in San Diego’s storied Gaslamp district stands a rather unremarkable stone building. From the street, it looks much like any of the buildings around it. Look a little closer however, and you’ll notice a wrought iron awning with a small sign marking this edifice as the Courtyard San Diego Downtown, a hotel that now resides in the former San Diego Trust & Saving Bank space. Oftentimes when a building is repurposed as a hotel it either loses it’s history and character or maintains it in a way that just does not work well as a hotel. This property is an exception that provides a wonderful balance between old and new. Enter through the brass and glass doors and be welcomed into a great room that features a sweeping ceiling crowned with mission style architecture features, glistening marble, and a quiet air of opulence that harks back to 1928 when the building was a working bank. As you approach the front desk it does feel as though you’re heading to greet a teller. Beaming smiles and an earnest welcome are your first stops in a place where service with a smile is alive and well. The staff at this property also serve as adjunct historians. Ask them about the murals that adorn the hallways and they’ll regale you with stories of how the art reflects San Diego’s history and culture. They will happily walk you into to bank’s former vault, now used as a meeting space, and allow you live out a portion of your Daddy Warbucks fantasy.

Rooms here are a bright and airy contrast to the common spaces. Decorated in a more modern mission style they are suffused with light and elegant warmth. Some offer views of the harbor with its famed tall ships and aircraft carriers. Many of the hallways still have that bank-office feel and if you keep an eye out you can spot some of the former mail and document chutes used to ferry items necessary to complete one’s banking needs. Nearly every nook and cranny of the hotel has maintained some echo of the Trust & Savings. Aptly named, THE LOBBY, is the on-property restaurant adjacent to the lobby. It features laid back, handcrafted Southern California-style dishes inspired by nearby beach towns and enclaves of Mexican culture. Start your day here with a can’t-miss breakfast burrito or kick off your evening with one of the signature cocktails from the full-service bar. Located on the edge of the Gaslamp district, the Courtyard San Diego is a perfect place to deposit your luggage and explore the city on foot. A short trek by car and you can be at Balboa Park, at the famous San Diego Zoo or a pristine beach. Staying in an old bank is pretty much the summit of staying classy in San Diego. ADDRESS 530 Broadway, San Diego, California 92101 USA WEB SITE STARTING PRICE $175/night

Photos courtesy of Courtyard San Diego Downtown


photo credit: Keryn Means/






Get the lowdown on the best things to do in beautiful Banff

Choose from a castle to cosy mountain lodges with our hotel guide

Plan a road trip to see and do all the incredible activities across the Canadian Rockies

WINTER ESCAPE Bundle up to enjoy Banff's snowy winter wonderland

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The fine folks at Park Distillery craft some very tasty spirits, including vodka, gin, and maple rye whiskey. Their Alpine Dry Gin is made with foraged botanicals like Canadian spruce tips. Try it in a cocktail or bring some home from Park's convenient in-restaurant shop.

Let your inner shopaholic loose along the boutiques of Banff Avenue. Find catered women's clothes and accessories at trendy Cabin 108, classic Canadiana at Hudson's Bay Company, and winter or hiking apparel to complete your outdoor fashion look.



Take a ride up the Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain for 360 views of the Bow Valley, Banff Village, and all the beauty in between. Walk along the mountaintop boardwalk and visit the observation deck, interpretative centre, restaurants, shops and theatre.

This is an easy hike on a warm summer's day. Follow along the Bow Falls Trail to see rushing rapids and the wide, short falls. Located in walking distance from the town and the Banff Springs Hotel, the Falls are best visited early or late in the day to avoid busloads of visitors and the crush of crowds angling for selfies.

BANFF UPPER HOT SPRINGS Soaking in the therapeutic and historic Banff Upper Hot Springs pools overlooking Mount Rundle is a must. The pools can get very busy and crowded, especially during the peak summer months. Our advice? Go early during the day or around 5-6 PM, when others have rushed off to their dinner reservations.


DRIVE THE ICEFIELDS PARKWAY The Columbia Icefileds Parkways is one of the world's best, most scenic drives. The curving highway takes in the full majesty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains between Banff and Jasper National Parks. Take your time, pull off frequently for photos of the incredible vistas, and just breathe in all that fresh mountain air.

Banff's Castle on the hill is one of the most iconic hotels in the world. As one of Canada's first grand railway hotels, Banff Springs continues to pamper guests with first class service, excellent dining, and scenic views of the Bow River and Mount Rundle. Have fun at the indoor bowling alley and outdoor skating rink in winter.




This magical hamlet about a half hour's drive west of Banff is a must visit year round. In winter, ski the wide runs of the resort or skate on the frozen lake in front of the Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel. During the busy summer months, enjoy the many hiking trails to teahouses and the backcountry, or rent a canoe and paddle on the stunningly turquoise glacier-fed lake.

One of the most popular and busy regions of Banff National Park, it's worth getting up early to enjoy Johnston Canyon and its Ink Pots. The hiking trail to the Lower and Upper Falls includes several catwalks and staircases, but your efforts will be rewarded with picture-perfect views of glacial-blue falls, spring pools, and the scenic canyon.

A short walk from the Bow River Bridge brings you to the birthplace of Canada's first National Park. Discover the hot water that seeps from the rocks, smell the sulphuric minerals and learn about the natural and cultural history of the mountains.

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In a country where stunning views are a dime a dozen the Canadian Rockies still manage to shine bright. Canada’s majestic mountain range spans the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta offering ice-capped peaks, shining glaciers, turquoise lakes and plenty of wildlife. Banff National Park is the Grand Dame of the Rockies but the mountains hide plenty more secrets to discover. From the cities of Calgary and Edmonton to Waterton, a national park with plenty of local flavour and Kananaskis, an oasis of hiking and spa luxury, this corner of Canada has something for everyone. However you choose to enjoy the Canadian Rockies is up to you, here we share some of our personal favourites to help you make that decision.

CALGARY Sitting in the sunny foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains is Calgary, ranked as the world’s fifth most livable city. This is a town that is steeped in western culture - it’s not called Cowtown for nothing - where cowboy hats are popular year-round but especially during the Calgary Stampede.

Billed as the Greatest Show on Earth, the annual rodeo and festival takes over the city for 10 days every July bringing with it spectacular shows, western arts and culture, bucking broncos, fairground rides and more pancakes than you could possibly eat in a lifetime. But there’s more to Calgary than bull rides and rodeo races, this city is home to some fantastic parks, fascinating museums and an ever-changing foodie scene. And when the snow falls, Calgary is the gateway to some awesome ski and snowboard areas.

EDMONTON The capital of Alberta province, Edmonton sits on the North Saskatchewan River and is one of the world's great festival cities. Every year the city hosts over 50 festivals with events ranging from the Edmonton Fringe Festival to Taste of Edmonton, the Ice Castles to the Edmonton Heritage Festival and much more. Add to this a burgeoning food and drinks scene and you'll quickly discover that Edmonton is a very fun place to be! But it's not all about the party in Edmonton, this city has plenty to offer those who prefer active holidays. With 18 hours of sunlight during the summer, there are endless opportunities to go canoeing, biking, hiking or enjoy a round of golf. Just outside of Edmonton is Elk Island National Park, home to 250 species of birds as well as deer, bison, elk and moose. During the winter months the river valley transforms into a snowy wonderland where locals and visitors delight in skiing, skating, tubing and sledging and more.

WATERTON Located on the border of Montana's Glacier National Park in the U.S.A. where the Alberta prairies collide with the Rocky Mountains, Waterton Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the world’s first International Peace Park. It’s surprising then, that so few people have heard of it. While other towns in the Rocky Mountains are packed with tourists year-round, Waterton still feels relatively undiscovered. And let’s hope it stays that way.


Waterton is Canada’s fourth oldest National Park, home to some excellent hiking trails (Crypt Lake Trail has been named by National Geographic as one of the most thrilling hikes in the world), plenty of wildlife and jawdroppingly beautiful scenery. The town itself is absolutely charming, characterised by just a handful of streets and local, family-run businesses. In fact, it’s the people that really are one of the most wonderful things about this place; the town lives and breathes thanks to a handful of passionate locals. Waterton is the place to come in Canada if you’re looking for something a little more homegrown, somewhere that has yet to succumb to over-tourism. But, shhhh! make sure you keep this Canadian secret it to yourself.

For anyone looking to beat the crowds, you need to head to Kananaskis, just a little more than an hour outside of Calgary. It's hard to believe that this oasis of hiking and spa luxury is tucked away so close to one of Alberta's major cities. New to the town's hiking portfolio is the Lake Galatea hike; and 15km in and out hike that will take you across creeks, past waterfalls and to two lakes. Another popular hike is the Grizzly Peak Hike; the 360° views from the top are simply stunning. Once you've finished stretching your legs you can relax in one of the many spas that dot the town. One of the most popular, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa boasts therapeutic outdoor pools, saunas and steam cabins as well as insulated hammocks - perfect for relaxing at the end of the day.

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FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS The standard for luxury doesn't get much better than a castle at the top of the hill. Book a room, enjoy the spa and pamper yourself, whether you are hiking in the summer or enjoying the local ski slopes in winter. The Fairmont boasts multiple restaurants, an indoor bowling alley, outdoor swimming pool (which turns into an ice rink in winter), valet parking and gorgeous views of the Bow River. MOUNT ROYAL

Whenever you are headed to a spot with loads of weather variations, great food, adventurous activities, and geothermal hot springs, you want to make sure you have a cozy spot to rest your head. Banff has plenty of options, but the key is to book as early as possible to get the room you want.

One of the classic hotel properties in Banff, the 100year old Mount Royal has been compleley renovated to provide the luxurious necessities every mountain enthusiast needs. Smack dab in the middle of town, the hotel has its own museum, mountain library (read up before you hit the slopes), and general store. Relax those aching ski legs at the end of the day in the rooftop jacuzzi before you walk to après or dinner.



For those wanting to be in the middle of the action, the Elk + Avenue is just steps away from all the shops, restaurants and museums along the main drag of this mountain town. The cosy suites feature Scandi-chic decor, and a soft spot to relax after a busy day's activities in the mountains. There's an in-house café and a Ricky's Restaurant for breakfast to start the day.

Love a good hot tub, well the Fox Hotel has a grotto style hot tub on the roof, which is where you can relax while enjoying the mountain views and people watching on main street down below. The hotel offers complimentary parking (always at a premium in town), and transit to get around, and is pet-friendly if you've brought along your traveling fur baby.

MOOSE HOTEL AND SUITES Rustic luxury in the form of a log-beam lodge in the heart of Banff awaits at the Moose. This hotel has larger suites perfect for families, as well as a spa and outdoor hot pools with views of the spectacular Rocky Mountains surrounding the town. Close to shops, restaurants and popular local hiking trails.

RIMROCK RESORT HOTEL Located a cosy distance from town, the Rimrock has all the amenities of a resort property, including a variety of restaurants, spa, fitness area, pools, and jaw-dropping mountain views. The Rimrock is also right across the street from the popular Banff Upper Hot Springs, and provides a convenient free shuttle into town.




Evelyn’s Coffee Shop After you’ve captured the early morning sunrise on Banff Avenue, stroll over to Evelyn’s for premium roasted coffee and tea. They’ve also got sweet treats like muffins, pies and cookies, and serve freshly made sandwiches for lunch. Tooloulou’s Yes, the lines are long, but just arrive early for breakfast at Tooloulou’s because it’s worth getting up for. The menu is huge and features all manner of breakfast dishes, from ‘eggs any way you want them’ to pancakes, french toast, omelettes, sandwiches, and Cajun-spiced specialties. Waldhaus Restaurant at Fairmont Banff Springs For a romantic dinner, head to the Waldhaus Restaurant. This little ‘house in the woods' is the place to enjoy elevated German-style fare, like schnitzel, sausages and sauerkraut, Alberta beef and wild B.C. salmon. Nourish Bistro Vegetarian cuisine that exists on another level, Nourish offers healthy meals, including their ‘World Famous Nachos’ with over 27 ingredients, that will sate and sustain your body.

The Bison One of Banff’s premier dining experiences, this finer dining restaurant serves organic farm-totable cuisine with an emphasis on Alberta meat, and in particular, bison meat. The menu features some great vegetarian and seafood options, as well as a well-paired wine list. This modern room is beautifully styled, and welcomes large groups and wellbehaved children Grizzly House This Banff institution opened as a disco nightclub in 1967, and began serving its signature fondue at that time to comply with local liquor laws. With more than 14 types of fondue and a menu that includes steak and wild game, Grizzly House has been going strong ever since. Kids will love the retro tabletop rotary dial phones. Chuck’s Steakhouse A place for all manner of steak, including the prized in-house, dryaged Alberta beef. Every table enjoys a mountain view, and a wide selection of Canadian wines. Chuck's also features a kids menu, family-style sharing platters, and even a few vegan dishes on its menu.

Banff Ave. Brewing Company A local favorite with on-site brewed beer on tap, the food offerings go beyond pub fare including creative Asian-influenced items like the Fist Pumping Hippy, a stack of fried tofu, portobello mushroom with balsamic syrup and vegetables. Cliffhouse Bistro This adorable little 1950s tearoom at Norquay Ski Resort has been transformed into a modern bistro, accessible via a retro two-person chairlift. Sitting at an elevation of 6900 ft, Cliffhouse is open in winter and summer. Download on the chairlift, unless you want to ski double blacks, the only other way down the mountain in winter. Park Restaurant & Distillery A relaxed restaurant that makes its own in-house spirits, Park is popular all day long. This bustling restaurant offers Canadian comfort food like fluffy pancakes and eggs benny at brunch, savory rotisserie chicken sandwiches at lunch, and roasted meats at dinnertime. Park's cocktails highlight its excellent distillery. You can purchase carry-on sized bottles of your fave spirit in the tiny shop at the entrance. Think souvenirs, people!

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BOOK LODGING ASAP Rooms book out quickly, so reserve a room or campsite as soon as you know your dates. Don't wait for better prices that may not happen!

RENT A CAR Skip the big bus tour and drive yourself around to really dig into the best hiking trails and attractions.


MAKE A RESERVATION AT BISON If you plan on eating at one of the best restaurants in town, make sure you call ahead for a reservation. The line up is no joke at The Bison Banff and worth it!


A National Parks Pass is essential if you want to visit the parks. You can order one on line and print it before your trip, or buy one at the park entrance when you arrive.


DON'T SKIP THE SPA The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs and the more budget friendly Banff Upper Hot Springs are two not-to-miss spots to soak in when you are in town.


The weather can turn at any moment in the Canadian Rockies. The morning may be chilly, while the afternoon could be T-shirt weather or snow. You just never know in these mountains.



Cautiously stepping out on the narrow plank that bounced beneath each step, I tightened my grasp on the thin cables helping me maintain my balance and glanced down past my feet to the valley floor below and wondered yet again, “what was I thinking?” I’m not a thrill seeker. I don’t dream of scaling mountains. In fact, I tend to avoid risk. But then I hear the voice of my teen daughter urging me on and I remember. This. This is why I agreed to do the Mt. Norquay Via Ferrata in Banff. Because she loves rock climbing and adventure courses. And I love her.

Pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones and doing it together. This is what creates the mother-daughter bonds that I strive to build. Bonds that will last beyond the years of teenage angst and the growing pains of adolescence.

There is nothing quite like facing and conquering a physical challenge to boost your confidence. And there isn't a teen girl around that couldn’t benefit from that sense of accomplishment when overcoming the daily obstacles of high school. Frankly, most moms of teens could use that too when faced with the many challenges of parenting.

I want my daughter to look at me and not see a 'cool mom', but see a strong mom — a strong woman who is able to take on fears and physical challenge and get the job done. Is that too much to expect from a four-hour climbing tour on the Mt. Norquay Via Ferrata? Probably, but it is a lifetime of these activities and challenges that have brought us to this point. And so far, she is shaping up to be pretty awesome, and maybe just a little bit bad ass. WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE MT. NORQUAY VIA FERRATA

A Via Ferrata is an assisted mountain climbing experience. Italian for “iron road,” you can find Via Ferrata courses in mountain destinations around the world, such as Quebec, Alaska, Switzerland, and, of course, Italy. Mt. Norquay, one of Banff’s “Big 3” Ski Mountains located just minutes from the town of Banff, offers four different Via Ferrata guided climbing routes in the summer. There is the 2.5-hour Explorer Route, 4-hour Ridgewalker Route, 5-hour Skyline Route, and 6-hour Summiteer Route.

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Each adventure starts at the base lodge where you get geared up with helmets, harnesses, carabiners, and any clothing you need for the day. Certified guides lead each group and conduct a short demonstration and safety briefing before everyone boards the chairlift. To climb the Via Ferrata, you don’t need any mountaineering or rock climbing experience, but you do need to follow instructions and be prepared for physical exertion. We joined a four-hour Ridgewalker tour which started with a steep hike from the Cliffhouse to the beginning of the course. After clipping in, our first challenge was the plank suspension bridge, which threw me for a loop. It was bouncier than expected and I couldn’t help feeling like I was going to topple off. Thankfully, Hannah’s encouragement and my desire to not lose face in front of my daughter made me push through. And it just got better from there. We shuffled along narrow ledges, used iron rungs to pull ourselves up sheer rock walls, and balanced on tiny footholds in search of crevices in the rock to hang onto. Hannah was in her glory. When we unclipped at the end of the route, we hiked up to the actual summit of the mountain. The views of Banff, the Rocky Mountains, and the valleys below were absolutely amazing. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day. We were tired but felt so proud of our accomplishment. After a tasty meal at the Cliffhouse, we rode the vintage chair lift down the mountain. I was exhausted, my body was aching, and I couldn’t wait to soak in the jacuzzi. But above all, I was really happy that we had done this adventure together. Especially when she told me she was proud of me. Well earned I say, well earned.

TIPS FOR CLIMBING THE VIA FERRATA BANFF Bring a good size day pack that can hold an extra layer of clothes, snacks, and water. If you don’t have one, you can borrow one for free. A rain layer is recommended but if you don’t have rain pants, they can lend you some. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy hiking boots with good tread. Bring easy to eat snacks like fruit, granola bars, etc. — just remember that you need to carry out your trash. Make sure to pack a large water bottle. Wear or bring sunglasses and apply sunscreen to your face and exposed areas as the sun can be strong at that altitude. Use the bathroom before heading up the mountain as it will be a few hours before you have another chance. Don’t plan to climb the Via Ferrata Banff on your first day in town. Instead, give your body time to adjust to the altitude and drink lots of water when you arrive. If you are afraid of heights, the Via Ferrata will be very challenging. If you really want to try it, start with the shortest course.You may want to talk to customer service before choosing a course to find out what features each course uses such as the plank bridge, cable bridge, etc. in case there are some that you are not comfortable with. The climbs go out rain or shine, unless there is lightening in the area. If you don’t want to climb in the rain, you may want to wait to book until you can see the weather forecast.



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The sound of the train clicking along the tracks filled my ears as I leaned out to take a photo of one of my favorite sites in the Canadian Rockies, Castle Mountain. We weren’t going to pass this way again so I snapped away, hoping for at least one nonblurry photograph. I turned into the vestibule to get away from the wind, and smiled at the passenger next to me as the scenery raced by. Karen was visiting from England. She was on the Canada Rocky Mountaineer train on route from Banff to Vancouver, where she’d exchange the train for a cruise ship sailing up the Inside Passage to Alaska. “I’m from the Lake District where we have lakes and hills. But these mountains are like on steroids,” she said. The Canadian Rocky Mountains are certainly impressive, and while I’m pretty sure no steroids were involved in their geological evolution, it’s easy to understand how passengers aboard the Rocky Mountaineer from Great Britain, Australia or the United States feel in awe of the incredible mountains and vistas rolling by. As a Canadian, the awesome landscape is a point of pride and wonder as well. Seeing it from the train offered an entirely new perspective that surprised and delighted me. Simply put, the Rocky Mountaineer is one of great rail adventures in the world. Here’s how you can plan an amazing, bucket list-worthy trip on Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer train. LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN We got up early to assemble on the platform at Banff’s train station in the sunshine to await the arrival of our Rocky Mountaineer train. We’re on the First Passage to the West route, traveling Banff-Kamloops-Vancouver over two days. As soon as we cross the red carpet, are seated, and listen to the safety demonstration, we receive glasses of orange juice and (non-alcoholic) peach cider to toast our trip west. It’s a swish start to our rail adventure through the Canadian Rockies.

WHAT IS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINEER The Rocky Mountaineer train is one of the premiere luxury train trips in the world. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the company offers red carpet service on its many routes between British Columbia, Alberta and Seattle, Washington. Rocky Mountaineer has been awarded the prestigious World Travel Award as “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” multiple times. Not just in recognition of its excellent rail service but also the spectacular experiences that include the scenery, history and people along its routes. WHICH ROCKY MOUNTAINEER SERVICE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? The Rocky Mountaineer offers two levels of service, Gold Leaf and Silver Leaf. I had the privilege of traveling in the bi-level domed Gold Leaf coach, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. For me, the best part of the Rocky Mountaineer Gold Leaf service was the coach’s domed ceiling. It allows for nearly unlimited views up and around the train. Since there is so much to see above you, having that full viewing experience to appreciate the Rocky Mountains in their full glory is worth every penny. Each coach seat is like a plush captain’s chair, with three levels of heating should you get chilled drinking your wine or beer. Each seat also has outlets for charging your various devices, which you want fully ready to capture the incredible views as you pass by. The crews on both service coaches remain the same for the duration of your trip. You really get to know your hosts, and they you in return. Many of them have been with Rocky Mountaineer for many seasons. They are great storytellers, sharing the history of the towns and landscapes that the train passes through, and pointing out animals, birds, and markers along the way. Both Silver and Gold Leaf coaches have outdoor vestibules at the rear of the cars for taking unobstructed photos. However, the Gold Leaf vestibule is quite a bit larger and can accommodate many more photographers angling to get that perfect shot. If that’s important to you, the Gold Leaf coach and its roomy vestibule are for you.

PICKING YOUR ROUTE The Rocky Mountaineer has a variety of routes that include much of the best scenery on the west coast and in the Canadian Rockies. We enjoyed the First Passage to the West (in reverse, the Calgary to Vancouver train), which travels from Vancouver-Kamloops-Banff, Alberta. This is Rocky Mountaineer’s flagship route, and includes highlights like the Spiral Tunnels at Kicking Horse Pass, Cragellachie (location of the Last Spike), Lake Louise, and Banff National Park. For many people, this is the best Rocky Mountaineer route. Your route choice will depend on how long you have, where you want to go, and what you want to see. You can choose to leave from Seattle, WA, or Vancouver, BC, or get to Banff via Jasper, or vice versa. Rocky Mountaineer has divided its routes into subdivisions that make planning to see the landscapes and places you want very easy. All you have to do is choose. DINING STYLES The Rocky Mountaineer Gold Leaf coach is double height, and its dining compartment is on the lower level. The crew divides Gold Leaf passengers into two groups for two breakfast and two lunch seatings, whose times switch on alternating days. The menus are the same, and those who wait to eat enjoy freshly baked cinnamon scones in the morning, and wine and cheese in the afternoon. No one's going hungry on this train, so you may want to think about wearing your fashionable stretchy pants for this journey. The Rocky Mountaineer Silver Leaf coaches are one level, and the passengers enjoy the same delicious food in their comfy seats at their white linen-covered tables in one sitting, served by the friendly crew in their coach. The unlimited beverage policy is the same in Silver Leaf too.

FOOD ONBOARD From the freshly baked cinnamon scones with your choice of coffee or tea, to the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and the grilled salmon, steak or vegan chili with warm chocolate brownies and ice cream, the food on the Rocky Mountaineer is top notch. Each coach has its own dedicated culinary team and crew for the duration of the journey. Just like the food, the service is excellent. Beverage service is unlimited, including wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages like pop, coffee and tea. WHAT TO DO ON THE TRAIN There are many things to do aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Staring outside at the incredible views of mountains, lakes, and rivers is a natural pastime. Bring a book, e-reader or deck of cards for between meals or if you tire of the view. For great photographs and memories of your journey, spend time outside on the vestibule. You can easily switch from side to side to get the best views and shots. Remember to share the space - you're not the only one angling for that perfect photo. SHOULD YOU BRING YOUR KIDS ONBOARD? I’m going to give you the straight goods here and say no. Leave the kids at home. The Rocky Mountaineer train is an amazing adventure for those who can sit and appreciate a view, eat and drink for 10 hours. The days are luxuriously long, but for young ones with no access to WiFi, it may be beyond their comfort level. This is a special trip to enjoy with your significant other, a BFF, or your own mom or dad. It would be a truly incredible - and family-friendly - parent and adult child vacation to remember.

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DAY 2 Head to Lake Minnewanka and give the kids a chance to explore the rocky shorelines. If you’re visiting in late May to early October, take a 90-minute boat tour with Banff Lake Cruise ( Aim for the morning’s first boat departure so you can picnic here or at Two Jack Lake (the prime picnic table is on a forested outcrop jutting into the lake). Lake Minnewanka is also good for fishing, with boat rentals available.

DAY 1 Fly into Calgary, pick up a rental car, and set off for the mountains. The town of Banff has a range of accommodation options. At around $400 a night, the Banff Aspen Lodge is priced a little higher than its neighbors but remains a good value, with a full breakfast buffet and rooms that are modern and wellmaintained. After settling in to your room, head out and spend the afternoon exploring the town, stopping in to the information center. In the summer, an extensive Park Interpretive Program includes locations in town. Take a walk along the Bow River to the Fairmont Banff Springs, a turreted 20th-century castle, once the largest hotel in the world. While the Fairmont offers upscale dining opens (and a carriage ride), families with boisterous kids might choose the Old Spaghetti Factory instead, which is well-prepared with color-in menus.

In the afternoon, take the Bow Valley Parkway to the village of Lake Louise. This is your overnight destination, but it’s worth driving up to the lake itself to watch the sunset. You might also catch sight of bighorn sheep. In summer, accommodations at Lake Louise are even harder to come by than in Banff, so make reservations well in advance.

DAY 3 Rise early to visit Lake Louise, one of the world’s most photographed lakes, before the crowds arrive. Nearby Moraine Lake is surrounded by mountains and glaciers, but it gets crowded, so hike into Larch Valley instead. This hike is most popular in the fall but is a worthy destination all summer. For views without a sweat, the main ski lift at Lake Louise resort will take you up on open chairs or enclosed gondola cars for some of the most spectacular views in the Canadian Rockies. Spend the afternoon in Yoho National Park driving through the steep-sided Yoho Valley and visiting turquoise-colored Emerald Lake.

DAY 4 Go white-water rafting down the Kicking Horse River. The biggest thrills are in the Lower Canyon, while upstream near the western park boundary it’s more of a float. Then head north along the Icefields Parkway, stopping at the Crowfoot Glacier overlook, beautifully blue Bow Lake, and the high lookout platform above Peyto Lake. As dusk falls, keep your eyes out for wildlife such as bears, elk, and moose. Bunk down for the night en route to Jasper.

DAY 5 Continue to Jasper and take a boat tour on Maligne Lake to photogenic Spirit Island (visit to make reservations in advance). As a general rule, the lake is less windy in the morning and there are fewer crowds. Maligne Lake is another good fishing spot, or you can explore the waters yourself via rowboat, canoe, or kayak. After lunch, head west to Mount Robson Provincial Park and view the park’s namesake peak as the sun sets. Return to Jasper for the night. (In August, visitors might opt to check out the Jasper Heritage Rodeo, which attracts pro cowboys from across Canada. Besides traditional rodeo events, there are pancake breakfasts, a stick-pony parade, and a kids’ rodeo.)

DAY 6 The Icefields Parkway is dotted with scenic pullouts and day-use areas. You will have stopped at many of them on the way north, but the Columbia Icefield and Glacier Skywalk were saved for this return trip. Here, choose between an Ice Explorer tour onto the glacier (a particularly great option with kids) and the 2.5-mile hike to Wilcox Pass and its sweeping view of the glacierfilled valley. Afterward, continue south to Canmore and make dinner reservations at Tavern 1883, a top-notch and familyfriendly venue that is part pub and part restaurant. The menu takes its roots from across Canada, and its large deck creates a modern, western ambience unequaled in Canmore.

DAY 7 Allow time to visit Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park before heading to the airport for your flight home.

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Swooshing down double blacks, tackling moguls and racing through trees at Banff’s SkiBig3 mountains isn’t for everyone. Trust me. I’m a downhill cross-country skier at best (yes, it’s a thing. I’ll be trademarking it shortly.) This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your crazy snow-loving friends on some of Banff’s best mountains though. There is a place for even the most timid skier on the ski slopes in Alberta, Canada.

Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, with maybe the exception of Mount Norquay, all have plenty of trails catered to my skill level. I did have to worry about the crazy advanced skiers and snowboarders though. Many of the green runs have drop ins to blues and blacks, so watch out; you'll be competing with the big league at the top of the runs as they race towards the cliffs as fast as possible.

While hanging out in Banff in January, I learned firsthand what you can do on all three of Banff's mountains, as long as you have the SkiBig3 mountain pass. Friends, including beginners and former pro snowboarders (sponsors and all) tackled the mountains in their very own way. Needless to say, I was the lazier of the bunch.

But enough about how to avoid those people who have lost their minds and love to go fast in the snow. Here’s what you need to know to get on the Ski Big 3 pass, and all of the Banff mountains you will want to hit... in your own unique way.

I like to start my mornings off slow, enjoy my coffee, and not be on the top of the mountain to catch the sunrise. If that’s what you crave, by all means, set your alarm. Hop on the SkiBig3 shuttle in downtown Banff and be the first on the double blacks. I’m very happy on the green runs, which aren’t too crowded throughout the day, unless instructors are out there with a class.

Getting to Banff IN WINTER To ski the three big ski resorts around Banff, Alberta, Canada, you need to head to Banff National Park.The easiest way to do this if you don’t live in the province, is to fly into Calgary airport. Rent a car and drive one and a half hours into the park where you will set up camp for a few days. Make sure you rent an SUV or a car with all-wheel drive as conditions can get icy during the winter months.

photos via Keryn Means; Jade Broadus; Kristin Luna


Banff's Mountains

Mount Norquay is the closest, a mere 15 minutes up the 'hill' from Banff. Sunshine is about 20 minutes down Highway 1 West/Trans Canadian Highway. Lake Louise Ski Resort is the farthest away at 45 minutes, but that’s just a nice excuse to pop into the Fairmont Lake Louise for afternoon tea.

MT. Norquay

Mt. Norquay is generally known as the mountain for the more experienced skier. It’s where the locals go after work, kids go tubing, and night skiing is actually available. Most trails are designated blue or black, although you will find some harder greens in the mix. Take the North American sightseeing chairlift up to the Cliffhouse Bistro for hot chocolate or boozy libations with a view. If you aren’t prepared to take some extreme runs back down, leave your skis at the base. You can ride this lift up and back down. For those looking for lunch at the lodge, pop upstairs to the Lone Pine Pub for bao buns and other unconventional ski foods.


Just 20 minutes north of downtown Banff, Sunshine Village isn’t as compact as Norquay, but not quite as large as Lake Louise. If you love green runs, ask a mountain guide which runs you should start out on, especially if you haven’t been in the powder for a while. As any Canadian will tell you, not all greens are created equal. Parking is at the base of the mountain with a rental and gear shop, plus lodge, but you will need to ride the gondola to actually get the lifts that will take you up to the runs. This is where you will find most of the restaurants, and the Sunshine Mountain Lodge. It’s a chilly ride up, so stop for a loaded hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows at the Java Lift coffee shop before you head out on the slopes for a few hours. Above the coffee shop, in the Lodge, is the Chimney Corner. This is where you will want to grab a reservation to meet large groups of friends who crave salads, charcuterie and burgers. Although, if you want the best fried pickles and wings on the mountain, you should just go to Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse to meet up with the gang. It’s the perfect après ski spot. Get there early if you plan on riding the gondola back down before it closes at 5:30pm (10:30pm Fridays). Those who miss the last gondola will have to ski back down to the base to grab a shuttle or hop in their car.


Anyone who is looking to get the most out of their visit to Banff, needs to pick up the SkiBig3 Pass. This ski pass gives you access to Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt Norquay. You will get more value for your money, as well as more trail option no matter your skill level. And did I mention… hot springs? What's included in the pass: Unlimited skiing at Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt Norquay Night Skiing (Dec – Feb) at Mt. Norquay Tubing at Mt Norquay FREE ski shuttle from Banff & Lake Louise Hotels Complimentary pass to the Banff Hot Springs (only with online advance purchase of 3+ multi-day lift ticket) Free admission to the Whyte Museum with 3+ multiday lift tickets The SkiBig3 Trifecta Challenge (visit all three mountains to grab prizes and pints)

SKIBIG3 Adventure Hub

Before you even hit the slopes, you can grab your SkiBig3 passes at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub. You can also book lessons, try on ski and snowboard rentals, and pick up any other gear you forgot at home in the shop. Best, and most convenient of all, SkiBig3 will deliver your rentals to your hotel and pick up your rentals after you wrap up your adventure. No more schlepping gear all over town!

Lake Louise

Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in the area, with trails for all skill levels. Those looking to take lessons can sign up at the ski school, while more advanced skiers will want to jump on the Grizzly Gondola right away to hit the mountain. Be mindful that you can ski to different chair lifts to get to many different parts of the mountain, take the Gondola back to the ski lodge or ski yourself down. There are more options than you could imagine. Advanced skiers can also take advantage of Adventure Guides who can show them more of the terrain, without slowing them down through lessons. Once you are finished conquering the mountain, enjoy a piping hot bowl of ramen at Kuma Yama Sushi before you meet up with friends for a little après ski at the Fairmont Lake Louise.

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We started traveling internationally with our children when they were quite young. The first trip we took with all three (at ages 2, 4, and 6) had its typical bumps in the road, but it was fail proof enough that we decided to plan a family trip the following year to the south of France. The beginning of the adventure was quite enjoyable. Days at the beach, stuffing our faces with croissants, and checking the main travel sights off our list. We then headed north to the Dordogne region, and that’s when our troubles began. Our youngest child has food allergies, which had made travel challenging in the past. On this trip however, new afflictions revealed themselves. As we made our way onto the winding roads of the Pyrenees, our four year old puked. Yep, right then and there, all over the rental car. The other two made quite a scene as you can imagine, ordering us to pull over immediately. We made it to the side of the highway, where our youngest proceeded to purge the rest of that morning’s breakfast.

Satisfied he was finished, we carried on to the nearest grocery store to purchase supplies for cleaning. Once we were equipped, everyone piled back into the car. Not fifteen minutes down the road, he’s at it again, and the other two are quite miserable about it. What do you do at this point? We had to reach our destination and the only way to get there was on these winding roads. We carried on and our poor little guy continued to puke no less than fifteen times. The roads wound back and forth through dense forests with no relief in sight; we were counting down the minutes until we would reach our destination. Once we arrived, we literally tumbled from the car, relieved the journey was over. Our hostess noticed our exasperation as she came to greet us, and I’m sure the smell that greeted her told the whole story. She ordered us to follow her into the house where she promptly appeared with two glasses of wine, and I can honestly say, that was the only way this adventure should have ended.

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