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Visiting America’s Stadiums

My college campus stood just a few miles from Ameriquest Field in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers. “Dollar-dog night” was always a summer highlight, especially for a bunch of broke college kids looking for entertainment, food and beer — all on the cheap. Just being at the stadium was always a treat as well. Aside from the ever-present energy that surges through stadiums during baseball season, many of America’s parks are architecturally stunning and historically riveting.

For me, baseball symbolizes a few things in particular: summer, college and friends. But, for many die-hard fans, it also represents a lofty travel goal: to visit each one of America’s stadiums.

Spring Skiing Party

Last time I stopped skiing long enough to type up some thoughts, I extolled the virtues of spring skiing, and gave four great reasons to get off the couch and hit the slopes in March and April this year: better weather, more snow, the choice of going where the best conditions are and lower prices.

But five is such a round number, and I realized I had left out another big advantage of spring in ski towns: it is when residents start to go stir crazy after a long winter and roll out the parties. In fact, almost all of the biggest festivals in ski country are held in the spring, often with big name entertainment, free activities, and general craziness that adds to the ski experience. It’s like après ski squared.

Spring Skiing

Skiing is universally considered a “Winter Sport,” but when it comes to ski vacations, the smart money is on spring, as in spring skiing. If you can only take one big trip a year, it can be hard to hold off until March or April when you watch the Weather Channel and see blizzards pounding the country, but as they say, patience is a virtue, and there are good reasons to skip over December, January and February. In fact, I can give you four excellent reasons to spend the cold winter months working out indoors in anticipation of your big trip.

I (Heart) National Parks

Lots of events have conspired over the last few years to bring the fragility of the environment into the spotlight. As a self-proclaimed eco-geek, I couldn’t be happier. About a month ago, President Bush announced his National Parks Centennial Initiative which, among other things, would fund $100 billion dollars over 10 years to prepare the parks for the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016. I wouldn’t even want to imagine our country without our Grand Canyons, Shenandoahs, and Yosemites–that would eliminate some of my fondest vacation memories.