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Howdy from Montana

Howdy from The Ranch at Rock Creek

Greetings from me and Little Joe at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

To quote myself, (this site is ZachEverson.com and I’m Zach Everson, so it’s ok): “I’ve long argued to anyone who will listen (so probably no one), that no states in the country are as underappreciated for their natural beauty as Montana and Idaho.”

I’m in Montana for the next nine days, delighting in just how accurate that statement is.

For the next two nights I’m at The Ranch at Rock Creek, a luxury vacation ranch in Montana (for more on The Ranch, read this article I wrote about it for UpTake). After that it’s six nights in Big Sky at the Big Sky Resort’s Huntley Lodge.

Day one at The Ranch at Rock Creek has been amazing. As much fun as my wife and I are having—gourmet lunch, horseback riding, child care—our 18-month-old daughter seems to be having more fun—an abundance of Cheerios, ponies to watch, a fun person to play with instead of Mom and Dad.

Interested in joining the rodeo in real time? Mosey on over to the social media accounts:

Thanks to the Ranch at Rock Creek and Christina McGoldrick and Meredith Strodel at Victoria King Public Relations for arranging my stay there. And thanks to my wife for letting me tag along with her to her conference in Big Sky.

Photo: Margaret Everson

My latest gig: Travel blogging for CheapOair

CheapOair logoIn April I began contributing to CheapOair’s travel blog. With traffic ranked in the top 200 websites in the United States by Quantcast, more than 300,000 travel consumers a day visit CheapOAir. Its home page alone gets more than 3 million page views a month.

My first three articles were

You can follow along with all of my travel posts on CheapOair here.

April also marked my last month contributing to UpTake. Since November 2009, I’d written 48 articles for its lodging blog. Thanks to my editor, Nancy Brown, and everyone else at UpTake. Best wishes for continued success.

UpTake’s readers like me, they really really like me (Pulitizer committee take note)

Four of UpTake’s lodging blog’s most popular articles right now are mine:

  1. Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. proves more child friendly than my house
  2. Room 817 at the Marriott Newark International Airport Hotel is a good place for s-e-x
  3. Find affordable Louisville accommodations for the Kentucky Derby
  4. Not mine
  5. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers spacious suites, fine dining, unique view of Gerald Ford

Page views, of course, are a crucial consideration in Pulitzer voting—so thanks for reading!

2010 travel highlights: Beijing, the Big Island of Hawaii, and a new travel buddy

A trip to San Diego in June marked my daughter's first dip in the Pacific Ocean.

A trip to San Diego in June marked my daughter’s first dip in the Pacific Ocean.

Just over a week into 2010, I became a dad. During the year I realized though that any concerns I had about parenthood—and my new editor-in-chief gig at Louisville.com, which I also started in January—impacting my travel were unfounded.

Here are my travel highlights for 2010 (and while my daughter didn’t go on all of these trips with me, she did make it to 14 states and Washington, DC in her first year):

  • In February I visited the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach and wrote about its teen club for Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, and one of my rare visits to a spa for UpTake.
  • A road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago in March marked my daughter’s first trip out of Kentucky; I talked about the experience on a podcast for UpTake and mentioned our Chicago hotel room’s wonderful view in enRoute.
  • As much as I enjoy traveling, it’s nice when a big event comes to me. In May it was the Kentucky Derby, which I wrote about for BlackBook and oversaw Louisville.com’s best week of traffic ever (November’s Breeders’ Cup did well too).
  • While family was the focus of my June visits to San Diego (brother’s wedding) and Kamiah, ID (to see my grandmother), I wrote about San Diego restaurant Jsix’s chef’s kitchen experience for BlackBook.
  • In June I made it back to New York City for TBEX, a travel bloggers conference, and finally got to meet in person a lot of folks I’d only known on the tubes. They were terribly disappointing exceeded high expectations.
  • Coming from a small family (no aunts or uncles), my wife’s family’s annual reunion just outside of Morgantown, WV is a can’t miss—I’m serious.
  • In Columbus, Ohio for my brother-in-law’s wedding, I stayed in a hotel where James Thurber use to live.
  • In August I flew to the The Big Island of Hawaii on assignment for enRoute to take a fine art photography class with Photo Safari Hawaii.
  • Later that month Las Vegas was the destination for another enRoute assignment, this time to take a poker lesson from two-time World Series of Poker champ Mark Seif.
  • I wrote about looking out over Gerald Ford’s grave site from my hotel room in Grand Rapids, Mich. for UpTake and visiting the art fair with the world’s largest prize (if not the best art) for Gridskipper.
  • On Columbus Day weekend we trekked to Watoga State Park in West Virginia for another of my wife’s family reunions (it’s a big clan).
  • At Thanksgiving I returned to my hometown of Reading, Mass. for the first time in 17 months, the longest I’d ever gone without a visit; I reviewed the accommodations at my parents’ house for UpTake (executive summary: meh).
  • For the second year in a row, I visited China with the Ritz-Carlton (this time it was Beijing); I won’t complain if trips to China with that hotelier become an annual tradition. Culinary highlights already have been posted on Gridskipper.
  • It was fantastic to get back to Washington, DC and see our friends. I wrote our stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC about for UpTake.
  • For the third time in four years, both my wife’s family and mine gathered in the neutral playing location of Deep Creek Lake Maryland for Christmas.

Talking about traveling with a child on UpTake’s podcast

In a conversation on travel quite different from our last one about solo backpacking through Europe, Addison Schonland interviewed me again for UpTake’s podcast–this time we discussed traveling with a baby. (I blog about travel lodging for UpTake.)

Last month my wife and I took our infant daughter on her first overnight trip when we drove to Milwaukee and Chicago. While the trip went well, traveling with a 2 month old was a different travel experience. Nevertheless, being a parent doesn’t mean the end to being able to travel–you just have to do a few things differently. Listen to the podcast for some pointers.

[Updated Feb. 24, 2011: The link to the podcast on UpTake’s site is no longer working, but you can still listen to our 14-minute talk here.]

‘So, who do you write for these days?’

I’ve been asked that question a few times recently (and not just by my parents, who I think might be happy if I enrolled in the Bloomingdale’s executive training program).

For blogs, I have regular gigs writing about travel for UpTake and Examiner.com and I contribute to BlackBook, usually about travel and culture. And, there’s that Louisville.com editor-in-chief thing. I also manage the web presence of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (I reckoned I should put my blogging and social media power to a good use, beyond giving advice on where to go and what to drink). And, for fun, there’s my new Tumblr blog. I’ll get all meta too and mention this site, which is now eight years old.

[Update March 8, 2010: I’m contributing to Gridskipper again too.]

In print, I contribute to Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute.

Talking backpacking through Europe (and posing in my delicates) for UpTake’s travel podcast

uptakeLast week Addison Schonland interviewed me for UpTake’s travel podcast (I blog about travel lodging for UpTake). The conversation covered a three-month backpacking trip I took a few years ago, which began in Dublin and ended up in a treehouse hostel on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

The discussion–accompanied by a photo of me in my boxers, because sex sells–appears at UpTake: Backpacking through Europe. [Update Jan. 4, 2015: UpTake has been shuttered and, while the page where the interview was uploaded has been archived, the audio file itself is no longer available.]

And Mom, Dad, if you’re nervous about what posting that picture on the Internet means for my career? All it proves is that I’m overqualified to be a U.S. Senator from your state of Massachusetts (I am wearing pants after all).

From Idaho to China, 2009 was a fun year for traveling and writing

How can a year in which you got an action figure of yourself be anything but great?

How can a year in which you got an action figure of yourself be anything but great?

Recently the Internet has featured an abundance of laments about the disappointment that was 2009. I disagree; 2009, you were a good one.

From Kamiah, Idaho (population 1,160) to Guangzhou, China (population 10,045,800), I experienced and wrote about some amazing places this year–and had a blast doing it.

Some highlights:

On a personal note, I’ll be closing out 2009 or beginning 2010 with a new daughter–my wife and I are expecting our first child any day now. Look for articles in early 2010 about traveling with an infant: we’ve already made plans to bring her to Milwaukee, Chicago, and San Diego.

Best wishes for a great 2010!

My latest gig: Reviewing travel lodging for UpTake

uptakeThis month I began reviewing travel lodging (bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, hostels, hotels, and resorts) for UpTake [Update Jan. 4, 2015: UpTake has since closed. The links to it on my site no direct to archived pages of it]. I’ll have a new post online there once a week.

My first two articles reviewed hotels here in Louisville:

Follow along with the fun at http://lodging.uptake.com/blog/author/zacheverson.

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