Park City adventure: Join Travel Buddy LA as we explore ski resorts around this Utah town

Join your Travel Buddy reporter Rich Irwin as he explores the wonderful ski resorts at Park City, Utah. Rich will visit a different ski resort every day and give us the latest news on these great ski destinations.

Park City is less than an hour away from Salt Lake City Airport, which has many nonstop flights from LAX. Skiers can be in Utah in an little over an hour, then on the slopes an hour after that.

You don’t even need to rent a car since Park City has a massive public transit system that will get around town in a hurry. So leave the car at home, jump on an airport shuttle to Park City and use the free buses.

The resorts got a good dump of snow shortly before we arrived, so we expect some great skiing. More snow is on the way, so we’ll let you know about conditions as they develop.

We’ll even check out some apre ski sites as well as the many restaurants that fill this old mining town.

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Outrigger on the Lagoon rated in top five resorts in Fiji

Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji has been rated one of the top five Fiji resorts in the country according to TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. The 2014 Travelers’ Choice award for the top 10 hotels in Fiji is in recognition of the resort’s high ratings by its guests on TripAdvisor.

In addition to the Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji, the top five resorts include Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Tokoriki Island Resort, Tadrai Island Resort and Malolo Island Resort.

The travel site summed up the reviews on the Outrigger with a quote from a guest saying, “My family have come away with memories to last a lifetime! The friendliness and welcoming from staff was superb. My two girls were sad to leave.”

Resort General Manager Peter Hopgood stated it is absolutely thrilling to be acknowledged by their guests as a top five resort for the whole of Fiji.

“This award is a wonderful confirmation of the quality of service and friendly staff at our resort. To know that our guests have rated our product so highly makes us very proud of the friendships that we have forged with them,” Mr. Hopgood said.

“The vuvale (family) and management at Outrigger would also like to congratulate and acknowledge Likuliku (no. 1), Tokoriki (no. 2), Tadrai (no. 3) and Malolo (no. 4) resorts for their great efforts in ensuring quality services for our tourists. As tourism industry partners we work hard together as a team to ensure that we bring more tourists into the country and this accolade is a pat on the back for a job well done!” Hopgood continued.

“To be acknowledged as a top five resort amongst these boutique resorts is an encouraging tribute and we will continue to strive to ensure that our guests have an unforgettable Fijian holiday,” Hopgood added.

Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji also received the Travelers’ Choice award in 2012. For more information on the Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji, visit

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Hurtigruten offering a third off cruise fares in Norway

Hurtigruten has announced a special window of savings for booking its award-winning ‘Hurtigruten Route’ – up to 1/3rd off standard fares through Feb. 8. A peak season, six-day August voyage along Norway’s iconic fjord-indented west coast, taking in 34 ports of call between the Norway/Russia border town of Kirkenes and the UNESCO-listed harbor city of Bergen, starts at $1,595 per person, double vs. the standard rate of $2,381.

The savings is available on all cabin and suites on all 6-, 7-, 11- and 12-day sailings in 2014. Savings vary by date, length of voyage and cabin/suite selection.

Visitors to Hurtigruten’s website,, can enter the Online Booking section on the home page to find an interactive calendar with all available options and prices. The calendar is also available at Visitors can then call Hurtigruten’s Seattle-based travel professionals to ask questions and book or send an email

Recognized as “The world’s most beautiful voyage,” by Lonely Planet, Hurtigruten’s modern ships sail along a route honored twice by National Geographic Traveler as the “Best Destination in the World.” A staple of Norwegian culture for more than 120 years, Hurtigruten’s fleet of modern ships offers a unique glimpse into Norwegian

culture. The incredible diversity of ports offers Hurtigruten’s guests a wealth of experiences and an ever-changing landscape of small fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands; Art Nouveau Ålesund, the medieval Viking capital of Trondheim; and Norway’s “Paris of the North,” Tromsø. A variety of 50 excursions are available for booking on board – and range from the cultural (A Taste of Vesterålen and Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral) to the more adventurous (Dog Sledding in Tromsø and Snowmobiling in Lapland).

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Book It, Danno: Kualoa Ranch is a popular site for filming Five-0

Photo by Karen Weber The open spaces of Kualoa Ranch are popular sites for filming movies and TV shows.

Photo by Karen Weber
The open spaces of Kualoa Ranch are popular sites for filming movies and TV shows.

By Karen Weber

Finishing our Five-0 adventure, we visit the other side of the island.

One of my favorite Five-0 places is on the opposite side of Oahu from Waikiki. Kualoa Ranch on the windward side is a working cattle ranch, historic site and a popular movie and TV filming location. The very first scene in the Five-0 pilot is a flyover where you see a military convoy leaving a bunker.

Photo by Karen Weber The first scene in the Five-0 pilot episode shows a military convoy leaving this bunker.

Photo by Karen Weber
The first scene in the Five-0 pilot episode shows a military convoy leaving this bunker.

It’s supposed to be Korea, but is really Kualoa Ranch. Many of the jungle scenes in the series were filmed at Kualoa, along with episodes of “Lost” and scenes from movies such as “Jurassic Park,” “Godzilla” and “Windtalkers.”

The Movie Sites and Ranch Tour is my favorite of the activities at the Ranch. I’ve also been on the Jungle Expedition, which is a wild ride that charges up jungle trails in a six-wheel-drive vehicle, pauses briefly at the top of the mountains and then charges down again. Boy, does it bounce.

Other Kualoa adventures include a horseback tour, an ATV tour and a catamaran voyage. I’ve taken half-day trips out there, but it wouldn’t be hard to spend a full day and even then you probably still couldn’t see everything.

So, my advice is to pick something you love, do a little research and build a vacation around it. And it doesn’t hurt if what you love is based in beautiful Hawaii.

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