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Discover a Summer Playground in Colorado Springs

Come December, East and West Coasters may flock inland to our favorite ski towns (and, let’s admit it, après-ski towns), but by spring, we’re usually headed back to our respective shores and making plans for summer travels, seaside.

It’s unfortunate that we too often relegate the Rocky Mountain states to winter-destination status; after a few years of spring and summer trips to Colorado, I’m struck by how much the area has to offer summer vacationers. Under mountains in bloom, towns put on festivals (I happened upon a great wine fair in Boulder last year), rivers welcome rafters, trails beckon hikers. Planning a Colorado vacation for summer means a ticket to a veritable mountain paradise.

Unusual Hotel Perks: Guacamologists, Goldfish & More

Holy guacamole! The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, just announced the hotel industry’s newest unusual perk: guests can now sign up to serve as Guest Guacamologist during the hotel’s evening guacamologist ritual. Guests interested in playing sous-chef to the professional guacamologist need only call the hotel’s public relations department for a complimentary slot slicing avocados.

This unusual opportunity brought to mind a few other favorite weird hotel perks:

What is the minimum age to fly as an adult? Can a 17-year-old do it

Hi Mel,

The answers: younger than you may think, and a 17-year-old can definitely fly as an adult would!

The golden rule of booking a ticket for a minor is to call your airline before booking, but airlines agree that a 17-year-old can book and fly as an adult. In fact, some airlines allow children as young as 12 to fly alone without having to use the airline’s unaccompanied-minor services.

Soon, Your Smartphone Will Also Be Your Hotel Key

Sometimes I think the elusive green entry light on hotel-room doors is my nemesis. At best, it’s a finicky friend–never there when I need it most, and certainly not amenable to coaxing.

But there’s hope for me yet: InterContinental Hotels Group is testing technology that allows guests to bypass the reception desk and enter their room with their smartphones.

Following the lead of airports already using smartphones as boarding passes, the Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center will begin granting guests access to rooms via an app for iPhones, Android phones, and BlackBerries.