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Meet the Uptake lodging gurus:
Nancy D. Brown: Horse-crazy in my youth, I passed on European travel to stay home and ride my horse. I have since traded my horse for a husband and saddle for a passport. Married with two teenagers, I enjoy international adventure travel. As a California native, my home base is the Bay Area. With family in Carmel, I consider Monterey Bay my second home.
As a journalism graduate and food and wine PR professional, I have 25 years of writing experience. I write the What a Trip column for the Contra Costa Times Lamorinda Sun and the What a Trip blog, in addition to my duties as Uptake’s Lodging Travel Editor.
Nancy’s Favorite Vacation: “Set the hook! Keep your pole up,” instructed my guide. Commands were flying at me right and left. I was reeling in my first king salmon and the guide was not going to let me lose this massive fish. My husband and I had landed on the Yentna River via float plane from Anchorage. Our flight over we spotted bear and moose. Not only was it thrilling to hook a king in Alaska, the Riversong Lodge had excellent food, too. Like the salmon who return to spawn each year, I look forward to my next trip to Alaska.
Lisa Crovo Dion: Having long been an adventure junkie, Lisa left Boston after college to drive across country in an ’87 Chevy with two girlfriends. She camped in Bryce Canyon, drank whisky at a topless bar in Kansas City and got tattooed in Phoenix. Eventually she made it to San Francisco and never left.
Today, she works as a writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, raises two young children, and continues her exploration and exploits. She has contributed to Insight Guides for 12 years and has written for SOMA magazine, SF Weekly, salon.com, Gayot’s Restaurants, San Francisco and Via. She also co-publishes Defenestration, a collection of Bay Area women’s writing.
Lisa’s Favorite Vacation: On an impulse, I joined my roommate in the south of France, enrolling in the program for American students. I was 19 and didn’t speak a word of French. Not only did I fall in love with Provence, the experience shaped my destiny. The sky seems bluer, the food tasted better, the air smelled sweeter. I had the travel jones. I knew I needed to find a way to incorporate this feeling of freedom and sense of discovery into my life. I’ve since returned to France and visited Italy, Britain, Germany, Brussels, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Canada, Mexico and China as well as crisscrossing the United States four times.
Betsy Husband grew up in San Diego. After two years of college she hitchhiked around Europe for a year, worked as a bar maid in a pub, then toured the United States in a Volkswagen van. She finally landed in a small town in Eureka, California, where she raised a family, worked in physical therapy for 26 years, and continued to travel extensively with her family. She returned to school in 2004, getting a Journalism degree in 2006. Her published credits include Skywest magazine, Tasmania 40′ South, the Humboldt Beacon, The Eureka Reporter, and The Gringo Gazette.
Betsy’s Favorite Vacations: Anything involving Mexico. I love the culture, the people, and the food. My favorite trips in Mexico have been road trips without an itinerary. My husband and I arrived in Barra de Navidad, parked the car to find a room but took a panga to a restaurant for ceviche and cerveza. By the time we finished visiting with our new friends it was dark and we still had no room. Please, don’t ever put me on a tour bus! If I end up with no place to sleep it just makes a better story.
Brooke Morton is a travel writer who currently calls Orlando, Florida, home (because that’s where her dog is). Her travels have taken her throughout Europe, North and South America and the Caribbean, as well as to Egypt and Thailand. Now the associate editor of Sport Diver magazine, she has also written for Florida Travel + Life and Caribbean Travel & Life magazines. For more about Brooke, visit bybrookemorton.com.
Brooke’s Favorite Vacation: After high school, I spent a month in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to dive the Red Sea. Very little time was logged indoors: we swam with tuna, humphead wrasse and hammerheads during the day, ate dinner at rooftop restaurants overlooking the ocean, and spent the night on boat decks and in the desert. It was on this same trip that a group of us climbed to the top of Mount Sinai to watch the sun rise. I couldn’t stop taking pictures; I thought each new moment brought clouds and light so achingly beautiful that I wanted to remember it all forever.
Kara Williams: While I’ve worn several different hats in my two-decade editorial career — from newspaper reporter to corporate copywriter to magazine editor — I currently work from home as a freelance writer. The majority of my writing work is travel related, with destination articles appearing in such publications as Every Day with Rachael Ray, Dallas Morning News, Denver Post, Porthole Cruise Magazine, Denver Life, GRAND, Chesapeake Family and Mountain Parent. Learn more about my writing at karaswilliams.com.
With three other professional travel writers I founded TravelingMamas.com where we cover all things travel related. There, you’ll find me writing as MountainMama, often blogging about the treasures in my own backyard, the Colorado Rockies. An avid traveler since childhood, I regularly visit the East and West coasts from my land-locked state, just to get semi-annual “beach fixes.” Hawaii and Mexico are other favorite sun-and-sand destinations.
Married with two young children, I try to alternate my vacations among family trips, romantic getaways with my husband, and weekend escapes with friends (preferably involving spa treatments, wine and lots of girl talk). Whether it’s an off-the-beaten-path destination or a wildly popular Orlando theme park, I enjoy all types of vacations and typically have two or three trips in the works at any given time.