You are hereNovember/December 2013

November/December 2013

The holidays are coming up soon, so why not start planning an unforgettable flying vacation? This issue features adventures across the country that are suitable for families as well as romantic couples. With mild winter days, sunny beaches, and luxurious spas, not to mention the Legoland Theme Park and a new Legoland Hotel, our cover story, Carlsbad, Calif., is a real treat for kids and their parents. Pilots flock to McCall, Idaho, for excellent winter sports and a unique carnival held at the end of January. Branson, Mo., is one of America’s entertainment capitals, and they really put on a show at Christmas. Downhill and Nordic skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are all enjoyed at Deep Creek Lake, Md., but the lake is also an elegant setting for romantic candlelit dinners or long snowy walks. Whichever adventure you pick, enjoy yourself this holiday season.

Carlsbad, California

Lege godt means “play well” in Danish, a phrase that was translated to LEGO, the name of the ubiquitous colorful building bricks that are one of the most successful children’s toys ever created. With its mild year-round weather, Carlsbad, Calif., has many fun ways for adults and children to play well, starting with a trip to Legoland, Carlsbad’s beautiful and imaginative amusement park. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy takes you on a tour of this colorful park, which is specially decorated each year for the holidays. Fifty tons of real snow ensures a winter wonderland, and a 30-foot LEGO Christmas tree is lit each night by a lucky child. The park boasts over 60 rides as well as Miniland, where you can walk through cities like Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., all re-created in over 24 million LEGO bricks. The newly opened Legoland Hotel keeps the fun going with themed rooms, restaurants, and more LEGO activities. Carlsbad is also home to seven miles of wide sandy beaches. Build a sandcastle, go surfing, or just enjoy the sunset. Several nearby lagoons provide ample nature trails and excellent habitat for many bird species. You can also rent kayaks, jet skis, and other watercraft. But the area offers so much more: play golf or tennis at the world-class La Costa Spa, or indulge in numerous spa services there or at the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa, the town’s original star attraction. A unique music museum and wildly colorful flower fields offer more reasons to visit. And whether you go for regional cuisine, a fresh fish market, or German-style meat delicacies, you’ll eat well in Carlsbad too.

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

At 13 miles long, Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. Surrounded by mountains and rivers, the area offers exquisite natural beauty. Author Heather Sanders Sable gives information on the year-round activities here including snow sports and water sports, as well as lakeside living, tasty restaurants, and entertainment. In winter, the Wisp Resort sees an average of 120 inches of annual snowfall, making the 30 downhill slopes and other areas perfect for snow tubing, snow shoeing, Nordic skiing, and snowmobiling. Head to Swallow Falls State Park and hike to Maryland’s tallest waterfall. For a bit more liveliness on the lake, visit a tavern for a bite and then enjoy darts, foosball, or billiards, live music, and dancing. Warm up by the fireplace before you dive into some great wings, BBQ, or steak. For a quiet evening, you can also enjoy fine dining right beside the lake, in a rustic, yet elegant, atmosphere. For lodging, choose a private vacation home and you’ll have use of a fully equipped kitchen and maybe your own Jacuzzi. Or stay at a former monastery, now a luxurious lodge in the woods, just a short walk from either the lake or downtown. Indulge in a scrumptious breakfast and fish off their dock or borrow a kayak or paddle boat. Numerous other hotels or condominiums are available, many with fitness centers and other amenities to make your winter getaways to Deep Creek one you’ll want to repeat!

Branson, Missouri

Are you looking for a Country Christmas celebration? Look no further than Branson, Mo., the live music capital of the world. Author Patricia Strutz takes you on a tour through this unique town, where many of Country music’s biggest stars have their own elaborately decorated theaters, and the performances combine the soul of Nashville with the glitz of Las Vegas. At Christmastime, you’ll have your pick of productions with Country Western music, holiday tunes, high-kicking chorus girls, light-hearted humor, inspiring instrumentals, or haunting a capellas. Some of the most popular include the Osmond Family, the Lennon Sisters, and Japanese-American country music fiddler Shoji Tabuchi, the ultimate showman. Along with his family and a large cast, Tabuchi dances, sings, and plays a variety of instruments. You’ll hear Christmas and Country music mixed with patriotic, polka, and Cajun tunes. Silver Dollar City is a theme park with rollercoasters and other rides, a real cave tour, and onsite restaurants. Trees and buildings are illuminated for a spectacular light show, including a five-story special effects tree, nightly holiday parades down Main Street, and a living nativity scene on the riverfront. Musical productions include Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Dickens’ “Christmas Carol,” and others. The lake front boasts street entertainers and a huge water fountain show, or go for a paddleboat or luxury yacht cruise on the lake. With so many entertainment venues, the city offers a wide variety of accommodations, and dining options range from fresh fish on a lake barge to deliciously slow-smoked Southern barbeque. Branson offers more entertainment than you could possibly pack into a weekend; you’ll be back!

McCall, Idaho

McCall is often called Idaho’s playground. While it is a popular summer resort destination, it really shines in winter when locals take great pride in showcasing their city during its annual Winter Carnival. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy visited last year and discovered that downtown McCall is easily walkable, even in winter. The main street runs right down to the shoreline of the beautiful Payette Lake. All along the street and shoreline, you’ll find immense snow-and-ice sculptures, created for the Carnival’s Ice Sculpture Contest. A raucous Mardi Gras parade moves through town, while vendors sell fresh kettle corn or fun knit hats. Other events include a monster dog pull, ice fishing derby, snowshoe golf, live music, a beer garden, snow tubing, bull riding, and fireworks over the frozen Payette Lake. While Carnival is a fun time to visit, many Boise residents eagerly make the two-hour drive north to McCall every weekend all season long for excellent skiing at Brundage Mountain Resort. Enjoy beautifully groomed slopes or deep powder. Other recreational opportunities nearby include snow tubing, Nordic skiing, or ice skating. You can enjoy fabulous food here too: Gary Kucy of Rupert’s Restaurant at Hotel McCall was a 2013 James Beard Award semifinalist for best Northwest chef. The Hotel McCall is family-owned; the family patriarch is a long-time Idaho pilot with extensive backcountry experience. Or stay at a B&B staffed by knowledgeable outdoor enthusiasts who can tune your skis or give you insider hiking and ski tips. You might choose McCall’s signature property, the Shore Lodge that’s right on the lake and has extensive dining options as well as lake-view rooms and suites. Summer or winter, McCall is a hub of northwest recreation.

Carrying Concealed Weapons—Complying with the Law

Many pilots have a concealed weapons permit, but is it legal to carry a concealed weapon in a private airplane? Are there certain airport locations with more stringent regulations? What about different states? Author Patricia Strutz, who holds a concealed weapon permit herself, searched far and wide for answers to these questions and found it surprisingly difficult to get straight answers. That is, until she spoke with Alexandria Kinkaid, an attorney with 3G Law who helps people protect their estates, assets, businesses, and firearms. Kinkaid has developed the unique niche practice of firearms law; her opinions are often sought by newspapers, and radio and television news programs. Read this article and get real answers you can rely on.