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The Spring Go List: San Francisco, Napa,  Lake Tahoe, Asia, and more

Experiencing a late windfall of rains, the Lake Tahoe and Mammoth regions are up and running, and will continue to do so this spring. So come on up to the slopes for some sledding and skiing.  It is not too late.  You can fly to Mammoth on a private jet at the same cost of a commercial airline. We introduce to you JetSuiteX, a new entrant to the private jet market which offers the convenience of first-class treatment for budget rates.  See How Suite it Is on JetSuiteX  in our review. 

Here in our South Bay offices, wild flowers are springing up. On a recent stay in Napa, the mustard flowers were going crazy. And in San Francisco, the grasses on the Marina seemed to look even greener than usual.  See our newest hotel review on Hotel Zoe, a family-friendly place to take the kids. While you have probably been to San Francisco a million times, keep coming. There is so much more to see each and every time. 

We recently returned from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and we are celebrating our international travels wtih a three-part series.  In this edition of BAFT, we offer up a review of the island country of Taiwan. Read our story, Taiwan's Melting Pot will Melt Your Heart.  We also offer to you, Hong Kong's new art focus.  Bring the kids, and you'll never be sorry!  

International travel is an adventure and education for all families. Our latest story Cuba: A Country of Contrasts is an eye-opener as the country is still very old world in many ways.  Learn about Havana and the various places you can bring the kiddos to enjoy. 

However, staycations are not a fad, people!  Enjoy your local treasures.  While in Palo Alto, we also created a personal dream escape at The Clement Hotel, the valley's only five-star, all inclusive hotel.  We review it here, and we hope you will come and give it a test drive.  Walking distance to shopping and also Stanford University campus, The Clement is your passageway to Nirvana as you have all you need within the walls of your hotel for a snuggly weekend away from your responsibilities.   

We next take you to the revamped Dream Inn in Santa Cruz. So instead of going to the beach for only one day, this fall take advantage of packaged rates. Stay at the Dream Inn where you can walk to the pier and to the boardwalk.  Make it a two-night affair with the kids, and you can rediscover your old love. See our review of the Dream Inn Makeover

Next, we go up north, and we hit up the Westin Napa Verasa. Check out our review here.  It's a place right in downtown Napa, and you will have access to activities, restaurants, and all you need to have a great time.

Interested in the best booking engine for your family needs? Next Advisor, a research group, recently completed a survey to find out how the top travel booking sites rate. See the chart here.  Let us know what you think!

For those who love sizzing scorchers, we offer you a visit to Arizona. Yes, there are those who love dry heat. Go figure. If you are one of those sun lovers, do check out Barbara Sloan's review of Arizona resorts. She also brings us a review of the newest Florida action pad dubbed The Diplomat Resort in Hollywood. 

Although it's spring, it's not too early to barbecue. We found some great spices that would make for excellent gifts with JustSpices. See our coverage of this and other products in our  Products Roundup. And if you are in the mood for a new vehicle, consider the  review of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid which we test drove recently. 

Other stories in this issue include:
Toothbrushes, animal cookies, luggage - Products
Review of the Mazda CX-9 - Products

Review of the Toyota Sienna – Products
Snack-in-a-Box Review, etc.  – Products
Where to Find The Best Views in San Francisco – North Bay
Go Green On Your Next Vacation - Consumer Lookout
Intercontinental's Planet Trekkers Kids Program - Foreign 

Jams and Mess Free Crayons - Products
ittsburg, Penn. is on the Rise - States
eview of the Highlander Hybrid - Products

Happy Easter!

Kathy Chin Leong
Executive Editor


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