Go Away With ... Kikkan Randall
Olympic skier Kikkan Randall says that when she goes away on vacation, she prefers warm weather destinations such as Hawaii. (Sarah BrunsonU.S. Ski Team / December 10, 2013)
Q. Where is your favorite place to go recreational skiing?
A. In the springtime in the mountains above Anchorage, we get a special condition where the snow freezes hard overnight and creates a crust layer that you can float on top of on your skate skis. I love skiing on this crust because you don't have to follow a trail. You can ski wherever your heart takes you. There are usually all sorts of natural terrain features, too, and I love jumping off things and really playing on my skis!
Q. Do you prefer cold or warm weather destinations for vacations?
A. I spend so much of the year chasing winter around for my career that I love to go to warm places on vacation!
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. My husband and I really like going south to Maui for vacation. We bring our road bikes to see the island. Definitely road bike the West Maui loop and the road out to Hana. Beautiful scenery! We have fun challenging our balance and core strength with paddle-boarding and enjoy the relaxed vibe of the island. Our favorite spot on the island is up on the volcano in Kula, a little spot called Grandma's Coffee Shop (http://www.grandmascoffee.com). There is a cool winery where you can sample pineapple wine. We like to stop in there on the way back from one of our favorite rides.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Collingwood, Ontario. This is the place where my husband's family lives and it's a nice blend of relaxing time at the lake, golf courses, great running and biking trails and still close enough to enjoy the advantages of the big city, Toronto.
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. The first trip I really remember as a kid was traveling to a family reunion in Sarasota, Fla. We stayed on the beach in Siesta Key and the whole extended family was there, including a bunch of cousins that I grew up very close with. I just remember playing out in the water and sand all day and just nonstop action. I loved it, except for the sunburn.
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. You never need as much stuff as you think you need. Try to pack light and simple and just be ready for whatever you encounter. Some of my best experiences have come from unplanned and unexpected chance meetings. It's great to be free to explore what looks interesting.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. The town of Girdwood, about 45 minutes south of Anchorage, is a great weekend getaway. In the summer there is great hiking and biking. In the winter there is resort skiing, back-country skiing and brand-new cross-country ski trails. There are several hometown restaurants down there that we love and if you want to fancy it up a little bit, there is a fun restaurant at the top of the tram with a view that's amazing.
Q. If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A. Due to my racing schedule, I actually have spent the last few Christmas holidays away from home. My husband and I really enjoyed spending Christmas in Davos, Switzerland. It's like living in an old-fashioned postcard. There are sleigh rides going by you and the smell of fondue in the air. It's very majestic and romantic there.
Q. What are your favorite types of hotels?
A. I love hotels with good fitness rooms and great breakfast spreads.