After reading Steve Hendrix’s Travel feature, “Rolling Through Alaska” (page 36), I’ve figured out what I’m doing for my fortieth birthday.

For years, a group of six of us, three couples roughly the same age, have been discussing ways to celebrate the Big 4-0. We’ve known each other since our early 20s, and for some reason 40 stuck in our heads as something of an occasion. Because we’ve traveled extensively and had our share of adventures — skydiving over the Pacific, bungee jumping in Australia, risky rafting in Oregon — whatever we do for our fortieth has to be

different. Touring the country on Harleys, the wind in our hair, decked out in cliché but mandatory leather, led the list.

But then we had kids. As they came, one by one, we realized we were getting further and further away from the hip, wild people we once thought we were. So on our get-togethers these last few years, we’ve sarcastically bantered about the idea of renting an RV for our great birthday getaway. An RV is the antithesis of our youth, of our coolness. Though we may joke about it, surely we’d never really do it. Not even when we retired.

But maybe, just maybe, an RV is so square as to be hip?

Steve Hendrix grappled with a similar dilemma when he went the RV route to tour Alaska with his wife and kids, and ultimately decided it was the best way to go. His 29-foot “rolling condo” had everything his family needed, and they could go wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Adventure and a built-in bathroom? Sign me up — I’m sold.

Also in the Travel section is an update on what’s new in Vail (page 48), handy if you’re planning a spring ski trip (my favorite time to hit the slopes — no frozen noses then) and, of course, Celebrated Weekend (page 28), featuring Antonio Banderas’ Mexico City. Elsewhere in the magazine, the Lifestyle and Business sections are packed with good stuff as always.

Let me know what you think at americanway@compuserve.com. Meanwhile, I’m sending this issue to my friends to convince them that an RV vacation is where it’s at.

ELAINE SRNKA
EDITOR