At the stroke of midnight on July 31, 2004, the official American Way Road Warrior Search website will disappear, as will your chance to prove to us that you should be this year's winner. By not entering, you will blow your opportunity to impress us with the number of miles you've logged and the poignant, funny, and maddening stories you've collected along that long, long road called Business Travel.

Even worse, you’ll never know how close you were to winning two million Hilton HHonors Points (good at any participating Hilton Family hotel in the world) and one million American Airlines AAdvantage miles — this year’s grand prize.

While you’re sitting here on the plane, you can start formulating your answers to those pesky essay questions, which you’ll find on page 41. Then, before the clock strikes 12 on the 31st, log on to and submit your entry. Do you really want to see the title and fame that are rightfully yours awarded to someone else? I didn’t think so.

Speaking of fame (I know, I know, bad segue), did you check out our cover story? With summer in full swing (get it?), who better to highlight than a stellar major leaguer like A-Rod? And what better place for him to talk about than Miami, a city that epitomizes summer? While Rodriguez may find himself working in places like Texas, and now New York, Miami has almost always been his home — and
his love and knowledge of the city definitely shine through.

In addition to baseball, summer also means travel, and we have some great, somewhat alternative, suggestions for that. Although most people think of lovely Vail, Colorado, in the winter — no doubt for its exemplary skiing and après ski charm — my favorite time there is right now. In addition to awesome weather, there are all sorts of great outdoor activities to enjoy, from hiking to kayaking. And for the real daredevils, you can hop on a bike and head straight down the mountain. Good luck with that.

And in keeping with the mountain theme, we introduce you to volcanoes, or, rather, the lava flowing from them, in Hawaii. You can see it in the pictures on page 64 and you can see it on TV, but you haven’t really seen lava until you see it up close in real life. It’s an awe-inspiring part of nature that rivals the many stunning sights that can be found on the islands, yet it’s one that not everyone knows about.

Which is why we’re here. Whether it’s little-known spots, undiscovered destinations, or the newest craze, our pages are filled with stuff you may not know (or may have forgotten), but that you shouldn’t miss out on. So dive on in and check out this issue’s finds — like which classic guitars should be in your collection and which power tools should be in your garage — then keep coming back for more. You won’t be disappointed.

Picture of Sheri Burns