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Fun Vacations in the Snow

winter - High Point, NC
Don’t let the snow get you down – there’s still plenty of fun to be had during winter!

While a lot of people stereotypically imagine a vacation as laying on white sandy beaches under the hot sun, summertime beaches are not the only vacation spot. If you have any vacation time this winter, here are some great ideas for vacations in the snow.

  • Crystal Mountain Resort. Head to Thompsonville, Michigan to stay at this beautiful resort. Here you can learn to ski, or just enjoy some of the numerous free or inexpensive snow activities.
  • Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont. This Austrian-inspired lodge was founded by the Von Trapp family of The Sound of Music You can enjoy charming, classic, family fun with homemade cider, snowshoeing, snow forts, and sing-alongs.
  • Woodloch Pines. For some winter fun that doesn’t include skiing, visit this all-inclusive resort in Hawley, Pennsylvania. Here you can enjoy plenty of snowy activities, such as sledding, outdoor family Olympics, scavenger hunts, and more.
  • Omni Mount Washington. Located in Brettonwoods, New Hampshire, this resort is the place to go if you want to teach your kids how to ski. Located just two minutes away from the resort is the Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School. Here, they offer instruction for kids and even childcare for kids as young as two months.

Are you planning on winter vacations in the snow this year?

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3 Easy Steps to Help Organize Your Car

organize your car

In this fast-paced world, there isn’t always time to get the things done that we want to get done. A prime example of that is organization. Whether it’s your desk, room, or car, it can be difficult to stay on top of it. Here’s how to organize your car so that you have one less worry.

 

1) Section Off Your Trunk

 

Trunks of cars are a lot like closets. People just throw their junk in the trunk and then forget about it. Instead, find some organizers to put in your trunk so that you can organize all of the stuff that you put back there.

 

2) Organize Your Glove Box

 

Do you have a bunch of papers and napkins strewn about in your glove box? Use folders to organize everything in there so that you don’t have to search and search the next time that you need to find something.

 

3) Re-Purpose Old Items

 

If you have a lot of small things sitting around your car, get creative with ways to organize everything. One example would be to repurpose a remote control caddy that you no longer use. You can strap it to the back of the seat and put your little items in it.

 

If you’re willing to get a little creative, you’ll surprise yourself with what you come up with.

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How to Fix a Dent in Your Car

how to fix a dent in your car

No matter how careful you are with your vehicle, accidents happen to everyone. Whether or not it’s your fault, your car will be dented at some point in time. However, instead of paying someone else to fix it for you, consider saving some money by doing it yourself. Here’s how to fix a dent in your car.

 

Step 1

 

Heat up the area around the dent. This can be done with a hair dryer. Hold the hair dryer about six inches away from the car, and heat up the dent to make it malleable. Some drivers place aluminum foil over the area to prevent the paint from being damaged.

 

Step 2

 

Quickly cool the heated area. You can do this with a small piece of dry ice or with a can of computer duster (held upside down). The rapid change in temperature should pop the dent right out.

 

Alternative

 

One alternative method is to use a suction cup on the dent in order to pop it out. These are often found in dent repair kits, but you can also just use a plunger from your bathroom.

 

If the dent doesn’t come out, or if it’s a serious dent, consider taking your car to a professional.

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Best Used AWD Cars and SUVs for Winter

As winter looms closer, you might be in the market for used AWD vehicles that can better handle the slippery streets and hazardous weather conditions. Here’s some of our favorites

Used AWD Cars and SUVs

 

Subaru Outback: The Outback is a favorite among top ten lists for a reason, thanks to its enjoyable ride quality and responsive handling. The Outback has plenty of cargo space and leg room in both the front and rear rows.

 

Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon: Both of these are based on the same platform, though the Yukon is notably more luxurious than the Tahoe. Either way, the Tahoe and Yukon deliver the kind of power and capability only a truck-based SUV can.

 

Nissan Rogue: Nimble, quiet, and fuel efficient, the Rogue is a great choice among small SUVs with AWD, especially when you factor in the interior designed to optimize space.

 

Jeep Renegade: The Renegade has been described as a more refined alternative to the Wrangler, without sacrificing any of the Wrangler’s terrain-crawling capabilities.

 

Subaru XV Crosstrek: AWD is standard equipment on this small SUV, which has the maneuverability and functionality of a five-door hatchback. This makes it a great, comfortable option for families.

 

If you’re looking at a variety of Used AWD Cars and SUVs, maybe this has narrowed your search a bit. You can always come to Parks Select for help, too!

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Alternate Thanksgiving Recipes for When Turkey Isn’t Enough

Tired of preparing turkey every year for Thanksgiving? These alternate Thanksgiving recipes prove that you don’t need turkey at your dinner table to make Thanksgiving delicious.

alternate Thanksgiving recipes

1) Honey-Glazed Ham: If you’re opting out of turkey, ham is the second-closest thing to having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The honey sauce in this recipe – which includes extra goodies like cinnamon and sugar – adds a sweeter touch.

 

2) Beef Brisket: The beef in this recipe gets smothered in delicious chili-based sauces and fall vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions. Adding beer sounds a bit unorthodox, but it adds to the flavor.

 

3) Crown Roast of Lamb: Rosemary, minced garlic, and oregano get cooked into this delicious, tender meat that’s been brushed in olive oil. Lamb is an uncommon delicacy; why not try it for the holidays?

 

4) Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: If you have a vegetarian at your dinner table, then this might be a good idea. Portobello mushrooms have a more meaty taste than other mushrooms, and stuffing them with cheese, garlic, and eggplant puts all the yummy food in one easy place.

 

Don’t be shy – try your hand at any of these alternate Thanksgiving recipes. You just might like one of them better than turkey, and introduce a new tradition to your family’s dinner table.

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How to Change a Serpentine Belt

change a serpentine belt

 

The serpentine belt controls a lot of stuff in your engine, including your power steering pump, alternator, water pump, and a lot more, so if it breaks or starts to wear out, replacing it is absolutely essential. You don’t have to go to a dealership or mechanic to do it—thanks to automatic belt tensioners, replacing it yourself is easy. So let’s break down what it takes to change a serpentine belt.

First, buy a new serpentine belt, consulting your owner’s manual or a parts store employee for the right kind of belt for your vehicle. You’ll probably also want to pick up a serpentine belt tool. You technically can replace a serpentine belt with regular tools, but it’s much harder that way.

If your car has a diagram of how the belt is supposed to go on, use it to guide you. If not, make a diagram yourself before you start. It’s important to know how the belt goes on. Next, park your car on a flat surface and pop the hood. Use the serpentine belt tool to turn the tensioner arm, which loosens the belt, and slip it off the smooth pulleys, then let go of the tensioner and take the belt off the rest of the way.

Now get the new belt and, following the diagram, use the belt tool to slip the new belt onto the pulleys. Rotate the tensioner while you put the belt on to gradually tighten it and keep the belt from slipping off. The last part of putting the belt on is sliding it onto the round roller. Make sure the belt is on the pulleys correctly and release the tensioner.

With a serpentine belt tool, this job should take less than half an hour to finish.

If you have any questions, just contact us or stop on in Parks Select today!