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Taking The Kids / Travel & Leisure

Eileen Ogintz's 3-year-old son, Matt, once pushed an unsuspecting kitten into the pond at a Wisconsin cottage her family had rented for the weekend. "I thought the kitty wanted to go swimming," Matt explained. Who knew that when the furious owner insisted they pack up and leave immediately, and the embarrassed Chicagoan parents drove home four hours in a downpour, not knowing whether to laugh or cry, there would be a light at the end of the tunnel.

One story about her son and the Wisconsin cat, led to others and soon Eileen's family-oriented travel pieces evolved into the nationally syndicated weekly column "Taking the Kids."The Taking the Kids series of travel guides for children and the book "Are We There Yet?: A Parent's Guide to Fun Family Vacations," which won a Parents' Choice Award, followed, along with numerous books, including her two latest, "A Kid's Guide to New York City" and "A Kid's Guide to Cruising Alaska," both co-written with her daughter, Reggie Yemma. "Taking the Kids," which is syndicated by Tribune Media Services, appears in major U.S. newspapers and on Websites like CNN.com and is the only national family travel column in the country. The column has won several national awards, including most recently the John Southam Award.