Can’t Afford a Vacation? You Can Still Get Away – Here’s How

Amsterdam museumpleinYou paid the fall tuition bill. The a/c compressor conked out. And your lab ate the bedspread, again, requiring emergency surgery. Your vacation plans? Better luck next year.

Don’t put away the suitcase yet. It’s still possible to take a day (or two) away and recharge before the leaves start falling and the Subaru needs new tires. Continue reading

5 Ways to Get a Million Dollar Manhattan View for Under $50

NYC Skyline

Paris has the Eiffel Tower. London? Big Ben. When you think of Manhattan, what comes to mind? The New York skyline, of course. It’s familiar to everyone because it’s starred in more ads, movies, and television shows than George Clooney. And it’s always amazing. I’ve lived within 30 miles of the city my whole life and I still crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the city from airplane windows, taking off and landing.

But the ultimate place to appreciate the skyline isn’t from above. It’s best seen from the water. Manhattan is an island, surrounded by the Harlem, East, and Hudson Rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re visiting New York, you can’t leave until you get your postcard view. Here are 5 ways under $50 to get up close and personal with the Manhattan skyline. Continue reading


Gauging the responses to last week’s giveaway post, I believe we’re suffering from collective high winexiety. I had an attack on Thursday.

Tilia MalbecMy college roommates crossed the Hudson by ferry to join me for dinner at Union restaurant (I believe this was the start of a Ferry Supper Club, with alternating dinners in Haverstraw and Ossining.). We asked for a table on the patio since it was one of the few warm nights we’ve had this spring. The waiter asked for our drink orders; 3 of us wanted the Malbec, so my friend suggested a bottle. When the waitress returned, she asked for a taster. They pointed to me with a swiftness that made me quite nervous. If we were to get hauled in for police questioning, I now know they’d rat me out in a NY minute. I gulped and nodded. The waitress showed me the label of the Tilia Malbec. I nodded. She turned her back and I heard the unmistakeable hiss as the screw top was released. At that moment, I relaxed and smiled as I sipped the proffered taste.

The wine was fine; dinner was delicious. And the company? Excellent. Would a “better” wine have improved the night? I certainly don’t think so.

The giveaway for the BottleWise Rollups ends on Tuesday. Enter by leaving a comment here or on the original. And, please check out this week’s Budget Travel. It features my post about a visit to Emily Dickinson’s house.

Play Ball! Let’s Eat!

© Garlic World 2013

© Garlic World 2013

In springtime a young woman’s fancy turns to baseball, for the love of stadium food (and the game, too). In today’s edition of Budget Travel magazine’s newsletter, Robert Firpo-Cappiello (Deputy Editor, Budget Travel) offers samples of the Best Ballpark Food in America. Included are my thoughts about San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home of the Giants. If you’d like to try to replicate the taste at home, Gilroy’s Garlic World offers its famous recipe here.