Fork It! Eat Your Way Out of Winter Weather Blues.

I suspected this winter had reached record suck levels, but it wasn’t confirmed until I saw “Northeast” and “Siberia” in the same headline. There was no January thaw, so the accumulated snow trapped us in a polar prison. Even if you were lucky enough to book an escape, you suffered airport delays, cancellations, reroutes, and the really fortunate ones skidded off a runway at Laguardia last week.

So what’s a poor, frostbit survivor to do? I recommend making a reservation at a destination restaurant and then eating and drinking to excess.

©The Open Suitcase LLC

This is my garden. Martha Stewart says I should plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day. Fat chance. (Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC)

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Oh No! Oh No! I Can’t Drive in the Snow! Or Can I?

The road trip is a beloved American phenomenon and something Europeans simply don’t understand. They muse, “Why, for the love of God, would you want to drive yourself around when you can hop on a high-speed train?” And they’re right. I’d never wedge my family, the dog and suitcases into a Citroën and then negotiate a stick shift. Continue reading

‘Round the World at The NY Times Travel Show

Feeling the winter blues? The easiest way to escape is via a travel show. These industry-sponsored events are held in cities throughout the US during the dead of winter. Attending is one way to combat SAD. Another is pinot.

The Lady from CuraçaoOne of the biggest is the NY Times Travel Show. The weekend features presentations by big names in the travel business such as Pauline and Arthur FrommerPeter Greenberg, Julia Dimon and Adam Richman. The Javits Convention Center is filled with hundreds of promotional booths. You will acquire several bags full of brochures and lots of chip clips, pens and paper fans. I spent much of my day last year chatting with the young ladies promoting France’s Languedoc region. They were quite charming, primarily because they did not mock my pigeon French to my face. Continue reading

Winter Blues? Book Your Summer Rental!

Author Mary Kay Andrews Breeze Inn TybeeIf you’re planning to rent a house at the shore this summer, now’s the perfect time to book it. Good houses disappear quickly. If you wait any longer, you may end up with a mildewed manse with slugs in the shower. So put down the snow shovel and start browsing online. Or, better yet, hop on a plane and check out the rentals in person. Continue reading

Thank you, Polar Vortex

Predictions of a travelpocalypse this holiday weekend kept me close to home. Sitting in a traffic jam is a complete getaway buzzkill, so I stayed off the roads and in my yard. This caused me to notice that everything – the trees, the blades of grass, the tulips – seem so much BIGGER than usual. Have you seen the bees? They look and sound like helicopters.

We’ve enjoyed relatively mild winters in the Northeast until this year. Maybe everything needed a season to go truly dormant. Was the polar vortex Mother Nature’s way of triggering a rebirth? Or am I simply more appreciative after hibernating for 5 months? Whatever the case, I encourage you to get outside. And bring a baseball bat – for the bees.

@The Open Suitcase LLC