Trip Bits: Before you go

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I am a self-diagnosed “super planner.” I love making lists and scheduling things. If you want to have dinner on April 5, 2015, I will dutifully mark it in my paper pocket calendar and will see you then. Because I must. touch. paper. I can’t hang with that digital, smartphoney stuff.

When I’m about to travel, I savor researching the local sightseeing or dining options and putting all the details together.

Yes, my friends find my zest for itineraries kind of ridicul … charming. Yes, I wanted to be a travel agent in high school. And, no, that dream is not yet dead. (Remember the time I found my people?)

So I was intrigued to read this article:

Read: What a Great Trip! And I’m Not Even There Yet

I get the idea. That sometimes the fun is in the planning, before the headaches of delayed, long and cramped travel, annoying vacation partners or destination disappointments.

I’ve experienced all of those on one trip or another, but I’ve been decently lucky. My travels have been smooth, fun and memorable, even with minor hiccups and setbacks. I can roll with the punches. (But I’ve not yet been bitten by a shark.) Continue reading

Summertime, and the travelin’ is easy.

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Y’all. I’m back from a whirlwind trip to the other side of the world.

Well, actually, I’ve been home for three weeks, but I’m only now — just. now. — recovering from the vacation exhaustion/jetlag/end-of-trip cold. (Plus, I had a little birthday in there that set me back a couple of days.)

[You’re not dreaming, either. South & Sundry got a little makeover while we were gone, only because I get bored with these things. Hey, spice of life.]

Our trip — to Israel, for those of you who didn’t get my hint or aren’t following along on Instagram — was magical. Sun-kissed. Blessed. Mile-a-minute. Profound. So fun. Dare I say, easy? Continue reading

Summertime Happy Hour: Skinny Margarita Spritzers

While you’re enjoying summertime appetizers at happy hour, you need a cool cocktail, right? This is my new favorite.

I’ve watched Bethenny Frankel on TV since Martha Stewart’s “The Apprentice,” so I was intrigued when she began bottling her signature “skinnygirl margaritas.” A regular margarita can have more than 800 calories, and they’re sometimes a little syrupy and cloyingly sweet for me. Skinnygirl Margarita rolls in at about 38 calories per 1.5 oz serving. So, I bought a bottle and was delighted to learn that it actually tastes great. It is a bit more tart, but I find that refreshing. Continue reading

Summertime Happy Hour: Fresh Tomato and Feta Bruschetta

Every time we go to the beach, I’m in charge of happy hour. It’s become such a tradition that my family doesn’t do it if I’m not there. It’s nice to have a purpose, I guess.

I enjoy a happy hour on a normal day, but it’s especially significant on the porch, at the beach, during vacation. You can sip a cool, refreshing cocktail, nibble on something savory and soak up the atmosphere — whether it’s watching the ant-farm family across the street or just enjoying a nice breeze blowing in from the ocean. Continue reading

I'm (not) gonna soak up the sun.

Oliver and I spent a few days at the beach last weekend, for the first and only time this summer. I had grand ideas of slathering myself in sunscreen and pitching a chair on the strand all day with a stack of reading material. Then I realized how much of a hassle that is. It’s hot. I’d have to shave my legs. I don’t swim in the ocean. And I don’t particularly like sand. I’ll take a pool over the beach any day. Plus, the older I get the less I really care about a tan.

Continue reading