Category Archives: Travels

Keep Calm & Carry This Carry-On!

I am a mess when it comes to packing for a trip. I don't know why because I actually have traveled quite a bit in my life, and I am usually an organized person.  I guess the pressure of wanting to bring just the right outfits, while not packing too much stuff, just stresses me out. Well, I have one part of my problem figured out. I have finally found a carry-on bag to end all carry-ons!
The O.G. by Lo & Sons
The O.G. by Lo & Sons
The O.G. by Lo & Sons is a lightweight overnight & gym bag. It's stylish with its lavender lining and gold accents, and it has pockets in all the right places. I especially like how there's a side zipper pocket for a pair of shoes.  I fit all of the items below in The O.G. with room to spare: my iPad, my 13" laptop, a pair of shoes, my camera, wallet, make-up bag, magazine, sunglasses, keys, phone & charger, and a scarf.  Continue reading Keep Calm & Carry This Carry-On!

Nantucket’s Book Festival

Books:bay“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?” ― Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Having brunch with Ann Leary & Alice Hoffman, sharing drinks in the company of Elin Hilderbrand & Nathaniel Philbrick, sitting on a bench at the beach with Josephine Angelini...these are my Oscar moments.  Authors are my movie stars.  My friend, Lori, and I jokingly call ourselves "author stalkers".  I often attend events where authors discuss their writing process, the inspiration for their books, and how they conduct their research.  I love hearing the backstory. On the island of Nantucket, MA,  30 miles out to sea, is a lovely book festival held each June.  Now in its 4th year, it just keeps getting better and better. Continue reading Nantucket’s Book Festival

A Martini Explorer of Machu Picchu – Part III

Sun Gate - Machu Picchu - Day 4 of Trek
Sun Gate - Machu Picchu - Day 4 of Trek
  I guess I put off writing the third and final installment of my trip to Machu Picchu with my friend, Bridget, because I didn't want my Machu Picchu musings to end. This was an amazing trip. If I were younger, I'd definitely try to hike the Inca Trail twice in a lifetime. As it is, there are so many other places that I want to explore, that I'll have to hope that my children are as curious, and venture forth. Continue reading A Martini Explorer of Machu Picchu – Part III

A Martini Explorer of Machu Picchu – Part II

IMG_9252"Peru's borders contain some of the world's most varied topography and climate....there are 20,000 ft. peaks, the world's deepest canyon, unmapped Amazon jungle and the driest desert on earth. Peru is an equatorial country that depends on glaciers for drinking water. It's one of the world's hot spots for seismic and volcanic activity....Scientists have calculated that there are 34 types of climatic zones on the face of the earth and Peru has 20 of them." from Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. If that's not a reason to visit Peru, then I don't know what is. Continue reading A Martini Explorer of Machu Picchu – Part II

“A Martini Explorer” of Machu Picchu – Part I

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Bridget & Jo, Machu Picchu, July 2014
I learned the term "martini explorer" from the book Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. It's a euphemism for a person who thinks they're a tough traveler, but prefers a certain level of comfort and luxury. I've done quite a bit of travel in my day, but I have never considered myself a martini explorer. However, my experience trekking the Inca Trail  in Peru with my college buddy, Bridget, did turn out to have a bit more comfort and service than we anticipated. I think it had something to do with the 14 porters and 1 head cook to help 7 hikers plus a guide. Continue reading “A Martini Explorer” of Machu Picchu – Part I

In Search of the Perfect Granola

imageOn a day-to-day basis, my breakfast and lunch regime is pretty boring. I have to be out of the house by 7 a.m. to get to the high school where I teach. I get approximately 20 minutes to eat lunch, and do a myriad of other things that teachers try to accomplish on their lunch "break". Therefore, what I wolf down in the morning has to not only make me happy, give me fuel, but also be convenient. A few years ago, I started eating granola for breakfast. I sampled various brands, but I always found the store-bought brands, even the many niche, health food store brands, too sweet. (Also, and I'm a bit embarrassed to mention this, the store-bought brands, for whatever reason, sometimes gave me gas.) Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised, while staying at the darling Nantucket Youth Hostel, that granola is VERY easy to make, and even easier to customize.  Continue reading In Search of the Perfect Granola