Archive for February, 2014

This winter is on pace to become one of the worst in recorded history, and yet I remain unnaturally upbeat. There are three possibilities: (1) I’m high on snowblower fumes; (2) The cold has damaged my brain; or (3) I am actually asleep, and will soon awaken to discover that I’ve lost my toes to […]


Winter in Minnesota really got to me last year. But something in me has shifted this year, and I’ve moved from trying to make the best of it to acceptance. No, not just acceptance — actually embracing my life here. I thought about that in the wee hours last night, when I awoke to the […]


Yesterday I wrote about the impact one’s choice of lodging can have on a trip — and about the unexpected joys of occasionally staying further afield. Such was the case in the beautiful little city of Freiburg im Breisgau, which lies in the foothills of Germany’s Schwartzwald (Black Forest). You need not be a cartographer […]


One of the least-discussed truths about travel is that your lodging sets the tone for everything — which is why I sometimes pay a bit more to stay in the heart of a city. But, as I learned last December in Freiburg, straying off the beaten path can sometimes yield its own delightfully unexpected rewards. […]


Yes, I know that Valentine’s Day was yesterday. That’s why I was so struck this morning by the man at the post office who was lingering near the V-Day display: As he picked up and read the greeting cards, he looked as forlorn and unwanted as the leftover, heart-covered merchandise. And it made me profoundly […]


My friend Pam is (almost ridiculously) generous and kind, so I wasn’t surprised a few weeks ago when she handed me a big bag full of birthday gifts. I was grateful for them all, of course, but I was smitten with one in particular. I’m a sucker for blank books, you see. The crisp, empty […]