5 packing lessons I learned…from being in an LDR

I recently returned from a five-day trip to Taipei with nothing but a weekender bag. “That’s the true sign of a jetsetter,” my editor said.

Actually, that’s the result of busing to and from Boston once or twice a month as I’m in a long distance relationship. Because I’m a starving journalist, traveling via bus means trekking to the subway and running up and down the platform stairs instead of catching a cab. Given my 4’11” frame, I’m obviously not keen on hauling luggage twice my size with me–so here’s what I’ve learned about packing light for weekeend trips. (Thanks, LDR!)

Hello from Ireland

Say hello to Joe the Pony. He lives somewhere between Cong Village and Lough Nafooey, about an hour northwest of Galway.

It’s simply taking me too darn long to write about my first Eurotrip, so here’s a short postcard from Ireland to start. I met Joe the Pony along the drive to Kylemore Abbey, a Victorian estate behind a great Irish (true) tale of romance. In a nutshell: man marries wife, wife falls in love with honeymoon location, man builds wife a castle there, they live at the castle till she dies. But more on that later.

Why you should visit the Holiday Shops after Christmas Day

Practical to walk through when you need goodies to slip under the tree, this miniature village of shops is inspiring even after you’ve exchanged all your gifts. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to brave the holiday shopping crowd and ventured out to the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. Though I was hunting for stocking stuffers at the time, it wasn’t the trinkets and artwork and food stalls that held my attention. It was the shops themselves.

It was my first time walking through the 100+ glass-encased kiosks, and in the dark along the cobblestone paths of the park, they really did look like the jewel boxes that inspired their design. And about six steps in from 42nd street, I saw why these illuminated shops have always been amongst the city’s favorites: within their four shiny walls, the decor and setup are works of art as much as the handcrafted goods they housed.