A Worthwhile Detour in the Poconos

Open up your monthly calendars for April, May, and June. Have a few bridal showers and graduation parties to attend? If so, and you’re heading to Northeast Pennsylvania to ski Camelback one last time or you’re attempting to win your next car payment in the casinos at Mt. Airy or Pocono Downs, consider a slight detour to stock up on kitchen staples any bride or college grad would be happy to receive.

Fiesta Ware ©The_Open_Suitcase_LLC

It doesn’t matter what you serve because these rainbow-hued plates are guaranteed to make your guests smile.

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“Don’t Drink and Book”: 5 Tips To Avoid Costly Reservation Mistakes

©The Open Suitcase LLC

Press the button. Don’t press the button. Press the button. Don’t press the button.

Do you panic as your finger hovers over the “Submit Payment” button? It never happens when I’m impulse buying a case of Mt. Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir, but, when it’s travel-related, I immediately assume that a terrible mistake is about to happen that will cost me thousands of dollars in non-refundable fees. This carries over to my evening slumber and after booking, I’ll continue to wake up startled wondering if I’m supposed to be somewhere and, if so, where that somewhere is supposed to be. Continue reading

Fork It!

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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Crowdsourcing a Travel Itinerary

Do you ask questions? All the time? Like a 4-year-old riding a Skittles’ high? It’s a habit I developed at a young age, along with a rather unfortunate character descriptor: “Cathy? She’s like a dog with a bone.” However, this inquisitive tendency serves me well on the road. People respond to questions with generous amounts of information. Who doesn’t want to tell you where to go? Occasionally you feel like the locals are trying to take you for a ride, as if you’re a city slicker in an episode of “Green Acres“, but generally you’ll garner priceless insider tips.
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Going on a Treasure Hunt

Picture the ladies’ shoe department in Nordstrom on a busy Saturday afternoon. There’s a woman cooing, as she plucks pump after pump from the display rack, thrusting them into the face of the glummest-looking fellow in the world, her husband, who’s lolling on a leather settee, braiding peds.

I am that man. Continue reading