A Glutton’s Paradise: Eat Your Way Through Amsterdam on a Dutch Food Tour

Death by tram.

City street in Amsterdam with tram on an Eating Amsterdam Dutch food tour.

The trams come from the left and the right in Amsterdam – pedestrians beware! Photo: The Open Suitcase

It’s not the way I wanted my obituary to read. I stepped out of Amsterdam’s Centraal Station onto a cloverleaf of tracks, heading for the #5 tram across the yard. What I didn’t notice was the #12 aiming for me.

“Drop the suitcase!” my husband and friends hollered. I blinked, stared and froze like a piece of bad, government-commissioned public art. Then the adrenaline kicked in and I darted back to the curb. Continue reading

Travel Lesson: The Importance of Symbols

monet-gardenPoppies. Poppies will put them to sleep.” We couldn’t help ourselves. Wandering through Monet’s lovely gardens, my sister and I simply had to do our very best Witch of the West cackles. Tour groups scattered in all directions. It was a great way to clear the area of selfie sticks to better enjoy Giverny’s waterlilies.

Continue reading

Time for a Quickie? Two Must-See Shops in Nyack, NY

Marzipan ©The Open Suitcase LLC

Nyack is a Saturday destination for many New Yorkers who arrive to bike, hike, and shop in this charming hamlet, located snug up against the western bank of the Hudson River. You can make a day of it, but, if you’ve only got an hour or so, hit up this dynamic retail duo on Broadway: The Chocolaterie and Pickwick Book Shop. Continue reading

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

For Me? Gifts For The Gal Who Wants Nothing

I may be the world’s worst gift recipient. My first unspoken reaction is “Aww. This is nice but what I really wanted was (insert anything but the given gift).” My second? “You shouldn’t have. Really. I mean it.” My not-big-to-begin-with house continues to shrink because of stuff accumulation. I’m purging not purchasing. Anyone who rings the doorbell is greeted with a take-away offer. Yesterday the solar panel guy refused 2 table lamps, a dartboard and a George Foreman grill. The nerve. But that’s okay. It’s almost Girl Scout cookie season and they’re trained to be polite, right?

Birthday cake with candles via shutterstock\Santhosh Varghese Continue reading