Help! I Need Travel Ideas for the New Year

The Open Suitcase needs travel ideas for the new year. Where’d you go in 2016? What did you love? Or hate? Leave your suggestions for places to visit, foods to eat, and things to do, or not do, in the comments section for a chance to win some travel inspiration.

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The calendar flips in a few days and I need travel ideas for the new year. It’s how I survive winter.

I’m inviting you to play a round of show and tell. Continue reading

When Bad Things Happen to Good Travelers

Savannah-dawnI need to make a confession.

It’s a bit embarrassing, since I’m a travel writer, consider myself an organized and experienced adventurer, and routinely dole out advice to others. But, here goes…

During my last vacation, I lost my rental car.
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Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Kick Back and Relax on Tybee Island

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She grabbed my hand and pumped it like a well handle. “I saw you!” she shrieked. “I saw you walking past my house!” I politely inquired about the location, which happened to be along the route I’d biked earlier in the day. Jill Ferree is a local Tybee artist and the proud mom of one of the owners of the Tybee Island Social Club and its sister restaurant, the Fish Camp. We chatted for a bit about our kids and New York and the island, until the emcee took the mike and started explaining the rules of Blues and Bingo, the bar game that was about to begin. She handed me one of her cards and wished me a good night. To quote Yeats, on Tybee Island, there are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met. Continue reading

Savannah in the Rain

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” – Roger Miller

KehoeHouse Savannah Georgia

Built in 1892 by a foundry owner, the home features grand exterior ornamentation that looks like wood but is made of cast-iron. It was later owned by quarterback Joe Namath.

“Is it empty because it’s Sunday?” my husband asked the museum clerk as we purchased our tickets. “It’s empty ’cause it’s raining. No one goes out in the rain.” Sun-dappled squares full of bubbling fountains and trees dripping with Spanish moss. It’s the image that comes to mind when you think of Savannah, a city made for strolling to best savor the meticulously preserved historic townhomes and manses. So what do you do when it rains?

I needed to execute Plan B on a recent visit due to torrential downpours forecast for the last day of my trip. Don’t despair. There’s plenty to keep you occupied and Southern hospitality takes the edge off limp hair and damp pant hems. Continue reading

Winter Blues? Book Your Summer Rental!

Author Mary Kay Andrews Breeze Inn TybeeIf you’re planning to rent a house at the shore this summer, now’s the perfect time to book it. Good houses disappear quickly. If you wait any longer, you may end up with a mildewed manse with slugs in the shower. So put down the snow shovel and start browsing online. Or, better yet, hop on a plane and check out the rentals in person. Continue reading