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

The Mackenzie-Childs Farmhouse: Design Inspiration in the Finger Lakes

“Where’s Tim Burton?”

That was my first question for tour guide Patricia, as she opened the front door to the Mackenzie-Childs farmhouse and asked us to slip on paper booties.

From the exterior, the late 1800’s farmhouse looks like any other that you’d find on a field in Smalltown, USA. But inside? The design inspiration comes from a zany riot of color, shape, pattern, and texture. If asked to assign a name to the style, I’d go with “Tasteful Psychedelic.”mackenzie-childs-farmhouse-aurora-finger-lakes Continue reading

The Aurora Inn: A Genteel Boutique Hotel in the Finger Lakes

adirondack-chairs-aurora-innLooking for the perfect place to stay to explore New York’s Finger Lakes? Consider the Aurora Inn, an historic 10-room property located on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake. It’s an elegant boutique destination resort owned by Pleasant Rowland, founder of the American Girl doll company who once said her goal was to “…allow little girls to be little girls for a little longer.” At the Aurora Inn, I felt like I could be a princess…forever. Continue reading

A Sunrise and a Sail: Escape to Montauk

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I was expecting “Wolf of Wall Street” and I got “On Golden Pond“.

Montauk’s got a bad reputation. It’s widely reported that NYC hipsters and throngs of kids with fake IDs descend on the easternmost village in the Hamptons and trash the place during summer weekends. It’s gotten so bad the locals are fighting back.

But, during the week and off-season, Montauk remains a sleepy coastal village, where people fish. Surf. Veg. Repeat. Continue reading

Saratoga Springs: Why You Should Visit Off-Season

welcome-saratoga-springsSaratoga Springs is a great getaway from NYC. The problem? Everyone knows it. When the annual thoroughbred racing season opens in July, the village is overrun with bonneted women and men with cigars. You can plan on two things: losing more than you win at the track and spending a good part of your summer weekend sitting in traffic.

The secret for a great weekend getaway to this historic upstate New York town? Hit it before the season begins. Continue reading