The Life Continental: One Big Happy Table

During my travels in Bavaria I was surprised that most of the restaurants featured family-style seating. You would expect such a convivial dining option from Italians or Spaniards – but Germans? I’m sure it evolved as a practical measure to get patrons seated, served and out the door as quickly as possible.

For Phase Two of my 2013 summer staycation, I wanted to replicate that dining experience, so I searched for family-style service and was disappointed to turn up zero results in the tri-state area for restaurants. Entrepreneurs, take note. Last year it was BBQ restaurants. This year? Burger joints. Next year we definitely need family-style dining.

Seeking an alternative, I purchased tickets for a farm-to-table dinner, hoping for a communal dining event and was thrilled to arrive and find long, draped planks under a tent, instead of individual tables. And booze. And a beautiful summer evening.

It felt like Munich minus the dirndls.

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Tennis, Anyone?

A Dutch friend recently posted on Facebook that he is continually surprised by the petite amount of vacation time we Americans are allotted and astonished that many don’t even take what they’ve been given. I assured him that I have plans percolating that would require 14 months’ of vacation. This is a serious problem. For my employer. Not for me.

I would love to see each of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments including the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon. But, given vacation limitations, I wasn’t able to get to them in 2013. So I indulged in my annual expedition to the US Open – one of the perks of living within a stone’s throw of NYC. Flushing Meadows certainly isn’t Paris, but the Open is the world’s largest annual sporting event.USOpen FlushingMeadows Tennis Continue reading

High Times on the High Line

Tsq_green_chairs_jehWhen NYC does something wrong, it does it really wrong. For example, the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. Closing midtown blocks to vehicular traffic so tourists can gawk at the neon signs must have seemed like a good idea to someone. I’m sure visitors enjoy it but New Yorkers regard the area as they would a toxic waste site. Continue reading

Sitting on the Sidelines? Tips for Surviving Travel Sports Trips

Some choose budget travel; others have budget travel thrust upon them. Legions of families will hit the road this summer to spend hundreds of hours sitting on fields or in rinks watching their children participate in travel sports. For many, these weekend trips have replaced traditional family vacations. It’s kind of like being sentenced to leisure prison since you have no say in the planning. These 5 tips can make your time less like a punishment and help you wring some pleasure out of your jock-strap holiday.shutterstock_30353353 Continue reading