The Lizard Brain and the Scottish Hilltop

15 Apr

Arthur's Seat

The shadow of Arthur’s Seat looms over Edinburgh and calls to the avid hiker at from the moment she arrives. It catches the sparse light and glows at sunrise and sunset. The locals insist that it’s the very best possible view of the city. Having exhausted the better part of a decade and multiple pairs […]

Friendship Abroad, or, The Limits of Hospitality

12 Jul


  Rule of Life #48: Family has to take you in, friends don’t. This can be an occasion for experiencing profound grace. Then again, it can become object lesson on the limits of hospitality—something I found out on my first trip to Scotland. No matter how warmly and sincerely invitations are given, always assume they […]

If You Could Marry a Hotel Chain, I Would Be Guilty of Polyandry Right Now

9 Nov


And I don’t think my husband would mind. We love the Kimpton hotel brand…to a ridiculous degree. No, they don’t pay me anything to say this. I just can’t help myself. There are those rare businesses that just get it right, and when you find one, you fall hard for them. You develop a loyalty […]

Who Has Seen the Wind?

29 Aug

Wind 2

Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through.   Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by. ~ Christina Rossetti     Turns out, we can see the wind, […]

Find a Sunny Spot and Lie Still

25 Jun

Coconut Bay

I recommend that to anyone for Christmas vacation, if you possibly can. Cari lives in Dominica, a small island in the West Indies (near Venezuela). She didn’t much want a crowd at her home for Christmas–tiny island, tiny houses–so it made sense to plan a trip to one of the nearby islands. We wanted someplace […]

Aaaand Another Entry for the Book of Unnecessary Things…..

23 Jun

Farm Tactics Bag

A really good travel bag makes a better companion than most people. I have been pretty loyal to Kipling. They tend to be sturdy, the fabric patterns hide wear and dirt, and the bright colors are easy to spot on the baggage carousel. But here’s something I don’t get: Farm Tactics. Best I can tell, […]

Random Restaurant Review- Farm:Table

23 Jun

Farm Table

The localvore trend is another utopian idea that often turns erratic in the execution. The glowing golden concept of foodie sustainability, fresh ingredients, and relying on growers and breeders in the local area sometimes result in marvelous cuisine. Trendier manifestations, however, end with menus where perfectly good food disappears beneath outlandish preparation. Food should not […]

Random Restaurant Review: Olaroso

23 Jun

San Antonio is a pretty good town for fine dining. Oh, my Manhattan friends will scoff–and it’s true that NYC is an epicurean playground. But you’re more likely pay for a memorable meal than get one. In San Antonio, there’s plenty of good grub to be had. More important, the places that are truly exceptional […]

Cocktail Rising

23 Jun

Here is a truth universal: the key to a long and successful drinking career is moderation. Drink too much too often, and eventually you have to stop (or it stops you). The way I see it, the world is full of a wondrous variety of libations: some fizz, others burn, or tell the story about […]

Families in Paradise

31 May


G says that what everyone likes best about Puerto Rico is that you can go to the Caribbean without leaving the U.S.  You get the same soft beaches, the vivid water, and the high-octane rum drinks at tourist class hotels—but if you forget your passport, you can still get on the plane.  Puerto Rico has […]