Happy Friday! And happy long weekend for those of you who have off and are doing some spring traveling. I lived across the street from the Vatican for two years, and Easter meant getting out of the city, or risk being swarmed by hundreds of tourists every time I stepped out of my door that weekend.
I’m so happy that it’s finally spring! This has been a busy month. I kicked it off with a helicopter tour over Chicago, courtesy of JetSmarter. JetSmarter is basically Uber for private jets. Dreaming of signing up when my blog becomes popular enough to afford it… 😉
From there, I headed to New York for a long weekend of eating. (By the way, packing for spring is hard – I made it easier for you here). The morning after returning, I talked about spring break travel on WCIU. I had three hours of sleep and my hair dryer broke while I was getting ready at 5am, so it wasn’t my finest hour, but went ok for the first time on TV. (I hope!)
The next weekend, my parents visited Chicago and we saw the Van Gogh exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. All three of Van Gogh’s paintings of his bedroom in Arles, France were on display together for the first time. I learned so much about his life at this exhibit! Definitely check it out if you’re in Chicago (runs through May 10). We also ate at Frontera Grill, Rick Bayless’s flagship restaurant, which was as wonderful as anticipated.
I also want to give a shoutout to Sapori Trattoria, which is quickly becoming my favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago. It’s consistently packed, but still feels like a small neighborhood spot, and the homemade pasta is really, really good. Better than some more expensive places in the city. Plus, the service is awesome. I’ve been twice this month and might go back this weekend.
Last week, my youngest brother and I went to Door County for no real reason at all. I wanted to get out of Chicago and it was his spring break, so we took a little road trip. We stayed at the Holiday Music Motel, which was incredibly cheap but actually pretty nice. It has original 1950s furniture and a recording studio inside. Not a lot is open in Door County in March, but we did have great pizza at Wild Tomato, Swedish pancakes at Al Johnson’s, hiked along some very muddy, but still pretty trails at Peninsula State Park, and ate way too much cheese (is that possible?) at Renard’s.
This week I’ve been working in Chicago and enjoying the nicer weather. Getting so excited for summer!
Like many people, I was rattled by the terrorist attacks in Turkey and Brussels this week. I was at the Maelbek train station several times last fall, and things always seem scarier when you have a frame of reference. People have been comparing the response to attacks in Paris vs Brussels, and it’s also worth comparing the response to any attack in Europe vs attacks in the Middle East, where they happen more often and go unnoticed or discussed by much of the world. On a more local level, this is an interesting article on the differences between radicalization in Europe and the United States.
I know people are afraid of traveling right now, so I’m going to remind you all of a post I wrote after the Paris attacks. Please keep traveling.
Other articles I’ve enjoyed this week include this hilarious piece by Allison Davis on using Tinder while traveling; this one on comedians fighting Muslim stereotypes on the NYC subway; this post on where to shop ethically; this incredible article for Esquire that turned Caitlin Moran into my new hero; this one on the increasingly tense relationship between San Francisco residents and tech companies; and this one on women-only vineyards in Italy. Regular readers know I’m obsessed with David Lebovitz – here’s a video of him visiting a cheese shop in Paris. Lastly, I really like this article on breakfast in Jordan for Roads & Kingdoms, this one on making budget airlines your BFF, and this one on how to pack for a 10-day trip in a carry on…because, I wrote them. It would mean a lot if you read them too!
Blog crush of the week:
WINE. All the time. Marissa Ross is a genius. Here’s her bio: “I write and drink wine. I have no qualifications to write about drinking wine, aside from the fact that I do it all the time.”
Book I’m reading:
The Last Thousand. Jeffrey Stern tells the story of the Marefat School in Afghanistan, and what happens to the award-winning institution when the United States leaves the country.
Travel product I’m loving:
This iBridge mobile memory stick is going to be life changing when I’m in Cuba next month. I usually backup my photos on Dropbox while traveling, but I’m not sure I’ll have Internet in most of the places I’m staying, so this is the perfect solution. As it’s getting warmer, I’m also excited about sun hats, especially this one. Hello beach season!
And, the travel deal of the week!
Use Minbar whether at home or in a hotel, and get $10 off your first purchase by using the code RH08891. Wine. Delivered. To your door.
Lastly, Obama was in Cuba this week (my favorite article from his trip here), and soon I will be too! Any tips or favorite spots? Please comment or send them my way!
Ok I’m off for a run by the lake, then to a Vietnamese feast I’ll be blogging about next week. Stay tuned, and have a wonderful weekend! Let me know if you’re doing anything fun, and don’t forget to tag your packing photos with #InMyCarryOn on Instagram. Happy travels!