Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: What’s Getting You Through the Winter

Next month we’re (hopefully!) taking a family vacation to Grand Cayman. It will be our first trip out of the country in nearly ten years! Now that the kids are older and so much easier to travel with, we’re taking small steps towards bigger international trips we’ve been planning in the back of our minds for a while. We were supposed to start with a trip to Mexico for Drew’s 50th in April 2020, but… well, you know what happened in April 2020. Then we decided to wait until the kids were fully vaccinated before we attempted to leave the country, and by then flying to Mexico during the kids’ winter break next month was out of our budget (nearly $1000 per person for roundtrip flights!), so I searched for flights from NYC to every island in the Caribbean, determined to be somewhere warm for a few days in the middle of February, and I finally found reasonably-priced tickets to Grand Cayman.

“You’re going to have serious sticker shock when you get there,” my friend who visits pretty regularly said to me when I asked her for any tips. “It’s REALLY expensive.” Oops. But, still, the idea of cocktails on the beach, the sun warming my skin for a few days, wearing my cute new caftan over my swimsuit all week – it’s honestly what’s getting me through this freezing cold, Omicron-wild winter we’re having in the Northeast, and I need something to get me through.

I’m also planning a girls’ weekend to Asheville, NC in March, and I found the cutest Airbnb that I keep looking at pictures of. And in late June, as soon as the kids are out of school, I want to take the family to a national park for some hiking and nature appreciation. Maybe Glacier in Montana? If anyone has tips or suggestions, let me know! If I can keep distracting myself with vacation fantasies (and movies and books and I just started playing Wordle), maybe I just might make it ’til April and maybe, hopefully – oh, please, please, please – we’ll be on the other side of *all of this* and we can enjoy the spring we all deserve.

What about you? Do you have anything you’re distracting yourself with right now to get through winter? Is it working??

21 comments… add one
  • anonymousse January 13, 2022, 9:01 am

    All of those trips sound so great.
    Glacier is absolutely beautiful. It might be good to nail it down soon or look at smaller parks because from what I gather the parks were bonkers crowded last summer. But that’s anecdotal, not my own experience.

    I don’t know when I will want to get on a plane again, but we are spending a few weeks in VT this summer and hoping to spend a week down the NJ shore in September, when the crowds are gone and it is still warm. Other than that, I really want to drive up to CT to see my aged recently-Leukemia-surviving grandpa who is as liberal as they come and such a gentleman.

    Reply Link
  • Sara January 13, 2022, 1:11 pm

    Not something necessarily to look forward to but two things helping me deal with the cold weather. Wendy if you have referral links let me know and I can edit.

    1. Feejays – sweatpants with built in footies. So comfortable and you can slip your feet out easily https://feejays.com/

    2. Toasty Toes – working from home when I don’t have my Feejays on my feet are always cold. This contraption feels amazing and makes sitting at my desk more bearable. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cozy-Products-Toasty-Toes-Heated-Foot-Rest-TT/202933432#overlay

    Reply Link
  • Kate January 13, 2022, 2:08 pm

    I go for a 1/2 hour walk as soon as I get up, even if it’s freezing. It hasn’t snowed much, but the one time it did, I still did it. Of course you can’t if people haven’t shoveled yet, but otherwise I find I can. Even in rain. This is largely because last winter I barely went outside, and gained a lot of weight. Walking 10k steps a day is an effort, but I’m still doing it because I’m comfortable in a certain body size and because it makes me feel better. For some of those walks I’m with the dog and/or husband, and for some I’m alone and listening to something.

    I also have a text chain with a few of my friends at work and a bitch sesh with them on zoom each week at the same time.

    Drinking less than last winter. I now have 5 drinks per week, vs whatever was going on at this time last year.

    And we did go to Mexico in Dec and are scheduled to go again in 2 weeks, god help us. It definitely wasn’t $1000 per ticket, even direct on JetBlue. Maybe they jack up the rates in Feb.

    Reply Link
    • Copa January 13, 2022, 2:58 pm

      Our airfare to Mexico was something like $250 RT. But, we’re opting to visit a small city away from the beaches, which is what I think most foreign tourists want when they visit, so maybe that’s why.

      Reply Link
      • Kate January 13, 2022, 3:19 pm

        Looks like ours were $334 direct to Cancun. Surprisingly cheap.

    • Dear Wendy January 13, 2022, 3:29 pm

      Yes to walks! I’ve been keeping up with mine through the winter so far too and plan to keep it up. It helps me manage both my mood and my weight.

      Re. the $1000 tickets to Mexico, what happens is that airlines super jack up the prices from NYC to anywhere warm during the week of our public school winter break. There are a million kids in public school here and they’re all off the same week, so that’s a lot of families all wanting to leave dodge at the same time. If you look for tickets to Cancun the week before or the week after, they’re like $400 RT, but for the week of the public school winter break, tickets to anywhere warm and within a six-hour commute at least double and often triple the regular cost. It’s really frustrating.

      Reply Link
      • Kate January 13, 2022, 4:06 pm

        Oh yeah, they do that in Boston too. It’s a luxury to be able to avoid that week. Do you have TSA pre check to shorten the security line?

  • Miel January 13, 2022, 3:36 pm

    I was supposed to go to a big work conference in San Francisco next week, but we pretty much all cancelled because of Omicron. I was really looking forward to it. This is usually where I see all my work friends every year, and the weather in SF in late January/early February is always the best (for someone like me who lives in wintery Midwest). Going to this conference was kinda what was keeping me motivated and positive through the last two months or so and now… well, not going anymore. =(

    I’m trying to focus on the day-to-day stuff instead, since organizing and cancelling trips is just too much of a mental health roller-coaster. I’ve gone back to writing silly fanfictions (I used to write a lot as a teenager), so at least that’s good escapism. It’s using the creative part of my brain, and I suppose it’s good to spend that much time reading the thesaurus and the dictionary. =P

    Reply Link
  • Rangerchic January 13, 2022, 4:11 pm

    We’ve booked a trip to Hawaii in June and we are going come hell or high water (or unless they close the island to tourists). I’d like to take a trip between now and then but Hawaii is pretty expensive plus we are paying for our youngest daughter to go and a nephew (daughter graduating nursing school, nephew HS). So have to save so we can do a few things besides beach time while there.

    Since no in-between trip I’m trying to read more fantasy/ fun beach reads and find new shows. We recently watched Resident Alien and we loved it! But that’s right up our alley.

    I’d like to try the walking every morning thing. I don’t think I have all the right winter attire for that though. The mornings are usually really cold. But, I might start with one-two days a week and see how I fare. The air is at least really refreshing when it’s cold.

    Reply Link
    • Kate January 13, 2022, 5:07 pm

      How cold is it? It hasn’t been cold in MA this winter, but a couple days it was 10 degrees in the morning and I was ok in my PJs and that stupid Amazon coat and Uggs or snow boots. My legs got a little cold, so a long coat woulda been good.

      Reply Link
      • Rangerchic January 14, 2022, 1:58 pm

        Usually in the teens. I could handle that, but I did forget to mention the wind. It’s the wind that is more brutal than the cold (well the cold wind in the cold :). I can usually stay pretty warm in my long coat, ear muffs, gloves, hood but I haven’t found pants that really keep my legs warm enough.

      • Kate January 15, 2022, 9:42 am

        Oh boy, today it’s 4 degrees with a real feel of -14 right now. I feel you regarding the wind. We are taking the dog for short walks with his coat on, because there’s a 15-minute frostbite warning. This is when face masks are awesome. I will say, my body and head were very warm in that Amazon coat. My mom just ordered it after trying mine on. If you’re short it’s not the most flattering coat, but it is the warmest (without spending a grand on Canada goose, which would be overkill for Boston). Also my husband got one of those thigh-length fur-hood parkas on clearance last year from the Columbia outlet, and it’s got reflective silver material inside. He says you can wear it with just a tee-shirt and be warm. It actually looks really good on him too, while I look like a marshmallow.

      • ktfran January 15, 2022, 11:26 am

        I bought that Amazon coat after you recommended it. It def gets the job done on super cold days.

      • Kate January 15, 2022, 11:47 am

        I’m sitting on the T in it and am so cozy! I also have fur-lined Doc Marten boots on and I feel like women have been eyeing them. And Alpaca socks, but they don’t know that.

    • SM January 18, 2022, 10:46 am

      Have you been to Hawaii before? There aren’t nearly as many public beaches as you would think. At least for me before I had been. The hotel will most likely have a beach, but that’s most of what you will find. This will partly depend on what island you are going to as well. But if “beach time” is what you want most of, it will probably be the hotel beach only.

      Reply Link
  • Guy Friday January 13, 2022, 5:43 pm

    First of all, seriously: Yellowstone. For all the hype it gets, it’s 100% worth it. There are a lot of houses right outside the park entrance that do Air B&B, and if you’re not opposed to getting groceries and grilling/cooking a little instead of eating out all the time it’s super affordable. I went on a family vacation a few years back, and even though I’m not a hiking type I was just blown away by it.

    As for how I’m surviving both the winter and my heart issues (which started last May), I’m going to St Lucia in May for my 10 year anniversary, and I’m pumped. I’ve lost a ton of weight — like over 100 pounds so far — because of the treatment, so now I need all sorts of new clothes, so I get to spoil myself 🙂

    Reply Link
    • Cleopatra_30 January 13, 2022, 9:20 pm

      Congrats on the better health, that is really amazing progress 🙂

      Reply Link
    • Dear Wendy January 13, 2022, 9:26 pm

      I’ve seen the pictures – you look great!

      Reply Link
  • Cleopatra_30 January 13, 2022, 9:19 pm

    Glacier in Montana is amaze balls! I was so amazed with the canyons and mountains. It is connected through to Waterton Lakes NP in Alberta, but I honestly love Glacier NP better. I think the kids would love it 😀

    Reply Link
    • Cleopatra_30 January 13, 2022, 9:23 pm

      As an aside, I ended up losing money on a planned trip to Guatemala last spring, cancelled due to COVID, couldn’t rebook due to uncertainties in international travel and my voucher expired in Nov. So was really a shitty situation. So not great timing. My year is going to be booked with 3 weddings all in Ontario for friends and my cousin. So unfortunately no international travel this year, but should have fun celebrating friends and family weddings instead! Fingers crossed for next year.

      Reply Link
    • Dear Wendy January 13, 2022, 9:26 pm

      I think so too!

      Reply Link

Leave a Comment