Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Boomeresque’s Holiday Gift Guide – A Few of My Favorite Things

by Suzanne Fluhr on November 21, 2016 · 18 comments

I survived my annual Thanksgiving turkey cooking freak out, so it must be time to start to think about buying holiday gifts for loved ones.

Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square resplendent in holiday lights and snow.

Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square resplendent in holiday lights and snow.

If you were one of those people who failed in their resolution to have all their holiday shopping done by the end of November—that ship has sailed. Fortunately, you still have a chance to get it done before Christmas, especially if you do on-line shopping—not to mention not having to brave the crowds of people at the mall. If you start your shopping from the links in this post, you’ll also be supporting Boomeresque without adding to your cost. Win. Win. 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite things (with apologies to Julie Andrews):

PACK UP:

As Boomeresque readers know, travel is one of my passions. This past year, I had the good fortune to be able to visit Florida, Hawaii, Scotland, England (twice), Iceland and “down the shore” in New Jersey. Having the right suitcase can greatly enhance a trip. Unfortunately, I can no longer find my favorite exact model of a 20 inch Lucas suitcase.

Sorry guys, this one only comes in lavender.

Sorry guys, this one only comes in lavender.

However, it looks like their newer model is even lighter and has the features I consider indispensable:

  • 4 wheels (so it can be pushed or pulled),
  • a telescoping handle,
  • be small enough to satisfy the carry on requirements for most domestic and international flights and for me to handle myself going up and down stairs,
  • an expandable main compartment (which might make it no longer a carry on) for those times I break my “we can only bring home refrigerator magnets” rule; and,
  • adjustable tie down straps which let me compress my clothes for maximum capacity and which help my clothes look ironed when I arrive.

If you have similar requirements for a suitcase, you can check out the new Lucas 20 inch 4 wheel spinner HEREalong with others (not lavender) that might fill the bill for you.

Personally, I’m not a fan of packing cubes, but others swear by them and they make a nice gift for the wanderlusters in your life. You can check some out HERE.

BOOKS AND VIDEO:

I always check out the travel section in any bookstore I visit and I even buy actual, real paper books at times, but e-books are certainly a traveler’s friend. With a virtually endless supply downloaded onto a mobile device (I even read on my smart phone!), we no longer have to be careful not to have our trip outlast our reading material. 

This is where I like to give a shout out to fellow travel bloggers who have actually written books! (The title links will take you to Amazon where these books can be purchased in various formats.)monte-300-e1448863427427

Since many Baby Boomers are grandparents or great aunts and uncles or wannabe grandparents (hint), I’ll start with this charming picture book for little ones, Montecristo Travels to Pisa: A Montecristo Travels Adventure Book  by Sonja Lishchynski (Author), Allison MacAlister (Illustrator). My friend, Sonja, is listed as the author of this book because for some species-ist reason, Amazon will only list human authors. In fact, the story teller here is my furry, little (very little) friend, Montecristo. (Read my more detailed review here.) Rumor has it that Montecristo is hard at work on another book about his trip to the Florida Everglades. 

20150718_181701-1-e1437331215253Whenever I meet someone who mentions they are thinking of visiting my hometown, Philadelphia (The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection), I wish I could give them a copy of Philadelphia Liberty Trail by Larissa and Michael Milne, winner of a 2015 Book-of-the-Year award from the Society of American Travel Writers Eastern Chapter. Even if you have visited Philly before, I promise this book will take you places you haven’t been to in our historic core and beyond. (You can read my more thorough review here.)

Hawaii is where I met Canadian travel/chocolate blogger, Doreen Pendgracs, the author of  Pendgracs-Chocolatour-CoverChocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best ChocolateI attended a lecture by Doreen at a Chocolate Festival in Honolulu where I purchased a copy of her book and had it inscribed by Doreen for my chocolate loving sweetie, Mr. Excitement. She’s “hard at work” (air quotes) researching Volume II — by traveling around the world eating chocolate. (Read my review here.)

51ub11lqk3l-_sx334_bo1204203200_It’s not just Millennial backpackers who get up from their cubicles and say, “I’m outta here” as they set off to travel the world. Baby Boomers, Veronica and David James, traded in their empty nest for an ancient RV and set out on an ongoing travel/life adventure that has gone well beyond North America. Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All is an engaging read for Baby Boomers as it is not just a travel narrative, but also is an insightful joint autobiography of a marriage. Rumor has it that David and Veronica are hard at work on their second book. I’ll be happy to rejoin them on their journey. (You can read my review of their first book here.)

5192jqpukkl-_sx319_bo1204203200_-e1448861241539If you’re a Baby Boomer and you’ve read this far, chances are you spent some time growing up in libraries: your neighborhood library, your high school library, your college library, and then maybe back to a neighborhood library with your own children or grandchildren for story time. If you’re like me, you were slightly in awe of librarians who seemed omniscient about the Dewey Decimal system, and you were also at least a little afraid of them. Do you want to know what they think of you? Read Our Bodies, Our Shelves: A Collection of Library Humor by my friend, Roz Warren, a humor writing librarian who has never 51gfiftplpl-_sl250_once told me to shush.

Earlier this year, I reviewed Emilio Estevez’ film, The WayThis film follows the director’s father, Martin Sheen, as he walks the 500 mile Camino de Santiago from southern France and across northern Spain to the cathedral shrine of Santiago de C0mpostela. You won’t find this film in your local movie theater this weekend, but for those sharing my secret (or not so secret) fantasy of walking in the footsteps of pilgrims since Roman times, you can follow along vicariously by streaming or otherwise acquiring The Way on Amazon. 

When You’re Tired of Packing or Reading on Your Travels or in Real Life

Zentangle Inspired Art

Zentangle Inspired Art. If you’re curious, check out my Pinterest board of Zentangle and Zentangle Inspired Art. 

If you’ve followed Boomersque at all, you know that in addition to being a recovering lawyer and wanderluster, I’ve also discovered Zentangle®, a meditative art form that keeps me somewhat sane at home and on the road. Airport delays and long haul flights can become even pleasant tolerable with this outlet to keep one’s mind from straying to missed connections and yet another airport meal.

I even became a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Pure Zentangle requires only a 3.5 inch square of paper, a felt tip marker, a 2B (or higher) pencil and a tortillion stump for blending and shading. You don’t need an eraser because there are no mistakes in Zentangle (unless you’re a secretly unreformed Type A person, but you still don’t get an eraser).

For those of us who are less pure, one can verge into Zentangle Inspired Art. I’ve linked to some Zentangle books and supplies below, but I am also an authorized seller of “official” Zentangle products and I’d be happy to put together a starter kit for you. E-mail me at suzanne@boomeresque.com for more information.51g5a-af3vl-_sx384_bo1204203200_

If you’re not quite ready to commit to something with a bit of a learning curve like Zentangle, you can still have a creative outlet that will keep you calm enough not to alarm airport security—nor your traveling companion. Donna Hull, the accomplished writer and publisher behind the My Itchy Travel Feet blog, has published Coloring Glacier National Park, A Grayscale Coloring Book for Travelers that can be colored with pencils or pens.

For colored pencils, Donna and I both recommend Prismacolor Premier pencils.

These are products I started with in my exploration of Zentangle:

My first Zentangle books:


For those of you who need some supplies, these pens and “stumps” (for shading and blending) are good place to start:


Need some other shopping ideas for the travelers on your gift list? Check out these ideas from my Travel Buzz Media colleagues:

Happy shopping!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Roz Warren November 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

I made a holiday gift list! How cool is that? Thanks, Suzanne. (And, of course, I’m sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter.)

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avatar nan @ lbddiaries November 21, 2016 at 10:03 am

You had me at “Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate”!! I am going to check out everything and when I purchase, I’ll go through your links!

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avatar Donna Hull November 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

So many great ideas on this list. I want to buy them all. Thanks for including Coloring Glacier National Park!

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avatar Patti November 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I wonder why you have “The Way” on your list?! 😉

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avatar Sonja November 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Thanks for the shout out! Book 2 will be out in the spring. I really need to get that on chocolate! Chocolate mmmmmm…. tweeting!

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avatar Ivy bryan November 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Excellen thought provoking gifts!

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avatar Poppy November 23, 2016 at 2:58 pm

I bought a print similar one of your title picture. However, the picture I have is a summer scene at Rittenhouse Square, not printed in black & white, but in some way that the leaves on the trees are white & look like snow! If you haven’t seen one like this, you can look at mine the next time you come out to visit me & Maddy!

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avatar Jo November 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm

What some great gift ideas. I was trying to think of movies and The Way is one I loved, and it would also be a great present. Glad to see Gypsy Nesters in this list, and that Lavender spinner would be just the ticket for me 🙂

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avatar Jenny Freedman November 28, 2016 at 1:45 am

There’s some great gift ideas here Suzanne. After countless trips, my suitcase broke as we took it of the baggage carousel in our home town at the end of this trip! I need all the features you mention so that sounds a goodie…it’s just a shame the freight costs would be so high! I’ll stick to your book suggestions instead. Our fellow boomers are so clever.

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avatar Irene S. Levine November 28, 2016 at 9:38 am

Great list, Suzanne! Just saying: If a guy wants a Lucas suitcase and doesn’t go for lavender, TJ Maxx often carries them in black:-)

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avatar Donna Janke November 28, 2016 at 11:04 am

This reminds me that I still haven’t watched The Way, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I love your lavender suitcase.

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avatar Donna November 28, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I loved that lavender suitcase (and so would my Mom), so I actually just bought the last one in that color. FYI – the Amazon website indicates that they are in stock in black or blue.

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avatar Sue Reddel November 28, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Love the idea of the travel books on your list. Perfect gift – one size fits all!

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avatar Doreen Pendgracs November 28, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Hi Suzanne. Thx so much for including Chocolatour in your gift guide. But for anyone wanting a copy of the book, I ask that they visit my website where they can either purchase the book directly from me, or access it on Amazon via the correct link where the price is $34 and not the $53 that is showing in the link you have posted. Thanks! And seasons greetings to all.

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avatar The GypsyNesters November 30, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Always love getting ideas for holiday gifts. There looks like a good one in the books. 😉
Thanks for including us.

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