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.
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):
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.
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 HERE, along 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.
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
Whenever 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 Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate. I 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.)
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.)
If 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 once told me to shush.
Earlier this year, I reviewed Emilio Estevez’ film, The Way. This 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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:
- 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers from Mary Jo at Travels with MJ
- Gifts for Travelers: Consult Our Guide for 2016 from Pete and Betsy at Passing Thru