2013-04-08T02:00:00Z 2013-04-11T09:48:17Z EDITOR’S LETTER nwitimes.com
April 08, 2013 2:00 am


Every year when we put the travel issue to bed, we do it with satisfaction and a certain degree of fascination. We can’t wait to see what happens next. Because the travel issue of Shore is the only edition of our magazine that does not require much work on the front end thinking of the topics that we have questions about, finding the best writer, researcher, archivist, illustrator and photographer, putting together the pieces of the puzzle. In other words, our usual process of collaborative invention and expression that goes into our work on the magazine.

The travel issue, in its own unique way, just creates itself: We heard from Jeremy Gantz last summer about a bicycle trip he was planning with his father. I never thought to ask if he would have known how and why to plot this overland journey north to Wisconsin, across Lake Michigan by ferry and down the Third Coast along the beautiful east side of the beachfront, if he had never heard of Shore. Likewise Jane Ammeson, who has fashioned a career of narrating her ramblings through the lives and times of so many places, from small towns along prairie back roads to exotic passageways to foreign cultures, climates and experiences. This year Jane traverses the minute, but not unheralded, town of Story, Indiana and the mystical, irresistible Curacao, Mexico. There are always unexpected surprises, but the arrival of Denise DeClue’s story of her winter vacation—typically a trek to a mountain-top in Sri Lanka, finding a hair colorist in Buenos Aires or getting tailored in Shanghai—spent in the guest cottage at the assisted-living facility where her mother lives, hit a poignant note, a universal chord. Her thoughts about her Mom and the confusing emotions that pull us together and push us apart, as the generation’s age is a common phenomenon. Many people are outlasting their best-laid plans. Reading the her story of life among the ancients, I recognized so many of my contemporaries, who found a solution for a parent living alone somewhere in Florida. I know more than one avid golfer whose second set of clubs are stashed at his mother-in-law’s condo in Naples. How many Boomer snowbirds ditch the Lake Michigan weather for a couple of long weekends with their parents? I don’t have an exact number, but can tell you anecdotally, more and more. So much for the generation gap.

I have a teeny, tiny vacation story of my own this year. I have been a frequent traveler to Mexico. My first trip I was 19, visiting my cousin Suzanne in San Diego, and we drove across the border together, stopping in Tijuana for margaritas and ending up at the family beach house just down the road a dozen miles. The next day, as part of the whole reckless adventure, we got the worst sunburn of our lives and spent the rest of the week slathering lotion on one another and taking our temperatures. I visited the highlands and lowlands of Acapulco when I was single and Puerto Vallarta for several years in a row after I remarried. In 2010 my brother had a destination wedding in Cancun on the most perfect beach I’ve ever visited.

In July last year, I got an email from a travel web site that vaguely sounded like a very discounted rate at the resort where the wedding took place. My genius sister-in-law said, “I’m all over this, we’re going to need a vacation by December,” booked it and five months later we were on the plane. At the hotel check-in the staff couldn’t find our reservation. Because we had actually pre-paid for a week at the more exclusive, smaller, semi-empty cottage village a five-minute cab ride away. Like Mitch Markovitz recently said in another context: I ended up in the place I always wanted to be. When I least expected it.

That is my wish for you, may your next vacation be full of good surprises. See you next month!

Pat Colander

Associate Publisher and Editor


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