Septime in Paris, France 2021

Getting a reservation to Septime is near impossible. The online reservation is an exercise in false hope. The dates on the calendar seem like they’re open, but really they click through to a waitlist. And the waitlist never seems to move. So I guess the silver lining about the pandemic is that only a portion of the world’s population can actually come to Septime, which means tables are easier to come by. I was planning a trip to Paris in September, so I started looking for bookings in the summer. I had no trouble getting a table. It felt really good being able to click on a date and get an actual reservation. What a difference two years makes. Last time I went to Septime, all I ended up with was a tote bag from their wine bar. This time I left with memories of the most amazing dinner.

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A Weekend in Kingston, NY (With Kids)

Spring break this year had to be local again. But rather than being disappointed, I was looking forward to exploring more of upstate New York. International jetsetting is glamorous, but nothing beats a trip that’s only 1.5 hours away by car. This time around we made Kingston, NY our base. Kingston, compared to Fishkill, which was the town we stayed in on our winter break, felt more like a proper town. We stayed in an Airbnb rental right in the heart of downtown, and I couldn’t have been happier. I loved the fact that we were within walking distance to a lot of great restaurants, bakeries and coffeeshops, and there were a lot in the immediate area! Kingston is also a good base for exploring other nearby towns like Rhinebeck, Saugerties and Woodstock, which are ~20 minute drives away. The kids, as always, loved being in a bigger house than their city apartment, and it was fun taking them on scenic hikes and train rides in the Hudson Valley. A weekend trip to Kingston with the kids is always a good idea, especially when the weather gets nicer. Here’s a sample itinerary of things to do if you choose to take the kids to Kingston NY on your next quick trip out of the city.

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A Weekend in Fishkill and Beacon, NY (With Kids)

If you’re in New York City, looking for weekend trip ideas, chances are you are typing in the words “Hudson Valley” in the Airbnb search tool. Because when you’re dealing with quarantines and restrictions that can vary by state and by day, it’s easier to stay as close to home as possible, without actually staying home. The Hudson Valley, with its picturesque, rural landscapes and farm-to-table restaurants, is far enough and different enough from the city to make it feel like you’re getting away. The Hudson Valley is vast, though. Some cities like Peekskill are only an hour away from the city, while the more famous towns of Hudson or Catskill are a 3 hour drive. Fishkill, New York is the perfect middle ground in that it’s only 1.5 hours away, yet it still has access to great restaurants and cultural attractions in the town itself as well as in nearby Beacon.

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A Weekend in Boston 2020 (with Kids)

If you’re from New York / New Jersey / Connecticut looking for weekend getaway ideas that are kid-friendly, consider taking a trip to Boston. At the moment, you wouldn’t be subject to quarantine either in Boston or back at home, which is obviously important, and many of the tourist attractions and restaurants in Boston are open. Some restaurants are even open for indoor dining, although since the weather is still nice you might as well take advantage of the outdoors. Boston also has a ton of great playgrounds, which is key when traveling with kids. I do have to say the city does feel very empty, probably even emptier than New York, but with the current covid situation, that probably isn’t the worst thing. The following two-day outdoor weekend Boston itinerary focuses on locations close to Downtown, the Seaport District and Harvard Yard in Cambridge.

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Best NYC Parks and Playgrounds for Kids 2020 (and a Daytrip to NJ)

Having kids in the city these days is tough. Normally you could rely on a day camp or the public library to get you through the week, but now home is the new day camp, 24 hours a day. There isn’t even a two week vacation abroad to make you forget for a moment that the kids are continually finding new ways of messing up the house. So now there is no choice but to “be a tourist in your own city.” Luckily, New York City, even during this time, is still an interesting place to be, and since the playgrounds, zoos and parks are open, there are a lot of “destination” spots that can make each weekend fun. Here are some of the best playgrounds, parks and zoos in NYC that are worth trekking out for (lucky for you if they are in your neighborhood). And if you have a car, I would highly recommend the awesome Turtle Back Zoo in New Jersey.

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