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Iceland didn’t feel exciting to me at first. Disembarking to a wet runway at Keflavik International Airport not long after sunrise, at what felt like 11:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, I thought it was flat, barren, and colorless. I worried I was at the southwest corner of a small and uninteresting island, adrift between continents.

But after spending almost two weeks circling the perimeter of the country, I’m grateful for my uninspiring introduction to the country. Iceland is a cold bath and a hot tub all at once, both alarming and comforting, best eased into slowly. Only hours after that initial misreading, everything about Iceland was surprising to me, and to extents that I’d never experienced in my life before then.

Turns out, Iceland is pretty exciting.

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Reading about Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s new Midtown venture, Monkey Bar, situated in the Elysee Hotel, I was enticed. By some accounts, it’s his tour de force in Manhattan scene (if not cuisine?); by others, it seemed like a voyage to turn-of-the-century Bombay, an intriguing move, if of questionable taste. Ultimately, Ruth gave it the nod. And I love an adventure. Read the rest of this entry »


Go back to the night before my flight to San Francisco. I was sitting in my kitchen when I suddenly heard a gunshot. Given where I live, this is not out of the question at all. When I left the house to go out for drinks later in the night, I discovered that it wasn’t a gunshot but a rock through glass. Specifically, the glass of my car’s driver side window. I got Grinched! USAA took great care of me and repaired the glass while I was in San Francisco. A word to the wise: if you can qualify for USAA, switch to USAA! A great friend drove me to a rental car office so I could get to Richmond for my flight. (USAA paid for the rental, ahem.) So when I got back to Richmond, I didn’t have a car. I had to rent one. Again. It was two days after Christmas, I was lonely, and there were still hundreds of tiny chards of glass in the pockets and folds of my car interior.

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My boss stopped by my desk and said, “You want to go to a conference in Denver?”


She additionally suggested that, because Denver is a cool city and the conference would take place all day Thursday and Friday morning, that I should consider taking a day or two to myself to enjoy the west.  I did.

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