susan guillory snow

I’ve known Rachel for 27 years. We try to see each other every year, but it wasn’t until this year that we managed to spend time together during the winter holidays. Why? Because she lives in Wisconsin. And Wisconsin is cold. I like my sunny southern California weather. But this year, I got out of my comfort zone (about 60 degrees out of it) and made the trek east. It was cold. I don’t know how she stands it. But I was like a kid on Christmas when I woke up to this magnificent layer of snow.

“Susan wants an authentic Wisconsin experience, so let’s take her to a supper club,” the calendar invite said. My best and oldest friend, Rachel, had invited her girlfriends to show me the “real Wisconsin” on my December visit. I wondered briefly what a supper club was. Back in college in Arkansas, a supper club was a convenient workaround for the fact that we were in a dry county. You paid your “dues” of $1 and were given access to the “club.” Read: plain ole honky tonk bar.

bloemenmarkt

One of the best-known attractions in Amsterdam is the Bloemenmarkt. This flower market sells not only every shade of tulip you could dream of, but also an assortment of other exotic flowers you won’t find anywhere else. And yes, you can buy tulip bulbs and take them home. What better reminder of your trip than their cherry little heads bobbing in your garden?  

Ricardo Breceda's screaming eagle

First-timers to Borrego Springs are surprised to see prehistoric creatures snarling and writhing in the desert near the highway, but they’re just sculptor Ricardo Breceda’s contribution to the landscape. If you’re headed to Anza-Borrego State Park or the tiny town of Borrego Springs, download a map of the sculpturesĀ or just wing it and drive around offroad like I like to do. Try to go midmorning when the skies are blue as backdrops, and the sculptures are showing off in all their glory.