It's not even Labor Day, but my trigger finger is anxiously poised over my mouse, ready to buy tickets for a Christmas-NYE holiday. After much debate with H, I think we are ready to make a decision. I've mentioned some of this debate before. H has become a New York provincial (actually not even Manhattan, as he won't even leave Brooklyn on the weekends unless forced) and has argued against Paris, my original plan. "Why go to Paris when you live in New York?" says he. Them's fightin' words, you say. Well, he has some points, and he has been there nearly a dozen times. His argument is essentially that he can understand if you live in the rural South why you would want to go to Paris (or New York or London, for that matter), but when you already live in a huge, cosmopolitan, cultural city, why use your vacation time visiting another? When there are all sorts of crazy places out there like India, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, etc that would offer something totally different? We also try to visit a few new countries a year without revisiting anything, at least for the time being. Not to mention, Paris is expensive right now and December is cold, maybe even colder than New York. All this made sense to me, but I still whined, "Wanna go to Paris!" until we compromised and decided we'd go for my 30th birthday if I haven't gone there for work or some other reason before that day arrives.
So it looks like we'll be spending this Christmas in Nicaragua! Whaaa?! you say. It's one of those things, like Cobb salad*, that I had never heard of (well, at least I hadn't considered it) and then one day, it's everywhere. What really interested me was this L.A. Times article about the Corn Islands, but I've seen articles about it in nearly every travel publication and newspaper section since. Turns out that American flies there, it's 2.5 hours from Miami, wicked cheap, and has great beaches but no creepy resorts. Done and done! You can see the many articles and sites I have collected already on my Suitcase on Concierge.com (I love this feature, btw). It's apparently the new Costa Rica (which we've never been to either and haven't really been interested in, in the interest of full disclosure)! H and I are big fans of the "b-side destinations:" Uruguay over Argentina, Northern Ireland over the Republic, etc. I've been obsessively looking for tickets to Managua (the capital city, which is supposed to be sort of shitty and only warrants a stopover, but we ended up loving Santiago, Chile, so who knows?) ever since I "discovered" Nicaragua, and I think I have to buy them tonight if I want to have any half-way decent flights. I'm massively underwhelmed with Yapta, btw, they have yet to register all of the fare changes in the past few days but maybe they are better post purchase? Anyway, that's what's next if I ever get out of Ireland, figuratively speaking.
Unrelated interesting article of the day: Branding a country.
Oh! and my friend Kevin's Ireland article is finally out in this month's CNT and it is awesome! So jealous that he met Marian Keyes, awesome! Too bad the Green Gate and Temple House (coming soon to this blog!) are just in Places + Prices, but glad they are in the issue.
*17 years ago, when my parents moved to Arizona, my mother had lunch at a restaurant where they had Cobb salad. She had never heard of it, then ever since, she sees it everywhere. So now it's one of those things that you say when you see something everywhere that was previously unknown.