Take refuge in the small-town charms of Seaside, Florida

Long ago, vacationers heading to the beach would rent bungalows with porches showcasing swings, a natural gathering point where breezes blew freely, and conversation flowed easily. Where the local grocery, ice cream shop and café were a short stroll away. Where kids left on bikes, and parents didn’t worry, to fearlessly explore the family-friendly town. In many beach destinations today it’s hard to find these simple but significant characteristics.

Want to learn more about this special place? Read in full: Take refuge in the small-town charms of Seaside, FL North Oakville Living.

Holiday Cocktails Enhance The Christmas Cheer On Florida 30A

Head south from Destin-Fort Walton Airport towards the gulf this holiday season, and the beach views will call your name. Choose to slow down and enjoy two-lane East County Highway 30A.

Local residents call this beloved stretch on Florida’s Panhandle, 30A. It’s understood that 30A runs roughly from the old town of Grayton Beach (est. 1890), through Seaside, Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach, ending at Inlet Beach. Along the way, 30A offers restful periodic glimpses of the ocean, dozens of luxury resorts, beachfront condominiums, gated communities, clusters of inviting retail and restaurants and many magical towns.

Although holiday lights are festively twinkling about town, the ocean breeze has turned brisk, and the days are shorter than you’d like, you’ll find plentiful Christmas cheer as you mosey along Florida’s 30A.

To read in full, go to GettingOnTravel.com

I Love This Deep-Dish Pizza So Much I Even Made It for Thanksgiving

“Imagine receiving a deep-dish pizza pan and bootleg recipe for Chicago-style Giordano’s pizza as a wedding gift. Twenty-eight years ago, we did, and it’s been the most cherished of all our wedding gifts. We’ve amassed dozens of memories, hosted countless guests for dinner parties, and have made it the centerpiece of book-club dinners and high school friend reunions. We made it the night before our youngest left for college, at his request.

But one of the most memorable pizza parties was the time we skipped the turkey and served deep-dish pizza for Thanksgiving. It was such a rare and unexpected Thanksgiving day that our guests still talk about it.”

Read in full at The Kitchn.

3 Skin-Care Tips for Dealing With Melasma

“In my 40s I noticed my skin gradually changing to reveal light splotchy shadows around the sides of my face and over my upper lip. Summer’s unforgiving sunlight seemed to intensify their appearance. My dermatologist diagnosed me with a mild case of melasma, a skin condition that commonly appears when hormones are in flux, and prescribed Retin-A.

Now in the throes of perimenopause at 50, my melasma continues to be on my mind. In my youth I battled zits to achieve a great complexion. Today, my focus is on addressing discoloration in order to maintain healthy, clear skin.”

Read in full on AARP Disrupt Aging.

Fine, Not Fine. I Just Dropped My Last Kid Off at College. So, I’m Both.

I’m a yo-yo right now, feeling both fine and not fine as I drop my son, our second and final child, off at college. He stood before me recently, sporting the new suit we bought for him to take to college. I suddenly saw what everyone else has been seeing: a grown man. In the same instant I swelled with pride, I also ached. This is really happening.

Read in full on AARP Disrupt Aging.

House fire sparks loss and gratitude

“While away on vacation, a phone call woke Becky Ogorek, 59, and her husband Keith in the early hours of July 18, 2016. Their sleepiness vanished when their neighbour back home said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but your house is engulfed in flames.” The neighbourhood was frantic as she worried that the car parked in the driveway could indicate that someone was inside.

Except for their oldest daughter, the Ogoreks were gathered together on vacation at a cottage in Michigan. The oldest, in her late 20s, had flown back to Indianapolis to attend a work conference and was staying at her parent’s home. What Becky and Keith found out in the following heart-wrenching minutes was that she’d spontaneously decided to squeeze in an overnight with cousins in Chicago. She wasn’t home. No one was in the house when it had literally burst into flames.” 

Read in full on Forever Young News.

Empty nesters advised to plan for life after kids leave home

“Using my phone’s speech-to-text feature in a recent exchange with a friend on the difficulties of the empty-nest season, I glanced down to check for accuracy before sending. My device transcribed “emptiness” instead of “empty nest.” Ironically, emptiness is exactly what many feel after their final child leaves home.”

Read in full on USA Today.

Navigating European Airports

My family has lived abroad and traveled often in Europe, but after this last trip—with connections in various European airports—I thought how stressful and embarrassing navigating security and airports would be for rookie families.

In short, domestic airports offer no preparation for European airports.

Parents, here’s what you need to know so that you and the kids survive without a break-down. Who wants tears, tantrums, and running mascara, anyway?

Don’t Sweat It: Getting Through Security 

Don’t be me. I once felt hundreds of eyes on me at the Edinburgh Airport security check-point. I was forced to rifle through all my liquids (sunscreen, mascara, hand sanitizer, etc.) in my carry-on tote and roller suitcase. In front of the world, or so it seemed, I had to shove them into one teeny zip-lock bag. The fact is, European airports mean what they say when they allocate one zip-lock bag per traveler for liquids. Better to corral all the family’s liquids from their various pockets, cosmetic and toiletry bags before you reach the security line to confirm everything will fit. You’ve possibly never had to perform this exercise while traveling within the US, but honestly, the reinforcement at European airports is strict. What doesn’t fit will be pitched. Buh-bye, precious moisturizer.

Read in full at Oregon Family Magazine.

Staying Abroad: Handy tips for a successful European Airbnb adventure

“My family recently hopscotched our way around Europe — our seventh such vacation in eight years. Instead of choosing traditional hotel lodging, we opted to stay in Airbnbs along the way. Like many other globetrotters, we were drawn to properties in historic districts. It’s an attractive option — a terrific way to economize while simultaneously soaking up the authenticity Old World cities have to offer.”

Please read in full here: 2019 USA Today Go Escape Summer.