Ice skating in the desert and how to survive holiday travel
By Erin Meanley
How To Survive Holiday Travel
By Erin Meanley, who logged 63,000 miles* in one decade of Decembers
1 If you plan to carry on gifts, don’t wrap them. That’s what Mom is for. (Ticketed passengers at SAN can also get free gift-wrapping post-security, Dec. 20–23.) 2 Leave space in your suitcase to bring back all the presents your family will give you. 3 ...But not too much space! Baggage fees can increase during the holidays. 4 If you hate flying, bring two airport bottles of Jack for when you get to your seat. The flight crew cannot serve alcohol before takeoff. Even if it’s a panic-stricken emergency. Even if it is the holidays. 5 Tune out kids’ screams by imagining the coal they will get in their stockings. 6 If your kid is screaming, tell him or her the pilot is ready to turn around the plane. 7 Forgot a sleep mask? Snooze with your sunglasses on. 8 If you get a middle seat by the bathroom on a red-eye, you won’t be able to recline, but hey, at least your seatmates are separated and can’t have a conversation. 9 If you’ll be flying from, say, NYC to SAN, ditch the parka and tough it out on your way to JFK. Who wants to fly with extra layers? Happy Holidays!
Go Ice Skating in the Desert
Love to skate but hate the cold? Don’t we all. The W Scottsdale has built a synthetic skating rink from a recyclable polymer compound (say that three times fast!). The “ice” gives the sensation of moving on a real pond (one-tenth slower than a rink). Weekends feature live music and skating performances, through January 6. Post-skate, unwind at the W’s Bliss Spa and Sushi Roku. While in town, foodies should take the walking tour, A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale. Feast on the tom ka gai at Malee’s Thai Bistro, learn “pizza science” at Grimaldi’s, and pick up some Scottsdale history along the way. Top it off with Lee’s Cream Liqueur (alcohol-laced ice cream). Finally, a meal at Citizen Public House is a must. Order the original chopped salad, Bernie’s mac ‘n’ cheese, and a barrel cocktail.
Build a Custom Home in the O.C.
It’s an annual tradition: The Gingerbread Academy at St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort invites families to decorate their own candy-and-icing-laced houses—with the guidance of the hotel’s talented pastry chefs—every weekend through the holiday season. stregismb.com
1.4 million passengers will travel through Lindbergh in December.