I Was Just Thinking…

. . . about all the articles that offer a look back at the year 2020. Which is not an article I want to write. I’m exhausted by commentators remarking on elbow bumps, sweatpants, Zoom, and all the other stuff we got to know too well this year.

I only want to wish you and yours an excellent new year and fill you in on some short travel items worth noting:

  • The UK remains one of the few European countries that Americans can visit if you’re willing to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. But if you return from the UK to the US, the US requires proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of that flight.
  • United Airlines says it’s saving $80,000 a year by eliminating cocktail picks, that toothpick-like implement used to spear slices of limes or lemons. Right now, United and other airlines aren’t serving any kind of fresh citrus, so I’m not overly impressed.
  • JetBlue bans rapper Lil Pump with a lifetime ban on flying because he became verbally abusive when asked to wear a mask on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles last Saturday. The 20-year-old rapper was met by police upon landing but not arrested, according to TMZ.
  • Argentina and Uruguay shut their borders except to citizens of some neighboring countries at least through the end of January. And Brazil says incoming foreign visitors must prove they’ve tested negative for Covid-19 no more than 72 hours before their flight’s departure.
  • Be careful if you’re planning a trip to California. The state’s latest travel restrictions ban many hotel stays and short-term lodging rentals. And Airbnb and VRBO say they won’t refund money paid if your rental is put on ice. (And wineries in counties including Napa and Sonoma are closed for tastings.)
  • Tired of articles on the best places to live in the world? Try this article on the best places to die in the world. An article in OXY considers a country’s palliative care, universal health care, and other factors. Among the winners: the UK and Taiwan.
  • Need the comfort of a pet while on vacation? Oyster lists the 10 best hotels with pets “on staff” here
  • And National Geographic posts 18 photos that remind us “why we miss traveling” here. Though I didn’t really need any photos to remind me.

Next Week’s Webcast Guest: Ruth Reichl

As you may know, I’m now doing on-line interviews with Very Interesting People every other week, and my January 7th guest will be Ruth Reichl, the last editor of Gourmet magazine and a celebrated chef, food writer, restaurant critic, and producer of public television’s “Gourmet Adventures with Ruth.”

I plan to talk with her about her memoir, Save Me the Plums, and her recent article in Zagat.com titled “Ruth Reichl Wants to Fix the Food Landscape.” In spite of many dire articles about the number of restaurants going out of business this past year, Reichl find some room for optimism down the road.

We’ll talk about a few celebrity chefs she knows–from Eric Ripert to David Chang–and, as always, I invite your questions.

Please join us by receiving an invitation to join. Just click here. And if you also choose “subscribe,” you’ll be alerted to upcoming webinars and guests.

And click here to find past interviews with actors Andrew McCarthy, Robert Wuhl, and Kurt Fuller, writers Phillip Caputo and Max Brooks, magician Derek Hughes, journalist Jonathan Karl, international model Deborah Mace, Tim & Nina Zagat of Zagat Guides, as well as travel show hosts Rick Steves, Samantha Brown, and Phil Rosenthal.

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And New Year’s best wishes to you and your family.

— Rudy