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thRecently I flew from Anchorage to Las Vegas to give a talk at the New Media Expo. Going from a chilly climate to a potentially blast-furnace-hot one meant I’d need nothing but sandals, so why bother wearing shoes on the plane?

But this was an overnight flight and I can’t sleep when my feet are cold. Sighing, I made a sartorially awkward choice: gray wool socks with my Teva sandals.

And yes, I know how fugly that looks, but I’m built for comfort, not for speed. Besides, it wasn’t wearing the socks with sandals that left me feeling embarrassed. It was the removal.

The terminal in Los Angeles made my feet feel overdressed, instantly. Yet I felt it absolutely necessary to remove the socks in the ladies’ room. Doing so in the waiting area – even an empty one – seemed indecent somehow.


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thMemorial Day weekend is coming up, as is a summer full of potential getaways. If the idea of paying $1.59 for a one-ounce tube of toothpaste irritates you as much as it does me, then you need this week’s prize.

These TSA-friendly travel bag giveaways are always insanely popular. The price of that toothpaste probably has a lot to do with it.

In addition, you won’t have to refill travel bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Plus: A free Ziploc freezer bag!

This time around, we’re looking at toiletries both luxurious and mundane:


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thFrequent flier miles? Trading in hotel loyalty points? Those all work. So do the tips I offer in a guest post called “Destinations on a dime: 10 tips that will change your wandering ways,” a guest post over on The Real Deal, the house blog at Retail Me Not.

Anyone who’s read me knows that I’m more likely to go for hostels, museum reciprocity, buddy passes public transit and the Megabus.

Rewards programs, too; in fact, I recently cashed in points from a rewards credit card to get a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card for my trip to Phoenix next month (more on that in a minute), and will also cash in Swagbucks points for gift cards to Red Robin and Cracker Barrel. That way I can treat my daughter and son-in-law to a few meals out. After all, they’re getting me to and from the airport.

What else have I been writing lately? So glad you asked.


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thThat’s not right now, thank goodness. Current temps are in the mid-70s and the sun is benevolent rather than punishing. Flowers are blooming and the sky is blue and generally cloudless.

The grass is actually alive, vs. brown and spotted with swatches of gray snow mold (which is what we’ll see in Anchorage once our disappointing snowfall melts away).

Come March or April the Phoenix metro area will turn into Satan’s Fry Daddy and continue to sizzle until autumn. I expect those nice green lawns will sunburn themselves into dormancy pretty quickly. For the moment, however, I understand why so many people want to visit the place in the winter.

Walking around in shirtsleeves, not worrying about slipping on ice, feeling a breeze that doesn’t have teeth in it – I so wish that DF were here to enjoy it with me. Maybe when we retire we’ll become like so many other Alaska snowbirds and escape the Last Frontier for a month or so each winter. (No longer than that, probably, since he likes to ski.)


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thBloggers and readers in the Phoenix area: Wanna talk about money, midlife, millennials or ‘most anything else? Hope you can attend a meet-up on Saturday, Feb. 21.

The do will be hosted by me and my daughter, who blogs at I Pick Up Pennies. When I say “hosted,” what I mean is that we’ll be there and we’ll save you some seats.


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