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Over the Sea to Skye

Where's your favorite place in nature? The place that touches you to your core?

Mine is at any body of water, but the coast specifically. It almost doesn't matter what coast—I just need the surf rolling to shore, a salty breeze, and an occasional glimpse of sun. I'm actually happier walking along the water's edge when it's cooler. And quieter. And, well, a good deal less bright.

Here's the thing: I'm really pale. I mean, like, burst-into-flames-vampiresque pale. I've known two shades my whole life: porcelain white and lobster red. Clouds are my friends.

I found the perfect combination of my favorite seaside elements in Scotland last August. Touring there was like a bucket within my bucket list: every time we neared a coastline I became giddy.

What about you: do you come to life around water? Like each wave that hits the shore takes your worries with it as it rolls back to sea? That's what it does to me. I'm invigorated and calmed by the surf at the same time.

For our 10-day...

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Finding Spring's Promise

The calendar says spring is only about a week away.

Hah! I'm not buying it. What about you?

One of the reasons I remained in the Research Triangle after my divorce many years ago rather than return home to Long Island was that, well, it's just so darn cheerful here. Seriously: Strangers smile at each other. Neighborhoods are beautifully landscaped. And the skies are blue—even in winter.

Except this year. When I really, really need the blue.

I'm normally one of those weird folks who actually enjoys the occasional rainy day and who tends to recoil from an overly bright sun—I did live in England for a year, after all. But the gray skies and drizzle day after day, week after week this winter are more than I can bear.

So when an emotionally taxing weekend with my memory-impaired elderly mother was followed by the sun poking its head out from behind the clouds for a few hours a couple of Mondays ago, I simply

had. to get. outside.

Have you ever hopped in your car and started...

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