continuing with the travel theme, i know that divajood over at journeys with jood has the inside track :) she did a great piece about traveling to different locations other than the usual tourist traps in order to help her clients more fully experience the world. i mean you can only go to disney so many times.
so- in that spirit- there is a buzz afoot for what is called 'slow travel.' that's where you try to actually blend in and see a place from the local's perspective. i think it is a great idea- especially for americans who have a certain comfort zone. i mean we have our whole lives governed by 'chains' and to experience native and local cultures certainly can't hurt us. check it out here.
the other neat thing i stumbled onto via my mom- is couch surfing. now, this is definitely not for everyone- but it is an interesting concept. basically folks sign up to offer their home as a hostel for a pre-determined amount of time- usually not more than 3 days. the traveler comes and enjoys your area and sees how the locals live and whatnot. i found it interesting. if you want to stay longer- you have to stay at a different location. neat way to travel and less of an impact than a hotel.
weather update: we are getting dumped on by inches and inches of heavy, wet snow. sigh. good thing i didn't plant anything.
as of 5pm- still snowing. sigh.