Survival Kit

Sometime in the next few weeks, I predict, you will log onto Google and type in the words “Bali” or “St. John” or “Tulum.” Shortly thereafter, you will find yourself on a beach filled with white sand and German tourists. You will collapse into a chaise longue, order a pineapple mojito, and commit yourself to finishing Team of Rivals. In fact, you will nap.

You will spend your days in flip-flops. You will fall asleep to the sound of the surf. You will spend a day in town, marveling at the endless supply of Guatemalan blankets and shot glasses available for sale. You will be harassed by vendors that hiss: “Hey, meester, what do you want? Tequila? Cuban cigars?” and then “Cuban women? Weed? Something ee-llee-gal?”

Eventually, however, you will tire of such indolence. You will recoil at the sight of another shrimp skewer, another mescal-tini, another Speedo. You will catch yourself complaining about the heat and the light. You will begin to worry about skin cancer. You will long to wear shoes.

And when you return, as I recently did from just such a trip, you will be shocked by your credit-card bill. Admit it: you never did figure out the exchange rate, did you? (Sorry we shortchanged that tip, Gilberto!)

So let me suggest an alternative: Instead of fleeing winter, try to survive it right here at home in Minnesota. To assist you, our talented and knowledgeable style editor, Katie Dohman, has even put together a “Winter Wellness Survival Guide.” It’s filled with serums and moisturizers that will keep your skin from cracking, caps and coats that will protect you from the cold, and plenty of treats that will stimulate your senses just about the time you’re getting cabin fever. Dohman’s advice will get you through the snow season with equal amounts cheer and hot chocolate.

And if none of those solutions manage to banish the winter blahs, head down to Lake Street in Minneapolis and find one of the shops that sell sombreros or Guatemalan blankets. Just promise us one thing: no matter how tempting, don’t buy anything ee-llee-gal.

Joel Hoekstra, Editor
Facebook: jhoek70
Twitter: @mnmoeditor


Scott ReganBloomington native Scott Regan, the photographer for this month’s Best Doctors for Womenfeature, finds inspiration in the little things. When he isn’t taking photos, Regan, who currently lives in Chicago, enjoys racing go karts, traveling, and walking his dog with his girlfriend. As for his own trips to the doctor, he says his heavy camera gear ensures plenty of facetime with his chiropractor.

Ellen BurkhardtAssociate editor Ellen Burkhardt has worn many hats over the past two years: travel writer, theater critic, leg model, health-care reporter. She added “opera insider” to the list this month, digging into the Minnesota Opera’s 50-year history and talking with some of today’s top librettists for Casting Doubt. She’s unsure what her next role will be, but hopes it involves a beach—and an umbrella-topped beverage.   

Jason DeRushaSumming up Jason DeRusha’s job description is near impossible, but we’ll try: WCCO-TV anchor/“Good Question” reporter; WCCO Radio host; social-media guru; MNMO food writer/blogger. Since October 2012, DeRusha’s swapped reviewing with reporting, asking restauranteurs why they do the things they do. This month, he answers the question we’ve all been wondering: Where do food trucks winter?