Winter Solstice Remedy

Bus tour during Modernism Week (JJacobs photo)
Bus tour during Modernism Week (JJacobs photo)

Just knowing that the Winter Solstice is Dec. 21 with only nine hours and nine minutes of daylight is enough to shiver the bones, not counting predictions of single digit temps. 

 Cheer up by planning a warm weather trip. 

Visit the Phoenix area

Go in time for Superbowl LVII Feb. 12, 2023. It’s at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ, home to the Arizona Cardinals. The Phoenix area, particularly Glendale and Scottsdale, are filled with more good restaurants than can be visited in one trip. 

Visit the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area

Go in time for Modernism Week Feb.  16-26, 2023 to see where the stars lived between takes in Hollywood. This is an annual event that attracts hundreds of mid-last-century architecture and furniture aficionados from the US and Canada.

For a quick, warm weather fix right

Watch a bowl game on TV the Jan. 2. Most traditional New Year’s Day Bowl games will be Monday, Jan. 2 because they don’t play on Sunday.

Toast your favorite team in the 109th Rose Bowl in Pasadena when Utah plays Penn State, but also catch the 134th Rose Parade earlier. It’s great what can be done on floats with nature’s bounty.Started in 1902 with Stanford taking on Michigan, it’s the “Granddaddy” of bowl games. They don’t hold it on Sunday, so it will be Jan. 2. Rose Parade Guide | Visit Pasadena

Or watch the Citrus Bowl when Purdue plays LSU at the Camping world Stadium in Orlando, FL

Or see the Reliaquest Bowl for the University of Illinois vs Mississippi State at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fl.

Or the Cotton Bowl when USC vs. the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Stay Warm


Thoughts on Super Bowl Sunday and Hallmark Holiday Monday


LA Skyline. (Photo courtesy of Discover Los Angeles)
LA Skyline. (Photo courtesy of Discover Los Angeles)

You know Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14 and you likely know that Super Bowl Sunday is the second Sunday in February. But in this year of 2022, Valentine’s Day abuts SB Sunday.

The game will be at SoFi Stadium, home to the LA Rams and LA Chargers, 1001 Stadium Drive, Inglewood, CA at 6:30 ET. LA is a fun town to visit. See Discover Los Angeles for area attractions.

According to an NFL Super Bowl LVI site, tickets and accommodations are still available to see the Rams take on the Cincinatti Bengals. So, there is still time to watch in person to soak up the LA atmosphere.

What’s; interesting about the Super Bowl game is who is the home team. Because the AFC and NFC alternate home and away teams and the AFC takes even-number years, the Bengals will be the home team more than 2,000 miles from Ohio. They are likely to get the Chargers locker room while the Rams will have their own lockers even though they are the “away” team.

But since I’m a Bears fan and am still waiting for them to repeat their mid-1980’s successes, I will be watching the commercials. I know not to expect the Coke bear because Pepsi is a prominent sponsor. However, Budweiser said it will be back and KIA announced it is swapping out its fun hamsters for a robot dog.

Check commercials released so far by NBC Los Angeles for some, very, very short trailers.

And if your team didn’t make the final cut, relax and enjoy the half-time show. The NFL and Roc Nation announced that Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will be performing.

As to Valentine’s Day, check Proflowers or FTD Valentines-Day. Also, I have found that the local grocery store usually has a good selection. As to finding  really good chocolates, consider Lake Champlain.

Super Bowl commercials and more


KC Chiefs (Photo courtesy of the Chiefs)
KC Chiefs (Photo courtesy of the Chiefs)

Some people watch the super bowl for the game/half time and a chance to party, others like or dis the ads.

If in the latter category you’ll want to know that Super Bowl LV is touted as a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady and that the Buccaneers have home court advantage. The game is at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at 6:30 p.m. ET.

If watching for either reason you can check out the NFL website and the Road to the Super Bowl for inside info to spread among family and friends.

To learn more about the team you favor, visit the Chiefs or Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

But for those folks who think the ads are as good or better than the main event there are a couple of broadcasts and websites to watch.

The M&Ms will be back. It is rumored that Coke and Pepsi won’t be. Also  Dolly Parton who does a great 9 to 5 version on Blue Mountain’s online  birthday cards, will adapt her version to a Kierra Cotton ad this year.

For the best commercials in the past few years, try to catch your local CBS station tonight Feb. 3, 2021. In the Chicago area it is on at 7 p.m. CT.

Here is a link to some popular ones a few years ago on you tube including a Budweiser horse that makes the team and the baby stock trader.

Jodie Jacobs


How to beat January cabin fever blues

Wait until Groundhog Day Feb. 2 to find out when Spring will come or try one of these four remedies.

Cabin fever? It’s early January but cold and snow have already moved Spring up high on the wish list.

We can wait with fingers crossed until Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 2015, to hear what Punxsutawney Phil has to say in Pennsylvania or Woodstock Willie in Illinois when they predict Spring’s coming. Or we can bring spring closer with these steps.

Woodstock Willie predicted lots more winter last year
Woodstock Willie predicted lots more winter last year

1. Go to the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show Jan. 17-18 to collect ideas and colorful brochures on places to go for spring or summer vacation. The show is in the west suburban Donald E, Stephens convention center in Rosemont. Turn it into a mini break by staying at the nearby Loews Hotel near the upscale Fashion Outlet mall.

2. Breath deeply a botanic garden’s indoor spaces. The Chicago area has the historic impressive Garfield Park Conservatory west of the downtown Loop and the lovely Lincoln Park Conservatory north of the Loop.  In the northern burbs there are lush tropical and flowering desert plants in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s greenhouses in Glencoe.

Feast the eyes on colorful plants and breath warm air inside a greenhouse when outside temps dips way below freezing.
Feast the eyes on colorful plants and breath warm air inside a greenhouse when outside temps dips way below freezing.

3. Host a Super Bowl party with a desert theme. NFL’s Super Bowl XLIX is February 1 in sunny Arizona at the U Of Phoenix stadium, Glendale. Turn up the heat, wear shorts, serve margaritas and be inspired by some of Phoenix’s Mexican restaurant menus.

4. Or just celebrate winter with a trip to Lake Geneva, WI for the National Snow Sculpting Championship the last weekend in January. Teams come from across the United State to sculpt amazing, fantastical forms and vignettes.  The town will be celebrating Winterfest with lots of food and fun. Stay the weekend at the Grand Geneva Resort for its ski slopes and spa.