Welcome to the Puddle Jumper, our new guide to the best things to do, see, and pack for the best weekend every weekend.
This week, we’re headed down south (east and west!).
What’s Going On
Need a break from Christmas scenes awash in snow-laden conifers? Spend some time strolling among the cacti on display at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden for Las Noches de las Luminarias. During the evening, the garden’s pathway is aglow with the flickering light of 8,000 luminaria bags, making for a tranquil break from the holiday seasons rush.
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Recommended Fodor’s Video
Wonderfruit is an eco-conscious arts and music festival held every year in Pattaya, Thailand that encourages attendees to come together as a community in the spirit of making creative, positive changes in an open-minded setting.
Where We Want to Go This Weekend
Is it possible to set foot in Savannah, Georgia without finding yourself instantly beguiled? Dreamily verdant plant life drips from elegant architecture and ancient oak giants alike. And though the past can feel omnipresent—thanks to the abundance of historical buildings, monuments and the proliferation of haunted walking tours—it’s by no means stuck in days gone by. Savannah has a contemporary, entrepreneurial spirit embodied by the myriad of restaurants that embody the spirit of “New South” cuisine and nightlife is as vibrant as any skyscraper-filled metropolis.
Stay: Experience southern hospitality with a chic, forward-facing twist at the Alida Hotel, located in the Riverfront neighborhood.
Eat: Indulge in a mouthwatering array of Asian cuisine (sushi, dumplings, Lao sausage, curry shrimp, the list literally goes on) The Vault. And if you have the forethought to save room for dessert, try something decadent looking from Chocolat by Adam Turoni.
Do: Stop by Graveface Records & Curiosities and check out their collection of LPs and unique curios you won’t find anywhere else.
What We’re Reading on the Plane
In Tillie Walden’s graphic novel On a Sunbeam, space is filled with old ruins, found families, and spaceships shaped like gloriously be-finned fish. That is to say, it’s a sci-fi story that (blissfully) looks rather unlike any other story set against the backdrop of outer space. The story follows Mia, unfolding along two different timelines. In the current timeline, Mia is a young adult joining a tight-knit interplanetary construction crew. The other timeline flashes back to Mia as a young teen as she falls in love with Grace, the new girl at her boarding school. It’s a gentle, bittersweet, cozy, hugely imaginative story made all the more enthralling by Walden’s beautiful art.
What We’re Downloading to Watch on the Plane
Alma’s (Rosa Salazar) dad (Bob Odenkirk) is dead. Sort of. Well, he’s dead enough that his murder is in need of solving. And the only way for Alma to do that is to embrace an ability that allows her to manipulate the fabric of reality and travel through time. Undone (on Amazon Prime) is a compelling, funny, weird, engrossing series but the thing that’s most eye-catching about it is its use of rotoscoping—a technique wherein live-action footage is filmed and then effectively traced over by animators (you might recognize it from Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly or the battle scenes in Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings). This allows the series to remain grounded in the specificity and humanity of the actors’ performances while allowing its trippiest sequences to play out more seamlessly and beautifully than if it were live-action punctuated by your garden variety CGI.
What’s in Our Carry-On
The thing about a weekend getaway is that there’s precious little time to recover on either side. If you want to make the most of your destination, there’s no time for a post-flight cat nap. And who hasn’t weighed eeking out as much time on your mini-vacay even if it means a less than good night’s sleep before you have to be back in the office Monday morning? Enter the Milk Makeup Cooling Water stick. This nifty little guy is billed as an under-eye de-puffer (for that well-rested glow look) but its cooling, soothing qualities help you feel a little more awake and ready to dive into exploring your destination.