Ask T+L: Vermont Rental, Travel Pillow, Hurricanes
Published: June 2009
I would like to rent a house in Vermont this
fall to use as a base for leaf-peeping.
Can you recommend the best rental agency?
G.R., Pittsburgh, Pa.
The large number of Realtors in the area can be daunting,
but Vermont Living (802/748-0187;
www.vtliving.com; weekly rentals from $600) makes
the rental process easy. Local agencies are listed from the
Northeast Kingdom to Burlington and everywhere in between;
search their Web sites free of charge for rentals and
availability. Vermont Property (802/229-2433; www.vermontproperty.com; weekly rentals from $550)
divides the state into regions and offers extensive
interior and exterior shots of rentals on its site. We
turned up a two-bedroom cottage on Lake Champlain, complete
with a wood-burning fireplace and Adirondack views, for
$750 a week. Once you've found what you're looking for, you
can contact the owners directly. If you're not sure where
(or when) to find the best fall color, check forecasts at
After a long flight, my neck always aches—any
suggestions for a great travel pillow?—J.B., madison,
Now that many airlines have pulled pillows from flights,
you're better off packing your own. The U-shaped Bucky
Minnie (www.bucky.com; $19.95), stuffed with
millet hulls, molds snugly around your neck. Its soft nylon
cover is removable and easy to clean. The bulkier
Föm Travel Pillow (www.brookstone.com;
$25) offers more support. Made of nylon and
"microbeads," this cushion can also be used to prop your
lower back. Or, splurge on a goose-down pillow from
Quixote (www.flight001.com; $52). The shell
is made of water-resistant, ripstop microfiber, and it
comes with a removable cotton pillowcase. It's also easy to
compress, which makes packing it in a carry-on a breeze.
Since the Caribbean has been hit so hard by hurricanes
lately, I'm thinking about booking a trip outside the
hurricane belt. What are some island options?—H.O.,
According to Chris Vaccaro of the National Weather Service
(NWS), atmospheric winds collide over the equator at the
Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, forming hurricanes that
eventually move northwest toward the Caribbean. Several
islands lie out of this path and are statistically less
likely to be hit during storm season (June through
November). Bonaire and Curaçao have seen only
one hurricane since 1961. Trinidad and Tobago are options,
as is Aruba, which hasn't faced a major hurricane in 44
years. However, rare does not mean never: hurricanes do strike islands deemed out of the high-risk
zone, as we saw last September, when
Grenada—considered safe by many—sustained
severe damage from Hurricane Ivan. This year the NWS
predicts activity comparable to 2004's record-breaking
season: at press time there had already been five named
storms in the first 41 days of the season.
We asked readers for their favorite photo-sharing Web site.
Here, some of the responses:
—J.K., San Francisco, Calif.
—J.C., irving, tex.
—D.F., atlanta, ga.
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