Washington, DC

After I head down to Florida to visit family and eat my fill of Cuban food, I’m going to Washington, DC, a place I haven’t been to in years.
The US capital city made CNN Travel’s list of 20 Places to visit in 2020, but its easy access from NYC (pre-pandemic) also made it a back-burner destination for me. Now that I’ve spent the past five (and counting) weekends at home, I refuse to take travel to nearby cities for granted. No more!
These days, I’m all about the simple travel pleasures — or I will be when it’s time to go. I can’t wait to board a train, check into a hotel and take myself out for a multi-course lunch before a day exploring the sights and hitting up the (vintage) shops. Oh, and if the New York Mets happen to be in town, I’ll gladly take in a baseball game with my husband. We’ll eat loaded Italian sausages, drink cold beer and pray for extra innings. That long weekend in Paris — canceled due to coronavirus — can wait a little longer. — Stacey Lastoe

San Francisco

This is Margaret. She is my 4-month old great niece whom I have yet to meet. I had planned to fly to San Francisco for this purpose a few months ago and stupidly didn’t. It’s painful to contemplate how long that wait might now be. Photos, FaceTimes, Snapchats — they’re all wonderful, but there’s an ache inside me that I can’t push away. To hold this baby is the only thing I want in this world right now.
Post-baby squeeze, I’ll be with my sister in Pacific Heights, so I can visit all my favorite San Francisco haunts, including eating at Che Fico and Souvla, hiking in the Presidio, waiting in line for pastries from B Patisserie — and hopefully, shopping at City Lights bookstore (recently saved from closing by a successful GoFundMe campaign). Then I’m heading to Puglia as soon as may be. — Brekke Fletcher

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Now that my world is smaller than ever, I dream of horizons broad and beautiful. The bold reds, yellows and blues of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote’s desert landscape have fascinated me since childhood. So, to reference another formative memory, when I’m able to travel again I want to make like Morten Harket and break through from cartoons into reality.

Arizona’s Antelope Canyon is the most-photographed slot canyon in America’s Southwest, but with good reason. Formed through millions of years of water erosion, its smooth sandstone formations appear to be in mid-flow, undulating towards the brilliant blue sky, the rock glowing rose, russet or gold, depending on the light.
It can only be visited by guided tour, and I know I’ll have plenty of camera-wielding companions as we make our way through its narrow passages. But after what could be months of minimum human contact, I won’t mourn the decline of social distancing. — Maureen O’Hare



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