Perhaps I’m just antsy for a getaway, but every travel story in this issue makes me want to hop on a plane and head out. Beginning with the cover story, Celebrated Weekend with Benicio Del Toro in San Juan, the actor has me swooning, not just over his smoldering style but over his hometown. I’ve been to Puerto Rico before, but his insider’s guide reminds me there’s so much to see and do. He mentions a bar that serves banana daiquiris, which would probably taste terrible here in Dallas, but nonetheless conjures images of dancing the night away on a warm island night.

Way on the other side of the continental U.S., our feature on Seattle also piques my interest. OK, so I wouldn’t be barefoot, bikini-bound, and drinking banana daiquiris, but I could wrap myself in cozy flannel, dine on the freshest fish, and drink copious amounts of the country’s best coffee. Actually, writer Chuck Thompson does a great job dispelling the notion that that’s all Seattle has to offer and turns us on to the new reasons this Pacific Northwest city is so hip.
Want to become one with nature, but don’t want to drive too far to do it? Writer Ken McAlpine celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge with a look at a few of the refuges just an hour from major cities in the United States. With more than 500 in the system, there’s probably one near you.

Even Jim Shahin’s column poking fun of his new address — Washington, D.C. — makes me want to spend more time in this nation’s capital city, if only to decipher its acronyms like a local. Especially with cherry blossom season looming, I’m angling for an invite from Jim.

Elsewhere, we travel the globe to see how sports cars are tested prior to production. You’ll also find an age-by-age guide to retirement strategies, tips on everyday negotiating, and a look at a proposed Caribbean stock exchange.

There’s much more. Let us know what you think at Happy New Year!