By Gretta Monahan
If you’re looking at your calendar and just realized that Memorial Day is Monday, you’re hardly alone. A friend texted me yesterday and said she was freaking out—partly because she couldn’t believe spring was already flying by, and partly because she had no plans for the holiday, but mostly because she hadn’t thought once yet about turning over her chilly-weather wardrobe, or buying anything new. Until just now.
I sympathized with her, since I’m in pretty much the same boat. But I’ll tell you what I told her, since it worked for me in four simple steps:
#1. Jump on Memorial Day clothing sales, stat. Everyone from Nordstrom (30% to 60% off) and Land’s End (40% off) and Intermix (50% off) are rolling out big sales right up until the last minute, and on bathing suits; pretty, flowy beach cover-ups; tons of flattering shades; and all kinds of wedge sandals. Head in-store in person if you want the peace of mind of having it now, or jump online and order overnight shipping.
#2. Break out the self tanner and get to work. The ones I like best are light and fast drying, so you don’t have to choose between getting them all over everything own or standing around waiting to dry until you get dressed. Josie Maran’s Argan Liquid Gold ($38 at sephora.com) is both. An argan oil-based formula, it also hydrates and makes skin soft. Another good one: NKD SKN Pre-Shower Gradual tan Lotion ($20, ultra.com), which goes on ten minutes before you take a showers and then gets washed away. Et viola: A golden glow minus the telltale weird smell.
#3. Go in for an easy-as-pie day trip. When your beach house just isn’t ready for its close-up yet and all your favorite New England inns and resorts are already full for the holiday weekend, don’t fret. One of the most incredible things about Boston is just how close we are to beautiful towns and small cities that feel an entire world away. Foodies can be in Portland in under two hours, and sample a slew of the most innovative food in America right now in its walk-in restaurants, as well as a wind-swept schooner sail in the city’s harbor. In an hour, you can be in Newport—and either hit one of its huge beaches, shop its adorably creative shops, or pretend you’re a Vanderbilt and visit the mansions. The list goes on and on, but the destination possibilities that are in our backyard don’t even require an overnight stay to feel like you’ve had a getaway.
#4. Embrace the power of the patio. If you need to stay in town this weekend for whatever reason (lots of people can’t get away, since it’s crunch time for both proms and graduation ceremonies all this week and next), grab your cell and make a lunch or dinner reservation at any one of the area’s gorgeous restaurant outdoor dining spaces. They’re almost all finally open now, and they can be a perfect setting for a last-minute family-and-friends gathering. It may not be a yacht out in Nantucket Harbor, but hey: with the right company and terrific food, even a couple of hours in a sunny al fresco spot can feel as relaxed as any vacation.