I don’t get it. For most of us, summer is the time to get away. That’s when we pack suitcases, board planes, and go far, far away. I admit I am guilty of this, too. But, honestly, why? Why do we leave home just when the sun shines regularly, the trees are in full bloom, our yards are verdant and lush, and (yes!) traffic is at its lowest. ’Tis the season when being outdoors is sheer delight. Not to mention, when we can get into just about any restaurant ’cause—guess what—everyone is out of town. And those restaurants? ’Tis the season they throw open their floor-to-ceiling windows or stick tables on the sidewalk, terrace, or even the roof so we can sit outside and get a better view of our surroundings. Heaven. So why leave? Why not have your summer fun right here?

For our “Summer Fun” guide, beginning on page 101, articles Editor Marisa LaScala rounded up every beach, festival, farmers’ market, and formal garden. “I admit that, while putting together the package in my indoor cubicle—which does not have one of those sweeping views I’d been writing about—I managed to get a serious case of Spring Fever,” Marisa says. “I can’t wait to actually get out of the office and enjoy the county while the weather is nice.” Marisa’s favorite summertime activity is picnicking, be it at the Pepsi HQ, Boscobel House and Gardens, Croton Point Park, or Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, the site of her end-of-summer wedding last year. “I love Sunnyside so much that friends have started to text me pictures of it when they pass it on the Metro-North.”

At some point during our many email exchanges, rock star Rob Thomas’s tour manager, Jason Browning, mentioned that his client is a nice guy (which, I took to mean, he’s not a, spoiled diva-like, obnoxious famous person). But I already kind of knew that. At last year’s Christmas fundraiser for Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Creative Director Aiko Masazumi-Carbone and I followed Thomas walking down a hallway to try to secure this interview, in fact. He was with a middle-aged blonde woman. “I’ll wait for you here, Mom,” we heard him say as the woman went into the ladies’ room.

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“Mom?” I whispered to Aiko. How sweet, we thought; Rob Thomas hangs out with his mom. We didn’t know then that Thomas’s mom had died of cancer several years ago. (“3 A.M.,” one of his many hits, was written by Thomas about his mom.) But, Aiko and I soon learned that that woman was his mother-in-law. “She is one of my very best friends in the world,” Thomas would later tell me at our interview. “My in-laws are my family.” My interview with him begins on page 120.

Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

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Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

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Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

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