Winter Wonderland

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST, RLP®

For those who don’t know, I actually have a little (about 25%) lineage to Norway.  I guess that explains my love for cheese and what used to be a love for winter.  But for some reason, the snow and ice and prospects for a day on the slopes leave me wondering about the alternatives.  I’m not motivated to join the many of our clients who nest down in FL or AZ for the winter, but as this winter begins to freeze over and I can’t see my lawn anymore… my thoughts are wandering for a way to maximize happiness for the next three months.

Then around the holiday season, I spotted an article that ranked Norwegians amongst the happiest people in the darkness of winter.  There are parts of Norway where the sun barely shines this time of year with darkness setting in after only a few hours of sunlight.

The key to their happiness is their attitude.  Being a hearty bunch, Norwegians generally celebrate winter for the things that you can’t do the rest of the year. Of course, outdoor activities from sledding and skiing rank pretty high on their list.  But so do the many winter carnivals scattered throughout the country.  Their winter carnivals are a bit of Mardi Gras on ice, and sound like a blast.  But I don’t think that I’m ready to embrace winter that much and fly to Norway for a carnival. 

But this thinking process has caused me to think of those things that I can do in the Boston area this winter that you definitely cannot do in the summer.  I’m open to ideas, but if anyone wants to take me up on joining in for any of these winter activities, I could use all the help that I can get.

Skiing the Blue Hills of Boston.  For us (former) avid skiers, a day or evening at the Blue Hills is hardly exciting.  But where else can you ski with a full view of the Boston Skyline.  A few hours of that and we can be sipping hot toddies in the lodge to regain our sanity.

The world’s largest outdoor skating rink actually lives on Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont. A 4.5 mile lap around the lake may be all it takes for my feet to fall off.  Also on this lake is the Vermont Pond Hockey tournament from February 5-7 and the Lake Morey Inn winter carnival February 12-14.  The rooms at the inn are already sold out for the hockey weekend, but rooms are still available for the Winter Carnival Weekend.

And if this attempt to embrace winter falls short of expectations, there is always the Nap Team tour of FL to visit those clients and friends who invite us down every year.  Last year was the first year that we accepted and actually visited our clients who may be smarter than me as they now live in an income tax free state and enjoy lovely golfing weather in the winter.  This year’s tour may occur in early March, where I can take in another first – a trip to witness Major League Baseball’s spring training.