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From the Editor: Heating Up

Fairfield county is deep into the cold season, but even though it’s winter, there’s no reason to hibernate. In the spirit of heating things up, we asked Mary Kate Hogan to write about getaways tailored for those who’d prefer not to hole up at this time of year. For her research, Kate talked to local residents with well-worn passports and a ton of frequent flyer miles. With their help she compiled a list of destinations worth getting excited about. Her story, “Hot and Cold”, profiles ten destinations tailored for two types of travelers: those who like temperatures steamy, and others who prefer it chill.

Kate was fortunate to connect with a great group of people when writing the story, people like Barbara Erdmann of Wilson Point who shared her insights on Harbour Island. They’re as knowledgeable about certain locations as they are eager to share their tips on where to stay and what to do. “I love talking with people about their trips because they have so much fun remembering and reliving them,” Kate says. “I think it’s really true that spending money on travel brings more satisfaction than buying other things. I was especially inspired by the Ford family of Darien, who took more than a month away from work and school to live in some lesser-known parts of Europe. That must have been an amazing experience for their children.”

Speaking of amazing experiences, sports agent Brodie Van Wagenen ended 2013 at the top of his game when he negotiated a ten-year $240 million deal for Robinson Cano, the All-Star second baseman who left the New York Yankees to join the Seattle Mariners. Tom Connor had the opportunity to interview the Darien resident who brokered one of the largest contracts in Major League Baseball history. The agent business has never been a game for softies, and that could be why Connor was struck by Brodie’s gracious and even-tempered style. When asked about his success, the agent was quick to credit the talent of his colleagues at CAA Sports, as well as the support of his wife, Molly, and their three children.

The Van Wagenens have lived in Darien for a few years and say they enjoy it here because it’s a great place for a family that’s active in sports. Brodie also calls it a “baseball mecca” because a few residents are heavy-hitting professionals in the major leagues. That’s something not everyone knows about Darien, and it’s one reason why so many of us enjoy reading about the people who live here. Through their stories we find a new perspective on our own town. There always seems to be something new to learn about the place you live, which is all the more reason to get out there and explore, in any season.