In the spirit of the original post, I was ruminating on travelling to Ottawa, basically only to see the Joseph Sudek exhibit. While I think I would enjoy the exhibit, it would be a fairly momentary thing. I'm reasonably up on Sudek, having gone through 3 or so catalogues, and I'm really not sure it's worth going out of my way -- in the middle of winter no less -- to go see this. Added to this, I basically never like Soviet era abstraction (the other main exhibit at the National Gallery). Once the catalogue for this exhibit comes back into print, I'll try to get the library to order a copy or just order one for myself. It would be so much cheaper than making the trip, especially with family in tow, and for photographs, I think having the catalogue really is as good as seeing them in person.
On the other hand, I probably still will try to make a train trip to Montreal to catch the upcoming Chagall exhibit but that can be in the spring (possibly April 8th to correspond with this concert, though I suspect I have too many conflicts already). I'm a little disappointed that this exhibit doesn't stretch through August, since I'll probably be in Montreal for a sociology conference, but it's not that important. What's key is that the family doesn't try to get to Montreal in the dead of winter. I've already done that once and don't really feel like doing it again.
The second trip that I will skip is trying to get to New York just to see the Max Beckmann in New York exhibit at the Met. I've probably seen many (or at least several) of the paintings already. (In retrospect, however, I do wish I had been able to see the Exile in Amsterdam exhibit, though it only ran in Amsterdam and Munich in 2007, which really wasn't terribly realistic for me.) In an ideal world, I would have been able to fly into New York, catch the train to Philadelphia and then head into D.C. for the TRB conference, but it would have been too complicated to do this and then refund my agency for the parts of the trip that were purely personal. I'll just order the Beckmann in New York catalogue even though I have several Beckmann books already.
So those are my two examples of being reasonable this winter, mixed in with some slightly manic behavior surrounding the reading and the sewing.