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One Trip Sparks Memories of Another – and Another – and Another


Death of a Doxy by Rex StoutOn Wednesday evening I decided to take a reading/relaxation/road trip for the long weekend I had scheduled off from work. Thursday morning I drove off to the Grand Canyon and on into New Mexico. I was alone on this trip so my thoughts were my own. It was weird how many other places this trip took me in my head from past trips.

St. Michele in northwestern France – the shuttle buses at the Grand Canyon
Austin, Texas – the towels at the hotel swimming pool
Skagway, Alaska – the western motif all over the town of Williams, Arizona
Southern Ohio – I love my aunt, but I wasn’t spending over $300 for an Native American painting I knew she’d love
Western Oregon Tillamook cheese factory – the cafeteria at the Grand Canyon
French Riviera – listening to the first chapter of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night
Southwestern South Dakota – the driving approach to the Grand Canyon

The road trip has been a success. The reading trip has been a success as well. I finished four books so far, and will finish at least two more by the time I’m home Sunday afternoon. I learned that I couldn’t listen to Tender is the Night while driving long distances. Its quiet tone in the beginning almost put me to sleep. I changed audio books. The relaxation trip? I don’t miss the massage I had to cancel at all. I’m very relaxed.

It’s too bad I have to return to work on Monday.

Life Back to Normal


Holidays – January 2nd wedding out of town – 3 day all staff meeting in our offices

I think all of the big stuff is done and life will now return to as normal as anything is. It was nice at the out of town wedding because my responsibilities were 1) take snapshots at the rehearsal; 2) attend the wedding and reception; 3) shop; 4) read. Between plane rides and waiting for events, I read 5 books over the weekend. Plus, since I was in Portland, OR, I made sure I visited Powell’s. It’s a good thing I was broke – I only walked out with four books. Then I returned home with a concentrated staff meeting with out of town staff coming in. I was too tired to read in the evenings (or do much besides zone out) so my reading will drop back to normal now.

Last year I did the 999 challenge as you’ve seen. This year I want to read all the books on my borrowed pile (about 20), finish up some series (such as Lydia Chin/Bill Smith by S.J. Rozan or Barbara Holloway by Kate Wilhelm), and pare down Mt. Bookpile. Lazygal can tell you how many books she has on Mt. Bookpile. I’m not sure I want to know. As it is, they overflow 2 bookcases, sigh.

Shree has posted a number of reading challenges. There are two that catch my eye and fit in with the above – Read Your Own Books Challenge and Take Another Chance Challenge

I also have to catch up on my blog reading. I’ve been behind since before Christmas…

Fun Coincidences


Suite 606 by J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langnan, and Mary Kay McComasThis weekend I was in Portland, OR, for a wedding. I stayed at the Embassy Suites, where the reception was held. My room?

Suite 606

Vacation Experience


The trip was labeled “An Introduction to Europe”. That meant it was a tantalizing taste of all the areas we visited. A few hours in Brussels is not enough to fully appreciate the historical Medieval Grand-Place square, let alone all the other areas of the city. The same is true for Heidelberg Germany, Lucerne Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. We had two days in Paris, which was a little better.

The sun on the top of the Alps is a sight not to be missed. But it is certainly cold up there and I forgot my gloves…

As you can see, it was cloudy (with some rain) in Paris. The sun came out the afternoon before our flight out. Then there is the Louvre, Musee d’Orsee, Notre Dame, and, or course, Saint Chappell. Of course we can’t forget the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the Lichtenstein royal castle, the Black Forest, etc, etc, etc.

Reading? Only two and a half books. Despite what my sister says, I was enjoying the vacation too much to read much. (OK, one was so good I was reading during the traffic jam in the Alps. I missed some of the breathtaking views, but never for long.)

Vacation Time


Tomorrow is my last day of work, then I’m gone for 12 days. Hurray for a great job and good tour packages. I’m off to Europe with family and friends. The cell phone will be in flight mode and only used as an alarm clock, the computer left at home, and the camera and books are packed.

I’m only (only!) packing 4 books to help cover my moods and the 999 reading challenge. I know I’ll pick up more on the trip. I’ll probably pick up another Thursday Next in London (unfortunately Fforde’s next book, Shades of Gray, isn’t due out in England until July). My daughter requested a copy of Le Petit Prince – not The Little Prince.

My pictures above are from Paris, London, Heidelberg, and Brussels.

I’ve Said It Before


Vacations are wonderful for reading. Last week I was on vacation with my extended family. We had a great time. I was able to stick my nose in a few books. I took plenty with me. My daughter, though, took 14 books. OK, two were school books, but still! She finished 8 of them. I don’t think she read any of her homework.

The best book I read, When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin, was one I borrowed from her.

Honestly, though, I didn’t read all the time. Here’s me with a starfish.

Autumn Vacation and Fall Colors


Last week a few of my family and I flew to Ohio for a family reunion. We had a wonderful time. I had thought that since we were going in October, we would get to see the beautiful colors. Right…

As I sat with one of my many vacation books (I packed 7 but didn’t read them all) looking over the pond in the woods in southern Ohio, I saw a few brown trees but mostly green. When we went to Northeastern Ohio it wasn’t any better. In fact here’s a picture I took overlooking a quiet area of the Cuyahoga River.

On our way to the airport that final morning we started to see some color. It was coming out by the next day. And here’s the picture that was taken about 3 days after we left. Doesn’t it figure?

It was nice to have the chance to read on my vacation. I’ve slowly been adding the reviews to my web pages, along with reviews Molly sent me as well. They’ll all get there eventually. But vacation is over and real life beckons, so once again my time gets pulled many different ways. Right now I’m reading one of the books from the 100 Best Science Fiction list and I swear I can hear the novel calling me…