Posts Tagged ‘travel’

BOOK HUNGRY: just one day

February 28, 2013

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email/phone. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month OR, well, we used to all post reviews. now, i think, it’s just patty and me. but anyways, go for it. click on their names above and if they have a review up, it’ll take you to there. enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

JUST ONE DAY by gayle forman

what it’s about from amazon: 

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

my opinion:

woah, boy. i had a lot of expectations for this book considering IF I STAY (one of gayle’s other novels) is one of my all time favorites. we all know i don’t do well with expectations, and yeah, i didn’t do so well with this book. allyson goes through a lot of change and is wonderful at the end, but up until the end? yeah, i didn’t like her.

but the real reason i didn’t like her is probably because,umm, well…here, sarah from forever YA says it better… “It took me a while to warm up to Allyson, and ironically, it’s because she is a lot like my teenage self. (*abby nods, agrees*) She’s uptight and anxious and has absolutely no confidence when it comes to boys. Her internal freak-outs initially drove me craaaaazy cakes, but I completely understood her confusion. I just wanted her to get over it a lot faster than I ever did because seriously, jump Willem’s bones already! And also, when girl got depressed, DAMN. It SUCKED, and there was nothing I could do about it. Over the course of the story, she takes more risks, and gains more courage, and by the end, I was so proud of her, I wanted to go to one of those kids’ party places where they have trampolines everywhere so I could jump and jump and jump with joy. Allyson is a real, live teenager, artfully drawn with crippling emotion and soaring hormones, and I cherished our journey together. Also, seriously, let’s go to one of those trampoline places because they are AWESOME.”

in a nutshell, yes, that’s basically how i felt about this book. a slow beginning and middle, but by the end, this character and this book had found its stride. i was very dismayed when it ended. i wanted, nay, needed to know what happens next! although, if my sources are correct, i don’t have too long to wait because the companion novel JUST ONE YEAR comes out this fall!! woohoo!

you might be surprised by my enthusiasm considering my review above, but let it be known that i’ll read anything gayle forman writes because she’s got a magical gift with words.

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conversations with strangers #50

February 5, 2013

strangers + me. oh yeah, we’re talking.

i struggled to balance the stairs, my suitcase, and my purse all while pulling my boarding pass out of my pocket. it was folded multiple times to fit in my coat pocket which, after i’d freed it,  added unfolding the paper to my list of balancing acts.

her: are you mad because your team is losing [the super bowl]?

me: no, i’m tired and concentrating on unfolding this for you quickly so i don’t miss the shuttle. *hands over boarding pass* besides, my team is the pats. they’ve already lost.

her: yeah, you need to tell them to step it up. *returns boarding pass* head over to lane 2.

me: will do. thanks.

when you’ve got a tight connection + delays on the first leg of the trip due to the de-icing of the plane + a general weariness about you, it’s bound to show on your face. i didn’t realize just how much until that woman commented on it. i hustled out the door, grinning when the shuttle bus left a minute after i’d hopped on board. i guess there was some sunshine inside me.

something new

January 27, 2012

traveling the world is a phenomenal experience and i’ve been fortunate enough to have the means, the mode, and the money to visit countries outside of the US. other than the jet lag and the suitcase laden with souvenirs, i always come home with an insatiable appetite to see more of the country i call home.

two weekends ago, i was fortunate enough to have a reason to travel some place completely new…


i was there for a bachelorette party and oh me oh my was it fun. the food! the weather! the friends! the cab drivers! the drinks! the bartenders! the food! the music! the house we stayed in! the scenery! the drinks you can consume outside of a bar!

of course, i can’t tell you any specific stories because what happened in new orleans stayed in new orleans so instead i’ll leave you with a picture that encapsulates the weekend.

have YOU ever been to new orleans? is there any place you’d love to visit but haven’t yet? have you been to all 50 states of the US? what countries worldwide have you visited? do you have anything else to share?



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weekend of learning

October 25, 2011

a quintessential fall weekend:

*learning (in the form of a digital publishing seminar hosted by IPNE) — CHECK

*driving around NH to see the fall foliage — CHECK

*visiting a local farm — CHECK

lessons learned from said fall weekend:

(1) i can still manage to get lost even when i have a GPS, ALL the google maps at hand (thank you, adriana), and three different navigators. (i really wish my superhero powers were something more useful like flying or shooting fire out of my eyes.)

(2) we tried to combat my superhero powers by using different navigators. gina, front seat = we started chatting and forgot to pay attention to the signs. we had to pull a few U turns. adriana, back seat/front seat = she counted the number of blocks left until the turn. very efficient. justin, back seat = he told me the amount of time until the next turn. worked more often than not.

(3) there are sauces called MOTHER SAUCES. (no, there aren’t any daughter or son sauces. i asked.) these are the five basic (french) sauces from which every other (french) sauce is made. they are: tomato, bechamel, hollandaise, espagnole and veloute. (ok, i had to look up the last two.) (sorry, justin. i swear, i was paying attention. once i stopped giggling at the idea of mother sauces.)

(4) goats can climb up really thin ramps that lead up to a tree house. (it’s as weird to watch it happen as it is for you to read about it.)

(5) pumpkins! (i didn’t really learn anything about them, but it’s the only picture i took and look at the pretty.)

(6) cider donuts are scrumptious. (i know! and there’s no chocolate in them either.)

(7) landing in cambridge at the same time the red line goes off the rails AND the head of the charles races are done for the day AND all the cabs have gone missing is SHEER MADNESS, especially if you’re then trying to leave. (fights for cabs will ensue. justin will win.)

(8) william defoe in THE BOOKDOCK SAINTS is ridiculous. you all have to watch that movie just for him.

(9) having a plan is necessary, but when things don’t go according to it, laughing your way through it helps.

(10) taking the scenic route is worth the extra miles.

what did YOU learn this past weekend?

conversations with strangers #9

September 20, 2011

i’m talking with strangers. here’s why.

i’m inching my way up the security line at the airport. for the first time, i am going paperless, so i have my phone out with the QR code boarding pass ready…

*looking at my phone, the security guard (SG) puts his pen down* *turns on a machine.* *indicates i should put my phone over it.*

me: *puts phone face down over scanning device.* *nothing happens.* like this?

SG: yes, but you shouldn’t have to hold it there that long. this thing is still warming up, i guess. *shuts off the machine.* *turns it back on.* that ought to do the trick.

me: *puts phone up for scanning.* *green light blinks.* restarting a machine works every time!

man behind me (MBM): is that an app for US Airways?

me: no, just my boarding pass. when i checked in, they emailed me a link and this is what opened when i clicked.

MBM: what’s next in the world of paperless things?

me: this was actually my first time without a paper boarding pass. i was nervous.

SG: *hands me my ID.* not related to mumford and sons, are you?

me:  i wish!

SG: yeah, they’re not doing too badly, are they? they won a grammy.

me: i know.

SG: have a good flight.

me: thanks. have a good day.

he turns to the MBM and i trudge on through the gauntlet of airport security.