Category Archives: Travel

Of beaches and futbol

Michael and I had a short escape along the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. My dear and longtime friend Karen and her husband Octavio generously let us stay at one of their condos. He and I did little more than drink margaritas, swim, eat fish sandwiches, lounge in the hammock and get sun. It was exactly what I needed and I think it suited him as well. If any of the pics are worthwhile, I’ll post them.

We made it a whirlwind trip and I even was able to see my Aunt Betty briefly on Friday morning. It’s been a year since I’ve seen her and she looks about 20 years younger than a lady of 80. After we left Pensacola, we made the short trip to the beach and proceeded to exhale for 2 days. There was a brief, but exciting alligator sighting. To me it’s a normal Florida event, but I think Michael enjoyed seeing one swim on past the condo we were at — it was certainly not excited to see us.

By Sunday we fought off the urge to try and stay another day and made it back to Atlanta in time to watch a very intense match of the World Cup with US almost defeating Portugal. It ended in a tie — but only barely. And today was back to business as usual. Sigh…

Needing a name….

But before it’s named, I want to share some of the calm and tranquil of the cabin that dad and John Miller created behind the Kamama gallery they run. Mom keeps calling it “Julia’s Cabin” only because I’ve asked her not to. It’s absolutely a cabin that will be enjoyed by many — but I’m admittedly already looking forward to going back. The photos are courtesy of Suzan Buckner— because, yes, I forgot to take my camera. (Maybe I was using that as an excuse to go back up?)

Without further ado …

Here is the link to some pictures. Now help me name it please.


progress, planning and prose

Ahhh July. It is a good month to get things done. I’m still on track (so punny) with my preparations for a hot, hot, hot 5K in August. Realize all too often that my skeletal self is still in denial. However, I’m very happy I’m meeting my body for the first time in 40+ years.Hopefully my body will feel likewise soon.

Beyond that, it’s turning into a busy Summer. I have plans to visit friends and family, work has plans for me to visit other places and then life always has a plan of its own. In short, there is travel ahead of me and behind me. I did, for pleasure, recently return from my first ever trip to Boston. There was a Fenway outing and the Freedom trail and lots of walking that helped with the lots of eating . . . it was a perfect trip. Loved the city, history, baseball and food. Definitely the best Braves loss I’ve ever witnessed. If you’ve never been, please make a point to do it and take some good walking shoes. I may try to put together a photo album of some pics, but am swamped at the moment planning everything on the horizon.

I did, however, take a personal day off and decided to upload a book to my Kindle. After some hasty research that involved Salon, random questions to trusted reading friends and a glance at some Amazon reviews, I selected The Fault in Our Stars. I finished it last night. Yes, it’s so good you cannot put it down. You must devour the beauty and brilliance in one sitting because it’s so heart breaking that you may not be able to pick it back up. They (you know who they are) consider it young adult fiction for some reason. I think because the 2 main characters are 16 & 17. But really, this is a book that everyone except the very young should read. Absolutely gorgeous.

Hope everyone is happy post-Independence Day. And if not happy, hope you are all progressing forward anyway!

this road has been travelled

There’s a good reason for my lack of posts lately; namely, I don’t have a personal life. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. I do go out with great friends, I even finally broke the yoga barrier last weekend and relished in what it offered me — but my relationships are all friendships and they all are perfectly hum drumming along, my family seems happy, even the furry beasts seem content (though a tad disgruntled at my late hours early in the week).

In short, life is good but lacking drama. I even got a raise at work and good marks on my evaluation (but let’s face it, I expected both and would have been appalled with anything else — that’s not immodest, that’s honest).

And all of this ease makes me . . . well, it makes me want something else. I can’t help but feel the path is too worn and, not too long ago, I was on a much stonier one. So Florence begins to pull at me again. I start missing the cappuccino, hearing the language, the red-tiled rooftops and church bells. Being alien. I really miss being alien. So I try to compensate with a film, a random phrase that confounds students, recreating a dish at home. But alien . . . well, you can’t recreate that — you must encounter it.

So all signs point to travel. I need to go somewhere new. Somewhere alone. Somewhere far away. Until then I guess I’ll seek the new in the familiar.

a place in time

My parents are considering selling the farmhouse. They have been there for over a decade and that is a long time for them to stay still. I went down over the weekend to say hello to the Bobs (my former cats) and to visit. The angel trumpet had just bloomed, the confederate roses were changing from white to pink, it’s a lovely spot. I know for my dad, deciding to sell the place of his childhood is beyond a tough decision. That’s the kind of thing he can be good at though, deciding things. And my parents have a lot of flaws, like all of us, but fear of taking risks is not one of them.

But naturally it’s bittersweet. I know I’d never want to live there. I can’t imagine my brother ever would be happy there — but it is the one place that threads throughout my personal timeline. It comes close to being my constant—but that’s not the truth. Like everything, it has changed. Thinking about this on my drive to Atlanta, I realized the true constant lies in my parents — their ability to keep moving, keep changing, keep taking that leap in a moving van — pushing the horizon. The sound of wheels on asphalt driving down the road is the steady beat of my family. The only true constant is change.

Will post pictures later when time permits.


old friends, new discoveries

We were walking along night Chicago and stumbled upon a fountain. I’d read of a fountain that would spout on the hour and wondered aloud if this could be the one. Waiting was an option, even though early trains had … Continue reading

Chi-town or bust

The Windy City, CHILL, whatever you want to call it — tomorrow I’m headed towards Chicago. I sort of patched this trip together because the ALA convention is there (reason driven), but it doesn’t deter from the fact I’ve wanted to visit Chicago for as long as I can remember (desire driven). Of course, me being a librarian, I’m sure you’d all expect I’d know something about it. Perhaps I have a little book with notes and a list of things to do. Ha! I’m clueless. In a last minute effort to find something out, I did buy a book (Lonely Planet). And this morning I decided to at least look up the hotel where I’ll be staying.

I remember thinking the name sounded familiar when I booked it, I’ll give it that. But trust me, I had no idea when I plucked my lodgings from a list of hotels convenient to the convention what I had just done. Yep, the Palmer House Hilton. Just click on the link and try not to hate me. My heart is doing back flips. I know, I know; it’s just a hotel — but it looks so pretty.

The whole thing is tarnished by the fact I’ll be alone. Single is my current status in life (I do manage to always find it again). However, I’ll get to see some old friends (Eric, Jessica, Kimbre, maybe Bob, who knows?!) and meet my fellow Westwood colleagues finally and buy cool stuff for the learning commons — and that’s a lot. Maybe it’s so much that a few nights solo in a fancy hotel won’t feel so lonely?