Monday, May 13, 2019

European Holiday

Cologne Cathedral looms in the back.
Old Town, Cologne.
Just got back from a few weeks in Europe where we visited Cologne, Amsterdam, and Brussels. We wanted to visit before the summer crowds hit the cities and the trains.

Had a fabulous time! Drank delicious beer and German wines. Of course, we had our fair share of chocolates, Belgian waffles (my fave), and pommes frites.

All three cities are walking cities, and we logged anywhere from 8-10 miles a day, exploring. My only regret? I didn't bring enough sweaters but, thankfully, I brought a raincoat.

Amsterdam! Cold and rainy but beautiful!
Sprinkled around this post are a few photos. Click them to
Le Grand Place, Brussels.

I posted more photos on my Facebook page if you are interested in
seeing more of these beautiful cities.

Here's hoping you have a terrific summer with fun travels!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Desert Wildflowers

It doesn't happen every year, so I have to post some recent photos of one of my morning hikes.

Thanks to the abundance of rain (and snow!) in the desert this year, we have gorgeous wildflowers everywhere you turn.

It's a beautiful thing. 

Thank you, Mother Nature.  We needed the rain!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Support Local Theatre

This post is (mostly) for my Arizona friends who frequent my blog. However, the message really is universal: Whenever you can, support your local theater. These are people who bring a lot of joy to their audiences.  Most certainly do not perform on stage (and assist behind stage) for the money, but it sure does help!

The local theater that I like to support is The Arizona Theatre Company. They perform at The Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix, which is a cozy theater with red velvet seats and three beautiful stages. 

I remember when The Herberger was being built over 30 years ago, so I have been visiting this theater since the beginning and have seen wonderful productions over the years.

Just recently, I saw The Music Man.  Clearly a period musical but the Arizona Theatre Company kind of put a new spin on an old piece.  It was delightful.  And I'm a total sucker for a musical.

Upcoming productions include August Wilson's Two Trains Running, American Mariachi, and then finishing out the season with Things I Know To Be True

I know where I'll be the next few months. Maybe I'll see you there? :)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Good Reads

How is it possible that it's December already??

How is it possible that I haven't posted a Good Reads post in a (long) while?  Answer: Very possible. Bordering on probable. Life has been so busy the last couple of years.

Anyway, I have been on a Thriller kick lately.  Here are a few reads that I have read fairly recently and enjoyed:

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Creepy good. A woman wakes up from a coma but can't speak or move. She can't even remember how she got here. Slowly but surely her memory returns. Lots of twists and turns, right down to the last page.  For a good portion of the book, you don't know who she should trust--her husband? Her sister? Her friends? Even the people who work at the hospital?? Who is friend and who is foe?  Is she really who she thinks she is?

Quite good. This one is probably my favorite of the bunch I'm blogging about today.

Next up is The Girl Friend by Michelle Frances.

Oh, la la.  This is the story about a mother who gets a little too involved in her son's relationships.  Meet Laura, a mother and successful professional who perhaps has a little too much time on her hands.  Then meet Cherry, the new girlfriend, who may not be all that she seems.  Then there's Daniel who is arguably a little clueless.  Mix it all together and you get a decent thriller/mystery.  I enjoyed the story more than I thought I would.  Definitely worth a read.

Last one is Ghosted by Rosie Walsh.

This book is part romance part mystery part thriller.  Although a bit of a slog at times, I kept turning the pages and how could I not? The premise is great: A woman meets a man, falls in love after a romantic and unexpected seven days, and then never hears from him again.  But...but...he seemed like such a great guy! :)

Much of the story is her attempt to find him and as she does, you start to learn more about her rather crazy life.  There are a couple of stories here that intertwine and it will keep you interested. Maybe put this one in your beach bag this summer.

So what's on your nightstand/Kindle?

More importantly, are you looking forward to 2019?  I hope so. 

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours, and a very happy and healthy 2019 to ALL!

Monday, October 1, 2018

City By The Bay

Cue Lights from Journey.

A windy day on Alcatraz!
My sister and I recently visited San Francisco.  It had been 18 years since my last visit to this fun city and my sister's first. 

San Francisco, all 7 miles by 7 miles of it, is great for those of you who appreciate walking cities with lots of diverse neighborhoods. I think my sister and I covered every square mile during our 4 days, including one bus and two cab rides. 

View from Financial Dist.
Scattered around this post are a few photos.  It's a great city to visit and explore! And we most certainly explored just about every neighborhood: Financial District, Haight-Ashbury, Tenderloin District, Little Italy, North Beach, Union Square, Waterfront. Each is so eclectic.

Of course we did the tourist thing and ferried the one mile to Alcatraz Island, which is cool and creepy and windy but so worth it. Fortunately the weather couldn't have been nicer, albeit a bit cool for my desert bones. Still. Picture perfect.
(Click to enlarge any photo)

My fave 'hood: Little Italy
Alcatraz Island
Irish Coffee on a cold day
Union Square-ish

Monday, August 6, 2018

Writer Beware

Sometimes you find something helpful on Twitter. Friday was one those (rare) occasions.

An article posted by Publishers Weekly on August 2 reported a situation involving literary agent, Danielle Smith who, until recently, specialized in children's and YA authors.  Apparently 19 of her clients, most preferring to remain anonymous, have reported that Ms. Smith lied about book deals, submissions, and auctions, among other things.  Once the jig was up, Ms. Smith closed her agency, Lupine Grove Creative.

I feel so badly for these authors.  What a betrayal! The fact that so many preferred to remain anonymous says a lot about traditional publishing, much of it pretty dismal.

Click HERE to read the article.

Be careful out there, my friends.

Monday, June 11, 2018

To Sweden With Love

Planes, trains, and automobiles. That about explains the last two months of my life. However, the last couple of glorious weeks were spent in Stockholm, Sweden.

The last time I visited Sweden was about 30 years ago. Sweden--Stockholm, in particular--is still as beautiful as I remembered.

Stockholm is very much a walking city, although Swedish public transportation is excellent. I do adore walking cities. Each day of our trip, we logged anywhere from 5 to 10 miles a day, exploring the city: Gamla Stan (Old Town), museums (Vasa, Moderna Museet, Skansen), palaces, gardens, shopping, book stores. Great restaurants and coffee shops. In addition, we took several boat trips as Stockholm is surrounded by water.  We boated along the archipelago and the canals on a particularly cold and windy but gorgeous morning. We also got lucky on the weather too--sunny, blue skies with temperatures in the mid-70's for most of the trip. And during the summer, it doesn't get dark until around 10 pm and the sun comes up around 3 am. Long days!

The Swedish people are so lovely and friendly. I look forward to returning. 

Here are a few photos. Click to enlarge...

View of Gamla Stan from our hotel.

Another bridge into Gamla Stan.

Stockholm Cathedral
Beautiful Stockholm streets.