Roman Holiday

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By Miranda/Susan

Summer’s here, or at least here enough that everyone has the summer-travel-itch.  Our characters are no  exception.  Yes, the majority of historical romances published today take place in London and the counties that surround it, with maybe a junket or two to Bath or Brighton.  But English aristocrats have always been intrepid travelers, even in times when journeys were full of hazard and hardship.  They traveled for education, for amusement, for love, for health, and for escaping creditors or difficult spouses.  They traveled modestly by themselves, with one or two servants or friends, or with huge retinues of footmen, cooks, tutors, relatives, and traveling carriages brought from England.

Writing as Miranda Jarrett, I’m currently in the middle of a three-book series of books loosely titled “Love on the Grand Tour,” following three Georgian ladies on their tour through France and Italy.  The second book in the series, Seduction of an English Beauty, will be released 1 July (which my editor reports is a “landmark book”, my twenty-fifth for Harlequin Historicals and a rarity in these days of publisher-musical chairs!) Seduction takes place in late 18th century Rome, a wonderful place to visit in any century.  Click here for a peek at the first chapter.

Researching historical “road books” is a special challenge.  Places or experiences that fill contemporaryRoman_bridge
travel guides often didn’t exist in 1784, and others that were “can’t miss” destinations to earlier travelers have since vanished.  Fortunately, it seemed that every visitor kept a journal or dairy of their trip, noting every meal, inn, famous site, and crooked innkeeper.

Rome was a favorite destination of English travelers. As the second-largest city in Italy (only Naples was larger), Rome had much to recommend it: great beauty, much edifying art and architecture, agreeable, if expensive, inns and houses, operas and theaters, a favorable climate, and hospitable inhabitants.  Portraits could be painted by one of the numerous painters in the city, and (often dubious) ancient artifacts  procured for the family collection back home. In a time when a good education always included Latin and Greek, the classical ruins of Rome were lessons brought to life.  And for Protestant Englishmen –– particularly impressionable young lords –– there was also the mixed lure of Papal Rome, a beautiful siren to be withstood at all costs, and Roman women, reputed to be among the most seductive in Europe.  Special treats could be arranged, too: for a sizable fee, some of the famous fountains of Rome could be forced to overflow and flood the surrounding streets, so the English visitors could have their carriages driven through the splashing puddles.  Praised one traveler, “Rome is so beautiful that all the rest of Italy seems to me little in comparison.”

Yet just like modern tourists, their 18th century counterparts still found plenty to complain about.  English palates at this point weren’t known for their sophistication (as one Continental wag noted, “the art of cooking as practiced by most Englishmen does not extend much beyond roast beef and plum pudding”), and they howled at unfamiliar Roman food. 

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“All over Italy,” whined one English visitor in l7l7, “oil and  garlic are put in every dish.”  Roman cookery seemed too light, too insubstantial, to most English tastes –– “raw ham, Bologna sausages, figs and melons….and the soup is no better than broth.”  Appetites raised by determined sightseeing were doomed to be unsatisfied: “Any Englishman whose stomach is not depraved will soon wish to see a plain, wholesome dish or two of meat a la mode d’Angleterre set before him.”  (Not unlike the homesick college students today willing to pay top tourist-dollar for a Big Mac in Paris.)  On the other hand, nearly all of the traveling English raved about the wines they discovered in Italy, and longed to be able to transport them for their tables back home.

While most visitors found the Roman people to be charming, “full of good breeding and more obliging than any other part of Italy”, the English in particular were shocked by what they perceived as a general lack of industry.  Begging was an art form, and tourists were easy targets.  Tobias Smollet complained that, wherever he went, his carriage was “surrounded by a number of servitori di piazza, offering their services with the most disagreeable importunity."

There’s also a certain smugness to many of the Georgian travelers that unfortunately echoes theRomanforum
complaints modern Europeans make about American tourists.   “If one thing more than another evinces Italian candor and true good nature,” wrote Hester Lynch Piozzi with unabashed satisfaction in her Observations, “it is their generous willingness to be ever happy in acknowledging foreign excellence.” Ouch!

So what does Lady Diana Ferron, the heroine of Seduction of an English Beauty, discover on her visit to Rome?  She learns to drink the local red wine instead of afternoon tea.  She tours the Coliseum, the Forum, and the Catacombs, tosses coins in the Fontana Trevi, and attends the opera at the Teatro delle Dame.  Best of all, she finds adventure and loses her heart to a handsome, unsuitable Roman gentleman.  Sounds like a great summer vacation to me!

Now what about your plans for the summer?  Do you like to experience new things, see new sights, try new food?  Do your summer trips always involve junkets to museums or historical spots, or would you rather unwind with the familiar, and happily veg out in delicious peace?

If you’re interested in reading more, check out Ladies of the Grand Tour by Brian Dolan; The Grand Tour: The British Abroad in the Eighteenth Century by Jeremy Black, and Rome: Biography of a City by Christopher Hibbert.  The paintings illustrating this blog are by Gaspar van Wittel (1653-1736), whose glorious landscapes of Rome were highly prized by 18th century English tourists, who took them home to add to the private art collections of many a country house.

**Oops, I almost forgot the contest!  I’ll be drawing a name at random to win the first two books in the "Love on the Grand Tour" series: The Adventurous Bride and Seduction of an English Beauty.  All you have to do to enter is post a comment to this blog by Friday.  The winner of the books will be announced here on Sunday.  Good luck! **

210 thoughts on “Roman Holiday”

  1. Your delightful post reminded me of the time we brought our four children (the youngest was 4, the oldest 13) to Great Britain. After eating in pubs in the country for a week, we finally made it to London. We wound up spending about $100 in Taco Bell, they were that starved for “American” food.
    I love to travel, although I am not as intrepid anymore. Since 9-11 we’re been to Europe only once. Lately my husband and I seem to wind up in Sin City—Las Vegas—where you can find all the fake Europe you want. We’re going for a week soon.
    Congratulations on your milestone!

    Reply
  2. Your delightful post reminded me of the time we brought our four children (the youngest was 4, the oldest 13) to Great Britain. After eating in pubs in the country for a week, we finally made it to London. We wound up spending about $100 in Taco Bell, they were that starved for “American” food.
    I love to travel, although I am not as intrepid anymore. Since 9-11 we’re been to Europe only once. Lately my husband and I seem to wind up in Sin City—Las Vegas—where you can find all the fake Europe you want. We’re going for a week soon.
    Congratulations on your milestone!

    Reply
  3. Your delightful post reminded me of the time we brought our four children (the youngest was 4, the oldest 13) to Great Britain. After eating in pubs in the country for a week, we finally made it to London. We wound up spending about $100 in Taco Bell, they were that starved for “American” food.
    I love to travel, although I am not as intrepid anymore. Since 9-11 we’re been to Europe only once. Lately my husband and I seem to wind up in Sin City—Las Vegas—where you can find all the fake Europe you want. We’re going for a week soon.
    Congratulations on your milestone!

    Reply
  4. Your delightful post reminded me of the time we brought our four children (the youngest was 4, the oldest 13) to Great Britain. After eating in pubs in the country for a week, we finally made it to London. We wound up spending about $100 in Taco Bell, they were that starved for “American” food.
    I love to travel, although I am not as intrepid anymore. Since 9-11 we’re been to Europe only once. Lately my husband and I seem to wind up in Sin City—Las Vegas—where you can find all the fake Europe you want. We’re going for a week soon.
    Congratulations on your milestone!

    Reply
  5. Your delightful post reminded me of the time we brought our four children (the youngest was 4, the oldest 13) to Great Britain. After eating in pubs in the country for a week, we finally made it to London. We wound up spending about $100 in Taco Bell, they were that starved for “American” food.
    I love to travel, although I am not as intrepid anymore. Since 9-11 we’re been to Europe only once. Lately my husband and I seem to wind up in Sin City—Las Vegas—where you can find all the fake Europe you want. We’re going for a week soon.
    Congratulations on your milestone!

    Reply
  6. I love to travel to places I haven’t been before. I’m leaving this weekend for the maritimes, and I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night in anticipation. I loved that book and am very excited to see Prince Edward Island in person.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  7. I love to travel to places I haven’t been before. I’m leaving this weekend for the maritimes, and I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night in anticipation. I loved that book and am very excited to see Prince Edward Island in person.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  8. I love to travel to places I haven’t been before. I’m leaving this weekend for the maritimes, and I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night in anticipation. I loved that book and am very excited to see Prince Edward Island in person.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  9. I love to travel to places I haven’t been before. I’m leaving this weekend for the maritimes, and I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night in anticipation. I loved that book and am very excited to see Prince Edward Island in person.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  10. I love to travel to places I haven’t been before. I’m leaving this weekend for the maritimes, and I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night in anticipation. I loved that book and am very excited to see Prince Edward Island in person.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  11. OMG, I must have this book!!! How did I miss this series? I’m obsessed with the 1780s AND the Grand Tour, these just sound right up my alley. I’m off to hunt them down . . .

    Reply
  12. OMG, I must have this book!!! How did I miss this series? I’m obsessed with the 1780s AND the Grand Tour, these just sound right up my alley. I’m off to hunt them down . . .

    Reply
  13. OMG, I must have this book!!! How did I miss this series? I’m obsessed with the 1780s AND the Grand Tour, these just sound right up my alley. I’m off to hunt them down . . .

    Reply
  14. OMG, I must have this book!!! How did I miss this series? I’m obsessed with the 1780s AND the Grand Tour, these just sound right up my alley. I’m off to hunt them down . . .

    Reply
  15. OMG, I must have this book!!! How did I miss this series? I’m obsessed with the 1780s AND the Grand Tour, these just sound right up my alley. I’m off to hunt them down . . .

    Reply
  16. Great question! I’m for the new and exciting foreign location every time. Well, ok, not EVERY time; I go back to London again and again, but I stay in a different part of the city on each visit. One great thing about London is you can get foreign food of so many types there. I enjoyed a delicious Moroccan meal last time I was there; the belly-dancing was fun to watch, too.
    I’ve had some experience of importunate beggars and street vendors in India, where they really get in your face. You have to be absolutely rude to get them to go away. In spite of which I loved the country and hope to return and see more of it one day.
    I do occasionally fantasize about a vacation that consists of hammocks and cool refreshing drinks, but when it comes right down to it I always opt the arduous, fully packed visit to a foreign city with plenty of cathedrals and museums. If I do occasionally opt for McDonald’s in France, I’ll never tell!

    Reply
  17. Great question! I’m for the new and exciting foreign location every time. Well, ok, not EVERY time; I go back to London again and again, but I stay in a different part of the city on each visit. One great thing about London is you can get foreign food of so many types there. I enjoyed a delicious Moroccan meal last time I was there; the belly-dancing was fun to watch, too.
    I’ve had some experience of importunate beggars and street vendors in India, where they really get in your face. You have to be absolutely rude to get them to go away. In spite of which I loved the country and hope to return and see more of it one day.
    I do occasionally fantasize about a vacation that consists of hammocks and cool refreshing drinks, but when it comes right down to it I always opt the arduous, fully packed visit to a foreign city with plenty of cathedrals and museums. If I do occasionally opt for McDonald’s in France, I’ll never tell!

    Reply
  18. Great question! I’m for the new and exciting foreign location every time. Well, ok, not EVERY time; I go back to London again and again, but I stay in a different part of the city on each visit. One great thing about London is you can get foreign food of so many types there. I enjoyed a delicious Moroccan meal last time I was there; the belly-dancing was fun to watch, too.
    I’ve had some experience of importunate beggars and street vendors in India, where they really get in your face. You have to be absolutely rude to get them to go away. In spite of which I loved the country and hope to return and see more of it one day.
    I do occasionally fantasize about a vacation that consists of hammocks and cool refreshing drinks, but when it comes right down to it I always opt the arduous, fully packed visit to a foreign city with plenty of cathedrals and museums. If I do occasionally opt for McDonald’s in France, I’ll never tell!

    Reply
  19. Great question! I’m for the new and exciting foreign location every time. Well, ok, not EVERY time; I go back to London again and again, but I stay in a different part of the city on each visit. One great thing about London is you can get foreign food of so many types there. I enjoyed a delicious Moroccan meal last time I was there; the belly-dancing was fun to watch, too.
    I’ve had some experience of importunate beggars and street vendors in India, where they really get in your face. You have to be absolutely rude to get them to go away. In spite of which I loved the country and hope to return and see more of it one day.
    I do occasionally fantasize about a vacation that consists of hammocks and cool refreshing drinks, but when it comes right down to it I always opt the arduous, fully packed visit to a foreign city with plenty of cathedrals and museums. If I do occasionally opt for McDonald’s in France, I’ll never tell!

    Reply
  20. Great question! I’m for the new and exciting foreign location every time. Well, ok, not EVERY time; I go back to London again and again, but I stay in a different part of the city on each visit. One great thing about London is you can get foreign food of so many types there. I enjoyed a delicious Moroccan meal last time I was there; the belly-dancing was fun to watch, too.
    I’ve had some experience of importunate beggars and street vendors in India, where they really get in your face. You have to be absolutely rude to get them to go away. In spite of which I loved the country and hope to return and see more of it one day.
    I do occasionally fantasize about a vacation that consists of hammocks and cool refreshing drinks, but when it comes right down to it I always opt the arduous, fully packed visit to a foreign city with plenty of cathedrals and museums. If I do occasionally opt for McDonald’s in France, I’ll never tell!

    Reply
  21. Miranda – the first in the series is the Adventurous Bride, correct? (Got it at the top of my TBR pile)…
    I LOVE visiting historical sites when I travel….although I admit that after a while, cathedrals tend to look rather similar. (-;
    Of course, just about everything in Europe is ‘historical’ by our standards!
    Michelle – I’m touring the Maritimes with a choir the first week of July….and I can’t wait. One concert is in Tignish, PEI – isn’t that a delicious name? Sounds like the inhabitants are quite small and cute….

    Reply
  22. Miranda – the first in the series is the Adventurous Bride, correct? (Got it at the top of my TBR pile)…
    I LOVE visiting historical sites when I travel….although I admit that after a while, cathedrals tend to look rather similar. (-;
    Of course, just about everything in Europe is ‘historical’ by our standards!
    Michelle – I’m touring the Maritimes with a choir the first week of July….and I can’t wait. One concert is in Tignish, PEI – isn’t that a delicious name? Sounds like the inhabitants are quite small and cute….

    Reply
  23. Miranda – the first in the series is the Adventurous Bride, correct? (Got it at the top of my TBR pile)…
    I LOVE visiting historical sites when I travel….although I admit that after a while, cathedrals tend to look rather similar. (-;
    Of course, just about everything in Europe is ‘historical’ by our standards!
    Michelle – I’m touring the Maritimes with a choir the first week of July….and I can’t wait. One concert is in Tignish, PEI – isn’t that a delicious name? Sounds like the inhabitants are quite small and cute….

    Reply
  24. Miranda – the first in the series is the Adventurous Bride, correct? (Got it at the top of my TBR pile)…
    I LOVE visiting historical sites when I travel….although I admit that after a while, cathedrals tend to look rather similar. (-;
    Of course, just about everything in Europe is ‘historical’ by our standards!
    Michelle – I’m touring the Maritimes with a choir the first week of July….and I can’t wait. One concert is in Tignish, PEI – isn’t that a delicious name? Sounds like the inhabitants are quite small and cute….

    Reply
  25. Miranda – the first in the series is the Adventurous Bride, correct? (Got it at the top of my TBR pile)…
    I LOVE visiting historical sites when I travel….although I admit that after a while, cathedrals tend to look rather similar. (-;
    Of course, just about everything in Europe is ‘historical’ by our standards!
    Michelle – I’m touring the Maritimes with a choir the first week of July….and I can’t wait. One concert is in Tignish, PEI – isn’t that a delicious name? Sounds like the inhabitants are quite small and cute….

    Reply
  26. I’m a museum slut. A vacation for me must involve sights and museums and historical spots, etc. A week on a beach would drive me crazy with boredom (being trapped on a giant floating hotel—aka a cruise ship—is pretty much my idea of hell).
    I think my favorite trip to date was to Istanbul. It helps that I was there for a month and that my best friend was living there, so we had an apartment. Everyday I’d get up and go get breakfast from the bakery while he showered, then I’d plan my day, pick a sight or museum, and maybe meet him for lunch if he was only working a half-day. When I was tired or done I’d wander back home (via ferry and dolmush [the group taxis]). I’d pick up stuff for dinner at the big farmers market at the ferry stop. It was wonderful.
    I’ve done the apartment thing in Paris and London too, but only for a week or two. I really really really want to pull off a trip to England that lasts for 3-6 months so I can explore to my heart’s content!

    Reply
  27. I’m a museum slut. A vacation for me must involve sights and museums and historical spots, etc. A week on a beach would drive me crazy with boredom (being trapped on a giant floating hotel—aka a cruise ship—is pretty much my idea of hell).
    I think my favorite trip to date was to Istanbul. It helps that I was there for a month and that my best friend was living there, so we had an apartment. Everyday I’d get up and go get breakfast from the bakery while he showered, then I’d plan my day, pick a sight or museum, and maybe meet him for lunch if he was only working a half-day. When I was tired or done I’d wander back home (via ferry and dolmush [the group taxis]). I’d pick up stuff for dinner at the big farmers market at the ferry stop. It was wonderful.
    I’ve done the apartment thing in Paris and London too, but only for a week or two. I really really really want to pull off a trip to England that lasts for 3-6 months so I can explore to my heart’s content!

    Reply
  28. I’m a museum slut. A vacation for me must involve sights and museums and historical spots, etc. A week on a beach would drive me crazy with boredom (being trapped on a giant floating hotel—aka a cruise ship—is pretty much my idea of hell).
    I think my favorite trip to date was to Istanbul. It helps that I was there for a month and that my best friend was living there, so we had an apartment. Everyday I’d get up and go get breakfast from the bakery while he showered, then I’d plan my day, pick a sight or museum, and maybe meet him for lunch if he was only working a half-day. When I was tired or done I’d wander back home (via ferry and dolmush [the group taxis]). I’d pick up stuff for dinner at the big farmers market at the ferry stop. It was wonderful.
    I’ve done the apartment thing in Paris and London too, but only for a week or two. I really really really want to pull off a trip to England that lasts for 3-6 months so I can explore to my heart’s content!

    Reply
  29. I’m a museum slut. A vacation for me must involve sights and museums and historical spots, etc. A week on a beach would drive me crazy with boredom (being trapped on a giant floating hotel—aka a cruise ship—is pretty much my idea of hell).
    I think my favorite trip to date was to Istanbul. It helps that I was there for a month and that my best friend was living there, so we had an apartment. Everyday I’d get up and go get breakfast from the bakery while he showered, then I’d plan my day, pick a sight or museum, and maybe meet him for lunch if he was only working a half-day. When I was tired or done I’d wander back home (via ferry and dolmush [the group taxis]). I’d pick up stuff for dinner at the big farmers market at the ferry stop. It was wonderful.
    I’ve done the apartment thing in Paris and London too, but only for a week or two. I really really really want to pull off a trip to England that lasts for 3-6 months so I can explore to my heart’s content!

    Reply
  30. I’m a museum slut. A vacation for me must involve sights and museums and historical spots, etc. A week on a beach would drive me crazy with boredom (being trapped on a giant floating hotel—aka a cruise ship—is pretty much my idea of hell).
    I think my favorite trip to date was to Istanbul. It helps that I was there for a month and that my best friend was living there, so we had an apartment. Everyday I’d get up and go get breakfast from the bakery while he showered, then I’d plan my day, pick a sight or museum, and maybe meet him for lunch if he was only working a half-day. When I was tired or done I’d wander back home (via ferry and dolmush [the group taxis]). I’d pick up stuff for dinner at the big farmers market at the ferry stop. It was wonderful.
    I’ve done the apartment thing in Paris and London too, but only for a week or two. I really really really want to pull off a trip to England that lasts for 3-6 months so I can explore to my heart’s content!

    Reply
  31. Love Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, so your heroine appeals to me already.
    I love to travel with my family and am quite fond of Rome myself. Venice is my favorite. Tuscany was no doubt way too rustic for our historical characters, but I enjoy it.
    We tourned the Mediterranean in 2005, including Eze (South of Fr.) Malta, Athens, Santorini, Croatia, etc., etc. Alaska in 2006 and back to Bermuda this year, in July. We needed a break, and Bermuda provides the excuse to be lazy while on holiday. Although, I am visiting some historical sites as my wip takes place in Bermuda. My last ms included a Maltese heroine, so I do find myself inspired.

    Reply
  32. Love Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, so your heroine appeals to me already.
    I love to travel with my family and am quite fond of Rome myself. Venice is my favorite. Tuscany was no doubt way too rustic for our historical characters, but I enjoy it.
    We tourned the Mediterranean in 2005, including Eze (South of Fr.) Malta, Athens, Santorini, Croatia, etc., etc. Alaska in 2006 and back to Bermuda this year, in July. We needed a break, and Bermuda provides the excuse to be lazy while on holiday. Although, I am visiting some historical sites as my wip takes place in Bermuda. My last ms included a Maltese heroine, so I do find myself inspired.

    Reply
  33. Love Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, so your heroine appeals to me already.
    I love to travel with my family and am quite fond of Rome myself. Venice is my favorite. Tuscany was no doubt way too rustic for our historical characters, but I enjoy it.
    We tourned the Mediterranean in 2005, including Eze (South of Fr.) Malta, Athens, Santorini, Croatia, etc., etc. Alaska in 2006 and back to Bermuda this year, in July. We needed a break, and Bermuda provides the excuse to be lazy while on holiday. Although, I am visiting some historical sites as my wip takes place in Bermuda. My last ms included a Maltese heroine, so I do find myself inspired.

    Reply
  34. Love Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, so your heroine appeals to me already.
    I love to travel with my family and am quite fond of Rome myself. Venice is my favorite. Tuscany was no doubt way too rustic for our historical characters, but I enjoy it.
    We tourned the Mediterranean in 2005, including Eze (South of Fr.) Malta, Athens, Santorini, Croatia, etc., etc. Alaska in 2006 and back to Bermuda this year, in July. We needed a break, and Bermuda provides the excuse to be lazy while on holiday. Although, I am visiting some historical sites as my wip takes place in Bermuda. My last ms included a Maltese heroine, so I do find myself inspired.

    Reply
  35. Love Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, so your heroine appeals to me already.
    I love to travel with my family and am quite fond of Rome myself. Venice is my favorite. Tuscany was no doubt way too rustic for our historical characters, but I enjoy it.
    We tourned the Mediterranean in 2005, including Eze (South of Fr.) Malta, Athens, Santorini, Croatia, etc., etc. Alaska in 2006 and back to Bermuda this year, in July. We needed a break, and Bermuda provides the excuse to be lazy while on holiday. Although, I am visiting some historical sites as my wip takes place in Bermuda. My last ms included a Maltese heroine, so I do find myself inspired.

    Reply
  36. Kalen,
    I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal. For instance, I do not have to unpack, repack, unpack, for two children in each new city as we move about. Our hotel moves with us, and if we want to stay longer in a particular place, we can, just take an overnight bag and move about at will. For instance, you can disembark in Monaco, visit Eze, etc., drive about, and meet up in Italy, sometime before Rome. and pick-up your cruise ship in another port along the route. Santorini was ideal for this, as you could ferry to another island and get back on there. Quick flights are easy and not too expensive, say from Malta to Athens.
    We caught the ship in Barcelona and disembarked in Venice. It was the best vacation I’d ever taken, and that’s saying a lot, since my family puts a high priority on holiday travel.

    Reply
  37. Kalen,
    I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal. For instance, I do not have to unpack, repack, unpack, for two children in each new city as we move about. Our hotel moves with us, and if we want to stay longer in a particular place, we can, just take an overnight bag and move about at will. For instance, you can disembark in Monaco, visit Eze, etc., drive about, and meet up in Italy, sometime before Rome. and pick-up your cruise ship in another port along the route. Santorini was ideal for this, as you could ferry to another island and get back on there. Quick flights are easy and not too expensive, say from Malta to Athens.
    We caught the ship in Barcelona and disembarked in Venice. It was the best vacation I’d ever taken, and that’s saying a lot, since my family puts a high priority on holiday travel.

    Reply
  38. Kalen,
    I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal. For instance, I do not have to unpack, repack, unpack, for two children in each new city as we move about. Our hotel moves with us, and if we want to stay longer in a particular place, we can, just take an overnight bag and move about at will. For instance, you can disembark in Monaco, visit Eze, etc., drive about, and meet up in Italy, sometime before Rome. and pick-up your cruise ship in another port along the route. Santorini was ideal for this, as you could ferry to another island and get back on there. Quick flights are easy and not too expensive, say from Malta to Athens.
    We caught the ship in Barcelona and disembarked in Venice. It was the best vacation I’d ever taken, and that’s saying a lot, since my family puts a high priority on holiday travel.

    Reply
  39. Kalen,
    I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal. For instance, I do not have to unpack, repack, unpack, for two children in each new city as we move about. Our hotel moves with us, and if we want to stay longer in a particular place, we can, just take an overnight bag and move about at will. For instance, you can disembark in Monaco, visit Eze, etc., drive about, and meet up in Italy, sometime before Rome. and pick-up your cruise ship in another port along the route. Santorini was ideal for this, as you could ferry to another island and get back on there. Quick flights are easy and not too expensive, say from Malta to Athens.
    We caught the ship in Barcelona and disembarked in Venice. It was the best vacation I’d ever taken, and that’s saying a lot, since my family puts a high priority on holiday travel.

    Reply
  40. Kalen,
    I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal. For instance, I do not have to unpack, repack, unpack, for two children in each new city as we move about. Our hotel moves with us, and if we want to stay longer in a particular place, we can, just take an overnight bag and move about at will. For instance, you can disembark in Monaco, visit Eze, etc., drive about, and meet up in Italy, sometime before Rome. and pick-up your cruise ship in another port along the route. Santorini was ideal for this, as you could ferry to another island and get back on there. Quick flights are easy and not too expensive, say from Malta to Athens.
    We caught the ship in Barcelona and disembarked in Venice. It was the best vacation I’d ever taken, and that’s saying a lot, since my family puts a high priority on holiday travel.

    Reply
  41. I just got back from town and am happy to report I scored not only Seduction of an English Beauty but Pat’s Mystic Guardian as well! Now, can I hide them in my suitcase for my July vacation by the pool or will I have to read them both this week?
    Michelle, make sure you explore the Cabot Trail, really one of the most stunning places in North America.

    Reply
  42. I just got back from town and am happy to report I scored not only Seduction of an English Beauty but Pat’s Mystic Guardian as well! Now, can I hide them in my suitcase for my July vacation by the pool or will I have to read them both this week?
    Michelle, make sure you explore the Cabot Trail, really one of the most stunning places in North America.

    Reply
  43. I just got back from town and am happy to report I scored not only Seduction of an English Beauty but Pat’s Mystic Guardian as well! Now, can I hide them in my suitcase for my July vacation by the pool or will I have to read them both this week?
    Michelle, make sure you explore the Cabot Trail, really one of the most stunning places in North America.

    Reply
  44. I just got back from town and am happy to report I scored not only Seduction of an English Beauty but Pat’s Mystic Guardian as well! Now, can I hide them in my suitcase for my July vacation by the pool or will I have to read them both this week?
    Michelle, make sure you explore the Cabot Trail, really one of the most stunning places in North America.

    Reply
  45. I just got back from town and am happy to report I scored not only Seduction of an English Beauty but Pat’s Mystic Guardian as well! Now, can I hide them in my suitcase for my July vacation by the pool or will I have to read them both this week?
    Michelle, make sure you explore the Cabot Trail, really one of the most stunning places in North America.

    Reply
  46. Ahh, I knew the Wench-readers would be a well-traveled crew — so many interesting destinations, whether by cruise ship or dolmush! (I learn something new every day. *g*)
    MJ — the first book in the Love on the Grand Tour series is in fact “The Adventurous Bride.” I’m sorry I can’t tell you what the third and final installment will be called yet — the title’s still being decided by the Publishing Powers that Be — but, like Wench Loretta, this one will be set in Venice. What writer can resist?
    Maggie, I’m impressed you found “Seduction” already. It’s not supposed to be in stores for another ten days or so, and I’m not sure Pat’s “Mystic Guardian” is supposed to be out quite yet, either. Oh, well. Clearly you must possess the secret powers of the dedicated book-buyer to get them early. 🙂
    Kalen, I’ve wanted to write a Grand Tour book (or three) for ages, too. Like all good “road” themes, there seem to be an endless number of story ideas connected to them.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  47. Ahh, I knew the Wench-readers would be a well-traveled crew — so many interesting destinations, whether by cruise ship or dolmush! (I learn something new every day. *g*)
    MJ — the first book in the Love on the Grand Tour series is in fact “The Adventurous Bride.” I’m sorry I can’t tell you what the third and final installment will be called yet — the title’s still being decided by the Publishing Powers that Be — but, like Wench Loretta, this one will be set in Venice. What writer can resist?
    Maggie, I’m impressed you found “Seduction” already. It’s not supposed to be in stores for another ten days or so, and I’m not sure Pat’s “Mystic Guardian” is supposed to be out quite yet, either. Oh, well. Clearly you must possess the secret powers of the dedicated book-buyer to get them early. 🙂
    Kalen, I’ve wanted to write a Grand Tour book (or three) for ages, too. Like all good “road” themes, there seem to be an endless number of story ideas connected to them.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  48. Ahh, I knew the Wench-readers would be a well-traveled crew — so many interesting destinations, whether by cruise ship or dolmush! (I learn something new every day. *g*)
    MJ — the first book in the Love on the Grand Tour series is in fact “The Adventurous Bride.” I’m sorry I can’t tell you what the third and final installment will be called yet — the title’s still being decided by the Publishing Powers that Be — but, like Wench Loretta, this one will be set in Venice. What writer can resist?
    Maggie, I’m impressed you found “Seduction” already. It’s not supposed to be in stores for another ten days or so, and I’m not sure Pat’s “Mystic Guardian” is supposed to be out quite yet, either. Oh, well. Clearly you must possess the secret powers of the dedicated book-buyer to get them early. 🙂
    Kalen, I’ve wanted to write a Grand Tour book (or three) for ages, too. Like all good “road” themes, there seem to be an endless number of story ideas connected to them.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  49. Ahh, I knew the Wench-readers would be a well-traveled crew — so many interesting destinations, whether by cruise ship or dolmush! (I learn something new every day. *g*)
    MJ — the first book in the Love on the Grand Tour series is in fact “The Adventurous Bride.” I’m sorry I can’t tell you what the third and final installment will be called yet — the title’s still being decided by the Publishing Powers that Be — but, like Wench Loretta, this one will be set in Venice. What writer can resist?
    Maggie, I’m impressed you found “Seduction” already. It’s not supposed to be in stores for another ten days or so, and I’m not sure Pat’s “Mystic Guardian” is supposed to be out quite yet, either. Oh, well. Clearly you must possess the secret powers of the dedicated book-buyer to get them early. 🙂
    Kalen, I’ve wanted to write a Grand Tour book (or three) for ages, too. Like all good “road” themes, there seem to be an endless number of story ideas connected to them.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  50. Ahh, I knew the Wench-readers would be a well-traveled crew — so many interesting destinations, whether by cruise ship or dolmush! (I learn something new every day. *g*)
    MJ — the first book in the Love on the Grand Tour series is in fact “The Adventurous Bride.” I’m sorry I can’t tell you what the third and final installment will be called yet — the title’s still being decided by the Publishing Powers that Be — but, like Wench Loretta, this one will be set in Venice. What writer can resist?
    Maggie, I’m impressed you found “Seduction” already. It’s not supposed to be in stores for another ten days or so, and I’m not sure Pat’s “Mystic Guardian” is supposed to be out quite yet, either. Oh, well. Clearly you must possess the secret powers of the dedicated book-buyer to get them early. 🙂
    Kalen, I’ve wanted to write a Grand Tour book (or three) for ages, too. Like all good “road” themes, there seem to be an endless number of story ideas connected to them.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  51. Mea Culpa! Forgetful Authors are about as common as Absent-Minded Professors, and I just remembered to announce this week’s contest, with a prize of the first two books in the “Love on the Grand Tour” series. See the original post (up there, at the top of the page) for details.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  52. Mea Culpa! Forgetful Authors are about as common as Absent-Minded Professors, and I just remembered to announce this week’s contest, with a prize of the first two books in the “Love on the Grand Tour” series. See the original post (up there, at the top of the page) for details.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  53. Mea Culpa! Forgetful Authors are about as common as Absent-Minded Professors, and I just remembered to announce this week’s contest, with a prize of the first two books in the “Love on the Grand Tour” series. See the original post (up there, at the top of the page) for details.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  54. Mea Culpa! Forgetful Authors are about as common as Absent-Minded Professors, and I just remembered to announce this week’s contest, with a prize of the first two books in the “Love on the Grand Tour” series. See the original post (up there, at the top of the page) for details.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  55. Mea Culpa! Forgetful Authors are about as common as Absent-Minded Professors, and I just remembered to announce this week’s contest, with a prize of the first two books in the “Love on the Grand Tour” series. See the original post (up there, at the top of the page) for details.
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  56. I hope I haven’t messed up your stats by buying early! My local bookstore had exactly one copy of Seduction and Mystic, so of course I had to buy them. It’s run by a crew of dotty little old ladies who no doubt can’t read the fine print as to when books are supposed to be shelved. They are usually terribly early or extremely late. But they made me happy today. 🙂

    Reply
  57. I hope I haven’t messed up your stats by buying early! My local bookstore had exactly one copy of Seduction and Mystic, so of course I had to buy them. It’s run by a crew of dotty little old ladies who no doubt can’t read the fine print as to when books are supposed to be shelved. They are usually terribly early or extremely late. But they made me happy today. 🙂

    Reply
  58. I hope I haven’t messed up your stats by buying early! My local bookstore had exactly one copy of Seduction and Mystic, so of course I had to buy them. It’s run by a crew of dotty little old ladies who no doubt can’t read the fine print as to when books are supposed to be shelved. They are usually terribly early or extremely late. But they made me happy today. 🙂

    Reply
  59. I hope I haven’t messed up your stats by buying early! My local bookstore had exactly one copy of Seduction and Mystic, so of course I had to buy them. It’s run by a crew of dotty little old ladies who no doubt can’t read the fine print as to when books are supposed to be shelved. They are usually terribly early or extremely late. But they made me happy today. 🙂

    Reply
  60. I hope I haven’t messed up your stats by buying early! My local bookstore had exactly one copy of Seduction and Mystic, so of course I had to buy them. It’s run by a crew of dotty little old ladies who no doubt can’t read the fine print as to when books are supposed to be shelved. They are usually terribly early or extremely late. But they made me happy today. 🙂

    Reply
  61. Maggie, a Sale is a Sale is a Sale, no matter when it happens! I’m pleased you found the books, regardless of the date.
    And believe me, it’s not just “dotty little old ladies” who become overzealous and open boxes too soon. Last year DUCHESS was on sale at most Borders a good two weeks before the sell-date. *g*
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  62. Maggie, a Sale is a Sale is a Sale, no matter when it happens! I’m pleased you found the books, regardless of the date.
    And believe me, it’s not just “dotty little old ladies” who become overzealous and open boxes too soon. Last year DUCHESS was on sale at most Borders a good two weeks before the sell-date. *g*
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  63. Maggie, a Sale is a Sale is a Sale, no matter when it happens! I’m pleased you found the books, regardless of the date.
    And believe me, it’s not just “dotty little old ladies” who become overzealous and open boxes too soon. Last year DUCHESS was on sale at most Borders a good two weeks before the sell-date. *g*
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  64. Maggie, a Sale is a Sale is a Sale, no matter when it happens! I’m pleased you found the books, regardless of the date.
    And believe me, it’s not just “dotty little old ladies” who become overzealous and open boxes too soon. Last year DUCHESS was on sale at most Borders a good two weeks before the sell-date. *g*
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  65. Maggie, a Sale is a Sale is a Sale, no matter when it happens! I’m pleased you found the books, regardless of the date.
    And believe me, it’s not just “dotty little old ladies” who become overzealous and open boxes too soon. Last year DUCHESS was on sale at most Borders a good two weeks before the sell-date. *g*
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  66. Kalen, I’m totally with you on seeing sights when traveling, not burning myself on the beach. I love beaches, love the ocean, and one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds, but I need activity of the intellectual sort.
    I asked, and was told by the Powers That Be, that it was illegal for Mystic Guardian to be released before July 3rd, but I’ll not report your little ladies. “G” Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of this industry.

    Reply
  67. Kalen, I’m totally with you on seeing sights when traveling, not burning myself on the beach. I love beaches, love the ocean, and one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds, but I need activity of the intellectual sort.
    I asked, and was told by the Powers That Be, that it was illegal for Mystic Guardian to be released before July 3rd, but I’ll not report your little ladies. “G” Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of this industry.

    Reply
  68. Kalen, I’m totally with you on seeing sights when traveling, not burning myself on the beach. I love beaches, love the ocean, and one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds, but I need activity of the intellectual sort.
    I asked, and was told by the Powers That Be, that it was illegal for Mystic Guardian to be released before July 3rd, but I’ll not report your little ladies. “G” Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of this industry.

    Reply
  69. Kalen, I’m totally with you on seeing sights when traveling, not burning myself on the beach. I love beaches, love the ocean, and one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds, but I need activity of the intellectual sort.
    I asked, and was told by the Powers That Be, that it was illegal for Mystic Guardian to be released before July 3rd, but I’ll not report your little ladies. “G” Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of this industry.

    Reply
  70. Kalen, I’m totally with you on seeing sights when traveling, not burning myself on the beach. I love beaches, love the ocean, and one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds, but I need activity of the intellectual sort.
    I asked, and was told by the Powers That Be, that it was illegal for Mystic Guardian to be released before July 3rd, but I’ll not report your little ladies. “G” Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of this industry.

    Reply
  71. “I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal.”
    Being child-free, this is not a worry for me, but you do make a good point (and it would limit the kids being bored in the car!).
    “one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds”
    I’m dying to do some sailing on a tall ship! One of my friends spent a year on one and I’m soooo jealous! I’ve never had a chance to do more than a four hour bay cruise on one.

    Reply
  72. “I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal.”
    Being child-free, this is not a worry for me, but you do make a good point (and it would limit the kids being bored in the car!).
    “one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds”
    I’m dying to do some sailing on a tall ship! One of my friends spent a year on one and I’m soooo jealous! I’ve never had a chance to do more than a four hour bay cruise on one.

    Reply
  73. “I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal.”
    Being child-free, this is not a worry for me, but you do make a good point (and it would limit the kids being bored in the car!).
    “one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds”
    I’m dying to do some sailing on a tall ship! One of my friends spent a year on one and I’m soooo jealous! I’ve never had a chance to do more than a four hour bay cruise on one.

    Reply
  74. “I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal.”
    Being child-free, this is not a worry for me, but you do make a good point (and it would limit the kids being bored in the car!).
    “one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds”
    I’m dying to do some sailing on a tall ship! One of my friends spent a year on one and I’m soooo jealous! I’ve never had a chance to do more than a four hour bay cruise on one.

    Reply
  75. “I used to feel the same way about cruise ships. However, when doing a “Grand Tour” with children, such travel is ideal.”
    Being child-free, this is not a worry for me, but you do make a good point (and it would limit the kids being bored in the car!).
    “one of my most favorite cruises was an antique sailing ship where we could feel the waves in our beds”
    I’m dying to do some sailing on a tall ship! One of my friends spent a year on one and I’m soooo jealous! I’ve never had a chance to do more than a four hour bay cruise on one.

    Reply
  76. I love doing things on holidays. I can’t imagine sitting on a beach for it – I’d be bored and burnt! I loved Rome, Venice and Milan when I was there. i’ll have to search out your books to relive!! Nova Scotia is gorgeous! The Maritime Museum is a must, but skip Pier 21 (imo). Citadel Hill is also worth a visit.

    Reply
  77. I love doing things on holidays. I can’t imagine sitting on a beach for it – I’d be bored and burnt! I loved Rome, Venice and Milan when I was there. i’ll have to search out your books to relive!! Nova Scotia is gorgeous! The Maritime Museum is a must, but skip Pier 21 (imo). Citadel Hill is also worth a visit.

    Reply
  78. I love doing things on holidays. I can’t imagine sitting on a beach for it – I’d be bored and burnt! I loved Rome, Venice and Milan when I was there. i’ll have to search out your books to relive!! Nova Scotia is gorgeous! The Maritime Museum is a must, but skip Pier 21 (imo). Citadel Hill is also worth a visit.

    Reply
  79. I love doing things on holidays. I can’t imagine sitting on a beach for it – I’d be bored and burnt! I loved Rome, Venice and Milan when I was there. i’ll have to search out your books to relive!! Nova Scotia is gorgeous! The Maritime Museum is a must, but skip Pier 21 (imo). Citadel Hill is also worth a visit.

    Reply
  80. I love doing things on holidays. I can’t imagine sitting on a beach for it – I’d be bored and burnt! I loved Rome, Venice and Milan when I was there. i’ll have to search out your books to relive!! Nova Scotia is gorgeous! The Maritime Museum is a must, but skip Pier 21 (imo). Citadel Hill is also worth a visit.

    Reply
  81. Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying. An interesting shift in perception. 🙂 Like many Europeans, I take history for granted. That’s not to say that I don’t love it, but I do not pay attention in my everyday life. Every time I have American visitors, they rave about the medieval part of my hometown, and the buildings from the 1900’s, and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home. 🙂
    When it comes to travelling, I love sights of course (castles & ruins turn me to putty) but I also love to just sit in a café and watch life, taste all the food and drift along. I spent about ten days in Cusco/Peru several years ago, and while I saw some great Inca ruins, I still cherish my memories of sitting at the Plaza des Armas, sipping a cold drink and watching life go by….
    Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).
    I am definitly going to get the Grand Tour books, for their location alone, as I think there ought to be more variety as far as locations are concerned…

    Reply
  82. Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying. An interesting shift in perception. 🙂 Like many Europeans, I take history for granted. That’s not to say that I don’t love it, but I do not pay attention in my everyday life. Every time I have American visitors, they rave about the medieval part of my hometown, and the buildings from the 1900’s, and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home. 🙂
    When it comes to travelling, I love sights of course (castles & ruins turn me to putty) but I also love to just sit in a café and watch life, taste all the food and drift along. I spent about ten days in Cusco/Peru several years ago, and while I saw some great Inca ruins, I still cherish my memories of sitting at the Plaza des Armas, sipping a cold drink and watching life go by….
    Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).
    I am definitly going to get the Grand Tour books, for their location alone, as I think there ought to be more variety as far as locations are concerned…

    Reply
  83. Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying. An interesting shift in perception. 🙂 Like many Europeans, I take history for granted. That’s not to say that I don’t love it, but I do not pay attention in my everyday life. Every time I have American visitors, they rave about the medieval part of my hometown, and the buildings from the 1900’s, and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home. 🙂
    When it comes to travelling, I love sights of course (castles & ruins turn me to putty) but I also love to just sit in a café and watch life, taste all the food and drift along. I spent about ten days in Cusco/Peru several years ago, and while I saw some great Inca ruins, I still cherish my memories of sitting at the Plaza des Armas, sipping a cold drink and watching life go by….
    Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).
    I am definitly going to get the Grand Tour books, for their location alone, as I think there ought to be more variety as far as locations are concerned…

    Reply
  84. Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying. An interesting shift in perception. 🙂 Like many Europeans, I take history for granted. That’s not to say that I don’t love it, but I do not pay attention in my everyday life. Every time I have American visitors, they rave about the medieval part of my hometown, and the buildings from the 1900’s, and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home. 🙂
    When it comes to travelling, I love sights of course (castles & ruins turn me to putty) but I also love to just sit in a café and watch life, taste all the food and drift along. I spent about ten days in Cusco/Peru several years ago, and while I saw some great Inca ruins, I still cherish my memories of sitting at the Plaza des Armas, sipping a cold drink and watching life go by….
    Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).
    I am definitly going to get the Grand Tour books, for their location alone, as I think there ought to be more variety as far as locations are concerned…

    Reply
  85. Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying. An interesting shift in perception. 🙂 Like many Europeans, I take history for granted. That’s not to say that I don’t love it, but I do not pay attention in my everyday life. Every time I have American visitors, they rave about the medieval part of my hometown, and the buildings from the 1900’s, and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home. 🙂
    When it comes to travelling, I love sights of course (castles & ruins turn me to putty) but I also love to just sit in a café and watch life, taste all the food and drift along. I spent about ten days in Cusco/Peru several years ago, and while I saw some great Inca ruins, I still cherish my memories of sitting at the Plaza des Armas, sipping a cold drink and watching life go by….
    Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).
    I am definitly going to get the Grand Tour books, for their location alone, as I think there ought to be more variety as far as locations are concerned…

    Reply
  86. Hey Susan/Miranda!
    Wonderful mini-grand tour. I enjoyed it very much. Your book series sounds awesome. Congrats on your milestone.
    As to my vacation tastes… can’t say as I’ve been on one in some years. I did just get back from a week in Manhattan (business trip). When I came up out of the train station, I felt like I’d been transported to another planet. (I live in the middle of an alfalfa field) It was not a fun experience.
    I would love to go to England, France and Ireland and tour old castles and graveyards. And maybe I’ll get the chance, someday. (would need a traveling buddy as dh and family are not the adventurous sort). But to really do the trip up right, I’d want a time machine. I’ve had my head in historical Europe for so long; it might crush my heart to see a car driving along the streets of London.
    the littlest (and rather sheltered) wenchling

    Reply
  87. Hey Susan/Miranda!
    Wonderful mini-grand tour. I enjoyed it very much. Your book series sounds awesome. Congrats on your milestone.
    As to my vacation tastes… can’t say as I’ve been on one in some years. I did just get back from a week in Manhattan (business trip). When I came up out of the train station, I felt like I’d been transported to another planet. (I live in the middle of an alfalfa field) It was not a fun experience.
    I would love to go to England, France and Ireland and tour old castles and graveyards. And maybe I’ll get the chance, someday. (would need a traveling buddy as dh and family are not the adventurous sort). But to really do the trip up right, I’d want a time machine. I’ve had my head in historical Europe for so long; it might crush my heart to see a car driving along the streets of London.
    the littlest (and rather sheltered) wenchling

    Reply
  88. Hey Susan/Miranda!
    Wonderful mini-grand tour. I enjoyed it very much. Your book series sounds awesome. Congrats on your milestone.
    As to my vacation tastes… can’t say as I’ve been on one in some years. I did just get back from a week in Manhattan (business trip). When I came up out of the train station, I felt like I’d been transported to another planet. (I live in the middle of an alfalfa field) It was not a fun experience.
    I would love to go to England, France and Ireland and tour old castles and graveyards. And maybe I’ll get the chance, someday. (would need a traveling buddy as dh and family are not the adventurous sort). But to really do the trip up right, I’d want a time machine. I’ve had my head in historical Europe for so long; it might crush my heart to see a car driving along the streets of London.
    the littlest (and rather sheltered) wenchling

    Reply
  89. Hey Susan/Miranda!
    Wonderful mini-grand tour. I enjoyed it very much. Your book series sounds awesome. Congrats on your milestone.
    As to my vacation tastes… can’t say as I’ve been on one in some years. I did just get back from a week in Manhattan (business trip). When I came up out of the train station, I felt like I’d been transported to another planet. (I live in the middle of an alfalfa field) It was not a fun experience.
    I would love to go to England, France and Ireland and tour old castles and graveyards. And maybe I’ll get the chance, someday. (would need a traveling buddy as dh and family are not the adventurous sort). But to really do the trip up right, I’d want a time machine. I’ve had my head in historical Europe for so long; it might crush my heart to see a car driving along the streets of London.
    the littlest (and rather sheltered) wenchling

    Reply
  90. Hey Susan/Miranda!
    Wonderful mini-grand tour. I enjoyed it very much. Your book series sounds awesome. Congrats on your milestone.
    As to my vacation tastes… can’t say as I’ve been on one in some years. I did just get back from a week in Manhattan (business trip). When I came up out of the train station, I felt like I’d been transported to another planet. (I live in the middle of an alfalfa field) It was not a fun experience.
    I would love to go to England, France and Ireland and tour old castles and graveyards. And maybe I’ll get the chance, someday. (would need a traveling buddy as dh and family are not the adventurous sort). But to really do the trip up right, I’d want a time machine. I’ve had my head in historical Europe for so long; it might crush my heart to see a car driving along the streets of London.
    the littlest (and rather sheltered) wenchling

    Reply
  91. I like to walk when I’m on holiday. There are loads of walking paths, many on National Trust land, in England. There are also amazing trails up in the alps, and of course in the national parks here in the US. My husband likes to explore cities, including the museums and architecture but what he likes best is exploring the lovely parks that many cities maintain at their centers.
    My great aunt went on a Grand Tour one hundred years ago, with a friend and her Scottish Calvanist father. The girls persuaded him to get them a box for the opera in Vienna but he was so disapproving of the decadence of his surroundings that he turned his chair around and refused to watch the performance, but the girls were able to enjoy the whole show.

    Reply
  92. I like to walk when I’m on holiday. There are loads of walking paths, many on National Trust land, in England. There are also amazing trails up in the alps, and of course in the national parks here in the US. My husband likes to explore cities, including the museums and architecture but what he likes best is exploring the lovely parks that many cities maintain at their centers.
    My great aunt went on a Grand Tour one hundred years ago, with a friend and her Scottish Calvanist father. The girls persuaded him to get them a box for the opera in Vienna but he was so disapproving of the decadence of his surroundings that he turned his chair around and refused to watch the performance, but the girls were able to enjoy the whole show.

    Reply
  93. I like to walk when I’m on holiday. There are loads of walking paths, many on National Trust land, in England. There are also amazing trails up in the alps, and of course in the national parks here in the US. My husband likes to explore cities, including the museums and architecture but what he likes best is exploring the lovely parks that many cities maintain at their centers.
    My great aunt went on a Grand Tour one hundred years ago, with a friend and her Scottish Calvanist father. The girls persuaded him to get them a box for the opera in Vienna but he was so disapproving of the decadence of his surroundings that he turned his chair around and refused to watch the performance, but the girls were able to enjoy the whole show.

    Reply
  94. I like to walk when I’m on holiday. There are loads of walking paths, many on National Trust land, in England. There are also amazing trails up in the alps, and of course in the national parks here in the US. My husband likes to explore cities, including the museums and architecture but what he likes best is exploring the lovely parks that many cities maintain at their centers.
    My great aunt went on a Grand Tour one hundred years ago, with a friend and her Scottish Calvanist father. The girls persuaded him to get them a box for the opera in Vienna but he was so disapproving of the decadence of his surroundings that he turned his chair around and refused to watch the performance, but the girls were able to enjoy the whole show.

    Reply
  95. I like to walk when I’m on holiday. There are loads of walking paths, many on National Trust land, in England. There are also amazing trails up in the alps, and of course in the national parks here in the US. My husband likes to explore cities, including the museums and architecture but what he likes best is exploring the lovely parks that many cities maintain at their centers.
    My great aunt went on a Grand Tour one hundred years ago, with a friend and her Scottish Calvanist father. The girls persuaded him to get them a box for the opera in Vienna but he was so disapproving of the decadence of his surroundings that he turned his chair around and refused to watch the performance, but the girls were able to enjoy the whole show.

    Reply
  96. “Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.”
    I live in one of the American meccas for tourists (San Francisco) and I have the same experience all the time. I look up from my daily life every once in a while and am blown away by the view, but most of the time I’m just busy living my life.
    “Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).”
    Tours (Europe in ten days!) sound worse than a cruise. You’re totally right. I hate going at someone else’s pace. I don’t even like guided tours of houses and such, because they always seem to rush past what I want to see and linger forever at the stuff I’m not that interested in. LOL!

    Reply
  97. “Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.”
    I live in one of the American meccas for tourists (San Francisco) and I have the same experience all the time. I look up from my daily life every once in a while and am blown away by the view, but most of the time I’m just busy living my life.
    “Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).”
    Tours (Europe in ten days!) sound worse than a cruise. You’re totally right. I hate going at someone else’s pace. I don’t even like guided tours of houses and such, because they always seem to rush past what I want to see and linger forever at the stuff I’m not that interested in. LOL!

    Reply
  98. “Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.”
    I live in one of the American meccas for tourists (San Francisco) and I have the same experience all the time. I look up from my daily life every once in a while and am blown away by the view, but most of the time I’m just busy living my life.
    “Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).”
    Tours (Europe in ten days!) sound worse than a cruise. You’re totally right. I hate going at someone else’s pace. I don’t even like guided tours of houses and such, because they always seem to rush past what I want to see and linger forever at the stuff I’m not that interested in. LOL!

    Reply
  99. “Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.”
    I live in one of the American meccas for tourists (San Francisco) and I have the same experience all the time. I look up from my daily life every once in a while and am blown away by the view, but most of the time I’m just busy living my life.
    “Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).”
    Tours (Europe in ten days!) sound worse than a cruise. You’re totally right. I hate going at someone else’s pace. I don’t even like guided tours of houses and such, because they always seem to rush past what I want to see and linger forever at the stuff I’m not that interested in. LOL!

    Reply
  100. “Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.”
    I live in one of the American meccas for tourists (San Francisco) and I have the same experience all the time. I look up from my daily life every once in a while and am blown away by the view, but most of the time I’m just busy living my life.
    “Because I like to take my time, I am not keen on organized travels (Europe in ten days is my idea of hell).”
    Tours (Europe in ten days!) sound worse than a cruise. You’re totally right. I hate going at someone else’s pace. I don’t even like guided tours of houses and such, because they always seem to rush past what I want to see and linger forever at the stuff I’m not that interested in. LOL!

    Reply
  101. My travels involve mostly same type ones. I haven’t been too adventurous but am thinking about taking a train ride through the Canadian Rockies and dh wants to go to the Maritimes. We’ll see.

    Reply
  102. My travels involve mostly same type ones. I haven’t been too adventurous but am thinking about taking a train ride through the Canadian Rockies and dh wants to go to the Maritimes. We’ll see.

    Reply
  103. My travels involve mostly same type ones. I haven’t been too adventurous but am thinking about taking a train ride through the Canadian Rockies and dh wants to go to the Maritimes. We’ll see.

    Reply
  104. My travels involve mostly same type ones. I haven’t been too adventurous but am thinking about taking a train ride through the Canadian Rockies and dh wants to go to the Maritimes. We’ll see.

    Reply
  105. My travels involve mostly same type ones. I haven’t been too adventurous but am thinking about taking a train ride through the Canadian Rockies and dh wants to go to the Maritimes. We’ll see.

    Reply
  106. LizA wrote:“Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.” (and Kalen agreed, too)
    This is so true. I live outside of Philadelphia, not far from Valley Forge Park, and everywhere you turn there’s “HISTORY” staring you in the face. (well, everywhere except the King of Prussia malls) Yet you don’t give it much reverent thought when it’s just your neighborhood — it’s ugh, there’s that place where the Brandywine Creek always overflows the road, not that George Washington’s men camped there first.
    Still, I’m always curious about old buildings and places, no matter where I go — history nerd-girl to the core. *g* Which is why I don’t like guided tours, either. They never do tell me what I want to know, and too much drivel that I don’t care about at all.
    Susan/Miranda, content to muddle along at her own historically slow pace….

    Reply
  107. LizA wrote:“Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.” (and Kalen agreed, too)
    This is so true. I live outside of Philadelphia, not far from Valley Forge Park, and everywhere you turn there’s “HISTORY” staring you in the face. (well, everywhere except the King of Prussia malls) Yet you don’t give it much reverent thought when it’s just your neighborhood — it’s ugh, there’s that place where the Brandywine Creek always overflows the road, not that George Washington’s men camped there first.
    Still, I’m always curious about old buildings and places, no matter where I go — history nerd-girl to the core. *g* Which is why I don’t like guided tours, either. They never do tell me what I want to know, and too much drivel that I don’t care about at all.
    Susan/Miranda, content to muddle along at her own historically slow pace….

    Reply
  108. LizA wrote:“Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.” (and Kalen agreed, too)
    This is so true. I live outside of Philadelphia, not far from Valley Forge Park, and everywhere you turn there’s “HISTORY” staring you in the face. (well, everywhere except the King of Prussia malls) Yet you don’t give it much reverent thought when it’s just your neighborhood — it’s ugh, there’s that place where the Brandywine Creek always overflows the road, not that George Washington’s men camped there first.
    Still, I’m always curious about old buildings and places, no matter where I go — history nerd-girl to the core. *g* Which is why I don’t like guided tours, either. They never do tell me what I want to know, and too much drivel that I don’t care about at all.
    Susan/Miranda, content to muddle along at her own historically slow pace….

    Reply
  109. LizA wrote:“Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.” (and Kalen agreed, too)
    This is so true. I live outside of Philadelphia, not far from Valley Forge Park, and everywhere you turn there’s “HISTORY” staring you in the face. (well, everywhere except the King of Prussia malls) Yet you don’t give it much reverent thought when it’s just your neighborhood — it’s ugh, there’s that place where the Brandywine Creek always overflows the road, not that George Washington’s men camped there first.
    Still, I’m always curious about old buildings and places, no matter where I go — history nerd-girl to the core. *g* Which is why I don’t like guided tours, either. They never do tell me what I want to know, and too much drivel that I don’t care about at all.
    Susan/Miranda, content to muddle along at her own historically slow pace….

    Reply
  110. LizA wrote:“Y’know, it’s really interesting to read this discussion, as I am European so I seem to be living where everyone is holidaying . . . and then I remember that it’s special to grow up in such surroundings. Otherwise, it’s just home.” (and Kalen agreed, too)
    This is so true. I live outside of Philadelphia, not far from Valley Forge Park, and everywhere you turn there’s “HISTORY” staring you in the face. (well, everywhere except the King of Prussia malls) Yet you don’t give it much reverent thought when it’s just your neighborhood — it’s ugh, there’s that place where the Brandywine Creek always overflows the road, not that George Washington’s men camped there first.
    Still, I’m always curious about old buildings and places, no matter where I go — history nerd-girl to the core. *g* Which is why I don’t like guided tours, either. They never do tell me what I want to know, and too much drivel that I don’t care about at all.
    Susan/Miranda, content to muddle along at her own historically slow pace….

    Reply
  111. Being an insatiable history buff as well as one who prefers “active vacations,” a few years ago I dragged my family to a “Living History Museum” in Maine. It was very cool to live in the 19th century for 3 days–although 3 days was certainly long enough! After that we lived in England for 5 years and traveled throughout Europe. Our castle count must have been in the hundreds by the end of the 5 years. Unfortunately, we never got to spend more than a few hours in any given castle. :>)

    Reply
  112. Being an insatiable history buff as well as one who prefers “active vacations,” a few years ago I dragged my family to a “Living History Museum” in Maine. It was very cool to live in the 19th century for 3 days–although 3 days was certainly long enough! After that we lived in England for 5 years and traveled throughout Europe. Our castle count must have been in the hundreds by the end of the 5 years. Unfortunately, we never got to spend more than a few hours in any given castle. :>)

    Reply
  113. Being an insatiable history buff as well as one who prefers “active vacations,” a few years ago I dragged my family to a “Living History Museum” in Maine. It was very cool to live in the 19th century for 3 days–although 3 days was certainly long enough! After that we lived in England for 5 years and traveled throughout Europe. Our castle count must have been in the hundreds by the end of the 5 years. Unfortunately, we never got to spend more than a few hours in any given castle. :>)

    Reply
  114. Being an insatiable history buff as well as one who prefers “active vacations,” a few years ago I dragged my family to a “Living History Museum” in Maine. It was very cool to live in the 19th century for 3 days–although 3 days was certainly long enough! After that we lived in England for 5 years and traveled throughout Europe. Our castle count must have been in the hundreds by the end of the 5 years. Unfortunately, we never got to spend more than a few hours in any given castle. :>)

    Reply
  115. Being an insatiable history buff as well as one who prefers “active vacations,” a few years ago I dragged my family to a “Living History Museum” in Maine. It was very cool to live in the 19th century for 3 days–although 3 days was certainly long enough! After that we lived in England for 5 years and traveled throughout Europe. Our castle count must have been in the hundreds by the end of the 5 years. Unfortunately, we never got to spend more than a few hours in any given castle. :>)

    Reply
  116. I like it all. 🙂 I hope that’s not boring of me. But, well – our honeymoon, we didn’t go anywhere, just hung out at the apartment, like it was a long holiday weekend. Though it lasted a proper week. But I love visiting new places – two summers ago I went to Israel…it was on a tour, but, hey, it was free! Adored it. Want desperately to go back. Before that, three weeks at a language institute in the Czech Republic…hm…I seem to do ‘structure’ outside the States, and ‘whatever’ inside. Wonder why?
    Love museums, but not in long doses (i.e., not more than two hours at a stretch). Pity you have to pay for admission each time!

    Reply
  117. I like it all. 🙂 I hope that’s not boring of me. But, well – our honeymoon, we didn’t go anywhere, just hung out at the apartment, like it was a long holiday weekend. Though it lasted a proper week. But I love visiting new places – two summers ago I went to Israel…it was on a tour, but, hey, it was free! Adored it. Want desperately to go back. Before that, three weeks at a language institute in the Czech Republic…hm…I seem to do ‘structure’ outside the States, and ‘whatever’ inside. Wonder why?
    Love museums, but not in long doses (i.e., not more than two hours at a stretch). Pity you have to pay for admission each time!

    Reply
  118. I like it all. 🙂 I hope that’s not boring of me. But, well – our honeymoon, we didn’t go anywhere, just hung out at the apartment, like it was a long holiday weekend. Though it lasted a proper week. But I love visiting new places – two summers ago I went to Israel…it was on a tour, but, hey, it was free! Adored it. Want desperately to go back. Before that, three weeks at a language institute in the Czech Republic…hm…I seem to do ‘structure’ outside the States, and ‘whatever’ inside. Wonder why?
    Love museums, but not in long doses (i.e., not more than two hours at a stretch). Pity you have to pay for admission each time!

    Reply
  119. I like it all. 🙂 I hope that’s not boring of me. But, well – our honeymoon, we didn’t go anywhere, just hung out at the apartment, like it was a long holiday weekend. Though it lasted a proper week. But I love visiting new places – two summers ago I went to Israel…it was on a tour, but, hey, it was free! Adored it. Want desperately to go back. Before that, three weeks at a language institute in the Czech Republic…hm…I seem to do ‘structure’ outside the States, and ‘whatever’ inside. Wonder why?
    Love museums, but not in long doses (i.e., not more than two hours at a stretch). Pity you have to pay for admission each time!

    Reply
  120. I like it all. 🙂 I hope that’s not boring of me. But, well – our honeymoon, we didn’t go anywhere, just hung out at the apartment, like it was a long holiday weekend. Though it lasted a proper week. But I love visiting new places – two summers ago I went to Israel…it was on a tour, but, hey, it was free! Adored it. Want desperately to go back. Before that, three weeks at a language institute in the Czech Republic…hm…I seem to do ‘structure’ outside the States, and ‘whatever’ inside. Wonder why?
    Love museums, but not in long doses (i.e., not more than two hours at a stretch). Pity you have to pay for admission each time!

    Reply
  121. I visited the Soviet Union in April of 1988–Moscow, Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Tbilisi (in Georgia). Such an interesting trip–it was just before Reagan’s visit, and it was still pretty Cold War-ish, with the required Intourist guide and the Beriozka shops for souvenirs.
    I remember being so flummoxed that our airline tickets were written LONGHAND on CARBON PAPER and that our sandwiches were wrapped in what seemed to be butcher paper. (“Don’t they have plastic here?” I wondered. Don’t know why that struck me as so strange.)
    I remember how empty and drab the department store in Moscow was, and how we were so impressed by the little corners of entrepreneurship the guide pointed out–the little Mom and Pop pastry stands and such. We had no idea that the USSR would dissolve just three years later.
    Tbilisi was beautiful and intriguing, I would go back there in a minute–and St. Petersburg of course has all that wonderful architecture, plus the Hermitage Museum which is a beautiful building loaded with even more gorgeous art.
    I drank shots of vodka,visited all the churches I could find and a synagogue (which seemed very daring to us, LOL), and flew Aeroflot around the country, which was an experience in itself in those days (is it still? does anybody know what’s Aeroflot is like these days?).
    I really should go back sometime and see how things have changed. . .

    Reply
  122. I visited the Soviet Union in April of 1988–Moscow, Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Tbilisi (in Georgia). Such an interesting trip–it was just before Reagan’s visit, and it was still pretty Cold War-ish, with the required Intourist guide and the Beriozka shops for souvenirs.
    I remember being so flummoxed that our airline tickets were written LONGHAND on CARBON PAPER and that our sandwiches were wrapped in what seemed to be butcher paper. (“Don’t they have plastic here?” I wondered. Don’t know why that struck me as so strange.)
    I remember how empty and drab the department store in Moscow was, and how we were so impressed by the little corners of entrepreneurship the guide pointed out–the little Mom and Pop pastry stands and such. We had no idea that the USSR would dissolve just three years later.
    Tbilisi was beautiful and intriguing, I would go back there in a minute–and St. Petersburg of course has all that wonderful architecture, plus the Hermitage Museum which is a beautiful building loaded with even more gorgeous art.
    I drank shots of vodka,visited all the churches I could find and a synagogue (which seemed very daring to us, LOL), and flew Aeroflot around the country, which was an experience in itself in those days (is it still? does anybody know what’s Aeroflot is like these days?).
    I really should go back sometime and see how things have changed. . .

    Reply
  123. I visited the Soviet Union in April of 1988–Moscow, Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Tbilisi (in Georgia). Such an interesting trip–it was just before Reagan’s visit, and it was still pretty Cold War-ish, with the required Intourist guide and the Beriozka shops for souvenirs.
    I remember being so flummoxed that our airline tickets were written LONGHAND on CARBON PAPER and that our sandwiches were wrapped in what seemed to be butcher paper. (“Don’t they have plastic here?” I wondered. Don’t know why that struck me as so strange.)
    I remember how empty and drab the department store in Moscow was, and how we were so impressed by the little corners of entrepreneurship the guide pointed out–the little Mom and Pop pastry stands and such. We had no idea that the USSR would dissolve just three years later.
    Tbilisi was beautiful and intriguing, I would go back there in a minute–and St. Petersburg of course has all that wonderful architecture, plus the Hermitage Museum which is a beautiful building loaded with even more gorgeous art.
    I drank shots of vodka,visited all the churches I could find and a synagogue (which seemed very daring to us, LOL), and flew Aeroflot around the country, which was an experience in itself in those days (is it still? does anybody know what’s Aeroflot is like these days?).
    I really should go back sometime and see how things have changed. . .

    Reply
  124. I visited the Soviet Union in April of 1988–Moscow, Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Tbilisi (in Georgia). Such an interesting trip–it was just before Reagan’s visit, and it was still pretty Cold War-ish, with the required Intourist guide and the Beriozka shops for souvenirs.
    I remember being so flummoxed that our airline tickets were written LONGHAND on CARBON PAPER and that our sandwiches were wrapped in what seemed to be butcher paper. (“Don’t they have plastic here?” I wondered. Don’t know why that struck me as so strange.)
    I remember how empty and drab the department store in Moscow was, and how we were so impressed by the little corners of entrepreneurship the guide pointed out–the little Mom and Pop pastry stands and such. We had no idea that the USSR would dissolve just three years later.
    Tbilisi was beautiful and intriguing, I would go back there in a minute–and St. Petersburg of course has all that wonderful architecture, plus the Hermitage Museum which is a beautiful building loaded with even more gorgeous art.
    I drank shots of vodka,visited all the churches I could find and a synagogue (which seemed very daring to us, LOL), and flew Aeroflot around the country, which was an experience in itself in those days (is it still? does anybody know what’s Aeroflot is like these days?).
    I really should go back sometime and see how things have changed. . .

    Reply
  125. I visited the Soviet Union in April of 1988–Moscow, Leningrad (St Petersburg) and Tbilisi (in Georgia). Such an interesting trip–it was just before Reagan’s visit, and it was still pretty Cold War-ish, with the required Intourist guide and the Beriozka shops for souvenirs.
    I remember being so flummoxed that our airline tickets were written LONGHAND on CARBON PAPER and that our sandwiches were wrapped in what seemed to be butcher paper. (“Don’t they have plastic here?” I wondered. Don’t know why that struck me as so strange.)
    I remember how empty and drab the department store in Moscow was, and how we were so impressed by the little corners of entrepreneurship the guide pointed out–the little Mom and Pop pastry stands and such. We had no idea that the USSR would dissolve just three years later.
    Tbilisi was beautiful and intriguing, I would go back there in a minute–and St. Petersburg of course has all that wonderful architecture, plus the Hermitage Museum which is a beautiful building loaded with even more gorgeous art.
    I drank shots of vodka,visited all the churches I could find and a synagogue (which seemed very daring to us, LOL), and flew Aeroflot around the country, which was an experience in itself in those days (is it still? does anybody know what’s Aeroflot is like these days?).
    I really should go back sometime and see how things have changed. . .

    Reply
  126. I’m so glad your ladies are venturing off to the continent. It seems a pity that most historical romances are so insular.
    When our children were young, we discovered the joys of renting a house for vacation – in Maine, in Dorset, just outside Florence, in a tiny village near Siena, etc. Aside from things being a lot cheaper when you don’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant, the kids didn’t have to be on their best behavior all the time. We did drag them through every museum and country house church we could reach, but what I also loved was going grocery shopping (who’d have thought there were that many kinds of marmalade in existence?) and wandering around hardware stores – in short, pretending that I really lived there, even if the trip was only for a month or so.

    Reply
  127. I’m so glad your ladies are venturing off to the continent. It seems a pity that most historical romances are so insular.
    When our children were young, we discovered the joys of renting a house for vacation – in Maine, in Dorset, just outside Florence, in a tiny village near Siena, etc. Aside from things being a lot cheaper when you don’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant, the kids didn’t have to be on their best behavior all the time. We did drag them through every museum and country house church we could reach, but what I also loved was going grocery shopping (who’d have thought there were that many kinds of marmalade in existence?) and wandering around hardware stores – in short, pretending that I really lived there, even if the trip was only for a month or so.

    Reply
  128. I’m so glad your ladies are venturing off to the continent. It seems a pity that most historical romances are so insular.
    When our children were young, we discovered the joys of renting a house for vacation – in Maine, in Dorset, just outside Florence, in a tiny village near Siena, etc. Aside from things being a lot cheaper when you don’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant, the kids didn’t have to be on their best behavior all the time. We did drag them through every museum and country house church we could reach, but what I also loved was going grocery shopping (who’d have thought there were that many kinds of marmalade in existence?) and wandering around hardware stores – in short, pretending that I really lived there, even if the trip was only for a month or so.

    Reply
  129. I’m so glad your ladies are venturing off to the continent. It seems a pity that most historical romances are so insular.
    When our children were young, we discovered the joys of renting a house for vacation – in Maine, in Dorset, just outside Florence, in a tiny village near Siena, etc. Aside from things being a lot cheaper when you don’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant, the kids didn’t have to be on their best behavior all the time. We did drag them through every museum and country house church we could reach, but what I also loved was going grocery shopping (who’d have thought there were that many kinds of marmalade in existence?) and wandering around hardware stores – in short, pretending that I really lived there, even if the trip was only for a month or so.

    Reply
  130. I’m so glad your ladies are venturing off to the continent. It seems a pity that most historical romances are so insular.
    When our children were young, we discovered the joys of renting a house for vacation – in Maine, in Dorset, just outside Florence, in a tiny village near Siena, etc. Aside from things being a lot cheaper when you don’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant, the kids didn’t have to be on their best behavior all the time. We did drag them through every museum and country house church we could reach, but what I also loved was going grocery shopping (who’d have thought there were that many kinds of marmalade in existence?) and wandering around hardware stores – in short, pretending that I really lived there, even if the trip was only for a month or so.

    Reply
  131. Travel is such a vast subject!
    RevMelinda’s post reminds me of my own visits to Communist countries in the past – Yugoslavia, Hungary and East Germany in the 1970s and early 1980s are now as firmly part of history as the 19th century. Even ‘West Germany’, as it then was, has changed beyond all recognition since I first knew it in the 1960s. Well, so has Britain, of course.
    France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands really don’t feel ‘foreign’ to me at all. From London, to get to Paris, all you do is get onto a train at Waterloo and off again at the Gard du Nord. No different from going to Edinburgh, except that it is a shorter train journey to Paris. One gets more of a sense of travelling from going to Italy, or the south of France.
    Egypt, which I have visited at least once a year for 20 years, also seems comfortably familiar to me, though I am ashamed to say that while I can speak German and get by in French, my Arabic is still confined to a few odd words and phrases. I should like to get to more countries near the centre of the Roman Empire: I have been to Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, (and Turkey, Greece, and Italy, of course), but there are such important Roman and prehistoric sites in countries that are too unstable to visit just now. Sad.
    Apart from countries that were in the Roman Empire, I should like to go back to Australia again, and see New Zealand for the first time, and return to Hawaii (with my husband, this time – I have only been there on my own), and any number of places in the USA, both ones I know already and ones I don’t, and Canada (only know Vancouver), and maybe India.
    Life is too short, alas. Yet we are lucky that it is comparatively easy for us, as long as we can find the time and the money. I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.
    🙂

    Reply
  132. Travel is such a vast subject!
    RevMelinda’s post reminds me of my own visits to Communist countries in the past – Yugoslavia, Hungary and East Germany in the 1970s and early 1980s are now as firmly part of history as the 19th century. Even ‘West Germany’, as it then was, has changed beyond all recognition since I first knew it in the 1960s. Well, so has Britain, of course.
    France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands really don’t feel ‘foreign’ to me at all. From London, to get to Paris, all you do is get onto a train at Waterloo and off again at the Gard du Nord. No different from going to Edinburgh, except that it is a shorter train journey to Paris. One gets more of a sense of travelling from going to Italy, or the south of France.
    Egypt, which I have visited at least once a year for 20 years, also seems comfortably familiar to me, though I am ashamed to say that while I can speak German and get by in French, my Arabic is still confined to a few odd words and phrases. I should like to get to more countries near the centre of the Roman Empire: I have been to Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, (and Turkey, Greece, and Italy, of course), but there are such important Roman and prehistoric sites in countries that are too unstable to visit just now. Sad.
    Apart from countries that were in the Roman Empire, I should like to go back to Australia again, and see New Zealand for the first time, and return to Hawaii (with my husband, this time – I have only been there on my own), and any number of places in the USA, both ones I know already and ones I don’t, and Canada (only know Vancouver), and maybe India.
    Life is too short, alas. Yet we are lucky that it is comparatively easy for us, as long as we can find the time and the money. I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.
    🙂

    Reply
  133. Travel is such a vast subject!
    RevMelinda’s post reminds me of my own visits to Communist countries in the past – Yugoslavia, Hungary and East Germany in the 1970s and early 1980s are now as firmly part of history as the 19th century. Even ‘West Germany’, as it then was, has changed beyond all recognition since I first knew it in the 1960s. Well, so has Britain, of course.
    France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands really don’t feel ‘foreign’ to me at all. From London, to get to Paris, all you do is get onto a train at Waterloo and off again at the Gard du Nord. No different from going to Edinburgh, except that it is a shorter train journey to Paris. One gets more of a sense of travelling from going to Italy, or the south of France.
    Egypt, which I have visited at least once a year for 20 years, also seems comfortably familiar to me, though I am ashamed to say that while I can speak German and get by in French, my Arabic is still confined to a few odd words and phrases. I should like to get to more countries near the centre of the Roman Empire: I have been to Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, (and Turkey, Greece, and Italy, of course), but there are such important Roman and prehistoric sites in countries that are too unstable to visit just now. Sad.
    Apart from countries that were in the Roman Empire, I should like to go back to Australia again, and see New Zealand for the first time, and return to Hawaii (with my husband, this time – I have only been there on my own), and any number of places in the USA, both ones I know already and ones I don’t, and Canada (only know Vancouver), and maybe India.
    Life is too short, alas. Yet we are lucky that it is comparatively easy for us, as long as we can find the time and the money. I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.
    🙂

    Reply
  134. Travel is such a vast subject!
    RevMelinda’s post reminds me of my own visits to Communist countries in the past – Yugoslavia, Hungary and East Germany in the 1970s and early 1980s are now as firmly part of history as the 19th century. Even ‘West Germany’, as it then was, has changed beyond all recognition since I first knew it in the 1960s. Well, so has Britain, of course.
    France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands really don’t feel ‘foreign’ to me at all. From London, to get to Paris, all you do is get onto a train at Waterloo and off again at the Gard du Nord. No different from going to Edinburgh, except that it is a shorter train journey to Paris. One gets more of a sense of travelling from going to Italy, or the south of France.
    Egypt, which I have visited at least once a year for 20 years, also seems comfortably familiar to me, though I am ashamed to say that while I can speak German and get by in French, my Arabic is still confined to a few odd words and phrases. I should like to get to more countries near the centre of the Roman Empire: I have been to Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, (and Turkey, Greece, and Italy, of course), but there are such important Roman and prehistoric sites in countries that are too unstable to visit just now. Sad.
    Apart from countries that were in the Roman Empire, I should like to go back to Australia again, and see New Zealand for the first time, and return to Hawaii (with my husband, this time – I have only been there on my own), and any number of places in the USA, both ones I know already and ones I don’t, and Canada (only know Vancouver), and maybe India.
    Life is too short, alas. Yet we are lucky that it is comparatively easy for us, as long as we can find the time and the money. I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.
    🙂

    Reply
  135. Travel is such a vast subject!
    RevMelinda’s post reminds me of my own visits to Communist countries in the past – Yugoslavia, Hungary and East Germany in the 1970s and early 1980s are now as firmly part of history as the 19th century. Even ‘West Germany’, as it then was, has changed beyond all recognition since I first knew it in the 1960s. Well, so has Britain, of course.
    France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands really don’t feel ‘foreign’ to me at all. From London, to get to Paris, all you do is get onto a train at Waterloo and off again at the Gard du Nord. No different from going to Edinburgh, except that it is a shorter train journey to Paris. One gets more of a sense of travelling from going to Italy, or the south of France.
    Egypt, which I have visited at least once a year for 20 years, also seems comfortably familiar to me, though I am ashamed to say that while I can speak German and get by in French, my Arabic is still confined to a few odd words and phrases. I should like to get to more countries near the centre of the Roman Empire: I have been to Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, (and Turkey, Greece, and Italy, of course), but there are such important Roman and prehistoric sites in countries that are too unstable to visit just now. Sad.
    Apart from countries that were in the Roman Empire, I should like to go back to Australia again, and see New Zealand for the first time, and return to Hawaii (with my husband, this time – I have only been there on my own), and any number of places in the USA, both ones I know already and ones I don’t, and Canada (only know Vancouver), and maybe India.
    Life is too short, alas. Yet we are lucky that it is comparatively easy for us, as long as we can find the time and the money. I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.
    🙂

    Reply
  136. I love to go places where we’ve never been before and have new experiences.
    One rule we’ve always had while traveling is no meals at chain restaurants – we try to find unique places to eat.

    Reply
  137. I love to go places where we’ve never been before and have new experiences.
    One rule we’ve always had while traveling is no meals at chain restaurants – we try to find unique places to eat.

    Reply
  138. I love to go places where we’ve never been before and have new experiences.
    One rule we’ve always had while traveling is no meals at chain restaurants – we try to find unique places to eat.

    Reply
  139. I love to go places where we’ve never been before and have new experiences.
    One rule we’ve always had while traveling is no meals at chain restaurants – we try to find unique places to eat.

    Reply
  140. I love to go places where we’ve never been before and have new experiences.
    One rule we’ve always had while traveling is no meals at chain restaurants – we try to find unique places to eat.

    Reply
  141. Our travel has been limited because of time (2 weeks was all the vacation we could have) and money (see above). Most of the time we have gone to the family cabin in Colorado. Once there, we could prepare meals in the kitchen and take walks in the woods or sail on the lake. We did one really nice trip to the British Virgin Islands in 1995, a bareboat charter. It was our last trip as a whole family because our oldest had just turned 18 and was about to leave for college. Being together in such a small space (40 foot sailboat) for 10 days was fun and we got to know our children again without having them run off to be with their friends, watch TV or talk on the telephone.
    I did a 3 week, 8 country whirlwind tour as a 16 year old youngster. I thought it was nice (but exhausting) and it gave an idea about where I’d like to spend more time later. But I’ve never had the opportunity to go back.

    Reply
  142. Our travel has been limited because of time (2 weeks was all the vacation we could have) and money (see above). Most of the time we have gone to the family cabin in Colorado. Once there, we could prepare meals in the kitchen and take walks in the woods or sail on the lake. We did one really nice trip to the British Virgin Islands in 1995, a bareboat charter. It was our last trip as a whole family because our oldest had just turned 18 and was about to leave for college. Being together in such a small space (40 foot sailboat) for 10 days was fun and we got to know our children again without having them run off to be with their friends, watch TV or talk on the telephone.
    I did a 3 week, 8 country whirlwind tour as a 16 year old youngster. I thought it was nice (but exhausting) and it gave an idea about where I’d like to spend more time later. But I’ve never had the opportunity to go back.

    Reply
  143. Our travel has been limited because of time (2 weeks was all the vacation we could have) and money (see above). Most of the time we have gone to the family cabin in Colorado. Once there, we could prepare meals in the kitchen and take walks in the woods or sail on the lake. We did one really nice trip to the British Virgin Islands in 1995, a bareboat charter. It was our last trip as a whole family because our oldest had just turned 18 and was about to leave for college. Being together in such a small space (40 foot sailboat) for 10 days was fun and we got to know our children again without having them run off to be with their friends, watch TV or talk on the telephone.
    I did a 3 week, 8 country whirlwind tour as a 16 year old youngster. I thought it was nice (but exhausting) and it gave an idea about where I’d like to spend more time later. But I’ve never had the opportunity to go back.

    Reply
  144. Our travel has been limited because of time (2 weeks was all the vacation we could have) and money (see above). Most of the time we have gone to the family cabin in Colorado. Once there, we could prepare meals in the kitchen and take walks in the woods or sail on the lake. We did one really nice trip to the British Virgin Islands in 1995, a bareboat charter. It was our last trip as a whole family because our oldest had just turned 18 and was about to leave for college. Being together in such a small space (40 foot sailboat) for 10 days was fun and we got to know our children again without having them run off to be with their friends, watch TV or talk on the telephone.
    I did a 3 week, 8 country whirlwind tour as a 16 year old youngster. I thought it was nice (but exhausting) and it gave an idea about where I’d like to spend more time later. But I’ve never had the opportunity to go back.

    Reply
  145. Our travel has been limited because of time (2 weeks was all the vacation we could have) and money (see above). Most of the time we have gone to the family cabin in Colorado. Once there, we could prepare meals in the kitchen and take walks in the woods or sail on the lake. We did one really nice trip to the British Virgin Islands in 1995, a bareboat charter. It was our last trip as a whole family because our oldest had just turned 18 and was about to leave for college. Being together in such a small space (40 foot sailboat) for 10 days was fun and we got to know our children again without having them run off to be with their friends, watch TV or talk on the telephone.
    I did a 3 week, 8 country whirlwind tour as a 16 year old youngster. I thought it was nice (but exhausting) and it gave an idea about where I’d like to spend more time later. But I’ve never had the opportunity to go back.

    Reply
  146. Your series sounds great. I am always fascinated by novels that have characters who take a “grand tour”. Thanks for the historical background.
    I love to go places that I haven’t been to before. It is fun to see and experience different sites.

    Reply
  147. Your series sounds great. I am always fascinated by novels that have characters who take a “grand tour”. Thanks for the historical background.
    I love to go places that I haven’t been to before. It is fun to see and experience different sites.

    Reply
  148. Your series sounds great. I am always fascinated by novels that have characters who take a “grand tour”. Thanks for the historical background.
    I love to go places that I haven’t been to before. It is fun to see and experience different sites.

    Reply
  149. Your series sounds great. I am always fascinated by novels that have characters who take a “grand tour”. Thanks for the historical background.
    I love to go places that I haven’t been to before. It is fun to see and experience different sites.

    Reply
  150. Your series sounds great. I am always fascinated by novels that have characters who take a “grand tour”. Thanks for the historical background.
    I love to go places that I haven’t been to before. It is fun to see and experience different sites.

    Reply
  151. AgTigress, I’m green with envy over here!!! The one drawback to living on the West Coast is that it’s just soooooooo far from Europe. *sigh* My best friend, who lives in Manhattan, jumps over the pond all time, but it’s a slightly bigger deal for me (both $ and time-wise).
    On the other hand, I’m off to New Zealand in Aug (going to speak at their national romance writers’ convention and visit my brother). Can’t wait!!! The water just looks soooooooooooo blue in all the pictures (and seeing as I’m a HUGE Lord of the Rings geek I’m working on getting into Weta . . . ).

    Reply
  152. AgTigress, I’m green with envy over here!!! The one drawback to living on the West Coast is that it’s just soooooooo far from Europe. *sigh* My best friend, who lives in Manhattan, jumps over the pond all time, but it’s a slightly bigger deal for me (both $ and time-wise).
    On the other hand, I’m off to New Zealand in Aug (going to speak at their national romance writers’ convention and visit my brother). Can’t wait!!! The water just looks soooooooooooo blue in all the pictures (and seeing as I’m a HUGE Lord of the Rings geek I’m working on getting into Weta . . . ).

    Reply
  153. AgTigress, I’m green with envy over here!!! The one drawback to living on the West Coast is that it’s just soooooooo far from Europe. *sigh* My best friend, who lives in Manhattan, jumps over the pond all time, but it’s a slightly bigger deal for me (both $ and time-wise).
    On the other hand, I’m off to New Zealand in Aug (going to speak at their national romance writers’ convention and visit my brother). Can’t wait!!! The water just looks soooooooooooo blue in all the pictures (and seeing as I’m a HUGE Lord of the Rings geek I’m working on getting into Weta . . . ).

    Reply
  154. AgTigress, I’m green with envy over here!!! The one drawback to living on the West Coast is that it’s just soooooooo far from Europe. *sigh* My best friend, who lives in Manhattan, jumps over the pond all time, but it’s a slightly bigger deal for me (both $ and time-wise).
    On the other hand, I’m off to New Zealand in Aug (going to speak at their national romance writers’ convention and visit my brother). Can’t wait!!! The water just looks soooooooooooo blue in all the pictures (and seeing as I’m a HUGE Lord of the Rings geek I’m working on getting into Weta . . . ).

    Reply
  155. AgTigress, I’m green with envy over here!!! The one drawback to living on the West Coast is that it’s just soooooooo far from Europe. *sigh* My best friend, who lives in Manhattan, jumps over the pond all time, but it’s a slightly bigger deal for me (both $ and time-wise).
    On the other hand, I’m off to New Zealand in Aug (going to speak at their national romance writers’ convention and visit my brother). Can’t wait!!! The water just looks soooooooooooo blue in all the pictures (and seeing as I’m a HUGE Lord of the Rings geek I’m working on getting into Weta . . . ).

    Reply
  156. We haven’t had a real vacation in four years–finances, family crises, and being parents of a small child have conspired to limit our travel to my family home near Birmingham and my husband’s in Tulsa. Lately we consider my writers conferences and my husband’s tech conferences (which we’ve attended solo so far) as our vacations, even though we spend most of the time in a conference hotel, because at least it’s a break from the daily grind of work and household/parental responsibilities.
    I miss real travel and look back with fondness upon our last two vacations. In 2002 we flew out to Philly, my old stomping grounds, for a friend’s wedding, and I got to show my husband the famous Philly sights and my collegiate haunts. We then rented a car and took a road trip to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame and spent a day at Gettysburg on the way back to Philly. Then in 2003 we drove down to California, visiting family in Modesto and friends in San Francisco before driving slowly up the coast, staying in bed & breakfasts along the way.
    I’m another one who doesn’t see the appeal of beach or cruise vacations. I love the ocean, but I prefer wild rocky shores in cooler climates to crowded sandy beaches. My idea vacation would be some combination of historical sites, wild rugged countryside, and good food.
    I’m lucky enough that I got to live in England for a year, do a fair amount of sightseeing while there, and spend a week in Ireland before coming home. My best travel memories of that year include the Avebury and Castlerigg stone circles, roaming around London, and doing the bike ride around the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry that Rick Steves recommends in his Ireland book.
    One day I’ll make it back to Europe. Military history geek that I am, I want to be there for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015, and I figure 8 years isn’t too soon to start dreaming and even planning a little, especially if I want to go for a month or two and make a grand tour of it for my daughter and as-yet-hypothetical second child.

    Reply
  157. We haven’t had a real vacation in four years–finances, family crises, and being parents of a small child have conspired to limit our travel to my family home near Birmingham and my husband’s in Tulsa. Lately we consider my writers conferences and my husband’s tech conferences (which we’ve attended solo so far) as our vacations, even though we spend most of the time in a conference hotel, because at least it’s a break from the daily grind of work and household/parental responsibilities.
    I miss real travel and look back with fondness upon our last two vacations. In 2002 we flew out to Philly, my old stomping grounds, for a friend’s wedding, and I got to show my husband the famous Philly sights and my collegiate haunts. We then rented a car and took a road trip to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame and spent a day at Gettysburg on the way back to Philly. Then in 2003 we drove down to California, visiting family in Modesto and friends in San Francisco before driving slowly up the coast, staying in bed & breakfasts along the way.
    I’m another one who doesn’t see the appeal of beach or cruise vacations. I love the ocean, but I prefer wild rocky shores in cooler climates to crowded sandy beaches. My idea vacation would be some combination of historical sites, wild rugged countryside, and good food.
    I’m lucky enough that I got to live in England for a year, do a fair amount of sightseeing while there, and spend a week in Ireland before coming home. My best travel memories of that year include the Avebury and Castlerigg stone circles, roaming around London, and doing the bike ride around the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry that Rick Steves recommends in his Ireland book.
    One day I’ll make it back to Europe. Military history geek that I am, I want to be there for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015, and I figure 8 years isn’t too soon to start dreaming and even planning a little, especially if I want to go for a month or two and make a grand tour of it for my daughter and as-yet-hypothetical second child.

    Reply
  158. We haven’t had a real vacation in four years–finances, family crises, and being parents of a small child have conspired to limit our travel to my family home near Birmingham and my husband’s in Tulsa. Lately we consider my writers conferences and my husband’s tech conferences (which we’ve attended solo so far) as our vacations, even though we spend most of the time in a conference hotel, because at least it’s a break from the daily grind of work and household/parental responsibilities.
    I miss real travel and look back with fondness upon our last two vacations. In 2002 we flew out to Philly, my old stomping grounds, for a friend’s wedding, and I got to show my husband the famous Philly sights and my collegiate haunts. We then rented a car and took a road trip to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame and spent a day at Gettysburg on the way back to Philly. Then in 2003 we drove down to California, visiting family in Modesto and friends in San Francisco before driving slowly up the coast, staying in bed & breakfasts along the way.
    I’m another one who doesn’t see the appeal of beach or cruise vacations. I love the ocean, but I prefer wild rocky shores in cooler climates to crowded sandy beaches. My idea vacation would be some combination of historical sites, wild rugged countryside, and good food.
    I’m lucky enough that I got to live in England for a year, do a fair amount of sightseeing while there, and spend a week in Ireland before coming home. My best travel memories of that year include the Avebury and Castlerigg stone circles, roaming around London, and doing the bike ride around the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry that Rick Steves recommends in his Ireland book.
    One day I’ll make it back to Europe. Military history geek that I am, I want to be there for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015, and I figure 8 years isn’t too soon to start dreaming and even planning a little, especially if I want to go for a month or two and make a grand tour of it for my daughter and as-yet-hypothetical second child.

    Reply
  159. We haven’t had a real vacation in four years–finances, family crises, and being parents of a small child have conspired to limit our travel to my family home near Birmingham and my husband’s in Tulsa. Lately we consider my writers conferences and my husband’s tech conferences (which we’ve attended solo so far) as our vacations, even though we spend most of the time in a conference hotel, because at least it’s a break from the daily grind of work and household/parental responsibilities.
    I miss real travel and look back with fondness upon our last two vacations. In 2002 we flew out to Philly, my old stomping grounds, for a friend’s wedding, and I got to show my husband the famous Philly sights and my collegiate haunts. We then rented a car and took a road trip to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame and spent a day at Gettysburg on the way back to Philly. Then in 2003 we drove down to California, visiting family in Modesto and friends in San Francisco before driving slowly up the coast, staying in bed & breakfasts along the way.
    I’m another one who doesn’t see the appeal of beach or cruise vacations. I love the ocean, but I prefer wild rocky shores in cooler climates to crowded sandy beaches. My idea vacation would be some combination of historical sites, wild rugged countryside, and good food.
    I’m lucky enough that I got to live in England for a year, do a fair amount of sightseeing while there, and spend a week in Ireland before coming home. My best travel memories of that year include the Avebury and Castlerigg stone circles, roaming around London, and doing the bike ride around the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry that Rick Steves recommends in his Ireland book.
    One day I’ll make it back to Europe. Military history geek that I am, I want to be there for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015, and I figure 8 years isn’t too soon to start dreaming and even planning a little, especially if I want to go for a month or two and make a grand tour of it for my daughter and as-yet-hypothetical second child.

    Reply
  160. We haven’t had a real vacation in four years–finances, family crises, and being parents of a small child have conspired to limit our travel to my family home near Birmingham and my husband’s in Tulsa. Lately we consider my writers conferences and my husband’s tech conferences (which we’ve attended solo so far) as our vacations, even though we spend most of the time in a conference hotel, because at least it’s a break from the daily grind of work and household/parental responsibilities.
    I miss real travel and look back with fondness upon our last two vacations. In 2002 we flew out to Philly, my old stomping grounds, for a friend’s wedding, and I got to show my husband the famous Philly sights and my collegiate haunts. We then rented a car and took a road trip to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame and spent a day at Gettysburg on the way back to Philly. Then in 2003 we drove down to California, visiting family in Modesto and friends in San Francisco before driving slowly up the coast, staying in bed & breakfasts along the way.
    I’m another one who doesn’t see the appeal of beach or cruise vacations. I love the ocean, but I prefer wild rocky shores in cooler climates to crowded sandy beaches. My idea vacation would be some combination of historical sites, wild rugged countryside, and good food.
    I’m lucky enough that I got to live in England for a year, do a fair amount of sightseeing while there, and spend a week in Ireland before coming home. My best travel memories of that year include the Avebury and Castlerigg stone circles, roaming around London, and doing the bike ride around the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry that Rick Steves recommends in his Ireland book.
    One day I’ll make it back to Europe. Military history geek that I am, I want to be there for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015, and I figure 8 years isn’t too soon to start dreaming and even planning a little, especially if I want to go for a month or two and make a grand tour of it for my daughter and as-yet-hypothetical second child.

    Reply
  161. So many evocative comments! I spent the summer after my sophomore year of high school in Colombia, South America. and I’ve been traveling ever since, not to mention the 2+ years living in Oxford, England.
    There are so many lovely places (and Kalen, New Zealand is definitely one of them!) I still feel that I have lots more Europe to see. I’d go back to Greece or Italy in a heartbeat, and I’m yearning to visit the Dalmatian coast.
    And in defense of cruises, I’ll mention that not only are they great when one has kids in tow, but also when traveling with someone who has mobility issues. Those ships make it possible for a lot of people to travel, perhaps with their families, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel at all. (BUt small ships are more fun than large ones!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  162. So many evocative comments! I spent the summer after my sophomore year of high school in Colombia, South America. and I’ve been traveling ever since, not to mention the 2+ years living in Oxford, England.
    There are so many lovely places (and Kalen, New Zealand is definitely one of them!) I still feel that I have lots more Europe to see. I’d go back to Greece or Italy in a heartbeat, and I’m yearning to visit the Dalmatian coast.
    And in defense of cruises, I’ll mention that not only are they great when one has kids in tow, but also when traveling with someone who has mobility issues. Those ships make it possible for a lot of people to travel, perhaps with their families, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel at all. (BUt small ships are more fun than large ones!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  163. So many evocative comments! I spent the summer after my sophomore year of high school in Colombia, South America. and I’ve been traveling ever since, not to mention the 2+ years living in Oxford, England.
    There are so many lovely places (and Kalen, New Zealand is definitely one of them!) I still feel that I have lots more Europe to see. I’d go back to Greece or Italy in a heartbeat, and I’m yearning to visit the Dalmatian coast.
    And in defense of cruises, I’ll mention that not only are they great when one has kids in tow, but also when traveling with someone who has mobility issues. Those ships make it possible for a lot of people to travel, perhaps with their families, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel at all. (BUt small ships are more fun than large ones!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  164. So many evocative comments! I spent the summer after my sophomore year of high school in Colombia, South America. and I’ve been traveling ever since, not to mention the 2+ years living in Oxford, England.
    There are so many lovely places (and Kalen, New Zealand is definitely one of them!) I still feel that I have lots more Europe to see. I’d go back to Greece or Italy in a heartbeat, and I’m yearning to visit the Dalmatian coast.
    And in defense of cruises, I’ll mention that not only are they great when one has kids in tow, but also when traveling with someone who has mobility issues. Those ships make it possible for a lot of people to travel, perhaps with their families, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel at all. (BUt small ships are more fun than large ones!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  165. So many evocative comments! I spent the summer after my sophomore year of high school in Colombia, South America. and I’ve been traveling ever since, not to mention the 2+ years living in Oxford, England.
    There are so many lovely places (and Kalen, New Zealand is definitely one of them!) I still feel that I have lots more Europe to see. I’d go back to Greece or Italy in a heartbeat, and I’m yearning to visit the Dalmatian coast.
    And in defense of cruises, I’ll mention that not only are they great when one has kids in tow, but also when traveling with someone who has mobility issues. Those ships make it possible for a lot of people to travel, perhaps with their families, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel at all. (BUt small ships are more fun than large ones!)
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  166. Excellent post, Susan/Miranda. Plus ca change…etc.
    The first time I ever ventured outside the U.S. I went to Albania. This was really an adventure because at the time, it was still closed off to most of the world, esp. Americans. It was so different from the world I knew. I fell in love, totally and irrevocably with its foreign-ness as well as with the place itself. Being an imaginative child who read a lot, I always did hunger for furrin’ parts but that trip made me so profoundly aware of cultural differences: that people elsewhere didn’t simply speak a different language but saw the world differently and behaved differently. And ate differently.*g* I love these differences and still do. Most of my travel since has been to the UK, but that’s fine for a history slut–and we go looking for exotic food as well as out-of-the-way pubs where one finds excellent beers to go along with some amazing meals. I like the beach, too, but that’s a different state of mind.

    Reply
  167. Excellent post, Susan/Miranda. Plus ca change…etc.
    The first time I ever ventured outside the U.S. I went to Albania. This was really an adventure because at the time, it was still closed off to most of the world, esp. Americans. It was so different from the world I knew. I fell in love, totally and irrevocably with its foreign-ness as well as with the place itself. Being an imaginative child who read a lot, I always did hunger for furrin’ parts but that trip made me so profoundly aware of cultural differences: that people elsewhere didn’t simply speak a different language but saw the world differently and behaved differently. And ate differently.*g* I love these differences and still do. Most of my travel since has been to the UK, but that’s fine for a history slut–and we go looking for exotic food as well as out-of-the-way pubs where one finds excellent beers to go along with some amazing meals. I like the beach, too, but that’s a different state of mind.

    Reply
  168. Excellent post, Susan/Miranda. Plus ca change…etc.
    The first time I ever ventured outside the U.S. I went to Albania. This was really an adventure because at the time, it was still closed off to most of the world, esp. Americans. It was so different from the world I knew. I fell in love, totally and irrevocably with its foreign-ness as well as with the place itself. Being an imaginative child who read a lot, I always did hunger for furrin’ parts but that trip made me so profoundly aware of cultural differences: that people elsewhere didn’t simply speak a different language but saw the world differently and behaved differently. And ate differently.*g* I love these differences and still do. Most of my travel since has been to the UK, but that’s fine for a history slut–and we go looking for exotic food as well as out-of-the-way pubs where one finds excellent beers to go along with some amazing meals. I like the beach, too, but that’s a different state of mind.

    Reply
  169. Excellent post, Susan/Miranda. Plus ca change…etc.
    The first time I ever ventured outside the U.S. I went to Albania. This was really an adventure because at the time, it was still closed off to most of the world, esp. Americans. It was so different from the world I knew. I fell in love, totally and irrevocably with its foreign-ness as well as with the place itself. Being an imaginative child who read a lot, I always did hunger for furrin’ parts but that trip made me so profoundly aware of cultural differences: that people elsewhere didn’t simply speak a different language but saw the world differently and behaved differently. And ate differently.*g* I love these differences and still do. Most of my travel since has been to the UK, but that’s fine for a history slut–and we go looking for exotic food as well as out-of-the-way pubs where one finds excellent beers to go along with some amazing meals. I like the beach, too, but that’s a different state of mind.

    Reply
  170. Excellent post, Susan/Miranda. Plus ca change…etc.
    The first time I ever ventured outside the U.S. I went to Albania. This was really an adventure because at the time, it was still closed off to most of the world, esp. Americans. It was so different from the world I knew. I fell in love, totally and irrevocably with its foreign-ness as well as with the place itself. Being an imaginative child who read a lot, I always did hunger for furrin’ parts but that trip made me so profoundly aware of cultural differences: that people elsewhere didn’t simply speak a different language but saw the world differently and behaved differently. And ate differently.*g* I love these differences and still do. Most of my travel since has been to the UK, but that’s fine for a history slut–and we go looking for exotic food as well as out-of-the-way pubs where one finds excellent beers to go along with some amazing meals. I like the beach, too, but that’s a different state of mind.

    Reply
  171. Your series sounds wonderful. Since I have small children (2 under the age of 4)hubby and I don’t want to travel outside of the USA. Our idea of bliss is what we did this year which was go stay at a romantic bed and breakfast with a double jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. My sister and mom watched the kids. It was pure bliss.

    Reply
  172. Your series sounds wonderful. Since I have small children (2 under the age of 4)hubby and I don’t want to travel outside of the USA. Our idea of bliss is what we did this year which was go stay at a romantic bed and breakfast with a double jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. My sister and mom watched the kids. It was pure bliss.

    Reply
  173. Your series sounds wonderful. Since I have small children (2 under the age of 4)hubby and I don’t want to travel outside of the USA. Our idea of bliss is what we did this year which was go stay at a romantic bed and breakfast with a double jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. My sister and mom watched the kids. It was pure bliss.

    Reply
  174. Your series sounds wonderful. Since I have small children (2 under the age of 4)hubby and I don’t want to travel outside of the USA. Our idea of bliss is what we did this year which was go stay at a romantic bed and breakfast with a double jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. My sister and mom watched the kids. It was pure bliss.

    Reply
  175. Your series sounds wonderful. Since I have small children (2 under the age of 4)hubby and I don’t want to travel outside of the USA. Our idea of bliss is what we did this year which was go stay at a romantic bed and breakfast with a double jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. My sister and mom watched the kids. It was pure bliss.

    Reply
  176. AGTigress wrote:”I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.”
    I am, too. I know we live in an age when travelers are at a certain risk, but it’s nothing compared to what those 18th century tourists encountered. Go by sea, and face French privateers, Algerian pirates, shipwrecks, crooked captains, and storms. Go by land, and you’re at risk from just about everything else. Some of the descriptions of crossing the Alps sound like American pioneers crossing the Rockies, complete with the occassional scarcely lamented local servant toppling down the mountainside. And ‘brigands’: all across the Continent, there always seem to be brigands. No wonder most touring parties were heavily armed.
    Yes, they WERE intrepid!
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  177. AGTigress wrote:”I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.”
    I am, too. I know we live in an age when travelers are at a certain risk, but it’s nothing compared to what those 18th century tourists encountered. Go by sea, and face French privateers, Algerian pirates, shipwrecks, crooked captains, and storms. Go by land, and you’re at risk from just about everything else. Some of the descriptions of crossing the Alps sound like American pioneers crossing the Rockies, complete with the occassional scarcely lamented local servant toppling down the mountainside. And ‘brigands’: all across the Continent, there always seem to be brigands. No wonder most touring parties were heavily armed.
    Yes, they WERE intrepid!
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  178. AGTigress wrote:”I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.”
    I am, too. I know we live in an age when travelers are at a certain risk, but it’s nothing compared to what those 18th century tourists encountered. Go by sea, and face French privateers, Algerian pirates, shipwrecks, crooked captains, and storms. Go by land, and you’re at risk from just about everything else. Some of the descriptions of crossing the Alps sound like American pioneers crossing the Rockies, complete with the occassional scarcely lamented local servant toppling down the mountainside. And ‘brigands’: all across the Continent, there always seem to be brigands. No wonder most touring parties were heavily armed.
    Yes, they WERE intrepid!
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  179. AGTigress wrote:”I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.”
    I am, too. I know we live in an age when travelers are at a certain risk, but it’s nothing compared to what those 18th century tourists encountered. Go by sea, and face French privateers, Algerian pirates, shipwrecks, crooked captains, and storms. Go by land, and you’re at risk from just about everything else. Some of the descriptions of crossing the Alps sound like American pioneers crossing the Rockies, complete with the occassional scarcely lamented local servant toppling down the mountainside. And ‘brigands’: all across the Continent, there always seem to be brigands. No wonder most touring parties were heavily armed.
    Yes, they WERE intrepid!
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  180. AGTigress wrote:”I am always impressed by how intrepid the early travellers were, when travel was slow and often quite dangerous.”
    I am, too. I know we live in an age when travelers are at a certain risk, but it’s nothing compared to what those 18th century tourists encountered. Go by sea, and face French privateers, Algerian pirates, shipwrecks, crooked captains, and storms. Go by land, and you’re at risk from just about everything else. Some of the descriptions of crossing the Alps sound like American pioneers crossing the Rockies, complete with the occassional scarcely lamented local servant toppling down the mountainside. And ‘brigands’: all across the Continent, there always seem to be brigands. No wonder most touring parties were heavily armed.
    Yes, they WERE intrepid!
    Miranda/Susan

    Reply
  181. I’m going to add some more books to my pile. I swear it’s been getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait to read this series. Sounds great. I’m so jealous that you get to travel. I can’t and won’t be going anywhere for awhile. Hopefully one day I’ll get to travel like I’ve always wanted to do.

    Reply
  182. I’m going to add some more books to my pile. I swear it’s been getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait to read this series. Sounds great. I’m so jealous that you get to travel. I can’t and won’t be going anywhere for awhile. Hopefully one day I’ll get to travel like I’ve always wanted to do.

    Reply
  183. I’m going to add some more books to my pile. I swear it’s been getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait to read this series. Sounds great. I’m so jealous that you get to travel. I can’t and won’t be going anywhere for awhile. Hopefully one day I’ll get to travel like I’ve always wanted to do.

    Reply
  184. I’m going to add some more books to my pile. I swear it’s been getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait to read this series. Sounds great. I’m so jealous that you get to travel. I can’t and won’t be going anywhere for awhile. Hopefully one day I’ll get to travel like I’ve always wanted to do.

    Reply
  185. I’m going to add some more books to my pile. I swear it’s been getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait to read this series. Sounds great. I’m so jealous that you get to travel. I can’t and won’t be going anywhere for awhile. Hopefully one day I’ll get to travel like I’ve always wanted to do.

    Reply
  186. Grocery stores are my travel vice. I like nothing better than coming home with everyday things with funny labels, a foreign language label or just better product (CANDY). What American household doesn’t need Simpson shaped spagetti-os with the label in French? It makes me smile just to see them on the shelf, and I think of Toronto.

    Reply
  187. Grocery stores are my travel vice. I like nothing better than coming home with everyday things with funny labels, a foreign language label or just better product (CANDY). What American household doesn’t need Simpson shaped spagetti-os with the label in French? It makes me smile just to see them on the shelf, and I think of Toronto.

    Reply
  188. Grocery stores are my travel vice. I like nothing better than coming home with everyday things with funny labels, a foreign language label or just better product (CANDY). What American household doesn’t need Simpson shaped spagetti-os with the label in French? It makes me smile just to see them on the shelf, and I think of Toronto.

    Reply
  189. Grocery stores are my travel vice. I like nothing better than coming home with everyday things with funny labels, a foreign language label or just better product (CANDY). What American household doesn’t need Simpson shaped spagetti-os with the label in French? It makes me smile just to see them on the shelf, and I think of Toronto.

    Reply
  190. Grocery stores are my travel vice. I like nothing better than coming home with everyday things with funny labels, a foreign language label or just better product (CANDY). What American household doesn’t need Simpson shaped spagetti-os with the label in French? It makes me smile just to see them on the shelf, and I think of Toronto.

    Reply
  191. Historicals are my favorites to read so I know I will love your series. I don’t travel abroad as there are too many places in our country I haven’t seen yet but hope to one day.

    Reply
  192. Historicals are my favorites to read so I know I will love your series. I don’t travel abroad as there are too many places in our country I haven’t seen yet but hope to one day.

    Reply
  193. Historicals are my favorites to read so I know I will love your series. I don’t travel abroad as there are too many places in our country I haven’t seen yet but hope to one day.

    Reply
  194. Historicals are my favorites to read so I know I will love your series. I don’t travel abroad as there are too many places in our country I haven’t seen yet but hope to one day.

    Reply
  195. Historicals are my favorites to read so I know I will love your series. I don’t travel abroad as there are too many places in our country I haven’t seen yet but hope to one day.

    Reply

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