Tropical Paradise

 PMe2019lahainaat here:

So, shoot me, every once in a while I take a trip that has utterly nothing whatsoever to do with writing—unless one counts a need to rest my erratic brain and tired Muse. This year, the trip was to Maui. And if our Hawaiian guide wasn’t spinning yarns, then in Hawai’ian, Maui probably ought to be pronounced Ma-oo-ee, but it isn’t. There are all sorts of guides on how to pronounce all the vowels in the twelve-letter language, but my brain quits after three vowels strung together. You can listen to pronunciation here or read the guidelines here . As a book reader, I’m always concerned about how words actually sound and then bemused by the many pronunciations beyond the one in my head.

Read more

Travels with my Armchair

Flip flopsCara/Andrea here,
Here we are in August, those last few weeks of summer lassitude before Labor Day signals that we all House partymust slough off our flip-flops and shorts and buckle back down to work. (Never mind what the calendar says about the Autumn equinox, here in America, the first Monday in September means the beach party is over.)

Victorian beachNow, in Europe, August has long been the traditional month to go away on vacation—France and Italy basically shut down as everyone takes the opportunity to venture far and wide for a break from the familiar. It’s been coming increasingly the same here.  Where I am, there’s a noticeable absence of the usual crowds, and many of my friends are heading off for visits to summer beach or mountain houses, or exotic globe trotting adventures. (I can’t help but think of our Regency era characters, for whom August signaled the start of the country house party/shooting season, or the city Victorians, who could take advantage of the new railroad systems to vacation at the seaside!)

SailboatAlas, I am not sailing off to any exotic ports, save in my own imagination. (If you read a note of longing in the statement, well . . . maybe just a little!) I love to travel, so despite the fact that I’m staying close to home, I’ve decided to settle into my armchair and do some mental peregrinations. So where am I going? Since money and logistics are no object, I let my imagination run free . . . here are some of the spots that top my Travel Wish List:

Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands

The austere beauty of the Highlands has always struck a chord with me. I’d bring my hiking boots and walking stick so I could explore the loch and moors and tiny villages—along with plenty of buttery shortbread to fuel the trekking! 


Read more