• Category Archives Vacation
  • San Antonio


    There are loads of cowboy romances on the market and my perception is that they’re hugely popular. Wanting to see what all the talk was about, I persuaded Terry to take me to Texas for a brief anniversary vacation before Thanksgiving. Last year was Italy, but this year I wanted to stay stateside and buy cowboy boots and string ties.

    We stayed right on the Riverwalk, which we walked several times. MEH. Wasn’t terribly impressed. Mostly generic restaurants, nothing outstanding. I feel badly about saying that because the area could use the tourism. Very economically depressed downtown. Our tours of the Alamo and missions were educational and entertaining. But, once again, both were in the middle of blighted neighborhoods. Sad. A news commentary on TV while were we there substantiated the large percentage of poverty in the downtown area.

    Villa Finale
    Villa Finale
    CUT! Costume and the Cinema
    CUT! Costume and the Cinema

    We really enjoyed the historical section. A couple of beautiful and walkable streets. We went inside Steves Homestead and Villa Finale for a tour, and both guides were friendly and knowledgeable. Afterwards, we walked over to Gunther House, a 19th century mill museum, for lunch. Enjoyed the ambience and the food lots.

    My favorite part of the tour was the McNay Museum. We caught a wonderful movie costume exhibit there. Pix of the apparel was allowed. Breathtaking stitchery and fabric. I just stood and gawked at the gowns.

    After San Antonio, we went to Fort Worth, where we stayed in the old stockyards. Twice daily, “cowboys” on horseback drive a few heads of cattle through town for the sake of visiting tourists and photo ops. Sigh. I felt sorry for the cows.

    Real cow - Real cowboy?
    Real cow – Real cowboy?

    And that’s as close to a cowboy as we came. I did come home from the trip with string ties. Cowboy boots, too, the ornamental kind for Christmas tree hanging.

  • I survived another vacation

    Back to reality–thank God! Even washing ten days worth of dirty clothes is a pleasure.

    I have now been to Disneyland once, Disney World five times, and I am NOT going back again until I have grandchildren. I am all queued out. We stayed at Port Orleans, within the Disney World complex, and from the moment we arrived in Orlando, there were prescribed lines for everything–buses, boats, bathrooms, meals and, of course, the rides.

    As to the meals–Disney food within the Park is both pricey and mediocre, and we were grateful to find a table to rest our weary bones while eating. We did enjoy the (Boma) African buffet in the Animal Kingdom Lodge (need reservations) and the savanna view of the animals after dining. Best stick to beer and wine at the Disney hotels and restaurants–the cocktails have all the alcoholic content of Kool-aid

    As to the rides–the Fast Passes really do eliminate the waits on the more popular rides. My fave ride was Soarin’. Because DH is a child at heart, we went on everything–sometimes, Lord help me, more than once.

    Because I am NOT a child at heart, we also managed to squeeze in Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba (loved, loved, loved the performance) and three movies:

    (1) FAILURE TO LAUNCH–considering the fine cast, horribly disappointing. Rather than genuinely explore the issues presented, namely empty nest syndrome and adult children living at home, the movie was relentlessly trite and formulaic.

    (2)INSIDE MAN–thoroughly enjoyed Spike Lee’s latest creation. The all-star cast gave fine performances and the plot was intense (you will guess certain elements, but so what?) with some moments of comic relief.

    (3) LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN–considering the neat plot, I didn’t care for this film at all. Too many distractingly surreal and self-conscious elements (stilted and unnatural dialogue, in particular) took me out of the film; the “artsy” style just got in the way of good, solid storytelling. And why all the blood and gore and horrific images? Completely unnecessary!

    While DH was at his conference, I did manage to complete my first round of revisions on SOME ROUGH EDGE SMOOTHIN’. This week, I’ll do some additional polishing and call it a wrap.

  • Magical Mystery Tour

    What I’m about to relate is bound to raise a few envious brows. No, I don’t have a fast metabolism that requires a copious consumption of chocolate calories to maintain a svelte weight.

    This is so much worse.

    DH loves to travel. Not only does he love to travel, he loves to plan the trips. So–to keep him happy, I let him do everything. Big of me, I know.

    Here’s the deal: We discuss a few locations, and then he’s off like race horse at the starting gate, working up itineraries, memorizing street maps, doing God only knows what else months in advance of the trip. Don’t get me wrong, he tries to include me in the decision making process. He loves to discuss the scenic sights we’ll see, places we’ll go, the accommodations, the restaurants where we’ll dine, etc. etc.

    I don’t listen.

    Yep, in one ear and out the other. Certainly, I don’t contribute anything. Packing my clothes at the last possible moment is about as close as I get to any active involvement in vacations and I do that only under duress–he’s threatened me with nudists camps if I don’t cooperate and throw something in the suitcase.

    We’re going to Florida next month. (Remember? I blogged about the trauma of having to go clothes shopping) This is sort of a business vacation, as DH has a conference to attend during part of the . . . I guess, its either nine or ten days–no ten, definitely ten days–we’ll be away.

    Disneyworld and St Augustine feature prominently in the trip. Last week, I did finally pay enough attention to get the name of the hotel. That’s about the extent of my knowledge.

    I’ll let you know what we did.


    P.S. Oh–did I tell you we have another trip coming up this summer? DH has been planning this one since last year. I guess we’re going someplace really good. Please don’t ask me where.

  • Reasons to be grateful today:

    1) It’s spring! Though a few snow flakes fell early this morning, mommy ewes at the farm up the street proudly showed off their newborn lambs to us during our walk. Baaaa

    (2) The man wheeling the adorable triplet boys in a stroller at the mall, with another cute little fella toddling behind, is someone else’s husband!Yipppeee

    (3) My own teenage son finally removed his pastel blue fingernail polish! Though his droopy black jeans still revealed a large expanse of plaid boxers when he left the house, I take my blessings wherever I find them. Hallelujah

    (4) I actually found a cotton skirt to wear in Florida! Hot damm

  • Going Minimalistic

    In a feeble attempt to unclutter my writing life, I have decided to discontinue my newsletter. I had considered sending out a newsletter announcing my plan, but that seemed to defeat the whole purpose.

    I love to write, but detest promo, and frankly, heralding a book release in a newsletter, a blog, as well as on a web page, smacks vaguely of overkill to me. So, no more newsletters.

    You won’t miss much. Honestly, I’m not interesting enough to merit redundancy.

    As soon as I have the cover for TOUCH ME, which releases 4/4 at Loose Id (See? Really, what did you miss?) I will post here.

    This week, I’m editing SOME ROUGH EDGE SMOOTHIN’.

    In April, I’m off to Florida. Shopping for vacation clothes has been more irritating than pleasurable. All I want is a simple cotton sundress, but try finding one! Luckily, I’m making do with last year’s bathing suit or I’d be even more traumatized.

  • Can Someone Loan Me A List Of New Year’s Resolutions? I Need Something To Break.

    Take down the Christmas tree or go see Rumor Has It–those were yesterday’s choices.

    Needless to say, I put off duty in favor of pleasure. (I am on vacation after all! Though, really,why delude myself? There never was a real choice.)

    So, anyway, off I went to the mall theatre.

    How was the movie?

    Well, I suppose sitting in the dark beat stripping tinsel off the branches, but not by much. Jennifer Aniston was her usual ‘Friends’ self. Cute figure, cute clothes, cute hair. All-around perky. Except, when she cried. Which was, unfortunately, quite a lot. An irascible Shirley MacLaine was given a few salty lines to say, but the delivery seemed a bit forced. And she paused after speaking the lines, as if waiting for a thunderous round of applause. (Her acting was more subtle and nuanced in In Her Shoes) Kevin Costner stretched his acting wings and played an aging entrepreneur rather than an aging athlete. Mark Ruffalo played likable, just like in Just Like Heaven.

    After circling the store for an hour the first time, in covered-wagon formation, I did finally find a parking space the second time around at the new IKEA–“everyday furniture in modern designs, emphasizing function, affordability, and style”. This Scandinavian import really knows how to do PR. With the exception of Disneyworld, I’ve never seen such crowds. Dunno–maybe the lure is the 300 seat cafeteria that serves a .99 breakfast. I spent four hours in the showroom looking . . . and buying . . .things I don’t really need or even want and certainly have no place to put. A personal success for me is only getting yelled at once by store personnel ( I have a poor sense of direction, and on a return trip from the Ladies Room, inadvertently went against the traffic flow in front of the escalator, thus causing a major shopper pile-up). No worries–everyone came out of it alive, and I made a number of new friends.


  • Catfights in Kimonos


    Stay-at-home vacations mean going to the movies. Got a whole list scheduled for this week. Yesterday, Memoirs of a Geisha had its turn. All-in-all, the film didn’t do much for me. The love story lacked intensity. The overdubbed last line pretty much sums up the plot. Basically, I walked out of the theater feeling nothing–never a good thing.


  • It is what it is

    The Family Stone–I didn’t hate it.

    Cluttered with clichés, peppered with PC, quagmired in quirkiness, and yet the story held my attention. Hey, it ain’t Capote, but I knew that going into the theatre. And that’s okay, because it’s a Christmas movie, right down to the pathos