I love small towns. As a kid growing up in western NY, when we wanted to take a day trip, or “go for a ride”, as we say, and we didn’t feel like going to Niagara Falls, we went to small towns. Niagara-on-the-Lake, over the border in Canada, was always a great option, especially if the Shaw Festival was on and we could go see a show. Saratoga Springs, to go see the horse races (and stop in an excellent bookstore, in recent years) is one of my mom’s favorite long drives. The Finger Lakes are a closer to home trip, and in recent years we’ve had a few lovely days in Skaneateles, including a boat trip on the lake.
When I was home for Christmas and we were thinking of something to do, I remembered my family had gone to the Corning Museum of Glass a while ago and raved about it. I asked if they’d be willing to go again, and they were! So the day after Christmas we took a ride to Corning. Read more
It’s Tuesday night and I’m home, listening to a song on repeat while I read a book about women writers and being single. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between reading and an IM exchange with my friend, pulling in bits from what I’m reading and connecting them to ongoing conversations about dating and friendship and relationships. We get sidetracked into a quick discussion about Harry Potter (Harry Potter is always an acceptable bird walk, no matter the conversation) because she’s finally made it to book six and I have book seven ready to lend.
Most of the nonfiction I read falls into the memoir category, with an emphasis on travel. But one of my favorites is Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, a book for book lovers. If you haven’t read it, buy it now. It’s short and you’ll read it so quickly you’ll wish it were longer. I’ve read it a couple times and love all of the essays, but one of my favorites is called “My Odd Shelf”.
It’s still a little cold here in NYC — we’re no longer shivering in the twenties, and we’ve even made it up to fifty degrees, but thirties and low forties are still on the table for us. It means that if you don’t check the weather before you leave, stepping outside can turn into an unexpected adventure. I’m still congratulating myself on going back for my umbrella on Tuesday morning, because it was pouring on the way home that night.
But spring is on the way! At least that’s what we’re hearing. And so in honor of the warm weather we might see soon, I figured it was time to flash back once more to the last time I spent time outside without a jacket on: my trip to Italy back in October. It feels like a dream because I got back right about five months ago.
First posted March 28, 2014.
Note: This is a re-post from last March. I figured that even if I haven’t actually made a break for it and gotten out of the nasty NYC weather, I can at least bask in sunny memories — and share them with you! It’s especially appropriate because my trip to Charleston for a friend’s wedding was like a mini college reunion, and yesterday we got the schedule for our actual college reunion!
This past weekend I escaped the cold and took a quick weekend trip to Charleston, SC. Sure, there were highs of 50 here in NYC (ed. Dear God, I hope we have highs of 50 this month!), but in Charleston the temperature never dipped below 50, and most of the weekend it was in the 60s and even low 70s, so Charleston wins.
It is bitterly cold in New York this week, which makes it to perfect time to remember warmer times and places. I mentioned my California trip on this blog a few times last year, but I never quite got around to sharing many pictures of it. I’m feeling especially nostalgic now because for my first three years here, I spent MLK Jr. weekend in San Diego with one of my best friends. Last year I went in June instead as part of a larger California visit, and this year she’s visiting me in March, which is exciting! She’s only been to visit once since I moved here as her PhD program keeps her very busy.
But I am kicking myself a little for not scheduling a trip. We’ve had a mild winter up until now, but the claws have come out, and San Diego is just so lovely all the time. The weather was always in the sixties during my January visits, and we usually spent at least one afternoon sitting and reading in the sunshine and another visiting one of the many outdoor attractions of San Diego. We also spent a lot of time watching movies, especially Jane Austen adaptations and whatever TV show my friend has decided I should watch next. (She has very good taste.)