Place I Didn’t Expect to Love. #30stays

Hmmm….  This is a good question because I don’t think I ever approach a trip like, ‘Wow, you know what I should do with my hard earned money and time off?  Go to a place I don’t think I’ll like.’  Instead, I will say that I had some very unexpected but incredibly fun times in two American cities, Albuquerque and Williams, AZ.  Neither are particularly known as tourist destinations, but because of the people I was with, I had an absolute fantastic time (and somehow managed to get up for work the next morning).

Much love to the AOE/GLR.


I may or may not have laid upon these tracks the night before…

First holiday with my partner. #30stays

It took me awhile to think of this answer, before I realized the first trip was a big one.  I guess Hubs and I were never going to be ones to mess around.  I began dating my husband in the spring of 2001.  At that time, I had already booked tickets for and was planning on spending the summer in Sydney, Australia for an internship.  After a bit of a whirlwind romance, it was decided that Hubs would come over to see me at the end of my time in Oz.  So, we went to the post office and applied for his first passport.

After a frustrating number of weeks running out of phone credits and conversations over e-mail, Hubs arrived one day early – surprising me entirely.  We spent three weeks together non-stop and I even changed my ticket to come back early with him.  Lots of inside jokes came out of the trip and even though we didn’t have a lot to spend, it was a wonderful, memorable trip.


Pepper Tree vineyard – one of my favorite stops on our trip.

We’ve not made it back yet – but we’re hoping to soon.

Reason I Travel Alone. #30stays

Oops, I kind of skipped this one.  Yay for my reading comprehension skills!

I used to travel alone a bit more for work.  Now, it’s on a pretty limited basis.  This is mostly because I love traveling with Hubs.  Why would I go somewhere and experience a new place without him?

Anyway, I do have a great (recent) example of traveling alone and how much fun it was.  Through some mechanism or another, I went to the States for work.  Business class flight by yourself for 13 hours?  Pure delight.  Meeting your mom at the end of the flight?  Even better.  Having your sister roll one you’ve arrived in town?  Yes.  Solo train travel from D.C. to New York?  Perfect.  Meeting an agent about one of my books?  Top 3 days of my life.  Watching the musical Newsies?  Geeky heaven.  Drinks with a long time virtual friend?  Yes, please!


The author in repose (Georgetown, Washington D.C.).

In a 9 day period I managed to fit in visits with a lot of family (always a treat for a long time expat) and spend a lot of time on my own.  I found my way around two cities I’d never been to.  I was on my own schedule.

Would I have been able to do this trip with Hubs along?  Of course.

Did I have a sense of accomplishment without him?  Yes.

Now, I’m hopeful for another work trip to the States later this year and while it would be fun to once again return and do it all again by myself, I really do hope Hubs is able to join.

Best hotel freebie. #30stays

Fantastic question – an fully revealing one of my biggest nerdy traits -I LOVE SAMPLE SIZE TOILETRIES!  I am in nothing short of heaven walking into a hotel and finding all the bottles and tiny packaging.  In fact, nothing frustrates me more to walk in and find things in large pots that I cannot take home with me.  While I’m not Ross from Friends, I do tend to take anything I don’t use home with me.  If you look under my sinks (or stay as a guest in my home), you will find quite a variety of shampoos and conditioners.

However, I think the straight up fanciest products I ever walked away with were the lush Hermes treats from the Sofitel in Macau (I still have the soap case).

While these days, Hubs and I tend to opt for AirBnB – I am therefore always looking forward to my next hotel stay and know I won’t be let down at the Shangri La Boracay.


Ooh la la…

All that being said, the best freebie I ever got was the idea for a novel!  A night (when I couldn’t sleep)  at the W brought me the idea of Room 702.  It doesn’t get much better than that!


Weirdest Place I’ve Woken Up. #30stays

Two posts today as I’m so many days behind on this thing.  Anyway, great question!  I had to really think about this one…and I have a toss up of answers:

1.  A beyond random NYU dorm room during the summer after my sophomore year of college.  A friend and I went up to visit another friend who was interning in New York that summer and ended up at someone’s place.  I couldn’t even tell you how the entire night transpired.  I do remember that the dorms were infinitely better than the ones I had lived in at UGA.

2. Waking up in a hotel airport is always a bit surreal.  I am a TERRIBLE PERSON to be around if I have not slept.  We weren’t planning on it, but for the sake of my sanity I was on the floor practically sobbing with exhaustion we booked in at Incheon’s in airport hotel and I passed out for 4 hours or so.  I awoke feeling somewhat human again.

Place I Regret not Going to. #30stays

While I haven’t been yet, I’ve almost (twice!) been to Nepal and not made it.  One was for an Eid trip and the other was last year when rain showed up in the forecast and we opted for Copenhagen instead.  The thing is, I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Nepal, I can’t wait until I actually make it there.  I already know where I’m going to stay.  I also can’t wait to try this zipline!

Musings on editing.

I already know the answer to this question, but I’ve been considering this writer problem for a few months.

Room 702 has been out for awhile.  I know there are editing errors.  I’ve been debating sending out to be professionally copyedited.  I know the solution – find a good editor, pay them for their services, and upload an updated and corrected version of the book.  What is stopping me?  How many mediocre reviews will it take to get me to this point?  Why do I want to not bother with 702 but DO want to have my next book edited?  Why am I so (expletive) lazy?  Ugh.  I know, I know, this is my choice, I’m just another self-published wannabe, but sometimes I wish things would be a touch easier.


The cartoon cat is me. All the damn time.


Most exciting holiday. #30stays

This is an easy one – South Africa for World Cup 2010!  As a first trip to a country, it could not have gone better.  We went first to Cape Town (where we went up Table Mountain, met up with friends, watched Portugal destroy North Korea and stayed at one of my favorite hotels ever), then to the bush for 5 days of safari (including getting charged by an elephant, the coldest night of my life, a few private drives, tracking some lionesses and watching them devour a warthog among other highlights) before ending in Johannesburg to watch Brazil v. Chile.  All in all, it was an incredible experience.  We both enjoyed our time in the country so much it was a no brainer to go back in 2012 for a friend’s wedding and South Africa is once again on our short list for holiday travel this year.

My favorite picture from the trip, taken by my husband.