Monday, August 12, 2013

Beach Reads 1

Yes, I haven't really posted for a week, but that's because my family, parents, sister, and I just came back from a week of reading vacation in Destin, Florida, on the Gulf. We had temps in the high 80s that felt like high 90s - 100 due to humidity and any rain lasted no longer than half-an-hour. Our second story condo had a master bedroom and bath the size of half of my house and a total of four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom...loved it. My favorite part of the condo was the sturdy porch swing on the screened in balcony. Being the person who best dealt with the humidity, I could sit out there reading quietly almost any time of day. It instantly became my reading nook. So, needless to say, I did some reading and I'm going to talk about it in two posts, so I can add some fun vacation pics too!

Although I've never regretted a vacation I've taken, truth be told, I can do without them. If I had a week of eating out and no appointments, kids' activities, etc, here at home, I'd be just as happy, probably more so. (And yet, paradoxically, I like to see new places and say I've been there.)

So, to put me in a good mood for the 19 hour drive to the panhandle of Florida and the idea of leaving home, I decided to read something funny and witty before we left. (I generally can't read for long in a car without getting nauseous and having kids in the car makes the unknown content of audio books pointless to even try. The wasted down time drives me nuts.) Going on the recommendation of my book buddy M.O. and many bloggers, I chose Bossypants, by Tina Fey. It was just what I was looking for. I suppose the only way the book isn't amusing is if you aren't familiar with Tina Fey's work or you hate her. Otherwise, you can just picture everything you're reading in her voice and facial expressions. I would actually listen to this one on audio (big step for me) because Fey does the reading and it would be even funnier. Big shout out and thank you to Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity, where I won Bossypants in her giveaway!

First order of business upon arrival was the beach, of course. We swam in ocean so clear, we could see the white/clearish schools of fish nibbling our toes.

 My kids fed and held alligators at a restaurant, Fudpuckers...yea, don't try to say that name in a hurry, it will come out wrong every time.

My kids got lucky...the alligator peed on the guy
right before he handed it over

 We met up with my cousin and his wife and their 2 1/2 year old son, who we met for the first time. They drove down from Tennessee just to coincide with our trip!
My cousin David with his son and my dad

 And that's just the first couple days!  The first few days felt nice and long as we meandered between beach, pool, and various restaurants for dinner. In between these trips and late at night, I read The Other Life, by Ellen Meister. Quinn is married with a seven-year-old son and expecting a baby. Her life is pretty normal and stable, except for this "force," accompanied by a natural understanding that she has the ability to live her "other life." This feeling that tempts her to directly see and possibly live the "what if" of major decisions has pulled at Quinn since age four, but becomes especially strong as she faces a major challenge in the present day. The main focus being the life she would've had if she had stayed with her ex-boyfriend Eugene, instead of marrying her husband Lewis. As Quinn straddles the two realities, she finds that the real factor she faces is her mother.

I think the concept is pretty intense. Then again, I am always somewhat homesick my first day of any trip, so it could've just been me. But, I think that was just a small part of it. Who hasn't wanted to go back and travel the road not taken at some point in their life? If presented the chance, would you be able to leave one life permanently to take on the other? Although a work of fiction that isn't completely realistic, The Other Life raises thoughts we often entertain but never truly think through seriously. Not a hurry out and read type of book, but a decent read because the concept really does speak to us as humans.

Two books in a few days - that's what I call a successful, relaxing vacation! Stay tuned for part 2 of my Beach Reads.

What have you read on vacation this year? Or what has been your favorite vacation read?


  1. OK I'm trying this again under a different name! I can never post as The Paperback Princess!

    I'm glad you had such a lovely vacation! Complete with reading nook! So perfect!

    I love taking crime fiction with me on trips to the lake. There's something extra fabulous about reading such dark stories in such a beautiful place! I managed to read Gillian Flynn's other works this summer that way - Dark Places and Sharp Objects. They more than hold their own in the wake of the mammoth Gone Girl.

    1. Oh that's good to hear about Flynn's books because I have them all but have only read Gone Girl. I do find it strange when one book hits it big and makes those previous to it big as well. But I guess it's just a matter of enough people giving a book a chance.

  2. Surviving Bigfoot and the Dixie Mafia is my new novel, that is available through Amazon. I promise you it's a great read. Next year I will be producing the movie and game. My name is Dennis Daryl Shamblin and I am a screenwriter from Oklahoma.

    1. Oh I love to read books that are being made into movies. I will check it out.

  3. 19 hours to Destin? Yea, I'm not road trippin 19 hours anywhere at this point. Not that the kids couldn't handle it, really it's me, my joints wouldn't be able to take it.

    I'm like you, I love having a week staycation but always love to explore new places. I think it's really the packing/unpacking and actual travel to/from the destination that I dread. Glad to hear you had so much fun that you actually wanted to stay longer. We're going to have Destin a try, it's not quite as far for us in NC.

    1. You're right about the joints. I have problems with my neck and shoulders, so I went to the chiropractor before we left and when we came home, I went straight to the chiropractor! He said he could tell I had done my share of the driving! I admire you for how you handle your RA and live through it.

      And I agree, the packing and unpacking is such a pain! My cousin met us, coming from Nashville, TN it took him about nine hours.i drove to Ocean City, MD nine hours before and it didn't seem bad at all.