Saturday, July 5, 2008
By Kirsten Scott
I've been doing a lot of traveling lately.
Now, when I say a lot, I don't mean the "commuting to work and leaving town for the weekend" sort of traveling. I mean the "Washington DC, Denver, Los Angeles, Montana, and Florida in one month and home to Oregon in between" sort of traveling. So if you've noticed that I've been scare around the Lair, that's why. I'm actually writing this blog while on vacation on Sanibel Island at a family reunion. The internet connections here are few and far between, and not particularly consistent, so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
The amazing thing is, besides being completely exhausted and ready to stay home for a few weeks (until San Francisco, that is!), I've actually been loving all of the places I've been. Yes, I've been homesick, and yes, I've often repeated Dorothy's words in my head to remind myself that I CAN get back home, but I've also had some amazing experiences along the way. So I thought I'd share them with you!
My first stop was Washington DC. I was there for a work-related conference, and got to stay at a great hotel two blocks from the White House. Now, I don't care how cynical or jaded you think you are -- the sight of the Mall, the Capital, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial will make you stop and stare, open-mouthed with pride. I have been to DC a handful of times, and every time I get that giddy, full-of-awe feeling when I look around and think about how amazing this country is and how incredible were the people who built it.
Next stop: Denver, Colorado. I was only in Denver for 24 hours, but while there I got to see my brother and take a walk outside along Cherry Creek. Visiting with my brother was the best part of that trip (though seeing the mountains is always a treat). He's much younger than I am, and I still think of him as my baby brother, even though he's within spitting distance of 30. He's doing great -- he has a beautiful, sweet wife, an adorable little dog, and new job with Apple that keeps him traveling even more than me. In short, he's a successful guy with a lovely family, and I still want to muss his hair and pull him into my LAP when I see him. How ridiculous is that? (By the way, that's his little dog. Isn't she cute?)
In Los Angeles, I attended BEA (Book Expo America) and met up with Bandita Kate!! This was so much fun. You know we Banditas are all buddies, but many of us have never met in real life, only chatted over the internet, so the face-to-face is awesome. I admit, I walked right past Kate at BEA, and she had to scream my name for me to recognize her. San Francisco will be even worse. Thank goodness for name tags! I can't put faces with names to save my life. But Kate is just as charming and intelligent and kind as you would imagine, and I hope I get to walk around with her again very soon.
I was in Whitefish, Montana for another conference, right outside Glacier National Park. It was breathtaking. There has been a tremendous amount of rain this year, so everything is green and lush, and the rivers are double their usual size. I took a trail ride in the mountains and bought myself a cowboy hat, and decided when Oprah picks up my book and I become a millionaire, I'm going to buy a few acres in Montana and spend the summers there. But not the winters. I'm too weak for that.
Finally, Florida. I have a seven and five year old, so you can imagine where I spent two of our days. HINT: think mouse. But by far the most fun we had was going to Weikiwa State Park, where we swam in a spring-fed lake and canoed among the turtles and huge, tropical fish. A close second to that was touring the wildlife refuge on Sanibel, where we saw a three-foot gator, incredible birds, and (hopefully later tonight!) a dolphin.
So I've been to the biggest of cities, the dead center of the country, the mountains and the swamps. And this is an incredible country! Now tell me about where you live. What makes it special to you? The scenery? The people? The buildings? The wildlife? Tell me about your hometown -- and if you can convince me I've got to leave home for a visit, I'll send you a $15 AMAZON gift certificate!
Posted by Kirsten at 12:01 AM