Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back Onshore

I'm back from my New England quilting "Cruise for a Cure." A great time was had by all (I hope! I certainly had a wonderful time). Am desperately trying to finish rewrite of "State Fair" which is due September 24. But here are some highlights of my time at sea with a hugely talented and fun bunch of quilters!

1. LAX - Never Again. I'm a native South Cal girl. I should have known better. Sticking with the Duke (aka John Wayne airport)

2. Baltimore, MD - hot, muggy, beautiful National aquarium (loved the jellyfish exhibit), Lewis African-American museum very moving, delicious Greek dinner at The Black Olive with friends, Sue and Paul, and oh, those Berger cookies!

3. Cruise ship - floating city with shopping mall--Vegas buffet, two pools, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop, Seattle's Best coffee and fresh towels every day folded in the shapes of monkeys, lobsters, gekkos and puppies--what's not to like?

4. Portland, ME - day with Tina and Tom who drove in from New Hampsire--lighthouse tour, first time at Tim Horton's (Canadians will understand), fresh lobster roll--Yum!

5. Bar Harbor, ME - still hot and sticky, cute town, bought sea glass necklace from artist in the park and a quilt wallhanging of a moose, another lobster roll bites the dust

6. Saint John, New Brunswick - exciting Farmer's Market, cool and lovely park where we met a family with a corgi named Tully (had to stop and fawn)--missing Boo! Lobster roll numero tres (sensing a trend)

7. Halifax, Nova Scotia - bus tour of town with tea at historical Halifax Club (me), tall ship adventure (Allen), still hot and over-the-top muggy (thank you, Hurricane Bill), but view of city from Citadel is incredible (no lobster roll today--I felt bereft)

8. Various days at sea - gave some talks, answered some questions, signed some books - loved hanging out in the "Singing in the Rain" lounge outside the conference rooms where quilters took classes. Example of exchange--Me to quilters, "Aren't you done with that quilt yet?" Quilters to me, "Aren't you done with that book yet?" (Touche--I tried to work on "State Fair" but kept falling asleep--not because it's boring, but because the ship's library chairs were so comfortable!)

9. Boston--Allen and I took two hour tour of city highlights ending up in Quincy Marketplace--lobster roll number four (more than a obsession!)

Once we returned to Baltimore it was a quick trip to the airport, but a long trip back home. We stepped across our threshold at 11 p.m. Picked up Mr. Boo the next day. He was hysterically happy (so were we!) He spent first day home methodically sleeping in all his special spots around the house. Allen and I sat down at the table and waited for dinner to be served. When we finally realized the cruise was over, I ordered us a pizza. Real life resumed. Still waiting for lobster roll number five.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Off to Antarctica...

Why do I always pack as if I am going to someplace where there are no drugstores? Honestly, the ship will have band-aids (though maybe not SpongeBob ones like I have). I dread the night before a trip. I always wonder why I just don't book a red-eye. I want to get on the road NOW! (Oh, I remember why I don't. You arrive at something like six a.m. in the morning, too early to check into your hotel so you are bleary-eyed and wandering the streets of a strange city). I will heave a big sigh of relief when we finally are in our stateroom and don't have to unpack for 9 days.

One thing I'm really excited about is seeing my friends, Tina and Tom Davis (aka beloved webmasters) in Portland! We'll get to spend the whole day together and since Tina and I don't get to see each other often, we're both jazzed. So, who knows, I may get the opening scene to my next book! (She's given me three already...) I'll let you know...

Happy Trails (and Ocean Waves), Earlene

Monday, August 3, 2009

Panic in Vacation Park

So, about two weeks ago I was thinking about my upcoming vacation (sort of half work-half vacation as I'm a speaker on a quilter's cruise through New England and Nova Scotia)when it suddenly occurred to me--I need to lose twenty pounds! Dang. Don't you hate that? Honestly, I've known about this cruise for two years and actually have been thinking about losing the twenty pounds for that whole two years. If intentions and contemplation gets a person points (Weight Watchers!) then I'd look like Gywenth Paltrow. At any rate, my solution was that I wasn't going to eat anything sweet for twenty days. Then I'd (hopefully) lose a few pounds and be ready for those buffets. It lasted exactly...a day and a half (and last night I bought ice cream). I blame the ice cream on my friend Jo-Ann Mapson, who called me and described in detail the Dove bars she'd just bought. Luckily, my clothes are all stretchy, so I'll just have to try to make myself use the gym on the ship (yeah, that's gonna happen).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the cruise, though I'll miss my Boo-dog (The Big Dog--aka Allen--is going with me). I know it's going to be a blast because, after all, it's quilters! How can it not be fun? Other than fretting about my weight (which, I admit, I don't do for long) all is well. I talked to my editor about "State Fair" and there's a bit of rewriting to do (the ending needs work--not surprised there as I kind of rushed it). I'll even probably work on it while I'm on the ship. For those who asked, "State Fair" comes out in May 2010. They are working on the cover right now and as soon as I see it, I'll post it on the website. Hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

Happy Trails, Earlene

p.s. Even if I didn't lose that weight, I have achieved one healthy goal. I'm down to one or two sodas a week. I now drink ice tea (not a misspelling, that's how Southerners say it). I miss my sodas, but I'm sure my kidneys are happier.