Playing Catch Up (For Real)!

So, I fell off the face of the earth. Really, it happened. What is it you ask? Let’s recap: Tuesday (the 17th) we had a delicious Restaurant Week dinner at SEI with Kristen. I love RW deals that include little cocktails in your price. Loved the food, want to go back ASAP! Moving on, Wednesday – Friday I was in work training all day and Hubs was at the beach with some friends. I did a lot of reading and working out. Friday night was Christina’s Bachelorette/adventures on the KegBus. It wasn’t the greatest night but over all, I enjoyed the company. Saturday we recovered from Friday night, I drank a lot of gatorade and we canceled our dinner reservations for that night. (Sad!) Sunday I felt like a new woman and we ate at Againn (pronounced: uh-gwinn) for RW with Dan and Andrew. Scones were great, dessert was out of this world; sadly everything else was just eh. Monday I booked some work travel (more on this in a minute) and yesterday I did (what I thought) was an easy treadmill workout that left me surprisingly sore this morning.

Whew! Okay, so there you have it. I worked out four times last week, which I’m thrilled with and I’ve finished two (well, really three) more books: Fly Away Home (Jennifer Weiner), Zeitoun (Dave Eggers), and (most of) Freakonomics (Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt). I also owe you guys a review of The Island. I’ll break them down and do two this time and two next time. (It’ll be a hot minute before I finish another book since I started Anna Karenina by Tolstoy this morning.)

This was my first book by Hilderbrand and for the most part I really enjoyed it. Her word choice seems a little forced sometimes (makes me wonder how many words the editor changed up) and she used the word “seminal” three or four times in the first 60 pages. (Seminal isn’t that popular of a word…) Diction grumbles aside, I enjoyed the storyline. Focuses on a Mom (Birdie), her two daughters (Chess and Tate), and the Mother’s sister (India) as they retreat to Tuckernuck — a secluded island near Nantucket. Hilderbrand writes from all four womens’ perspectives: newly divorced Birdie, Chess (the older “perfect” daughter) who just broke off an engagement, Tate (the younger daughter) who harbors a crush on their house’s caretaker, and India (the widow of a gifted artist). Quite a lot going on in the story which keeps it moving; great for the beach. (3.5/5)

Whoa, book #2 about Nantucket. Because I read these two back to back, I kept getting places and names confused. Also about a mother and her two daughters; this time the mother is the wife of a well-known Senator whose affair has recently come to light. Again, the eldest daughter is “perfect” but under the surface her life isn’t as good as it seems. The younger daughter is fresh out of rehab. Although it takes them most of the book, all three women end up in Nantucket looking for the answers to their problems. Another mainly happy ending. I think I would have enjoyed this book much more had I read something in between it and The Island. Weiner’s writing is, as always, wonderful. (3/5)

Okay, more books later. Onto the more exciting news! While I was in training last week, another work team in my division contacted me and asked me to travel with them. One of their team members can’t make it on one of their trips and I was more than happy to stand in! I’ll be traveling to Atlanta and New Orleans with two other women from work. I’ll lose part of my Labor Day weekend, but there are so many pluses: I’ll actually get to see my parents on this trip to Atlanta, I’ve never been to New Orleans and have wanted to go for so long, and since I’m traveling on Labor Day and the following Saturday I get some comp time since that’s outside of normal work hours. Wahoo! I’m a little apprehensive about flying on 9/11 (from New Orleans to DC) but I figure it’s now probably one of the safest days to fly. I’m just not gonna think about it. Instead, I’ll focus on the delightful Creole cuisine that awaits me! Any suggestions on where to dine? We’ll be there three nights but keep in mind that I’m also traveling with a vegetarian and another person who can’t eat dairy.

On my last work trip out west, my suitcase almost didn’t make it back to DC with me. I’m not going to chance that bad boy breaking down for real this time, so I’m in search of a new rolling bag on the cheap. I found one I like on overstock, but it’s a little bigger (25″) than my previous bag (21″). Since no one in the area carries the bag I want in stores, I’m walking to Macy’s at lunch to at least check out the sizing of a 25″ bag and see if it’s a comfortable size for me. I love, love, love to travel — even if it involves airplanes. 🙂

What’s one place you’ve been wanting to go for a long, long time? Aside from New Orleans, I want to take a real trip to Disney World and I also really want to see Niagara Falls. (That’s just Continental US — my list of travel desires could take days to list!)

1 Comment

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One response to “Playing Catch Up (For Real)!

  1. Thanks for the book reviews! Both sound good but I see what you mean – break it up. I hate reading similar books back to back (unless it’s a continuation of the storyline/sequel). You’ve been BUSY girl. Love it!

    Very cool about the trips!!! Sucks about labor day but totally worth it if you want to get to NOLA! I’ve been meaning to see LA! I need to plan a Cali trip for next year!

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