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Archive for 'holidays'

Inspirational Holidays

Filling the creative well…

Malta

The run-up to our recent holiday was wrought with tension and stress, and there was a moment there when I thought we’d never get on the plane. We had a death in the family plus my father had an unexpected op and a month-long hospital stay. He has subsequently been diagnosed with dementia, so we have a new set of problems, which are ongoing.

However, despite the setbacks, we did get on the plane and flew off to Barcelona and the start of our Med cruise.

I have to say that this is one of our favorite parts of the world. We love the food, the spring temperatures and the wealth of old buildings and history. Centuries of history, which I’m envious of. New Zealand is a young country and while we have gorgeous scenery the breadth of our history isn’t quite as impressive as the European one.

For once, I didn’t pay much attention to the online world. I scanned my emails since I had a few business coals in the fire, but mostly, I ignored the internet and what was happening in the rest of the world.

We embraced the local food and culture and had a blast.

Here are some of the highlights, which I’ll blog about in greater detail in the weeks to come.

1. Visiting the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, which was full of gorgeous art deco features.

2. Tapas in Barcelona

3. Sicily and Mt. Etna

4. Herculaneum and Mt Vesuvius

5. Santorini, the donkeys, the scenery and the food

6. Kotor, Montenegro – a welcome surprise

7. Food tour in Istanbul, Turkey. Awesome!!!

8. Italian food – pasta and pizza. Wow!

9. Rhodes, Greece. History, castles and gorgeous food.

10. Mdina, Malta. More history and good food.

We soaked up the culture, and I took notes and many, many photos as ideas for future romance novels exploded in my mind like popcorn. Watch this space.

I’m slowly getting back into writing and have several projects underway. The writing is going fine, although I’m still on a bit of a go slow when it comes to the internet. I’m sure I’ll get with the program soon, although it has been good to switch off from online drama.

When you go on holiday, are you able to switch off from the internet and social media?

Holidays and History

In around six months we’re off on holiday. This time we’re flying to London and catching a cruise ship from Southampton. Part of the joy of traveling is the research, the deciding where to stay and what to do. We have long discussions about various alternatives, and recent topics have included the New Forest, transport in and around Southampton, and places to stay in Southampton and also things to see in Winchester.

We’ve decided to stay at an old hotel in Southampton called the Dolphin. It’s said that the earliest references to the hotel were found in 1454. During Elizabethan times it was frequented by foreign merchants and seaman. Guests were entertained by minstrels and other entertainers.

The hotel is said to have six resident ghosts, and I’m looking forward to learning more about them. One of the ghosts named Molly walks down the corridors with only part of her body showing because she’s walking on the original medieval timbers.

Jane Austen lived in Southampton for part of her life (1806–1809) and she celebrated her 18th birthday at the hotel.

The hotel was also a coaching inn and was used for winter assemblies. The writer William Makepeace Thackary wrote part of his novel Pendennis at the hotel. He used to sit in the large bow windows and write.

While much of Southampton was destroyed by bombing during WWII, the Dolphin escaped destruction, and it recently underwent a 4 million redevelopment. Mr Munro says just as well since that means we won’t need to use chamber pots.

Since the Dolphin is an old building some of the floors are on a bit of a slant—according to the reviews.  It all adds to the charm, and I can’t wait for our stay.

Do you enjoy planning trips or are you a more of the spur of the moment traveler?

A Day at Munro House

I’ve been busy writing, editing, sending off queries and judging my pile of books for the RITAs. It’s unpleasantly hot here in New Zealand at the moment with today being the hottest so far. Scotty is really feeling the heat, too. Poor thing, although it doesn’t affect her appetite. She is still in possession of Dexter’s basket (see my post on The Curious Series of Events to get the scoop). Dexter hasn’t turned up to claim it so that’s good. I don’t think Scotty would be happy to see it disappear like her old basket.

Mr. Munro is still dragging me out of bed at an ungodly hour each morning to go for a walk, and we go for another after dinner. He’s determined to lose weight and is even having beerless days. I know he’s really serious when that happens. I have to say that my clothes feel a tad looser so maybe giving up an hour or so of sleep is a good thing.

We’ve booked a holiday to Samoa and that’s something to look forward to in a few months. Mr. Munro also came home with a very fat travel brochure today so we can plan a holiday for next year. We did intend to go to Nashville and that side of the US while taking in the RWA conference, but our exchange rate has taken a hit. When we went to the US last year the rate was around .78 and it’s sitting at .51 at the moment. Not good news for us or another US trip. Instead we’re looking at exotic places like Namibia, South Africa, Portugal and India. We both love the planning stage of trips and it makes for a very interesting dinner conversation. “What about xy?” one of us will suggest. “Yes, or we could go to zz.” the other will say.
LOL – we might win Lotto too. That would help!

I’m pretty sure a new scavenger hunt starts at The Samhellion today and I’m one of the authors. Check it out at The Samhellion and don’t forget there’s a new free story out each day to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

And finally, I’m guest blogging at We Write Romance. Here’s the link.

What’s happening at your place?