sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 16, 2016


top ten tuesday: settings i’d love to visit
posted by soe 12:23 am

The Broke and the Bookish ask us today to consider our top ten books with X setting. It’s been a long day and I still have to write a blog post for work (well, first I need to finish researching it, and then I need to write it, so I’m procrastinating by writing here, of course), so I’m stealing TBatB’s interpretation of Top Ten Books with Settings I’d Love To Visit, but specifying it has to be a place I haven’t visited yet:

  1. Prince Edward Island/Anne of Green Gables: Karen and I were just contemplating a trip to PEI as something we could manage, but then we looked at how much it would cost us to get there, and we decided we’d have to back-burner it for now.
  2. North Carolina Coast/anything by Sarah Dessen: I like, but don’t love her books, but they all take place in the same (or the ones I’ve read all just seem the same?) small beach town off the Carolina coast. I’d prefer NOT to visit during hurricane season, though.
  3. Yorkshire/The Secret Garden: I want to hear the wind howling through the moor.
  4. Florence/Love and Gelato: I just read this one this summer (which you’ll hear about when I get to my June reviews). The area sounds lovely. Or maybe just the gelato. Hard to say…
  5. Guernsey/The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Definitely not during wartime, and probably also not immediately afterwards, but otherwise it does sound like a very nice place to visit.
  6. Melbourne/Cocaine Blues: Okay, so I get that this may be more influenced by the imagery of the tv series, than the book itself, but still…
  7. Yorkshire/The Secret Garden: I want to hear the wind howling through the moors.
  8. The Luberon/A Year in Provence: I’d prefer not to visit when the Mistral is blowing, but any other time seems like a good time to play boules or walk amongst the grape vines. (This is very nearly cheating, since I did visit Aix and Avignon in Provence because of their proximity to the book’s location. Shhh! Don’t tell Rudi that’s why I suggested them!)
  9. The North Pole/The Polar Express: Wouldn’t you like to see Santa’s village, particularly on Christmas Eve? Also, I’d like to drink hot chocolate on the train.
  10. Hogwarts/The Harry Potter series: Just because it doesn’t exist on any map I’ve seen doesn’t make it any less appealing. In fact, it’s probably exactly the opposite. Do you think the Knight Bus stops in the U.S.?

How about you? Where would you like to visit (that you haven’t yet), based on a book you’ve read that was set there?

Category: books,travel. There is/are 8 Comments.

November 25, 2015


coffeeneuring 2015
posted by soe 11:58 pm

2015 marks my third year of completing MG’s fall Coffeeneuring challenge, in which one rides a bike to places that serve hot beverages. (I suppose technically it might also be considered a challenge in which one drinks hot beverages while out on a bike ride, but let’s be honest: that’s not the kind of riding I do.

Ride #1
October 3
A Baked Joint, Washington, D.C.

Coffeeneuring #1

Comestibles: Chaider (a combination of hot cider and a hot chai tea latte) and sourdough toast with Nutella and sea salt. Both were delicious and warm and exactly what was needed to help dry me out.
Distance: 6.1 miles
The Ride: This was a stormy Saturday, and we thought that the weather had abated when we headed out, leaving without rain gear and without a concrete understanding of what cross street we needed. After meandering through several neighborhoods in a drizzle, trying to find a way down to K Street, eventually we got there. The cafe, sister to crowd (literally these days) favorite Baked & Wired, has an open kitchen, an urban design, and outdoor seating for days when it’s not damp. We rode home via three grocery stores in hopes of finding a key ingredient for a recipe.
Bike Friendliness: How do a cafe and an adjacent bike shop not have bike racks of some kind nearby? The only place to lock your bike would be to the ankle-high tree boxes. Fail! (more…)

Category: dc life,sports,travel. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 18, 2015


three things about three things
posted by soe 2:16 am

Carole used to do these posts every once in a while, and tonight I’m just coming up blank for something to share that won’t take ages to compose. In the interest of posting something here, washing the dishes, and getting to bed in the near future, I’m sharing three things about three random topics:

  1. Places I’d Like to Visit
    • Hawaii
    • Someplace where I can see the Northern Lights or the aurora australis
    • Costa Rica
  2. Things about My Cats
    • Posey has, since this summer, started using the tub to poop in. It doesn’t happen all the time, but happens often enough that it’s a problem.
    • We got some long, heavy-duty twist ties with our new Christmas lights, and Corey has adopted them all. He likes to toss them around and carry them around the house and up onto the bed at night. When he’s carrying them, he kind of looks like he has a handlebar mustache.
    • Jeremiah is in a playful mood right now. He’s been tumbling in the tub (where Posey has not pooped today) and chasing the rings from the glass milk jug lids and instigating games of chase with Corey.
  3. Things I’m Looking Forward To
    • Our friend John’s 50th birthday party this weekend.
    • Seeing friends and family next week.
    • The apartment being clean for our tree-trimming party in a couple weeks.
Category: cats,life -- uncategorized,travel. There is/are 4 Comments.

August 31, 2015


end of august weekending
posted by soe 2:36 am

We took a long weekend and headed out early Thursday morning to Salt Lake to spend Rudi’s mom’s 80th birthday with her. While she is fine with other people’s birthdays, her own birthday holds some painful memories, so she likes to keep it low-key. We celebrated with a tour of her garden (she’s finally had some help with it this summer), a pizza dinner, episodes of Midsommer Murders, and a trip to the grocery store.

Rudi’s mom needed to stick close to home on Friday, but urged us to head up to the mountains, before joining her for supper. Rudi mentioned a rapid-fire tour of 45 or so mountainous areas, but I had a destination in mind — Silver Lake. Margene has shown so many photos of it that it’d grown to rather mythical proportions in my mind. Rudi agreed that was a pleasant and worthy visit, and it did not disappoint, with an easy raised walkway around the perimeter of a picturesque, shallow mountain lake and through its surrounding wetland. I’d hoped to see either moose or beavers, since both frequent the area, but had to content myself with a mule deer and a frog and lots of anticipation at what the various rustlings might be. We did see signs of moose, both there (wallows in the wetland grasses) and higher up in the mountains of Brighton (tracks — impressively large; I also saw a couple hawks, including one quite close up).

Rudi at Silver Lake, Utah

We swam in the hotel pool, visited several coffeehouses (including one where I ate a very tasty crepe cake), sampled local sodas, and watched the sun rise on Saturday, something I never see except when traveling. We returned home yesterday just as the sun was setting, and spent today recovering (Rudi’s recovery of a 60-mile bike ride is far more active than mine). I hit the farmers market, chatted with my folks on the phone, went to the garden, sat in the park, and finished reading a book.

All in all, a pleasant way to spend the final weekend of August.


Weekending along with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

Category: travel. There is/are 2 Comments.

April 13, 2015


budapest, day two: background, bikes, bath, and bar
posted by soe 2:03 am

[The start to our Hungarian trip can be found summarized here.]

After a fortifying and thorough morning meal in what was once the palace’s courtyard and now serves as the breakfast room, Rudi and I checked out of the Hotel Palazzo Zichy. Because we had a few hours to kill before check-in opened at our next hotel, we opted to spend midday at the nearby Hungarian National Museum, where we could put our luggage in storage, boning up on the history of our host nation. I came away with a few pieces of information:

Mosaic Design

  1. Hungary was invaded a lot.
  2. If you, like me, have not made the connection, Hungary< ---Huns (as in Atilla the).
  3. Hungary, despite their Soviet overlords, had a relatively robust middle class even before the fall of Communism in the late 1980s. Their nation was considered one of, if not the, most liberal of the Eastern Bloc.
  4. A lapidarium is not a pool, but a repository of stone artifacts. The museum’s, located in the basement below the cafe, is home to a beautiful mosaic floor that dates back to the 3rd century A.D.
  5. To photograph much of the museum and its collection requires an extra fee. We are cheap.

Rudi on the Steps of the Hungarian National Museum

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Category: travel. There is/are 2 Comments.

April 9, 2015


budapest: departure and arrival
posted by soe 11:41 pm

Before any more time gets away, I thought I’d share some of our travel adventures from last month. Tonight you get the start of our trip, which occurred five weeks ago today:

We left D.C. Wednesday afternoon, heading to BWI for the first of our three-leg overnight journey. First, we flew to Charlotte. My major impression of its airport is that it’s a bit of a throwback because the main bathrooms had attendants stationed in them.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

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