Photos from Peru

IMG_1016I was in Peru in January, but I haven’t posted anything in so long. But I thought “why not post a few pictures? If no one sees them, oh well!” These photos are from Machu Picchu and also from nearby the town of Calca, which is where I was staying. I was down there doing research with a group for my Masters. It was cold and rainy and hot and sunny and generally amazing. IMG_1017 IMG_1040 IMG_1082


Big News!

Big News!

Exciting things happening here-

1) I’ll be starting graduate school on June 16th! I will be studying French and Public Administration. I’m super excited, and definitely ready to be a student again- while some people think I’m crazy for liking school, I thrive in an academic environment, and I really do love learning. It also probably helps that if I were a superhero, I would be speed-reading-woman, so the heavy workload is easier for me than for some.

2) My second novel will be published sometime in the Spring or Summer! The Sandy Connors Series will now have a sequel- The Mystery of the Abandoned Car! As someone thoroughly unbiased, I recommend the series for young adult readers, or adults who enjoyed reading the Nancy Drew Mystery series as kids- the books are a similar feel, and follow the same rules of no one dies, no kids or animals get hurt and the good guys always win. So, maybe that’s a spoiler alert, but you can start the book knowing that the intrepid sleuth will save the day!

(this photo is of Carmel Beach, taken last fall. A sunny CA coastline photo seemed appropriate for a post all about good news!)

Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace

Near Oberammergau in Germany- Linderhof Palace is a small palace that was built by Mad King Ludwig. Munich at Christmas is lots of fun- the Christkindlmarkt is just as picturesque as it sounds, and the cold weather wasn’t actually very cold when I was there. There was no snow in Munich, but we did get out of the city a few days and into the mountains where there was snow!

Happy New Year, all! This month may be kind of quiet around here but in February I hope to be rolling out some new regular features and getting back into a set posting schedule!

Arriverderci, Roma!

Tomorrow I fly early to Paris. I’m excited to see Paris, but also sad to leave Rome behind. Six weeks was not enough time to see everything in Rome- I don’t think a lifetime would really be enough time- but it was long enough to feel like I was really living here, not just a tourist. So to wrap up the visit, here are some of my favorite places in Rome, in no particular order.

  • San Pietro- okay, technically this isn’t in Rome, but it’s surrounded by Rome, so I’m going to count it.
  • Castel Sant’Angelo- the view from the top of this fortress turned museum is worth the price of admission!
  • Campo dei Fiori- always a busy square, and there are still stalls selling flowers, which is nice. Also, my favorite pizza in Rome is right off the square.
  • The Pantheon- So it’s always busy and full of tourists, but it’s still an impressive building. Sadly, I didn’t get to see it in the rain- I wanted to see the water coming in the roof- but there’s always next time!
  • Villa Doria Pamphilij- a massive park in Trastevere full of people walking their dogs, running and just enjoying life. It’s pretty chilly there now, but during the summer I’m sure it’s even busier with people enjoying their gorgeous city!

So tomorrow begins the next and final leg of this trip- Paris for a few days then on to Munich for Christmas!


So I’m in Firenze. First- just a note: the internet at the apartment I’m renting in Florence is being irritating and super slow, so until I can get it figured out, posts will be mostly words, as uploading pictures isn’t working. Sorry:/ Now- Florence! My first impression of Florence yesterday night when I arrived was not entirely positive- but that was solely based on the train station and the streets around my apartment, which is in a fine but unexciting neighborhood. Of course, renting a cheaper places means you’re further from the city center. That’s why I was excited to get downtown today and see what Florence is really like. And my impression from today? I can’t quite get a handle on Florence yet. It seems a little like Rome’s older, wealthier and more orderly cousin, but I know there’s a rebellious part too, just waiting to come out. For instance, people queue up to get into churches. Nobody did that in Rome, except in the Vatican where there were police officers glaring at you the whole time. Here, it’s just what people do. People get on the buses through the “In” doors and get off by the “Off” doors (mostly.) In Rome, the subways were chaos with people getting on and off in no orderly fashion whatsoever. But there are still people with tattoos, purple hair and studded dog collars on walking around the streets, so it’s not completely gentrified. So my impression is that Florence is harder to get an impression of the Rome was, and I’m glad I have three weeks to try and figure this city out!

Late summer in California

Late summer in California

The view doesn’t change much between summer and fall- the grass is brown and the ocean is still blue. But the feeling in the air does. It’s definitely fall here…both in calendar time and feeling time. It’s hard to put into words how different it feels, but every year, one day I go outside and it feels like fall rather than summer- the sunshine is different, the breeze is different and then the leaves begin to turn- orange and yellow rather than red, but still, it’s beautiful.