Sunday, January 03, 2010

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

Hello, everybody!!! I missed you! I'm glad I took off, though, because we were really, really busy during our holiday break. We drove up to Nashville for Christmas, then down to Birmingham and on to Huntsville, Alabama.

Because we spent our Christmas in Nashville (where future Daughter-in-Law lives) and it turns out Davis Kidd Booksellers is a very, very dangerous place (plus, I dropped by Barnes & Noble - one is a B & N book; feel free to guess which one), I came home with a pretty little pile. At the top of this post is a totally accidental shot of my husband carrying the bag of books across the parking garage, which I took when I turned the camera on while walking and then tried to turn it off but hit the wrong button. Isn't that cool? Anyway, books. You're here for the books:

Top to bottom:

The Two Princesses of Bamarre - Gail Carson Levine (I've read this one and regretted parting with my copy, but this copy is prettier)
The Color of Fire - Ann Rinaldi
The Sweet Potato Queens' 1st Big-Ass Novel - Jill Conner Browne
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
Arthur & George - Julian Barnes
American Bloomsbury - Susan Cheever

4 out of 6 were on my wish list, including that replacement book. I took that nifty wide-angle photo with my Christmas gift from Huzzybuns:

I'm just thanking the Lord that my fingernails were clean. Haha. Anyway . . . you know I have a pretty nice SLR, right? Well, when we were in Costa Rica, I had to keep that sucker bagged during car rides and I felt like I was missing out on some exciting photo opportunities. I did take a few photos from inside taxis and they were really interesting, but we were jostled around so much (one time, I was stuck in a loose jump seat without a working safety belt and felt obligated to hang on for dear life) that I feared for the health of my camera along with my own fragile bones and tucked it away most of the time.

Since then, I've been begging the huz for a nice little portable camera but I wanted one with a Zeiss lens because the nicer the lens, the better the photos. The number of pixels can be totally misleading. He got me just what I wanted and all of our Christmas pics were taken with my new little toy. Such fun!

This is one of my favorite photos - a shot of eldest son reflected in a Nashville puddle:

We chose to go to Tennessee instead of Oklahoma because when we asked Kiddo what he wanted to do over Christmas break, he surprised us with a very firm plan. "I'm going to Space Camp." Well, okay, we said. We signed him up and decided that we couldn't go two directions (Oklahoma is our home state) and then it turned out that Oklahoma was CLOSED on Christmas Eve, anyway, so we all said, "Yeah. Good decision." We did a lot of driving, though. First was the trip up to Nashville. Then, we dropped the kiddo off at Space Camp in Huntsville:

After dropping off the kiddo, we headed to Birmingham for the night and then drove on home to Mississippi. Blind Kitty had spent 5 days boarded at the vet, by that point, and was a total, whiny mess. So, we took turns cuddling her for two days and then had to board her, again, so we could dash back to Huntsville to pick up our youngest. Like most of our trips, we spent a lot of time shopping for food because the closest Whole Foods is a 3 1/2-hour drive and the closest Trader Joe's is in Nashville. I think we went to at least 3 Whole Foods stores. We made lots of bookstore stops, too, of course!

Husband returns to work, tomorrow, and son goes back to school Thursday. I think I can safely say I'll be glad to have a little alone time by Thursday, but we had a great vacation -- especially the kiddo. Space Camp sounds like all kinds of awesome wrapped up in a rocket and lit with a match. I hope to get back to blog-hopping by the end of the week, catch up on a few reviews, write a December Reads in Review post and talk about plans for 2010, soon. I've actually read a bunch of your posts but I had a cat on my lap and a little netbook thing balanced alternately on my chest or the arm of a chair (and without a mouse), which made it pretty much impossible to comment. I'm really enjoying the end-of-year wrap-ups, though, and hope to chat with my book friends soon!

Oh, and I've updated my sidebar, so you can see what I'm reading, again --------->

Happy 2010!

A newer, fresher Bookfool for a brand new year. At least, that's the objective.


  1. Sounds like a FANTASTIC holiday you had :D Though quite hectic at the same time!! Space camp sounds so cool!! Glad to hear he had a good time. And I absolutely love that pic with your new camera! What a great little point and shoot. You definitely need to come down here sometime :) We can go Whole Foods Shopping AND Barnes and Noble shopping :D Ooooh! And I see you're reading The Swan Thieves! Jealous!!

  2. Whew! I'm worn out just reading about your trip! Glad you're back safe and sound.

  3. Oh I'm SO JEALOUS of your son! All I wanted to do was go to space camp when I was 9-13. Well, that's a lie, I'd still like to go ;)

    Happy new year!!!

  4. Chris,

    It was exhausting because the driving gets a little harder as you age, I guess (and I did most of it -- except for that couple of hours when the husband hijacked the driver's seat) but we had a fantastic time.

    Thanks, I am loving that little camera like crazy. It really is a good one for the type. You're right, I need to visit. Just be forewarned that your eyes will roll back in your head when you see how many photos I take. Imagine if I brought both cameras . . . yikes!

    Really? You're envious of The Swan Thieves? I'm enjoying it, so far. She's a new author to me; I haven't read The Historian, yet.


    Thanks! It was a great trip. I was catching up on sleep but Miss Spooky has been a bit of a trouble-maker and waking me up in the night so I think I'll be taking naps, this week!

  5. Lu,

    I'm envious, too. It was amazing how many activities they crammed into a week of Space Camp. There is an adult program, so it's not too late. :)

  6. Sounds like you had a great holiday break! And space camp sounds awesome IMO...what a fun idea :)

  7. Samantha,

    We had a great time! And, Space Camp is a hoopty fine thing. I was so stunned when my son said that's what he wanted to do, but we jumped right on it. He just turned 18, so this was his last chance.

  8. It sounds in spite of all the business you had a great holiday! How cool!

  9. Krista,

    We had a great time - busy, but fun!

  10. I don't think I heard what you thought of Spellbinder...I've got that one here and am wondering if I should go ahead and pick it up soon. I'm looooving not requesting too many review books and getting to some of my own!

  11. Tammy,

    I thought Spellbinder was very average - needlessly complex in some ways, but there were times that I really got into it, if that makes sense. I liked the way it ended but it never did grab my attention and hold on. In the end, I abandoned it for about a week and read something else, then returned to it merely because I was already on page 181. Not a very glowing recommendation, eh?

    I'm so with you on the joy of not requesting. I just read First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria -- a book I won, last year, and which I've been wanting to squeeze in for a while. It was great. I like the freedom to choose off my own shelves (although I've still got a couple months' worth of review books to finish up).

  12. wow - you should enter that son in nashville puddle photo in a contest! I love it. at least frame it really hip.
    oh and cool loot; love the books!

  13. I grew up close enough to Huntsville that we went to the Space and Rocket Center every year for school or for visiting family. I am largely unimpressed by it anymore.

    I love Nashville, I always wish we had more time there.

  14. Care,

    Thanks! Isn't that a cool effect? I love that puddle pic. You're right -- I might have to frame it. :)

    I stuck that pile of books in the middle of the office so that I have to walk around them and admire them frequently. They make me happy. LOL


    I can see how you'd eventually become unimpressed with something you visited regularly. We got over our tourist stage in Vicksburg pretty quickly, although I'm perplexed that my children each went to the military park only once on field trips. You'd think they'd take advantage of the history available for teaching, wouldn't you?

    We've never been in Nashville for very long, prior to this trip. Usually, it's just struck me as a place with really congested roads. This time, though, we got to enjoy it. We went to a hockey game, went for a walk around the Parthenon, shopped. It was really pleasant.

  15. I didn't know the Sweet Potato Queens had a novel! I'll have to check that out!

    Life By Candlelight

  16. Amy,

    I didn't know, either. I just happened across a copy and I love the Sweet Potato Queens, so I snatched it up. I've since been told that it's fairly raunchy, so we'll see if I survive it.

    Have you read The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova? I think you'll love it for the art history.

  17. Oh you have GOT to read The Historian!!!! It's such an amazing book Nancy! One of my favorite reads of two years ago. It's absolutely amazing!!

  18. Chris,

    I'm convinced. I love Elizabeth Kostova's writing. I was sleepy, last night, because I spent nearly two hours folding laundry and watching Horatio Hornblower, last night, so I didn't read much but it was painful putting the book down!


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