Updated: May 20, 2021
It's Spring Break or just after for most of us, and for me, that means lots of reading by the pool. I love to float and read and read and float.
This year, like in years past, I was able to spend just about a month in sunny southwest Florida (Thanks Mom!)
I love the charm of our old beach town. There's a lot of it that isn't fancy and it's one of the few beaches that is "dog friendly." I'll talk more about that down below!
So without further ado here's what I've got so far this spring in the book and Audible department. I'm eight books into my 2021 reading challenge, if you have a reading goal on Goodreads, feel free to follow along there.
Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis - I started this one in early February and finished it pretty much as soon as I got to FL. It's just a cute book. Someone said to me "you just find yourself cheering for Emmie" and that sums it up pretty well. It's an endearing story about friends -- who may be more.
Beach Read by Emily Henry - How could I not read this one while on my beach vacation. Maybe because of my surroundings but I really enjoyed this one. It hits all the right spots of a summer read: extramarital affairs, a mysterious, broody, sexy next door neighbor and a beach (spoiler: lake not ocean.)
Tapestry by Beth Duke - I love a charming book with characters that you feel like you get to know and the author -- compared to Fannie Flag in some circles but not sure I'd go that far -- does. I was especially intrigued by "Sparrow" the main characters spunky grandmother. This book is a reminder of how intricate relationships are and that lives can be entangled even unknowingly.
A lot of driving and a lot of walking means several Audible books! I used to sort of "poo-poo" audio books, but I've come around to them. I have a hard time sitting still for hours on end and listening nearly doubles the number of books I can consume! YAY!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah - I feel like Kristin Hannah books are to be savored. Each one daunts me as being "too heavy" or "too lengthy" but once I go in, I'm sunk. They just are so compelling. No different here. I loved this book and was so anxious for the ending. You know those books where you think about the characters when you're not reading the book? Yea, it's one of those.
Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center After the emotional deep-dive of The Great Alone I wanted something lighter and happier. Katherine Center books are generally just that, a little brain candy. They have an upbeat message with genuine characters that are relatable and down to earth. While this wasn't my favorite book of hers, they're all really fun. ( I'd have to put What You Wish For as my top Center novel.)
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle I really didn't deserve this book after two great ones* but man, it was amazing. I started this one and finished it in just a few days. It had me in tears as I was out walking. It was beautifully emotional and cathartic. Personally, I hate thinking about what will be or won't be in five years, suffice it to say when Dannie has a premonition of what her future would be she knows she must change the course. But can she? Page turner level: 10.
Traveling With Doggos
I get mixed reactions when I say I travel with my dog or dogs. Some are like my grandparents "I wouldn't give anything for a dog that can't stay home by itself." hardy har har... I feel that way about your kids, so there.
I like traveling with my dogs because they help me create and maintain my routine, especially when I'm going to be places for more than a week or so. I get to feel what it's like to actually live in a place when they need walks, they need fed, they like to chill on the patio. Plus you're never out of place when you're walking a dog, they can really add to the experience of travel so long as they and you don't stress out.
So here are a few tips on traveling with dogs.
AirBNB and VRBO are your friends here. An increasing number of places accept pets. Be prepared to pay an extra fee or deposit.
Hotels only when necessary. The Urban Farm dogs don't really stay in hotels except while we're in transit. I've got a chain I like that charges a nominal fee, but doesn't require a reservation. Some hotels charge as much as $250 per pet. No thanks. Note: I always read reviews of hotels. It's best to find one that has a place where the dogs can have a quick walk before bed and before we hop in the car in the AM.
It's not for every dog. Some dogs are not made for travel. They just aren't. If they bark a lot, they are going to your neighbors and landlords crazy. Right now I have one who is a great traveler and one that -- well, like the little piggy on your toe -- stays home. Arlo (aka LoLo) is still learning how this pack works and for now I cannot risk him getting away from me at a rest stop along the way.
I feel like I've been a little long winded on here today. Probably because I let too much time pass in between. I'm still working on my cadence for these little musings.
Have a great week!