Monday, May 5, 2014

The Vacation Bucket List

Where do you like to vacation?  Lynn wants to know....

When I was a child, my family didn’t go on a summer vacation. If we went on a trip, usually it was to see family. My parents moved to Idaho from a small town in South Dakota, Winner. My grandparents lived on a farm complete with tiny house and huge barn.

As a child when I visited, the cousins would take me to the creek to swim, tell ghost stories in the hotter than Hades attic where we slept, and promised to write after I left so we’d at least be pen pals.

One year, we broke our no-vacation rule, and spent a week at Yellowstone. Seeing the bubbling mud pots, the clear but boiling hot springs, buffalo herds, and, of course, Old Faithful, sticks with a kid.

When my little sister was born, we headed west for a summer trip and stopped at the ocean. Walking through the waves on the still cold Oregon Coast, I was in charge of my teacup poodle and the kid. We got too far out and a wave came up on us. I had to make a choice. I picked up my dog.

My sister has never forgiven me.

 When I married, my husband wasn't a traveler. We camped and fished, but he liked being at home with me next to him.

After the divorce, I started traveling. I haven’t been out of the country, yet. I have a map of the United States posted on my work cube, with all the states I've visited numbered. I still have a few to go. I love finding the out of the way little towns, with a claim to fame. Like the Merimac Caverns in Missouri or visiting Mark Twain’s Hannibal. Caves scare me, but I’d never tell my current husband that.  I just love going.
It was during one of these impromptu trips where the Tourist Trap Mystery series was born. South Cove isn't any particular town, but a hybrid of the town where I’d love to live.

My husband's trips of choice surround his sports teams - or Nascar.  This was our trip to Bristol last year.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Maybe I’ll visit someday.

Guidebook to Murder –A Tourist Trap Mystery
In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store--Coffee, Books, and More--open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder?

When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill--along with all of her problems. . .and her enemies. Convinced her friend was murdered, Jill is finding the list of suspects longer than the list of repairs needed on the house. But Jill is determined to uncover the culprit--especially if it gets her closer to South Cove's finest, Detective Greg King. Problem is, the killer knows she's on the case--and is determined to close the book on Jill permanently. . .


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  2. Oh man, do I love to travel. Thank heavens my (2nd) husband does too. My current pitch, made just this morning was....We HAVE to go back to Europe in 2015. It's our 40th anniversary. I will work on that one, let me tell you.
    My bucket list for places I have yet to see includes Normandy & the south of England near the Channel & a few towns in southern Germany and quite a few in Italy--Ravenna, Lucca, etc. Also to returns to places I loved already--St. Petersburg, Venice, London (over and over again), Vienna.
    My first trip off the coninent was at age 19 when I spent a summer in Finland and the Soviet Union on a language institute, studying Russian. I got bitten hard by the travel bug...and was lucky that was the only bug that bit me. You should have seen the bed bug bites on the back of one guy in our group. He couldn't even wear his shirt thanks to nasty Russian bed bug bites. They were the size of quarters.
    In short, the ONLY real reason I'd like to have more money than I do is to travel Europe. I am quite eurocentric, as a result of my education. I will quit now or I could go on forever without end on this subject. Thanks for bringing it up, Lynn. (deleted the first comment due to two pesky typos)

    1. I love your list! I haven't even been out of the country, yet.

  3. I've never been out of the states. Hawaii is wonderful, a great vacation spot. And I loved Alaska. When I was a kid every summer it was a camping trip, Yosemite, and then Bass Lake regularly after we had a boat. Married and as our kids arrived lots of camping vacations to the mountains and the beach. Biggest camping adventure was tent camping across the U.S. and back with the three kids still living at home. Hubby and I have been many places in the U.S. thanks to mystery cons, great mini vacations. We use to love flying, not anymore. Now stick to trips to the coast also usually writer related.

    1. The Cowboy and I were just discussing a summer camping trip this am. Not looking forward to tent sleeping. :)

  4. Marilyn, you raise a good point....writer-related travel. I have been doing that since my debut mystery came out 14 months ago. That has made us shed at least one trip to Europe. Choices have to be made!

    1. I'm heading to San Antonio (in July) and Indianapolis (in October) for writer trips. :)