Coming Down From Vacation

First of all, happy anniversary to my parents! They celebrated their 36th yesterday (that is them at their high school prom–I kind of wish my mom still had that dress, it looks so “Regency”!).

So, I am back at work this week, yet wishing I was still on vacation! Especially a great vacation that involves costumed guides and pretty carriages, apple cider, and fun writing friends. I had a wonderful time visiting Risky Diane, Deb Marlowe, and Michelle Willingham (both of them will be visiting RR very soon!). Williamsburg was a blast, as was Jamestown Settlement (where we got to tour the ships and wander their huge new museum–not to mention their huge new gift shop) and Jamestown Island. Seeing that place, so marshy and tiny, just emphasized the fact that, in many ways, those first settlers were a bunch of nincompoops (though, after seeing the movie The New World, nincompoops who look a lot like Colin Farrell and Christian Bale!). But I can’t help admiring that vast spirit of adventure and curiosity (and greed) that would make a person pack themselves into an itsy little wooden ship and launch themselves into the Atlantic, heading out for a new, strange place using a compass and some string to find their way.

In Williamsburg, they were featuring a reenactment program called “Revolutionary City,” depicting the fall of the royal government. I was hoping for some riots, maybe a bonfire or two, but it seemed to be mostly the royal governor riding around town in his fancy carriage (which we couldn’t ride in!) giving speeches. Great clothes, though. And I bought a hat to go with my costume for next year’s Beau Monde soiree at RWA (it pays to think ahead!).

Then I had to go home. But first, more fun! Thanks to the hurricance, air traffic was backed up, and I got to sit on the plane for over two hours before we took off. For a fearful flyer, this is not good. Too much time to worry. I distracted myself with one of the many books I bought in Virginia–Alan Haynes’ Sex in Elizabethan England. This was a fun book, not very long but full of all the scandal highlights of the late 16th century. The writing style made me wonder if it was a rather rambling university lecture transcribed into a book, as it had several asides with no info at all to explain them (like “not long after that lamentable fracas at Mrs. Bull’s…”, which, if you didn’t already know Christopher Marlowe was killed at Mrs. Bull’s lodging house in that year, would be meaningless. They could have at least had some footnotes). Then I read Vogue.

I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots more about my book purchases in the next few weeks, as I work my way through them! And more of the historical tidbits we gleaned from the tours (ask Diane about printing presses!!).

What would your ideal vacation be like?

(And don’t forget to join us this weekend for Christine Wells’s interview! Her debut book from Berkley, Scandal’s Daughter, is out next month…)

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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15 years ago

And it was a great looking vacation, with all those pictures! πŸ™‚ And getting books on vacations is always a good thing too. . . πŸ™‚

My vacation. . . heck, I’ll be happy when I can finally get the books on my August list at this point. LOL But other than that, I sure wouldn’t mind a trip on the next space shuttle. πŸ™‚


Susan Wilbanks
15 years ago

Ideal vacation? Several months in Europe. One of my dreams is to be in Europe for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015, and if I can I’d like to just spend the whole summer roaming the Continent.

It’s been four years since I’ve had ANY kind of vacation, though, because I don’t really count family holiday visits. Nothing against Birmingham and Tulsa, but I wouldn’t go to either place if I didn’t have family there. Next week my MIL is coming to stay for a week, and she’ll be watching our daughter Labor Day weekend so my husband and I can get away for two nights to celebrate our anniversary. (It’s 10 years since we met and 8 since we married.) We’re staying here:
I can’t believe how much I’m looking forward to being away for just two measly nights.

Amanda McCabe
15 years ago

“One of my dreams is to be in Europe for the Waterloo bicentennial in 2015,”

Oh, wow, I’m going to have to start saving my pennies for this now! I agree that a few months in Europe, with time and leisure to really see things up close, would be wonderful. πŸ™‚

Anna Campbell
15 years ago

Lois, I hadn’t even thought about the Waterloo anniversary. What a great idea to go to Europe for that. I have two ideal holidays – one involves stately homes and bookshops and English and Scottish countryside. The other involves the seaside and lots of wonderful books to read. Amanda, loved your post. Look forward to seeing the hat! And it sounds like you had fabulous company for your jaunts!

I’m very much looking forward to Christine’s visit to the Riskies. I’ve read Scandal’s Daughter and it’s fantastic.

Anna Campbell
15 years ago

Whoops! Sorry, that was you, Susan, with the Waterloo anniversary.

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Ammanda, I want to be your mother when I grow up. She’s BEAUTIFUL and accomplished. (You have to blog about your fabulous Regency gown from this year that your mom sewed for you.) Wishing your parents a very happy anniversary and tons more.

My ideal vacation? Well, there was the National conference. It was a fabulous vacation for me: meeting friends and new people, thinking, learning, laughing…

Another ideal vacation is Hawaii–blue skies, the sun, ocean, palm trees, beach, deck chair, some shade, and a pile o’ books. A drink with a pretty umbrella would be nice, too.

Yet another ideal vacation is the Riskies retreat that you folks are planning. πŸ™‚

15 years ago

My favorite vacation involves such heavy decision making as — Should we go to the beach or the pool? I can fit another book in the tote if the kids carry the towels, sun screen, googles, sandles, baby powder, wipes and snacks.

Amanda McCabe
15 years ago

“Another ideal vacation is Hawaii–blue skies, the sun, ocean, palm trees, beach, deck chair, some shade, and a pile o’ books. A drink with a pretty umbrella would be nice, too.”

I definitely agree with this! πŸ™‚ A hammock and some great books, plus a pina colada–perfect. I wish I had some porters like you, Santa, LOL

Maybe we should have our Risky retreat in Williamsburg???

Keira, you’re right that my mother is very accomplished with the sewing machine! She made that prom dress, too. She’s tried to teach me how to sew, but I think I’m too impatient. I end up either breaking the needle or having puckered seams. Ack!

Diane Gaston
15 years ago

My ideal vacation is a trip to the UK!!! With unlimited time and money.

And I’d LOVE to go to Belgium for the Waterloo bicentennial! I’m putting it on my calendar!!

15 years ago

Just let me know when you need to borrow them, Amanda. I give fair warning pack plenty of snacks. They are ravenous on a regular basis.

15 years ago

One of my favorite vacations ever was our whirlwind trip to England last year, where we saw six plays in five days. Not a very relaxing vacation, but a lot of fun.

Hawaii is great for me, too–we went a couple of years ago, but I’m eager to go back, maybe with more time. The main thing for me these days is that I don’t want to feel under a lot of pressure to do everything–I get enough of that from my job :-). I’d like to pack in as much as I can, but still have time to sleep and just hang out.


15 years ago

I have that book Sex in Elizabethan England. Wonder what it means that I have the same books and the same Barbara Cartland DVD’s as you. πŸ™‚

Louise B