(I loved Reverb10, where I was sent a writing prompt every day of December. It was a great way to reflect on the year and set some goals. Alas, Reverb11 is not going to happen unless I do it. So, I’ve collected the prompts from last year, exchanged a few of my own, and will select one every day.)
Prompt: Travel. How did you travel in 2011? How where would you like to travel in 2012?
As I predicted last year, I did break my suitcase in 2011. I bought a new one, a smaller one, as I’d learned I needed less and less the more I traveled. All in all, it’s 12 trips – sometimes I went to the same place more than once, but if I had to get onto a plane it counts as a trip.
And I traveled in style. There were moments when I felt like a jet-setter. And each trip has a sweet, shining memory associated with it I want to record.
I was Miami in February, to tour a college. What I remember most about this trip is that I dreamed up the plot of a murder mystery. The great independent bookstore near the hotel that was shaped like a U around a courtyard café. I had lunch and plotted a novel. It was close to perfection.
I was in Los Angeles in March, to tour colleges. Right before I got on the tour bus I had dinner with friends. Sushi, nothing fancy, but it was so good to see them. Also, I remember a person from the East Coast asking why none of our trees had bark on them.
I was in Upstate New York in April, to tour colleges. I remember seeing the college both my cousins went to, in the rain. I also took a tour in the snow. And at one place, their cappella group serenaded us.
I was in Los Angeles in May, to attend a conference. I remember I was sick, and spent most of my time in the room reading. It was actually nice.
I was New York City in June, to tour a college. The first night I sat on a swing set and talked with other gusts. There were lighting bugs! They took us to a Broadway play and we walked through Times Square to get there – it felt like being in the belly of a huge spaceship.
I was in Mexico in June, to attend a wedding. It was amazing. The bride and groom had rented villas. We had our own, complete with balcony and bathroom. There was an infinity pool and full staff. There were also bats, frogs, and bugs. It was like something out of lifestyles of the rich and famous.
I was in Los Angeles in September, to attend a birthday. My father-in-law got us a great hotel room, and we had an amazing dinner in the roof-top wine cellar of one of the best restaurants in town.
I was in New Orleans in September, to attend a conference. I got a backstage tour of the zoo. There was a party at the House of Blues with the Molly Ringwalds. The last party was at the warehouse where they keep the Mardi Gras floats. The morning before my flight home I stopped in to a church, and a historic home, and walked to the French Quarter to see the Voodoo Museum and Marie Laveau’s house.
I was in Phoenix in October, to tour a college. The best night was when we ate outside, in a restaurant that was really tow houses and a courtyard that had been converted.
I was in Portland in November, for a girl’s weekend. I can’t even describe how wonderful it was to see the only women on the planet that I consider to be sisters. I offered to sleep on the futon, which meant that I had a view of the stars once I was in bed.
I was in Colorado in November, to spend Thanksgiving with family. It was a great trip, and even though the ground was brown and dry I took several walks around the lake in the cold air. Wonderland lake is still my favorite church.
I am planning on going to Lake Tahoe in December, to spend Christmas with family. We’ve rented a house. I hope it snows!
Next year I’ve got plans to go to Philadelphia, PA for a week on business, Scotland for a week with my husband, Reno, NV for a few days for a conference, and Denver,CO for conference. I’m sure I’ll add to that list as the year progresses.