Image of woman on beachEmbarking on a delightful escape to the vibrant city of New Orleans, I find myself eagerly anticipating a whirlwind of festivities, delectable treats, and, of course, the enchantment of a close friend’s wedding. Packed amidst my essentials is my beloved Kindle, currently housing the whimsical world of Victorian time-travel in “To Say Nothing of the Dog.” The anticipation of savoring beignets, muffalettas, and oversized margaritas is palpable. But amidst the revelry, there lies a quiet retreat – a luxury cabin where I plan to immerse myself in the art of leisurely reading. With the tranquility that a cabin provides, I can delve into the pages of my chosen books, including the delightful mysteries downloaded, thanks to a timely recommendation from the library. As I escape into these literary realms, the prospect of a Staysimpli vacation promises the perfect blend of excitement and serenity, ensuring that every moment is a celebration of both indulgence and relaxation.

After luxuriating in the peaceful ambiance of the cabin retreat, I decide to take my Staysimpli vacation to the vibrant landscapes of Hawaii. Here, the allure of turquoise waters and lush greenery beckons, offering a different kind of escape. As I explore the islands, I can’t resist the temptation of experiencing the local culture and natural beauty firsthand. One of the unique ways to navigate the breathtaking scenery is by hopping on mopeds and scooters. The winding coastal roads and hidden trails become my personal playground as I zip through the tropical paradise. The wind in my hair and the scent of the ocean filling the air, I effortlessly weave through the stunning landscapes, discovering secluded beaches and hidden gems. Embracing the spirit of adventure, these nimble modes of transport offer a liberating sense of exploration, allowing me to uncover the secrets of Hawaii beyond the typical tourist trails.

Where are you going on vacation, Steph?
New Orleans! Primarily for a wedding, but also for beignets and muffalettas and giant yard-long novelty margaritas, obviously. And it doesn’t hurt that the temperature will be a solid 20 degrees warmer than Seattle, either.

What are you taking with you to read?
Well, obviously I’m taking my much-talked-about Kindle, which currently has To Say Nothing of the Dog, a kind of madcap steampunk Victorian time-travel novel. I also have a copy of the Macrina bread cookbook, published by the amazing Seattle bakery, so if there’s ever a stray moment where I’m not stuffing carbs in my face, I can at least be reading about them. Plus an enormous, heavy stack of New Yorkers that I’ve been letting pile up at home for months.

Is that all? What’s that down there, in the bottom of your bag?
OKAY I might have downloaded a scrapbooking-themed mystery e-book. It was free from the library! And if I’m going to get rich quick as a cozy mystery author, I need to check out the competition. It’s research.

♥ ♥ ♥

Where are you going on vacation, Sue?
To Costa Rica!  Doesn’t that sound exotic?  Well, it is.  But this is a family vacation, so exoticness will be tempered by teenagers with giant appetites and peeling sunburns.  And I beat Steph because it is a full 50 degrees warmer in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica than in Wisconsin.

What are you taking with you to read?
Every book on my Amazon wish list.  You think I jest?  I do not.  And because I am not yet the proud owner of a Kindle, I took them all out of the library in order to haul 6 hardcover books to Central America (I did break down and read one — Before I Go to Sleep — the week before break).  My main squeeze for the first few days is The Book Thief, a pithy little ditty about WWII Nazi Germany, narrated by Death.  Joining the actual literature is Sister, a pseudo-literary mystery about a missing….sister; Shatter Me, a Young Adult dystopian adventure; Full Dark, No Stars, a Stephen King novella anthology; The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, a shorty about a 50-year-old woman moving to a retirement community with her much older husband and Love You, Hate You, Miss You, another YA about…something.  I’m not sure how it ended up on my wish list and the book flap is remarkably unhelpful.  Did I mention that this trip involved a lot of beach reading time?

Do you have anything else to declare?
I do.  I declare that I should spend all my time lying on beaches and balcony chaise lounges with a book in one hand and a tropical cocktail in the other.  And occasionally taking pictures of cute monkeys.  It’s a career path that I find highly suited to both my temperament and vast — I would venture to say limitless — talent for relaxing.

Stephanie Perry
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