Review: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (The Mary Russell #1) by Laurie R. King

I desperately needed something fun and easy to read….and this time of year I just love a good mystery….something about the turning leaves and the cool, slightly foggy mornings….geese flying south for the winter, the pumpkins ripening….I just love fall and always associate mysteries as the season’s preferred genre….maybe it’s the spirit Halloween (incidentally that is my fav holiday as well)!

I just finished reading The September Society by Charles Finch and was hungry for another mystery but was waiting for my mom to give me back my copy of the next book in the series (The Fleet Street Murders) that I plan on reading next. So I was stuck wondering what to read.

My sister and I went to this great used bookstore in my hometown a few weeks ago and she suggested that I read this series called the Mary Russell series, the first book being The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R King. The bookstore had it in stock so I bought it, took it home, put it on my shelf, and kind of forgot about it.

As I was browsing through for something to read the bright yellow honeycomb cover totally stood out so I grabbed it and started reading….my only regrets were that I didn’t pick this book up MONTHS ago and didn’t buy the next book in the series (because of course they don’t have the book in stock anymore! I was so upset that I had to ‘bookmark it’ every night so I could actually get up for work the next day….I was DYING to get home and start reading it again. Continue reading “Review: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (The Mary Russell #1) by Laurie R. King”

Locked up abroad & our return home–Aruba Vacation (Days VII/VIII)

I suppose comparing our VERY short detention at immigration to the National Geographic Chanel show Locked-Up Abroad is a GROSS OVER exaggeration. However after watching that show I am paranoid and when the US Customs agents stopped Sam and I at the airport all I could think of was ‘OMG it’s like that show….I’m never going home’!!! Though I was obviously not carrying drugs, firearms, or explosives….my thoughts drifted to the suitcase carrying the seashells that Sam had teased me about the night before…’I’m going to die laughing when they stop you, search your bag and then the shells and you get deported’.

After waking up early and eating a large breakfast (waffles this time) we caught our shuttle to the airport where were had to navigate the hordes of tourists trying to figure out the small airport. And when I say small airport….it’s like a single terminal airport….small. The US departures part was flooded with Americans all trying to figure out which way to go. Oh and let me just say….I have never seen so much luggage in my LIFE. I swear every person we saw had a carry on, personal item, LARGE checked suitcase, and a golf bag…..really??? Continue reading “Locked up abroad & our return home–Aruba Vacation (Days VII/VIII)”

The lure of nuclear radiation & heat exhaustion–Aruba Vacation (Day VI)

The soft warm trade winds wake me gingerly from sleep…a quiet whisper calling me back to reality. I hear the soothing waves breaking slowly, calmly on the white beaches not too far off. It’s may favorite time of morning, the sun has just risen but people are not quite awake yet, the day is new and fresh….anything is possible.

As I lay in our hotel room with the window open I try to commit this last moment to memory….and every memory from our vacation, the sights, the smells, the sounds….everything about our adventures and experiences so I can recall them later, remembering every little detail.

I lick my lips….they taste salty, though I have not been sweating or in the water. After a quick deduction I realize it must be from the air which practically SMELLS salty!! My skin is soft from the nourishing aloe sunscreen I use on a regular basis, I haven’t worn makeup in five days but I haven’t needed it–I get a nice blush and bronze color from the sun.

My hair has dried naturally and though the salty seas and sun dry it out, the humidity preserves the moisture so my hair can at least look acceptable in a pony tail. The relaxed atmosphere has finally set in and today is our last day here….tomorrow afternoon we will awake from our dream and depart ‘our’ quiet Aruban paradise and return to civilization and….daily life which for us is high stress jobs, responsibilities, and RAIN. Continue reading “The lure of nuclear radiation & heat exhaustion–Aruba Vacation (Day VI)”

The inevitable meltdown–Aruba Vacation (Day V)

Divi Divi Trees

In all my travels abroad and in the US, I have never actually been embarrassed to be an ‘American’ tourist, I suppose there is a first time for everything. As we sat quietly waiting for our dinner at a lovely restaurant in Aruba, Sam and I wished we could simply snap our fingers and be ANYTHING but American!! Sam’s lucky he can pass as ‘non-American’ with relative ease simply due to his coloring…me on the other hand….it’s not so easy!

Many countries rip on American tourists–France is notorious for their dislike of Americans and the British Customs agent I encountered with Sam on our trip to London in 2009 was rather insulted by my American slang and accent. But still I have never actually wished I wasn’t an American tourist…..until we sat quietly in a restaurant in Aruba next to a table of vacationing American tourists.

View of the island from the boat

As I noted in earlier postings, Aruba seems to be a very popular vacation spot for east-coasters. Many of the tourists we encountered were from upstate NY, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Boston—all of them were rich, retirement age, rude, loud white people!!

Tonight we had dinner at a relatively inexpensive restaurant called Salt ‘n Peppers (S & P’s) which was right next to our hotel. It’s a great restaurant with outdoor dining, a relaxed but romantic atmosphere, with a varied menu (Sam recommends the hamburger with pineapple he said it was AMAZING!)….oh and if you bring in salt and pepper shakers (not ‘borrowed’ from your hotel, and leave the shakers there) they will give you a free glass of wine. Continue reading “The inevitable meltdown–Aruba Vacation (Day V)”

Riding off into the sunset–Aruba Vacation (Day IV)

Sammy and I horseback riding in the desert

Well it’s midnight on our fourth day in paradise and I can’t sleep. Normally I would wait until I got home to start my blog but considering the loud ass neighbors in the next room, I am inclined to start my blog early in the hopes that it helps me fall asleep….or they pass out….which ever comes first!! Not only are they loud they are two or three Puerto Rican girls (probably on spring break) listening to Pitbull (aye papi) and a long list of other Reggetone rappers. So I’ll maybe pop a Tylenol PM and blog while praying for Daddy Yankee to sing me to sleep….como chingas!!

Well at any rate let me fill you in on today’s adventures. We woke up thankful to be alive after yesterday’s ATV adventure. We have gotten into the habit of planning our day over toast and freshly squeezed OJ so we made our way down to the little restaurant to get our continental breakfast. Sam woke up with a horrible sunburn from yesterday’s ATV experience (yes apparently even Guatemalans get sunburn). Now I was smart, I spent $20.00 USD and bought a nice sunblock as it was glaring obvious from the moment we stepped off the plan that I would fry like an egg out here

Sammy and I riding on the beach

So I bought the home grown Aruba Aloe sunscreen–which works like nothing I have ever bought in the US. Sam on the other hand I guess didn’t think he needed it though I did offer him the sunscreen repeatedly???? He was so burnt and in pain most of the day while I only suffered minor burns to my wrists and behind my ears….my lips on the other hand look like I had collagen injected. They are a swollen blistered nightmare!!! Continue reading “Riding off into the sunset–Aruba Vacation (Day IV)”