A Change of Pace

Jessie: In Toronto enjoying a change of pace.

landmark architecture high tower

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Lately, I’ve been on the road far more than is normal for me. In fact, by the end of the month I will have been away from home for 21 days in July. It has been fun and a bit of a whirlwind but mostly it has been a great chance to shake up my routine.

Since I work from home as a writer full time I tend to spend most of my waking hours alone except for the imaginary people. I live in a rural village in New Hampshire for most of the year and rarely encounter crowds, public transportation or even something as exotic as a Whole Foods. It is a wonderful life but a sedate one much of the time. And it is easy to fall into a rut. I tend to see the same people, hear the same languages and eat the same foods most of the time.

But this month has been filled with novelties. In the airports and on the streets I overhear conversations in languages I cannot identify. I see clothing styles and intriguing pairs of shoes and architecture that soars or gleams or impresses. I walk out the door of the hotel and purchase tiny pineapples and rolls warm from a bakery. I drink coffee I did not make myself.

It feels expansive and refreshing. I had no idea how much I would love wandering the streets of San Juan or poking about D.C. and Toronto. I love the spirit of adventure that  being in parts unknown brings out in me. It has even been inspiring some ideas for my work. I am already looking forward my next trip. But, I think I’ll enjoy spending a little time back home first!

Readers, do you love to shake up your routine now and again? If so, what is your preferred way to do so?

landmark architecture high tower

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Beach Bound

Jessie: In Maine preparing for another trip!

puerto-rico-3400019_1920By the time this post goes live I will be well on my way to the beach. Not the sugar fine sand of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, my usual summer haunt but rather the balmy waters of San Juan, Puerto Rico. My beloved husband has a business trip to the island and kindly invited me to join him.

It is a bit of a last minute trip and I had to scramble a bit more than usual to prepare. I decided to channel one of the sleuths from my lastest series and throw myself into the adventure with Beryl Helliwell’s spirit of unrelenting spontinaity. I picked up a new sundress and a lightweight white shirt to be better prepared for a far more tropical climate than is found on the coast of Maine, even at the height of summer.

This morning I stocked the fridge for our house-sitters and briefed them on the proper care of my garden and window boxes. I ran a quick load of laundry and made a quick packing list. I filled my favorite fountain pen with ink and tucked it, along with my current notebook and my iPad into a safe spot in my travel bag.

What I haven’t done is look for things to do other than strolling the beach or exploring the streets of Old San Juan. As much as I am someone who loves to travel, I admit, Puerto Rico had not been on my radar and I feel slightly ill-prepared. Usually some weeks before a trip to a new destination I will start following businesses, tourist organizations, places of interest and locals on Instagram. I download apps for my phone of local points of interest, metro maps, public transportation etc… Since I almost always travel with only a small backpack I ruthlessly plan what to pack well ahead of time.

So, dear readers, I turn to you. Have any of you been to San Juan? To other points of interest in Puerto Rico? Do you have any suggestions about places or experiences not to be missed? Any restaurants to die for? Any museums or cultural activities to be sure to see/ participate in? Any and all recommendations would be appreciated!

Readers, have you been to Puerto Rico? D you like to go off on last minute trips or are you more of a planner? I will send one commenter an ARC of my next Beryl and Edwina mystery, Murder Flies the Coop!