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Archives - Weekly Update

Writing today from the Left Coast. I flew to L.A. Thursday morning for some meetings before the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which is taking place this weekend. The venue for this event moved from the UCLA campus to that of USC this year. I, who has zip sense of direction, have been studying the event map trying to figure out where all of the events are being held like I am looking at a treasure map. Here’s to seeing how this event unfolds in a new venue; I will have my report for you next week.

I like celebrating Easter, which, besides its religious significance, also seems to be the official welcome of spring. Maybe its late date is why it still feels like winter here! I am having a group of people over for dinner on Sunday and a couple of weeks ago was obsessing about the perfect tablecloth and napkins, which was endlessly amusing to the men in my house. I found a really elegant set in jacquard linen that are a beautiful shade of green with bunnies and an outdoor garden setting lightly outlined in off-white, as well as some beautiful votive candle holders also with bunnies. It sounds really silly, but thinking about how this table is going to look is making me smile.

This week was a sharp contrast to my relaxing on a pool chair in Florida, as I pulled on my teal cowboy boots and headed to Austin, Texas for the Texas Library Association Annual Convention. Instead of swimming laps, I was walking the convention floor. Folks have been telling me about this conference for years, and I am happy that my schedule was such that I was able to visit this city that has been on my “to visit” list for a few years now. I am writing this note from an Adirondack chair behind my hotel, which is set on a lake. Bucolic experience in a city.

This week as part of my South Florida Spring Break adventure, we drove down to Key West. My first trip there had been back in 1978 when I still was in college. The weather was cloudy and cool in Lauderdale that year, so I grabbed some friends and drove south to explore Key West, a place I had read a bit about --- and we had a blast. The beaches were rockier than I was used to, but the town had a really cool vibe to it that was bohemian, eclectic and just plain fun. Made some great memories there, and thus I always wanted to go back, which I did in 1990 when my older son was about a year old. Then I found a very different place. It was built up. The town was more like a small city, the sunset celebrations on Mallory Square Dock did not just have Iguana Man, but now were a complete commercialized experience. Parking was worse than I had remembered it, and it was not great in the '70s.

My younger son came home a couple of months ago and informed me he had been invited to spend his spring break in Florida with one of his two best friends (the one we call Son 2A); last year, Josh had gone to the Outer Banks with us. I decided that I still needed Spring Break with or without a prerequisite child to justify it, so my husband and I are headed to Coral Gables, Florida, tomorrow morning. I am tired of waiting for spring to come, have a stack of books that I want to read, and I crave the chance to swim outdoors. My husband is frustrated that he has not played enough golf, especially since his Christmas playing plans were snowed out, so we both have a plan for the week. The hotel we are staying at has an amazing 200-foot pool. I have stayed here before but always for just a night or two on business trips, and it’s been a place I want to enjoy more.