Tag Archives: Family vacation

A working vacation? Is that an oxymoron?

So if you can see the date in the bottom right hand corner of the above banner, you know my newest book, DIRTY DAMSELS,  released on 7.2.19, smack dab in the middle of my summer family vaca to England.

I didn’t know when the trip was planned and booked that I’d be having a release during the time away. And not only time away, but in another country. In another time zone. With lousy wifi ( Sorry, London, but it’s true).

Any hoo.

The day this book released my family went to Hampton Court to see where Henry VIII romped about, then to several other museums before finishing up at the Sherlock Holmes restaurant for dinner. (  I made dinner, but skipped the rest of the day because I had to be available for blogs and interviews during the day.)

Having a book published when you are, a: in a foreign country and, b: 5 hours ahead of home, was tough, to say the least. I spent 12 hours in my hotel room, glued to the computer and hoping the lousy wifi held. Luckily, it did. I didn’t have to reconnect and reboot more than twice, so thank you Jesus for that.

I was able to watch my Amazon rating all day during the release and I think this was my number one preordered seller yet. I guess I’ll know for sure once the royalty check comes in.

So the question my family asked that night as we all settled around the dinner table was, was it worth missing a great day of touristing to sit in the hotel during release day. I had to be honest and tell them…it was. A book is like a new baby. You want to be there for it, nurture it, watch it grow. In this case I was watching it grow in readership, but you get me, right? I’m not sure the extended members of my family did, but that’s okay.

Would I ever want to be away from home on holiday with another book release. Hell, no. Hopefully, this was a once in a lifetime thing. Or at least a once in a decade thing for me!

When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a small and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels is booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.

Available in KU and here:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon UK:

Amazon AU:

Until next time ~Peg

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More vacation, plus a little work.

Known as the subway in America, we took the Tube or the UNDERGROUND many places in London. Unlike American subways, though, the English tube system is clean, on time, economical and fast. I felt safe every where we traveled underground, something I never feel in American trains.

One day we found ourselves in Kensington Palace. Made famous as the place where Princess Diana chose to live after her divorce, the palace in an actual apartment complex ( for Royalty!) but we were able to tour around certain parts of the building and get a feel for what it felt like when Kings and Queens resided there. There is a Diana exhibit on the ground floor, so of course, we all had to see it.

We took a bus ride around the city on one of the several beautiful days we had and I was struck with all the beautiful flower arrangements around the city streets.

Dinner one night was in 22B Baker street, home of none other than SHERLOCK HOLMES

On our last day we toured St. Pauls’ Cathedral, as famous for Diana and Charles’ wedding as it is for all the famous people buried there, one especially who is near and dear to me: FLORENCE NIGHTENGALE

And, of course, as happenstance would have it, I had a book release while we were vacationing. More about that tomorrow.

Until Next time ~ Peg

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#WheretheYEXTamI ?

Last week in London was a whirlwind, I will admit. From the moment we touched down until we left, we were in constant motion. It seemed like we wanted to see every sight we could before the week was up – so we purchased the LONDON PASS and did just that! From Westminster Abbey, to Picaddily Circus, to Harrods and on to Greenwich, we walked miles and miles. Each day my Fitbit told me I’d done an average of 15-20,000 steps. Now, because I’m so prone to sunburn – even on cloudy days – I wore a 110 SPF and a hat everywhere. My favorite hat is one from my daughter’s company, YEXT. I wore it in so many selfies, my family cameup with a hastag for me – #WheretheYEXT am I?

Can you guess where I am in these pictures?

Okay, this one is easy! So is this one:

 


I’m pretty sure this one is, too!

Do you know what the big building in the background is called?

This picture, btw, way taken from the very top of St.Pauls’ Cathedral after climbing up the 572 steps to the spire. Can you spell EXHAUSTED? The building in the background is called THE SHARD because it looks like a shard of glass up close.

No brainer on this one!

Quiz time: Is the above pix of St. Pauls, Westminister, or Canterbury cathedral?

If you said Westminster Abbey, you would be correct!

I kinda think I look like a modern day Kilroy! Only I’m a girl, we’re not at war, and I don’t have a big nose. But, like Kilroy just the same. Hee hee

More travels on Thursday, because tomorrow is Long and Short Blogging day!

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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So…Iceland, part III

Food is an integral part of my life. Really. I get HANGRY often, like every 1-2 hours. So when we were in Iceland I needed to eat on my regular schedule. Unfortunately, after day 1 of paying the unbelievably ridiculous prices for food costs there, I had to amend and alter my usual eating habits.

Case in point: This bowl of Mushroom soup in a bread bowl cost 1,950 Kronurs, or $19.50 American. Add in the soda for $6.50

and a simple lunch for the four of us was over $100.00.

Case in point 2: The place we ate this meal was voted the # 1 food spot in all of Iceland according to YELP( my daughter and niece are big viewers of reviews for everything.)

A bowl of sliced chicken ( with some really spicey spice that I didn’t know it had until I took a bite and then gave the entire thing to hubby to eat) some plain salad greens and cardamom noodles plus a bottled water was 2,200 Kronur total so $22.00. I didn’t even eat it because of the spices.

Case in point 3: There are typically Western eateries in Iceland as well as the traditional faire. The prices, though, are strictly unAmerican. This was the Krispie Kreme vendor in the supermarket we shopped in on day one so we could keep groceries for breakfast in our AirBnB:

Now, the last time I had a Krispie Kreme donut was in Las Vegas about 15 years ago. It brought on a gall bladder attack so violent, I needed emergency surgery to remove the organ. First and last time I ever had  a Krispie Kreme. I think I remember that donut costing $1.50 ( Plus $20,500 for the surgery I needed after). In Iceland, each donut was 699 Kronur, so $6.99. For one friggin’ donut. I don’t know how in the world Icelanders afford to live, much less eat.

Maybe that’s why every native we spotted was so skinny. Really. Not one obese person did we spot anywhere in the country we traveled. Charge way too much money for the food and people don’t eat as much.

Food for thought, eh?

When I’m not bemoaning the cost of food in foreign lands you can find me hereTweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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So…Iceland

Last week I promised I’d share some memories of my recent Iceland trip and I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and put something together. This was a trip orchestrated by my daughter and which included myself, hubby, darling daughter and one of my fabulous nieces. This is us at the start of the trip. Notice the excellent and wicked expensive hiking boots we all have on. Necessary for walking, hiking, and basically existing in Iceland.

On my last blog I shared the things I liked and didn’t like so much about the tiny island. One of the things I had trouble with is the weather. I rained everyday. Every. Single. Day. All day. So we spent a great deal of time in the car, traveling to sites. One of my favorite places was to a waterfall, about 50 miles from downtown Reykjavik. Touring a waterfall on a warm, sunny day would have been bliss. On an already 45 degree, raining and windy day it….wasn’t. But it was fun! We actually got to climb up the perimeter of the waterfall and go behind it. I filmed a few seconds of our time as we stood behind the powerful rush and took a bunch of photos.

After the waterfall we drove to a LavaRock Tunnel. Think Carlsbad Caverns, but in Iceland. We went down into the bowels of Iceland about 60 meters ( 180 feet for you Americans, like me!!). I have to tell you, I was scared. Of so many things, but the biggest thing was the fear of being trapped underground should the lava shift and fall in on us.

You can see from this picture that this is the start of the “tour.” There is a huge whole in the ground where snow routinely falls into all year long. Notice the black rock we maneuvered over – that’s lava rock. 1,000,000 year old lava rock. Okay I’m not sure that’s how old it is, but you get the idea. It didn’t form last week. Not even last century! And yes, those are hard hats with lights attached to our heads. Second biggest fear? The lights would burn out and we’d been in total and complete darkness and unable to find our way back to the beginning of the cave. Told you I was scared!

On the last day of the trip we spent the day sightseeing in Reykjavik. Since it was yet another cold, rainy, and windy day, we figured we’d museum hop. 

I was able to take one picture before my daughter silently pointed to a sign that said “photography prohibited” in eight languages. Ooops. One cool thing about the city: tucked into sidestreets and painted along the sides of buildings and random houses, are dozens of street art painting. This one was my favorite:

It covered the complete side of an office building, so to get some perspective on it, the entire mural was about ten feet wide by 30 feet tall. Impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the food and some other places we went. Here’s a hint: it was rainy and cold. (Heehee)

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Tales from Iceland…

So. I’ve been on radio silence for the last week because I’ve been vacationing with the family in Iceland.

Yes, that Iceland.

Why Iceland, you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.

I’ve mentioned before that my daughter and I no longer give one another birthday presents, instead opting to give one another experiences. Last year we went to trapeze school, so this year, I decided I wanted a trip for my b’day. My daughter went to Iceland for work a few years ago and loved it. I am a rabid fan and watcher of all things Housewives related and last year the OC girls went to Iceland and it looked beautiful. So, I said, why not go there this year? Daughter said yes, hubby said yes and we invited my niece ( who’s also hubby’s Goddaughter) to go with us. Hubby would be in charge of our itinerary, and daughter would reserved our lodgings. She did good, too. We AIRBNB’d at a farmhouse in Reykjavik.

Too cool.

Now, over the next few days I’ll give you a feel for what we did, but first I want to tell you the things I liked and didn’t like so much about Iceland.

Liked first:

1.The people

2. The roads

3. The venues we traveled to

4. The airport

5. The cleanliness of the country

 

The things I wasn’t too thrilled about:

1.The water smells like rotten eggs ( sulfur)

2. The weather is awful. All the time.

3. The price of things is waaaaaaaay ridiculous

4. You can’t go to the bathroom in a public place without having to pay.

5. it’s light out, literally and truthfully, 24 hours a day – no nightfall at all while we were there.

And now for some clarity. On the things I liked list:

The people are so friendly, they ALL speak English ( so yay!!) and they genuinely seem happy. The roads are amazing. Single lanes both ways, but not one pothole, dirt road, divet, or detour anywhere we traveled. You can see what they spend tax money on plain as day. All the places we went to visit were great! The airport was super clean,  accessible, and made sense to a foreigner ( me!). This is the cleanest country I have ever been in. No garbage, no litter, no homeless, no druggies.

Now, the negatives.

The country was formed when a volcano exploded so there is lava rock everywhere. Because of this, they are geothermal. The water comes from the underbelly of the lava so it smells like sulfur. Big time. I held my nose every shower I took. It rained everyday. All day. And never got above 50 degrees. I will never complain about the prices of things in the US again. A hamburger cost 29 dollars. A 16 oz. diet soda was 5.5o. Lunch routinely cost us 100.00. LUNCH! The kronur is 100 to 1 US dollar. 5 dollars is 500 kronars. Ridiculous. Also ridiculous is that you have to pay to pee. Everywhere. The public restrooms cost us 200 Kronur per pee each. I’m sorry, but there are some things in life that should be free: air, water, dirt, and the ability to pee. My daughter told me that this is a big thing in Europe = paying to use the public toilet. I stopped drinking completely when I found this out, Really. I was practically dehydrated, but I didn’t have to pay to pee. Everywhere we stopped I told my girls, ” find out if you can pee for free.”

A word about the perpetual light. It’s a real thing. There were blackout shades over all the windows in the house we stayed in, but it really didn’t make that much of a difference. At 2 oclock in the morning it looked like 3 pm outside. Very unsettling to the psyche.

Overall, I enjoyed the vaca, despite the few negatives. Would I go back? Probably not. It was a one and done for me. But I’m glad I went and saw the land of the midnight sun. Which is a thing. Really.

 

 

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