Fresh from the country

Oh hey, y’all — sorry for the impromptu break there!

I haven’t fallen into the caverns of Panama Rocks, though I felt like maybe I could have on our recent trip. Spence and I are fresh from a trip to visit his family in Western New York, and I’m feeling refreshed and country-fied!

That sounds like country fried. Maybe country-fried steak. Mmmm.

So I’ve been working on puzzles, reading (I finished Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South for the read-along! Post coming soon), visiting, crocheting, photographing and generally hanging out. Reality comes crashing back on Wednesday as I return to the office, but it was nice to get away for a bit. Definitely came at a good time.

If I owe you an email or other correspondence, I promise it will be on its way! Going to give myself a few days to get my brain back in gear, and then I’m sure the normal Meg will be back to typing and buying way too much nail polish on eBay in no time. If I know myself at all, anyway.

I left my heart in San Francisco — and Yosemite

Okay — who doesn’t leave their heart in San Francisco?

Jet lag is currently holding me hostage, but we’re home. A week of fun and food and laughter and memories — and too many amazing, phenomenal places to mention. Yosemite completely stole my breath, and I’m already scheming of ways to make it back there someday. I loved the park so much that I’d wager half my heart is in San Francisco, and the other part is near Bridalveil Fall.

To be honest, I’m a little sad to be home. I wasn’t ready to leave. Usually my vacations stretch on so long that I’m desperate to get back to my computer, desk and “normal” life. I’m very happy to see my family again, of course — I missed them — but really enjoyed spending so much time with Spencer, neither of us busy or distracted. It took getting away for me to realize how overextended I feel — both at work and in my personal life. I made a vow to remember the quiet moments of our trip in my more stressful ones and find a way to keep a little of that serenity with me.

When I was in the UK last spring, I waxed philosophical about how difficult it was for me to disconnect from technology for a few weeks. I missed my phone terribly, irked beyond belief that I couldn’t keep in constant contact with Spencer. I fretted about not checking my email or keeping up with Twitter. I wondered what was happening in the blog world and checked local news abroad.

In California this year, the reverse was true — I was irked to be connected with the ol’ iPhone, though I loved snapping photos to share with family and friends on the go. I didn’t want to think about work or other obligations. I didn’t want to worry about any of my normal nonsense . . . in short, I wanted to truly be on vacation. And I guess that’s why it’s difficult for me now, being home, since I intentionally pushed all my usual worries into the “to be dealt with later” category. And later is now.

I’m sure everyone feels this way. Being away is such a rush — it’s euphoria, really. I needed the break and didn’t realize how much I desperately wanted time away with my boyfriend — seeing new things, photographing everything, eating All the Food in California — to rejuvenate.

So now I’m back! I missed you crazy kids, but I think I’m a better Meg after my journey 3,000 miles west. And I have stories, friends — lots of them. They’re on the way.

P.S.: Today is write meg!’s fourth birthday! Thank you all for your kind words, comments, support and friendship over the years. I love talking books and life with all of you — and here’s to four more.

Home sweet home


I’m jet-lagged and crazed and already back at work, but had a fabulous time and saw so many cool things (like castles!). My 12-day trip took me through the English countryside and the Irish Sea; through pubs, restaurants and open-air markets; through lakes and beaches and amazingly green hillsides. I met Lyndsey of Teadevotee in London, which was such fun — and she brought me a Jane Austen biography, the perfect accompaniment to my brief (but awesome!) visit to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. I raided that gift shop like it was my job.

I took as many photos as I’d expected — probably about 1,000 — and will begin slamming you with British-themed posts in the coming days. Lots of stories to share . . . and I can’t wait to share them.

I’ve missed you all! And I have been reading. I finished I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith — the perfect read for a woman traipsing the English countryside and staring at ruins while reading about ruins. I also devoured Margot Berwin’s Hothouse Flower on the plane ride home, which was an engrossing but weird sort of book. Totally unrealistic and bizarro, but also lots of fun. Reviews of those (and many more) to post.

What have I missed?! I was flipping out without Internet access. Flipping. Out. If anything, my trip abroad reaffirmed for me that I am completely addicted to my smartphone, laptop and ye ol’ blog, and I will never leave you again, my friends. Never.

Actually, I probably will. But I’ll make sure I have ready access to WiFi.

Turns out I’m not too good at the whole “unplugging” thing.

And just to whet your appetite, made by my dad . . .