a weblog for readers and writers

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Loved Lisbon

As almost always happens, spending some time—even just a week—in another place gives you time to stretch out and feel as though you’re taking on a new lifestyle, trying on a new routine. You find your favorite coffee shops, the best place for the best food, recommendations for watering holes from the locals, and (in this case) the best Faddo in the Alfama.

Given how adjusted we became to life in Lisbon, it’s hard to believe that we returned from Portugal almost two months ago! It never takes long to ease (or get shoved) back into the “real world.” But images of the places we visited and the taste of port in the back of the mouth lingers.

Our apartment was in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Lisbon, in the Alfama region, with a view of the water and the statuary atop the Military Museum peeking in our windows. The nearby cafes and drinking holes were convenient, as were the markets and shops in walking distance.

Just about everything in Lisbon was walking distance, and even when we opted to save time by taking transportation, just about anywhere was accessible using the iconic trollies and buses. With four in our party, even taking a taxi was economical—actually costing less, in most cases, than public transportation.

Some of our favorite Lisbon sites included the Castillo, Elevador de Santa Justa, Monesterio dos Jeronimos, the Monument to Discoveries, Gulbenkain Museum, Tower of Belem, the Coach Museum, and so much more. The contrast between old architecture and new was interesting. And the winding cobblestone roads with trolleys cranking back and forth made the Alfama feel like a medieval San Francisco.

Beyond Lisbon, Sintra was a great day-trip, with the National Palace, Pena Palace, Moorish Castle ruins, and a number of smaller palaces that were anything but small.

There’s so much to say about Portugal. I’ve added it to my “coming soon” list. I need a vacation just to find time to write the travel stories I have planned. But something tells me when the time comes, I may end up on another voyage.

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Monday, May 09, 2016

Fiction for Spring Weather in Syndic

Need some encouragement to start on that spring yardwork? Whether you want something to read or something to listen to while you’re mowing, check out this story that might just make you reconsider doing the yardwork at all.

“Leaving” was published in the most recent issue of Syndic Literary Journal. I read the story last year on Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR. They warned: “Are you planning on taking advantage of the spring weather to get outside and do some yard work? If you are, let this next story be a cautionary tale. And if you’re not, well, let this next story be an excuse.”

In the same issue, you’ll find literary work by Charles Rammelkamp, Nitin Jagdish, and founding editor LeRoy Chatfield, who started the San Francisco based literary journal back in 1958.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Free Mother's Day Tea at The Smyser-Bair House / Historic York Inn

The Smyser-Bair House / Historic York Inn and Berkshire Hathaway invite you to join us for an old fashioned Mother's Day Tea. The evening of tea service, drinks, palatial tours, original art, and children's literature takes place at 30 South Beaver Street as a part of Downtown York’s First Friday festivities from 5 to 9 p.m. on May 6!

Enjoy tea service, with freshly brewed tea and accompanying finger foods, in the palatial parlor and formal dining room, surrounded by gilded Pier mirrors, breathtaking wood and plaster work, and electrified chandeliers. Children book author and artist Eric and Nataliya Goodman will be on hand to share and sign their books—something any mother can appreciate.

Join us at the Historic York Inn / Smyser-Bair House, from 5 to 9 p.m. at 30 South Beaver Street, York, PA 17401 for York First Friday on May 6!

Learn more about the history of the Smyser-Bair House / Historic York Inn at www.YorkInn.info.