You are probably thinking that I haven’t added anything to the blog lately because I am busily preparing for my big launch, right? Well, one would be generous to assume that is the case! The fact is, I have had little time to breathe these past two weeks and none of it has been due to the release of “Loving Mr. Darcy.” Yeah, woe is me. LOL! So what have I been up to these days? Besides adding the cool countdown clock to the sidebar?
I no sooner unpacked my suitcases from the RWA conference than it was time to pack them up again. This time it was a joint trip with my husband – all alone! The two of us celebrated 23 years of wedded bliss – insert “Aaah” here– with a three-day getaway to the Pacific coastal community of Cambria, CA. We stayed in a fantastic bed & breakfast, the Pickford House, that I highly recommend if you have occasion to visit the area. The owner, Gina, is an amazing cook, incredibly nice, and a fabulous quilter. The B&B is decorated in a semi-Victorian style with hundreds of framed portraits of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, the Barrymores, etc. Definitely grasping onto the Hollywood theme of Hearst’s day but in a classy way. We loved it! Everything about our stay was romantic, delicious, relaxing, homey, and beautiful.
Of course, we planned to tour Hearst Castle, the quaint towns of Cambria and Morro Bay, and walk as lovers do along the sandy beach. Unfortunately, we did none of those things because yours truly is a major klutz and slipped while visiting with friends in the area and severely sprained her ankle! On the first day!! My dear heart again proved how wonderful he is by buying ice packs and an ace bandage, hunting down an urgent care clinic, drawing hot baths, and assisting me as I hobbled up and down the stairs. It wasn’t precisely the romantic excursion we planned, but we were together in a beautiful locale so neither complained too much. The foot? Not broken and gradually healing, but still very swollen, tender, and quite colorful.
Amid the stunted walking ability and pain, we enjoyed an excellent dinner at The Brambles in Cambria. I have to mention the restaurant because it was a highlight of our trip. The food was scrumptious, the atmosphere romantic, and service superb. Steve says the lamb was the best he has ever had, and he would know! We met the owner, a lovely lady named Zara, who was delightful. I tried to find a website, but sadly they have none. But trust me, if you are anywhere near Cambria, check out The Brambles!
Another shining moment amid the pain was a brief visit to B&N in San Luis Obispo. I not only was thrilled to now recognize a large number of the names on the books in the romance section – some I have actually met! – but I found 4 copies of my novel on the shelf. And if that wasn’t cool enough to induce me to take even more geeky photos (see right), when my not-the-slightest-bit-shy and oh-so-proud husband told the manager that I was an author of a book in their store, she had me sign each copy! Then she put “author signed” stickers on the cover. That was almost enough to overcome my pain! So, if you live in the vicinity of SLO, pop into the Barnes & Noble and perhaps you may snag a copy.
Our anniversary celebration was further disturbed by frightening news about my mom. I prefer not to go into details but will share that she suffered a life-threatening attack while we were in Cambria. For several days it was very touch and go. Frankly, none of us thought she would pull through. And that led to my next packing extravaganza and journey from home. This time we all packed our bags and embarked on an 18-hour drive to New Mexico where my mom lives near my sister and her family. My brother and his family, who live in Florida, also drove out. Praise God – and I mean that literally and sincerely – our mom recuperated and was moved out of the ICU after five days.
She remains in the hospital and is far from well, but at least it was not the grievous, mournful reunion we anticipated. Instead, it turned into a welcome opportunity for the entire Lathan/Hudson/Shelly/Greenberg/Wise/Tucker clan to hang out, have fun, and support mom. There is no doubt that having all of us there was encouraging and bolstering. She has many health issues, however, and we continue to pray and hope. For some of us, it has been over 4 years since we saw each other. The visit was far too brief – only 3 days for us – but quality conquered quantity. I just can’t say enough about how wonderful my entire family is. I have been blessed all of my life with kin who truly love each other and enjoy being together. And now I shall stop before the sentimentality runs amok.
Now we are home, finally unpacked, and planning no adventures for a while. I have officially decided that being a world traveler is not my cup of tea. Gotta have my home base and own bed! The timing is ideal for me to finally focus on September 1. Whoo Hoo!!