Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Club Friday: Memoirs of Paris

To contrast my regular life with my honeymoon life, just look at the number of books I've read.

On our honeymoon (including time spent flying), I read four books start-to-finish, I finished a collection of short stories, I read several chapters of a textbook, and I started another novel. In the rest of 2014 (thus far), I finished two books that I'd technically started in 2013, I read two books start-to-finish, and I finished the book started on my honeymoon.

In other words, I need to go on vacation more often because I don't have enough time to read!

photography, bookstore, engagement shoot
We had no problem making out in front of a camera.
Back in November, Beau and I took the first half of our engagement pictures in a used bookstore. Before we left for the next location, however, we took a few minutes to browse their selection. Naturally we each bought something, but it took me a whole four months to find the time to read my book!

My eye was immediately drawn to Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton. Memoirs set in Paris? Yes, please!

From Amazon: In this remarkably honest and candid memoir, award-winning journalist and distinguished author Kati Marton narrates an impassioned and romantic story of love, loss, and life after loss. Paris is at the heart of this deeply moving account. Marton paints a vivid portrait of an adventuresome life in the stream of history. Inspirational and deeply human, Paris: A Love Story will touch every generation.

I don't normally describe women based on the men in their life, but since Marton's memoirs include detailed chapters on her late ex-husband and her late husband, they must be mentioned. Her second husband was ABC News anchor Peter Jennings. Her third husband was US diplomat Richard Holbrooke. 

A journalist's memoirs are not normally the sort of book I read, but anything about Paris lures me in. I'm SO glad I stumbled across this book at the little used bookstore. Marton seamlessly weaves back and forth between different times in her life, telling thematic stories more so than chronological ones. Yet the overall timeline of her life is easy to follow, and I'm genuinely jealous of how much of it takes place in Paris.  

Anyone who loves Paris, or Hungary (Marton's family escaped Hungary after the revolution), or journalism needs to read this book.

What have you read lately?


*Y'all know the drill. Two Amazon Affiliate links are embedded in this post. I get a few pennies if you shop via my links.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: A Timeline of Events

love, photography, engagement pictures

I think Beau's proposal and our months of wedding planning was our best-kept secret from the blog. My motivation for the secrecy was two-fold.
  1. I wanted to control the narrative of my own story of sex and virginity. I didn't want to force the blog conversation before I was ready.
  2. I thought announcing our wedding by linking this video was HILARIOUS, and so did both Beau and my best friend Lauren. That was actually planned before we even got engaged.
All the wedding madness isn't quite over yet, but I'm at the point where I can start blogging about all the fun details!

I present to you...

Our Love Story: A Timeline of Events

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Puerto Rican Honeymoon: Day Trip to Arecibo

Puerto Rico, honeymoon, Arecibo, maps
Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA. Stars and text my own.

Beau and I arrived back home late late late the evening of April 6th, and honestly, the first few days back at work were ROUGH. We each took off 12 days from work for our wedding, our honeymoon, and our first wedding reception. It's nice being home again, but I miss our lazy days in Puerto Rico. Then again, our day trips from San Juan were far from lazy occasions...

While we spent most of our honeymoon in Puerto Rico enjoying the beach, the pool, and each other wink wink, Beau and I also took two day trips outside of San Juan to see other parts of the island. After spending the second full day of our honeymoon in Old San Juan, and relaxing the third day, the fourth day was the perfect time for an adventure! Beau carefully mapped out our trip to include four highlights:
Camuy River Cave Park, Puerto Rico, honeymoon, caving
Beau is a better photographer than I am
I am not an outdoorsy person. My idea of an adventure is going to a new museum or walking aimlessly through the streets of a big city. But Beau really wanted to see the cave system with the third-largest underground river in the world, and who was I to deny my new husband anything? Luckily for me, the paths in the cave are wide with gentle inclines, just right for caving novices, children, or people who have physical disabilities. 

We showed up to the Rio Camuy Caves Park around 10am. Unfortunately, we arrived at about the same time as a large school group who was given priority over other tourists. We waited more than half an hour before we were finally escorted into the small cinema. After watching the short film on the history and science of the cave system, the underground river, and the sinkhole, everyone lined up to board the trams.

We waited a good 15 minutes before we could board a tram. Then on the tram, we waited another 15 or so minutes before the second tram arrived for the rest of the group. I'm not sure if there was a mechanical error, or if they were trying to place extra distance between us and the school group, but I don't think all this waiting is normal for tourists. 

The tram ride was quite terrifying, and I thought I was going to die, but at least all the trees and plants were pretty. 

The caves were so much cooler than I thought they would be. The beauty and magnitude of the first cavern made me wonder aloud if we should have just gotten married there. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gleeking Out, or That One Time Glee Retweeted Me

I've been live-tweeting Glee on and off for several years now. It always produces the double-edged effect of losing me followers, but gaining me a large number of retweets and favorites.

Last week was the pinnacle moment in my live-tweeting career.

That might have been the highlight of my week... Well, my work week, at least.

Have you ever had an exciting retweet 
by a celebrity or TV network?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: Belle's Blog is Back to Talk Blogging!

I haven't done a Sunday Shoutouts post in four weeks...

But I have gotten married, honeymooned in Puerto Rico, and celebrated the first of three wedding receptions since then, so I think my absence is explainable! 

Links today will not be restricted to the last week. 

I don't usually blog about blogging, but I learn so much from other bloggers willing to share their secrets. I've appreciated all the tutorials about blog promotion, social media, and more. More than how-to posts, though, I enjoy when bloggers share their thoughts on blogging. I mean... what we do is a little weird, right? Can we just all admit that? First we spill our guts to the Internet, and then we change how we divulge all the gory details of our lives just so more people will read about us. I love blogging, and I love reading blogs, but it's weird, y'all.


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