Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zoos

Well, we've done it fellow A-Zers; completed the A-Z Blogging Challenge and done so with style.  I stumbled upon so many wonderful blogs throughout this month and want to thank everyone who checked mine out.  Thank you for sharing your insights and thoughts with me and for allowing me to do the same.  And now for the last letter in this wonderful challenge....Z...
Zoos
There is something magical about zoos.  No matter how old you are, a zoo brings you right back to your childhood and fills you with this incredible sense of wonder.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that you're looking at animals that you normally don't see walking down the street.  Whatever it is, I think that going to zoos should become more of a regular activity in our lives.  This can be accomplished relatively inexpensively in some places.  For instance, the Oregon Zoo is free for every visitor on Tuesday.  Granted, Tuesdays are not the most convenient, but it's a start.  They also put on concerts in the zoo during the summer and have a month-long event in December called "Zoo Lights" where they decorate the entire zoo with Christmas lights.
The last time I went to a zoo was in 2007 in Vienna.  The Vienna Zoo, located at the Schoenbrunn Palace, is a pretty amazing zoo.  Voted the best European zoo in 2010, the Vienna Zoo is incorporated in a corner of the vast gardens at the palace.  It's such an amazing place.  The funniest part to me, being from the Northwest, was that the very first exhibit was an enclosure of Northwest Nutria.  What!?!  I laughed so hard when I saw that because you can walk anywhere in the Willamette Valley and find a nutria along the creeks and rivers.  It was funny to see that they warranted an exhibit in a zoo.  Regardless, there is such an amazing collection of animals at the Vienna Zoo and wandering through the grounds with a delicious cone of eis is the perfect way to cap off a tour of the Palace and extensive gardens.  Visit if you can!
Happy Monday :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for "You are Calm and Reposed"

You are calm and reposed...

"You are calm and reposed / Let your beauty unfold / Pale white, like the skin stretched over your bones / Spring keeps you ever close / You are second-hand smoke / You are so fragile and thin, standing trial for your sins / Holding on to yourself the best you can / You are the smell before rain / You are the blood in my veins"

These are my all-time favorite lyrics from Brand New's "The Boy who Blocked his Own Shot" off of their second album, Deja Entendu.  Soooooo good.  Definitely one of my most loved songs as well.  Check it out.
 Have a lovely Saturday everyone!

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for "The X in My Name"

We're coming in to the homestrech of the A-Z Blogging Challenge and it's time for one of the most difficult letters of the alphabet...that pesky X.  Here's my solution:

The X in My Name (1993)
the poor
signature
of my illiterate
and peasant
self
giving away
all rights
in a deceiving
contract for life

Francisco X. Alarcon...brilliant.
An interview with Fransisco X. Alarcon for Colorin Colorado where he discusses
his cultural heritage and how it shaped his poetry.  It's long, but good.

TGIF fellow A-Zers...remember whe that was good television?! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for World Competitions

World Competitions

I like big sporting competitions, especially those that bring together multiple nations and cultures.  There is something magical about them.  Some of my favorites are:

The World Cup (both men's and women's)
Oh man, oh man, oh man...the World Cup is a party in my world.  As I stated in a previous post, I am a huge, huge, huge soccer fan and this competition is one of my all-time favorites.  Everything from the qualifiers to the championship game, I'm down with.  I'm able to cheer on the good ole USA (though the men's team hardly make it as far as I want them to) and my favorite team, Germany.  Good deal!  When it comes to the Women's World Cup...USA all the way!  Next one...Brazil 2014!
The Euro Cup
Definitely along the same lines as the above, but this competition is awesome all on its own.  It fuses my love of Europe with soccer.  Word.  Again, my lovely German national team is always in it for the win...and Spain.  I do like Spain.  Next one...Poland/Ukraine 2012...say what!
Six Nations Rugby
I was first introduced to Six Nations in 2008 and I fell hard.  Rugby is crazy!  It's insane how that game is played.  I think what made me really love it was the fact that the tournament was being held in Edinburgh when I was living there.  The visiting team's fans were EVERYWHERE and extremely vocal.  While I did cheer on Scotland with a vengeance, I must say that I am a Wales fan...
The Olympics (both Summer and Winter)
I'm an avid fan of the Olympics in general, but the Summer Olympics is where it's at.  While I do enjoy several of the Winter events (ice skating, snowboarding, skiing, etc.), there is so much more to offer in the Summer Olympics.  I love the opening ceremonies!  I love gymnastics!  I love swimming!  I love diving!  I love track!  And there's soccer!!  I guess you could say I love it all.  Ha.  Needless to say I'm super excited for this summer and London 2012!
It's nearly Friday, fellow A-Zers!!  Rejoice!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vienna

Vienna, Austria
Oh Vienna, land of Mozart, Sachertorte, Kaesekraeners, and delicious Eis.  I spent an amazing year living in Vienna in 2006/2007 teaching English just north of the city in Klosterneuburg.  The school I taught in specialized in wine production and vineyards...sweet deal!  Needless to say I learned a lot about wine and was even able to sample some of the bottles my students helped to cultivate.  Pretty awesome.  While living in the city (right near the Suedbahnhof), I had the opportunity to explore a lot of things.  Here are just a few:
Schoenbrunn Palace from the Gloriette with a view of the city center behind.

The Reisenrad at the Prater (boardwalk).  Those are railway cars that rock.

The Gloriette behind Schoenbrunn Palace.

Belvedere Palace, now a museum, where Gustav Klimt's The Kiss is displayed.

The entrance of the school where I worked.
Courtney and I cooling down our gluewein at a Christkindlmarkt.

St. Marx Cemetery where Mozart is buried.

Hundertwasser House...cool paint job.

Life Ball 2007...beware of the nudity!

Wine tasting with friends and students.

Jewish section of the Zentralfriedhof.
 Blog on fellow A-Zers.  We're nearing the end :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday...In the Between

Though I'm still reading Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I have picked up a read to break the heftiness of it up.  Something that can be plowed through quickly and that I can easily read between spurts of Tattoo.  That book is Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.  I found this, randomly, at Wal-Mart (I know, I know) on the cheap.  It sounded good, so I picked it up and here you go:

"Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth?  That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch" (27).
This looks like a pretty good read to me and it's been decent so far.  Fingers crossed that it continues to be so.  Happy Tuesday everyone!

U is for Utopia

Utopia

I've always meant to read Thomas More's Utopia...pretty much since I watch Ever After starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston (I love that movie despite Barrymore's atrocious British accent and the fact that everyone has a British accent yet it's set in France).  Recently I found an extremely inexpensive copy of the book and am bound and determined to start is soon.  Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.
Take a peak at the trailer for the movie...good stuff.  Have a terrific day everyone!

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Traveling

Holy moly do I love
Traveling
I've always liked the idea of discovering new places, but have hated the actual means of getting there.  It could have been due to the fact that I had a tendency to get car sick if I wasn't sitting in the front seat.  This was true when I was a child because we ALWAYS drove whenever we went on vacation;  Disneyland...Vegas...Seattle...anyplace within pseudo driving distance.  Once I entered college I decided to branch out in my traveling repertoire.  I had been on a plane once when I was fourteen.  It was a two hour flight to Vegas.  Who goes to Vegas when they're fourteen?!?  For spring break of 2003, my friend Dani and I decided that we were going to go somewhere crazy.  Cue Japan.  That's right...Japan.  Going from a two hour flight to a seventeen hour flight...BIG DIFFERENCE!  It's a long, exhausting flight from Portland, Oregon to Okinawa, Japan, but it was one of the best vacations ever.  Seeing such a different culture was amazing and it only fueled my desire to experience more.
The following year Dani and I decided to keep it a little more local, so we headed south on a road trip to the Redwood National Forest, San Fransisco, San Jose, Monterey, and Carmel, California along the Pacific Coast Highway.  The weather was beautiful and it was great to get out on the road and away from campus for a week.  We took another road trip the following year (our last in college) and headed north.  This time hitting up Seattle, Washington and Victoria, British Colombia.  Yet another great trip.
Once I graduated from college I headed over to Vienna, Austria for a teaching job.  That's when I got a lot of traveling under my belt.  It's so cheap to get around in Europe!  Honestly, I feel like I left a huge portion of my heart in several places there and would move back in a heartbeat if the opportunity arose.  Here's a few pictures from those trips.  Enjoy!
Nationalbibliothek...Vienna, Austria.  Oh the books!

Bratislava, Slovakia...town square

Krakow, Poland...town square and Easter Market

Oswiecm, Poland...Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Prague, Czech Republic...Castle on the hill.

Venice, Italy during Carnival

Salzburg, Austria...fortress

London, England...Parliament

Dublin, Ireland...O'Connell Street

Munich, Germany...Hofbrauhaus...delicious liters of beer!
 Thus concludes an extremely brief trip to the major cities I've visited.  Now I can honestly say that I don't get travel sick and I actually love flying on airplanes...despite the cramped space.  Thank goodness I'm short and don't tend to have problems with leg room.  Have a lovely evening fellow A-Zers and everyone else :)

(Best Friends) Forever

Initially I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy Jennifer Weiner's Best Friends Forever because I'm not much of a Chick Lit reader, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It was entertaining, engaging, and I always wanted to see what would happen next.  Perhaps this was more a reflection of Weiner's writing style rather than the genre; I guess I'll have to explore it a little more.

Friends follows the tumultuous relationship between Addie and Valerie.  They first meet when they are nine years old and become immediate friends.  As the two grow older, they experience the harsh realities of middle school and, more devastating, high school.  It is during a specific episode in high school where their friendship is changed forever.  Fast forward twenty years later and it is time for their high school reunion.  Valerie has become a pseudo local celebrity while Addie has never moved away and continued to work from her childhood home.  Addie refuses to go to the reunion and soon Valeria shows up at Addie's door completely shaken with streaks of blood on her jacket.  What ensues is the hunt for an injured man and the rekindling of a long-dead friendship.

While at times I didn't like either of the characters, Valerie was a self-centered, image-obsessed prissy woman and Addie was an overly self conscious woman with incredibly low self-esteem, they seemed to balance each other out and rub off on each other toward the end.  I did, however, enjoy the ending to this story, though I didn't necessarily find it completely plausible.  Good effort overall.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Silvestersfeiern

Welcome to Saturday...the day of S.  Today stands for
Silvestersfeiern
Fireworks over the Prater with the Riesenrad on the left.
Lining up the tequila shots...yuck!
Oh what a fun, interesting, and sometimes life-threatening time.  Silvestersfeiern is the New Years celebration in Vienna, Austria.  It's the culmination of the month+ long holiday celebrations and it's freakin' nuts-o-pants!  Much like Hogmany, Silvestersfeiern is one ginormous street party.  City center is already a strictly pedestrian zone in Vienna from 6am to 4am, so they don't have to worry about blocking streets off.  The majority of the crowd gathers in front of Stephansdom and the immediate surrounding area to dance the night away to live music and fireworks, the majority of which are lit off by spectators in the crowd.  Needless to say you feel like you're going deaf because of the constant explosions echoing off of the buildings and you are also constantly on edge because you have absolutely no idea where the next firework will go off.  It could be right next to you...or around the corner.  Yikes!  Mix all of that with tequila kiosks and beer galore and you're placing your life in the hands of a bunch of drunk people.  Fun times.  Most of the time the city sponsored fireworks are all set off prior to midnight, so the majority of the crowds then descend on the Viennese bar scene around the city where they ring in the New Year to the wonderful waltzing of Mozart :)  At the end of the night (or rather the early morning), you have to be careful where you step and sit on the u-bahn...beware...it smells like vomit and a bunch of other stuff.  No bueno!  However, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!
Meeting random people...me, random guy, Lindsey.

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for "Richard Cory"

"Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson accomplishes two things; 1) it knocks out the letter R for the A-Z Challenge and 2) it falls under Poetry Fridays.  Sweet!  So, without further ado, here ya go:

"Richard Cory"  (1897)
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

I love this poem for several reasons.  First, it sounds so nice and pleasant and then BAM, whammy at the end.  Second, it's one that my students really enjoy when we do our unit on music in poetry.  And last, and most important, it inspired Simon and Garfunkel to write and record a song based on it in 1966!
Happy Friday fellow A-Zers!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quaint Cottages

I don't know what it is, but there is something so magical about
Quaint Cottages
I've always loved them and it's even better if they're located along the beach.  One day I will have one to call my own.  Until then, I will placate myself with these lovely ones...
I've always loved this cottage.  It's not located along the beach, but it is located at one end of Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland.  So lovely.

I love this one because it reminds me of a fairy tale.  It's located in Carmel, California and was built in 1924.
This one is beautiful and rustic.  Located in Northern Germany near the Shlei Fiord, it's a lovely little gem.
Love this place.  If I'm not mistaken, this was the home of Kate Winslet's character in The Holiday.
 Hope your Thursday is magical and cozy...just like these cottages.  Happy A-Zing :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for the Portland Timbers

P is for....
The Portland Timbers
I am a HUGE soccer fan, have been since I was a child, and was incredibly stoked when Portland won the bid to host an MLS team, the Portland Timbers, a couple years ago.  I mean, poor Oregon...we don't really have any professional teams aside from the Trail Blazers, who might as well be a high school team the way they've played this season.  Finally we have something!  Back in the day we had a semi-professional team with the North American Soccer League, but that became defunct in the early 80s.  When talk started going around about adding another team to the MLS roster, Portland jumped at the chance to be their new home.  The Northwest, and Portland in particular, are hotbeds for soccer supporters and investors knew that having a team would be a lucrative business for the city and the state as a whole.  One of the conditions was finding a suitable playing field in the area.  Enter PGE Park, home of the Portland Beavers minor league baseball team.  After a complete renovation in 2011, Portland was selected as the new home for the MLS team and, because of how the stadium was renovated, the Beavers were relocated to Tucson, Arizona.  The Timbers now play at the newly renamed Jeld-Wen field in downtown Portland.  The way the stadium sits actually puts the field below street level because of the slope of the landscape.  I find that pretty interesting.
How the Timbers celebrate goals.
The fans, called the Timbers Army, are some of the most dedicated in all of MLS.  You'd have to be to sit through an outdoor soccer game in the weather we continually get.  Despite its relatively small size, Jeld-Wen practically vibrates with noise from the moment fans start arriving.  A sea of green greets the visiting team and spectators.  Very reminiscent of a European football match, the Timbers Army sings songs, chants, beats drums, waves flags and scarves, and yells throughout the ENTIRE match.  Also, Timbers Joey, the mascot, is a pretty terrifying sight.  Wouldn't you be afraid of a large, lumberjack of a man welding a live chainsaw who cuts rounds from a giant log for every goal the home team scores?!  Combined, Timbers Joey and the Timbers Army are a formidable sight.
Timbers Joey preparing to cut a round after the Timbers score.
Whew...I think that's it for posts about Oregon.  Though I haven't been following any type of theme for the A-Z Challenge, these last three posts were a pretty solid one.  Hope you've enjoyed :)  Happy Wednesday all!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday...Girl's Got Tats

I'm finally settling down to read the, much hyped, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson.  I've been excited for this read and have refused to watch either of the films based on the book.  Hopefully it's as good as everyone keeps saying :)


"'Salander shut her eyes, wishing that the floor would stop pitching under her feet.  She was in a state of mental paralysis.  She was hung over.  This situation was unreal, and her brain was refusing to function.  Never had she met one of her subjects face to face" (359).


I've been excited to read this series for a long time and have finally decided to do it.  Yay!

O is for Oregon Breweries

O...there are a lot of things that I could write about that start with this letter, but I'm going to talk about:

Oregon Breweries
I  have to say that Oregon has some pretty dang good breweries.  In fact, the state as a whole is ranked fourth in the nation as having the most breweries per capita with 105.  Portland alone has 32, making it the number 1 city in the US per capita.  That's a lot of beer floating around a state with a population of 3.8 million.  Below are some of my favorite breweries.

#1:  Calapooia Brewing
 Located in downtown Albany, Oregon, the Calapooia Brewing Company has been around for almost twenty years.  It's first on my list because of a few reasons.  1) It's local and never more than a ten minute drive away.  2) Live music and dart competitions are regular activities.  3) Their Chili Beer is out of this world.  That's right people, Chili Beer.  Brewed with Jalapenos, Serrano, and Anaheim chili peppers, it's a spicy amber beer that pairs perfectly with nachos or tacos.  Two personal favorites of mine are the 'Pooya Porter, a mocha inspired brew, and the Devil's Hole Stout, with underlying flavors of licorice, chocolate, and coffee.  The Calapooia Brewery has distributors at local restaurants around town, such as Cappies and Loafer's Station, and will soon be bottling their Chili Beer to sell in local supermarkets.  Good stuff!

#2:  Deschutes Brewery
 Venture over the Cascade Mountain range on HWY 20 and you'll enter the city of Bend, Oregon, home of the Deschutes Brewery.  This was probably the first brewery that I loved.  My personal favorite brew of theirs is the Black Butte Porter.  It's a dark, robust beer that has a slightly bitter beginning but finishes with a nice roasted chocolate coffee flavor.  I couldn't recommend it more.  However, if something a little more tame is more your liking, I would definitely suggest the Jubelale.  Though it's only a seasonal ale, this one is a great choice.  With flavors of fruit, chicory and spices, the Jubelale is very reminiscent of the holidays.  Another that is offered year-round, and is considered "base camp" in the Deschutes line, is the Mirror Pond Ale.  It's a very smooth, amber ale with a clean finish.  Personally I don't like beer I can see through, but this one is tasty.  Really you can't go wrong with a bottle or pint from Deschutes.


#3:  McMenamins Brewery
 I absolutely love this place.  With multiple locations around the Northwest (Oregon and Washington), McMenamins Brewery is a local tradition.  Each restaurant has its own unique flavor, from their menus to their decor, but one constant is the amazing beer selection.  My personal favorite is a delicious mixture of their Terminator Stout and their Ruby Ale.  When mixed, this combination makes a lovely raspberry chocolate beer that can't be beat.  It's smooth as butter.  Another great thing about a lot of their locations is the live music that comes along with it.  At both the Crystal Ballroom and Edgefield locations you can find such events as Florence + the Machines, Gotye, Mest, Snow Patrol, and many more.  Great stuff.

#4:  Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery
This is another great restaurant and brewery with great beer choices.  I am an avid fan of the Nebula Naked Oat Stout.  It has a coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel smooth finish that pairs perfectly with nearly everything.  Block 15 is located in downtown Corvallis, Oregon and is almost always busy due to the fact that it's in a college town.  However, I would recommend stopping in to check it out.  If beer isn't your drink of choice, their Long Island is pretty potent :)
#5:  Oakshire Brewing
Oakshire Brewing is located in Eugene, Oregon, another college town, but what places this brewery on my list is the Overcast Espresso Stout.  This beer is pure heaven.  Incredibly robust with an amazing espresso finish.  I could drink this beer for breakfast (but I won't).  I don't venture down to their headquarters to get this beer though.  Instead, I head down to two local bars in Corvallis:  Downward Dog and Crowbar both carry this lovely, delicious beer.  It also doesn't hurt that both of these locations have pretty good food at a decent price.  One drawback...the overabundance of college students.  I'd still brave those crowds for one of these delicious beers though :)



There are a multitude of other great breweries around the entire state.  I mentioned one in my post for N.  If you would like to check out some others, here's a great place to look!  Man, I sound like a complete lush!  I promise that it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds.  Anyway, happy Tuesday all!

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Newport, Oregon

One of my all-time favorite places in the world begins with the letter N:

Newport, Oregon
Newport Bay Bridge and Marina at sunset.
I've been visiting Newport for as long as I can remember.  There really isn't a time that I can recall not going to Newport.  The nice thing about this absolutely fantastic coastal town is that it's only a mere 40 minute drive from my house; perfect for a day trip!  Honestly, there isn't much to recommend the town (locals want to get out, outsiders want to get in), but there is such charm in certain areas that it makes me love it even more.  Some of my favorites about Newport:

Favorite Coffee Shop and Bakery:  Panini Bakery

Located on NE Coast in the historic Nye Beach area of Newport, Panini Bakery is pure heaven.  Not only do they serve the best coffee and tea in town, they make everything fresh and in house every morning:  caramel sauce, lemonade, granola, bread, muffins, cakes, pastries, soups, and their famous pizza.  The atmosphere in this place is something else.  Pulsing with loud music of every variety (reggae and folk are particular favorites), you can stand back and watch them throw the dough and build delicious pizzas all day.  If you ever make it to Newport, Panini is a must visit.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Favorite Rummage Store:  Pirate's Plunder
Filled with anything and everything you could imagine, Pirate's Plunder is a shopping must.  Whether you enjoy unique finds or you just want to goggle at the pirate decor, this 8,000+ square foot building is full of treasures just waiting to be discovered.  Located on Ferry Slip Rd in the Aquarium Village area near the Oregon Coast Aquarium (where Keiko the famous killer whale lived), it's an adventure every single time.  When you walk into this place, you are greeted by the two friendly women who run it, as well as a multitude of plaster (or something similar) life-sized pirates hanging from rafters, ropes, and cannons or placed strategically around the building.  Definitely look up toward the ceiling if you ever visit!

Favorite Beach:  South Beach 
 Though probably not everyone's favorite of the many public beaches located in and around Newport, South Beach off of HWY 101 two miles south of town is my definite favorite.  It's never as busy as Nye Beach or Beverly Beach and it has a nice stretch of open sand with beautiful views all the way to the, supposedly haunted, Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  This is the beach that we always went to growing up.  We'd stay at South Beach Campground next to the beach and hike the 1/2 mile trail through the woods and over the dunes to get to that lovely, fine, soft sand and to wade in the, often freezing cold, waters of the glorious Pacific.    

Favorite Restaurant:  Nana's Irish Pub
 Nana's Irish Pub makes the best pot pies outside of Ireland (at least as far as I'm concerned).  In fact, I've never had a bad meal at Nana's.  Personally, I would recommend the Reuben or the Corned Beef and Cabbage (only available after 4:30).  In addition to above-par food, this place has character galore.  Often showcasing live music, Nana's is generally a pretty packed place.  On nice days, which can be very unpredictable in Oregon, you'll find that there is absolutely no seating available outside on the patio and that seating inside is severely limited.  Even on days when the weather isn't so nice, you'll find hardcore locals occupying those metal tables with a pint in their hands.  Yum.  Conveniently, Nana's is located just a few storefronts down from Panini on NW Coast.

Favorite Beer:  Rogue Nation Brewery
 The Rogue Brewery is, hands down, one of the best in Oregon (more to come for letter O) with an incredibly wide variety of beers to choose from.  Located down on the marina, Rogue's warehouse and restaurant are a very busy attraction in Newport.  The food is typical bar food (burgers and whatnot), but it's the beer and spirits you go for!  With 30+ beers to choose from and a wide range of artisan rums, whiskeys, and gins, you can't go wrong.  Even better, twice a year the warehouse holds a garage sale where you can get cases of 22 oz beers, which you can mix and match, for a mere 25 bucks.  I'd personally recommend mixing the Chocolate Stout with the Hazelnut Brown Nectar.  Pure liquid ambrosia!

Favorite Inn:  Sylvia Beach Hotel
This is, by far, one of the most awesome hotels around.  If you like to read or are into literature at all, the Sylvia Beach Hotel is a place you have to visit.  Housed in an old warehouse, the hotel is placed on a 45 foot bluff right above the beach.  Within the hotel, there are no tvs, radios, telephones, or wi-fi, but there are books!  Every room is dedicated to one specific author, decorated accordingly, and contains every book written by them.  They range from William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Herman Melville, Dr. Seuss, JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, and more.  There used to be an Edgar Allan Poe room, but guests were terrified of the raven in the corner and the scythe over the bed.  In addition, breakfast is included in your room rates and is served family style in the dining room (the Tables of Content).  There is also an additional game room/library located up on the top floor of the building.  You don't have to be a guest to check out the hotel.  Unoccupied rooms are left open for the public to peruse and there are multiple scrapbooks in the lobby that showcase the buildings history.  I am seriously advocating for everyone to check this place out.  You won't be disappointed!

I guess Newport has quite a bit going for it!  With the addition of NOAA's fleet headquarters this year, there has been an influx of foot traffic and visitors to the town.  This is great for the local economy, but terrible for lifelong visitors like myself who want to partake in the quiet little town without the crowds to slow us down.  Regardless, I will never lose my love for Newport and will continue to peruse its streets despite the crowds.

*Other Notables*

Sorry this post was so long...Happy Monday Everyone!!