What I Learned On Vacation


As many of you know, Hubby-pants and I enjoyed a brief vacation in the mountains of Pennsylvania for our two-year anniversary. I had a few um, observations.


This is referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.”

  • Cell phones become paper weights in rural communities. On our way up to our Inn, our internet signal cut out and we lost our GPS instructions. We would have called the Inn, as we were close, but without an internet signal, we couldn’t look up the number. Hell, even if we had the number, we didn’t have a cellular signal to make a phone call. Useless. We stopped somewhere and while Hubby went in to ask for directions the old-fashioned way, I quickly realized that everything I do on my phone for entertainment requires an internet connection. Very frustrating. The Inn we eventually checked into had WiFi, but that’s using the term generously. It was spotty at best.
  • We always look into moving wherever we vacation. When we honeymooned in Tahiti, Moorea, & Bora Bora, Hubby and I asked one of the tour guides how much it would be to build a house by the beach. ($400K, in case you’re curious. The USD is much stronger than theirs. So, if I ever get famous off this writing thing, that’s where we’re heading.) Last year, we vacationed in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We fancied some of the houses for sale, but good heavens, it’d be cheaper to live in Tahiti. And less hurricanes. Then there was this year. The beautiful Allegheny Mountains, just starting to turn with the colors of autumn. The air was so crisp. The coffee shop was so quaint. We looked up a simple rancher accompanied by almost 100 acres of land, just out of curiosity. It was $300K. Mostly because of the land. But the most jarring part was that the online listing included three pictures of the house and about 45 pictures of slain deer the sellers had hunted on the property. Hubby-pants and I aren’t hunters. Perhaps we wouldn’t fit in? Though he said he’d be willing to give it a try. But me? Not so much…
  • I feel really bad for blind people. There was one point when we driving through the country to one of the state parks. There were rolling corn fields on either side, the stalks just barely turning yellow. The sky was a perfect periwinkle. And even the double yellow lines in the center of the road complimented the scenery. It was absolutely breathtaking, and it was so simple. And it really made me thankful for the gift of sight and I don’t care if that’s cheesy. (Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of that particular scene. It was gun country and we were scared to get out of the car without good reason.)


And now I’m home. Back to revising Blood in the Paint, the first full-length novel in the Blood for Blood Series. It goes to the beta readers next week and I’m terrified. Perhaps I should have scheduled the beta readers before the vacation, huh?

Vacay Day 7


”If you give your wife a fish, she’ll eat for a day. If you teach your wife to fish, she’ll utterly demolish you in number of fish caught for the day.” And so went our last day of vacation in the lovely Outer Banks of North Carolina. We rented equipment and Hubby-pants taught me to fish off of Avon Pier. I caught a fish with my first cast-out. A few minutes later I caught two on the same line. All said and done I reeled in THIRTEEN FISH!! And I hooked two others that flopped off the line before I could fully reel them up. C’est la vie, haha. (Hubby-pants did catch some, six I think. I was too busy counting my own, tee hee.) As for writing, epic fail as the oft-overused saying goes. Tomorrow will resume our regularly scheduled blog programming. Thank you to everyone who hung in there for seven days of non-writing/reading-related posts. 🙂

Vacay Day 6

This post is a little late, as we got in a little late last night. Just pretend it’s yesterday.

Since the house we rented for the week is a minute’s walk to the ocean and a minute’s drive to the sound, we decided we wanted to see the sunrise and sunset in the same day. We woke up early, zombie-walked our way to the beach, and watched the gorgeous sunrise over the ocean.

When you rub the sleep out of your eyes, the colors are even more vivid.

Then we went back to the house and went to sleep…

When we awoke a few hours later we spent the day on the beach. I finally finished that book I was asked to review. Still no writing. I guess I’m not a vacation-writer. Don’t judge me.

Next we went home and Hubby-pants hit the grill. We ate 3 pounds of steak. Such gigantic steaks that we didn’t have room for the veggie kabobs and baked potatoes. Oh and we ate most of that meat in like 17 minutes because we were racing against the clock to see the sunset. But when we got to the sound there was a large, mushroom-shaped cloud blocking the sun. Bummer-sauce, but not a really big deal. Maybe we’ll revolve next year’s vacation around whether or not you can watch the sun set and rise in one day.

At night we set a bonfire on the beach under the full moon and lived happily ever after. The End…of day 6, anyway.

Don’t worry, we had a permit.


Vacay Day 5

Today was supposed to be a “relaxation” day. I put the word “relaxation” in quotes to annoy my Hubby-pants. (Sorry Hubby-pants) He always makes fun of me for wanting to do things on our vacations and being incapable of sitting still in the sun and vegging out. Don’t get me wrong, I can sit back and read a book. But I can read a book at home. Why waste time reading a book during the day on vacation when I can read it before bed then wake up and do something awesome? Anyway, that’s my take on vacations and Hubby-pants just isn’t picking up what I’m putting down. Oh well.

So, yeah, today was supposed to be a “relaxation” day. We were going to go to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge (which only has a 1/2 mile trail), then find a secluded beach off of the same road to set up shop and “relax.” A nice compromise of doing something and “relaxing.”

I’m going to pretty much skip over our experience at Pea Island because it was a complete bust. They “front load” the very beginning of the trail with lots of snapping turtles under a little bridge and some fish jumping out of the water. You start the trail thinking, “Hell yes, oodles of wildlife up in here!” Then there was virtually nothing. A few birds, but nothing we hadn’t seen on other parts of the Outer Banks. Oooh! There was also a raccoon, but it being day time, Hubby-pants wouldn’t let me get close enough to get bit and die of rabies get a good look. I should’ve explained the theory of YOLO to him. Again, oh well.

After the disappointing wildlife trail, we found some dunes along the side of the road, parked, and headed over them toward the ocean. We set up shop and it was amazing! Not a single soul in sight. Then I saw a crab!

Then another…and another…

A few feet away from us a crab popped its little face out of a hole. Suddenly I realized we were vastly outnumbered by crabs. Literally dozens and dozens of crabs. Everywhere you looked you could see something moving. Once I realized they were emerging from the holes in the sand, I started to notice just how many fricking holes there were.

When we quickly packed up and left it was purely coincidental to the sheer volume of crabs, I swear.

I named this one “Tango.” I think he was the scout crab, delivering intel to the head crab plotting to lead the assault against us.

Still no writing done today, folks. Go ahead, shake your heads at me. Type “SMH” in the Comment Section even. I deserve it. But I am almost finished with the book I was commissioned to review. Plus, tomorrow is another “relaxation” day…hopefully on a mostly crab-free beach.

Vacay Day 4

Remember yesterday when I said the hubby and I went to Corolla in search of the wild horses and found nothing but hoof prints and horse poop? Well, today we headed out to Ocracoke Island in search of ponies. We loaded the 4Runner onto a ferry that scared the crap out of me (I’ve never been on a ferry that just welcomed over a dozen vehicles, each weighing a ton, and kept it moving) and drove the rest of the way to the tiny village of Ocracoke. When we arrived at the Visitor’s Center, they told us we passed the ponies but there were like four other things we could do in their little town. Disappointed, we started the drive up the one main extremely narrow road and saw a place where we could rent golf carts, rather than try to navigate the area in the SUV. We selected one with “monster tires,” as my husband put it, and set out. We drove on every single road we could find…and several roads that we shouldn’t have, given the rules and limitations we signed off on. Shhh, don’t tell them. We had a blast.

Badass little golf cart that could.

Somewhere in our explorations we found another lighthouse. I think someone said it was the oldest operating lighthouse in the country or something. Who knows. These people are way too serious about their lighthouses.

Lighthouses. They’re kind of a big deal…

We stopped for lunch and I took this picture of a pelican. I love them. If they were found in New Jersey I’d find a way to write them into my book. Possibly along with the golf cart.

In light of the conclusion of yesterday’s post, I’ve decided to name the pelican “Melinda.” Because I don’t give a flying Melinda what you think. 😉

Vacay Day 3

Today I woke up sick. My immune system is about as reliable as the cell phone signals down here. But I persevered. I swallowed some aspirin, chased them with some dayquil and toast, and went to Corolla in search of wild horses with the Hubby-pants.

We didn’t find any.

Not a one.

There were hoof prints in the sand. Horse poop on the dunes. Very promising evidence of horses, but we couldn’t find them. Total bummer-sauce. But we did enjoy some awesome off-roading on the beach.


Vacay Day 2

Hello all! Really enjoying my anniversary week in Outer Banks, NC. Today is our actual anniversary (One whole year!) and what a beautiful day it was!

Twelve stories of really steep, spiral stairs. Rocky shouldn’t have wasted his time at the Philadelphia Art Museum…

We visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, tallest on the East Coast. We paid the $14 to climb to the top, the equivalent of twleve stories. Note to self, I should really hit the gym hard when we get back home. I almost died. But besides the blustery wind at the summit and my incessant gasping it was a lovely view.

Next we went to Jockey’s Ridge, tallest active sand dunes on the East Coast. When hubby first told me he definitely wanted to check them out, I scoffed. Seen one sand dune, seem ’em all, I thought. Heavens to Betsy, was I wrong! They’re gorgeous! The pictures don’t do them justice. If you’re ever in North Carolina, don’t scoff, check them out. We climbed to the top of the largest hill, and…did I mention I should hit the gym? But it was worth it, even if I almost died.


So, I know what everyone’s thinking: Are you getting any writing done, Jordanna?

Umm, see what happened was…

Okay, so not yet. But I am halfway through the book I’m slated to review soon. That’s right, my first commissioned book review from a total stranger. I’m flattered that someone gives a flying Melinda what I think. Who’s Melinda? I have no idea. I’m on vacation.