Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just Can't Get Enough

Books. I love them. I love absolutely everything about them. I love their weight in your hand, their distinct smells and the feeling of the paper. Some (ahem, my husband) would say that I am a bit of a book packrat, and I completely embrace the title. I come from a family of readers who covet the written word- the house that I grew up in literally has a library room,  and the shelves are stuffed with volumes of both old and new. It's a place I consider a sanctuary, with large windows and a leather couch that tempts you to slide in and enjoy an afternoon lost in pages. 

I have been thinking about books a lot recently in light of the new generations of e-readers that have come out. While conceptually I appreciate the e-reader, I’m just not sure it is for me. If I were someone who was traveling frequently and needed a space saving, efficient way to travel with my novel du jour, I think I would invest in a Kindle or Nook in a heartbeat. Since I am unfortunately not employed as either a travel writer, salesmen of medical equipment or author, I’ll stick think I’ll be sticking with the vintage style.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, I also love book styling. I’m one of those readers who wants to know why a certain font was chosen, who the cover/jacket artist is, the whole nine yards. Yes, I understand that the Nook is offered in a color version, which allows the reader to have access to all of this information, but to me, it’s just not the same.

I also absolutely adore used books and used bookstores. Not only can you score some pretty incredible and rare finds, but I feel like I’m doing a small part to be environmentally friendly with my need to devour literature. Very rarely will I pick up a book “hot off the press” if I can find a used copy somewhere- it usually comes down to something that is new in print and I am dying to pour through it. There is very little I find more soothing than strolling lazily through a used bookstore on a rainy day in search of treasures. I love finding books that may have inscriptions or notes tucked away in the margins, underlining of witty phrases and other signs of love from past readers. It’s no different than the feeling of success I get when I find a great piece of vintage furniture or clothing at a great price, and I can’t wait to get home and enjoy my new find.

Again, while I appreciate all that the e-reader has to offer, I just don’t think that it will ever replace the pleasure I take in actual, physical books. Maybe it stems from my general disinterest in hopping on board with the newest items in technology, but I’ll stick with my overflowing shelves of the good ol’ paper and print for the time being (sorry Kyle!). 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Enjoying Newport Life

As we eek closer and closer to leaving this area, heading to Maine for the birth of our first child, and then beginning our adventure down South in Louisiana, Kyle and I have vowed to spend the weekends he is home enjoying as much of the area as we can, and this weekend was no exception. After sitting on a package we purchased through BuyWithMe almost a year ago, we finally booked our first helicopter ride for Saturday afternoon! The folks at Bird's Eye View are really awesome, they were incredible accomodating and made us feel totally comfortable. The weather was a bit dicey this weekend, so our pilot Jeff booked us for Saturday with the assurance that if we weren't comfortable with the weather, he would take us up on Sunday. Although it was blowing stink, Jen in the office assured us that we would have a great time, and we went for it. Jeff is a seasoned pilot, who has been flying aircraft since he was 18, so we were more than confident in his abilities. It wasn't the sunniest trip, but we had an absolute blast!

So much fun! As part of our package, we also recieved two passes for a tour and wine tasting at Newport Vineyards. We saved the passes for Sunday afternoon (which turned out to be beautifully sunny, but windy again!) and headed over for the 3 o'clock tour and tasting after taking a leisurely drive around the island. It's a small vineyard with a very friendly and knowledgable staff- very fun (and yes, I had small samples of a couple of the wines, such a badass, I know)!

It was a fantastic way to spend a weekend together, as we know that the weekends we have left with just the two of us are numbered. As I've said before, we are beyond anxious for the arrival of our lovely first-born child, but I think it's so important that we take advantage of this time together before the arrival of the babe to strengthen our bond, and enjoy all that Newport has to offer before we leave town for the next set of adventures.

Now, what will the next weekend bring...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh, Go Fly A Kite!

What's a couple to do on the first fully nice weekend in Southern New England? Get out and enjoy the town!

We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend around Newport, taking advantage of the mostly sunny skies and mild upper 40s temps by walking all through town and seeing the sights. We did a huge loop of town on foot Staurday- going down through America's Cup Blvd, out Thames and then up to Bellevue to pick up part of the Cliff Walk on our way home. We had a mini picnic at the head of the Walk and enjoyed the view out over Easton's Beach in the lee of the land.

Sunday we took a ride out to Ocean Drive to watch the sun dance off of the water. There were dozens of cars parked out on the point, and people seemed to be everywhere- walking, taking photos, lounging in the (brownish) grass and worshipping the sun. Love it! We decided to head out to Second Beach over in Middletown to christen the packable kite my mother had given Kyle for Christmas. Although the winds were a bit strong for our little prisim, she toughed it out, and we had a great afternoon on the beach- even getting the chance to chat with a couple of young kite enthusiasts.

A great afternoon in fresh air was capped off by a tasty lunch downtown (catching the tail end of Newport's Restaurant Week and $16 three course lunches!), and another walk through downtown before heading home to nap, read and relax for the rest of the day.

Now I find myself more eager than ever for spring to finally make her presence known!