Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A travelogue in cocktails...

With the release of Dance With Me, I've been writing a few blog posts here and there, often reflecting back on my trip to Mexico and Guatemala that was the kickoff inspiration for Polly and Josh's story. Looking back on my photos, I was struck by how many pictures I'd taken of food and drinks (and bars) -- particularly cocktails. It got me wondering -- was it just that particular trip that had me taking multiple photos of alcoholic beverages?

So I took a stroll back through my photo albums. Hmm. It would seem that it's not just Mexico and Guatemala that inspire that particular side of my photography bent.

So I thought I'd take you on a little trip through my alcoholic photo collection...

This is one that possibly kicked it all off -- this is a wall in the bar that (in my head) Polly and Josh meet. It's in Guatemala, and it opens right out on to the street. I sat in this bar and drank red wine and wrote in my journal for many hours one afternoon. No one was perturbed. Sitting quietly with a drink and reflecting seems to be something the central-American culture is very okay with.
To a totally different extreme -- this is a glass of champagne at one of the golf clubs in Palm Springs, California. I had a lovely weekend there with some very generous friends who I'd only just met, but who invited me to stay with them in their condo. They took me sight-seeing and we enjoyed many lovely drinks and cocktails over that weekend...
When you're travelling, delays happen. It's not always fun, but it's a pretty standard part of life if you travel a lot. One of the best ways to get through it is to have a good book on your Kindle (may I suggest: Dance With Me?) and to search out a glass of vino to take the edge off. This is in the airport at Charlotte, North Carolina, where I once spend a long five hours waiting for my flight to leave. But the chardy (Russian River) was decent, at least. 
 Sometimes, in some particular places, wine is simply not the right choice. Some places call for cocktails. Austin, Texas, really calls for beer. And I had one of those. But being gluten-intolerant, beer doesn't really agree with me so after one (Shiner Bock, the local brew) I needed to switch to something else. I don't remember what was in this cocktail (possibly that's a good thing!) but it was definitely delicious.
 And while some places are beer places, when you're in a wine region, you really must go with wine. And when you're at the Chandon winery in Napa Valley California, well, then, you really do need to have bubbles. There's just no choice!
 Yes, this photo is sideways. Sorry. But it gives you some idea how potent it was! This cocktail was the intro to a divine dinner for my birthday in Hong Kong a couple of years back. I was so grateful to a couple of work colleagues who took me out and showed me a wonderful night. And that cocktail... delicious.
 Last one -- because, let's face it, this is getting kind of embarrassing, I didn't even have to look really hard to gather this collection! This photo is of a delicious red wine (vino tinto) at a Mexican-inspired cafe in Rose Street, Venice Beach, Los Angeles. I stayed in Venice Beach long enough to try out most of the cafes and bars, and this was one of my favourites. I didn't always have wine at lunch (because sometimes you can't always take a nap in the afternoon...) but when I did, it was worthy of taking a photo.
So, there you go. My alcoholic photo album. Do you have a similar obsession? Is there anything you always take photos of when you're travelling or on holidays?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Special advance release!

...sounds a whole lot better than "Amazon published it a week earlier than I'd expected", doesn't it? So let's go with that. Special advance release ahoy!

Dance With Me is now out there in the big, wide world. Yay!! 
You can buy it on Amazon only at this point, but if you have an iPad (or read on an iPhone), all you need to do is download the Kindle app from the Apple app store and it can be yours! It will be available on other platforms and stores early next year. 

In the meantime, grab a copy, grab a glass of red wine, and settle in to read all about Polly and Josh and their travels around the world...