Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ann's Travel Tips

I love to travel, but I just might love to PREPARE for travel more. I can extend an eight-day vacation to weeks and even months by making lists:  what to pack or leave at home, what to turn off or unplug. After the airline or train tickets are purchased, the rental car reserved, the hotel/B & B/vacation home is found, I then get to the FUN part. I go to the library and search for books SET IN my travel locale and books by authors FROM that city, region, or country. 
In the late 1970s, I read Watership Down by Richard Adams when planning--—and during --a trip to England and Scotland. The main characters (rabbits) Fiver, Hazel and Bigwig made engaging travel companions.
Traveling to New Mexico (Santa Fe, Taos and Cimarron)   I read Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist’s illustrated autobiography and The Stone Garden, the biography of Billy to Kid.  I also checked out books about Anasazi ruins, the Philmont Scout Ranch, the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, and Tony Hillerman mysteries.
Touring from Calgary to Vancouver by rail  I read about the construction of the Trans-Canadian railroad and resorts like Banff. I found an intriguing novel by Timothy Taylor about Stanley Park in Vancouver.  Taylor’s main character is a chef whose father lives in a crude camp in the city’s 1,000-acre park.
Going from Montreal to Halifax by rail   For this recent trip, I learned a new trick: read juvenile non-fiction if you are looking for a concise overview of your topic.  (the picturesque and efficient St. Lawrence Seaway, the remarkable tides in the  Bay of Fundy, the settling of British Halifax).   I should have read up on coping mechanisms. I slept on the floor at JFK Airport after a thunderstorm (and heavy air traffic from dignitaries attending a UN meeting) delayed our flight home.
Get thee to a library as part of your travel planning. Pick a vacation spot like Vermont, Newfoundland, New Orleans or Wyoming. Pulitzer-Prize winning-author Annie Proulx says her characters “fall out of the landscape” and has written about each in Heart Songs, Shipping News, Accordion Crimes, and Close Range: Wyoming Stories. 

Happy Reading and Traveling from Guest Blogger, Ann Bastable

Many thanks to Ann for submitting this article to the blog and giving the Library Blog Mistress a much-needed vacation.  The Haltom City Public Library Blog is YOUR blog so please feel free to submit articles or a book review to: libraryblogmistress@gmail.comNo editing will be done without your permission and you will always be credited for your piece.

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