Saturday, December 27, 2014

Casting Call

Last December I discovered Donna Tartt when I read The Goldfinch. Next, I read her second book, published in 2002, The Little Friend. I liked that book even more.  Now, almost a year later, I'm reading her first book, published in 1992, The Secret History. My goal is to finish it before I go back to work January 5.

Donna Tartt is an amazing writer. She develops her characters really well. She takes the time to tell the story completely. The events in the story really elicit a response from the reader, so you're engaged and affected by it. It's a shame she only cranks out a book every ten years, but the advantage is that we are guaranteed a good read when she does.

You know how when you read a book, you imagine characters? For example, when I read The Goldfinch I was imagining Hobie as Harvey Fierstein. I've been doing that with The Secret History.

There's talk of her books being made into movies, but so far, it hasn't happened. That hasn't kept her fans from figuring out the ideal cast.  For the fun of it, I thought I'd cast the Secret History. I saw it done here, here, herehere, and there's a whole page of them here. Some of the suggestions are really great, like Camilla as Saoirse Ronan or Jamie Bell as Charles. Here's who I would pick.

For Julian Fellows, Sam McBurney.
(He's totally who I pictured the whole time I was reading it).

Henry,  Colin Hanks.

Francis,  Eddie Redmayne

Charlie, Nicholas Hoult

Camilla, Kiernan Shipka

Richard, Logan Lerman 

Bunny, Tye Sheridan
Marion, Felicity Jones 
Judy, Juno Temple

Did you read the Secret History? Thoughts on my casting?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Merry Christmas

From Our Woods to Yours with Love

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Last Day

Our final full day was our most gorgeous yet.
On the North shore, at Hana'ea beach, we basked in the warmth and sunshine. 

I'm always on the look-out for heart-shaped coral but I left it, unwilling to anger Pele. 

On a sandy stroll we came across this awesome stream. 
It was one my favorite places we'd seen so far and we waded in to explore it a bit. 
We later returned to our most-visited Anini Beach and snorkeled for awhile with turtles, watching one eat and spotting a good seven or eight varieties of tropical fish, too. It was my first time trying out my new snorkeling mask and snorkel and they were nice!
Ahhhh, finally, I had a lava flow. Over dinner we discussed our highlights from the week. Mine was our night at Tahiti Nui, my husband's was his dive. We had accomplished true relaxation, properly overcome with aloha. Today when it was time to go, we were standing on the deck of our condo and my husband jokingly said, "Cue the whales." Not two seconds later we saw a spout. It was their wave goodbye. 


Thursday, December 18, 2014


Today was a day just lazy enough to have little to report. It was also a day that required a rain coat a few different times. 
We did explore a new beach: Pu'u Poa, below the Princeville St. Regis. We explored the St. Regis itself, too. Decked out in its' holiday glory, it was a beaut. We had lunch under a canopy near the pool. That was a tasty Big Kahuna. 
I finished the book I've been reading on vacation, loosely based on the anthropologist Margaret Mead. It was very good-well developed characters, the pull of love and longing.  

My husband tried to get me in the water to snorkel but I just couldn't get in. That's not true. I got in. I just couldn't get in past my waist. It was cold BEFORE it started spitting rain. 

Good thing we have one more day to play tomorrow and it's supposed to be our most beautiful weather-wise. Can't wait to soak it up before our return.  

Paradise, Found

Yesterday began slowly, on purpose. Adapting to the pace in paradise is no small feat. Once we were up and around we walked to Princeville Center and had a really yummy breakfast at Fredrico's: our tastiest/least expensive food, yet. 

On our way home there was warm rain and I geeked out on photographing all the flora and fauna. 
When we got back, we decided to head to Anini beach, a beautiful beach quite close where we spent time laying in the sun. It was so relaxing! 
In the afternoon we went golfing. It was my first time "caddying" for my husband-(read: I got to drive the cart while he played). 

I have many fond memories of past golfing excursions with friends and family so I enjoyed it and he played great with his "caddy with atti" by his side.  
Why did the rooster cross the cart path? I was coming, that's why, and he wanted to get the &@#% out of harm's way.
We had some pupus and a cocktail at Tiki Iniki. The bartender was rocking Esperanza hair. Properly sated, we set our sights for home for a low-key evening. White Christmas was playing: perfect! 

The South Side

This was boat day. 
The hus did a deep water dive in the morning. He saw shark, turtle and octopus. I farted around Lihue and Poipu. Let's just say there were many a malasada consumed......... 

...and there was a pedicure. Voila! Pretty toes on Glass Beach. 

We hit Old Koloa town and I got to lay eyes on some of my favorite trees. 
We ate Puka Dogs. A rooster snatched my husband's right out of his hand and we were reminded of our dear dog, so many miles away. 

Later in the day we did a sunset whale watching cruise aboard a catamaran. We didn't peel our eyes for not- a baby whale rewarded our perseverance with a humble display!  We could also hear them thanks to a sonar speaker. They reminded me of a kitten meowing. 

The south side offered up plenty of warmth and sun!! It was our best weather day yet! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Land of Hanalei

After trekking down to Queens Bath in Princeville today, (towels in tow), we took one look at the fierce ocean waves and realized there would not be any bathing. The North shore, it has become blatantly clear, will not be a place where we will be bathing, snorkeling, OR cavorting in any water. Breathe easy, moms back home. 

Instead, we did some exploring around the shops, put down beefy fish burritos/tacos, watched a dude drive by on a bike, hands extended to the sky in  half-prayer half-celebration, nibbled an extremely tasty apple cobbler from Village Bakery and landed on the beach by the Hanalei Pier, where my husband did wet his gear in preparation for a dive he was doing the next day. It was a beautiful backdrop for just hanging out. So we did, before walking the crescent of sand on Hanalei bay. 

Then we planted ourselves at a bar, famously featured in The Descendants. I spotted a familiar face as soon as we'd climbed out of the car-I thought she might have been the waitress in the movie. Sure enough, we were there long enough to get the whooole scoop from famous waitress Julia herself, not to mention a selfie with her. It was such a fun night, a definite highlight of the trip. 

Monday, December 15, 2014


Greetings from Kauai. We are here sans children for a week of relaxation and fun. 
Yesterday was our first full day. There's a little beach below our accommodations that we hiked down to through a jungle. It was windy and there were wandering roosters. 

The bummer about the wind is that it drowns out the sounds of the birds, which is what gives it that tropical feeling. Thankfully today it seems less blustery but I think that's just what you get this time of the year on this side of Kauai.

We had a nice lunch in Hanalei. I tried a chichi for the first time. 
I loved where we sat, looking out into a sweet little outdoor space. 
After lunch we headed to He'e beach -or, the end of the road on the north side-where we did a four mile hike on the Kalalau trail. Wow. It was like doing stairs for two and a half hours, today my calves are feeling it. I also got some bug bites throughout the day -I was scratching in the night. 

We ended our day with some dinner at Tiki Iniki, a very colorful place close to where we're staying. Of course there was the requisite tropical cocktail. 
This was my husband's. It was flaming....
I had a Blue Hawaiian. 
Stay tuned for more adventures from tropical lands.