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Friday, September 26, 2014

A Romance Author's Vacation...Part One

You may wonder what kind of vacation a romance author takes…the main difference from your vacation and mine is that I’m still constantly thinking of a plot for the next great American romance!

I just returned from a tour of the United Kingdom…England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Wales.  I’m not a historical writer, just reader, so I think about how I can turn this tranquil kingdom into a suspenseful arena. 

Yes, I saw beautiful castles, cathedrals, landscape, and ate English food.  I’m sure you’ve all seen documentaries and magazines depicting all of the above, so I’m going to relate a few personal adventures.

After an eventful flight from O’Hare to Heathrow, yes I got sick on the plane probably from too many “relaxers”, my husband and I exited the spacecraft.  The atmosphere of Heathrow was, to say the least, a bit spooky.  The two story walls were glass and stark.  We were directed through a series of turns, stairs, and escalators with only the light from fluorescents. 

Not too bad until I noticed not a single shop or kiosk, only the people from arriving planes, and police everywhere.  It was quiet.  The bathrooms had one toilet.  England’s terrorist alert had raised a level the day before.

Led to a long line of travelers, almost two hours later we handed our travel documents, passport and card explaining who we were and our reason for arriving, to one of a dozen officers.  

I can’t help but add a little controversy.  My card read…JOB:  Govt.  I do work for the govt. (USA), but I didn’t expand.  The officer looked me up and down-no I looked a wreck at this hour.  He rummaged through my carry-on, looked me up and down again, then said, “You work for the government?”

I said, “Yes.”  Could I be more obtuse, or what?  I felt the thrill of a challenge brewing already.  With the bobbies of England!  I was messing with the police!  My heart thumped and thudded as I waited for his dark eyes and thin lips to respond.  I have a former Marine at my side and wasn’t afraid to use him.

It ended well as he chuckled, stamped my card, and moved the long line forward.  I think I was a bit relieved.

Now I am in London!  Our hotel was two blocks from the Thames and we had legs ready to go with no sleep for twenty-seven hours. 

One more story about the infamously bad English food…

That first day our stomachs drove us to find a cafĂ© for breakfast.  We eagerly tried an “English breakfast.”  I thought I over reacted, but my husband didn’t like it either.  Imagine, a poached egg, tiny hash brown (not too bad yet), a mushy tasteless sausage, and flavorless baked beans.  Don’t forget that a cup of coffee comes in halfsies and no refills.  Tea is abundant, but I couldn’t solely rely on it.

Sorry, but I won’t be gaining weight in England.

So much more to tell…Our hostess, Alexis, will need to give me more time to relate the interesting parts of the tripJ

Always travel with a mission and get the most out of it!



  1. Oh yes, Dawn, you must relate more in upcoming posts!

  2. What an exciting adventure (despite getting sick and being exhausted). I bet you were in the right kind of mood to have the officer question you about your government job! Can't wait to read more!

  3. Thanks, Alexis! As I started writing this post, I realized how many things I have to tell. I've barely started:)

  4. Marie, with all the adrenalin and excitement, I laughed it all off! It makes the story telling much better in the end, too!