More Vacation, Books, Wine, Richarding, etc.

Arrived back home from vacation late this afternoon. Good to be home, but sorry it’s over. After my previous post, the winds changed direction and the smoke blew away. (While the area near the Princeton fire is still under evacuation order, today’s reports showed the fire to be 35% contained.)

A few of my more memorable activities this week (in addition to watching Castlevania) included:

  • Reading two books:

The Identicals

Elin Hilderbrand writes novels about women on Nantucket — chick lit for sure, but very much what you want to read on the beach. A good story with relatable characters and dialogue that doesn’t require much in the way of mental effort. As my older son said, “So basically a book about nothing!” (He was reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War — two different translations plus essay commentary!) The Identicals, released last month, is a typical Hilderbrand novel, about identical twin sisters who have not spoken in years, each dealing with their own issues on their respective islands (Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard). They end up switching islands and problems and, of course, working everything out in the end. Kind of silly, but an entertaining read for the beach.

At the Water's EdgeSara Gruen is the author of Water for Elephants, which was made into a 2011 movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, which I quite enjoyed. At the Water’s Edge was Gruen’s 2015 novel, set in Scotland during World War II. Maddie is a privileged young woman who sets off with her husband and his best friend to try to prove that the Loch Ness monster really exists. Through this, her husband believes that he will make his name and get back in his family’s good graces, after a fiasco while they were all drunk at a high society party. The book is really about Maddie’s journey, from an innocent but self-indulgent woman to a person who cares about her fellow-man and knows herself and what she wants. Along the way, tbe story explores mystical events, female friendship, romance, callous privilege, and potential murder. Again, not a really deep book, but well researched, with believable and relatable characters, and enjoyable all the same.

  • Watching the new Canadian trailer for Pilgrimage: (discovered via Mooseturds) The Canadian distributor, Search Engine Films, released the trailer on July 11 but has not announced the Canadian release date yet.

  • Visiting a few wineries, enjoying the view at Tinhorn Creek, and discovering how to pronounce “Meritage” at Burrowing Owl: They said, “Like heritage”… I thought, “Like Armitage”!
  • Stopping by the wonderful Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad: 4,000 square feet, 45 computer-controlled trains plus road vehicles, 1,900 European-style houses, and over 19,000 hand-painted little people. We love to see what has changed from year to year!

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  • And on the last day before coming home, an afternoon boat ride and watching the sunset in the evening:


All in all, a really relaxing vacation with my family… now back to work on Monday!

6 thoughts on “More Vacation, Books, Wine, Richarding, etc.

  1. Sounds like a great time! I got a rec for the Hildebrand book, but it seemed too fluffy for me — sounds like it was a good vacation read, though.


    • Hilderbrand is pretty much always fluffy. She releases a book at the beginning of each summer, I think specifically as beach reading. The books and the vacation were definitely what I needed to “recharge the batteries”!


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