8

Wonderful, Wonderful Wisconsin: A Park and a Half

Summertime is prime time for exploring Wisconsin, and with tomorrow being July 4th and therefore prime time for all the Wisconsin spots worthy of exploring to be full of people, we decided to spend today exploring one of our great State Parks.

That’s So Jacob Presents:

Wonderful, Wonderful Wisconsin

Episode 10: A Park and a Half (Roche-A-Cri State Park, Friendship, WI)

I wanted to spend the day, or at least part of it, doing something fun out of Madison. Unfortunately, I woke up with a splitting headache that had me on the couch until mid-afternoon, Fortunately, I was feeling well enough to rally by around 4 PM, and we were on the road to Roche-A-Cri State Park, a place I’d seen on the map and randomly picked to visit.

Roche-A-Cri (French for “crevice in the rock”) State Park is in the tiny town of Friendship (population: 725) in Adams County, about an hour and a half north of Madison. Fortunately, the park is open until 11 PM due to the campgrounds being so popular, so we had plenty of daylight and sunshine to explore.

Getting there was a little difficult at first. We took a back road through the Dells, and didn’t see any signs for the park until about one mile away. Once we got in and parked, though, it was a pleasant surprise at how peaceful this little park was. We paid the $5 admission fee and left it in an envelope at the park’s entrance (all WI state parks cost money to enter – if you park on the grounds) and set off on the shady trail.

Being a rather small park, we weren’t expecting too much. The longest trail, the Acorn Trail, is only about 3.5 miles long. But it was perfect for an hour and a half walk-around. We walked about half of the trail, only seeing a handful of other people, and then made our way to the observation point at the Indian mounds. The signs warned us of a strenuous climb – 303 steps, on an elevated staircase. The sign wasn’t kidding! Once at the top, though, we were treated to incredible views, and actually had the viewing platform all to ourselves – just as we left, a big family was coming up the stairs, so we crossed paths but otherwise it was quiet and serene.

We headed back along the trail to the car, stopping off at the petroglyphs for which this park is known. There is a huge rock, several stories high, with petroglyphs carved both by Native Americans and travelers from the 19th century (and probably some modern vandals, I’d suspect) and some fading red pictographs. We read the plaques about them, and were able to make out some of them, including a signature left by a traveler in October of 1845. It really was impressive and I’ll get the pictures up soon.

Upon leaving the park, I wanted to go a different way, so we could include more highway driving especially as it got later, but I ended up missing a turn. We were about 4 miles down the wrong road when we decided to turn around. To do that, we turned into a parking lot…and what do you know, it was Rabbit Rock – not exactly a state park, but one of the rock formations visible from the top of Roche-A-Cri, one that looked really interesting. Since we happened to be there, we poked around for a few minutes before getting back in the car. Apparently, visitors are allowed to climb this rock, and while it would have been fun, it was getting close to 8 and we needed to hit the road in order to be in Madison before dark. We backtracked, turned onto Route 21, and headed for the highway. About halfway there, Ship Rock appeared on our left; we didn’t stop, but it was really impressive and colorful, both with rock strata and graffiti. It took us about the same amount of time to get back to Madison, with a quick stop at the Starbucks on E. Washington for an iced coffee because I was fading (even though it was 9 PM and we only had like 15 minutes to go; wonder how I’ll sleep tonight). All in all, it was worth the 3 hours round trip to get out of town and walk around for an hour and a half, in a quiet park with beautiful views and ancient petroglyphs.

Oh, and in other exciting news…my third 2016 pen pal response showed up, all the way from Baby Ruth in the Philippines! Thanks for the fun letter; I got it out of the mailbox last night along with my other mail as I was flying out the door for Salsa Saturday, stuffed it in my bag, and ended up opening and reading it at the club during the break between the two sets. I thoroughly enjoyed the fan mail (which is what I’ve decided to call the response letters, heh) and I will write back soon! 13 other pen pals, take note.

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1

Nine Thousand Miles

This weekend was a whirlwind, almost lost to history and memory, but I’ll see how much I can resurrect out of it.

Friday: After our final school show, it was officially time for spring break and for hitting the road to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the Iowa DanceSport Classic, my first away competition. I could not find a partner, so I decided to go TBA, and dance at Bronze level rather than newcomer for the first time. I needed some extra time to veg out, so I ended up leaving Madison at 4 PM with exactly 8600 miles on the car. It was a relatively uneventful trip, and my first time ever seeing eastern Iowa in the daylight. I made it to Iowa City at sunset and almost got into an accident; there’s a road there with two lines going the same direction, yet there’s a divider in between them. So, I thought I could turn left from the right lane. The car in front of me did that about 5 minutes before, and got hit; fortunately, the person in the left lane slowed down so the same didn’t happen to me. I still decided to be the good Samaritan and see if the people who did get into the accident were okay. After a quick sandwich and cappuccino, I met up with Sophia, Dillon, Nicole, and Tim (the first three are from team, Tim is Sophia’s friend) in downtown Iowa City. Sophia, who graduated from Iowa, led us around the campus, and we went to a fun dance club and saw the old state capitol building before heading over to Cedar Rapids to check into the hotel. There were 8 of us in the room; me, Sophia, Dillon, Nicole, Sergio, Ciara, Raunak, and Jameson, and it was like a giant slumber party, complete with attempting to throw popcorn in Jameson’s mouth and making a giant mess, but we did actually get some sleep. Of course, I ended up in between Jameson and Raunak in the king-size bed, so it is debatable as to how much sleep I actually got.

Saturday: Wake-up, get dressed, and make-up by 8:30 for registration only to find out that the events most of us are competing in aren’t happening until 2:30 PM.

Great.

At least we were ready early.

The first activity of the day was lunch with Sophia, Dillon, Nicole, and Sergio, and meeting my partner for the day, Heather from the Iowa team. Our practice went pretty well, and she and her pre-champ friends taught me how to do a reverse turn in samba, which I always wanted to know how to do. Then, at 2:45 (they were running a bit late) it was showtime. I wasn’t too happy with the cha-cha and rumba we did, but I thought our samba and jive were pretty good for only having known each other for 2 hours. I was much happier with our standard, we did a lovely waltz despite starting off time, and our quickstep was not bad. Overall, not the greatest for my first away competition, but next time will be better.

Oh, and I saw the announcer in the bathroom afterwards while taking off my makeup, and he said that he saw me and was wondering if I had my eye makeup tattooed on, to which I chuckled “I wish.” At least my eye-makeup game was totally on fleek.

After getting gas and finding some geocaches, dinner was at Jersey’s Pub in downtown Cedar Rapids with Raunak, Jameson, and Ciara. We watched the nail-biting game between Wisconsin and Arizona, and thankfully Wisconsin was around 8 points ahead most of the time, so elite eight, here come the Badgers.

I left Cedar Rapids at about 9 PM, and got home a few minutes before midnight with exactly 8995 miles on my car, and next morning’s trip to the grocery store got me to 9000.

Now, time to get as much work done as I possibly can before heading home on Thursday.

13

I Won’t Back Down

Sometimes, you have moments where life just stops you in your tracks, and I had one today.

Recently, I’ve been worrying and fretting and just being a fearful, nervous wreck about so much – school, the show, dancing, my self-image – that I just lost sight of reality, the here-and-now. This morning, I got out of bed at 11 AM, finding every excuse I could to not do anything but stay in my warm cocoon of blankets.

When I did get up, I went over to my computer, logged on Facebook, to be met with some unfortunate news; the death of my friend and fraternity brother, Brendan Conway.

I normally don’t give out real first and last names of people in my life here on That’s So Jacob, but I feel like I must salute this friend and gentleman. A strong Irishman from Dorchester, Massachusetts who could drink you under the table, he had beaten cancer once, and we all thought he’d beat it again. I knew he was in trouble, however, when he posted on Facebook a few weeks ago that he was back in the hospital, at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, and the doctors were saying “we’re trying to make you as comfortable as possible.” That is never a good sign. And then late last night, it happened; his 32 years on this Earth came to an end. I only hope it was truly peaceful, as peaceful as is humanly possible for an individual with debilitating cancer.

My first instinct was to call Dan. Dan, my grandbig, was Brendan’s big when he pledged APO, and I knew that the two of them were close. After a rapid fire texting session while I was on my way to Modern Indian Theatre class, I told him to call anytime to talk, and he said he would later on tonight. When he called I was in dance class, but as soon as class let out I grabbed my sweatshirt and phone, and we talked for over an hour, mostly about Brendan and all the good times we had with him. It’s always sad when something like this is what makes people crawl out of the woodwork and reconnect with one another, but at least we had plenty of happy memories to laugh about, which made the fact that he is no longer with us seem more palatable, and in a way, almost made it seem like he still was with us. Someone who was as boisterous and opinionated and upfront as Brendan never really dies, I suppose; his body and soul are no longer with us, but his spirit certainly is. He told it like it was, but for a big guy, he had a big heart, a servant’s heart, one that was loyal and true and really cared deeply about his friends, more than he cared about himself.

I talked about one aspect of my undergrad APO experience awhile back, one that was not the most positive memory, but talking with Dan made me realize something about Brendan, about friendship, and about people in general. A lot of the people who gave me a hard time also gave Brendan a hard time, and some of the more “Popular Patty” types in the chapter were less than kind to him because was unique and he did things or said things that were very honest and not always the best choices, and they didn’t even attempt to get close to him or even give him the time of day. For those of us who got to know him – we loved the guy. Honestly. Once you got to know him and understand his sense of humor, he was the perfect big brother/frat bro/drinking buddy who was always up for a party and a beer but was very compassionate, reverent, and gentle in private. For those in the chapter who didn’t get to experience those sides of Brendan, they missed out. And I’m talking about a big time missed opportunity, an opportunity to really get to experience a different kind of friendship. A Brendan Conway doesn’t come along every day. I wouldn’t say that I feel sorry for them, because I don’t, that was their choice. But if anyone asks, they just really missed out, and now his true friends and brothers, like me and Dan, get to laugh and revel in the happy and fond memories while they…well, they don’t.

So they’re really the losers here.

I like that.

But back to Brendan. One of the things I liked about him the most (and I took advantage of the most) was his game face. Being 100% Irish Catholic, he never backed down from a dare. It’s like it was coded in his DNA or something; just a complete inability to say no, no matter how ridiculous. Whenever a bunch of us from the chapter would go out to eat, I would find the grossest sounding item on the menu and dare Brendan to order it. And to my surprise, he always, always did. One time, at Panda East in Amherst, I found “sushi nachos” on the menu. I said the magic words, “I dare you,” and he actually followed through. When the waitress brought over a roll of mushy fish slathered with orange cheese, I couldn’t do anything but laugh and feel sorry for making Brendan order this failed fusion that barely qualified as food. He didn’t have to take the dare, but he’s Brendan, so no harm, no foul, all in good fun. He never backed down from any dare or any challenge in life, and I can say with confidence that he went down fighting with all he had.

This song’s for you, Brendan Conway (6/22/1982 – 3/23/2015).

Miss ya like a brotha.

4

Dancing with the Enemy

So, yesterday, after the show, I went to watch the second of four films offered by this year’s Madison Israel Film Festival, Dancing at Jaffa, a documentary directed by Hilla Medalia and starring Pierre Fontaine and Yvonne Marceau. For someone who is a huge fan of documentary films, of ballroom dance, of human interest stories, and of Israel, I have to say that I was let down.

Dancing at Jaffa documents the true story of an intercultural experiment aimed at uniting two groups of children in a very unusual way: through a ballroom dance class. French ballroom dance champion Pierre Fontaine returns to Jaffa, Israel – a suburb of Tel Aviv and the city of his birth – to see how he can best contribute to the people of a divided city in a divided nation. The idea of a ballroom dance class is brilliant, and especially the way he did it, by making Jewish boys dance with Palestinian girls, and Palestinian boys with Jewish girls. Of course, the program does not run smoothly; the scenes where the children meet for the first time are wonderfully awkward, and their reactions are candid and honest. Slowly, though, the resistance to look at, to touch, and to dance with the partner of the opposite sex and religion melts away, and by the end, they all (well, most of them) dance in a competition in front of a crowd of parents, family, and friends from both communities. Other than Pierre, two of the trajectories are those of Noor, a chubby Palestinian girl who can be either incredibly shy and withdrawn, avoiding everyone or hostile and belligerent, attacking and scaring everyone; and that of Lois and Alaa. We do not learn about Noor’s partner, but we do learn that Alaa comes from a very poor Palestinian home at which Lois is shocked, and that Lois’s thing is that she was fathered by a sperm donor, which prompts an adorable scene where she tries to explain to her partner what a sperm bank is, and then is followed by an awkwardly graphic scene where Lois’s mother gives Alaa the intimate details of her procedure and of the reproductive process. She’s a wily one, that lady. Noor’s arc basically ends with her in control of her emotions and actually proving to be a very talented dancer, and Lois and Alaa take us out with a scene where they row Alaa’s father’s boat and it’s all very Hand in Hand and gooey as the credits roll.

The concept of the film is great; cute kids and a fun project. If the synopsis weren’t enough, the trailers made me want to jump right up and buy a copy of the movie for myself. However, as I mentioned before, it was not a cakewalk to sit through.

Okay, disclaimer: granted, I missed the first 20 minutes because I was still at the theatre finishing up with the costumes, but for an almost 2-hour-long movie, missing 20 minutes shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and I was able to get right into it when I walked in. The main criticisms I had were the treatment of ballroom dance, the character development, and the camera work/filming style.

Okay, first, the ballroom dance. Obviously, I was not expecting to watch children do ballroom for two hours straight, because that would be boring, but they could have shown more of that and fewer tracking shots of school buses and checkpoints. The only dances that I counted were merengue (which is not something I know much about), rumba (a different style than what I’m used to, though, and tango. There was a tiny bit of foxtrot and waltz in the scenes where Pierre and his American partner, Yvonne Marceau, were demonstrating for the class, but they didn’t show them teaching it. It’s obvious that the children were not professional dancers or even actors, but I felt like I was either watching them dance the same steps over and over in different settings or just watching them talk about their lives. There was a lot left on the cutting room floor.

This leads into character development. I found it odd that almost nothing was mentioned about Noor’s partner; that would have been a great counterpoint to Lois/Alaa. It is clear that we were supposed to root for Noor, but she seemed like a whiner up until the very last moments. Unlike Lois/Alaa, the Noor scenes always seemed to be about someone other than Noor, and Noor’s relationship with that person (Noor’s mother, Noor’s teachers, Noor’s classmate, Pierre). Also, some of the adult characters were frustrating. Pierre seemed a little full of himself at times; Lois’s mother, while funny, clearly attempted to commandeer a documentary that was not about her; and there was something that one of the teachers said to a class that I thought was incredibly harsh and unwarranted. Also, there were like five different schools, and so many children that we barely knew anyone else’s name by the end.

Finally, the camera work. Pick a style and stick with it. You want to do it as if it’s a real movie, with no fourth-wall breaking? Do it that way. You want heavy confessional action? Do it with all the characters, or at least not just Pierre. And for goodness sakes, decide if you want your voice in it – there was one scene in the Palestinian neighborhood where they were talking to Alaa and some of the other boys, and it was clear that the prompts/questions were coming from the person holding the camera.

I would give it a 2 out of 5 star rating, and that’s only because I just love ballroom dance.

And hello to another six continent day, the first after a few! So, just who danced in today? North America (Canada and USA), South America (Paraguay and Colombia), Europe (UK, Hungary, France, Netherlands, and Czech Republic), Asia (India, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia), Africa (Burkina Faso), and Oceania (Australia and Papua New Guinea).

31

2015: A WordPress Odyssey

Even though I haven’t mentioned it here, most of you know that for the past month I’ve been doing a blogging experiment. For those of you not in the know, what I decided to do was find, follow, and comment on 15 new blogs a day, every day, for the 31 days of January. Mostly for fun, but also to attract some more visitors to my blog, because it’s always fun to have more friends. I accomplished this goal, and made 465 new WordPress friends. Well, maybe not that many, since not everyone followed me back (you know who you are), but I got an average of 4-6 follows a day, which is pretty good.

Here are some more nifty numbers for you to ponder upon:

  • My followers count jumped up to 721. I can’t remember how many followers I had prior to this project, but I was hoping for at least 1,000 followers. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
  • In terms of views, this month has been my third-most successful ever with 2,868 as of 10:07 PM CST, following February 2014 (9,228!) and March 2014 (7,230).
  • I have had visitors from every continent, and from 92 countries total, with first-time visitors from Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Aruba [as of today – welcome!], Ethiopia, The Gambia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Jordan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Mauritania, Mayotte, and Monaco.
  • From the USA, I have had visits this month from 46/50 states. I guess the fine people of North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming had better things to do.
  • Several six-continent days including today, where I welcomed North America (Canada, USA, Mexico, and Aruba), South America (Colombia), Europe (UK, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands), Africa (Tanzania), Asia (India, Indonesia, Japan, and Philippines), and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand).

I know what you’re all thinking now…my Reader must be going crazy. Not so much, though; As I followed blogs each day, I unfollowed some others. I’m hovering around 900 right now, but will probably weed out some over time that don’t capture my interest. I don’t like deleting any blogs, but if I just want to kick back and read some stuff, I don’t want to be constantly bombarded with new posts showing up every 30 seconds. And I didn’t just follow any blog; I followed blogs that were interesting, fun, unique, unusual. People I could relate to, and people I couldn’t relate to. I only had a few criteria for deletion. I unfollowed blogs that…

  • Had been deleted by their owners. That’s simple enough.
  • Were only photos, with no captions or anything, no matter how pretty the pictures were.
  • Were primarily in a language I don’t speak.
  • Were only depressing poetry. I enjoy the occasional well-written poem, but post after post about lawn chairs, dead birds, and lost loves just don’t do it for me.
  • Had not been updated in 3 weeks or more.
  • Started preaching, or contained messages that were mostly ad hominem/ad feminem/inflammatory/indecent content.

If there was a blog that was on the fence, I would read the five most recent entries and see if they interested me, and if not, I hit the unfollow button. Oh, and if I know you in real life, you’re not getting deleted no matter what, of course. And as January is done, as is this little project. But maybe I’ll do something fun for February, like write a few comments every day or something.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you all, I made some especially interesting discoveries and awesome new friends, which I’ll share with you presently. I don’t normally accept awards or advertise other blogs on my blog, but just think of this as an exception because I am feeling particularly mellow and generous today.

Awesome Content

  • Andrea Reads America. This girl (whom I’m assuming is called Andrea) posts her travels to all fifty states – via literature, that is. Another list of books that I’ll probably never get to read but I’ll die trying. I started a similar list awhile back of my favorite books set in each state, but I think after about 6 states, I realized that I don’t read that many books that take place in different states or in America at all. Ambitious project, cool chick.
  • La Petite Paniere. This blog has awesome and delicious-looking French recipes that make me want to drop out of school and catch the next plane to Paris.
  • The Dictionary of Victorian Insults and Niceties. Because who doesn’t need one of those from time to time.

Awesome People

  • Aran ArtisanThere are tons of craft blogs out there, but Melissa really has a knack for it, and she is a nice person as well. Plus, she lives in the Aran Islands, which I have always wanted to visit.
  • Keep Karyn. Fun and irreverent slice of life. Karyn tells it like it is.
  • Rebekah Koontz. Another very nice person who seems like she’d make a kick-ass big sister. No offense to my own big sister.
  • That Girl in Glasses. The very day I found Adele, we had a cross-blog comment-a-thon that was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on WordPress. It also got me through the Illinois leg of the drive back to Madison. (FYI, my dad drove that one, and then I took over in Belvidere, IL, where he started telling me the horse meat story). This girl is one lovely little buttercup and I hope we are friends for a long long time.
  • The Strange HerShe calls herself Baby Ruth, and if that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is. Funny, talented, and a devotee of Taylor Swift, go visit Baby Ruth and lose yourself in her world for awhile. After you’ve read all my posts, of course.
  • Tribal Mystic is none other than Joycelin, a Papua New Guinean living in Australia. After I mentioned Nora-Vagi Brash and my admiration of her work, she told me she went to school with Nora-Vagi Brash and was friends with her which pushes her to the top of my list. Plus, she just seems like a generally nice and polite person, which I like.
  • Vodka Soda EscapadesYou had me at Vodka Soda, and kept me with fun and quirky humor.

If I forgot anyone, I am truly sorry. But to all of you who are reading this, thanks for sticking around.

Let’s fold scarves.

 

6

Best Friends are Best Friends

A few days ago, my best (and oldest) friend celebrated her 27th birthday. Since I’m here in Baltimore and she lives in Baltimore, I decided to attempt to get in touch with her; our busy schedules have kept us from seeing each other for probably two years or so. I always wonder if I should call her my best friend, since she was for most of my childhood and is an all-around awesome person even though we do not get to communicate very much, or merely my oldest friend, since we met in kindergarten in 1990. It was hard to get ahold of her, but once I did, she took time out of her busy life as a librarian (at a public library, and on the day after Thanksgiving, no less), so I guess that still makes her best friend material. As usual, we go to Jasmine, in the Quarry, walking distance from my house and between her parents’ place and the library.

I like everything about her, but what I like the best is her consistency. Even after all these years, she has not changed. Her hairstyle, her clothing choices, her sense of fashion, and the fact that she’s always cold. She surprised me today, though, when she deviated from her normal Philly roll and tried the Alaska roll along with it. I hope that’s the most she changes, because she’s just awesome the way she is.

Here’s a very brief rundown of all the awesome moments of our friendship. It began at age 4 when we instantly bonded over being the only two in our kindergarten class who could read. We ended up outsmarting the teachers and cheating on our worksheets by reading the answers that were printed upside down on the bottom of the page; I guess we thought they put them there to help us out. Whoops. After kindergarten, we went our separate ways, as her parents sent her to a private girls’ school, but we still managed to get together periodically on weekends for play dates, and always went to each others’ birthday parties. I would use my dad’s office fax machine to fax her hand written notes, which we thought was SO AWESOME, which it was for kids of the 90s. As teenagers, we would send each other IMs periodically. For some reason, however, we did not attend each other’s bar/bat mitzvahs – I don’t remember it being so much of an animosity thing as it was a mutual agreement since we would not know anyone else at the other’s party (on her RSVP card, she wrote “Let’s celebrate together another time!” and we probably did).  High school was busier for us, but she managed to surprise me by showing up at my school to watch me in Hello, Dolly! in senior year. I  always sent her a postcard from my vacations, and I still have the ones she sent me from Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, and Israel. In college, we sent each other birthday cards, which was always easier for me than it was for her since my address changed every year and hers was always either at her school or her parents’ house. In my junior year, she accompanied me to the closing performance of my play that was produced in Baltimore, and to the cast party afterwards, where one of the other playwrights was her seventh-grade science teacher, which was kind of cool but a little awkward. And during my senior year, she flew up to Amherst for a weekend of fun where we road-tripped through Vermont and saw Mountpelier (“the city I want to retire in” she said), the Ben & Jerry’s factory, Vermont Teddy Bear, and a used bookstore safari tour of Brattleboro, which remains one of my favorite towns anywhere. We have so many private jokes; Aladdin colorforms, Weekly Readers, “do you need a razor?”, Grandma Lois, how she will one day become a coffee drinker but not today, that picture of us from kindergarten where I look terrified and she’s just blabbing away in her favorite blue sweater, two minutes at Goucher, the creepy photograph doll, watching my first episode of Friends with her, the garage door opener story (or how her parents tricked her a lot as a child),  and as of today, real life math and Timonium chopsticks.

Wow, those were a lot of highlights.

I don’t know if she’ll ever read this, but if she does, I salute you, Flamingo Kid. We’ve muddled through 23 years together, which is longer than I have known most people. Thanks for always being the wonderful you that you are, and I hope that you and me will always be best friends. I don’t really know why we’re still close to each other even after spending most of our lives on different wavelengths, but sometimes friendship doesn’t need an explanation. It just is, and best friend-ship is even better.

And that’s the story of me and my best friend.

 

6

Where You Lead, I Will Follow

Today was one of those rare days where I actually had nothing to do; no commitments, no pressing deadlines (at least not until Wednesday/Thursday of next week) so I spent most of the day in bed and on the computer, and then decided I needed some fresh air so I headed out to Memorial Union Terrace for some fresh air and about 200 pages of reading. FOR PLEASURE. Clearly, my soul has not yet died.

The other day I passed the 400 follower mark, (I would love more; bring your friends, I’ll follow back!) and I realized I don’t read others’ blogs as often as I should. What usually ends up happening is that I have a few bloggers’ tabs open, meaning to read them, and then either my browser will crash or my computer will need restarting and I’ll have forgotten where I was in reading them. So today, I’m going to go to two of those tabs that are perpetually open.

First up, Antigua A La CarteI think actually it was she who found me, but either way, it’s a blog about life and random stuff. Her name is Nadine and she comes from St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. It’s kind of like mine, only with a Caribbean focus, and who couldn’t use a vacation from their real life by joining this blogger on her island? She writes really well and though I don’t know if there are many other bloggers from her country, I can safely say that in my opinion she is the best one. She also has another blog with non-Caribbean-based thoughts and ideas, so there’s two for the price of one. Oh, and coincidentally, we wrote about the same topic on the same day once, which reminds me, I should probably go edit that entry.

Here’s a recent find, Jane Thorne. I stumbled upon her blog last week. She is called Jane (obviously) and she writes photo essays about her life, including her travel adventures around fair Britannia. She has left me some nice comments, so Jane, this one’s for you.

Thank you to all of my followers for following me, with a special shout-out to those who leave nice comments/feedback.