I like to use my vacation time to explore new places, see new things, meet new people. Often, these new experiences spark new story ideas for me. Some of them have been usable, others have been duds. One of my favorite vacations was to Bryce Canyon in Utah. The hoodoos had my brain working even before I saw them live and in person. However, the story that came out of that wasn't very compelling. One of the books that will never see the light of day, my friends.
In absence of a seeing a new place this year I have promised myself to do some volunteer work. It isn't necessarily a "new" experience, but it is a new location and will entail meeting new people. I will be scheduling vacation time (waiting for the new grandbaby to be born before I take additional time) during which I hope to make some headway on Cinda's story. Got a good start on it - need some additional research to flesh some parts out. Some of that will involve additional volunteer work which I will do during my time off.
In the meantime . . . I've seen some beautiful pictures of a location I visited last summer (featured in Heart for Rent) and so I am taking a virtual vacation - reliving one of my favorite destinations through the magic of photography. Aix-en-Provence. The picture below is the Cours Mirabeau. We also visited a fabulous outdoor French market where they sold freshly ground spices, along with the usual fare of fresh produce and hand made goods. While we were there, they were running the Iron Man (hence, the rental truck on the street). I took this picture, but unfortunately, we don't have many pictures from Aix. DH lost his memory card from that day. He is a very methodical man and photography is one of his hobbies, so losing those pictures was nothing short of a catastrophe! Fortunately, more pictures can be found at the Aix Facebook page La Belle Aix. Or their internet page. They have a Christmas celebration, with lights hanging from these trees. Looks like a fabulous place to be right now, and until I can visit again, I'm grateful for fabulous photographers who are willing to share their pictures.