White Knuckle Drives

Another winter storm?! Seriously?!

Another winter storm?! Seriously?!

I was supposed to drive to New England tomorrow morning for another planned visit. Unfortunately, Mama Nature saw fit to send yet another winter storm up the east coast. Such storms haven’t deterred me in the past. In fact, every time I’ve driven to New England this winter I’ve endured all sorts of scary winter weather. From the harrowing snowstorm the day before Thanksgiving to the freezing rain nightmare in December, Mama Nature has thrown it all at me. This time though, I decided to let her win. I’m staying in New York.

During my various white knuckle drives I have discovered that I’m better at winter driving than I realized. All those tips my good friend told me about winter driving actually sunk in and pop into my head right when I need them most! I’ve come upon multiple car accidents during night time snow storms, I’ve watched cars go sliding off the road when they hit their brakes too hard in freezing rain and I’ve felt my heart in my throat more times than I care to remember. I am always eternally grateful that I arrive safely at my destination and believe me, there is quite a bit of praying to all the powers that be during the drives!

I’m certain I have a guardian angel or six watching over me during my travels and I appreciate their help and guidance. I think by now though that they’re as tired as I am from the winter drives and we all deserve a break. I’ll try again in February or March or both and every month after that as the weather turns nicer. I won’t be kept from the region I love for very long but for now it’s time to regroup, recharge, write, create, stay warm and play lots of lobster fetch with Jazzerboo!

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New England Bound

The classic car show that was going on during my visit to Amesbury in June.

The classic car show that was going on during my visit to Amesbury in June.

Next Wednesday I’m off again to New England. Since June I’ve managed to make it back every other month and that’s a trend I’d like to keep going. For my June trip I stayed in the only hotel in Amesbury and while I loved the proximity to my favorite Massachusetts town, the rates were excessively high. As the hotel is the only game in town, they can charge whatever they want.

For my family trip in August we stayed up in Seabrook, New Hampshire at a much more affordable hotel. It’s a nice little place and every room has a fridge and microwave; features that my room at the hotel in Amesbury lacked unless I wanted to pay even more a night. I’d really love to stay in a little place with a kitchenette but I’ll make the most of the fridge and microwave in Seabrook.

I’d like to be able to go out for every meal and sample all the delicious food in North Shore Massachusetts and coastal New Hampshire but that’s a dream that requires a bigger budget. Not to mention I’d have to walk to each restaurant to effectively work all that food off! I do plan on visiting my favorite pizza place, Amesbury Flatbread Company at least once. I swear I can smell that place the moment I park my car in Amesbury and after I had their pizza once, I was hooked! I took my mom and the girls there during our August visit and the girls happily declared that it was the best pizza they’ve ever eaten. That’s a pretty big thing considering what little pizza monsters they are.

I’d like to visit Salem, MA this time around but that depends on the weather. If it’s raining on the day I’m planning on going then I won’t go. Walking around in the mud doesn’t exactly appeal as my first visit to Salem. Rain or shine I’ll be happy to be in MA and NH because I’m always happier in New England. I’ll be stopping in at Workspace 36 in Amesbury for another visit and I might even do some work there this time. Overall I plan on making this trip a sort of working vacation as I try to establish my freelance writing career out there where I know my future lies. Chasing my dreams means driving east and every journey is a new adventure!

Fulfilling a Promise for Father’s Day

I realize not everyone has a good relationship with their father. I know how lucky I am that my father and I were so close. My father wasn’t perfect, no one is perfect. We’re all human and we’re flawed but our imperfections are what make us beautiful.

My father almost always greeted me with the words “Hi, beautiful!” and that is something I will forever keenly miss. I never doubted that he meant those words, they were never a ploy to win my affection, they were how he saw me. Me seeing myself as that beautiful is a work in progress.

My father gave me a priceless and timeless gift. He showed me what unconditional love from a man feels like. He accepted me as I was, no changes necessary, and he loved every bit of me, even the parts that get me lost and in trouble. A very wise woman told me that it speaks to my strength that I want to feel that kind of love again. That I’m still open to the possibility of it. It’s a scary concept though.

Being open to that kind of love is terrifying because the last time I had it, it left me. I know my father’s spirit is always with me and he will always love me that much but it’s different not having his physical presence anymore. I have great hope that someday I will be strong enough to take that leap of faith and trust that another man who I love can love me as unconditionally as my father did, but in a romantic sense. I’m standing at the edge now looking into uncertain depths and I imagine I’ll be fidgeting and biting my lip in worry for a while.

As promised, my e-book has launched today. It’s a promise I made to myself in honor and memory of my father. It’s a promise I made to my closest friends and they’ve helped me keep it with encouragement and input. It’s a promise I made to the new friends I’ve found through social media who are themselves talented writers, artists and musicians. Most of all it’s a promise to my father that I never said to him while he lived. I never said to him “I promise I’ll be published someday, Dad.” I wasn’t sure I could keep that promise. He knew I could though.

My e-book is about my self-guided and often lost tour through Boston, Massachusetts during my first visit. It was originally posted as a blog and was well-received. Somehow turning it into an e-book made it more personal for me and that much harder to share. What can a simple girl like myself say about Boston that hasn’t already been said? I am just one small voice among many, why do my words matter? My answer to that is that there is only one me on this whole world. How I feel about Boston is unique to me but will hopefully give even lifelong Boston residents a new perspective of their beautiful city.

I’ve pasted in the synopsis below and the links to my book for sale on Nook and Kindle are at the end. Even if you don’t buy my book, thank you for reading my words!

Massachusetts Adventures: Boston 

What happens when you take a girl from the country, known for getting lost in her own kitchen, and set her free on a first-time tour of Boston? A true Massachusetts adventure!

Intrigued by a new discovery on the internet, JulieAnn takes an inaugural, out-of-state, solo road trip to the breathtaking city of Boston, Massachusetts. The early November drive stirs a sense of freedom within her that she’s never felt and opens her eyes to endless possibilities. JulieAnn’s travels introduce her to new friends, evoke memories of her beloved father and lift and awaken her spirit in unimaginable ways. An afternoon spent in the City of Boston helps her understand true inner strength and feeds her endless curiosity.

Explore the City of Boston with JulieAnn in this autobiographical story of her adventures in Beantown. View photos of numerous historical Boston buildings and landmarks as seen through the eyes of this first-time visitor. Get swept up in the beauty of the city as JulieAnn wanders happily lost among cobblestone streets and skyscrapers on a journey of self-discovery. Massachusetts Adventures: Boston is the first story in an upcoming and ongoing series detailing JulieAnn’s continued visits to Massachusetts.

Sometimes being lost is the only way you can truly find yourself.

Massachusetts Adventures: Boston on Kindle 

Massachusetts Adventures: Boston on Nook