Remember a new place you visited (a cool house or restaurant, a new neighborhood, or even a new country). Try to remember seeing the place for the first time. How do you feel? Write as if you were telling a friend about the experience.

The first time I went into Chopstix Cafe, I was nervous. I’d only ever had sushi one time before, and it was the big kind and oh my god was all sushi like that because how do you get it in your mouth?! And I’m a picky eater! I was with a guy I liked (who turned out to be a dud so we won’t even mention him) and he promised me that I would like this sushi place better than the other place he’d taken me where the rolls were twice the size of my mouth. Chopstix was relaxed, low key, a beautiful view for sure, and it turned out that everyone there was helpful and kind and good at steering me towards what I might like (for a non-adventurous eater). I didn’t have food allergies then, so I got a roll that had sushi, crab, and …. And…. What was the third thing? I don’t think it was fish, but maybe it was. And it came with spicy mayo with fish eggs. Sigh. I was so so very sad when that started making me sick, years later. So unfair. But anyway, back to my first time there. I remember it was daylight but don’t remember if I was there for lunch or an early dinner. Of course, now, I’ve eaten there at pretty much every time of day they’re open! Lunch, dinner, snacks in the afternoon, lunch that turned into dinner, lunch and then coming back later that night for dinner…. Didn’t keep the guy, but kept the restaurant. Best decision later. A couple of years later, Tim and I had our reception dinner there, and it’s still my go-to place for comfort meals or celebration meals.

Did you have a special place that you often went to as a kid? This can be anything from a tree fort to an arcade to a fictional land in a book. Tell us all about it.

Wonderland. Talking animals? Word games? Dangerous but a headstrong, smart child can get herself out of it? Sign me up!
Narnia. Talking animals? A giant lion who lets you pet him? Badgers who take you into their burrow for tea? An evil queen that smart children can outwit? Sign me up!

The Kingdom of Wisdom (from The Phantom Tollbooth). Talking animals? Word play? A mystery that a smart child can solve and a bad guy that a smart child can rescue the princesses from? Did I mention the talking dog?

Watership Down. Talking animals (I’m sensing a theme here…..)

The first five book in The Chronicles of Amber. I so so so very much wanted to go to Rebma, the under-sea sister-city of Amber, where everything was under water but you could still breathe as if it were air.

Pretty much any book I read as a child, I wanted to live there in that book land. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in Marmee’s living room and read at the other end of the couch from Jo? Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Pooh and Eeyore in the Hundred Acre Woods? Every fairy tale, every fable, every folk tale, every fantasy novel or science fiction book that described a place? I wanted to see that place.

What place have you always wanted to visit? Why?

Well, I mean, I’ll take any of those imaginary, literary places I mentioned, for sure. Real places….? I’d like to go see the Grand Canyon again now that I’m older; I barely remember it. I’d like to go to England; I’d like to see where Watership Down is (yes, it’s a real place), and the Yorkshire Dales (All Creatures Great and Small, the series of country vet books that I’ve read about five times) and Heatherden Hall, a mansion at Pinewood Studios that I’ve been in love with since first seeing it in a movie when I was a child. I’d like to go to Barcelona and see La Sagrada Familia, take some sort of Gaudi architecture appreciation tour. I’d like to see the Isle of Skye and the Ivory Coast, mostly because when I was a kid they sounded like places you’d find in fantasy novels. I’m guessing the reality is not as magical, but still. You never know until you go, right?

And maybe, next year when I go to Scotland for WorldCon and try to tack on another couple of weeks for Ireland and England, I can actually go to a couple of those places.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous post I need a personal assistant
Next post Sometimes it’s still weird