Posts Tagged ‘exotic travels’

And now…an interlude from New York

Well, we are coming to the end of my first week of a being a Real! Live! Author! with a book out and everything.  It’s been fun and odd and exciting and tiring and a little surreal (especially seeing my book in a bookstore) and I’ve talked a lot about Shadow Kin and other people have talked about Shadow Kin and said nice things and I’m not sure I can say anything more coherent than that at this point. I’m also wrestling book three into submission and trying to make its plot make sense, so I am officially down to very little brain space for other stuff.

So in order to have something to blog about that isn’t book related for a little bit, I’m returning to New York and the second last set of pics from my trip!

On the 5th of July (and honestly, how is that we are so far from July already?), Keri and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art which was one of my favorite things we did the whole time in New York.  Accompanying us was our lovely agent Miriam which turned out to be a very good thing because the Met is HUGE. And somewhat TARDIS like.  Every time you think you must have walked through the last room, another appears. And they are all filled with very very cool stuff. But Miriam knows her way around and where everything is and saved us from wandering around lost for days trying to find anything.

We went to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit which was amazing but didn’t allow photos.  Luckily most of the rest of the Met does allow photography.  Given that Keri and I both write actiony fantasy, we did spend a bit of time with the arms and armor collection but we also saw all sorts of things.  I won’t inflict too many pics on you but here’s a few of the things that caught my interest.

This is what the Met looks like from the outside (okay, not quite a police box but still deceptive….)

Oh, I miss those blue skies


The great god Bes

Watch out, he's all smitey

Egyptian cat

I've always loved the lines of egyptian cat art

Sarcophagus carvings

Can't decide if it's a jackal or a hunting hound

The original Angry Bird

Watch out....


Four lion headed goddesses are better than one

Graffiti on the walls of an Egyptian tomb

Proof that human nature does not change...

Tiffany window



I wear armor now...armor is cool!

And armor comes with handles!

Who knew? But I guess you have to get in and out somehow!

Knights also had patterned mail

This looks even cooler in person

And in Japan, some very odd hats (this is only one of many)

Chewbacca wants his hair back

This looks like a steampunk gun but it’s the real thing

Where are the matching goggles? And my air pirate?

Another Angry Bird!

Egg stealing pigs need to avoid the Met

Cycladic mask

These were mesmerising. So simple but beautiful.

Okay, back soon when I regain some brain power.  One more lot of New York pics to come at some point.


Washington Part 3 – Natural History Museum

The second of the Smithsonian museums we went to in Washington was the Natural History museum which is stuffed full of very cool stuff. But I promise I will not inflict all of the pictures of said stuff on you, so here’s just a few.

Easter Island statue

Hope Diamond (which is bluer in real life)

Concretized sandstone

Interstellar diamond dust (very cool!)

No comment

Fluorite (pretty!)

Elephant butt

Giant squid

Teeny angry fish

Iron skull

Angry bunny

Interior of the museum

New York Episode 8 – Central Park

I didn’t spend enough time in Central Park…when I go back to New York I definitely need to spend more time wandering around. It’s designed (on the most part) to be very natural looking with meandering paths and shade and curves that make it both enticing and deceptive about where you’re going. It’s great that such a densely crowded city has this immense green space in the centre of it and I think if I lived in New York, I’d have to be rich so I could live up near the park. These pics are from Tuesday 5th.

Typical park

The Great Lawn

Ducks, turtles and fish in the Turtle Pond

Belvedere Castle


Crabs holding up obelisk…because apparently that’s what crabs do when they’re not helping Captain Jack Sparrow out



Washington Part 2 – The stuff

Washington has many many things to see.  Sadly one cannot see them all in nine hours or so.  But here are some of the things we go to.

Not Washington but made me giggle as a Stephanie Plum reader. Sadly neither Morelli nor Ranger joined me on the train.

Outside of Union Station aka how train stations should look


Smithsonian Castle

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

And the man himself

Lincoln Memorial

The Washington Monument and the reflecting swamp (sadly the pool was empty)

Abraham Lincoln

The roof in the Lincoln Memorial

Statue on a bridge

Stay tuned for more!

My favourite New York things

We’re chilling out in our LA hotel as we both decided we were touristed out.  So we sprang for internet and therefore another blog!

There are still lots of pics to come but I tweeted these last night and thought I’d do a longer version here.  So, here are my ten favourite things from my New York trip in no particular order.

1. Meeting my editor, Jessica, in person and lunching with her and my agent in Greenwich Village (which was a very ‘hey, I am a writer moment’ ; ) )

2. Going to see Sleep No More….weird, intense, kind of creepy yet amazing and unlike anything else I’ve ever been to. Would love to see it a few more times just to have time to explore all of it. Sadly I doubt it will come to Australia any time soon.

3. Wandering through Central Park on a brilliant blue summer’s day.  The shady green spaces are heavenly and full of intriguing things and, once again, we barely scratched the surface of it.

4. Junior’s cheesecake.  I’m not generally a baked cheesecake fan as I prefer cold-set but Junior’s is awesome. I managed to try three flavours while in New York but I think, as awesome as Devil’s Food or Strawberry Shortcake were, the original was my fave.

5. The Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. I’m not exactly a fashion girl but I had seen pictures from the exhibition and had heard people rave about it, so it went on the list of things to do in New York.  It more than lived up to the hype.  It was fabulous. Dark and beautiful and intriguing and the muse loved it. So much so I bought the very large exhibition program and shipped it home so I can look at the images again.  In fact, the muse adored the Met in general. The place is a Tardis…it just goes on and on and on and every time you think it can’t go on again you turn a corner and there are more rooms. But that’s another blog.

6. The sunset harbour cruise. Just beautiful to see the sun setting reflected off all the buildings (which reminds me, we saw the most awesome brilliant hot pink sunset flying into LA last night…looked unearthly).

7. The 4th of July fireworks over the Hudson.  I wasn’t overly keen to go see these initially as I don’t like fighting through huge crowds and had visions of New Year’s Eve type madness but Keri wanted to go, so we did and I’m very glad.  The fireworks were wonderful and the crowd wasn’t that huge and very well behaved.

8. Hanging out with my agent and US writer friends.  The hard fact about being an Aussie writer is that you meet lots of wonderful folks (online and in the flesh) who live far away and don’t get to see them in person often enough, so it’s always lovely when you do get the chance to hang out.  Even though the conference hotel was also a Tardis and I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to.

9. Going to Washington for the day.  As I’ve said in my blogs, it’s a very pretty city and I will be going back there again one day to spend more time exploring and museum hopping! Though maybe not in summer…it was also very hot.

10. The shopping (yes, I can be shallow), especially Fluevog.

I could go on but will hopefully talk about some other stuff in the blog posts still to come.  It’s been a wonderful trip.  I wasn’t sure I would like New York as much as I did…it seems to be one of those cities that people love or hate and I thought it might be too full on for me, but I really liked it.  So now I just need to keep writing those books so I have the excuse to return a lot!

New York Episode 7 – Brooklyn Bridge walk

The Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River connecting, funnily enough, Brooklyn and Manhattan. It was the first bridge built across the river and was the longest suspension bridge when it was first built as it was the first suspension bridge to use steel cables. The coolest thing about the bridge though, is that it has a pedestrian walkway above the road so you can walk either from Manhattan to Brooklyn or vice versa and get some great views of the city. Keri and I walked it on the 4th of July.

Given it was a pretty hot day, we took the subway to the Brooklyn side, ate awesome pizza then walked back to Manhattan.  It’s a bit under 2km long, so doesn’t take ages to walk.  The bridge is under restoration so some of the views are blocked by fences etc at the moment but I still got some cool shots.

Under the bridge (by the pizza place)

Beginning of the bridge

Cars below the pedestrian walkway



Sunny Manhattan




Horace (who founded the New York Tribune and is a nice looking old guy statue in City Hall Park which is where you come off the bridge at the Manhattan end)

This might be the last blog until next week sometime…I’m starting the long trek back home today so unless I luck onto internet access along the way, there will be radio silence for a bit! But there are still a few New York and Washington blogs to come once I return. It’s a been a great trip…thanks New York!

Washington Part 1 – Air and Space Museum

On Sunday (the third) Keri and I got up very early to take the train to Washington for the day.  The train takes a little over three hours but was very comfy (thumbs up Amtrak). Once in Washington we just did the hop-on hop-off bus thing and raced around seeing stuff and taking many pics (many, many pics….there will be a few Washington blogs).

Washington is a very pretty, open feeling city (at least the central bit where we were) and definitely felt relaxed after a few weeks in Time Square.  It was also hot, damned hot.  I think when I go back, it will have to be Spring.  We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do as there is a limit to how much you can do in eight hours or so plus a traffic accident held up the bus for almost an hour at one point when we were at a part of the loop where you couldn’t easily walk to anywhere else.  The air con also broke down. That was fun. Not.

Still, we did go to the two of the three parts of the Smithsonian I’ve always wanted to go to (the third, the National Zoo, we didn’t have time for).  Next trip I’ll do some more (the Smithsonian is about 11 or 12 Museums all up).

So, as a starter, here’s some pics from the first of the museums, The Air and Space Museum (indulging my sci fi geek side lol).

Steampunk airship

Da planes! Da planes!


Spirit of St. Louis

Kitty Hawk

Moon boots

Apollo module

Lunar module


New York Episode 6 – 4th of July Fireworks

Okay, we have a bit of a blog backlog after the last few days sightseeing, so I’m going a bit out of order.  Here are some shots from last night’s fireworks along the Hudson which were fabulous.  Keri and I scored a great spot down near the Intrepid and had a great view.  And I have to say the crowd was really well behaved and not too crowded.

Sunset reflections



Red and pink


Pink Smoke




Next up…some Washington pics!

New York – Episode 5 (Sunset cruise)

And now the long promised pics from our sunset harbour cruise on Saturday night.  Which was a beautiful evening after a long hot day.  (Also, two hours of enforced no shopping lol)

Very happy with the pics from my little Panasonic…got some great shots but will not inflict them all on you!

First up, the Intrepid which has been converted into a museum…

The Chrysler building gleaming…I think the Chrysler is definitely my fave New York building

Ellis Island in silhouette

Long view of the city

Statue of Liberty at sunset

Bridges and the Statue


And again

Last light over New Jersey

Empire and Chrysler

Reflected sunset

And my other fave New York building..don’t know what this one with all the Mondrian type windows is but it looked very cool at sunset with all the reflections turning the windows pink and silver and gold!




New York – Episode 4 (The Cloisters)

So yesterday we went up to the Cloisters which is located in Fort Tryon Park, way the heck up in 190th street (which is almost as far as you can go).  But we writers are intrepid types, so Keri, Kelly Hunter, Anne Gracie and I eventually found our way after a bit of confusion when we came out of the Metro station (thanks to the helpful passerby who pointed us back to the train station elevators lol).

The Cloisters is, as the name suggests, a recreation of a medieval cloister, made up of bits of various European abbeys etc acquired by the museum (it’s a branch of the Metropolitian Museum of Art).  It is full of gorgeous medieval religious art, tapestries, sculptures, carvings and treasures and is a beautiful, peaceful place set in a beautiful park.  So herewith some pics (but not the full 100 or so I took there!).

Foggy day in the park

Squirrellllllll!!! (This little guy had suitable New York squirrel attitude…he posed for us quite happily then got very grumpy looking when no treats were forthcoming!)

The Cloisters from the entrance

And some more exterior…gorgeous stairs

Wall critter

Gorgeous dragon

My mind is blanking on the correct terminology for this bit of a church but it was lovely!

More stained glass


Marble relief

Gold and blue angels



And the famous unicorn tapestry (slightly blurry, sorry but apparently unicorns emit secret blurry vibrations as this was the only one I couldn’t get a really clear shot of!)

And lastly….Saint Roch, who was famous for curing plague. We think it must have been with the power of his mighty thighs….I mean check out those legs (and who knew that medieval saints wore shorts!)

And that’s all folks, tonight we do a harbour cruise, so hopefully some pretty night shots will be up next! Tomorrow Keri and I are going to brave the outlet mall….if you hear any screams it’s probably our credit cards.