Upcoming Trips: Hampton Roads, Virginia and San Luis Obispo

Here it is, the first day of a new semester, I’m supposed to teach “Intro to Literature” to a brand new crop of freshmen in TWO HOURS, and what am I doing? I’m fantasizing about the two trips I’m scheduled to take this fall.

The first is to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, to participate in the ODU Literary Festival (I was too embarrassed to let the organizers know that this was my first ever invitation to read at a festival, but no one reads my blog so I can show my wild excitement here–!). I’m trying to wangle a stay at an inn called the Tazewell at the university rate, and I’ve already picked up a AAA tourbook of the “Mid-Atlantic States” where I’ve noted that the three Editor’s Picks for things to see in the area are:

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, which is at One Waterside Drive, on the Elizabeth River, and features “more than 150 exhibits that explore the naval, economic, and natural power of the sea.”

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, 1 mile south of the Rudee Inlet Bridge, which “spotlights Virginia’s marine environment.”

Virginia Living Museum, which has a “Virginia Underground Gallery” (how cool is that!) and an exhibit on the James River ecosystem

And, though not on the Editor’s Picks, I love that there is something called Boykins Tavern , built in 1762, on the Isle of Wight.

Oh! And here’s the time and date of my reading:

Thursday, Oct. 19– 1:30 PM
I’m reading from my second collection, Mayor of the Roses.

My second trip this fall is to San Luis Obispo for Thanksgiving. A, who’s going back to Cal Poly in a few days (and taking his fantastic computer with him, which means that I will be posting only the gimpiest-looking things from now on), is an RA (at Muir, the freshman Math and Sciences dorm, which, coincidentally, was the dorm he stayed in when he was a freshman, two years ago) and can’t come back until Dec. 16. He gets a free single room and a very generous meal plan, so we can’t complain, especially not when other soon-to-be-juniors can’t even find a decent apartment for less than $900/ month in the SLO area!

We can’t abide spending Thanksgiving alone, so my husband and I are driving down. We thought of bringing the beagles, but Bella gets car-sick and Gracie barks at everything. So we’re lodging them at the Peninsula Pet Resort, where they can have all the “yappy snacks” they want!

This time, we’re staying at the Vagabond Inn on Madonna Road, just across the street from A’s favorite eating spot, Tahoe Joe’s (which has the GREATEST steaks, and I can say this because I’ve eaten at Harris’ Steak House and the House of Prime Rib!). Looking forward to a wonderful weekend on the Central Coast…

Oh well, back to tweaking my “Intro to Lit” syllabus! I’m starting off with a poem by Carolyn Forche, who I’ve never taught before. The poem is “The Colonel.”

Next week I’ll do some poetry from Sylvia Plath (“Daddy”), Sharon Olds, and Luisa Igloria…

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