What I Did on my Summer Vacation (+ Giveaway!)

Yeah. See, that? My summer vacation so far has been work, work, work. With a trilogy coming out in February, March, and April of 2013–oh, and a prequel first!–I’ve been working like a fiend. That said, Surfer Guy and I are headed to some fun places on Friday and last week I was at the RWA (Romance Writers of America) national conference where I breakfasted with several of the other Riders and also visited the inspirational site of my next books. Check this out…

This is Crystal Cove State Park. It started as a silent movie set location, turned into tent camping and then cottages were built. Today, the state is refurbishing the old bungalows (one was featured in the movie Beaches) and you can rent those that are ready. There are tide pools, a thriving artist community (in this picture, you can see the white umbrella dealies–those are for the plein air painters), and a fab restaurant right on the sand. I’ve been there in all seasons, but last week it was spectacular.

Look at these fun places. I was standing on the sand and aiming the camera upward. They call this beach vernacular architecture–which means the form followed whim or function and was designed (or just happened to) fit in well with the environment. We had such a great day.

But, now it’s back to the books. And I have them…BOOKS! I’ve been so busy that I need to start clearing out my stash or I will be overrun. Tell me about your summer vacation and I will pick a couple of lucky winners to get the anthology, KISS THE BRIDE.

It’s a lovely book, and I adore the novella I wrote for it. So comment! I want to know what you’ve been doing.

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55 Responses to What I Did on my Summer Vacation (+ Giveaway!)

  1. Amber Stevens says:

    My summer vacation isn’t happening until the very end of October. I’ve been busy working all summer, trying to squeeze in a few trips to the pool or having a cocktail on the patio. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in October, but I’ll be away from work for 2 weeks!

    • christieridgway says:

      Oh, October is a great time to vacation. I’ve gone a couple of times with a girlfriend during that time of year (Surfer Guy is a high school teacher, he can’t get away then) and there are no crowds and no high temps. That said, a summer cocktail on the patio can be quite like a full-fledged vacation!

  2. laurieg72 says:

    We went to my nephew’s wedding in Milwaukee, then we visited my mom for her 88th birthday in my hometown. Last week, my daughter, her husband and their 8 1/2 month old daughter came for a long visit. Next week is my “real” vacation. I’m so excited! We are heading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to visit my oldest son and his wife who are working out there this summer. We hope to hike down to the bottom of the canyon and also visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Utah.

    After that we’ll be hard at work as we have 3 rental units available: 2- Sept 1 and 1- Sept 15th. Lots of cleaning and fixing is involved before the units are ready to be lived in again.

    Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

    • christieridgway says:

      We did the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce a few years back…but during spring break. I’m sure the weather will be a little, um, warm, but the scenery is so spectacular you won’t care. Enjoy!

  3. Cindy Gerard says:

    It was great seeing you at RWA in Anehiem, Christie! And I hear you on the vacation issue. While I thought I was going to take a couple of months off this summer, it just hasn’t worked out that way. will get to spend a week at our cabin later with our family and sure am looking forward to that!

    • christieridgway says:

      I’m glad you get your week away, Cindy. I wasn’t going to take any time off, but Surfer Guy insisted and did all the arranging. We’re going to be traveling a lot during that time, unlike your relaxing cabin visit, but I’ve been sitting around a lot all winter and spring and will enjoy the new scenery!

  4. Missy says:

    No summer trips planned but going on a cruise with my dad in the fall and so looking forward to it!

  5. Winnie Lim says:

    Working very hard this year so no time for any summer holidays. Can only go on vacation by reading books 🙂

  6. Amy-Jo says:

    I’m in my last semester of school:) So, my summer has been STATS class *barf* and my full time internship. My boys have come up with their ‘summer bucket list’ for when I’m done this week! I’m sooo looking forward to doing something fun…OR anything that’s not school related:)

    • christieridgway says:

      Amy-Jo, you deserve some very fun times after this week is over. Great job on finishing up school! Have fun with your boys.

      • Amy-Jo says:

        Thanks! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I can’t wait to read…something other than my STATS book:) Just got a NOOK for my grad present..it’s driving me nuts not using it!

  7. april says:

    We have not vacationed yet either. We leave the second week in August and the fourth week in August. Before you call it a “vacation”, the first one is with 4 generations of my family and the second one is with 3 generations of my husband’s family. See? I need the book to keep me sane. I’ve also been filling up my nook in preparation (and hitting up the liquor store).

  8. Lea Ann says:

    I have summers off since I work in the schools but our annual beach vacation is next week. We absolutely love Gulf Shores, AL. From The Little Zoo that Could, to Go-Cart tracks, Royal Reds shrimp, and the “my blood pressure drops 10 points when my toes hit the sand” surf. 🙂

  9. No real vacation for us. I’ve been taking my kids to local places all summer — zoo, Field Museum, lots of trips to the beach. Right now, they can’t believe school starts in 3 weeks. Me? I’m looking forward to it so I can have my schedule back

  10. Linda says:

    Had to beg for the days off I am taking next week. Family was suppose to come for a visit but they had to cancel so now I have days off and not sure what to do with them. My parents said not to come to OK as it is so hot there is nothing to do but sit inside. So more then likely I will try to find a quiet place close to home and read/fish/hike/hide to read.

  11. ov099 says:

    First… yeah, a trilogy! 🙂

    And love the sound of your trips there!

    Okay, now our summer vacations… we haven’t had one of those in years… well, a decade or two. And I can’t even have my summer course due to a lack of people… LOL So, I’ve been reading books I”ve had on the old TBR pile for ages due to school, work and stuff… and that is feeling mighty nice (although, at times, I do want to kick myself for reading a book I so loved but had sitting there for over a year. Crazy, I know, but I never said I was logical!) LOL


  12. Kirsten says:

    I’ve been helping my sis move house this vacation. So not much lounging round with an ice tea. Painting, fixing lights. Trying out different set ups with furniture… it’s been keeping me busy as a bee. I’ll need another vacation to recover from this one 😀

  13. I’ve been doing pretty much same old, same old, so we won’t go there–not that it’s a bad place to be, but it’s nothing new–but we will go to your lovely new book because KISS THE BRIDE looks and sounds perfectly yummy, so I’m just going to eat it up, flowers, tulle and all. Mmmm. Books. Dee-licious.

  14. donna harris says:

    We don’t go on vacations because it’s to hard for me. I’m disable and I have some health issues so we stay home, it’s easier. We did go for a ride on our 8th anniversary, July 22nd, we went to Muscatine Iowa about an hour from where we live in Illinois. It was nice, we went to a Farmer’s Market or Stand on the highway. We bought two watermelons one for us, one for my 90 yr. old mom, oh it was really good gone in two days, and got some zucchini, squash, cucumbers, peppers, corn on the cob, green beans, all of it was so fresh, all gone now we ate it. Even we can’t get away for a vacations I cherish moments like this.

  15. Kathy says:

    Took a week off from work. Stayed home and READ. And read, and read, and read, and… Still reading!

  16. Minna says:

    I’ve been looking after my brother’s dog.

  17. Kylie Brant says:

    Love the cover, Christie! And it was great to get together with the riders at the conference. My summers are always filled to the brim. Went to the Ozarks with for several days with the family, then on to North Carolina for what Leanne coined as ‘creepy summer camp’, LOL. Then a week in Anaheim. And we’ll be gone the next three weekends. Summer’s pretty much over for me. I do get the three grandsons next week so that will be lots of fun, too.

  18. christieridgway says:

    Thanks for keeping me posted on your vacations or not-vacations all! You know, it’s so great to be around like-minded people who can either consider reading a great vacation and/or need to have a lot of books to make a vacation really fun. I have a formula for how many books to bring on vacation: 1 for every day gone and 2 for each long plane ride.

  19. superauntkx9 says:

    I have made no plans for this summer to vaction anywhere except home. I may get to my brother’s cottage one weeknd, but we will have to see.. But I am having my brother’s oldest boy out for a few days and we are going to hang out and it will give him a break from his younger brother and sister and his baby cousin who lives with them.. I think just to get a room to himself will be a vaction for him. We still have to shop for his graduation present.. It is great that he likes to at 14 to still hang out with his old auntie.. But I have lots of books to keep me company throught out the summer, just hanging in the backyard…
    Thanks for the great giveaway.. I thought I had this on my tbr shelf…but I don’t… so winning it would be a real summer treat.

    • christieridgway says:

      You are a super aunt! I love to indulge my nieces and nephews when i get the chance. Hope you have fun with the nephew!

  20. Claudia says:

    OUr summer vacation starts today – last day of school in Bavaia (Germany)! We will be leaving for Austria in 10 days – museums, nature, hiking, swimming and lots of fun with our two boys. It´s funny that sometimes it´s not necessary to have a fancy hotel, lots of action but very down to earth things like going “mushroom hunting” in the forest that makes the kids tick. Or fool around in the pool with the parents. Hopefully they will also let me read a bit… but I am not worried about that since I ordered quite a few books for them as well.

    • christieridgway says:

      Claudia: Your plans sound lovely. Have w wonderful time. You’re right. Kids love the simple things.

  21. Marie Lisk says:

    I have been fortunate to have my granddaughter, neice, and nephew thisz summer. We have been going to the park, reading, swimming, reading, pickniking, and coloring. The best summer in awhile. Marie

  22. carol guerra says:

    This summer was a tough one. AllI’ve been doing is working. Yes, I do live in las Vegas so we have been going to the Monte Carlo pool. And I do go out every Friday but I would love to take a vacation and not here from work. Overall It’s been a fun summer but a vacation with someone special would be nice.

    • christieridgway says:

      When you live where other people vacation, it is weird. I live in SoCal so people think we’re on vacation all the time. No, the lovely weather just makes it harder to stay inside with the computer. 🙂

  23. flchen1 says:

    Been mostly hanging out at home. Doing some reading 🙂 No need to include me–Kiss the Bride was absolutely lovely!

  24. It was so nice to see you at the Rider’s breakfast at the RWA conference! i wish I could have stayed longer, but I had a meeting with my editor at nine. Really enjoyed your post–what a lovely area! We just have various trips to visit family this summer or for business. We went to Punta Cana and Puerto Vallarta during the spring, though, and will go to Novia Scotia in October.
    I’m in awe of you handling that hectic deadline schedule. You must be exhausted–but how lucky all of us are that you will have those books out in close succession. i can’t wait!

  25. Kristina Mathews says:

    I love Crystal Cove. We’ll probably go there on Thursday or Friday. I wasn’t able to make it to RWA, but I’m driving down there tomorrow for a family wedding on Saturday.

    Vacations are a necessity in our family. We usually do the Road Trip variety. This year we went to Canyon De Chelly which is in the Navajo nation. We had to have a guide in order to visit the canyon floor. It was amazing. We slept at the base of Spider Rock, saw numerous ruins and Anasazi petroglyphs and pictographs. I got this beautiful necklace made by a Navajo artist.

    We also visited Great Basin NP, Capital Reef, Arches, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Four Corners and I know I’m forgetting some of the stops along the way. I put almost 3,000 miles on my new car in two weeks.

    • christieridgway says:

      Your vacations sound lovely! You know Crystal Cove?! I’m so glad I found it (thanks to author Jill Barnett, who first told me about it). If you get some good pix of you there, think about emailing me with them, will you? I’ll put them up on my website (it’s being redesigned) when the books come out.

  26. christygray says:

    We spent a week in Ithaca, NY. Lots of hiking, biking around town, visiting their farmer’s markets (4x a week!) and eating at Moosewood Restaurant. There was also a fair amount of relaxing with good books, wine, playing with photo apps on the phone and giggling with my daughter.

    • christieridgway says:

      Moosewood Restaurant! My fave veggie lasagne recipe is based on one from one of their cookbooks. Giggling w/daughter must be very fun (says me, with boys only).

  27. catslady says:

    I’m afraid vacations aren’t in our budget right now but we have been on some wonderful vacations in the past. This summer we have some monumental events coming up – our uncle is marrying his girlfriend of 27 years this saturday, my nephew’s wife is having a baby shower – it’s her first at 42 after having 3 miscarriages and the baby is due 9/11, and then we’re having a party for my mom’s 90th birthday!! Lots of excitement for all of these wonderful events.

    • christieridgway says:

      You do have fun things to look forward to! Love the romance of the wedding after 27 years. Our neighbors’ daughter is having her second baby on 9/11 (well, it’s due that day). I’m thinking if the little guy arrives them it will put a whole new spin (happy) on that date.

  28. Quilt Lady says:

    I guess I have spent my summer vacation getting back surgery. I have been having problems since Jan. I still can not lift bend or twist which limits what you can really do. Start Physical therpy tomorrow in a pool. That might be kind of nice.

    • christieridgway says:

      Oh,, man. I’m so sorry! We know a lot about surgery around here. Surfer Guy has had 3 back surgeries. I know how painful it can be. After my surgery to repair my broken leg last fall, I got to go into the therapy pool. Awesome. I hope you feel better soon.

  29. Stephanie says:

    I’m leaving for vacation on Saturday, helping a friend move from California to Florida. We are driving through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama between the two so it should be fun. Then I’m flying up to DC to see my cousins before coming home!

  30. Barbara E. says:

    I just got back home from a week in California where I visited my sister and took her to the RWA Literacy signing. It was her first time at such an event (I’ve been to two others in Orlando) and we had a blast. We also visited the Getty Villa in Malibu, the Cleopatra Exhibit at the California Science Center, SeaWorld San Diego, and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It was a busy week, but loads of fun, and today I’m back to the regular routine of work, with lots of fun memories.

    • christieridgway says:

      That sounds like a great time! You were in my stomping grounds. We gave you great weather for our visit, I’m glad to note. Not too hot.

  31. leannebanks says:

    Christie, it was GREAT seeing you in Anaheim! Congrats on getting so much writing done!!! We went to the beach 3x in May, so it’s been mostly short trips for us. I hope to go back to the beach in September. I love missing the crowds.:)

  32. bn100 says:

    I’ve been cleaning the house.

  33. Linda Morgan says:

    I flower garden and it’s my 3rd summer here. I finally got the back yard (all 5′ wide of it, but almost the length of the duplex) and am adding to an existing one. There were two ugly shrubs when I got here. Now there are climbing roses and flowers and herbs everywhere! I managed to get in a week of rest in Puerto Vallarta with my older daughter, and last weekend my neighbor and I split over $1000 made in a 3 day yard sale. Still clearing out the leftovers from the carport, but it was 3 days over 100 degrees….and we are recuperating from dehydration now. I read every chance I get, although now it’s hard to stay awake long enough. I’ll be spending most of August with a hose or a book, or both as soon as I get my hammock and hammock-chairs hung. I just had to have them! Not a tree in sight, but I’m creative and found fence posts on Pinterest. Love reading about everyone’s summers.

    • christieridgway says:

      I have been loving reading about everyone’s summer too! Your garden sounds lovely and I like the idea of an August with a hose or a book. We have a hammock in our backyard and it’s a fave place for all.

  34. librarypat says:

    I love anthologies.
    We spent almost 3 weeks on the road last month. We left TN, stopped to visit my sister in Virginia then stopped in Washington, DC. We stopped to see my brother in CT on our way to Cape Cod. We spent a week on the Cape, went on a whale watch, and went out to Nantucket Island among other things. From there we stopped for a couple of nights in NH to visit my husband’s aunt and cousins. We then headed to the NE corner of New York on Lake Champlain to visit the rest of my family. We go to see everyone and attended my high school class mini-reunion. We then took the two day drive home.
    It was a great trip, but it was nice to get home. That is until I looked at my gardens. They were fine when we left and were completely grown over with weeds when we got back. I am still trying to dig them out.

  35. Na S. says:

    My summer vacation has been pretty active! We’ve taken to visiting parks and hiking. It’s fun and also enables me to put in some fitness hours. I like the outdoors because I can stay cool in the shade of trees and take in nature’s beauty. Wishing you a great summer!

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