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Post Thumbnail of Explore This!: Roanoke, Virginia

Explore This!: Roanoke, Virginia

After just finishing A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington, I must admit my geographical confusion was at its peak. Why? you might ask. Well, throughout the story, the male lead, Jackson, kept talking about his desire to return to the FBI in Washington. But the way things were discussed, it sounded not all that far off from Virginia. Then it hits me that he’s talking about Washington D.C., not Washington state. I always mix those up!

Anyway, we’re here to talk about Roanoke, Virginia. It isn’t really described much in Covington’s book as the story takes place in Elliott, Virginia, which I believe is a made up small town not far from the larger city. In fact, Roanoke itself has a mere 97,000 people that call it home (as of 2010, as noted here). Seeing the images of Roanoke makes me think of a smallish city, …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This!: Manhattan

Explore This!: Manhattan

In Sylvia Day’s Bared to You, the heroine, Eva, has just left her home in San Diego, crossing the country to Manhattan to start a new job. I thought it would be nice to take a look at this often mentioned, affluent part of New York City. Manhattan is one of five boroughs in the city, though maybe one of the more familiar of them all, as seen in films and TV shows.

Manhattan was the origins of the city of New York, from which the town expanded north. It lays claim to many famous landmarks as well as being the former site of the Twin Towers. For that fact alone, its skyline, then and now, has to been one of the most recognizable in the world.

An overview of the island.

Brownstone living.

Lower Manhattan, as seen from the bridge.

A site probably more …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Rome, Italy

Explore This! Rome, Italy

Thanks to Stella, our awesome Latin Lover, we have today’s travel inspiration. She’s read a few gladiator romances recently and thought maybe we needed to have some visual aid for this beautiful, ancient city. And I totally agree!

The first thing most of us probably think of when we here about Rome are the Colosseum and the Parthenon, right? But there has to be much more to this city, so lets check it out and see what it has to offer:

The Colosseum.

The Acropolis.

Lovely azaleas at the Spanish Steps.

The Trevi Fountain.

The Tiber River with the Vatican as a backdrop.

We can break from the sites to enjoy a little shopping:

Then off to see more of Rome’s wonders:

Inside the Basilica of San Clemente.

The obligatory night shot. So pretty!

And if you’re interested in checking out those gladiator …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Mendocino, California

Explore This! Mendocino, California

I’ve been reading The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, and in it, her version of the werewolf travels through San Francisco and further on north through California. I thought it would be neat to check out Mendocino, California, being it’s one of the names in her book.

The Wolf Gift takes place (at times) in a remote area on the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by redwood trees that have a particular meaning for some of the characters. The images Rice offers are ones of lush nature but with a certain wild, savage, untouchable feel. I think in searching out some of these images, I would agree, but this area is certainly one filled with raw beauty also. Let’s check it out:

Living alongside the ocean tends to wear homes down that much quicker.

If you've read Rice's book, you can easily imagine Reuben in these trees.

Post Thumbnail of Explore This!: Nantucket, Massachusetts

Explore This!: Nantucket, Massachusetts

Today, we’re taking a trip to the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. I started my search at Stella’s request, who wanted to see what this area looked like after reading Barbara Wallace’s Weekend Agreement. Once I had found a few pictures though, it began to feel familiar to me, so I went in search of more info.

I went looking for movies that were filmed there, but it turns out the ones I thought were filmed in Nantucket were filmed elsewhere. I did discover it to be the setting for the ’90′s TV series Wings.

Then I looked for other books set in Nantucket. I couldn’t find a large list of those either, though I did find one reference to Elin Hilderbrand as “Queen of the Beach [or Summer] Novel” and that her books are (almost) all set on Nantucket Island.

Nantucket is close, geographically speaking, to other well known …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This!: Havana, Cuba

Explore This!: Havana, Cuba

Today, I’m whisking you all off to Havana, Cuba. Personally speaking, Cuba has always been a place that I knew would have beautiful spots, but was also a country that invoked fear at the thought of visiting. The common knowledge (rumour?) that police walk around with machine guns and the fear of doing anything wrong (even by accident) just made it seem less than appealing as a vacation destination.

To be honest, my inspiration for today’s post, Peggy Blair’s The Beggar’s Opera (I believe it’s Canadian release only so far, but keep an eye out for it), doesn’t do much to allay my fears. It did make me curious, however, to check out the sites. If you all promise to hold my hand, when can begin our tour now:

Plaza de la Catedral

Chinatown in Havana

Playas del Este

Havana night life.

A British war ship in Havana Bay. It …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Park City, Utah

Explore This! Park City, Utah

To be honest, before reading Everneath by Brodi Ashton, I had never heard of Park City, Utah before, But, as I read through the pages, I discovered the connection with the Sundance Film Festival and realized I did know this place and its images, just not it’s actual name.

And though the Film Festival is running, even as we speak, Everneath is told from the perspective of someone that lives there year round. As Nikki, the main character, talks about her life, we see how important the snow is for this area but also a mix of city and rural living. Let’s check it out for ourselves:

The pristine white snow (with some track marks), make this look like the perfect winter wonderland.

This looks like a great blend of old time feel with modern amenities.

Lifestyles of the rich and famous, anyone?

The …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Wilmington, North Carolina

Explore This! Wilmington, North Carolina

Today, we’re heading back State-side to visit Wilmington, North Carolina. This lovely city, situated on the Cape Fear, has cropped up in several of Nicholas Spark’s books, including Message in a Bottle and Dear John. It was also the area in which Dawson’s Creek was filmed and is home to Screen Gems studios, which if you’re a movie fan (read: credit reader) like myself, you’ll know what that means.

Let’s take a look to see why its scenery has been such a popular location for filming…and writing about:

 

The map here shows Wilmington's location at Cape Fear, but also its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. As they say in real estate, it's all about "Location, Location, Location" ;)

Wimington is listed as a "Coast Guard City", so it sees its share of boats docked here.

The architecture here is stunning, similar to southern Gothic, though I'm …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Malta

Explore This! Malta

I seem to be in a vicious cycle of revisiting past locations in any of the books I’ve been reading lately, so I thought I would take a different route today. I’m currently reading I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley. The book takes place somewhere in the English country side, but I thought it would be much more interesting to see where the author lives.

In fact, Mr. Bradley grew up in a town not 20 minutes from where I live now, but he has since moved to the lovely island of Malta. I have to be honest here, I had no idea where Malta was and (forgive me, anyone who resides there) at times mistake it for Madagascar (it might be time for me to bone up on my geography lessons :p ).

Anyway, I hope you’ve packed your bathing suit, as I whisk you away to …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Albuquerque, New Mexico

Explore This! Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Today, we’re off to the south west part of the United States, visiting the city that Charley Davidson, of First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left fame, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

When I think of this area, it is the blend of American culture with that of the area south of the border, in Mexico itself. Tex-mex food, mariachi music, and, of course, sombreros. How off base am I? Let’s look at some pics and see:

The Sandia Mountains

The wilds of nature seem not far at all from the city.

The Balloon Fiesta. What a view!

Well, no images of sombreros there, but anyone living in Albuquerque, I’d love to hear if it’s as festive as I imagine. Have any of you visited New Mexico? Can you vouch for it’s worthiness of being added to ‘must-see’ places? I hope …

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