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Post Thumbnail of Explore This! San Francisco (Past and Present)

Explore This! San Francisco (Past and Present)

 Today, we’re heading to San Francisco, California, but our route is a little different this time. We’re not only travelling the virtual distance to this lovely city, we’re also moving through time. Cool right?

I have to thank the awesome Stella for this idea. It was she who pointed me to When the Walls Fell by Monique Martin. From the Goodreads summary, this novel takes place during the time of the great earthquake that devastated the city. In searching for images of the time, there are many, but all show a dire state of the devastation. Rather than do an entire post of emotion inspiring pics, I decide we’d take a look at San Francisco through the years. So, put on your best time travelling outfit and let’s check it out:

This is the burgeoning …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Belize

Explore This! Belize

 I was drawing a blank on where we would tour this week. We’ve seen a lot of great places from all around the world, but my recent reads are starting to duplicate locations. And then came Carolyn Crane. Both Susi and Caro have been squeeing so much over Ms. Crane’s latest release (on audiobook, so far), Head Rush. I decided to see what all the commotion was about and have begun the series with book one, Mind Games.

Early in the book, Cubby tells Justine that he has been awarded a trip to Belize and he wants her to go with him (despite only dating for two months.) Guess what? We’re all going now too!   So, sit back and have a look at these stunning pics:

I’m not sure how things fair for Cubby and Justine …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)

Explore This! Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)

 Our destination today doesn’t come from a direct source in my reading materials. Vancouver, B.C., I’m sure has been mentioned in many novels, particularly Canadian ones, but what is interesting is that it’s used as a place for filming some pretty cool book-to-film or TV shows. The obvious one is Twilight. Many of the scenes in all of the movies have been filmed in and around Vancouver, though mostly in the wilder areas.

Recently, L.J. Smith’s The Secret Circle has hit the small screen. Despite it’s fictional setting of Chance Harbour, Washington, it is actually filmed in Vancouver.

For me this city represents the “cool” part of Canada. While Toronto has its merits as a “place to be”, Vancouver holds its own with a beautiful blend of culture and urban living with no small amount of wilderness just around the corner. Check …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Swansea, Wales

Explore This! Swansea, Wales

 Today, we are heading to the south-west coast of the United Kingdom, visiting the city of Swansea, in Wales. I know we had taken a look at some Welsh castles in a previous post, but we get an in depth look at one of the more well known places in Wales.

I have been reading Joe Dunthorne’s Wild Abandon, which piqued my curiousity about the city. Swansea is known as the “City by the Sea”, and with these pictures, you can totally see why.

Looking quite tropical (and completely contrary to my imagining 
of all British areas), this beach looks like a great place to relax.

An artfully composed picture of living by the water.

I even found a …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Halifax, Nova Scotia

Explore This! Halifax, Nova Scotia

Today, I’m whisking you all away to the east coast of Canada. This entire area has always seemed to me to be such a picturesque place (except when the snow matches height with the tops of houses), that I dream of a fantastic road trip, to see all the sites. More specifically, our stop on this Explore post is Halifax.

Halifax is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia. It was originally founded in 1749. A lot of early Canadian history can be discovered in this area, being a short stop from the ocean and a landing place for those coming from the old world. Though there was a former city named “Halifax”, the area is now an amalgamated muncipality. But the former name for its residents, under the previous incarnation, was “Haligonians”.

And, of course, I should mention the reason …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This!: Palm Springs, California

Explore This!: Palm Springs, California

Today, we are whisking away to the sunny locale of Palm Springs, California. When I think of this area, arid temperatures, golf, spas, and the rich and famous all come to mind. What doesn’t equate with Palm Springs is vampires, which is strange when my inspiration has derived from reading Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. In the story, an alchemist is pulled into protection duty for a vampire princess and this seems the perfect spot considering no one would suspect the undead to be found in this hot, sunny city.

The book is filled with some of the references from above, with the rich students attending a private school, where Sydney Sage and the gang are hiding out. In seeing the sites of Palm Springs, I think this would be a great place to be put on assignment, regardless of …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! County Meath and Loughcrew, Ireland

Explore This! County Meath and Loughcrew, Ireland

Today, we’re heading over to the Emerald Isle, to take a peek at an area in the North East corner of Ireland. County Meath is the home of the Loughcrew cairns, an ancient “site of megalithic burial grounds dating back to approximately 3500 and 3300 BC”. I drew my inspiration from my current read, Michelle Zink’s Circle of Fire. Lia, the main character, has to seek part of the prophecy info in this part of the world and being true to my geekish need-to-know form, I HAD to look it up! From what I read, this would be a fantastic place to explore, nevermind the rest of the beautiful country around it. Let’s take a look and tell me if you all agree:

While Stonehenge is arguably the most famous site of …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Vail, Colorado

Explore This! Vail, Colorado

 Today, our travel inspiration comes from my reading of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. In the book, Calla and her wolf pack are in the Vail, Colorado area, with a new pack about to be created further up into the mountains.

And that’s basically what I think of, too. Mountains, snow, skiing, and drinking hot cocoa by a fireplace. In fact, it’s hard to think of this region without the accompanying snow….but there are the warmer months, when the wilder, greener side emerges. I’m personally not much for skiing, but would be more than happy to taken in the stunning views along with that fireplace scene.

Let’s pretend this is me. I’ve tried skiing but usually do it from more 
of a sitting position 😀

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Chicago, Illinois

Explore This! Chicago, Illinois

Recently, I’ve been spending a bit of time hanging around Chicago. Well, not me personally, but through my reading of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books, it feels like I have, lol. Anyway, I thought it would be neat to see the landscape on which Mr. Dresden has been running around naked, getting shot at, fighting werewolves (among other creepy creatures), and basically causing all manner of chaos.

In searching for today’s pictures, I was surprised by what was most available: city pictures. I had a hard time finding any greenery! I’m thinking this may be because a more intimate knowledge of the city is needed; a better source for which to locate the parts of this town that haven’t been touched by urban sprawl.

The city at night.

Chicago could …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Tempe, Arizona

Explore This! Tempe, Arizona

This week’s tour takes us to the home of my newest literary crush, Atticus, and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon (I may have an even bigger crush on the dog; what a wit!). These, of course, are the main characters of Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles, of which I’m currently reading the second book in the series, Hexed.

When I think of Arizona, I always think of Phoenix or Scottsdale and the accompanying images of whitewashed buildings, arid desert landscapes, and golf. With all the crazy happenings in Atticus’ life, I thought it was time to see what Tempe looked like…and here it is:

Of course this area will also have its fair share of palm trees.

This is a hotel in Tempe which brings together …

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