Do y'all do this?
Do a lot of reading about where you're going on an upcoming vacation?
I always want to absorb as much as possible about a place I'm getting ready to visit for the first time.
It doesn't matter if I'm traveling abroad, across country, or within my own state.
I read up.
You name it.
The first time we went to Topsail Island - many years ago - I picked up Ray McAllister's "Topsail Island, Mayberry by the Sea." I was surprised at all there was to learn about this little island. Only 26 miles long, only 200 yards wide in some places, this little 15 square mile island was once the home of "Operation Bumblebee," a top secret U. S. government missile program named for the insect that, aerodynamically, shouldn't be able to fly, but does.
That was just one little piece of interesting history I learned before visiting and falling in love with the little far from fancy place we now visit at least once a year.
I've never been to New Orleans.
Hard to believe, because I fell in love with New Orleans through books many years ago. That love affair has been continually fed by the works of James Lee Burke, Julie Smith, Anne Rice, David Fulmer, Truman Capote short stories, James Sallis, and, of course, John Kennedy Toole's "Confederacy of Dunces," among others. My favorite Tom Robbinsnovel is "Jitterbug Perfume." Tom Robbins and New Orleans go together like eggs and bacon - a gloriously and wildly perfect fit. In homage to Mr. Robbins, who I adore, I snatched the word "Jitterbug" to use as the name of a voodoo shop in New Orleans in a short story I wrote recently. One you'll be able to read in the Blood on the Bayou Bouchercon Anthology.
When I learned one of my favorite events in the whole world was going to be held in New Orleans it made it pretty easy for me to decide the time was right. Time to go.
Bouchercon in New Orleans.
I get to play with some of my favorite peeps on God's green earth in one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
Am I excited?
To the moon and back!
These are some of the books I've picked up over the past several months to help school myself in "things New Orleans."
And I'm still accepting suggestions, of course!
I've also started picking up books for a trip I'm planning with my friend Vickie for next year -
So. I'm curious. How many of you, Dear Reds, share this little habit of reading every tidbit you can lay your hands on about a place you're going to visit?