Down in the DR

It's embarrassing for me to admit that I'd never been to the Dominican Republic while living in New York. It's a fast trip from there, but took my moving to Portland - clear across the country - to visit. I'd been "warned" about the rain here in Portland, which I hadn't felt was that bad, really, but during a particularly challenging three-week near constant downfall of epic proportions, something snapped in me and in the blink of an eye I'd decided I needed to get to the beach and fast. Like in less than a week fast. Because this was a very last minute decision (and would be over Christmas), I was on the hunt for a deal. Being so close to Hawaii, I was hoping to uncover one there, but not to be. I searched Central American countries (Costa Rica, Nicaragua), Asia (just for the fun of it), and finally the Caribbean, which led me to the DR. Finding the best deal all around, I booked it before I could overthink my decision. At this point I was so starved of vitamin D that I'm certain I was delusional and figured five days of chillaxin' in the sun would be just what I needed.

And I was right. Taking myself on this holiday definitely recharged my batteries. I met other solo travelers and got caught up on a lot of reading while toasting my buns - adult bevvie in hand - in between reapplying sunblock (a sister can burn, oh yes she can) after numerous refreshing cooling dips in the ocean.

Ahhhhhh. I can feel the immersion of the sea again as I write this...

Ahhhhhh. I can feel the immersion of the sea again as I write this...

Vitamin deeeeeeeeeee!!!

Vitamin deeeeeeeeeee!!!

I'm not afraid of much (except the boogie man) and always think it's a good idea to be spontaneous sometimes and do something good for yourself like a vacation. Sometimes you can't overthink it and just have to hit send before your practical side tries to talk you out of it. The only thing you have to gain is sun, sleep and surf, which outweighs most negatives like an imperfect hotel room (like mine).  (It was a last minute deal, after all, but props to Hotwire for making it right in the end).

As spring creeps up on us again, don't be afraid to jump on that pre-summer deal to that special place you've always wanted to go but never made it to. I'm sure there will more rain this season to inspire another last minute jaunt for me, and I hope that whatever your "rain" is will inspire one for you too.

Scrubbin' up down in the DR!

Scrubbin' up down in the DR!




Thankful T

If it's one thing the holidays are good for it's reflection. Reflecting on one's life choices, one's future, one's past; it's all there to reminisce on. This Thanksgiving was no different. After enduring a rather introverted day coming to terms with a closing chapter in my life, I awoke feeling more grateful than ever. Grateful for friends, family, Avery and new beginnings. It is important to remember that we, and we alone, are solely responsible for our own happiness, even if hard choices need to be made to ensure this. We all have a line and when it's crossed, it's crossed and that's it. You are your own best advocate in every area of your life and it is up to YOU to do what makes YOU happy. Not anyone else.


One thing that makes me happy is writing. For me it is as much about creation as about escape. I love bringing characters and situations to life, and after a delayed bumpy road to commencing my third novel, I'm happy to say that it's firmly underway. Not an easy process (what is?), but a necessary one.

Breakfast writing by (Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse) candlelight. 

Breakfast writing by (Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse) candlelight. 

So on this black Friday, this black girl is writing a new narrative. She's a Thankful T indeed.

The journey to self

Some people ask me why I travel so much. My answer? Because I'm a curious nut and enjoy seeing the world. I love visiting friends everywhere and making new ones along the way - and immersing myself in another culture has always been of interest to me as well. As a teenager growing up in Joliet, IL, modeling took me to Chicago fairly frequently, which quenched my thirst for greater travel for I began to learn that my world could be bigger than the state of Illinois. After declining a track scholarship in Illinois to pursue modeling, I found myself in Paris, which was an eye-opener in many ways. My first time abroad, it was just me, my Let's Go book (my fellow Gen Xers will get that reference), and a metro map. And with those things I went on go-sees (model talk for castings) and began a new life. As this was pre-internet, mobile phones, and email (now I'm really dating myself here!), I only had my common sense and streets smarts - sharpened in Chicago - to get me through each day. Everyday seemed harder than the day before with the constant rejection, communication issues (my non-French speaking self), and money issues (read: flat broke), but through the tears, of which there were plenty, I also loved it. I learned more about myself navigating this cruel adult world known as high fashion, and came out better for it on the other side. I met really interesting people from different parts of the world, - some whom I'm still friends with today, learned how to grasp the layout of a new city quickly (getting constantly turned around on a foreign subway system will do that to you), and gained more confidence.

These skills would serve me well as my life would continue. Today when I'm anywhere in the world I have a better sense of how to communicate with people, even if I don't speak the language, can figure out a city fairly quickly and easily and have no problem exploring unknown territories alone. I would eventually work as Matt Damon's assistant for a few years and that involved a great amount of ad hoc international travel. Everything I learned in Chicago and during my time as a young model would help me in this job. My mom would come visit wherever we were and she was always amazed at how I seemingly would know a city like the back of my hand. Again, getting lost a few times in foreign countries will sharpen your sense of direction faster than anything else I know.

Takin' it down in Jamaica.

Takin' it down in Jamaica.

On a solo trip to St. Martin.

On a solo trip to St. Martin.

As I make my way through life going to and fro, I can always count on Delta to enhance my journey. I have had the best experiences with them and their customer service is so amazing at every level that I often look as forward to the actual flight as I do to the destination. I love them so much that I don't even consider other carriers anymore (besides their partners). They really are my jam.

Funnin' with Melissa in Ronda, Spain.

Funnin' with Melissa in Ronda, Spain.

On my own in Istanbul.

On my own in Istanbul.

So instead of sitting at home talking about going somewhere "someday" or "when you have someone to go with," go now. Get over to Delta.com, book a flight and just go. GO!

Yours in travel,

T

At the Big Buddha in Hong Kong.

At the Big Buddha in Hong Kong.

Getting down with Santa and Margot in Noosa, Australia. (Gotta love a warm Christmas.)

Getting down with Santa and Margot in Noosa, Australia. (Gotta love a warm Christmas.)

With Ms. Avery at O'Hare airport after her first Delta Flight, on which she did really good!

With Ms. Avery at O'Hare airport after her first Delta Flight, on which she did really good!



Tall T's in-air aural pleasures

I've been known to hop on a plane or two, and when I do, I have my go-to music for maximum aural pleasure. As a good amount of my travels are international, having the right music is important, and although my iPhone is full of good music, there are only a select few artists who really take me to another level in-flight, as well as on the ground.

1. Carly Simon

Hands down Carly is my favorite. She is such a talented singer/songwriter and I can always count on her songs - which tell such great stories - to transport me to another time and place. Her songs are sometimes voyeuristic, introspective, haunting and always affecting.

Carly. My ultimate favorite.

Carly. My ultimate favorite.


2. Jessie Ware

I was only turned on to the British star Jessie Ware less than a year ago, but have been hooked ever since. To me, she is a soulful mix of Sade and Adele. Also supremely talented, I find her songs to be deeply emotional, personal and elegiac. In an age of cyclical pop starlets, Jessie Ware is the real deal and I expect to be listening to her in many years time, unlike many of her contemporaries.

This album is the BOMB!

This album is the BOMB!

3. Steely Dan

I don't even know where to begin with Steely Dan. From Michael McDonald's collaboration with them on Peg, to The Fez, to Babylon Sisters, they are on their own elevated level. A perfect mix of blues, jazz, R&B, rock and funk, Steely Dan is who I turn to during the last hour or two of my flight, when I need to stir and come alive. They put a tap in my toe and pep in my step.

Aja: one of the best albums EVER.

Aja: one of the best albums EVER.

Tall T to take Big Ben

My oh my it's been a while since my last post here. Not that I haven't been busy reading, writing and doing a bit of travel (Seattle and San Fran, the latest), but have certainly fallen behind on posting here.

That's all in the past because I'm back! Your postin' fool.

Yes, I've kept my boarding passes over the years.

Yes, I've kept my boarding passes over the years.

Will be happy to soon collect a few more boarding passes as I'm gearing up for my next jaunt to London and Paris. I adore both cities and can't wait to return and give 'em the ole' Tall T perusal.

Proof that Tall T has been here, there, everywhere.

Proof that Tall T has been here, there, everywhere.

Stay tuned!

Happily hoping the pond,

Tx

As many as these are I still have lots more waiting to be framed.

As many as these are I still have lots more waiting to be framed.


Summer reading

One of the benefits of all the travel I did this summer was all the reading I was able to do.  I read on planes, trains, beaches, cars, hotels, everywhere.  Fortunately for me I love to read  so that escape was equally exciting as whatever adventure I having.

Reading is a constant learning experience and gives me a greater understanding of life and different cultures, just as travel does, enhancing my ability to be a citizen of the world. 

Books, books and more books!

Books, books and more books!

Knowing that in our busy world reading is a luxury, I'm blessed in that I actually get to do it largely uninterrupted.  I'm never without a book or magazine at any given time and will have my nose stuck in one whenever time allows - on the subway, in a queue, wherever. 

In addition to reading, my fall will be chock full of writing too, as both pleasures go hand in hand.

What I did on my summer vacation, by Trinette Faint.

My lordy have I been a travelin' fool and have had a most excellent summer thus far.  With trips to Greece, Maine, Boston, Cape Cod, Rhode Island and Toronto, I have been a frequent guest of Delta and Amtrak, and in my quest for maximizing summer, I have been majorly burning the candlesticks at both ends.

Down for a siesta in Greece.

Down for a siesta in Greece.

Cruisin' around the islands off Portland.

Cruisin' around the islands off Portland.

Enjoying a local summer brew in Boston w friends.

Enjoying a local summer brew in Boston w friends.

Having spent many years in Boston, I have very much enjoyed my New England visits of late, and was glad that I finally made it to Toronto to give it a once over.  It has been a great summer filled with friends, new experiences (skeet shooting!) and, perhaps most importantly, low humidity!  What a wonderful surprise that has been.

Popped off a few clay pigeons in Portland.  (Because that's what one does in Maine.)

Popped off a few clay pigeons in Portland.  (Because that's what one does in Maine.)

Toronto's Harbourfront Centre.

Toronto's Harbourfront Centre.

Funnin' on Block Island.

Funnin' on Block Island.

Out for a run on Quissett Beach in Falmouth.

Out for a run on Quissett Beach in Falmouth.

Sailing in Toronto.

Sailing in Toronto.

Defacing public property in Falmouth.

Defacing public property in Falmouth.

Lots of graffiti art in Toronto.

Lots of graffiti art in Toronto.

Out for a stroll with Cleo in Woods Hole.

Out for a stroll with Cleo in Woods Hole.

Horsin' around in front of my imagined beach home in Maine.

Horsin' around in front of my imagined beach home in Maine.

Fun in Falmouth.

Fun in Falmouth.

With a pair of my besties in Portland. 

With a pair of my besties in Portland. 

Maine yacht clubbin'.

Maine yacht clubbin'.

Hangin' w best friends on the cape.

Hangin' w best friends on the cape.

A little ferry fun on the Block Island ferry w a pair of my favorite lady lions.

A little ferry fun on the Block Island ferry w a pair of my favorite lady lions.

And a blog post from me wouldn't be complete if I didn't talk about food.  Let's just say I've been eating my way up and down the eastern seaboard!  Most notably, had the best oysters ever at Eventide Oyster in Portland, jerk chicken in Toronto, quahogs on the cape, and grilled pizza in Providence. 

Takin' down some jerk bird in Toronto.

Takin' down some jerk bird in Toronto.

Awaiting our pizza in Providence.

Awaiting our pizza in Providence.

Yummy quahog in Falmouth.

Yummy quahog in Falmouth.

Oysters at the Eventide in Portland.

Oysters at the Eventide in Portland.

With Andrew Taylor, Owner and chef at the Eventide.

With Andrew Taylor, Owner and chef at the Eventide.

You must go to the Eventide!

You must go to the Eventide!

Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle are next on the docket.  Looking forward to my adventures there!

 

Under the Grecian stars

Last week I had the honor of attending a wedding in Greece and it was one of the best, if not the best, celebrations of love I have ever borne witness to.  Held on the island of Andros at the Aneroussa Beach Hotel, the night was filled with magic, love, and inspiration, for it made me believe that I, too, could experience such joy in my life.  The last half of the nearly twelve hour event was topped off by dancing under the Grecian stars in the sand and surf. 

Boogying down in the surf.

Boogying down in the surf.

Dancers.  Photo credit @mablanc

Dancers.  Photo credit @mablanc

There was an infectious merriment by everyone in attendance.  The DJ kept the floor packed as he spun everything from Michael Jackson, to New Order to disco, to traditional Greek fare.  And the entrance of the couple by boat sneaking up to us in the night by a blaring David Bowie's Absolute Beginners announced them in a way I have never seen before and will never forget. 

George and Eforsini approach the reception by boat.

George and Eforsini approach the reception by boat.

During my stay on the island I also experienced a few firsts, namely jumping off a rocky cliff into the Aegean sea.  This was definitely something I'd never done before and certainly wasn't planned, but when in Rome, as the saying goes.  I also swam far [enough] out into the sea solo (a very big deal for me), tried rooster (reminiscent of a more intense chicken flavor), and downed a bit of Raki

Alright, maybe I had some Ouzo too.

Alright, maybe I had some Ouzo too.

Chillin' on a hot rock.

Chillin' on a hot rock.

Floatin' around.

Floatin' around.

Having been to the popular island of Mykonos previously while shooting Bourne Identity, Andros was distinct in that it was not overrun by tourists and had a more laid-back local vibe. 

A local beach.

A local beach.

Unspoiled by mass consumerism, a handful of local shops are all you'll find on Andros, thankfully.

Unspoiled by mass consumerism, a handful of local shops are all you'll find on Andros, thankfully.

Good food, good friends.

Good food, good friends.

Another fantastic meal.

Another fantastic meal.

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One of many ridiculously beautiful sunsets.

One of many ridiculously beautiful sunsets.

A lovely sunset stroll.

A lovely sunset stroll.

Can't go to Greece without seeing the Acropolis in Athens. 

Can't go to Greece without seeing the Acropolis in Athens. 

I will take Greece again any day and know that I will return soon.  Those Grecian stars want me to come back and dance in the surf yet again.

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Home.

As much as I travel, there's no place like home.  There's nothing like going home and hugging your mom and seeing your family.  There's nothing like the smell of your mom's cooking waking you up in the morning.  There's no place where a greater unconditional love exists. 

After surprising my mom at the O'Hare.

After surprising my mom at the O'Hare.

I went this to Joliet this past weekend to surprise my mom for her birthday and brought along a few friends from NYC.  We're always itching to get out of New York and a Midwestern house filled with love was just the ticket.  My mom is such a cool cat that she made my friends feel like her own daughters and the warmth was reciprocated at her surprise luncheon where her siblings and other family members showed up in full force to show their love.  It made me happy to see my mom so happy as the recipient of all the love she usually bestows on everyone else.

Me and my mom w some of her siblings.

Me and my mom w some of her siblings.

Beauties.

Beauties.

The trip was made more awesome by the amazing treatment my friend and I received on Delta.  Avery was traveling with me (her first plane ride!) and the Delta staff showered her with affection, and, most importantly, let her shower them with affection.  Avery is never one to not let a stranger know she is present, and the Delta staff indulged her little doggie whimsies, including a photo with the pilot after the flight.

Avery checking out the scene after woofin' w the agent while I checked her in.

Avery checking out the scene after woofin' w the agent while I checked her in.

Avery ponders going through security.

Avery ponders going through security.

On board, we had the best flight attendant who made us feel like we were in first class (the ample leg room and fancy nuts also helped) and he made us his specialty cocktail on the house.  Or on the cloud, as it were. 

Tucked away on board like a stowaway.

Tucked away on board like a stowaway.

Excited to meet the pilot!

Excited to meet the pilot!

There were a million little touch points along the way that reinforced my love for the brand.  So much so that my flying companion said she has been made a convert.  (My other friend flew another airline and did not get the star treatment we did...) To the genuine friendliness of everyone we came into contact with to the cleanliness and comfort of the cabin, we both can't wait to keep climbing with them.

Home and Delta are my jams!

Seeking words for my words

It's been awhile since my last post here I'll admit. I've been preoccupied with getting my creative consultancy, Faint Services Group, up and running and living my life, as I try to do from time to time.  The hustle never sleeps, as I like to say.

But about six weeks ago I began reworking a story that I originally wrote as a short some 12ish years ago, inspired by a trip to the Canal Street post office where I spied a couple in front of me and for whatever reason the words: "They would often wear their respective wedding bands so no one would wonder"...popped into my head.  Over the next few years I would go on to develop this thought into a short story that I would ultimately not like.  I've since decided to see what the characters were up to and rewrite the character's Meredith and Elliot's story, for they have never left my consciousness.  So in mid-April I put pen to paper–or fingers to the keyboard, as it were–and began recreating their story only to get stuck.  After twenty or so pages my mind drew a blank.  A big one.  In that negative space I realized that perhaps I need to read more before I can continue to write.  (This has happened before and a healthy reading break has always broken my block.)

As I've never been the kind of writer who writes everyday, as that method has never worked for me, I decided to take a step back and focus on reading for a while.  I subscribe to a barrage of periodicals (all the major fashion glossies and a few more higher-browed reads: The Atlantic, New Yorker, New York, The Paris Review) and ordered up a few not-really-beach-reads from Amazon: Graham Greene, Philip Roth, John Updike, Rachel Kushner and Salman Rushdie, along with fun reads by Nancy Thayer and Ruth Reichl.

My summer homework assignment.

My summer homework assignment.

I began to read in earnest and feel closer now to revisiting Meredith and Elliot.  What are they up to?  I couldn't tell you, but I will be able to soon thanks to the literary inspiration I've gotten as of late.

Basically, everyone's process is different.  Some people can write everyday without fail, and others, like me, sometimes need to take a step back when we're blocked and allow ourselves the time to read other bodies of work in hopes that it inspires our own.  And now as I gear up for my rapidly approaching trip to Greece, I'm pleased to know that my mind will be flooded with a diverse array of stories as I partake in a bit of beach laissez-fairin' that will contribute to enriching my overall writing experience when I return.

Reading Graham Greene's The Quiet American during a recent holiday on St. Martin.

Reading Graham Greene's The Quiet American during a recent holiday on St. Martin.


HKG in NYC

If it's one thing I love, it's international travel.  So when I was invited to a Cathay Pacific event tonight promoting their new EWR - HKG route–which I'll be sure to fly soon, I was more than pleased to attend.

Held at the Skymodern in Chelsea, there was an offering of Asian culinary delights as well as many refreshing bevvies.  'Twas a lil piece of HKG in NYC.

With a Cathay Pacific employee.

With a Cathay Pacific employee.

With Eric Odone of Cathay Pacific and Yvette Dale from Ultramar Travel.

With Eric Odone of Cathay Pacific and Yvette Dale from Ultramar Travel.

With Dan Kramer from the airline.

With Dan Kramer from the airline.

With some culinary delights from the event.

With some culinary delights from the event.

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St. Maarten sunnin'

Ah, the Caribbean.  Pristine water.  Warm temps.  Friendly people.  Good food.  As dreamlike as that sounds for a frozen New Yorker, it was my reality for a few days!  Needing a major break from Mother Nature's relentless icy cold snowy tricks this winter, I booked a last-minute trip to Saint Maarten where all the above adjectives would prove true.

Nothing says paradise quite like a beach, beer, and mag.

Nothing says paradise quite like a beach, beer, and mag.

From brown to browner.

From brown to browner.

Some would say I live a charmed life that allows me to jet off to such a place more or less at the last minute, but I'd like to think that it has more to do with working hard so that such things are possible.  I am blessed to have the ability to have such adventures on a semi regular basis, but it is possible for anyone if your finances are in order and you bust your hump to live the life you want.  It is never easy or free, but it is within reach.  Like most everything else in life, there are no shortcuts.  If you want to travel and see the world you've got to get up everyday and put in the work so you can reward yourself.

Seaside delights.

Seaside delights.

After a five-day respite of sunnin' and funnin' with my new friends made there, I can better handle what had better be the end of Mother Nature's bag of cruel tricks, and look forward to spring, which is almost here!

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

Beachin'.

Beachin'.

Even met the captain of a ship!

Even met the captain of a ship!

Photography exhibit

Hey stranger,

Sorry for the lapse in posting, but it's been one heck of a month.

Hope you can join my photography reception next Thursday, February 27th at 6pm at the Baboo Gallery in New York.  I'm excited to show my work again after all this time.

Hope to see you!

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Well THAT was fun!

After a long sojourn to the other side of the world and back, I'm happy to report that my trip to Australia and Asia was rip-roarin' good fun.  I am blessed enough to have friends all over the globe and this trip was no different, as I spent the holidays with my good friend Margot and her family on Bribie Island in Queensland, Australia  and she and I went on to bring in 2014 in Hong Kong. 

Margot and I on beautiful Bribie Island.

Margot and I on beautiful Bribie Island.

What a wonderful trip it was!  Warm temps, sun, surf, amazing food (lots cooked by Margot's lovely parents), reconnecting with old friends in Oz and making new ones, and just all around goodness.

Enjoying a day trip to the seaside resort town of Moolooaba.

Enjoying a day trip to the seaside resort town of Moolooaba.

It was certainly a trip for the books and I will carry it in my heart back now that I'm back to my day-to-day reality in wintry New York!

Visiting her brother and sister-in-law's horse farm near Flaxton.

Visiting her brother and sister-in-law's horse farm near Flaxton.

Nature's creation.

Nature's creation.

On the streets of Hong Kong.

On the streets of Hong Kong.

Visiting the Big Buddha.

Visiting the Big Buddha.

Big pictures of food.  Me likey.

Big pictures of food.  Me likey.

At the Po Lin Monastery.

At the Po Lin Monastery.

Brisbane bound!

The countdown to my Australian/Asian adventure is on!  In a few short days I will depart JFK to Brisbane where I will spend the holidays with my good friend and her family on beautiful Bribie Island.  I feel so fortunate and blessed to be spending time with her and a few other Aussie friends I haven't seen in a while.  (The last time I was in Oz it happened to be 9/11.  What an experience that was, but that's another blog post.)

I shall be this excited very soon.

I shall be this excited very soon.

As it will be summer down under, I've been putting in extra time at the gym getting "bikini ready".  (Much easier said than done during this cold snap when all I want to do is comfort myself with steak and cabernet.)  But, alas, I soldier on and do what needs to be done.  Sigh.

Getting my exercise whenever and however I can.

Getting my exercise whenever and however I can.

After Brisbane we will boogie up to Hong Kong where we will rock in New Years in style.  (Hopefully, I won't be as jet-lagged as I was last year in HK when I was falling asleep at dinner tables.  Seriously.)

Just before I nodded off at a dinner in HK last year.

Just before I nodded off at a dinner in HK last year.

All the extra squats, lunges, punches, sprints and salads will be worth it as soon as I slither into my new bikini and my tootsies touch that beautiful sand, despite the long crazy arse flight to get there.

Some of the things that will be in my bag: magazines, makeup, sexy sandals, vitamin c packs (must stay healthy), and my iPad with pics of Ms. Avery.

Some of the things that will be in my bag: magazines, makeup, sexy sandals, vitamin c packs (must stay healthy), and my iPad with pics of Ms. Avery.

With my soon-to-be-had kangaroo and Buddha adventures, this will be a jammin' way to bring in 2014!

Happy holidays all and be safe!

xo

Goodbye this...

Goodbye this...

Hello this!

Hello this!

Writing the wave...

Last weekend I returned to my hometown for a book signing that took place at my parent's restaurant, Louisiana BBQ, in Joliet, IL.  I reconnected with friends and family that I haven't seen in a minute because I am not home these days too often.  But no matter.  I was welcomed with opened arms and loved only as a prodigal daughter could be loved–that is to say wholly and warmly.

My hometown crew accepted me as a writer and bought my book and praised my first one.  (What a nice surprise to learn that many had also enjoyed Collette's Caleb and very much looked forward to MidCoast Star. )

I don't say it enough, but I love my Joliet friends and family and am grateful for their continued support of my endeavors.  They make going back home that much easier.

Love to them all.

After waiting out a weather delay in NYC, I was finally on my way to Chi-town.

After waiting out a weather delay in NYC, I was finally on my way to Chi-town.

Yay! Happy to be in Chicago even if it was freezing.

Yay! Happy to be in Chicago even if it was freezing.

Resting up the night before the signing with a book, my parent's dogs, and my childhood dolls. We were cozied up good!

Resting up the night before the signing with a book, my parent's dogs, and my childhood dolls. We were cozied up good!

With one of my English teachers from junior high, Barbara Eberhard, or Ms. Porazinski as she was known then, at the Camera House, her now business that she runs with her husband, Steve.

With one of my English teachers from junior high, Barbara Eberhard, or Ms. Porazinski as she was known then, at the Camera House, her now business that she runs with her husband, Steve.

With some friends from high school.  Go Steelmen!

With some friends from high school.  Go Steelmen!

With another former teacher, Flora Betts.

With another former teacher, Flora Betts.

Props to the Herald News for promoting the event.  

Props to the Herald News for promoting the event.
 

My beautiful mommy serving up BBQ during the event.

My beautiful mommy serving up BBQ during the event.

Fashion show producer and writer Mohra Gavankar, who used to hire me for runway shows back in my day, showed her love.

Fashion show producer and writer Mohra Gavankar, who used to hire me for runway shows back in my day, showed her love.

Cousins!

Cousins!

Having too much fun!

Having too much fun!

Book signing this Saturday!

Hello folks!

My beautiful mom is hosting a book signing for me this Saturday Dec 7th at 1pm at her restaurant, Louisiana BBQ 1220 Richards Street, Joliet, IL.  Come on down and show your support.  Have a meal and buy a book!

Hope to see you!

Get your signed copy on Saturday, or you can always order on Amazon.

Get your signed copy on Saturday, or you can always order on Amazon.

Me and Momma T!

Me and Momma T!

Reading list

In addition to traveling and generally enjoying life this past summer, I also caught up on some reading, which is my absolute favorite hobby.  I feel stale and deficient if I am not reading anything new or if I don't have a book in my bag when I leave home, and of course I never get on a plane or train without one.

I am a lover of the written word and treasure the feel of a physical book over a digital one.  Nothing against the e-readers of the world, but I'm an old fashioned paper girl.  

Herewith are a few of the titles I devoured over the last few months, with favorites being Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann, The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene and The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler. 

Looking forward to more diverse reading this fall as well.   Anita Shreve is my favorite novelist and I am excited to read her forthcoming novel, Stella Bain, to be released in early November.

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Tall T's Mexican adventure

I'm a firm believer that one of the great joys in life is experiencing different cultures and pushing oneself out of one's comfort zone.  In no way is that more possible than through travel.

With a member of Mexico's PBI, Peace Brigade International. 

With a member of Mexico's PBI, Peace Brigade International. 

I recently went to Mexico City to celebrate my birthday as I was looking for a unique cultural experience, and the cosmopolitan vibrant city did not disappoint.  I'd previously visited Mexico's beach areas–Baja, Riviera Maya, Cabo–and this go round wanted something electrifying and enlightening.

 

At the Teotihuacan Pyramids north of Mexico City. 

At the Teotihuacan Pyramids north of Mexico City. 

I enjoyed many culinary delights along with just a bit of Mezcal...

Takin' it down at the seafood joint Fisher's.

Takin' it down at the seafood joint Fisher's.

Enjoying the good company of my friends. 

Enjoying the good company of my friends. 

Tasty octopus at Los Canarios on the famed Avenida Presidente Masaryk in the Polanco district. 

Tasty octopus at Los Canarios on the famed Avenida Presidente Masaryk in the Polanco district. 

It was a perfect birthday weekend!

Birthday cake! 

Birthday cake!