We are in Augusta, MO, and Cristal is cooking dinner as I write. After a journey of over 300 miles, somewhat lengthened by the need to detour a flooded road, we have arrived at a vacation rental in wine country: a whole cottage with well-fitted kitchen. One of the worries of traveling for seven weeks is WEIGHT and how not to put more on. Cristal, of course, is fine; she is training for a half-marathon and is skinny as a rail. She works out or runs every single morning except one per week, and can currently eat like a horse without putting on an ounce. Me, well, that’s a different story. But her routine has encouraged me to follow her to the gym most days when one is available, and to eat as healthily as I can. This is difficult; if there is a fine restaurant within 2 miles of any accommodation in which we are staying, we head there for dinner—we are hard core foodies! The huge amount of walking we’ve been doing has helped and, so far, my jeans have not got any tighter. Unfortunately, after yesterday’s double meal with the fried chicken at Gus’, and a lunch today at a Cajun restaurant in Cape Geradieu, MO, we are crying for vegetables and a low-calorie meal. Soooo…thank you, Walmart, thank you Cristal, and thank you brussel sprouts!
About the Author
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born, instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK. She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit. Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC. She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 25 ranches throughout the west. Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards. Dearest Darling, a novella, part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, came out Oct. 8th 2014 and won Favorite Hero as well as several honorable mentions in the Maple Leaf Awards. It has also won the Golden Quill Award for Best Novella. Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, came out Feb. 2015.
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