my year in cities and towns, 2017

showing the foot of a wooden bed with a crane photo on the wall behind it.

Last year I spent a lot of time away from home but it wasn’t great for travel per se. I spent nearly two solid month’s at my mom’s place before and after she died. I can’t quite say that I enjoyed it, but being in one place, in that place, was useful for me. 2018 is going to be a year of less travel I think. I’ve got two airplane trips planned and I’m not planning to add any more.

Here are all the places. Seven states. Three provinces. Stars indicate multiple visits to the exact same place. Past years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

  1. Niceville FL – a great way to kick off the year with some sunshine and friendly librarians
  2. Cambridge MA* – Deb’s place is always good for the soul
  3. Toronto ON – a weird AirBnB and a great visit
  4. Toronto ON – Gabe’s duplex was a better resting place
  5. Stow MA* – chilling post-Superbowl at Kate’s
  6. Westport MA* – planned to spend more time here than I actually did
  7. Montreal QC – a catsit and a trip that was supposed to be a vacation with Jim
  8. Crystal City VA – a fun library conference and a chance to see a lot of library friends
  9. Washington DC – MeFites put me up and showed me the town, so lovely
  10. Brooklyn NY* – wound up here twice, the couch is fine but the love is great
  11. Brooklyn NY – hamsters!
  12. Weir’s Beach NH – Fun Spot was one of the year’s highlights
  13. Cambridge MA – another catsit, another funny little bed
  14. Concord NH – I spent a lot of time sleeping not far from home
  15. Boxboro MA* – moved in and did not leave for a while
  16. Edmonton AB – a great conference center
  17. Edmonton AB – the swank apartment of an old family friend
  18. Baraboo WI – place was as weird as it seems but the conference was grand
  19. Saratoga Springs NY – Liked this Hilton, loved this conference

my year in cities and towns, 2016

hotel commonwealth guestroom

Here are photos of the places I slept in 2016. I only took airplanes twice for travel last year (once to London and points south and once to San Francisco) so a lot of these places are closer to home. There was also a treehouse. And a very fancy hotel in Boston. And a place with no running water up a mountain near me. And one redeye flight. Lots of multiple visits. Two real vacations. Summer at #dadshouse. Twenty-seven places that were not my place or a family member’s place. You can tell I’ve ramped up traveling when you compare it to last year.

Eleven states. Three UK locations. Stars indicate multiple visits to the exact same place. AirBnB links for your convenience. Past years: 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

  1. Boston at the Waterfront Westin – right by ALA
  2. Cambridge at Deb’s house* – comes with excellent cats
  3. Washington DC at the Saint Gregory – a porch I wish I used more
  4. Washington DC at Mary Early’s place – small and quiet, escaped right before Snowmageddon
  5. Westport MA* – I think I have slept in four or five beds in this house this year
  6. Washington DC Hilton – excellent hotel, got a terrible cold by having the AC on for a week
  7. Amherst MA – did a panel at my alma mater (Hampshire) and stayed with friends
  8. Stow MA* – Kate’s house, always love staying here
  9. Braintree VT – there was a humming noise at my house so I stayed at a friend’s place for a little bit
  10. Dunbarton NH – Treehouse! Sounded more fun than it was. (AirBnB link)
  11. Albany NY – the start of the “weird AirBnB places” road trip (AirBnB link)
  12. Buffalo NY – where I learned to sleep with an AC unit three feet from my head (AirBnB link)
  13. Huron OH – stayed in two different rooms, great place, noisy train
  14. Gary IN – a great little place right near the beach (AirBnB link)
  15. Chicago IL – Eamon Daly’s Murder Room
  16. Zwingle IA – a town of 91 people (AirBnB link)
  17. Michigan City INĀ  – a weird motel but I liked it!
  18. Barkeyville PA – sort of a trailer, sort of the best AirBnB we stayed in (AirBnB link)
  19. London UK – more odd AirBnBs, this one had a library thing going on (AirBnB link)
  20. Okehampton UK – fancy but not my kind of fancy (AirBnB link)
  21. Windsor UK – near the airport, strictly decent and small (AirBnB link)
  22. Boston MA – why wasn’t this place better? It looks amazing.
  23. Painted Post NY – looks like not much but was the best!
  24. Burlington VT – staying with friends before a flight
  25. San Francisco CA – weird but my kind of place (AirBnB link)
  26. Berkeley CA – the au pair’s room
  27. Airplane – redeye on the way home
  28. Salisbury NH – my librarian pal’s house where I watched the Cubs win
  29. Cambridge MA – Sheraton Commander is a great hotel


my year in cities and towns, 2015

mattress on floor, groton ct

Here are photos of the places I slept in 2015. Another short list. Now that I’ve solidly put my dad’s place on the my “projects and hobbies” todo list, I travel to other non-dad’s-place places less. So even though I didn’t go to too many places in 2015, I was away from home for several months. Which was fine.

Here’s the short list. Twelve places plus an airplane, six different states, one non-US country. Stars indicate multiple visits to the exact same place. Past years: 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

  1. Stow MA* – stayed at Kate’s place quite a few times, very nice guestroom, constantly improving.
  2. Aboard a British Airways flight – we got upgraded to business class, very nice.
  3. London UK – I got the bottom bunk in the tiny bunk bed room and found it quite to my liking.
  4. Westport MA* – stayed in a few different beds in this house (three? five?) and was here most of the summertime
  5. Raleigh NC – visited Steve and Heather and went on an actual vacation
  6. Amherst MA – saw Matthew and Michelle on my way down to Connecticut
  7. Groton CT – decided to stay in an AirBnB instead of a hotel, it was … fun and weird (and htis is me deciding to sleep in a hallway, the place itself is quite nice)
  8. Burlington VT* – saw Dave and Linda when I was in Vermont for VLA and again for ComicCon
  9. Boxboro MA – visited Mom when I was planning to stay in a hotel with Jim and the hotel was full of children. Good decision.
  10. Bangor Maine (2) – gave a talk to a bunch of fun librarians and had SO many pillows. Stayed at a hotel across the street the next time.
  11. Pasadena CA (2) – stayed with a friend and then at a snazzy hotel while I was there for CLA

my year in cities and towns, 2014

Here are photos of the places I slept in 2014. I know I didn’t keep photo-track of the guestrooms I stayed in during 2013, but I didn’t know it had been so long since I’d made a blog post about them. A few years? I’ve been traveling less (and enjoying it more) so a lot of last year was just me going to Westport or my sister’s place. A few notable trips: first visit to London and an epic journey to Mackinac Island.

Here’s the list, it’s short. I decided to stop talking about traveling less and just … travel less. Sixteen places, six different states, two non-US countries. Stars indicate multiple visits to the exact same place. Past years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

Westport MA* – visting/summering
Sun City West AZ – to see Jim’s folks
Manhattan, NY – library talk
Brooklyn NY – returning from library talk & visiting
Stow MA* – visting
Amherst MA – memorial service
Kewadin MI – Michael’s house
St Ignace MI – en route to talk
Mackinac Island MI – library talk
Montreal QC – heading home from library talk
Duluth MN – library talk
Ashfield MA – library talk
London UK – Wikimania
Brandon VT – wedding
Vicksburg MS – library talk
Sturbridge MA – library talk


The To Read pile - 1/1/12

So yesterday was the first and since I’d felt like I’d been totally social all week I had a don’t-leave-the-house day and just cleaned up all the silted-in crap that had been lingering on the “one of these days…” lists. So I got the vacuum out, and framed and hung some photos that had been sitting around, and piled all the “to read” books into one big pile, and cleaned the yik off of the dish drainer, and mailed off some overdue notes and papers and stuff, and put away some stuff that really should go away. It was great. I even got the rowing machine out and flailed around on it a bit. I was also able to blow my nose finally according to doctor’s orders. Gross but fascinating!

I woke up today in a house that didn’t seem like a project. It’s easy to blame the short grey days and prednisone and holiday eating for feeling sluggish and unmotivated, but that doesn’t really help with the actual getting up and getting stuff done part. Internet people have taught me that “fake it until you make it” tends to work for things like this, so I got up and got dressed as if I actually had stuff to do and sure enough, got stuff done.

The exercise thing is more of a small part of my life now than it was back when I was swimming at least a few miles a week. I had another shoulder problem this year which was probably brought on by NOT swimming as much (I think it corrects for some of my over-mousing). That, combined with the nose stuff and bereavement/travel stuff made it a pokey year, exercise-wise. That said, it looks like I didn’t even do an end-of-the-year exercise post last year. My goal this year is to do a few miles of something every week, and I’m happy that I have four pleasant choices of ways to do that.

Am also focusing on Albatross List tasks including things like Sell My House and Get Stuff from Indiana [formerly Seattle] and both are proceeding but if you have help/suggestions, I’m all ears. Thanks. And happy new year.

my year in cities and towns, 2011

photos of the beds I've slept in, in 2011

Here is where I stayed this year. Last year I said I’d be working towards less travel. And my travel-for-work was down significantly. However my travel-for-family was up a lot [for both good and bad reasons] and that seemed to level it out. Ninety-nine days away from home. Almost all of it in Massachusetts, but a few visits to Michigan and Texas and Maine. Did not leave the country.

As before, stars indicate multiple visits to the same place. Numbers indicate number of distinct guestrooms at each geographic location. Different beds in the same house are, for all intents and purposes, one “guestroom” but perhaps multiple photos. Past years: 2010, 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

Belmont, MA *
Westport, MA *
Austin, TX (3)
Somerville, MA
Danvers, MA
Stamford, CT
Cambridge, MA (2)
Portland, OR (2)
Hood River, OR
Boxboro, MA
Lewisville, TX
Decatur, TX
Irving, TX
Stow, MA
Lubec, ME
Bar Harbor, ME
Augusta, ME
Burlington, VT
Ann Arbor, MI
Milwaukee, WI
Kalamazoo, MI
Pittsboro, NC
Raleigh, NC
Grand Rapids, MI

my year in cities and towns, 2010


Places I stayed in 2010. You’ll notice the list is significantly shorter and almost all of it takes place in one of three states: Vermont, Massachusetts (Westport, Amherst, Belmont, and Boxboro) and Florida. I only left the country once overnight. Nine different states, one province. This is some sort of progress. This coming year my plans are more or less the same. Somewhat less travel, fewer airplane rides, see how that feels.

As before, stars indicate multiple visits to the exact same place. Numbers indicate number of distinct guestrooms at each location. Past years: 2009, 2008 2007, 2006, 2005.

Belmont, MA (2) *
Niceville, FL
Grayton Beach State Park, FL
Westport, MA *
Orange Park, FL
Boxboro, MA *
Austin, TX (2)
Anchorage AK (2)
Corda Bella, AZ
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Cepachet, NY
Amherst, MA *
Brooklyn, NY
Lantana, FL
Indianapolis, IN
Burlington, VT
Hanover, NH
Regina, SK