Monday, June 22, 2020

A Midsummer Daydream

By: Marcia King-Gamble
www.lovemarcia.com


Ok, so it’s not midsummer yet in the USA, but can’t a woman still dream? Sweden, though, is celebrating its midsummer (midsommar) considered one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. And why not? It’s a country of two seasons; winter and summer.


Midsommar is there welcome to summer, and not the literal meaning of mid. Locals pick flowers and create floral crowns which they wear throughout the days. Folklore has it, if you place seven types of flowers under your pillow, you will dream about your future spouse. Wish I had known that way back when.

Anyway, with the kind of year we’ve had so far, we’re all entitled to dreams.  Big ones. Little ones.  Over the top ones. Romantic ones…. Bring them all on.

In past summers, I’ve traveled the country and the world, but this June, given our semi-lockdown status, like you, I’m stuck at home. Travel these days mean a fourteen-day quarantine, and who needs that? So, instead I’d like to share some of my favorite places. You may want to add them to your bucket list.



Come June, I think of places like Santorini, Greece (easily one of the most romantic places in the world,) Alaska (been there several times,) Copenhagen (could easily move there,) and Russia (beautiful and a whole other world.) These trips were both vacation and work.



Like most writers, I have a day job. My day job just happens to be in the travel industry. Covid, as you know, hit my industry badly. So, this year, Alaska for work or play is definitely out of the question. Past summers it was an old stomping ground. Seeing it by land, air and sea is unbeatable. That I could actually live there, surprises even me.  I’ve been to many Alaskan cities, places like: Juneau, Ketchigan, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, Sitka etc.. I’ve even taken a train to Denali. Yet my favorite city remains Skagway; Gateway to the Goldrush. My imagination goes wild there, and the Red Onion Brothel Tour is a favorite of mine. Nothing more appealing than enterprising women who know how to make a buck. Oh, the tales the rooms in that brothel could tell.



If you’ve not been to Santorini, Greece, put that on your dreamer list. I first went there on a cruise ship. A writer friend hosts an annual retreat that showcases that little piece of paradise. It helps that she’s Greek, because seeing the real Santorini and not the island the tourists know is a treat. Sadly, this year’s Write-In was canceled because of the Covid situation that has us all on lockdown. But I am here to tell you that sitting at the top of a majestic cliff, at day's end, aperitif in hand, watching the sun turn the water to spun gold, is pure magic, and an experience you will never forget.



Next up is Copenhagen, charming as can be. It’s Hans Christian Andersen’s country, and easily the city of my heart. Why? It boils down to two words, picturesque and enchanting. Think fairytale.



Nothing like climbing down those rocks to get up close and personal to the Little Mermaid. Here, with the sun setting, closer to 10pm  than 7pm, active people stay out and about, hiking, biking, running, skating and dining. Outdoor fairs, offer ancient books and beautiful artwork. One of my fondest memories is a visit to Amalienborg Palace which is home to Denmark’s royal family. There I flirted with a guard who flirted right back, though he reminded me to keep a respectful social distance.  Perhaps some of my fascination with this lovely city is the attention I get. Most women are tall, slender, and blonde. I am tall, slender, but blonde I am not. Hence the novelty of the dark skin.




Onto St. Petersburg, Russia. This vast enchanting city holds you captive from the first time you lay eyes on it. It’s become quite westernized now. Years ago, you could buy the world for a good pair of Levi’s, not so much anymore. But what a history lesson you will get. A visit to the Summer and Winter Gardens are nothing less than spectacular. Try floating down a canal or two  in an enclosed glass boat, while eyeballing historical buildings you’ve only read about. 

There’s a reason it’s called The Venice of the North, and not because of its abundance of canals, but because of its roman architecture. A visit to The Hermitage leaves you breathless, but a trip on the subway will leave you speechless. I have never in my life seen so many people, not even in New York, and the amazing artwork is awe inspiring.



There you have it, and now you know about some of my favorite June haunts. So whether socially isolating or just distancing, you too can dream a little dream, or maybe not.


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By Heart - A July release




About Marcia King-Gamble

Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, and caring for her animal family.

Visit Marcia's website and be sure to sign up for her mailing list. Or “friend” her on Facebook.

18 comments:

  1. What great pictures and memories. You can get have such wonderful settings for your books plus remembering all the fun you had. Thanks for sharing. Happy Travels again, soon.

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  2. Thanks, Nora for stopping by. Travel has been a fabulous finishing school for me and has saved me much in research time. As you so nicely put, it the memories do live on, and will forever.

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  3. You have been so many places. Copenhagen and Alaska and Greece are absolutely on my list. It's been hard to stay inside and not go places, and that's saying a lot for me. I am a bit of a homebody, but I like to be able to get out and go places every once in a while. Copenhagen is at the TOP of my list, and after hearing you describe it, I can't wait to go. I enjoyed learning more about you, and look forward to By Heart!

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  4. Thanks Kara. I have many pics of Copenhagen and an interesting romance story to tell. Sadly, it didn't work out, but it was fun while it lasted. Travel every opportunity you can. Can't wait for lockdown to be over with.

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  5. These places all sound great!! Greece is definitely on my list. Must be all the romances I read when I was a kid of Greek Tycoons sweeping ladies off their feet!

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  6. Well the men in Greece are certainly charming, Kari. I get a lot of flirtatious comments because my middle name is Athena. You have to go to the Greek Islands.

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  7. Fab post Marcia. We share the love of travel, We came later to it, but that just means we have lots more to do! And we will...as soon as we can. Lovely to have you here!

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  8. Thanks Bonnie for dropping by and your kind words. I started off my working life as a flight attendant, fresh out of college. Now travel is in the blood. Wouldn't it be fun if once this Covid is over with, the Gems set up their own writing retreat. Somewhere exotic of course.

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  9. Great book cover. Seeing the potter's wheel immediately made me think of the movie "Ghost." That's a good thing in the minds of romance readers! Loved the pictures and commentary. You make me want to pack a bag and head for the airport or the cruise terminal.

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    1. Thought I had responded Joan, apparently not, or forgot to publish is more like it. I never did think of the potter's wheel as a great marketing tool. Thanks for the tip. Once this pandemic is over with, we really should think about a writer's retreat. I am itching to pack my bags to anywhere.

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  10. Love your post. Thanks for sharing some of your travel adventures. I am totally in favor of a Gems retreat.

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    1. Thanks Kathleen. We would make great travel buds. As you know, I am always up for adventure. Where should the gems go? Victoria would be lovely, but sort of a staycation for you.

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  11. Thank you for the armchair visit to such great places! I especially think I need to take the Red Onion Brothel Tour. And I do love a good writing retreat.

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  12. Hi Liz,

    Absolutely, take that Red Onion Tour. There's also the Red Onion Saloon,a fun place to have a drink. The brothel tour will get your creative juices flowing, and they do sell some interesting brothel souvenirs. Of course we have to plan that writing retreat when life goes back to near normal.

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  13. What a wonderful jaunt through some of your travels, Marcia! Since there is no traveling for me this summer either (I used to travel A LOT for my day job too) I'm living vicariously through your post. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. We'll have to chat and compare the places we've been, Maddie. Maybe next summer we'll be traveling again. Staycations can be fun though.

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  15. I envy you all your travels, Marcia! My hero and I have wanted to visit Alaska but never got around to it. Now I suspect our traveling days are over as his Parkinson's worsens. We've had some great vacations, though.

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  16. Ah, Caroline I have many, many pics of Alaska. Happy to share with you and your hero, any time. Alaska is a special place.

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