DSC_0169

April was fantastic, but the absolute highlight of the month was running my first half marathon!

DSC_0157

Of course, there were several moments that tied for a close second.

On one warm Wednesday afternoon, I went straight to Epcot after work to meet Josh and my grandparents for dinner in Italy at the World Showcase.

(For any vegan readers I may have, Via Napoli has pizza crust and sauce that is good enough to make up for the lack of cheese–we ordered mushrooms and truffle oil as toppings, and it was delicious!)

DSC_0304

A few days later, Josh and I headed to Bradenton for a relaxing weekend with my grandparents before they packed and headed back north for the summer.

DSC_0417

Near the end of the month, Josh and I went on a photography outing in Celebration and through a few Disney resorts and the World Showcase. I used the dew-covered flowers as an opportunity to work on my macro game, and I also found a few bird friends along the way.

DSC_0466

DSC_0427

DSC_0433.JPG

What I’ve Been Reading

Another light month on reading.

Dragonwings by Laurence Yep: This was a quick read about a young boy in the early 1900s who moves from rural China to San Francisco, where he meets his father for the first time. My classes read excerpts of it as we worked on analyzing the themes of family, friendship, and courage, and I just wish we’d had time to read the whole book, because I think a lot of aspects would have been eye-opening for my students.

DSC_0447

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: This was simultaneously light and heavy–it was a fast read but packed a big punch by the ending. It was a wonderful book about books, and I definitely recommend it to my fellow bibliophiles.

DSC_0560

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: This didn’t capture my imagination as much as I’d hoped, but I loved the concept. The author had a collection of vintage photos that he used throughout the book  to tell the story of the main character who travels to a small Welsh island and discovers another world. Glad I read this before the movie comes out, and I’m interested to see how the story translates to the big screen.

What I’ve Been Watching

Daredevil: As Marvel enthusiasts, Josh and I had to tune into the new season on Netflix, but it took a lot of the month to make it through, as I didn’t find it as binge-worthy as most of our Netflix shows. This show just feels male-centric and very visually dark (it’s hard to see what’s happening, though I’m sure part of that is intentional since the main character is blind). I was really rooting for Karen’s sleuthing skills, and I did find the introduction of The Punisher really interesting, but there was so much going on that I really stopped caring what would happen outside of those 2 characters.

Mona Lisa Smile: I remember watching this when I was way too young to understand what was going on, but after finishing a whole season of Daredevil, I wanted a movie driven by female characters, and this movie delivered. I really enjoyed the glimpse into what the all-girl’s school would have been like in the 1950s.

Dead Poets Society: Of course after watching the above movie and having recently listened to a podcast about this film, it was time to re-watch. Plus, Josh had never seen it before, so I had to show him this other movie about a conservative school in the 50s. Carpe diem!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Josh and I powered through the new season of this show as I recovered from my half marathon injuries. Such an upbeat, quirky show with weird yet relatable characters!

Princess Bride: Just a PSA to my lovely readers that this is on Netflix! I immediately watched it once I discovered it there.

What I’ve Been Listening To

I haven’t had time for any audiobooks lately, but I’ve been inundated with some quality podcasts that I thought were worth mentioning.

Dead Poets Society with Kurt Leitner” on the I Was There Too podcast: It was interesting to hear about what filming on this movie was like.

Episode 187: Elizabeth Gilbert” on the Longform podcast: Ever since reading Gilbert’s Big Magic, I have been very interested in her, and I was fascinated to learn more about her writing life in this podcast. (I’m almost inspired enough to give Eat, Pray, Love another try!)

Is Yellowstone in Danger of Being ‘Loved To Death’?” on the Fresh Air podcast: I love learning about national parks, and I was really shocked to learn that Yellowstone saw sordid practices in the not-so-distant past that reminded me of certain parts of tourism in Indonesia. The craziest example of this is that apparently, there was a show every evening where tourists gathered around the dumpsters to watch the bears come and eat garbage. I’m so glad that there are people who have worked hard to end practices like that, and I appreciate those who are still fighting that fight in other places.

Radio Hour: Bathtub Sailor, Seamstress, Spy” on The Moth podcast: The Moth is a treasure trove of wonderful stories, and I particularly liked this collection. The wit of the man who sailed the English Channel in a bathtub was especially amusing.

On the Blog

Still only getting around to writing about every other week.

Love, Elizabeth