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January 29, 2006

Time Traveler's Wife: Timelines

Back in November I read and enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, for a book club I'm in.

Preparing for the book club meeting, I decided to prepare timelines to help me understand the book's structure, which is interesting to say the least. The main character is in love with a man who has episodes in which he travels in time. In an interview, Niffenegger said she had timelines for each character while she was writing the book, and I decided to prepare the same to understand it.

Don't look at these timelines unless you've read the book -- spoilers abound!

Each timeline is in PDF format:
Chronological Timeline: download | view online
Clare's Timeline: download | view online
Henry's Timeline: download | view online

Please let me know if you enjoy these materials, and please suggest any revisions or suggestions by commenting on this blog post or emailing <ttwife at fivewells.com>.

EDIT 2010/09/08: Added links to view timelines online in Google Docs.

Posted by ljh at 7:29 PM

January 9, 2006

road trip pictures

Okay, the pictures from the road trip are up. You can view them all in the photo gallery.

Here are some selected highlights:

Mississippi River: bridges, cannons, Jack

Cypress Swamp: sign, Jack, shadows on water, Allison, trail, uprooted tree, moss, cypress knees, tree eye

French Camp: Allison with friend

Elvis Birthplace: chapel, Jack with Elvis, house, museum

Old Trace: Allison

Maker's Mark: labelling, dipping, cooper tools, barrels, Allison, mash tub, distillation storage, mash fermentation, mash close-up, Jack

Posted by ljh at 9:36 AM

January 8, 2006

Road Trip Report, Day 5

8 hours, ~375 miles

We slept late this morning and got on the road from West Virginia around noon. We drove through the panhandle of Maryland, and stopped for a late lunch at Park-N-Dine in Hancock. The turkey dinners, recommended by our Road Food book, were a little disappointing, but the apple pie was out of this world.

From there, we drove up on into Pennsylvania. Interstates all the way today. From PA into New Jersey, from NJ to the Holland Tunnel, and we got into Manhattan around 7:30 tonight. Back in the apartment, mostly unpacked, and happy to be home. After some initial complaints, PK the cat was happy to see us, too.

Hope you've enjoyed the trip reports. I'll post a trip wrap-up with photos tomorrow.

Posted by ljh at 12:02 AM

January 7, 2006

Road Trip Report, Day 4

12 hours, ~425 miles

After a big breakfast and a late start from the B&B this morning, we headed from Bardstown down to Loretto, Kentucky to visit the Maker's Mark Distillery, which is a National Historic Landmark. I am a "Maker's Mark Ambassador" so I got VIP treatment: a special medallion pin to wear, a proclamation in my honor read aloud to a bunch of puzzled visitors in the gift shop, and a stamp in my Maker's Mark passport. It was pretty funny.

The free tour of the distillery was excellent -- very interesting to see all the stages of the bourbon-making process. The aging warehouse smelled delicious. They age the bourbon for up to 6 years in new white oak barrels that have been lightly charred inside. After the tour, we bought a bunch of goodies in the gift shop, including a small bottle that I got to hand dip in the wax (actually red plastic) that seals the top of the bottle. Unfortunately, my dipping job didn't come out too well. I'll post a bunch of pictures from the tour soon.

After visiting the distillery, we got lost on Kentucky backroads for a little while but eventually found our way back to the Bluegrass Parkway and drove on to Lexington, Kentucky, where we stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant called Joe Bologna's. After lunch, we visited a cool little coffee shop, Third Street Stuff, that our waitress recommended. We stopped there mostly so we could get on the internet to research lodging possibilities in West Virginia.

This was our first really cold day, and in Lexington we started to see snow flurries. As we headed up the interstate highways to West Virginia, we ran into more and more snow. The challenging mountain highways were especially nerve-wracking in the dark with snow falling fast, but we managed to make it to our hotel (the Radisson) in Morgantown, West Virginia at 10:30. Just had a late room service dinner and we're about to turn in. We're both fighting off colds and are more than ready to get back home tomorrow.

It's been a fun trip. Almost there! (Well, 375 more miles...)

Posted by ljh at 12:26 AM

January 5, 2006

Road Trip Report, Day 3

8 hours, ~500 miles

After a great night's sleep, we had breakfast at the B&B then headed over to Elvis' Birthplace. We checked out the museum, gift shop, memorial chapel, and of course the original two-room house that is lovingly maintained on the property. Like Graceland, it was somewhat creepy but fascinating. The museum seemed to be mostly the memorabilia collection of a woman who was a friend of Elvis, and evidently a photographer and poet. Can't wait to post the pictures we took.

After Elvis overload, we headed out of Tupelo and got back on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We drove up the Parkway most of the day, out of Mississippi and through Tennessee. Due to our late start, we realized that we wouldn't get to Nashville (where the parkway ends) until much past lunchtime, but we decided to stick it out with snacks and have a late lunch/early dinner in Nashville. Our Road Food book told us about too many good eating establishments for us to miss the opportunity.

We enjoyed the rest of the parkway, and just after 3:30, we arrived in Nashville dizzy with hunger. Luckily, the Sylvan Park Restaurant was ready for us. This was true comfort food, and worth the wait. Sylvan Park operates in the "meat-and-three" tradition (choose a meat, choose three side vegetables). Allison had the country fried steak, carrots, whipped potatoes, and green beans. I had the catfish filets, turnip greens, whipped potatoes, and fried squash. Allison made many happy sounds while eating, and my fried catfish was to die for -- some of the best I've ever had. We also managed to partake of the restaurant's signature pies. Allison had the chocolate pie and I opted for the chess. Heaven. If you ever find yourself in Nashville, find Sylvan Park. It won't disappoint.

After dinner, we took I-65 up on into Kentucky, where we got on the Bluegrass Parkway briefly before pulling off for Bardstown. We're staying here in Bardstown in the Beautiful Dreamer Bed and Breakfast, right across from My Old Kentucky Home. It's a lovely B&B and we're the only guests for the night. The proprietors were very nice and welcoming, and the room is well appointed. Should be another good night's sleep.

Can't wait to post pictures, but alas, no internet connection again tonight, and not even a phone line in the room. I'll have to go to the hallway phone to send this report.

Stay tuned -- tomorrow: Maker's Mark.

Posted by ljh at 9:54 PM

January 4, 2006

Road Trip Report, Day 2

9.5 hours, 420 miles

We said goodbye to the strange-smelling Best western Richmond Suites in Shreveport at about 8:45am and got on the road. I'd had a fitful night's sleep and felt something like a cold coming on. All night long I dreamed of getting stuck in Shreveport for really convoluted reasons.

The drive across Louisana on I-20 was pretty unremarkable, but the good sight-seeing started the second we hit the Mississippi border -- the gorgeous, wide, break-taking Mississipi River. We crossed into Mississippi at Vicksburg and stopped at the very nice Visitor's Center and snapped some pictures.

From there we drove on for about an hour to Jackson, where we had lunch at Char, a nice restaurant listed in Fodor's. It's really nice on a road trip to have a real meal in a restaurant. I'm glad we're not rushing this drive.

At Jackson, we got on the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. Allison drove while I napped, and we stopped and had an amazing half-hour walk around the Cypress Swamp. Took lots of pictures there. The silence and stillness of the swamp was relaxing, and its beauty, even in winter, was inspiring. I'm on dial-up now, but pictures will be forthcoming.

Later on down the road, we stopped in at the French Camp, where a French trader names Louis LaFleur had set up the first trading post on the Trace. Bought some honey at the gift shop and Wandered around the grounds for a little while. With 90 miles to our destination, we anxiously got back on the road.

We arrived in Tupelo just after 6pm. We're staying at a cozy little B&B here called The Mockingbird Inn. We're in the Bavaria room, which is very nice. We're resting now and about to go get some dinner. I'm feeling much better -- maybe I'm not getting sick.

Tomorrow morning: visit Elvis' childhood home, then get on the road toward Nashville and on to our next stop, Bardstown, Kentucky.

Posted by ljh at 9:11 PM

Road Trip Report, Day 1

6.5 hours, 400 miles

We got our stuff together this morning, and after a couple of quick errands, including getting a TripTik, tour books, and maps at AAA, headed out of Austin today at 3:30 PM. On our way up I-35, we stopped in West, Texas and picked up kolaches. They will go nicely with our South Texas grapefruit (thanks Mom and Dad) for breakfasts each morning.

We skirted the big D on I-35 and then headed east on I-20. Stopped along the way for a final Texas meal of Whataburger. Got into Shreveport just after 10 PM.

Tomorrow: on across Lousiana on I-20 to Mississippi, where we'll get on the Natchez Trace Parkway up to Tupelo and eventually Nashville.

Gotta get some sleep. More tomorrow if I can...

Posted by ljh at 12:45 AM