Author Archives: Sidney

About Sidney

It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Days in Paris

Hopefully by now I’ve checked in, but anyways, I wanted to share thirteen days of traveling France with you.  Or at least what I’m planning on doing.  Things could always change!

Day 1 – This is a travel day.  *sigh*  We drive from my parents house to Houston and take a direct flight to Paris.

Day 2 – Arriving in the morning, settling our things and doing a few cycling maintenance things.  In the evening we’re going to Paris Disney to hopefully take a hot air balloon ride and go to the Wild West show.

Day 3 – Hitting Paris!  Check in with our boat tour, which has 8 stops along the river through Paris.  Stops include the sights or areas of: Jardins des Plantes, Notre-Dame, Hotel DeVille, Saint Germain, Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower.  In the evening we’re meeting up with a bunch of other cyclists for a photo-op at the tower.

Day 4 – Taking the Bullet to London, where we’ll hit up Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the TARDIS and the Globe Theater.  Overnight in London!

Day 5 – Take the Bullet back to Paris.  Head to Normandy Beach, check out Mont-Saint Michel and have a lovely picnic.

Day 6 – Bike inspection and bag drop day for my mom, which means I’ll be finding a cool cafe to hang out and do the pen monkey thing from.

Day 7 – Finding a new cafe to check out in the morning and afternoon.  At 6pm the cyclists head out in groups of 500.  Yes, I said 500.

Day 8 – The idea was to take the train out to a place along the route the cyclists will take and wave at them as they go by, but it might not be affordable.  So, if I don’t do that I might go hit up some of the chateaus and cathedrals.

Day 9 – Doing the Catacombs, Basilica de Sacre Coeur and the Paris Opera House!

Day 10 – Going back to spend the day at the art museums, the Louvre and Orsay.  I’m kind of hoping to find some sweet street artists selling paintings.

Day 11 – The cyclists have to finish by noon, so I’ll be hanging out at the finish line or a cafe, watching people go by.  In the evening there is a dinner with the other Texas cyclists.

Day 12 – A day of Versailles!  Since my mom will need to spend the day walking to shake out the kinks in her leg, covering the gardens, palace and the queen’s villa.

Day 13 – Time to head home.  Sad face.

So there you go.  Hopefully we get to do half this stuff.  Either way, it’s going to be awesome getting to go to France.

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! The idea is to share the books you’ve discovered over the last week.

      

  • Hot for Pepper by Emily Ryan-Davis (Contemporary Romance)
  • This Side of Heaven by Fallon Blake (Paranormal Romance)
  • Sweet Caroline by Lissa Matthews (BDSM)

Well, that’s my Friday Find. What are you reading?

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Thursday Thirteen: I should be packing

So I think you guys might know by now, but Monday I leave for a two week trip to France.  As of today I have yet to do any real packing, which is a surprise considering how obsessive I am about this kind of thing normally, but this trip is different in a lot of ways.  So, here are thirteen things I need to do or pack before I leave – on Monday.

  1. Call my bank and let them know that when Money is being withdrawn in another country, it’s okay.  I haven’t been pick-pocketed.
  2. Call my insurance company to double-check the procedure for using my insurance in another country.
  3. Making a photocopy of all my important documents.  Making multiple copies so I can leave them in my luggage and with my father.
  4. Dig out my suitcase from the depths of my closet.
  5. Buy the books I want to read while on the plane and waiting for all the cycling stuff to happen.
  6. Get batteries, specifically the lithium ones because apparently you can’t take the others on the flight we’re taking.
  7. Charge all my electronics.
  8. Pack clothes.
  9. Don’t forget things like socks and things with sleeves since it’s going to be colder in France than in Texas.
  10. Adapters so I can charge things in Europe.
  11. Do more figuring out of what I want to see.
  12. Decide if we’re going to London or not and make reservations.
  13. Clean the apartment.

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It’s Over! The Bachelorette challenge is done.

Dear Reader,

I talked a bit a month or so ago about challenging myself to understand what the hype was.  I’ve been watching the Bachelorette.  Now, I haven’t been keeping up with it faithfully.  I’m totally guilty about letting episodes build up in my Hulu que and bulk watching them.  But!  After a crazy ass season of this show, it’s over!

Going into the finale, my two favorite guys of the season were there.  I get Ashley, I don’t always like her or think the best of her, but I understand her.

Ben was the guy who stepped out of the limo that I wished I could go on a date with.  He was fun and goofy and a really cool guy.  JP was the too-good-to-be-true guy that just seemed so beyond real.  When she had the pajama date with him, he won me over completely.

Now, spoilers, if you haven’t seen the finale yet, don’t read further.

Still with me?

Was Ben’s monologue about each day better than the one before and his infinite confidence in them heartbreaking?  He agonized over the ring.  He daydreamed about them.  Her family loved him without question.  Watching him leave and how heartbroken he was at the end was sad.  But honestly, you don’t want to marry yourself, and Ben’s goofy side and their charisma was from the same stock.  For him as a person, I hope he goes on to better things in life.  I’d volunteer to comfort him.

For me, when JP gave Ashley the photo book of them together, that was when I pegged him as “the one”.  I don’t know that I believe that she deserves him, but he was the man of the season.  He acted with grace and honor and was really awesome all season.  Watching him picking out the rings, I was worried that he might back out.  He got hit hard by her family.  He had that whole big spiel to say, laying out his concerns, their journey, how he felt.  Was anyone else wondering up until the last second when he finally asked her?  Dear Lord, the man has a thing for dramatics!!

In the end, I’m happy for them.  I hope that not everyone is as skeptical as television romance as I am and that for them, it’s a real life happily ever after.  Without cameras plaguing them the rest of their lives.

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Teaser Tuesday: Hot for Pepper by Emily Ryan-Davis

Teaser Tuesdays are a book meme hosted by Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This Tuesday I’m reading Hot for Pepper, by Emily Ryan-Davis. Here’s my teaser:

“You don’t take ‘no’ do you?”

“One of the things I learned in therapy.”

Also, here’s the full blurb:

Summer in Virginia burns as hot as Mitchell’s desire for sheltered Southern princess Pepper. Between official assignments, Capt. Scott has a private mission—claim the genteel redhead before another man discovers the spicy passion lying dormant beneath Pepper’s skittish exterior.

Trust-fund baby Pepper is surrounded by men—her adoptive father, her stepbrothers, her casual romantic companion. All men who want her to fit the roles they envision.

Only Mitch has ever asked her what she wants. She’s going to tell him…as soon as she can think past the scorching press of his body against hers and the overwhelming compulsion of her hunger for a man society says she shouldn’t crave. 

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I joined Goodreads

Yup, I did!  Go friend me or whatever it is you do there.

[Goodreads]

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RIP Mamaw

Dear Reader,

My Mamaw passed away Monday afternoon.  We’re doing the viewing today and the funeral tomorrow.  I’m going to miss her.  See everyone Friday when I get back.

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Teaser Tuesday: Dead Alert by Bianca D’Arc

Teaser Tuesdays are a book meme hosted by Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This Tuesday I’m reading Dead Alert, by Bianca D’Arc. Here’s my teaser:

“How about Captain Kirk or Captain Picard?”

“Tough call, but I’d have to go with jean Luc Picard.”

Also, here’s the full blurb:

Sizzling attraction meets unstoppable adventure in Bianca D’Arc’s captivating new paranormal romance…

For Emily Parkington, the thrill of flying charter planes for Praxis Air has lately been tinged with dread. Mysterious cargo flights and a high number of fatal crashes lead Emily to suspect something sinister behind the scenes. And if her new colleague is involved, Emily won’t hesitate to turn him in, in spite of Sam Archer’s sexy charm and irresistibly easy confidence.

Enemy or potential ally? Sam can’t be sure of anything where Emily is concerned, except how much he wants her. Immune to the zombie virus created through military research, Sam is working undercover to find out if Praxis is trafficking forbidden technology. It was a potentially deadly assignment even before he found himself distracted by a woman he scarcely knows. And when a “controlled” experiment goes horribly wrong, there will be no limit to the danger they both face…or how far he’s willing to go to save her…

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Freaking Cowboys and Aliens!!!!


Dear Reader,

I’ve seen several eye-candy, special effect laden and plot light movies this summer so far.  I think I’ve touched on most of them here.  Some of them have been so bad they haven’t rated a rant or even a mention.

Cowboys and Aliens blows them all out of the water based on the level of awesome.  I went to go see this with Suzan tonight in celebration of the Seekrit Stuff that’s going on which is still seekrit enough to not be mentioned.  The plan was to go eat, drink and then attend the movie tipsy enough that everything was funny.  We hit up BJ’s, a microbrewery and restaurant that’s a favorite of ours.  I had two berry ciders – which I highly recommend.  By the time we sat down at the movies everything was awesome or funny, which was nice because all the movie had to do was make a decent showing and we would be entertained.

In case you’re wondering, alcohol is not required to make this movie awesome.  It just is on its own.

This movie is based on a line of successful comics by the same name.  I’ve never heard of or read them, so I have no basis of reference, just the movie.

The special effects were pretty good.  The aliens weren’t amazing.  I think we’ve had enough slimy, insect referencing extraterrestrials.  Can’t we have a pretty alien?

I loved the cast.  Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig were fan-frikken-tastic.  Olivia Wilde’s character grew on me as the movie progressed, but I didn’t actually like her until the very end.  I will say that the end will make some people upset, but I liked it, and I cheer for the female role in this movie and how she finishes it off.

Ladies, there wasn’t as much eye-candy in this movie.  You only get one good shot of Daniel Craig’s abs, and that’s early on in the movie.  You do get a lot of nice ass views, and the chaps some of the guys wear accentuate the package.

There’s a lot of adventure, a lot of great fighting sequences.  You don’t lack for action!  What I really appreciate about this movie was that they didn’t even attempt to do much of a romance arc.  There’s one there, but it’s low key and appropriate for what else is going on.  Finally a movie that focuses on the plot and make everything else scale to fit!  All in all, a great movie I want to see again.  I hope you go see it too!

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Preping for Paris

Dear Reader,

Have I mentioned that I’m going to Paris in two weeks?

The trip has been eclipsed by the family health drama and my grandmother’s condition.  My mother and I realized Thursday that, holy cow, we were leaving in two weeks – and had nothing ready!

I’ve been looking forward to this trip since my mother bought the plane tickets.  I hadn’t allowed myself to get too excited because honestly, the whole trip could fall through at any time.  It’s a trip so that my mother can participate in Paris-Brest-Paris, the longest running organized cycling ride in the world. Something like 6,000 people participate in it ever four years.  It’s a big deal in the cycling community.  Everyone’s seen how the people turn out for the Tour de France, the same crowd – if not bigger – lines the roads for PBP.  And we’re going!

This trip will be unlike any other foreign trip I’ve taken.  I’ve always been responsible for others, going to do humanitarian things with the church or a non-profit but never.  Not this time!  I’m only responsible for my mother – and she’s not the type to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of a crowded airport.  Yes, it’s happened before to me.  I also will be alone for four or five days – meaning – I can do whatever I want to do.  If I want to go sight seeing, I can go!  If I want to hang out at a cafe and write, I can!  I get to be a real tourist for two weeks.

So in preparation I’m looking at places to see, things I want to do and starting to worry about luggage.  My mother is taking her bicycle case and a back pack *eye roll*.  She thinks she’s going to get all of her clothes and stuff into a back pack.  I have no illusion of packing light.  I’m taking a body bag and I’m fine with it!

One of the things we plan on doing that I’m super jazzed about is taking the bullet across to London and strolling around over there for a day, catching a show at the Globe Theater, over-nighting it there and going back to Paris the next day.

The one thing my mom wants to do is go walk Normandy Beach.  We’ve been warned that there isn’t anything to see except – a beach – but we’re going anyways.  I think a nice picnik by the ocean with freshly baked French bread would be very cool.

So are you envious yet?  I’m jealous of myself!

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