Thursday, June 3, 2010

The traveling swim wife

I am going to France with Mark in just a couple of weeks. I typically do not accompany Mark on trips like these but we said, "what the heck," and decided to make it happen.

We will be traveling to Marseille and Carcassone for Mark to swim in a couple of meets and train with our dear friend Fred Bousquet. I will be tagging along because, well... because I want to. Typically when I travel it is by myself or with a fellow spectator (sometimes my mother-with whom I love traveling because we are both afraid of local cuisine and stick to peanut butter crackers and granola bars that we bring from home) because Mark is traveling with the national team. For example, when Mark made the 2008 Olympic team he left straight from the Olympic trials on July 4th to go to California for a training trip for two weeks, then left from there to go to Singapore for a week and then onto Beijing for 2+ weeks. I, on the other hand, left for Beijing on August 8th and returned on the 21st. So, you can see why I have grown accustomed to traveling alone (or at least without Mark).

There are actually very few instances that we have traveled together. This is one of the reasons why I am looking forward to this trip to France so much (other reasons include getting to take a killer nap on the plane, enjoying a break from work and getting to play the role of the mysterious, yet fabulous, American in a foreign country). Sure, I'll be traveling home alone because Mark will be traveling to Paris from Marseille for the Paris Open (I will not be able to go because I will be returning to the real world, work and the life of a mom), but we'll be traveling to and in France together for a whole 5 days. This may not seem like much, but it is about as good as it gets and I am thrilled.

With this trip quickly approaching I am actually in the market for a reading-for-pleasure type of book (this is almost a forgotten concept since returning to school for another degree last year). Any suggestions out there? Last summer during Nationals/World Championship Trials season I read the Twilight series (okay, I only read the first three in the series, but I got sick of Bella and her whining and decided to stop reading-it was also difficult to read, bite my finger nails and watch Mark swim at the same time). Really, if you have any book suggestions for this traveling swim wife, please pass them along.

In addition to a good book, other "must-brings" include a good pair of sunglasses, a bathing suit, a camera and peanut butter crackers (duh)...


  1. i just wanted to tell you that i love your blog! i'm a fan of swimming and it's so fun to read your perspective. my book recommendation is to check out anything by marian keyes - she writes smart, funny chick lit that is perfect for the airplane or the beach. :-)

  2. the girl with the dragon tatoo, the color of water, life as pi not as fluffy as twilight (which i loved by the way) but great books. And for something fluffy but not as whiney as twilight try the sookie stackhouse series... it gets pretty steamy ;)

  3. I have not heard of Marian Keyes, but I will definitely add it to my google search list for today.

    I have heard of the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo-many people have recommended this one to me. I may have to check this one out.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. Ash, Jennifer Weiner (wrote Good in Bed--sounds scandelous but not!), Jane Green (cool British author)and Anita Shreve (chick lit historical fiction) are all my favorite "pool trash reading" authors.

    Also, the "one read" here in Columbia was "The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian" It is FANTASTIC

  5. If you want a whole new perspective on travelling, read Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World by Seth Stevenson. It's about a guy who circles the Earth with his girlfriend without ever getting on an airplane. Really makes you think about the modern age of travel and what it means.

  6. Bonjour Ashley,
    I'm a french reader of your blog and I'm glad that you and Mark came to spend a few days in France....You will see what a beautiful country it is, especially the South of France,I know what I mean, I live in Toulouse, an hour's drive from Carcassonne ;)
    And don't be afraid about the food, I'm sure you will fall in love with it (foie gras, magret de canard, cassoulet, .... a little fat and caloric but soooo yummy yummy...) :)
    So enjoy your trip....I'm looking forward to reading about your trip and your impressions of France
    Bon voyage !!!

  7. "The Crossroads Cafe" by Deborah Smith is an amazing, feel good, quick read! I just finished this one on my last trip and I loved it. I hope you guys have an amazing trip!

  8. "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen is very good, as is "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards. If you want humorous "trashy fluff," try one of the adult novels by Carl Hiaasen, like "Skinny Dip" or "Skin Tight." Nicholas Sparks's novels are always a good bet. And if you haven't read the Harry Potter novels, you might want to give them a try. (I had no interest in them for a long time, but when my son wanted us to read them together, I got hooked! They are much better than the movies, too.) Have a wonderful trip! :-)

  9. Enjoy your trip! Ron and I did a whirlwind long weekend in Paris and then onto Morocco -- Paris was much nicer! Sadly we will be moving to Morocco and not to Paris in July! Love your blog -- keep it up!