gratitude (plus a travel giveaway)

Hello there, friends.

How was your weekend? Mine consisted of multiple pots of coffee, writing, scanning more negatives from recent travels, and huddling around a fire pit outdoors (this and watching a wild crew of 4 to 6 year old boys chasing chickens and feeding carrots to goats was my favorite part). I also finished reading My Berlin Kitchen (sigh), fit two decent runs in, and eggplant, sun dried tomato, spinach pizza! Whew, it didn’t seem like I did much but it was heartwarming and utterly satisfying.

Since I started writing the photo e-book, I’ve felt grateful for having you here with me in this space, reading and commenting and cheering me on as I grow into the next phase of my writing life. To thank you for all your support, I have a little gift to offer: an overnight getaway.

I’m giving away a voucher for one free night’s stay at any Radisson Hotel in North America which is good for up to one year. This means an overnight stay in your favorite city or even one closer to home. It’s up to you.

Anyway, I’m always grateful for your presence and support here and for sharing your creativity and heart. You help keep the writing flame alive all hours of the day and night. Now for the giveaway…


For a chance to win one free night’s stay at any Radisson Blu or Radisson Hotel in North America, leave a comment here and let me know which North American city is at the top of your travel list. I’ll pick one winner at random on Friday, November 9th at 5 pm (EST), so get your comment in before then!

For extra chances to win, follow/like me on all or one of my social hangouts : twitter, facebook, pinterest, google +, and/or sign up for my monthly newsletter (see box at the top of this page), and tell me that you did at the end of this post.

Good luck!

*****Thanks everyone for your participation, comments, and travel wish lists. Congrats, Sarah R. Lavigne — you’re the winner!

p.s. Radisson is giving away one free night’s stay each day through December 3, 2012. You can follow the contest and enter elsewhere via Radisson’s Facebook page.

Disclosure: As always, all opinions expressed here are my own and for participating in Radisson’s “50 Years, 50 Days, 50 Rooms” celebration, I received three nights stay at one of their hotels.



  1. Charleston, South Carolina is at the top of my list.

  2. I follow you on Pinterest.

  3. I added you to my Google + circles. My Google + username is Mary F.

  4. What a great giveaway! There are so many cities I’d love to visit — but around this time of year, I always want to go (or stay?) south. : ) So I’d say Charleston!

  5. New Orleans. Never been. I just want to go eat there.

  6. I’d love to go to Seattle. :)
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  7. I like you via FB (Alaine Elise)
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  8. I follow via twitter @alaine888
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  9. I like you via Pinterest.
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  10. Goodness, if I could go anywhere in North America right now it would probably be Quebec City. I’ve never been and from the pictures I’ve seen, it looks amazing; like an old European city with narrow cobblestone streets and that big castle-like building…the potential for amazing photography and the inspiration for my writing would be immense. We live in central Vermont now and while it’s not too far away, it’s a bit too far for a day trip so it would warrant an overnight stay.

  11. New York!

  12. I would love to stay in Chicago!

  13. Lucia Ochoa says:

    My city on the top of my list to visit New York City. I’ve signed up as a follower on your pages!

  14. I would love to visit Chicago, thats the city on the top of my list to do before I die :@) thankx!

  15. I’d love to visit Montreal, Quebec!

  16. Following on Twitter via @EatingPlaces

  17. I signed up for your newsletter!

  18. I’d love to visit Boston!

  19. Boston is always on my list!

  20. I follow you on Twitter!

  21. Liked on Facebook via EatingPlaces

  22. Following on Pinterest via lizlooker (

  23. I follow you on Pinterest!

  24. I like you on FB!

  25. Signed up for the mailing list via eatingplaces (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Dying to visit Rome!

  27. following you on twitter now! -@dealatron

  28. Signed up for your newsletter!

  29. New York for sure!

  30. Ginger & Paul Stephanie says:

    We enjoyed Seattle

  31. I’d love to head to Los Angeles!

  32. Switzerland is at the top of my list. I follow you on twitter and like you on fb.

  33. Melissa F. says:

    Just heard about this contest have no huge ambitions to go anywhere fancy even though I have yet to leave atlantic canada (one day), I simply would enjoy having a night with my husband of three years, together in total for seven, away from the babies (3 yr old and 6 mth old). We of course love them dearly and enjoy spending time with them but since my husband works six days a week ten to twelve hours most days it can be hard to find time to just be a couple. So hopefully you can send us off to our own little vacation in Halifax, N.S and we would be forever greatful. I am liking you on my facebook and signing up for the newsletter. Thank you for your time and have a marvelous day :)

  34. stacy giltner says:

    I would love to stay in NYC!

  35. stacy giltner says:

    Following you on Twitter @Cherrylaine01

  36. stacy giltner says:

    Following you on Facebook

  37. stacy giltner says:

    Following you on PinInterest

  38. stacy giltner says:

    I signed up for your monthly newsletter

  39. Sebastian says:

    Keflavik, again.
    I follow you and make your recipes. :)

  40. i have a few places at the top of my list lol…..but i guess i’d say …..
    dublin again….because i’d love to take my 4 kids to meet all the family they have there, like i got to do when i was 10.

  41. following on twitter

  42. following on pinterest

  43. Walter Sinclair says:

    I would absolutely love to go to New York one day. So much to see and do there. That would be exciting to me since I never go anywhere. =)

  44. Chicago

  45. I follow you on pinterest

  46. I follow you on google+

  47. Taylor Jean says:

    New Zealand is at the top of my list. I dreamed of going there for years and if I ever got the chance I would just die of excitement. It is also “The Place” of me and fiances wedding (where we also said we would get married). Thank you for this opportunity!!!

  48. ahhh probably New York City ;)

  49. also follow you on facebook

  50. and pinterest ;)

  51. Hanneke van der Westen says:

    I’d like to visit Kissimmee, opposite the entrance of Disneyworld where my great pal Mickey lives with his friends.

  52. Anne M Hughes says:

    NYC please! Need to see family and friends post Sandy.

  53. D3icidal (at) gmail

    I would love to stay at NYC!

    I am following your newsletter as well!

  54. New York is one of my top places i’d love to visit. And Tokyo if I can expand my horizon to the east.

  55. joann campbell says:

    I love the city of Halifax N.s. :)

  56. I would say Chicago!

  57. London is probably #1 for me.
    Followed you on Twitter and liked on Facebook. Why didn’t I do that before?

  58. I’m a big fan of Philly so would probably head back there with the voucher!

  59. Washington D.C., but Boston would be a close second.

  60. I’m following you on Facebook

  61. and following you on twitter (ms_alig)

  62. and following you on Pinterest (A W)

  63. Denver Colorado

  64. I’d love to visit Montreal!

  65. Portland has always been on my list!

  66. My heart would go back to New Orleans or New York two of my favourite cities, but I’m trying to do more travel within my own country (I’m Canadian) so I would use the voucher in Montreal. I haven’t been to Quebec yet, and that’s something I need to fix right away. Montreal has food, culture, history, festivals, pretty much everything I love about a good city – it’s a win win. I’ve also followed you on the social media profiles you had listed; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and I subscribed to your newsletter.

  67. Toronto, Canada–great view of CN tour and the lake!!!

  68. Deanna Rowley says:

    I’d like to visit Providence, RI.

    I followed you on twitter.

  69. I’m unsure whether the choice of city was supposed to be within North America or just at the top of my travel list. Within North America, I would say Washington, D.C. is definitely one of my top choices (so much history!). At the top of my travel list would have to be Cairo, the largest city in Africa; I need to visit Egypt at least once in my life!

    I also followed you on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. (username dizzylizzard)

  70. This may seem odd, but I’d use my night at the Radisson in Lumberton NC. It’s not the most glamorous town, and not the most impressive Radisson, but it IS the perfect place for us to stop over halfway on our annual drive from Washington DC to Charleston SC.

  71. Carol Titus says:

    Chicago, Phoenix, Nashville, Atlanta, Honolulu, Rio de Janero – following you on Facebook

  72. Carol Titus says:

    Following you on Pinterest & Twitter too

  73. The Radisson Blu in Chicago!

  74. I’d love to visit Washington, DC!

    I’m following you on Twitter (@PillyJ), liked you on facebook and signed up for you newsletter.

  75. I’d choose New Orleans :)

  76. I follow you on Facebook.

  77. I follow you on twitter @tcgirl11

  78. I follow you on Pinterest – tcgirl11

  79. Chicago

  80. follow you on Pinterest.

  81. follow you on google +

  82. So many cities. Right now I would like to visit Washington D.C. I’ve never been & would love to visit.

  83. kristen powell says:

    Seattle in on top of my list of cities in the US!!

  84. San Antonio Tx
    tcogbill at live dot com

    we so need this

  85. i follow you on pinterest
    tess kaase
    tcogbill at live dot com

  86. i added you on google +
    tess cogbill

    tcogbill at live dot com

  87. My fav is and will always be: New York City!!

  88. I would love to travel to San Francisco!

    I also liked your page on Facebook

  89. Bethany Kocher says:

    San Francisco is a dream trip for me…

  90. Chicago…with my son for a long weekend. That is my wish.

    thank you.

  91. Following you on twitter (@won2x).

  92. I like your facebook page.

  93. Pinterest follower.

  94. Google+ circles :)

  95. I’m an email subscriber.

    Thank you.

  96. LA is on the top of my travel list right now!

  97. Jordan Thomas says:

    Vancouver is tops on my list. Been there many times, but my wife has never left the country. Being from Seattle it’s an easy trip for her to break in her new passport.

  98. Elizabeth CH S. says:

    Toronto is at the top of my travel list. I’ve always wanted to check it out.

  99. Elizabeth CH S. says:

    Followed you on Twitter!

  100. Anne Marie Gruber says:

    I’d love to stay in Chicago! I liked your page on FB. I tried to sign up for the newsletter but did not see the box on my phone.

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