The 3 Rs: Required Reading & The Richardson House

News! Podcasts! Living the Good Life! Happy to report on my new podcast, Required Reading, with my collaborators Matthew Meschery and Steve Goldbloom. We'll be producing one 45-min show weekly(ish) on all the stuff you should have read, watched, and listened to in the previous week but couldn't fit in. Next week: The Life and Death of Mike Wallace, The $1 Billion-Dollar Photo, and The Strange Case of Augusta National. Check us out -- you can listen to RR right there on the link above. And it's FREE!

I went out to California a few weeks ago to finalize podcast details and on the way I had to drop by my dear mom in Truckee, my hometown. Sometimes it's nice to be a tourist in your hometown. For the first time, I did not stay with family or friends but at a (gasp!) hotel! Not just any hotel, though: The Richardson House. Anyone who's ever been to Truckee has probably seen it: a gorgeous Victorian sitting atop the hill overlooking downtown Truckee. I've lived, at different points in my life, within a two-minute walk of The Richardson House yet I'd never stayed in it -- until last month. It did not disappoint.

My son referred to it throughout our trip as "The Mansion" and it did feel like that. Gorgeous, high-ceilinged rooms, beds covered in seven layers of featherbeds, and a view of Mount Rose from our room. It was amazing. I may never stay at my mom's house again (sorry, Mom). The Richardson House is a Truckee treasure -- try it!

That's my Truckee Insider Tip for this month. Hey, I should add that to the podcast....

PS: Here's our podcast crew: Steve, Matthew, Leo (our producer, with pacifier), and Me. Hope you enjoy the show!

Don't you just adore Scotland?

I do. I visited Edinburgh with my father a long time ago, when I was in fifth grade. What I remember most: Edinburgh Castle; eating baked apples; the story of Greyfriar's Bobby (a cute and heroically loyal little Skye Terrier - hey! I was in fifth grade!)... you get the picture. I loved the trip and still have the kilt my dad bought for me way back then.

Today I was reminded of just how much I love Scotland when I read this review of my book on the ScotGen genealogy blog. Oh, Scotland, you had me at Greyfriar's Bobby... and now this?

You've read the book... now watch the (2-min) movie!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7Jprn7tP_4That's right; it's not just the big Hollywood movies that get their own fancy trailers - now it's books like Shaking the Family Tree, too! The 2-minute video is now available on YouTube right here.

Many of the *real* people featured in the book are also in this film, as well as many of the far-flung places I visited during my research.

Huge thanks to the geniuses at Madhouse Muse for making this lovely film, as well as Matthew Meschery and Billy Bouchard for their contributions to the audio and music. It's so great to have talented friends.

Hope you enjoy it!

Great Signage of Wyoming: Laramie


Last weekend we drove through Wyoming, en route to hot springs.

Laramie: pop. 27,000 people / 23 fantastic signs and storefronts.

Above: Marquee for the Wyo Theater. Currently playing (surprise!) the French film, I've Loved You So Long.


Above: Alexander's Fine Jewelry. Love the pink awning and those wonderful serving dishes.

My personal favorite: Alibi Drive In Liquors / Bar. There's such a great Jetsons feel to this sign.