Honeymoon with My Brother

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Title:  Honeymoon with My Brother
Author:  Franz Wisner
This is an entertaining book based on a true story.  The author was left at the altar by the woman he loved.  He decided to go on his honeymoon trip and wound up traveling the world with his brother, gaining understanding both of his brother and his own self.  They concentrate on seeing the “Real World” of the countries they visit, instead of the sanitized version presented to most tourists.

Historic hotels of America. Mohonk Mountain House

From Jackie Cantwell
Historic hotels of America. Mohonk Mountain House [videorecording]
 This video features an interview with Nina Smiley, the director of marketing for Mohonk. She’s the wife of Albert K. Smiley, the hotel’s president and great-grandnephew of the founders. The hotel was started in 1869, by brothers Alfred and Albert Smiley. This beautiful inn is a 266-room Victorian castle in New Paltz, NY that sits next to Lake Mohonk and is in the Hudson River Valley. We get a tour of the grounds, with emphasis on the gardens, the lake, nature trails, and even the Barn Museum. Inside the hotel, we see the parlor, the grand dining room, the wraparound porch, and a guest room in one of the towers. Apparently, guests can be as active as they want to be or can idle away the hours in a rocking chair on the porch. There are miles of hiking trails, dotted with beautiful gazebos which serve as rest stops and photo-taking vistas. Ms. Smiley mentions another advantage for guests is the sense of renewal and rejuvenation they receive. Other activities available are ice skating, horseback riding, carriage rides, swimming, canoeing, golf, campfires and much more. The hotel rates include 3 meals per day, as well as tea and cookies in the afternoon.  The owners and staff are very proud of the inn’s history and also its sustainability initiatives. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.  The inn’s guests also have a sense of ownership of this special place, and many return year after year.

I would like to have seen the ice skating rink, the golf course, a view of the horses on the trails, and a typical guest room. Overall, this program is a wonderful introduction to the Mohonk Mountain House.

The Indigo Notebook

From Catherine, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Resau, Laura
The Indigo Notebook
 The book, The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau is a fictional book about a girl who travels the world with her mom. Each year they move to a different place, with a different culture and lifestyle. It takes a while to get used to it but the girl, Zeeta, eventually gets used to the change and can call the place her home. In her fifteenth notebook [one for each country they’ve lived in], which is indigo colored, she writes about meeting Jeff, Wendell, and many other people around Otavalo.

Wendell is on a quest for his birth parents, and Jeff is looking for someone to settle down with. They were both on the plane with Layla, Zeeta’s mom, and Zeeta. Zeeta desperately wants Jeff and Layla to like each other, because he seems like a Perfect Dad, and she thinks that she likes Wendell. The problem is, Layla isn’t into men like Jeff, and Wendell is in love with his ex-girlfriend. Zeeta thinks that both couples are getting closer through their quests: to settle down and make sure Zeeta is safe and to find Wendell’s birth parents. But will the unhappiness and dangers along the way ruin both relationships? Or will they continue as couples and make it through these rough times?? I liked this book because it shows how people can get over each other’s differences and still love each other. It also has a little drama, danger, and adventure in it. I think that this is a great book for teens to read!!