Quarantine Read: What Major Tourist Destinations Are Like in the Time of Coronavirus

There are so many articles I have bookmarked to read during this uncertain time. I feel like I constantly have at least a dozen browser windows open on my laptop (and in my brain) trying to keep track of it all. Deciding to post a few that I've read thoroughly, top to bottom, that in my humble opinion are worth a real read and not just clickbait.  

This NYT article about it's like living in major tourist destinations during the times of Covid-19. Many say, despite all of the negative impacts to their economies, "it feels like we got the city back to ourselves." What an interesting feeling, I imagine. If I could revisit international destinations I've already been right now, without the risks of the virus and chaos of tourist crowds, I think I would pick Old Town in Dubrovnik, Croatia, or perhaps Trastevere in Rome...maybe the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Trying to brainstorm places that are known for their beauty but often overwhelmed by hoards of people. Where would you go?


Quarantine Recs: Virtual Train Rides

Need something soothing and mindless? Virtual train rides. Initially I found these as a fun thing for my kids to watch and illustrate with water color, but I've found these virtual train rides incredibly relaxing. There are 13 to choose from and most are at least an hour. My personal favorites include the Flam Railway through Norway and the Geibi Line in Japan. Helps my daydream of returning to travel someday...

Quarantine Recs: Puzzles

While I always liked puzzles before, I've drunk the Kool-Aid and am back on the puzzle wagon. My husband is not a puzzler, but my kids show promise, so I've been doing several 500 piece puzzles and then graduated up to 1,000 piece puzzles, mostly solo with a bit of late-stage help from my kiddos. Here are a few I've enjoyed, not sure if they're still available as Amazon seems to have marked up many of them which seems cruel in times like these. I've also done a few puzzle swaps with a friend (socially distant of course) which keeps our puzzle spending down.

+ Crystals (500)
+ Succulents (500)
+ Knock Knock (1000)
+ Teacups (1000)
+ Dog Gallery (1000)
+ Harry Potter (1000)
+ Lego Ice Cream (1000)

Quarantine Recs for Kids: Wendy Mac Drawing Videos

For those of you quarantining with kids, we've recently discovered Wendy Mac's YouTube channel packed with kid-centric drawing tutorials. Wendy Mac is fresh and funny, engaging, and well-paced for kids to follow along. Once Mo Willems' Lunch Doodles ran out after episode 15, we switched over to Wendy Mac. Her tutorials post live (details on her IG feed), but we rarely do them live, you can find all her content on her YouTube channel. Happy drawing!

Quarantine Recs: Never Have I Ever

Looking for a show to get your mind off of the state of the world? This one was a delight! Produced by Mindy Kaling, this high school show was funny and fun. Devi and her friends are entertaining, quirky teens. The plot examines their successes, struggles, dramas, and fears, a lens into what appears to be a significantly more real high school life than what we usually see on TV. While it's marketed as a comedy, there is some tragedy in the plot, and several notable emotionally charged scenes. Overall, a great quick watch, and be sure to have a box of Kleenex handy at the last episode.

Quarantine Recs: Bolero

Another past time I've find myself indulging in during this quarantine is videos of people singing or performing music remotely, the videos meticulously stitched together to produce a virtual concert. This is not something I'd ever watched before, but I find them both soothing and relaxing, even this fairly upbeat and energized song, "Bolero," by a French orchestra. Enjoy!

Quarantine Recs: TSF Jazz

Per a podcast recommendation, I've been listening to TSF Jazz, a jazz radio station in Paris, France. First, let me say, I have never been a jazz listener. However, there's something very soothing about listening to a station where all the music is instrumental and all the dialogue is in French (a language I understand on a very rudimentary level at best). If you're looking for something to fill the silence other than your usual podcasts, check it out, it definitely beats listening to the news! It's been a great backdrop for projects like making iMovies, blogging, puzzling, or journaling.