Pages

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mountains or Coast? Annie West

We've all done those quizzes designed to tell us something deep and meaningful about ourselves or our loved ones. One that stuck in my mind (possibly because it's so simple) is -Which do you prefer, the mountains or the coast?

Simple? For some it is. I like to have my cake and eat it too! As you can see from these first two photos which I took on recent vacations, I enjoy both. It depends on my mood and the time of year. When it’s cold and rainy I dream of somewhere tropical with clear sparkling water, preferably with a hammock and a great supply of books! But when summer heats with its soaring temperatures and humidity I find myself longing for crisp mountain air as I remember long walks, the scent of wood smoke and hot chocolate.

The other complicating factor is that I live near the coast so, while I adore the fresh salt smell of the sea and walks along the sand, it’s almost in my backyard (well, a few miles away but that’s nothing).

I think the logic goes something like: if you enjoy the beach you want relaxation, to unwind, the soothing rhythm of the sea. If you opt for the mountains you’re more likely to want to be on the go, busy doing energetic things. Though I’m not sure that’s completely correct. I can easily envisage the perfect place to laze and read: see above for hammock and white sand, maybe with someone to serve a long tall glass of something. On the other hand, curling up in a window seat with a mug of hot chocolate and a cosy mystery sounds fantastic. Feeling active? Yes the mountains are great for hiking, climbing, skiing or canyoning. But on the coast the body surfing is free and so is beach volleyball.

Other attractions? Well of course people watching can be great in both places. Here on our Australian beaches we have our terrific surf lifesavers (plenty of inspiration there for a romance or two). But have you ever looked at some of the mountain rescue teams and hikers? Hm!

So, which do you prefer? Mountains or coast? Does that say anything about you or is it just a matter of choosing something other than where you live? Have you had special vacations in one or the other?

To get the ball rolling Annie is giving away a book from her backlist to one person who posts a comment. The ‘winner’ gets to choose the book.

Staying with the theme of double temptation, Annie’s thrilled to say she has 2 titles out next month. BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE, in the US (visit Amazon to buy) and
FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD in the UK (visit Amazon to buy) as an early release ahead of its official January date. You can find out more about them or even win a free copy of one from her website.

30 comments:

Authorness said...

Ah, holidays! I could do with another one.

I'm closer to the coast than I am to the mountains, but I prefer the latter. Maybe that's because they *are* further than home. Plus, I have bad memories of summers in Noosa. Sticky sand, sizzling sunburn, hot sand--ouch!

In the mountains, I love horse riding through cool, winding trails, then coming home to a cosy little log fire. Bliss!

Annie West said...

Hi Authorness,

I too have vivid memories of sunburn and sticky sand. Still love the coast but yes, there is a downside. Oh yes, and dumper waves that roll you over and over. When I was little and following my dad into the surf they were the bane of my life.

Horse riding sounds great and of course you can do it on the beach too. Must say though I love the sound of coming home to a cosy fire. Maybe because it's so hot and sultry here tonight? Summer seems to have hit early.

Serena said...

Hi Annie,
Funny, I used to be a real beach baby - loved the water. But as the years have passed (and the ozone layer depleted so I burn too easily!) I love the mountains. I don't get there nearly enough, but I just love the crisp mountain air, the wildlife (except snakes- EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKK) and the trees and wildflowers. Just gorgeous.

Hugs
Serena

Annie West said...

Serena,

How lovely of you to drop by. Hm, maybe it's just that we care more about our skin now? I wonder. I'm definitely with you on the subject of snakes. Not my fave, but then we get them here too at the coast. Ah, the joys of living in Australia. There's nothing quite like the bush though, is there?

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie, I love the coast. Just walking along the beach is good for the soul (and legs so they say!)
But my little farm in the mountains is our haven. The bush is wonderful but the cultivated garden is too. I lost count of the roses in the garden at a thousand...

Helen said...

Hi Annie

I live in the western suburbs so I love either the mountains or the beach. For summer holidays we usually go to the beach and I can always find a nice spot to read and in winter I love the cool mountain air and a fire chocolate and of course a good book.

For me I love either as long as I can relax take it easy and read and it also depends on how I am feeling as to what I fancy. I guess I am siting on the fence I can't choose between them love them both.

Have Fun
Helen

Joanne said...

Hi Annie, I've always loved the beach. I love the warm, salty air excepts when it frizzes my perfectly straightened hair ;)

I can get enough of the sand and salt water esp along the gorgeous beaches in Qld *sigh* I think I need a holiday :)

Virginia C said...

Hello, Annie! You know I love my beautiful mountains here in Southwestern Virginia! I am very lucky to live in Virginia where we have gorgeous beaches and magnificient mountains. There is a state park just a very short drive from my home. The park features a lovely lake nestled down in the trees with the mountains all around. A nice sandy beach was built at the edge of the lake, so you can lie on the beach and enjoy the mountains and the waterfalls! However, if it's salt water and ocean air you crave, you'll have to head to our coast! Happy Holidays!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Silvia said...

Hello Annie, I too love the mountains for I have such fantastic memories there. As a child my parents took me on various vacations that took place in different areas of Germany where there were many mountains and a good deal of beauty around. We walked/climbed, talked about absolutely everything, had picnic lunches, even sang songs and just had such great quality time together. I think it is because of those childhood treasured moments in gorgeous surroundings that I still prefer the mountains over the coast. I'm not a sun lover and swimming in the ocean I do neither. So I never have the fun on beaches as I do on the mountain.

Linda Henderson said...

I used to live in Colorado so my vote goes for the mountains. I really miss them. They are so beautiful and majestic and when fall comes the colors on the mountains are exquisite. I've never been to a beach, so I probably don't know what I am missing.

Alison said...

I prefer the mountains to the coast, mainly because I'm basically allergic to sun and I don't want to fry to a crisp. On the other hand, I've had sunburn from the sun reflecting off white snow high up in the mountains, so I can't win! I'm quite energetic (sometimes!) so I'd rather be walking than lazing.

Anna Campbell said...

Ah, holidays? I've forgotten what that is!

What a great post, Annie. I think you're right about both coast and mountains having their charm. But I have to say I'm a by the sea kinda gal. I can sit and watch the sea for hours and I love the sound of it thundering onto the sand.

Congratulations on TWO great releases. Wow, people have a double treat ahead of them!

Annie West said...

Ooh, Kandy, it sounds like you've got the best of both worlds. I adore the sound of all those roses and they'd do beautifully up in the mountains. But maybe at pruning time I'd be glad they're someone else responsibility.

Annie West said...

Helen, you sound like me. I love them both too. Really I can't choose. Last night as I sweltered in the early summer heat I thought of the mountains. This morning it's much cooler with grey skies and would you believe, I'd drawn to the lure of a sunny beach...!

Why doesn't it surprise me that you have a book wherever you go?

Annie West said...

Joanne, who cares about frizzy hair? (Says she whose hair is so straight it never frizzes. I long for curls!). Queensland beaches have great appeal, don't they? The photo at the top left of my blog is a Queenslad one: Trinity Beach near Cairns.

Hope you manage that holiday soon!

Annie West said...

Hi Virginia! How are you? You really do have the best of both worlds - a beach right amongst the mountains. Sigh, one day I might make it there... It sounds idyllic. I think the closest I've come to that is swimming off the S coast of Turkey in a place where the mountains rise steeply from a narrow coastal strip. Magnificent scenery.

Annie West said...

Hi Silvia,

I'm not surprised you prefer the mountains with those gorgeous childhood memories to call upon. I hope you get plenty of visits to the mountains now too!

Annie West said...

Linda, I was feeling so jealous as I read your post, especially about the colours in the mountains at change of season (her in Australia our native plants are evergreen so we only get that effect in gardens where 'exotic' species have been planted). Then I read your comment about never going to a beach - of dear. That's something to be remedied. Even just the smell and sound of the waves is worth the trip. And walking along the shore fossicking for shells or whatever has washed up. Hope you get to a beach one day soon and experience it for yourself.

Annie West said...

Hi Alison, you definitely sound like a mountain girl. Commisserations on the sensitive skin. I have a girlfriend with the same trouble. She never tans, just burns. Interestingly her fave place for vacations is the Himalayas! She's just gone back for her 3rd visit.

Annie West said...

Hi Anna. Smiling here as I had no trouble guessing that you're a sea lover. I think sea watching is one of the best things - soothing and I'm sure it helps stimulate creativity, or so it's seemed to me. I wonder why.

Thanks for the congratulations on the two releases. I'm thrilled!

Annie West said...

Hi everyone, I have to head out for quite a few hours (lots of things to do before I return). Just wanted you to know I'll definitely be back to read comments and draw a winner for my prize. Check in later to see who it is.

Cheers,
Annie

Mari said...

I love the mountains. In my dreams I would live in New Mexico or Montana, have a huge wraparound porch and just watch the clouds roll by over the mountain tops.

suehussein said...

Hi Annie!! I never cared much for mountains, but I do enjoy the view at night if there's a city below. Gotta love those twinkling lights. I do LUV any water!!! I would be happy with a stream, a pond, just any water I can look at and hear and dip a toe into. My hubby and daughter are the same way so water was always involved in every vacation. Thanks, Sue

Pat Cochran said...

The mountains in Texas are quite a distance from Houston, where we live.
Galveston Island and the coastline
are some 30 - 40 miles away from us.
It's easy to see which area sees us more often!!

Pat Cochran

Annie West said...

Hi Mari,

I love your idea of sitting on the verandah and watching the mountain weather. We had a huge thunderstorm here which headed out to see. We went onto the verandah and watched the sky light up once it moved away from us. Spectacular!

Annie West said...

Sue, yes of course. Lights are fantastic. What a good reason to live on a mountain! How lovely that your family shares a love of water. I have fond memories of my own when they were tiny, enjoying ponds and streams and beaches.

Annie West said...

Hi Pat, how lovely to see you here. Hm, I'm betting you head to the coast...

Annie West said...

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts on the joys and drawbacks of the beach and the hills. It's always lovely to get others' perspectives, (and to know I'm not alone in finding it hard to choose one fave!).

OK, time to bite the bullet and announce a winner. I've drawn a person at random from those who left a comment. It's SILVIA!

Congratulations, Silvia. If you email me at annie@annie-west.com and give me your postal address and the name of the backlist book you'd like, I'll put it in the mail to you. All my previous releases are listed on the book page of my website.

By every one. Hope you all manage a little time away somewhere refreshing soon.

Annie

Mary said...

I have 2 really nice pictures of mountains in the background and rolling water in the foreground. I like the wilderness to be in my waterfall type pictures. I think that is beautiful thing to look at.

penney said...

We live 15 minutes from LAX in California and 18 minutes from the coast. The planes go over on the next street over so it's not too bad. It does get bad if LAX decide to have one of their big jets go right over at 3AM sometimes they do and it can really scare you when you are sound to sleep. I wish we lived in the mountains out in the country not the city! I enjoyed reading the blog today.
Thanks Penney