Under the Sea, Dark Chocolate, & Rivendell

This summer, we’re hoping to head to the beach.  But before we arrive, I will have already spent quite a bit of time underwater because of the book I’m enjoying this month.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel published in 1870 by French writer Jules Verne.  The novel is set in the mid-nineteenth century where a French professor and his two companions, who are trapped aboard a fantastic submarine as prisoners of Captain Nemo, come face to face with exotic ocean creatures and strange sights hidden from the world.I laughed, was mesmerized and even learned a thing or two from this brilliant man and his pen.  I admit, I did get lost in the classifying sometimes, but I loved reading about all the different underwater cultures the Nautilus encountered. Several years ago, I loved reading The Mysterious Island, the sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues, so I dived into the sea adventures out of order!But again, I was charmed by Verne’s characters.  They are gentle, wise and intriguing. Give this book a taste test-but I warn you, the classification lists can go on and on. Just skim those and keep reading!

The chocolate I’ve munched on while reading this month (and, I admit, most months) is from the Candy House in Springfield, Missouri.  They have the creamiest dark chocolates!  My favorites are the dark chocolate dipped caramels, dark chocolate dipped toffee and dark chocolate dipped orange peels.  Yep, if you dipped a twig or wood chips in dark chocolate, I would probably eat them!

Jennifer at Rest Inn Rivendell

I took a whole pound of those yummy chocolates with me to a writing retreat this month.  The location was Rest Inn Rivendell in Branson, Missouri.  It is a stunning retreat home owned by my artsy author friend, Alicia Britt Chole.   Because she’s a writer, every room has a unique desk.  The one in “The Scroll,” the room where I stayed, is rumored to have once belonged to President Grant.  Each morning, I sat at a lovely distressed pine table in a leather chair, sipping toasted almond coffee in a beautiful pottery mug.   It truly is such a restful haven. Both mornings we were there, a rumbling thunderstorm woke us up.  The lake was misty gray and peaceful.In the afternoons, I sat out on the covered front porch in a rocker and wrote while it rained.  All I could hear were birds chirping and leaves rustling in the breeze, as the home is surrounded by woods.And, just so you know I do eat some food other than dark chocolate, there’s a quaint grocery store right near the home where we stocked up on amazingly fresh produce. I had blackberries the size of ping pong balls every morning, and we ate avocados at every meal. The best part is it was shared with a great friend.

So, give these things a taste test:

1. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

2. Candy House, Joplin and Springfield, Missouri

3. Rest Inn Rivendell, Branson, Missouri

What should I taste test? Leave a comment here.

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