I just got back from a trip to Alaska on an Un-Cruise boat trip (that's the name of the company - Un-Cruise, only 68 passengers, 10 of whom were family members). Alaska was beautiful, cold, and astonishing. When you get to see whales close up a lot of things are put into perspective.
For all my harping on taking notes, I took very few. But I read alot, constantly. And one of the very best books was by a friend, Amy Friedman. I simply fell in love with her memoir about marrying a man in prison, Desperado's Wife. I felt as if Amy was on the trip with us. At every meal I'd tell my family what was happening in her life. And if I didn't, they'd ask what was up with Amy. One of the loveliest things about knowing a writer is that you can call or write to them when you read their book, and so I shot off emails to Amy. And she responded.
I'll always feel like Amy went to Alaska with us.