December 12, 2016

Books in Real Life, Episode 14: Heartless

If this is the first time you've come across Books in Real Life, welcome! Rachel of Hello, Chelly & I created this collaborative feature as a way to encourage ourselves to actually do the things we've read about in books in real life. We've been at it for a little over two years now, and it has certainly resulted in some really fun adventures and memories we'll both cherish forever.

The credit for edition of Books in Real Life goes completely to Rachel. We always find it a bit more difficult to do (or find) activities when the weather is cooler and the days are shorter, but Rachel came up with this idea one day and I was instantly on board. We both read and enjoyed Heartless by Marissa Meyer around two months ago, and it inspired all of the activities we took part in on one random Saturday. I'm so excited to share what we got up to, but first, let's talk a little bit about the book.

Heartless is a delightfully imaginative novel that tells the story of Catherine, a young lady who loves to bake and desires to open her very own bakery with her best friend Mary Anne. Her mother, however, envisions a different future for her - specifically one where she is married to the King of Hearts and becomes Queen. But a chance encounter with the King's Joker, Jest, changes the course of her life forever and soon, Cath is being forced to choose between her heart and her predestined future. I fell hard for Marissa Meyer's story, warming easily to Cath and the wonderful (and insane) world she resides in. It is fun, and it is heartbreaking, and it is, without a doubt, another excellent story from Marissa Meyer.

The first item on our to-do list for Heartless day was to pay a visit to the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park. I'd heard of the statue before, but in my years of living here, I'd never actually seen it, so this was a real treat. It was a lovely autumn day, with the sun out and the breeze cooling the air, as we walked up to where the statue was. There were many people out and about enjoying the beautiful weather, and it was really wonderful to walk through Central Park in all its autumn finery.

When we finally made it to the Alice in Wonderland statue, it was, well, crowded to say the least. There were plenty of people who had come up to take photos with it, and plenty of families with children who were climbing all over the rather large installment. It was still pretty magical to see the characters of the Carroll classic come to life, along with some of his actual words forever memorialized in a few plaques surrounding the statue.

After our adventure in Central Park, we made our way over to one of my favorite little tea shops in all of New York - Alice's Tea Cup. It seemed fitting that we would have an afternoon tea party in honor of Heartless, particularly because this place is inspired by Alice in Wonderland as well. We settled on sharing a delicious tray of scrumptious sandwiches, perfectly delicious pastries and two pots of Alice-inspired and exclusive tea blends. As always, it was a delight to visit and I truly enjoyed it (so much so that I returned the week after with another friend of mine)!

All in all, it was a delightfully whimsical and wonderful afternoon inspired by a novel that we both really enjoyed (and would recommend you read). As usual, here are the three questions we ask ourselves each time we do one of these posts:

1. What was your favorite part or a memorable moment? I'm torn between saying the experience of afternoon tea (which I'm partial to) and walking through Central Park as all the trees were covered in fall foliage. Both were such lovely moments!

2. Anything you wish you'd known beforehand? I wish we'd known how popular the Alice in Wonderland statue is, particularly on a nice weekend afternoon. I bet if we had gone earlier, we would have been able to take even more photos near it!

3. Would I do this again? Of course! In fact, as I said, I already returned to Alice's Tea Cup for another afternoon tea with a friend of mine the week after.

Here's a little vlog of our Heartless adventure for your viewing pleasure!


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