On January 2, I perused the travel section at Borders. I then straddled a bench and hunched over a piece of scrap paper for two hours while I took notes from various volunteer travel books, because the Novi Borders has one table (status: occupied). Thus began the travel research.
On January 4, I went to the Walled Lake City Library, a library so tiny and underfunded that even the librarian was surprised that I had found such a new book on their shelves. That book was 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference. I then hit up Dollar General for a notebook. Have you been in a Dollar General lately? This store was not dingy, dirty, or unorganized; quite the opposite, in fact. Also, they had Sixlets*. Why did I ever doubt you, Dollar General?
I proceeded to the West Bloomfield Library, which has the money to buy new books, spaces, AND tables. Before I delved into the books I had amassed before me, I took a moment to appreciate the rare situation in which I had found myself: doing research at a library for a purpose that was not required but which would have immense, direct benefit to myself. The easily-identifiable students around me added greatly to the fleeting pleasure of this moment, and I was sure to take it all in before taking to my notes.
*Mom, later: "I just don't understand why their artificial chocolate is so good. But I love it!"
On January 6, I checked out two more books from the Commerce Township Library*, just to skim before heading back to school for the new semester. A few hours later, I mentioned the idea of a blog to Heater and Lauren. Heather said, "I'll tweet it." A commitment was made.
A few hours after that, I spent at least two hours poring over Ask Arthur Frommer. Arthur Frommer: come for the advice, stay for the personality.
*I love libraries, just like Ben Franklin.