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JUDI WATKINS, CHIEF VOYAGER

A lifelong love of reading merged with a passion for travel when schoolteacher Judi Watkins went on a 2-month European adventure in her early 20s. As she marvelled at the master works of Michelangelo in Italy, she was reading Irving Stone's epic biography of the Italian master, "The Agony and the Ecstasy." Since then, she has always tried to connect her trips with her book choices.

After a trip to Savannah, Georgia, was greatly enhanced by reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -- the insider knowledge made she and her husband, Doug, the stars of their B&B -- Judi knew that her shared passion for reading and travel should be shared with fellow voyagers. In 2009, she founded TripLitCafe to do just that.

Judi seldom goes anywhere, whether down the block or around the world, without a good book, but when she's not reading, she is practicing the ukelele, which she picked up while at her son's wedding in Hawaii -- Judi's all-tme favorite destination. When traveling, she sets off on photographic quests, seeking to capture the tiniest local details inflowers, faces, homes -- sometimes just doors -- that help define a destination.

Today, Judi and Doug travel as much as possible, eyeing a trip to the Pacific Northwest soon, for which she is looking for good book suggestions - post your suggestions in the TripLitCafe's Postcards Forum section!!!

ABOUT

The idea behind TripLitCafe is simple -- connecting people who love to read and travel with fellow voyagers, as well as with the books and destinations that inspire them. Much like your favorite cafe, we hope that you will visit often to share, discuss, or just to look around and eavesdrop on other conversations. The Web site is intended to be a social place where people can share their favorite destinations in a whole new way... linking books, vacation guides, personal experiences, and the shared love for travel together. We hope that you enjoy the site, and that the recommendations you find here make your next trip all the better.

The site is comprised of 3 main sections:

Postcard Forum Discussion Board: This is where you come to connect with your fellow book-loving travelers. We called it Postcard Forum because we hope it will be the kind of mementos that will spark discussions and memories -- much like a postcard from a favorite destination. Send a Postcard to tell fellow voyagers what travel-related book(s) you are reading, to seek a great book about a great destination, or to read others' Postcards about the same. We want to hear great travel anecdotes or sweeping adventures that grew out of a book. This is true for virtual travel as well -- if you've read a great book that makes you feel you have visited some far-flung locale, let others know about it -- you'd be surprised who has had similar experiences.

TripLitCafe Shop: If you have a destination in mind, but not sure what book to read prior to or during a trip, visit the TripLitCafe Shop. Here, we have our books broken down by US destinations (by state) and International destinations (by country). As the site grows and we add more books to the shop, we will expand into further categories to make your choices even easier to find Browse through our selections, then if you are suitably inspired, you can buy the book directly through our site, powered by Amazon.com.

TripLitCafe Blogs: For a more in-depth look at anything related to travel-related literature, make sure you subscribe to the TripLitCafe blogs. We will be updating several times a week with great news, views and links on everything from new travel books, to classics, to great and off-beat guidebooks, to the best online travel writing, and anything else that we think you will find interesting, entertaining and inspiring. Chime in and let us know what you think!