I think whoever made the following itinerary must have the same sense of direction as I: Fly into San Francisco Sunday morning, then high-tail it to Corte Madera for a 1 pm reading/signing and royal shtick at the fabulous Book Passage. Book Passage is a wonderful bookstore and sort of a Mecca for any writer, especially travel ones.
One of my best buddies over the last twenty years (!), Joanne (who is mentioned in the book and still actually speaks to me), drove up all the way from Capitola just to see and introduce me to her two-year-old, gorgeous daughter (in crown and princess outfit, natch. That girl is learning early the proper attire for Royal Audiences - kudos, Joanne!), Sophia. We took pictures and somehow, they didn't come out. I am way bummed. But, you can at least see Joanne if you check out her website and her amazing organization, Turtles Together. Joanne is an incredible psychologist and her program in Mexico "builds cultural connections between our children and all of marine life." Unfortunately, Turtles Together will be in jeopardy if no grant money is forthcoming, so anyone interested in helping, please head over to her website.
Then, I headed out to Portland on a 5 pm flight. (No, that doesn't sound too bad - yet. Impatient, aren't we?) I did AM Northwest Monday during the (when else) am (you can watch the interview here) then went all around town with Marilyn, my fabulous media escort (who had the misfortune of informing me there is no In 'n' Out Burger in Portland) to sign stock at various bookstores.
Imagine my surprise when we happened into Twenty-Third Avenue Books, "Northwest Portland's definitive bookstore" and saw QUEEN OF THE ROAD in the window! That's the owner, Stephanie Griffin and me posing in front. You can just make the cover out over her right shoulder. Thank you, Stephanie! (It's a wonderful, 28-year-old store, although obviously, Stephanie has owned it far less - two to be exact.)
Then, that night, off to Powell's Books for another reading/signing and royal shtick. (You can't tell from the picture, but there were two dozen people! Maybe they didn't realize I'm not really royalty. Please don't tell them - or, anyone else -especially Tim. I can imagine the payback that would await me.)
That's me in the boa and tiara, shticking it to the crowd. (Oh, please. Don't we know each other well enough by now to know I had to?)
This event was rather special, as well, and not just because it's Powell's: Two of my online buddies from Eons live in the area and came on over. Sarah is the moderator of the RV forum and has been a wonderful support for QUEEN OF THE ROAD. Carol White (along with her husband Phil) has written the book, Live Your Road Trip Dream. For anyone contemplating your own queenly (or kingly) trip in a motorhome, Carol and Phil's book is a must-read on the nuts and bolts of everything you need to do to make your journey as smooth as possible. (Sure wish Tim and I had known about this book before we started out.)
That's Sarah on the left (note her QUEEN OF THE ROAD shirt? I mean, talk about supportive. She said before the talk, people wanted to know if she worked for me or was "just a fan." No "just" about it, in this royal's book!) Carol on the right with her fabulous book.
Here's Miles (you know I love that name) the event coordinator and me striking a pose after the signing:
You can tell we all had a lot of fun.
That night, contemplating a 7:40 am flight, what else could I do but have a leisurely port and chocolate dessert? (Fine. I had TWO desserts. Only one port, though. Doesn't that count for anything with you?) All this and more at the Heathman Hotel's fabulous Tea Court. (Was everyone else just having tea? Silly them.) I'd had dinner there the night before (filet mignon, beet salad and a local pinot - thanks House of Random!) upon arrival from San Fran Sunday night, so knew they had a wonderful Reisling (that was the before dinner drink - what am I, a Philistine?). Unfortunately, when the waitress approached, after my fabulous (and very exhausting) Monday with the standard, "Is there anything I can - " I cut her off with one word. You guessed it: "Reisling." By the time she brought my first dessert, I had appologized and she took this shot of one very happy author:
Please note: Our friend Jim, also mentioned in the book (which he just finished, noting in typical Jim fashion: "Guess I'll have to pull the retainer off that attorney") is the terrible influence who introduced us to port. In the spirit of full disclosure (and fear of his attorney) I must admit the double dessert, however, was strictly my idea.
OK, last stop (for now): Back to San Francisco. (See why a directionally challenged person had to have made these arrangements?) I got picked up by another wonderful media escort (I have yet to meet any other kind), Martha, and we traipsed around the City, signing stock (and having lunch at In 'n' Out!)...
My usual Double Ds at In 'n' Out. Martha was suitably impressed.
... until my 2 pm radio interview with the fabulous Gil Gross on KGO's Gil Gross Show. Gil was kind enough to say he remembered our interview from my first book tour for I KNOW YOU REALLY LOVE ME. Truly, especially kind of him after I blurted out, "My mom and I used to listen to you all the time on WOR when I was a kid in New York City! Um... er... you must have been, like 12!" He immediately called out to the producer (we had not yet gone on air), "Great. Another one who remembers listening to me with her mother." He was laughing, thank goodness.
I so enjoyed the interview and the call-in questions afterwards. Everyone was reminiscing about their own road trips. (One involved a rather interesting episode in a car which the father refused to stop, causing the mother to get stuck in a bucket, despite an attempted hair brush rescue. Don't believe me? Fine. Listen to the interview.) I even got some wonderful emails from listeners after the show.
Finally, yet another reading/signing and royal shtick, this time at the "Girls Bookstore" A Great Good Place For Books in Oakland. This was another fun event with tons of interesting questions and I hated to leave. But, Martha had orders to get me back to the hotel...
... and I flew back to Colorado the next morning for a much deserved (I'll be the judge of that, bub) Royal Rest.