Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finding Home: A Brief Hiatus

When I began the Finding Home blog series, a mini-memoir exploring the meaning of home, I thought it would be completed by the time my third novel, Walking Home, was released. I was wrong. I hope you'll excuse a brief interruption in the series as I share updates related to the book launch each Tuesday for the next little while. Meanwhile, the companion series, Finding Home: Other Voices, will continue uninterrupted every Thursday.

Who knew Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, WA and grew up in Spokane, WA? And that was only one of the many surprises this Washingtonian enjoyed last weekend when I dragged my husband, Tom, to Spokane for a bookstore reading and mini-vacation, bikes loaded on the back of the car. We saw Bing Crosby's pipe (or one of many pipes, I'm sure) in the historic Davenport Hotel, and quickly learned that Spokane had more to offer than either of us expected.

We left Seattle in gray drizzle and arrived in Spokane at the far side of Washington State four and a half hours later to bright, big-sky sunshine. I was scheduled to read at Auntie's Bookstore, a classy independent bookstore serving the city and surrounding areas since 1978. This was the first reading of my new novel, Walking Home, released by Booktrope Editions last month, and I was excited to share it.

They say that folks in Spokane "go to the lake" for Memorial Day weekend, and with temperatures in the high eighties there was no crowd at Auntie's. Still, I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing author, David Armstrong, visiting with events organizer, Jess Lucht and conversing with our small but interested audience.
Sunday was for biking. For my Seattle cycling buddies - the Spokane Centennial Trail is not the Snohomish Centennial Trail. Having ridden the length of the Westside trail, I was imagining a leisurely, flat, riverside ride. That it was not. We headed west out of town from Riverside Park and the hills got the best of me. I found myself wheezing from the March flu I apparently haven't completely beaten. Still, it was a beautiful ride through pine forests with nonstop views of the Spokane river. We'll have to return to do the east end.
Tom and an osprey nest

What surprised and pleased us the most about our visit was the number of wonderful restaurants we found. At the risk of sounding like Seattle snobs, we simply didn't expect such a lively restaurant scene. To name just a few of the places we visited during our short visit: Mizuna, Scratch, Madeleine's, Wild Sage, Sante. We peeked into Durkin's but just couldn't squeeze in another meal. I'm sure there are others we missed as well. The glutenfree almond flour ravioli and "Port Flight" dessert at  Wild Sage are reasons enough to return to Spokane!
So thank you to Jess Lucht at Auntie's Bookstore and all the wonderful people of Spokane for a terrific Memorial Day weekend. It even was worth the extra 45 minutes of miserable traffic on the way back to Seattle!

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