Monday, 03.17.2008 SAN FRANCISCO
All rested up! Caught an evening flight to San Francisco. Another Carey driver with my name on a sign – I was finally getting used to seeing that weirdness. Sadly, there was a huge convention in SF and all the hotels downtown were booked, so I stayed at the Weston near the airport instead. Which turned out to be great, because a friend lives only five minutes from there. I got in late and grabbed dinner at the hotel bar. At least there was no time change this trip, so that was most excellent. Plus, I didn’t have to be ready until 10 a.m. This was like a vacation compared to last week!
By 10 a.m. I was anxious to get going. Couldn’t wait to see who my media escort would be for the next couple days. Having enjoyed my time with Shirley and with Judy, poor Jim had a lot to live up to. But he didn’t disappoint. He had a quirky sense of humor that I really enjoyed. Too bad we never found that Starbucks.
My schedule was fairly light. I had one school visit, Monte Vista High School in Danville where I presented to a group of about 100 students. Also there was Colleen from B&N in Walnut Creek, where I’d be signing later that evening. I loved the set-up at this school. One large group of students and a book fair set up by a bookstore. It was great to meet some of the students and sign their copies of WAKE.
After that, Jim drove me to a few bookstores where I signed stock. The media escorts in all these cities calls ahead to stores and asked them to have the books up at the info desk, so it’s an easy in-and-out stop. I liked to have a chance to chat for a few minutes with the store staff though, too.
We got to Walnut Creek B&N around 5 p.m. It was an interesting set-up – a very beautiful shopping area. I was especially excited to get there because I’d be meeting up with friends (who are more like family). The Bloyers, who were our dear friends and neighbors in Mesa for three years, had recently moved to this area. Yay – we met for an early dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen and it was so great to see them all again.
And then the signing. Surprisingly, there were a number of people there (in this town where I knew almost no one) and the questions went on for a while. I think several of the audience members were students at a nearby college. They took a lot of notes, anyway. Which made me sort of nervous, since I’m not exactly an expert on anything, lol.
But it went well. Jim drove me back to my hotel where I had a great night’s sleep.
I was really liking this whole “stay in one area for a few days” thing. Today we had one stop at nearby San Mateo High School, where I met Shannon Mathis from Books, Inc. She was so great! She brought books along for me to sign and I had a great time just hanging out and chatting with the school’s book club group and having pizza. Very low key. The group had already read WAKE (yay!) and I signed their individual copies.
And then...and then...Jim took me to see the actual CITY of San Francisco. It was my first time there! And it was absolutely gorgeous (as were the surrounding suburbs). I loved loved loved the hills and the crazy streets and the water...ooooooh, the water. I miss the water, living here in AZ.
Along the way, we stopped at a number of bookstores to sign stock, and wherever Jim couldn’t get parking, he’d drop me off and drive around the block and I’d go in and sign books. Then he took me to lunch at this great waterfront seafood place that was absolutely perfect. I had scallops that were frankly amazing.
And then, as if Jim hadn’t showed me enough cool places, he brought me to the old Catholic Church where his wife works. We had talked about her and their church and how it was one of the oldest structures in SF and had survived the earthquake a hundred years ago, and I was really interested in it. I’ve only been in a few Catholic churches before in my life, so that added to my intrigue. So Jim surprised me with a quick tour (the stained glass windows were gorgeous), and I got to meet his wife. It was awesome!
That night, back at the hotel, I met up with an Internet friend. She picked me up and we went out to dinner at her favorite Chinese place where she revealed her deep dark secrets and I got hit in the back of the head with a piece of broccoli, thrown by someone at the table behind me. It was a pretty freaking hilarious evening, and the perfect way to end the SF leg of my tour.
The next morning I flew home. And I wasn’t even hardly tired at all. Yay!