California Getaway

Hey guys!  I am finally going to give you a recap on my California getaway.  A few months ago I made friends with author Lauren Bird Horowitz, who wrote one of my favorite books of 2015, Shattered Blue!  She is such a great person.  She was having some book events in the area of California where she grew up so she invited us to come out and help her celebrate and help out at one of the events.  My hubby and I came from MN, Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm and her boyfriend (now fiance) came from FL, Kristen Hunt, author of Blonde Eskimo, came from AZ and Zoe Cope, jewelry maker extraordinaire, came from OR.  Zoe has two fantastic jewelry lines: Zoe Cope Jewelry and Birds N Bones Jewelry.

Ethan and I had a long day of travel on Friday, March 3rd.  We live about 45 minutes away from the airport so we left our house super early to get to the airport and get through security.  I’m a very nervous flyer so I feel more comfortable having plenty of time between security and boarding the plane, even if that means sitting and waiting for awhile.

And we had a 3 hour layover in Denver so we did lots of people watching.  Lots of Shattered Blue pictures taken as well.

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We finally landed in California and met up with Zoe to drive the rental car back to Bird’s family’s guest house where we would all be staying.  The three of us were the last to arrive so it was really great to be able to spend the rest of the day hanging out with everybody!  Bird had our room all decorated with the awesome Supernatural swag that she got for me!  She is also a screenwriter for the CW so she was able to get all of this awesome stuff for Ashley and I. In addition to the swag, she got us these awesome body pillows!  Sam on one side, Dean on the other.  I had to ship everything home and my box just arrived on Monday so I was super excited to get everything.
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She also had an awesome sign on our door welcoming us and of course, some awesome socks for me to use for all of our Ninjaottersox group sock Sunday photos!

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And Kristen was such a sweetie!  She got us a couple of things too!  She is such an awesome person!  The bag is GINORMOUS and the Dorbz from Guardians of the Galaxy is so cute!

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On Saturday we got up early and headed in to San Francisco to go sightseeing.  Our first stop was Alcatraz!  It was one of the coolest things ever!  We just made it to the ferry on time.  It was pretty rainy and foggy out on the water but it made the island that much more eerie.  Bird, Ashley and I had to take our pictures with our matching talisman bracelets and otter rings!

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We listened to a fascinating presentation by one of the park rangers about the big escape in 1962.  In the above middle and right photos, they had the cells replicated the way it was when the three people escaped.  They created dummy heads out of concrete and paint to make it look as though someone was sleeping in the bed.  And they used spoons with the tops broken off to dig out through the wall.  So interesting and if you haven’t heard about the escape of ’62, check out this info here!

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On the ferry on the way back to the mainland, the fog had cleared up and we had some great views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Despite the rain it was a fantastic day and we saw some incredible things!

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After Alcatraz, we spent some time walking around and went to Ghiradelli Square.  We had lunch at a fantastic place called Buena Vista Cafe which is known for the Irish coffee.  We drove through Haight-Ashbury.

On Sunday morning we got up and Bird toured us around the Stanford University campus.  It was gorgeous!  I love all of the palm trees everywhere and the buildings were stunning.

After our stroll around Stanford we headed into Menlo Park and walked around the town a bit before the event at Kepler’s Books that afternoon.  We walked through the farmer’s market and stopped in Feldman’s Books.  It was such a cool bookstore!  There are two rooms and in between them is an outdoor reading patio.  So awesome!  I ended up scoring two older mass market editions for my Outlander collection.

Kepler’s Books is located just down the road so we headed there to set up for the event.

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We had all kinds of swag to give out to attendees and Zoe also had a table of her jewelry for sale.  She designed an awesome set of pieces inspired by Shattered Blue so it was really cool to have her there with her jewelry.

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From left to right: Zoe, Kristen, Bird (back), and Ashley

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Swag table!  Posters, bookmarks, buttons, and stickers!

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Zoe Cope Jewelry (see her website for the Shattered Blue collection)

We had a great turnout for the event!  She had a special promotion for middle and high school kids who came to the event could get a free copy of the book.

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It was an incredible event meeting all of these people coming to see Bird talk about her awesome book!  I loved being there and being able to help her out!

That evening we went out for a fabulous Chinese dinner in Palo Alto at Tai Pan.  The atmosphere was awesome and the food was to die for!

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On Monday Ethan and I headed back home to MN.  We had such a great time with everyone and we can’t wait until we can all get together again.

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3/4 of our Ninjaottersox gang! Ashley (The Comedian), Me (The Eskimo) and Bird (The Author)

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Ash and I before the Kepler’s event

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Bird and Zoe

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Kristen and Bird

And this post would not be complete without a few photos of Ninja, Bird’s adorable and sweet rescue dog!  She is the cutest thing ever and so much fun to play with!

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And there were a few swag items that I designed for the Shattered Blue events that didn’t make it in time so Bird sent those to me separately and I got the package on Thursday night!

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The tote features one of Noa’s poems from the book.  And of course she had to send me more socks and look at how amazing they are!  Otters! Mermaid! And glow-in-the-dark manatees in space!  Ashley ended up staying longer in California so they got to spend a day in Monterey and went to the aquarium so she got me this awesome otter bookmark!  So cute!

So that is the full recap of our trip!  I am really looking forward to whenever we can all get together again!

WWW Wednesday – January 28, 2015

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme now hosted by Taking on a World of Words!  I am glad that this meme is here to stay but I probably would have kept on doing it even if Sam hadn’t taken the hosting over.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What is up next?

CURRENTLY

20756683    1894

RECENTLY FINISHED

18774020    24356668

UP NEXT

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The Forgotten Girls is the last NetGalley title I have approved at the moment so I’m not sure what I will be reading next through that.  I usually have one print book going along with one ebook or Kindle book.

What are your WWWs for the week?

Book Review: California by Edan Lepucki

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Summary from Goodreads: The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they’ve left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable despite the isolation and hardships they face. Consumed by fear of the future and mourning for a past they can’t reclaim, they seek comfort and solace in one other. But the tentative existence they’ve built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she’s pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown but unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses its own dangers. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

Review: I have been wanting to read this book ever since I came across it last year after it was released.  My brother and his fiance gave it to me for my birthday which I was so excited about!  When I first started it I thought it was a little slow moving.  I wasn’t all that interested in the scenes that took place at Plank.  But when Frida and Cal made it to the spikes things really started to get interesting!  For a couple who had been alone together for the last six months after only neighbors died, it was interesting seeing them come into contact with so many people.  When Cal and Frida began to find out more and more about The Land, things were revealed that blew my mind.  I felt that this was a very realistic post-apocalyptic story.  I was a little bummed out with the ending.  It seemed incomplete and abrupt.  I still really enjoyed reading this book though.

Four out of five stars.