Yesterday, Murray and I got back from a two-and-a-half week trip to North America that included stays in San Francisco, Toronto, Boise (Idaho) and Los Angeles. I’m still somewhat in holiday mode, so I thought I’d share some highlights.
Our trip had two main purposes: for me to catch up with my North American publishing team (Tundra Books in Toronto, Canada) and for Murray and I to spend time with our friends in Boise who are doing amazing community development work with Create Common Good. To top and tail the trip, we had a few days in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where we also caught up with other friends and family.
Along the way, I passed a few Barnes & Noble stores and found copies of Shadows on shelves in Boise, Santa Monica and The Grove (in LA). It’s still hard for me to get my head around the fact something I’ve written is on shelves in another country. 🙂
I should mention that Murray and I are somewhat obsessed with coffee – and by coffee, I mean Italian-style espresso-based coffees made by an experienced barista – so you’ll notice a recurring theme below.
It was so wonderful to meet Sylvia, Tara, Pamela, Alison and Sam (above) from Tundra Books, and to have the chance to sign in-store copies of Shadows at The World’s Biggest Bookstore, Indigo and Chapters in the city centre.
Toronto is a really interesting city. As first-time visitors, we found the key to being able to scratch below the surface and find the city’s personality was chatting with locals. In our experience, Toronto people were incredibly friendly and helpful.
Best coffee we found in Toronto: Trattoria Mercatto (Eaton Centre) and Carisma (Distillery District)
In Boise, Idaho, we stayed with our friends Celia and Brent (and their son Noah) and divided out time between enjoying the city in Fall (so pretty!) and helping out at Create Common Good – a community-based organisation helping change lives through food. We made some inspiring new friends. (Brent is an executive chef providing food training and Celia is a journalist-turned-professional photographer – which is why the shots from CCG are so good!)
Best coffee we found in Boise: Flying M
We loved San Francisco, especially the food and wine. Fellow Aussie writer Simmone Howell was in the city at the same time as us and we caught up one night – which was a lot of fun. We also caught an awesome blues show with the John Garcia Band at Biscuits and Blues.
Best coffee we found in San Francisco: Pinocchio (restaurant in Little Italy); Blue Bottle Coffee Company (Ferry Building).
And finally, we stayed at Santa Monica while in LA, catching up with friends (Kerri and Charles) and family (Chloe). We experienced the infamous marine layer (low-lying fog on the coast) on our first day, but the sun came out over the beach before we left.
Best coffee we found in LA: Groundwork (The Market, Santa Monica Place)