d*s bookd*s book tour

book tour diary: west coast

by Grace Bonney

Image of our SF book party with Clay Walsh, Lisa Congdon and Rena Tom. Via Lisa.

The first week of our book tour was so much fun, but also incredibly tiring. We promised ourselves we’d keep a tour diary, and then it ended up being next to impossible to take photos and do any work outside of our already pretty crazy schedule. So we said to ourselves, week two. Week two will definitely be when we start. Amy and I managed to take some extra photos, but this second leg of the tour (the longest and most challenging of the entire tour) was even tougher than we imagined, including some 4 am wake-up calls that pretty much zapped us for the entire week. But that said, we had an AMAZING time and were so happy and appreciative that we got to travel the entire West Coast from Vancouver down to LA. I’ve uploaded some of my favorite snaps and videos above and below, but please feel free to share any photos from the events. Thanks so much to everyone who came to say hi in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, LA and SF. xo, Grace and Amy

Portland: We started the West Coast leg of the tour in one of my favorite places on earth, Portland, Oregon. We were especially excited because we got to spend 2.5 days there, a rarity on the tour. Typically, we spend less than 24 hours in a city, so getting time to see friends and eat as much as possible was a real treat.

Favorite moments: Coffee at Ristretto, brunch at Tasty & Sons, getting the big room at the Ace with a record player, catching up with great friends, breakfast at Broder, a packed craft class at the Ace, meeting the very model of “I don’t know how she does it” (the amazing Alexandra Hedrin) and the gorgeous backdrop that Cori Kindred designed for our book party at West Elm.

Image above: Me, Matt and Amy. This is what jet lag looks like.

Image above: Toro Bravo dinner, delicious coffee sodas at Tasty & Sons.

San Francisco: San Francisco is always a favorite stop on any trip because it’s the hometown of our resident DIY queen and one of the coolest girls in the world, Kate Pruitt. Though we had an early flight into town, we were excited to be welcomed by beautiful sunny weather and getting to meet with some great book sellers from the Northern California Independent Book Sellers Association in their beautiful Presidio offices. After that, we met up with Kate, tried some crazy rubber face masks at the hotel, and headed down to the Anthropologie to set up for the event.

Favorite moments: The Presidio view of the Book Sellers Association, getting to spend time with Kate, the amazing custom-dyed 600+ edible cookie wall that Leah and Sarah built as our backdrop for the party, the band Anthro hired to play for the party, catching up with friends in town, getting to see my Aunt Marsha from Florida and her son/my cousin, Matt, who’s stationed in Monterey.

Image above: A view of SF from above . . .

Los Angeles: LA is the city I used to think I’d end up in at some point, despite the weird rivalry New Yorkers seem to feel with it. I love the sun, the beach and the food. The weather certainly didn’t disappoint, and we got to soak up a little sun while we were in town (from our hotel balcony) along with some seriously high temperatures.

Favorite moments: Sitting on our (pretty weird) hotel balcony and listening to birds, meeting the incredibly awesome Bobby Solomon of The Fox is Black, signing a few books at Book Soup and seeing that both Henry Rollins and Duff McKagan were coming for signings, too, meeting almost the entire Azzarito family, the giant donut sign, the awesome backdrop that the Bash, Please girls built for the event and getting to meet so many nice people (and eat delicious high-top treats) at the Beverly Hills event.

Image above: Our hotel balcony

Image above: All I can think of is the Walsh family . . .

Image above: I loved the painted gourds outside of the Beverly Hills Anthro store where we had our event.

Seattle: After a few days of heat, it was nice to escape into the welcoming arms of fog, rain and overcast weather. I’ve grown to really love the damp coolness of the Pacific Northwest, and riding back into Seattle felt like coming back to an old friend. Amy and I got an extra day in town that we happily filled with lots of tasty food, pretty walks and a few brief visits with friends.

Favorite moments: Spotting Dwight Yoakam on our plane, our hotel with its fancy bathtub that filled from the ceiling, a breakfast stroll through the Pike Place market, visiting the Amazon headquarters, Japanese hot dogs, coffee with Twitter friends-turned-real-friends, sleeping in and eating an entire bar of Bread & Chocolate chocolate from local heroes Theo Chocolates. Also, it can’t be overstated how amazing both Matthew Parker and his amazing backdrop for the Seattle event were.

Image above: The best (and most expensive — $2.50 each!) apples I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.

Image above: We used some spare time to shellac our nails. I’m crazy about all-natural face products, but for some reason, slathering car paint on my hands seemed okay.

Image above: Japanese hotdogs — delicious!

Vancouver: I’ve always associated Vancouver with my favorite band in the world, The New Pornographers. So part of me expected to land and see AC Newman pop out from behind a pine tree and start playing. Sadly, that didn’t happen, but we did get to soak up a bit of nature during our brief stay (we were there for less than 12 hours). Vancouver is indeed one of the most gorgeous cities around, and I can’t wait to visit again soon.

Favorite moments: Riding a bicycle built for two around Stanley Park, seeing gorgeous totem poles, finding someone’s wallet in the park and getting it back to them (despite a woman who tried who steal the money — boo!), warm ginger molasses cookies on the walk back to the hotel, meeting Jan from Poppytalk after being Internet friends for ages, an adorable dog-cake made for the book party, getting to see D*S editor Stephanie (who’s based in LA!).

Image above: Hockey-decorated candy bars. It must be Canada!

Image above: Beautiful totem poles in Stanley Park

Image above: Baby pine trees growing in a log. I love this city — nature is everywhere.

Image above: We had a few spare hours in Vancouver, so we rented a tandem bike to ride around the park. I take it back now — THIS is what jet lag looks like.

*We’ll have more photos of the backdrops, events and everyone involved in helping with them soon!

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  • Wow, what a trip! I’m still a bit jet lagged from my jaunt around the US (and then 15 hours on a plane back to SA), but you must be ragged. It was fantastic to meet you in Portland, and I hope it won’t be the last time :)

  • Sorry that the weather was less than cooperative in Vancouver on Saturday! Believe it or not, the preceding days were beautiful and sunny. I’m a Vancouver native and the views of the mountains rising over the city never get old for me so I hope that the cloud cover wasn’t too low by the time you biked the seawall. :)

  • When did San Francisco turn into a green, hilly suburb? That’s actually San Bruno, with a view of the Golden Gate National Cemetery (the spiral thing). SFO is a good dozen miles south of San Francisco…

  • So glad you had a bit of fun & fresh air in Vancouver, despite probably just wanting to fall flat on your faces for a good nap! Hehe…

    My hubby & I recently celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary, and we stayed in Vancouver at a fancy-shmancy hotel and did ‘tourist things’ the whole day….it was AWESOME! (we live just 35 minutes outside the city)

    You tend to forget how amazing the city is, until you see it with the eyes of someone who has never been there before. What fun! I have a few suggestions for the next time you hit VanCity up. ;^)


  • Love it — thank you so much for bringing us along on your tour! Now I have a few spots to add to my must-sees…

    The biologist in me feels the need to point out that those baby pine trees are probably actually haircap moss. But haircap moss is my favorite precisely because it looks like baby pine trees!

  • Aaah Grace, I may have ridden right by you as I was riding the Stanley Park seawall on Saturday afternoon around 3pm with my family. It was actually quite a fine afternoon weather wise- did you ride in the morning mist? Then later I was marching along Granville and realized your book signing was happening, knocking on the door begging to join the party just before you would have arrived! Unfortunately for me, it was chalk full, awesome for you tho, yay! Still haven’t seen the book, but eventually:) Big congrats to you!

  • We were just at these totem poles, they are beautiful and larger than life. Love the bright colours they used in the carvings.

  • It is so much fun to hear about the trips! I was just a bit too late to
    get one of the tickets for the projects in Portland..I think it is amazing
    that you are doing so many projects on all of these trips! I get exhausted just
    imagining it! Most people hit it when they do readings and signings
    so you must really be a bit beat when they are done. I think things like
    this are energizing as well (I teach art at a community college) but so
    they must also very exhausting!

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