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Posted on the Squeetus Blog February 25, 2006 07:57 AM PST.

Northern California:

I understand why the high real estate prices and population. Wow, it's gorgeous! I've visited the Bay Area several times, but this time more than ever, I've been thinking, Yeah, I could live in San Francisco/Marin. Lovely weather, lovely people.

I never met a bookstore I didn't like:

And I got to hang out in several--Cody's, Hicklebee's, Books Inc., Storyteller, Book Passage (we didn't go into a Copperfield's, but met some of their supernatural booksellers). They're all different and yet all have that bookstore spirit that makes you want to stay and soak it up, and also buy everything in the store. If I had to live in only one room for the rest of my life it'd have to be a bookstore. Or a library.

Teaching opportunities:

1stteach

My beloved 1st grade teacher, Shannon Howells, came to a signing in Salt Lake City the week before my California trip. I hadn't seen her in years, and what a joy! She was an incredible teacher. I remember so much from that year, and all good. She said, "I was hoping that Tutor Olana wasn't based on me." She was able to find for me the address of my 4th grade teacher, the one who started me writing, so I get to send her a thank you card at last and some books!

Kinderteach 1

Then walking down a street in San Francisco, I stop suddenly as a woman passes. It's my kindergarten teacher, there on vacation. Crazy! She is also a lovely woman and teacher beyond compare. (she catered my wedding, so I'd seen her a few years ago.) All these teachers coming into my life. What is the universe trying to tell me?

Cool moms:

I was doing a stock signing at The Storyteller in Lafayette on Friday, and two moms brought their daughters in, having read on my website that I'd be there. One group was home schooled, the other got her daughter Lauren out of algebra class to come. Hooray for cool moms!

"Uh..." comments:

In an elementary school after I tell about Rapunzel's Revenge, a girl about 11 years old asks, "What about split ends?"

In a different elementary school, throughout my presentation a 10-year-old boy keeps raising his hand at times when I haven't asked a question. I tell him, "Remember your question and ask me again at the end, okay?" Finally we get to the Q&A part and I call on him.

"Did you used to work out?" he asks, completely serious.

"Used to?" I say.

"I googled your name," he says, "and I found this photo of a girl with serious abs."

Pause. "Uh, yeah, I don't think that was me."

MAX:

Max came with me, and my wonderful sister Jessica who nannied while I evented. He was wonderful. There were a couple of grumpy moments due to lack of nap or schedule change, but mostly he was delighted. And I could eat him up, he was so cute.

Maxfloor

Lying on the floor of the hotel lobby. The moment we walked into a room, you could tell who was annoyed at having a toddler rolling around on the ground and who had one at home. I was very grateful for the smiles we got amidst the grumpy glares.

Max fishtank

Looking into the fish tank at the Exploratorium

Maxrun

Runnig around a play table. This is our favorite winter game - running circles around objects. He's VERY good at it.

Maxsand

Playing with sand on a spinning wheel. And they said the Exploratorium wouldn't be interesting to a 2-year old!

Maxbed 1

Snuggled in comforter and pillows on our hotel bed. Could you eat him on a cracker he's so adorable? And this week, he's been reading "Mama," "Papa," "Max," and "Ca" (what he calls his aunt Jessica). A little eerie.

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