Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Valley Ho!!

sunny, warm, temps 72

No - we're not in Quebec anymore! We're in Phoenix and it is gorgeous. Apparently this is a cold spell. Ha, I laugh in their general direction...or something else. This is fabulous.

Wilder drove us to Burlington. We got stopped at the Vermont border by a guard who decided it was deeply suspicious that a Canadian crime writer would be on book tour in the states. pulled us over, asked a bunch of odd questions, searched the car. Never happened before. But we also discovered, once in the burlington hotel and wilder had left that Michael had raced out of our home so quickly (in the snow) he'd only brought his snow boots. So we arrived in Phoenix _ after a 4am wake-up, 6am flight to NYC - 8:30 flight (5 hours) to Phoenix - in snowboots. Spot the Canadian, eh?

the first thing we did after checking into the Valley Ho (not kidding) hotel was hop on the trolley (wonderful service - free through scottsdale) to the mall and bought the boy a pair of shoes. Such fun to sit on the bus and look at historic scottsdale. What a remarkable life we have.

Our hotel is the BEST we've ever been in. I stayed here last january when A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone was released. LOVED it, so when Barbara Peters of poisoned Pen issued the invitation I told Michael he just had to come. Didn't need to be asked twice.

We arrived and I went through the usual "is it possible to get an upgrade" routine. And voila...we ended up in the MOST spectacular room. Living room, HUGE kitchen (fun to look at) - amazing bedroom...it's like this 1950's designer loft. Open concept. Massive walk-in shower with wonderful pale blue glass tiles. changing room. I'm assuming this is our room - might be the lobby. oh well, we slept in it last night! there's a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the pool, and palm trees, and the red mountains in the background. Unbelievable.

Full moon last night.

Barbara picked us up at 6:00 for dinner. peter Robinson and his wife Sheila were there as was Dana Stabenow and of course Barbara's very gracious and funny husband Rob. The evening was hilarious and thoughtful as we all talked about our lives...almost nothing about writing and books - thank God. It's nice not to - to just get to know each other personally.

Dana is flying back to Alaska today. I have a 3:30 event at the Tempe library then Michael and I are having dinner with Lesa and Patti - then a 7pm event at Poisoned Pen with peter.

Last night - after dinner - we were exhausted and came into the room...to stand on our 4th floor balcony and see the soft blue christmas lights wrsapped around the truck of the palms outside our room (enchanting) and see the full moon.

Awoke to a magical, colourful sunrise over the mountains...clear, clear sky. Sat on the balcony and spoke to my agent in London and knew if there is a luckier person on earth I'd love to meet them.

Of course, I also knew that being with Michael for this made it magical. I could, and have, done it without him. indeed, I can do everything without him. But why would I want to? having him with me is the greatest of the good luck.

Am sitting by the pool - Michael about to go swimming - writing to you. I'm sipping on a Shirley Temple and he has some non-alcoholic concoction with everything but an umbrella.

off to Rochester NY tomorrow and more adventures. Speak soon. Be well.


Marjorie said...

Lovely post, Louise. But why am I picturing Michael in swim trunks and a pair of lace up snow boots at the same time??????


--Marjorie from Connecticut

lil Gluckstern said...

What a lovely life, indeed, but not to forget the hard work to achieve it. I love traveling with you and imagining your hotel rooms, and wonder at your wonderful awe of life. Historic Scottsdale, after historic England, and you aren't jaded at all. I had a similar image as Marjorie-Palm trees, and snow boots. Your dinner sounded lovely as I knew it would. I haven't read Peter Robinson so I have some catching up to do. Have fun!!

Shelagh said...

Dear Louise,

You are such a wonderful person - I just love reading about your adventures, and am amazed at your delicious sense of humor. If you ever get tired of writing about Three Pines (omg - don't ever let that happen!) -or perhaps in your next life - please become a travel writer. Nobody does it better (is that Carly Simon I hear?????)

I'm with Marjorie in picturing Michael in snow boots and a swim suit!

Enjoy the rest of your visit, and the warm weather. Actually, today in Michigan it is an absolutely beautiful day - sunshine, NO SNOW (yea) and relatively "warm".

Hugs, Shelagh

Bev Stephans said...

Dear Louise,

Your "away" posts are always so much fun. Lucky us, we get to travel with you and Michael.....and the snow boots.

Any dinner with Dana Stabenow has got to be fun. I don't know the other people, but if they invited you and Dana, they must have a good sense of humor also.

Sign and sell lots of books!


Anonymous said...

Dear Louise,

We're south of Phoenix about 100 miles in Tucson...and it is COLD for us! I wore mittens to the movies yesterday and my husband had to scrap his auto windshield this morning. I'm sure no one thought a thing about Michael in his snow boots...we all bundle up when the mercury drops below 60 degrees. Swiming, now that would get out attention. Hope you enjoy Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

There was a Louise Penny Fan Club lunch in Temple, Texas at noon today. Two of the three members were present (Drs. Billie Laney (President) and Catherine McNeal (physician to the President); the third member, Kaye had a sore tooth and could not attend. We had a fabulous chicken pot pie with a buttery crust that Gabri must have sent. It was a wonderful 2 hour meeting with many enjoyable tales. We only wish you could have joined us!

Sister of the Cod

Donna K said...

Well, now Michael. Don't feel bad..wearing boots to Phoenix..I mean, it's not as if you're at the Ritz in London or somewhere in a totally unacceptable cashmere sweater------

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear all,

Ha ha - love imagining Michael in snowboots and palm trees. And quite right, Donna...I begin to see a pattern. Poor Michael.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear SOC,

Wish I could have taken Kaye's place...but wish more she was feeling better! this is hilarious. But you and I Catherine will always be sisters...having had an intimate relationship with a cod, together. We'll let others imagine what that could possibly mean.

Love to you all.