The Grand McMenamins Passport Tour

We had a lot of places to visit so we started early.  Our first stop:


We arrived just as the restaurant was opening.  That purple ball had the cephalopod on it we needed to find to get our shirts.IMG_5354

On to Eugene.  Laurie and Matt pose outside our first location.IMG_5355

Visiting our second Eugene location (which was my favorite in this town)IMG_5357

Stopping at North Bank for two more stamps and our prize.IMG_5358

Our prize was a basket of fries or tots.  We also ordered lunch, which turned out to be a mistake.IMG_5359

You know you’re in Eugene when the McMenamins has bike parking.IMG_5366

Onto Corvallis.  Our first location had this amazing sink sculpture:IMG_5372

The second location had an English Pub feel.  Here we collected our prize of one free appetizer each.


Next came Salem and this amazing historic house-turned-restaurant.IMG_5390

Our last stop in Salem.  Time to claim our prize:  sandwich or wrap of our choice.IMG_5392

Wisely, we took them to go.  While we were waiting, we sang happy birthday to Phoenix, an eight year old who covered his ears while everyone on the patio serenaded him.IMG_5393

Two pages in one day!IMG_5394

Books read in April 2016

AWTY_COVER_FINAL_FRONT31Somewhat of a lighter month for reading, probably because things were so busy. (Also not a month in which I’m head-over-heels about much of what I’ve read.)


Picture Books:  Are We There Yet? (and not because it’s the only contender)
Young Adult: A Thousand Nights
Young Nonfiction: Wet Cement
picture books

Are We There Yet?
Dan Santant
Read for Librarian Book Group
Perhaps my favorite picture book so far this year, and so good I read it out loud to Matt.  We had fun scanning the QR codes and finding all the details.  Quite well done!

young adultA Thousand Nights
E.K. Johnston
Johnston applies knowledge gained during several summers spent in the desert in this retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. While the narrative skipped right along, Johnston also included a ton of detail about village and palace life.  At times it reminded me of my enjoyment while reading the Red Tent.

The Great American Whatever
Tim Federle
Great title.  And cover design.  Good coming of age story about a boy, Quinn, who is mourning the death of his sister (and partner in movie-making crime).

Essential Maps for the Lost
Deb Caletti
The voice of the omniscient narrator did not work at all for me.  What did work was the portrayal of depression as the subtle sneaky bastard that it is.  Very nicely done Ms. Caletti.  Also, thanks for a reminder that it’s been too many years since I read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Young nonficiton

When Green Becomes Tomatoes
Julie Fogliono
Read for Librarian Book Group
Quite good poems about the changes in the seasons, that also doesn’t go for the cliche parts of the season.

Wet Cement
Bob Raczka
Read for Librarian Book Group
If you are only going to buy one poetry book this year, this is the one!  Wonderfully inventive use of words.  Incredibly clever.

Guess Who Haiku
Read for Librarian Book Group
I did not find these haiku as amazing or creative as the author implied in the author note.  Illustrations were fine.

Fearless Flyer
Read for Librarian Book Group
“Oh! I hope there’s a picture of Ruth Law at the end!  I hope, I hope, I hope!”  And there was!  Gripping tale (in picture book form) of an early pilot trying to set a long distance record.  The illustrations were softer than I would have preferred for the subject matter, but still smutThe Shameless Hour
Sarina Bowen
Moving right along in the Ivy Series we step away from the hockey players, and instead follow Bella, the manager of the hockey team, and Rafe, a soccer player.  In this installment, we finally leave behind the F/inexperienced M/experienced trope for the slow-burn romance between the very experienced F and the very inexperienced M.  Uncomfortable stuff happens to Bella early on, which means there isn’t a lot of hot sex in this book.  There’s other good stuff, though.