LAST STOP ON THE TOUR!!! My friend Bethany is sad because she's under the impression that I'll stop blogging once the tour ends and she'll have nothing silly to read when she's feeding baby Rhys at early o'clock in the morning. No worries, new mothers! The tour may be ending but the tour blog will continue--on Friday I'll be in Lititz, PA for a book event, and on Saturday I'll be at the Princeton Children's Book Festival. As long as Jason has the strength and fortitude to send me somewhere, the blog will continue, and that guy is looking very healthy.
We said goodbye to Jessi, Marc, and Ben and headed towards our home state of Pennsylvania. I know that Pennsylvania is a big state, and Pittburgh is just about as far from Philadelphia as one can get while still being technically in Pennsylvania, but it felt great to be kind-of back.
Pennsylvania welcomes us! In a blurry sort of way. Imagine that we saw the sign and then rubbed our eyes in disbelief, which is why it is blurry. Yup.
After a quick stop at the Mattress Factory (an art installation museum) we made our way to the top of Mt. Washington to get a good view of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has 446 bridges and I think we may have crossed two-thirds of them to find this scenic outlook. But it was worth it.
The book event was at the Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, a suburb of Pittsburgh. One of the great pleasures of being on this tour has been the chance to see all sorts of bookstores in different regions and to meet the staffs there, because book people are my people.
Every time I think of someone taking the time to make a promotional poster on behalf of my book, I feel all warm and gooey inside.
The kids were great and asked really detailed questions. I had never before considered what my favorite page in the book would be.
After the event we checked into our (blissfully wifi-ed) hotel room, freshened up, and headed to PNC Park for a ball game. For those of you who don't know, last night the Pittsburgh Pirates (who are considered to be a pretty terrible baseball team) were playing the Atlanta Braves (who were the best team in the division). If, last night, the Phillies beat the Florida Marlins, and the Pirates somehow managed to beat the Braves, the Phillies would take the lead in the division, so we showed our support for our Phillies by wearing Phillies gear and taking Atticus to the game.
Very odd, Transformer-like sculpture that we saw on the way to the stadium. Go Pittsburgh with your weird public art! Atticus is impressed by all the bridges.
Baseball! Most of the Pirates fans were pretty supportive of our Phillies love, but we got some dirty looks from the Braves fans in attendance.
This is the Pirates mascot. He (I assume it's a he) came over when he saw Atticus and bopped me on the head. I can honestly state that being loved up on by the Phanatic is rougher than being roughed up by the Pittsburgh Parrot. When his back was turned, Atticus stuck his nose-tongue at the Parrot's tush. Mark was terrified that the Parrot was going to kill me.
And then, inspired by Atticus, the Pirates pulled ahead of the Braves, 5-0! Hooray! All we needed was three more outs and the Pirates would win!!!
But we waited it out, because we are Philly fans, and Philly fans wait out the rain. Also, we had walked to the ballpark and didn't want to get soaked on the way home. Finally the game resumed, the Pirates won! And then the Phillies won! And this nice Pirates fan gave Atticus a smooch.
One last big car trip, and then we're going to hug the cat until she remembers who we are.