On Wednesday, I flew to Little Rock, Arkansas – a first for me, even after 20 years of doing book tours. I’d been invited to speak about caregiving at this year’s Arkansas Blue Cross conference for Case Managers. The conference took place in Hot Springs, about an hour’s drive from Little Rock, and the organizers put on a terrific event – a day packed with informative and engaging speakers. My talk focused on the need for self-care among caregivers and I shared the many lessons I’d learned in the course of writing You’d Better Not Die or I’ll Kill You, copies of which were on hand for purchase during the break thanks to Gayle at the Barnes & Noble in Little Rock.
So many in the audience stopped by the signing table to buy a book and to tell me about their own caregiving experiences. It was very moving to hear their stories. Lots of courageous people out there.
After the conference, Michael (he came with me to record my speech and serve as my cheerleader in case no one laughed at my jokes) and I drove back to Little Rock and had a fabulous dinner at a place called Brave New Restaurant.
It had been recommended by some at the conference but I’d also read about it on Trip Advisor and Yelp and it sounded like a winner. Overlooking the Arkansas River with a view of the city skyline that’s particularly attractive at night, Brave New Restaurant (yes, it’s really called that because the owner/chef’s last name is Brave) was spectacular. Everything we ordered – from the shrimp-and-avocado appetizer to my pan-seared tuna and Michael’s dry-rubbed sirloin – was delicious. I heartily recommend.
I would love to have stayed in Little Rock longer. The downtown area is humming with activity – lots of shops and restaurants and music venues. The Clinton Library was closed thanks to the government shutdown or we might have stayed to take a tour. But oh well. It was a quick turnaround to get back to California with fond memories of new places discovered and new friends made.