SW Travel and Book Winners

WINNERS of drawings for recent excellent books

Susan Reiners wins the new book Blood Work by Holly Tucker.

Sheryl Kraft wins the much coveted Revolution by Deb Olin Unferth. (The rest of you are just going to have to go buy a copy. Support our authors!)

Click a Link if You Love Me

Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo ArtistOkay, so that’s a bit melodramatic, but I’m busy in a lot of places this month, and just in case I forget to show up here some day, I want to be sure you have something to read. This is my month for a blog tour (a virtual book tour) to talk about Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist.  Here are some suggestions for your viewing pleasure, and a little travel planning information.

Pictures of my real (as opposed to virtual) Tahoma book tour last week in Albuquerque NM and Yuma AZ appear on Tahoma Blog.

Book signing at BookWorks
Book signing at BookWorks in Albuquerque

At Bookworks in Albuquerque, I met friends of Tahoma and had dinner with David Brugge, retired anthropologist who wrote the foreword for the book. Bookworks is my favorite kind of bookstore. Waaay too many books crammed in every which way, staff that knows their stuff, a little space with folding chairs for people to meet with authors.

There’s a cool little cafe called The Flying Star Café right next to the bookstore, and I wish they’d open one just like it in Tucson! From the eclectic menu, I chose a Greek Salad with a different treatment for the feta cheese–they made it into cheese balls and deep fried them. (How to make a salad evil.)  From the totally tempting desert case, I chose a chocolate cupcake smothered in creamy chocolate frosting.

I spent the night at the Best Western Rio Grande Inn. The room was quiet despite the hotel’s location right next to the I-40/ Rio Grande Exit.  Their shuttle bus not only picks guests up at the airport, but also will make runs into nearby Old Town (definitely walking distance if you’re in the mood), or to the newly spruced up downtown area along Central. For some unfathomable reason, the shuttle refused to go in the other direction–north to the bookstore about 21/2 miles away. That was my ONLY complaint about this pretty and comfortable motel with cheerful, helpful staff.

Wyn Bundy of Singing Winds Bookstore at Arizona History Convention
Win Bundy of Singing Winds Bookstore at Arizona History Convention

After my quick stop in Albuquerque, I took off for Yuma to attend the Arizona History Convention. There I signed books at the table of Singing Winds bookstore, possibly the most unique bookstore in the U.S.  Sorry, no link to a web site, since they are not on the Internet, don’t use e-mail and don’t take credit cards.

They DO however answer their telephone, so when you are in Southern Arizona, call 520-586-2425 and get directions out to the ranch where you can meet Win Bundy, who stopped working as a librarian, but accumulated enough books to start a bookstore which quickly took over the house on the ranch. For many years her time has been divided between raising cattle and advising people on books. Some day I should write a post just about Win and Singing Winds.

Hilton Garden Inn, Yuma, AZ
Hilton Garden Inn, Yuma, AZ

In Yuma, Ken and I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, a fairly new property in a town that is crowded with hotels and motels. We enjoyed the Hilton Garden Inn, although it is a bit pricey for the Yuma area. The hotel’s location could not be more perfect for sightseeing. It is adjacent to the well–preserved historic military installation called the Quartermaster’s Depot. In the park-like setting that showcases the old adobe buildings, the visitor’s center has moved into former barracks and we had a cowboy cookout on the lawn one evening. The Colorado River runs just beyond the hotel and Yuma Crossing, the historic raison d’etre for this desert city which attracted Spanish friars and soldiers, mountain men, American soldiers, farmers and finally R.V. tourists.  Nearby the Territorial Prison stands atop a hill and you can tour the former home of western desperadoes.

Main Street, Yuma AZ
Main Street, Yuma AZ

A block away from the hotel, Main Street holds more old buildings, new shops and fun restaurants.

Memorabilia Wall at Luke's Restaurant, Yuma, AZ
Luke's Restaurant
Luke's Restaurant meal
Luke's Restaurant meal









Madison, the street the hotel is on, leads to the town’s museum set in historic Sanguinetti House, and many other 1800’s buildings.  The museum’s backyard has somewhat ramshackle gardens, a la early Arizona days, but all that green and the shade of trees are welcome here in the desert. Exotic birds, include a peacock and peahen, inhabit wire cages scattered throughout the garden.

On our way out of town on Sunday morning, we stopped for Sunday brunch at the Garden Cafe behind the museum. Out-of-this world Oatmeal pancakes served with ligonberries kept us fueled for the 4 1/2 hour drive back to Tucson.

Disclaimer: There is NO disclaimer. I paid for the whole *** thing myself! Ken took the pictures in Yuma and Mark Rosacker took the ones in Albuquerque.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

7 thoughts on “SW Travel and Book Winners

  1. LOVE your disclaimer, Vera! You gave me a chuckle. And I enjoyed traveling along with you on your adventures, although I have to say the biggest stand-out were the deep fried feta balls.

  2. Congrats to the winners!!! Enjoyed reading about your trip– your talk of a Greek Salad made me want one!! I have never heard of oatmeal pancakes and that made me wish I could try one just to see what they are like….if you are wondering why I seemed to have pounced on all your food references…I’m starving right now :)…note to self…EAT before reading blogs- even blogs which are normally about travel and books 🙂

  3. Hi Vera,

    I loved reading this post about your book tour. I used to live in Albuquerque and miss it. Especially on days like today when Columbus, Ohio seems socked in with rain. Wyn Bundy sounds fascinating. Did you have a chance to go to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center? You were close to it at the Rio Grande Inn. Where did you eat?

    1. Note that I misspelled her name. It is actually Win. I have been to the Indian pueblo Cultural Center many times, and have written about it at my other blog, Tahoma Blog and at Wandering Educators. We ate at the little restaurant beside BookWorks, described in the post. Only meal I had there other than breakfast. It was a quick trip. I love Artichoke, Standard Diner, The Range in Bernallilo (not so much the one in Albuquerque).

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