Sorry to take so long writing this post for you guys! We know lots of you were asking about it ever since we got back this weekend, but in true Petersik fashion we took way too many pics and had to figure out which ones to use and then felt like over-sharing about the whole thing… and thus this giant full-o-pics-and-words post was born. Anyway, the first tour stop for our book in Cincinnati this weekend was, well, kind of nuts. But the good kind of nuts. The kind where it’s like a whirlwind of awesome and can’t-believe-this-is-happening experiences all jammed packed into about 36 hours.
We promise we won’t pour over the details of every single tour stop over the next few months, but we thought checking in every week or two with an update would be a good balance along with all of the usual DIY fare (we’ve always loved sharing travel happenings). And because this was our first stop it was just too novel and exciting to keep our mouths shut… unlike this Instagram photo below from our flight on Friday (where both of our mouths are firmly shut).
We left Richmond behind around noon on Friday and headed to the “Nasty ‘Nati” (as one reader told us it was called – although there’s nothing nasty about it) by way of Philadephia. Clara and Burger stayed back at our house with my parents for the short trip, so it was our first night ever spent away from Clara. It was definitely an adjustment, but it wasn’t as bad as we feared. Most 2.5-year-olds that we know have already had sleepovers with their grandparents or other family members for at least one night, so we figured it was high time that we ripped that band-aid off anyway. And she did great!
Our flight got us in about 90 minutes late. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal had we not arranged to House Crash someone that afternoon (the flight delay meant they had to wait patiently at our hotel for over an hour – eeks!). But they were great sports about the whole thing and their house was gorgeous despite the fact that we lost all natural light by the time we arrived. Thankfully we still got a bunch of awesome shots! You’ll get the full photo tour in a week or two (we’re juggling a few other House Crashings that we’ve secretly done and still have to write up for ya) but here’s a pretty little snippet.
Note: To all of the amazing folks who invited us to house crash, we wish we could’ve visited you all!
Despite the delays of the day, we still made time for some Cincinnati staples on Friday night: Skyline Chili and Graeter’s ice cream. Locals warned us that Skyline might be an acquired taste, but I thoroughly enjoyed my “three way” (chili + spaghetti + cheese mountain) and Sherry’s chili on a potato was equally good (for anyone wondering, she dumped a gallon of hot sauce on it and said she was in love). At Graeter’s (which is famous for their massive chunks of soft chocolate chips) Sherry downed a giant scoop of the popular black raspberry chip and I got cookie dough chip on a cone. It was great, even though it was about 45 degrees outside.
But the real fun started on Saturday at The Books By The Banks Festival. We can’t even begin to articulate how mind-blowing it was to see stacks of a book that we actually wrote for the first time ever (before this event, we had only seen one of them – and there were a lot more boxes of books under that table). So there might’ve even been some tingling sensations. Sherry claimed that her nose went numb. Which might be the only excuse for the series of dork-tastic photos that we took. Like the Home Alone inspired pic that we shared here and the Where’s Waldo one below:
The festival doors opened at 10am so we were able to get our book signing hands warmed up for about 45 minutes before we got whisked away for our 11 o’clock presentation. We had only written our presentation about three days prior and practiced it maybe three times (we both don’t like to over-practice something since it sounds stiff and scripted) and it was a bit intimidating to suddenly find ourselves in front of all of these people. This was just half of the room – my pic of the other half came out too blurry thanks to my jittery hands.
We had some technical difficulties with the slide remote not working (nothing like a rocky start to boost your confidence!) but word on the street is that we weren’t terrible. Phew. A big thanks to Emily for snapping this Instagram picture that makes us looks like we know what we’re doing. Keeping it real fact: we were both nervously bouncing our knees under the table the entire time. #tablecloththankfulness
Speaking of other people’s pictures, we had so much fun snapping photos with those of you who stopped by once we were back at our book signin’ table. So please know that you don’t need to be shy about asking for a photo. In fact, we’re cool if you just hold up your camera and say “Snap snap, yo.” (Thanks Laura for the one below).
And feel free to take advantage of our weirdness by making requests for how we should pose. Annie suggested we do the see no / speak no / hear no evil thing (not sure why I did coy geisha hands) and Natasha requested her favorite: the “what’s going on?” hands pose.
Another heads up to anyone coming to a future tour stop. If you bring your child, Sherry will go into full time fawning mode. The younger the kid, the more intense it will be. Especially on stops like this where Clara isn’t with us. Ok? You’ve been warned.
We also finally got the chance to meet the awesome Dana Miller from HouseTweaking (spoiler alert: she’s actually one of ten guest bloggers that pop up in our book!). This picture was especially entertaining after Katie Bower asked where my other hand was. Oddly enough, I think it was on Dana’s husband’s back (I have quite the wingspan). Oh and if you’re looking for a breakdown of Dana’s experience, she wrote about it here <–complete with who to bring, when to get there, what to wear, and tips for making friends in line
And thanks to the many suggestions from you guys to use the blank dummy copy of our book as a tour “yearbook” (it has blank pages inside), we asked everyone to sign it. We got signatures, some sweet notes, and even some awesome kid drawings. Heck, a few adults even drew us pictures, mostly because Sherry egged people on. Allison drew a portrait of Burger, Bill drew us a castle (at Sherry’s suggestion), and then Mike tried to top everyone with a technicolor unicorn (another Sherry suggestion).
Perhaps the most shrill Sherry-moment of the day was when someone brought a ceramic animal that they wanted her to sign. How awesome is that? I think that was on $herdog’s life list.
If you can’t tell yet – it was a fun day filled with lots of fun people. We could not get over how nice everyone was. Seriously. Everybody was just so kind and happy – even after driving long distances, waiting in line, and even after finding out that we had sold out of books (our publisher only a had a finite amount ready since it was an extra early event, so we signed book plates and took photos with the people who didn’t get one). Some sweet folks even brought gifts. GIFTS people. Who are we to deserve this niceness? Or is this just how midwesterners roll? Thanks for the sweet glass bird, the print for Clara, and the Kentucky horseshoe & grass seed, guys!
One thing’s for sure: Cincy has set the bar really (really really) high, so we can only hope that everyone at our other stops are as understanding, kind, and gosh-darn adorable. That’s right. I’m a dude and I just said gosh-darn adorable. You guys were so amazing to make the drive, survive the wait, and completely understand when the book bounty ran dry. Of course no one wants these things to go more smoothly than the hosts, our publisher, and Sherry & I (we’d have 1,000 books at each event with no line if humanly possible!) but it’s so nice when folks are all laughing and having fun in line together. #giddy&grateful
Laura even thoughtfully gave me a bottle of their favorite local soda – Kentucky’s Ale 8 One ginger ale. But since it’s Aquatober (my month of only drinking water) I just tucked it in my bag to be enjoyed on November 1st. Sadly the TSA official at the airport thwarted my plan. Drat! Forgive me for not having the chance to enjoy your present, Laura! #confiscated
The sweetest moment of the day goes to Riley, the little girl who saw this Charley Harper book at another author’s table and thought “Clara would like this” and gave it to us to bring home to her. Sherry totally cried. As in, she was actively wiping tears from her eyes when the next folks in line came up to us (she’s mortified, but I told her it was cute). And Clara totally loves the book from “her friend Riley.”
Things slowed down for us around late afternoon (we were only supposed to be there until 1, but since the earliest flight home wasn’t until 6 we stayed around to continue meeting people and signing bookplates until right before the festival ended at 4). And on our way out we snuck in some time to enjoy the tail-end of the festival ourselves. For instance, we snagged this pic with Clara’s favorite bear couple to show her when we got home. Berenstain Bears for the win!
And speaking of meeting celebs, we had a chance to meet Bob and Cortney Novogratz since they were at a nearby table signing their new book, Home by Novogratz. We were all so preoccupied with our presentations that our interaction was sadly just a rushed exchanging of signed books before they had to catch a flight home to their seven kids. Though we did sneak in a quick picture too – which started off like this (Sherry likes to say that her default setting is “creepy”)…
… and ended like this:
Both Bob and Cortney were super nice and their book is great. We’re especially loving all the budget breakdowns in there (it correlates with their show, so it’s fun to see how much certain items and projects really cost). And how crazy is it to see an HGTV star holding our book? BANANAS.
In addition to getting a signed copy of the Novogratz book, we also got signatures from Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl) and Tad Hills (creator of some of Clara’s favorite books). It was one of those crazy whirlwind days that you almost don’t believe actually happened until you look back at the pictures.
But before we could even begin to absorb all the wacky and wonderful things we had just experienced, it was time to hit the airport for our flights home. Speaking of wacky… I guess a long day of meeting awesome people and skipping lunch to keep up with signing = hyperactive airport hijinks.
As much as we expected to just be dead tired, we were still so energized by all of the love in that room. We even had some fun in the kids’ play area before we had to board our real (and notably less giant) plane home.
We landed in Richmond shortly after 10pm, just over 36 hours since leaving the morning before. We were still riding on that Ohio-induced high, but definitely eager to get home, snuggle Burger, and catch a few winks before waking up Clara with some major hugs the next morning (she was already happily snoozing when we got in).
Thanks again to everyone who took time out of their Saturday to come on down. It made us so excited for our next leg (Manhattan, Wilton CT, and Ridgewood NJ on Nov 1st & 2nd) and everything else beyond that too. But most of all, we’re psyched (and still a bit anxious) that this book is finally in the hands of people besides ourselves and our publisher. That’s probably the craziest part of this whole thing. Two hundred of our babies are out there in circulation. Getting read, and hopefully being enjoyed. Thanks so much to all of you guys for making this possible. #whowouldathought
Hahaha love the “coy geisha hands!” Glad to hear you guys had a great time but sad you won’t be stopping by the STL – just think of all the Nelly lyrics you could make puns out of! That’s totally how you should plan the tour for your next book haha!
I’m shedding a tear for the missed opportunity for a So Hot In Herre post title… :(
Our family sends us Graeters dry iced down to North Carolina a couple times a year. It is THE BEST! So if you ever get the craving…it can be shipped!
Anne with an e says
Isn’t Books by the Banks so fun? I was sad to miss it this year since I was out of town for the weekend – and then extra so about the timing when I heard you all were going to be there! Glad to see you had a great time and enjoyed some of the best of Cincinnati (by which I mean Graeter’s, of course).
It was a blast! We’re so glad our publisher helped make it happen even though it was before our official release date.
So so cool!! Love all the fun photos! And that you all meet HGTV stars! I wonder if they were star struck… :-)
Ha! I don’t think they knew who the heck we were… :)
Elisha Asberry says
I am so bummed that I didn’t get to see you guys in Cincinnati! That’s my home town, but I now live in Knoxville, TN. You all made some great choices with the food! Graeter’s is my favorite and now they sell it here at Kroger. Congratulations on the book and safe travels to all your other signings!
I freaking love you guys lol. I was a little sad I didnt get to meet you or get a book ( I got there a little late and you were sold out and the line was a million miles long! It was 12:45 when I left, since you were supposed to leave at 1 lol) Glad we set the bar so high and I hope the rest of the tour goes just as well!
So sorry we missed you, Lindsey!
No worries, I was giddy to even be in the same room! lol
I was one of the people that made a mini-roadtrip to see you guys (3.5 hours each way!) and I’m so glad I did. You were so sweet and gracious and it was amazing to meet you. I was too starstruck to tell you that I’ve been a reader for 4 years and that you’ve inspired me so much with my own home…instead I spent my brief time with you telling you how freaked out I was!! Thank you so much for hanging around past 1 for those of us that were already in line. Now I really can’t wait to get my paws on your book and put my signed bookplate in it to make it official :)
Thanks so much again for the making the trip, Jen! We’re so flattered that anyone took the trouble to roadtrip it. And thank you for reading so long too! Couldn’t have done this without folks like you.
I am so sad that I missed my only opportunity to see you.(stupid work!) You guys have truly inspired me to make my home something I am proud of. I can’t wait to read your book. You both deserve all this success.
The Nasty Nati sounds like a really weird dance move or… something else. Ahem.
Totally thought of you, Sherry, when I was at Target last night and found a white bulldog lamp on sale! I was seriously dancing and hugging it in the aisle. Sadly it was still almost $50 and my husband didn’t think we could quite justify it. However, I will keep going back and hope that I can get it for a steal soon! I think I’ll name him Rocco. We’ll be best friends.
Corey Ann says
Posts like this make me smile, my state is so kind and welcoming. You forget that sometimes :) Glad to hear you loved Ohio as much as I do! I hope the rest of your tour is equally as lovely!
Sarah in Indiana says
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your first book signing, and that you had a good midwestern experience. It was really fun to see how many people came out to see you, and it was so gracious of you to stick around so long past your scheduled time to see everyone, and even work through lunch!
LOL I love that last pic.
And this just got me so super excited for the book signing in Boston. I will be racing there from work. I am just hoping that I’m not still in post-wisdom-teeth-extraction pain. (I SHOULD be okay. Extraction is the 1st but if some girl is talking funny and hopped up on pain killers. Totes me!)
I hope you don’t run out of books before I get there. I’m afraid my pre-ordered one won’t make it to me in time. Maybe I’ll bring a ceramic animal backup.
Congrats guys how exciting looks like you had a blast! I am eagerly awaiting my book in the mail im sooo excited! Any chance of you guyscoming to australia in the near future? Good luck with the rest of the tour im sure it will be just as amazing xx
Oh man, I would love to come to Australia. Fingers crossed that happens somehow, sometime.
Yay for Skyline and Graeters! I’ve been wondering if you guys would stop at one or both of these Cincy icons. (My whole family is from there.)
If you come to Atlanta in February there might be a really cute 2-month-old for Sherry to hold…just sayin…
I’m so jealous y’all aren’t coming to Bama!
So sad I missed this! We lived in Cincy for a few years while my husband did a PhD. We had 2 of our 5 children there and left behind so many dear friends and memories. When I saw this was the first stop on your tour, I seriously considered hopping on a plane to catch up with friends, get my own skyline and graeters fix(and see you guys, of course). I’m bummed your tour doesn’t include any cities remotely close to my current location…the beehive state, which I thought you guys would be down with :) You guys are awesome and I love reading your blog!
Fran Siefert says
AWESOME – looking forward to more reports of your SUPER BOOK-SIGNING tour!
yay!!! cincy is my hometown and i’m sooooo glad you enjoyed your time there! we’re living in the garden state now (insert sad face) and i can’t wait to see you guys when you’re in ridgewood. LOVE that you had skyline–i crave it at least once a week!
[email protected] says
So much fun. I am a Kentucky Girl and so sad to see the Ale 8 didn’t make it with you guys. Next time not in October. Thanks for letting us tag along for the ones that couldn’t make it.
Anna in Ohio says
Okay, (1) Super excited to see that you enjoyed Skyline and Graeter’s! Hopefully you’ll have lots of great local food choices at your next stops! And (2) Total at-work-spit-take on “…(not sure why I did coy geisha hands”. You guys owe my IT department a keyboard! :-)
Please pass along our apologies to your IT guy. But on the bright side, all of the keys must still work since your comment came out just fine! :)
Carly S says
Congratulations on your first book signing! It looks like it was super fun for both you guys and all your fans. I wish Wish WISH I could make it to the Toronto signing to see you, but alas, we scheduled a vacation that week and I don’t think my loving man would be quite so loving if I told him we had to reschedule.
Sarah C. says
The signing looks like such a great time! I really wish I could make it to one, but alas, Orlando didn’t make the cut :( And it’s awesome you and Dana met, she’s my other favorite DIY blogger! As a head’s up, I think you have a rouge link happening; at least I didn’t see a connection between Bill, the castle, and the come and knock on my door post.
Congrats! What a wonderful ‘life is good’ kinda trip for you guys. It’s great to see hard work pay off so well!
Thank you for saying such sweet things about Cincy! You were a blast to have and although I didnt get your book at the event, it’s been preordered on Amazon! Congrats you guys!
Hysterical… I feel like we laughed, loved, and cried together. Good job John. One of my favorite posts! Congrats on all your family has accomplished!!!
Sherry: A. You look like you’re going to eat that baby’s face. Which happens to be my favorite past time. B. I cried when I read that you cried when that little girl gave you a book for Clara. (Most awkward sentence ever, good thing I’m not a blogger) C. Best creepy picture ever! Creepy is totally in. Don’t you watch Walking Dead? :-)
Also, felted a little bit “Awwww” when you signed that ceramic animal.
Ok, that’s it.
Ahhhhh, walking dead = amaaaaazing! So into it! So excited for that baby on the way! I think I might want to eat it or be scared of it (you know, if it’s a walker).
I won’t lie — when I first saw the Instagram of the three way on Facebook, I thought that was a giant cheese string… I’m relieved to know it’s spaghetti.
Todd Kelly says
So much love for you two! What a blast you must be having. Wish you were coming to Pittsburgh (hint hint). I’d bring snacks! ;)
Aw man, here’s hoping we end up there!
Julia @ Chris Loves Julia says
I would never get tired of reading about your book tour! It is so exciting! I’ve already contacted our NEW West Elm here in Salt Lake City about hosting you and I’m ready to start a petition!
Aw thanks Julia!
If you start the petition, please let me know.
We’re in Ogden, and while I have no idea if we’d be able to make it, I’ll surely support it!
Thanks, Julia! :-)
ACK!!!! My daughter Riley’s pic is on my favorite blog!! She will be surpised to see herself on the web today when I pick her up after work. You all were so sweet to her and made her feel so good about buying the book for your little one. She wants a little brother or sister (which she will not get from me since I am too old these days) so she definitely has a soft spot for little kids and she thinks Clara is a cutie (she is right). Thank you also to John for telling me that I had a good one (or special one, I cannot remember) in reference to Riley. I think she is pretty special and very kind to others but it is always nice to hear other people say that about her. Hugs to your whole family!!
Aw, she’s so sweet. We love her. And Clara LOVES her new book! She even brings it in the car when we go places!
So glad to hear that Clara loves the book. I will tell Riley and I am sure that will bring a big smile to her face!!
Just a small geography correction, because I’m a geek like that. You’ll be in Ridgewood, NJ, not Ridgefield. I use to live a couple of towns over from Ridgewood – if I was still living up there, I’d be there for the book signing!
Sorry! John doesn’t know Jersey like I do! Haha! All fixed.
Karen F says
you guys are so adorable – glad you had a great time! that’s hilarious/brilliant that someone brought a ceramic animal for Sherry to sign!
can’t wait to meet you in NJ (by the way, it’s Ridgewood, not Ridgefield). You may want to have “your people” (lol) contact Bookends to let them know you don’t mind taking pics, etc – they tend to rush people through the line there!
Poor John, forgive him for now knowing Jersey (Ridgewood) like I do! Haha. We’ll definitely tell them we don’t mind pics (although since they’re hosting the event, they might have rules they want us to adhere to, so if they think everyone won’t get through the line they might speed it up in the interest of fairness). We’re speedy though, so I hope it’s cool!
Karen F says
understand! can’t wait!!
Oh man! I am dying here in my cubicle over the creepy Sherry face. I would actually look like a serial (cereal…haha) killer if I made that face, but somehow $her-dog just looks cute-creepy. I love hearing about your travels!
Hahahah! Cereal killer.
Nicole @ Liberty Belles says
Small typo – Ridgewood, NJ not Ridgefield.
Don’t worry, I forgive you for messing up my hometown :)
Forgive John! He doesn’t know Jersey like we do! Haha!
Off the book tour topic – that pic with the volumous ponytail and liner is straight up classic sexy! You look fab…like Jane Fonda in the Barbarella flick :)
Aw shucks – are you talking about my crazy airplane hair and smeared mascara? I’ll take it! Haha.
This just makes me SO excited to see you guys in Chicago!
So happy u guys had a blast, can’t wait for my turn to meet u goofy sons of guns.
Hahah! Goofy sons of guns. I love it.
Looks like a fantastic time. I can’t wait to get my pre-ordered book! On a completely unrelated note, what kind of pens are those that everyone used to sign your “yearbook”? I’m always on the search for smooth writing, colorful pens and those looked like they might do the trick!
We got those from Target right before we left (they came in a big pack of all those colors in the office aisle). Hope it helps!
Here is a link to some black ones on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Pilot-Fine-Point-Black-31020/dp/B001GAOTSW/ref=wl_it_dp_v_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3KI33J47ID0YJ&coliid=I1WS025EL2VOJF
They are my hubby’s favorite pens. He uses black, and I use the colored ones! They are great pens!
I’m from Cincinnati but have been living in Korea for the past five years (probably one of the few “Asia” readers on your blogiversary surveys haha) but I’m finally moving back to Cincinnati in a few months. SO SAD I wasn’t there early enough for your book signing!
Glad you guys enjoyed the Skyline and Graeter’s!
Aw, so sorry Ali! Maybe next time!
Oh please please please come over to the UK! I bet there’s loads of people over here follow your blog and love your ideas. There’s the language issue I suppose (“spackle”? ;) ) but I bet you’d have lots of people interested.
Haha- we’d love that! We’ll teach you guys about spackle. Hahaha!
LOL. $herdog; your ‘creepy’ face is epic :)
That’s pretty much the way Midwesterners roll :) We’re raised to say hi to people when we pass them on the street, say sir and ma’am and bring gifts when we go visiting. Or maybe that’s southern… haha all I know is my East Coast friends were shocked by the friendliness oozing from the sidewalks of my little midwestern university!
Hooray for the Burger drawing shout out! It made my morning.
My mom and I would be happy to share the picture we took with you if you are interested in it.
So nice meeting you in Cinci! The book is wonderful.
Ooh yeah! Post it on our FB page for us!
I’m glad it went so well… and I totally just cried about the Charley Harper book, too. What a sweet kid!
The ‘Nati is my old digs so I am especially glad you got a three-way. Um, at Skyline. Man, that never sounds OK, does it?
Haha, nope! It never does…
You guys were great! I totally didn’t even notice the book to sign and forgot to ask you questions – I think it was the combination of a cranky toddler and the huge line. (Next year they need to get a bigger space if they are going to have ballers like you guys there!)
I already have a couple of things from the book I want to do! (So lucky I got the second to last one! and my preordered one is going to go to my sister for xmas with the book plate you signed.)
Aw, so glad you got a book and already have a few things you want to do! Makes me grin like a proud momma!
It looks like you all had so much fun! Definitely an experience you won’t be forgetting like, ever! Sherry, your expression with Cortney was SO HILARIOUS! I live in Nashville and so I have seen quite a few ‘famous’ people and let me tell ya…when I was in a little store and turned around and BUMPED INTO NICOLE KIDMAN AND KEITH URBAN I think I actually had the same facial expression…
Haha, that’s hilarious!
I signed up for your DC book signing and after reading this post, I am SO excited for November 28th! It looks like you guys and your fans had a blast! :)
How fun to see Ale-8 made its way into your trip and how sad that it was confiscated! :( Ale-8 is made in my hometown (Winchester, KY) and if you still want to try it, they ship! Check out http://www.ale8.com/
For the record, it’s best enjoyed in the returnable bottles and so cold that when you crack open the top, the drink turns into this slushy ice deliciousness. Hope you get the chance to enjoy it!
Oh man, you are making me regret not breaking my Aquatober rule for a day. Shame on me!
Christi Davis says
Well done making sure you got to drink an Ale8! I went to college in Kentucky and those got me through some long nights of studying. Looks like it was a great trip and hope to see you in FL at one of the signings (no book signings in Orlando area?)
See, aren’t midwesterners nice?! You should add Cleveland to that book tour. :)
Also, not to be creepy, but I thought of you guys the other day while watching the show “Switched at Birth” The rich family in that show, the Kenners have the fabric you used for your dining room curtains on the chairs/seating area of their kitchen! The episodes are free on Hulu if you want to check it out sometime!
They are very nice! And glad to hear you thought of us watching “Switched at Birth” because of fabric, not because of some unfortunately delivery room mix-up in our past. :)
This is getting me sooooo excited for TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!