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Oh Canada!

2011 will be remembered by me as the Year I Went to Canada. Before 2011, I’d never been. I wasn’t allowed to go on my high school class trip to Montreal, and I believe my brother’s hockey team traveled north at least once to play a Canadian team, but I stayed warm and snug at home.

That all changed this year. I went to Toronto twice in February, both times to promote LEFT NEGLECTED (note to Simon & Schuster–how about promoting my books in Hawaii in February? Just a thought). The second February trip was for an Indigo Book Event with Jeannette Walls (author of The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses) and Elena Gorokova (author of Mountain of Crumbs) hosted by Heather Reisman. An amazing event!

The next time I traveled to Canada was in October, also known as The Month I Was in Canada. I went to Toronto, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Montreal (finally!), Ottawa, and Halifax on a speaking tour—the Coping with Care series sponsored by Dundeewealth. I spoke to audiences about the emotional effects of living with Alzheimer’s and then tax expert, Evelyn Jacks, spoke about financial planning for aging and ailing parents. We fielded questions, and I signed books. And then we went to the next airport and hotel. We (along with the wonderful people from Dundeewealth) were a great team, and it actually feels strange now to travel anywhere without them.

To wrap up my tour of Canada,I then went to Saint John to give a similar talk about STILL ALICE and Alzheimer’s for the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation.

Although I was in Canada for much of October, I unfortunately didn’t get to see much of it. I went from airport to hotel to hotel grand ballroom to sleep to the next airport. It looked beautiful from the sky. But I did get to see so many friendly, warmhearted, and beautiful Canadians, including my friend Lynn from Vancouver and my friends Mike, Sue, and Karyn from New Brunswick. I met Lynn originally online in 2004 through DASNI when I was doing research for STILL ALICE, and we finally got to meet in person in Vancouver. What a thrill!

And I originally met Mike, his wife Sue, and his sister Karyn online when doing research for LEFT NEGLECTED. Mike has Left Neglect. We’ve been in touch quite a bit since and have become good friends, and it was so much fun to spend a little time with them in Saint John.

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