You know how you can live somewhere for a long time before you ever visit a nearby town? Well, that can be said about Michaela, but not so much for Rikki. Michaela knows all the local haunts in the major cities. The best places to eat, drink, and shop. But Rikki knows all the surrounding towns, how to get there, what to see and do, undoubtedly a good pizza place, and the glimmer of familiarity if nothing else.
We get a lot of comments on the good fortune of our literary friendship, but truth be told, we are two very opposite people. We have some overlap, but the differences can be startling on the surface. More than once we’ve been asked by real life friends and acquaintances how we’re even friends. To put it simply, there’s a strong mutual love of good books, better food, and fine wine. Plus, motherhood, an offbeat sense of humor, and California at our core. Really though, we just connect. We can talk for hours, we appreciate a good strong cup of coffee, a fun day trip, endless time in a bookstore, wine in the evenings, and plants. Oh, for the love of plants!
Poulsbo is a nearby town with a Scandinavian and Norwegian heritage that glitters the downtown scene. You see it immediately upon crossing city limits with their “Velkommen til Poulsbo” sign. It’s charming to say the least. There are two local bookshops, a couple of coffee shops, a bakery, two breweries, a garden shop, a sweets shops, quilts, nautical, clothing, pubs, and more. We had a main focus upon entering town though. Books, coffee, lunch, and waterfront. We were not disappointed.
Our first stop was an incredibly darling shop, Away With Words Book and Bath Shop. A great combination, right?! A pair of sisters (one an author) own the shop. It’s filled with the most fragrant bath bombs, salts, lotions, soaps, teas….and books! We were in it for the books, and while the selection was very small, it was impressively curated. We couldn’t help but note the beautiful editions, classics, and best new contemporary novels. Plus, author + owner, Geneva Lee’s signed books. There were beautiful cards and notebooks, bookmarks, and other goodies that would make for the perfect treat for yourself or gifts. Truly, we loved it. Michaela walked away with this Dickens classic, in the loveliest edition we’ve seen yet!
After the first book store and bakery, we stopped at Liberty Bay Books. We’re familiar with their Bremerton store, but this was our first time at this branch. They are packed with books and even found this classic novel in Rikki’s favorite vintage penguin edition. We were thrilled to see Jane Mount’s work in the store, curated selections of local authors, Scandinavian & Norwegian authors to match the downtown theme, plus much more. When we walked in, there was a man on the phone with his wife trying to find a new historical fiction book for her to read. It was fun seeing the selections the store clerk offered. It was Leif Enger’s latest novel that caught my attention, she said it was her favorite of 2018. I wasn’t snooping, they were on speaker!
It was a great morning very well spent. While this was the highlight of a long busy week, it’s these times of getting out and enjoying the season, the local businesses, and time with a good friend, that make the literary life seem so real and inclusive. We’re looking forward to a summer of literary adventures, good books, and shopping local.
Where are you going this summer?