State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and giveaway


Ann Patchett

Book Synopsis:  Years ago, Marina Singh traded the hard decisions and intensity of medical practice for the quieter world of research at a pharmaceutical company, a choice that has haunted her life. Enveloping herself in safety, limiting emotional risk, she shares a quiet intimacy with her widowed older boss, Mr. Fox, and a warm friendship with her colleague Anders Eckman. But Marina's security is shaken when she learns that Anders, sent to the Amazon to check on a field team, is dead-and Mr. Fox wants her to go into the jungle to discover what happened. 

Plagued by trepidation, yet propelled by her sense of duty, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the unknown, down into the Amazonian delta, deep into the dense, insect-infested jungle to find answers from the company's research team. Led by the formidable Dr. Annick Swenson, the scientists are looking into the development of a new drug that could have a profound impact on Western society. But the team has been silent for two years and the daunting Dr. Swenson does not like interlopers inserting themselves in her work, as Marina well knows. The eminent and fiercely uncompromising doctor was once her mentor, the woman she admired, emulated, and feared. To fulfill her mission, Marina must confront the ghosts of her past, as well as unfulfilled dreams and expectations-a journey that will force her to make painful moral choices and take her deep into her own heart of darkness. 

A rich narrative dense with atmosphere and full of deeply realized characters, packed with amazing twists and surprises-encounters with an anaconda, cannibals, death, and birth-State of Wonder is Ann Patchett's most enthralling and confident novel, a tale that will leave readers in their own state of wonder, examining their own values and beliefs. 

I've never read anything by Ann Patchett before and when HarperCollins asked if I was interesting in reading and reviewing the story, back when it was released in June, I said yes.  Unfortunately the book got buried in the bottom of my tbr pile and set aside with all the rest during my efforts to complete my last college course. My bad. I finally got around to reading it and have to say was completely taken with the story and the characters.  Marina seemed like the last likely person to be picked to go to the amazon to follow up on Dr. Swenson's research and to find out what happened to Dr. Eekman.   She is meek, full of doubts and fears and hides away in the research lab.  The trip totally takes her totally out of her comfort zone and forces her to face herself and her life, helps her discover a new strength and purpose, while battling not only Dr. Swenson but the amazon itself.  Yes, there are times you want to grab Marina's shoulders and shake some sense into her. 

Patchett makes the Amazonian forest come alive and it's just a much a character as the people are.  Man against nature, man again man, man against self - the story has it all.  State of Wonder is not a book to be read fast - her writing forces you to slow down.  To  think, absorb, and yes, wonder as the characters wonder down the amazon and through the forest.  As the characters wonder about their choices and the ethics of science.  I don't usually get emotionally vested in a story, but have to say the ended left me happily teary eyed.  

Thank you to Ann Patchett for writing such a wonder story and I'm looking forward to reading Bel Canto and her other books.  Harper Collins very nicely provided me with two copies of the ARC so I have one copy to give away to one of my lovely followers.  The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only through October 8th.  Leave your name and email address in the comments and the winner will be picked via  

Pages:  368
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Released:  June 7, 2011

Other Thoughts:

"Patchett fills the book with her glorious writing, ethical issues, and character exploration, and the result is a beautiful, wild, and utterly devastating novel on the nature of science and humanity.  If you’re looking for a gorgeously written novel that will really make you think, this is definitely a novel to seek out."

"a modern-day Heart of Darkness with a female protagonist, State of Wonder beautifully captures the joys and fears associated with nature, and the essence of human connections and disconnections, in love and in friendship."

"Every word written with purpose, every nuance of character important to the story. It was so hard to put down and so hard to stop thinking about when I did."

Sunday Salon: Row 80 3rd round wrap up and Fall Reading

"There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
-   Percy Bysshe Shelley   

Happy Fall, my darlings!    I just realized it is time to change my header again so will be on the look out for a beautiful fall picture to go with the new season.  So much going on.  6th grade lessons started a couple weeks ago and so far, thumbs up.  James mental math skills have kicked in, plus he and father are getting used to the new science program. A lot more work this year and we are all adjusting to the new schedule. 

The third round of A Round of Words in 80 days has come to an end and I'm happy to say I accomplished my goal of finishing the first draft of Red Thief.  Happy dance!   Going to let it sit on the shelf and rest while I work on editing another WIP3 Eyes in the Ashes.  I started WIP3 during 2009 NaNoWriMo and am ready to get back into it.  Have been reading over the story and realized that I have 3 couples involved in the story and possibly the makings of a series.  So during Round 4 of ROW80 going to be doing some major world building, character workups and outlining and making lots of notes on what have so far.  Also discovered that I never finished typing up the rest of the story.  Once NaNo was over, went back to handwriting the tale and then let it rest. 

I had a wonderful time being a sponsor on this round, providing some encouragement and getting to visit with all the participants.   Speaking of which, check out here how everyone else faired with their goals.   It isn't too late to join in for the last round which will run from October 3rd to December 22nd.  Click here to join in on Round 4.  During the break, I'll be reading and studying up on editing methods and figuring out which works best for me. 

Speaking of reading, it's time for Katrina of Callapidder's Day's  Fall into Reading 2011 casual reading event.  There are a few books on my nightstand that have been calling my name a bit loudly lately that I'm looking forward to reading. 

1.  An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears - a historical art mystery 
2.  Map of Bones by James Rollins - one of his sigma force murder mystery novels
4.  Tenth Stone (A.d. chronicles) by Bodie Thoene - historical biblical
5.  The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker - Thriller
6.  Death comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather - classic
7.  The Snake's Pass by Bram Stoker - Stoker's first novel
8.  Promissory Payback by Laurel Dewey -  mystery and part of the Spread the word initiative.

I'm keeping the list short this year because I'm sure there will be other books that spark my fancy, taking my attention elsewhere.  Speaking of that, I have joined the Spread the Word initiative being led by publisher Lou Aronica and Peter Miller of The Story Plant.
Their authors include Michael Baron, Laurel Dewey, James LePore and Emily Sue Harvey. 
They are still looking for readers to help spread the word about their upcoming titles.  Participants will receive electronics copies free of charge as long as you help spread the word by posting a review at online bookselling sites and sharing your opinion with friends on facebook and twitter.  Email them at if you are interested.

What's on your reading list for fall?

The Sunday

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman


Julie Lessman

Back Cover:  "Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?"

A Heart Revealed, book # 2 in Julie Lessman's Winds of Change series brings us to Emma and Sean's story.  Having gotten to know the characters through Lessman's Daughters of Boston series and the new Winds of Change series, I was thrilled to read their story finally.   The story takes place in the early 1930's during the great depression and  continues the saga of the the whole O'Connor family beginning with Katie and Luke's wedding.   Sean and Emma take center stage, however we also get to see the struggles between Katie and Luke, Mitch and Charity, and Marcy and Patrick.  The ladies get quite emotional in this chapter of their lives and the men end up sleeping on the couch quite a bit.   

Sean struggles with his attraction to Emma.  She never divorced her abusive husband and she keeps trying to push Sean into the arms of another woman because she wants him to be happy.  There are some interesting twists to their story which keeps you guessing whether they'll end up together or not.  Lessman has written an excellent, emotional charged story  without preachiness or sermons while portraying the passion of true love.  I highly recommend it.   While A Heart Revealed can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend starting with the Daughters of Boston.  You'll probably grow to love the O'Connor family as much as I have.

A HOPE UNDAUNTED NOW FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE, CBD.COM, B&N.COM, SONY E-READER AND ANY OTHER E-BOOK FORMAT TILL SEPTEMBER 30.  Can be downloaded on PCs, Macs, Droids, i-Phones, i-Pads, etc courtesy of Julie Lessman.

Thank to Donna and The Baker Publishing Group for providing me with a courtesy copy of the book. It in no way influenced my review.  

Pages:  505
Publisher:  Revell
Released:  September 1, 2011 

Monarch by Michelle Davidson Argyle + giveaway


Michelle Davidson Argyle

Back Cover:  Nick’s life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness—a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the U.S. has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he’ll have the chance to start his life over again.

Just when Nick is on the brink of catching Ferreira, he’s framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He’s safe, but not for long…

Michelle Davidson Argyle's debut novel Monarch starts out intense and maintains it through the whole story.  

"The blood pooling on the floor under the assassin’s back reminded Nick of butterfly wings. It spread from the twin wounds and sparkled in the sunlight filtering through the kitchen window.

The dying man’s words came between gasps. “I’m not the only one, Avery. The others will get you. Both sides.”
Nick raised his pistol and aimed between the assassin’s widened eyes. A muffled pop from the silencer and it was over."

Nick is on the run and the only place he can think to go is Monarch Inn owned by Lillian and her son Devan.  Little does he realize his enemies will stop at nothing to get to him.  His daughters are in danger and he needs to help them.  Lillian agrees to let him bring them to the Inn for safety sake while he goes to Brazil to track down the drug lord who is trying to destroy his life.  

The characters are well drawn, far from perfect and Michelle does an excellent job of portraying them with all their flaws which blends perfectly into the story, helping to create the story.  There was an interesting symbolism to the story with the butterflies. They are an integral part of the story and like butterflies the characters metamorphisized, grew into their skin. 

From the mountains of West Virginia to the forest of Brazil, the action is fast paced and the twists and turns will keep you reading long into the night.  Once you start reading it, you won't want to put it down. And once you finish it, you'll want to turn around and read it again. 

Thank you to Michelle and Rhemalda Publishing for providing me with a courtesy copy of the book.  I also have one copy to giveaway, courtesy of the publisher to one of my lucky readers.  The giveaway is open through the end of the tour October 15th and available to u.s. and international readers.   Please leave your name and email address in the comments and the winner will be picked via
Pages:  341
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Released: September 15th, 2011
Check out the Monarch Blog Tour and see what others had to say about Monarch and more opportunities to win a free book.

6th Grade

6th grade officially started for James last week and we are easing back in to a full schedule slowly.  I think we've come up with a good mix this year.  Last year we tried a few new things which completely bombed and ended up going back to the tried and true mid year.  I just realized I never posted a wrap up of 5th grade.

The Plan:

Voyages in English
Spelling Workout F

For 5th grade switched to Learning Language Arts through Literature for Language arts and it was way too casual.  James needs a lot more structure and so do I.  We switched back to Voyages in English and Spelling Workout mid year.  Going to continue with the 5th grade book for VIE  since the only difference between it and 6th grade is exposure versus mastery. Starting Level F for Spelling Workout

Outlining, Note Taking and Report Writing
Horizons Penmanship
Writing wise, will be learning how to Outline and write reports.  Plus will continue practicing cursive with Horizons Penmanship writing out and learning several presidents inaugural speeches. 

James loves to create and write stories both longhand and for his blog which is fun for him, so take care not to criticize and only give feedback.  We will be working on the tools and  mechanics of writing with Wordsmith Apprentice in which he will be a writer for a pretend newspaper

Father is responsible for teaching science but needs a bit of handholding. I plan it out, he teaches it.  Casual living history and science books just don't feed James mind enough and I don't have time to write up a full plan.  Found a great secular earth science program through Saxon Homeschooling which provides lesson plans and worksheets.   Yeah!

Great comprehensive study of California including making a history notebook. We started 2/3rds of the way through last year and going to finish it this year.

Math is James most difficult subject but he is getting it now.  We'll be working to get him caught up to grade level hopefully by the end of this year. 

Father and James made it halfway through the book and finished all the composers. The second half of the book covers all instruments. I also have planned keyboard lessons this year. I'll need to teach myself first. a refresher from when I took lessons in 5th grade eons again.

Love, love, love this art course Drawing Basics by Thomas Kinkade.  We completed one unit so far and James is picking up a lot of pointers and using them in his drawings. 

Besides the above, we'll be reading, reading, reading and working on character and social skills.  Plus more physical education and field trips.  Leaving room for side trips and what ever crops up that sparks James interest. 

Row 80 midweek check in - The End!

Doing the happy dance!   Pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of Red Thief, the story I started during 2010 NaNoWriMo.  I struggled during November to get those 50,000 words and immediately after NaNo was over, ending up deleting almost 1/3 of it.  It has been my goal each round to finish the story and by jove, finally managed it. It may have holes as big as Montana but I'm done for now.  Already missing the characters and feeling like I need to continue, but going to take a break from it. I'm going to let it rest a bit and start editing another story I wrote called "Eyes in the Ashes.  95% certain I'm not going to do Nano this November although have ideas for another story brewing.   How do you manage to edit one story while writing another one without feeling like your brain is split in two.   I hear of writers doing it all the time, so going to have to figure that out.   

Check out how everyone else is doing as this Round winds down with one week left to go.

BBAW Interview Swap: Brianna of The Book Vixen

The Book Vixen
It is my pleasure to introduce  Brianna of The Book Vixen.  She is my hero because she stepped up and took over The Novel Challenge blog when Wendy decided to move on to other things.  It is my go to website for all book challenges and book related activities.

A Novel Challenge is such a valuable and resourceful site that I just couldn't bare to see the site go. So as crazy as it sounds, with me being due this month, I took on the challenge of taking over the site. I am lucky enough to have 7 other fabulous people on the Admin team helping me out. Without them, it wouldn't have been possible for me alone to keep up with the site.
Brianna started blogging in August 2009 and like the rest of us enjoys talking about books. 

1) Tell me a bit about yourself. What is the one thing no one knows about you that you'd like to share?

I’m a 30-something stay-at-home-mama to a 6-year old and a 4-year old with one on the way. I’m pretty much expecting baby #3 to come any day now. (*taps on belly* Hello in there! You can come out any time now.) Who knows, maybe she’ll make her debut by the time this interview goes up! *crosses fingers* I love my Kindle and my iTouch (really, I can’t live without either one) and I’m a chocoholic. I need chocolate in order to survive. It’s my air people.

Hmm, something no one knows about me….I haven’t had the chicken pox (or the vaccine). During each pregnancy, every doctor has given me the look of shock and horror and ‘the lecture’ about getting the vaccine when they find this out. They literally do a double-take at my lab results. What can I say, I hate needles. But I do plan on getting the vaccine….one day.

2) I couldn't help notice that you love frogs. You have a frog rating system and a couple frog tattoos. What is it about frogs you love so much?

You know, I have no idea. LOL I have loved frogs since as far back as I can remember – well at least in my early teens. I just think they’re cute. They’ve pretty much become a staple in my life; I get frog stuff all the time for my birthday and holidays. I have so many frog knickknacks and figurines, it’s insane. Of course, now that I have little children stomping around the house, I’ve had to put most of my frog items away (most are breakable). And for those who may be wondering, yes, I’ve had (real) frogs as pets J

3) We've seem to have some of the same taste in the romance department including paranormal and suspense and read quite a few of the same authors. Nora Robb, Roxanne St. Claire, Lara Adrian, Karen Rose, J.R. Ward, Charlaine Harris to name a few. What is it about these types of books that draw you more than any other genre?

I love reading paranormal romance for the vampires and werewolves. Those are some sexy creatures (at least the ones I read about are). I also love PNR for the world-building. Now that’s an escape from my everyday life! But my recent addiction has come to be romantic suspense. When I first started getting into reading, one of the authors I started with was Dean Koontz. I loved the ‘edge of my seat’ feeling I got when I read his novels. When I discovered the romantic suspense genre (which crazy enough wasn’t until about a year and a half ago), I realized I had found the perfect blend of my two favorite genres and haven’t been able to stop ever since. I’ve been reading as much romantic suspense as I can and I’m always on the lookout for new romantic suspense authors. As a matter of fact, I’m currently reading a romantic suspense novel right now – Dangerous Race by Dee J. Adams.

4) How many books do you think you have on your shelves?

If I’ve been a good little vixen with my book cataloging (which I do religiously on Goodreads), then I have 365 books on my shelf and Kindle to be read. That’s about 3 year’s worth of reading material for me, not including any books I buy between now and then of course.

5) When I was pregnant with my son, folks kept telling me, you'll never find time to read anymore. Which simply wasn't true, I love reading too much and will always find time. Looks like you've done the same. You had two littles with another one due at the end of the month. How do you find the time to read and how has your reading changed since you became a mom?

Funny thing is I didn’t really start reading full-force until after I had my 2nd child. And I was working a full-time job at the time as well. Like you Robin, I just find the time. I read during naptime, before I go to sleep at night, in the bath (when I’m lucky enough to actually have the opportunity present itself and I get to actually relax and soak in the tub), and now when I go to doctor appointments. Sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom to get in a bit of reading time. But ask me this question after baby #3 comes and we’ll see how much reading I’ll still be able to squeeze in. LOL

Like for many book bloggers, reading is my escape. It’s my chance to escape the world of chaos and screaming children. Sometimes I need to be somebody else, in someone else’s shoes, if only for a few minutes a day. 

Thank you, Brianna.  Check out my interview at Brianna's and for more blogger interview swaps go here.

Sunday Salon: Row80 and books galore

I'm almost done with the first draft of Red Thief.  One more chapter to go. Yeah!  Next round will be all about editing.  Not sure which WIP going that is going to be. Hubby wants me to finish Eyes in the Ashes because he likes it the best. Need to figure out the best strategy for me to proceed.  The thought is just scary.  How do I go from a junky first draft full of holes to a polished novel.  To see how everyone else is doing, go here and leave them some encouraging comments.  I've kind of fallen off the good chip lollipop sponsor wagon the past couple weeks and apologize for that.  Nor have I had any time to visit anyone else and I'm missing my peeps.  I've been kind of busy prepping for 6th grade which starts Monday. Which also means will be restricting our online time and staying unplugged during the week til 4:00 in the afternoon.  Will try to catch up with everybody soon. 

I went to Borders today for the very last time. Our store officially closes on Thursday.  I managed to find:  J.T. Ellison's The Immortals, Jordan Dane's The Wrong Side of Dead, Hallie Ephron's Never Tell a Lie, Dan Simmons The Hollow Man, Allison Brennan's Original Sin and Cara Black's Murder in the Palais  Royal.  Plus a non fiction cia book for hubby and all for $22 which is a great deal.  

I finished book # 20 Hit List in the Anita Blake Vampire Series by Laurell K. Hamilton.  Really enjoyed the series and going to dip my toes into her Merry Gentry series starting with A Kiss of Shadows. But first taking a break and reading Julie Lessman's A Heart Revealed.  The 2nd book in her christian romance series Winds of Change.   Seems like I'm going from one extreme to the other - from really steamy to innocent romance.  But I've always had eclectic taste and roam from one genre to the next.   Speaking of roaming, this week is

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

BBAW was started by Amy of My Friend Amy and has become an annual event celebrating reading and book blogging.   There will be giveaways, contests, all kinds of interesting activities including Daily themes about blogging, plus interview swaps between bloggers.  My interview partner is Brianna of The Book Vixen so be sure check my interview with her on Tuesday.  Time slipped away from me otherwise I would have set up some neat giveaways, *pout*   Somebody please send me a roundtuit.  Maybe it'll help.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Sunday Salon: Row80 and August Wrap up

Seattle Aquarium - underwater Dome

Hello darlings!  Where did the time go? September already and 3 weeks until end of summer and the end of the 3rd round of  ROW80.  The writing is going....well...fine, progressing, but slowly.  We just spent the week at one of the most beautiful spots, so peaceful, so quiet, you couldn't help but be inspired. 

Me and James 

Plus being in the presence of a New York Times bestseller author who is very dedicated to her writing didn't hurt.  *grin*   I enjoyed sitting out of the deck in the early mornings, working on my current WIP.   And my hubby took our experience to heart, making sure to nag, encourage my writing as much as he could.  He also made a good sounding board and helped me work out how to capture the bad guy.  Sat down for a short chat with Cherry and ended up talking for three hours. All this in the midst of her working on a deadline to finish a first draft of the next story in one of her series.  She of the Finish the Damn Book challenge shared advice, humor, and plenty of encouragement.  Think I'll be joining RWA soon.  :)

I realized why the writing is going a bit slowly. You see, I hadn't outlined the rest of the story.  I had up to a certain point, but then forgot about outlining the rest.  I basically know how the story is going to end but getting to the end, writing the end is the problem. So since my husband and I brainstormed, I'm going to finish outlining the rest of the story this week, then my goal for the next 3 weeks will be to get er dun.   Also included in my goals this week will be to finish outlining the rest of our 6th grade curriculum since lessons are officially starting September 12.  To see how the rest of the row80 gang is doing, go here and make sure to leave a note of encouragement.

The Sunday

During our vacation, we had plenty of time to read.   At some point during August I picked up Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasure's, the first book in her Anita Blake Vampire series.   I thoroughly enjoyed it and downloaded the 2nd, then the 3rd, and well you get it.   I am addicted to the series and am currently on book # 14 Danse Macbre.   Why am I addicted to the series?  Is it the writing, the characters, the storyline.  It seems to be all three.   The writing is compelling, the characters interesting and the storyline changes often enough to keep you hooked.   Because I've been reading one after another, I can see the growth of the characters and how it all fits in with the story.  I've read plenty of reviews and complaints about the sexual turn in the storyline, but it all fits.

I think what most people forget is that Anita isn't exactly human and they keep trying to attribute human traits to her.   Yes, the storyline started out almost more horror like in aspect and was pretty gruesome, but as she grew in her powers, she changed.   Unfortunately for some people, the sexual aspects of the story turn them off.  I don't have a problem with it, obviously, or would stop reading the series.   Laurell K. Hamilton is another writer to add to my list of writers to watch.  Not to emulate, because I doubt I could ever write a paranormal or something so sexual, but to learn from. 

What's next on the nightstand?   Thanks to Cherry Adair, her latest "Riptide" and Karen Rose's "You Belong to Me" which I started on the airplane coming home.   Otherwise I'll let you all choose something for me to read next from my long list.  Choose one or click on the random link and generate a number between 1 and 122.  I'll add it to my to be read next list.

What's on your nightstand this month? 

Family Vacation: Lake Morton, Washington

We've been back a few days now from Washington, basically being lazy and recovering from our vacation.  Had an absolutely wonderful time.   A few months back during Brenda Novak's Diabetes auction I won the bid on a week long stay at Cherry Adair's guesthouse on Lake Morton.  We picked a perfect time to go.

The day we arrived it was raining, but cleared up after that and it was gorgeous, sunny and clear until the day we left.   We arrived to Cherry greeting us with fresh home made cookies and one of her beautiful schnauzer dogs, Chase.

The morning after we arrived, I walked out on the back deck and there was Mt. Ranier in all it's glory.   Found out later that you can't see the mountain 75% of the time because it's too cloudy.  We got to see it for five of the days we were there.  The grounds and garden of the property are beautiful and hubby took a million pictures.  I'll post a few on facebook to share. 

We had lazy days interspersed with fun filled days going to the Seattle Aquarium in which I finally got up close to a octopus and personal with the sea life in the exhibit pools.
Weird having it clasp my finger
Loki - 4 years old

Afterwards, we decided to hike up the Pike Street Hill Climb to Pike's Market. Little did I realize we were approaching it from the wrong end and when we reached the top of these steps, that we'd have to trudge up an equal amount of steps into the market.   None of us had the energy by this point and turned around, walked back down and went to Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar next to the Aquarium.  Delicious food and enough to bring home in a doggy bag to feed all three of us dinner the next night. 
Pike Street Hill Climb
Enjoying a shot of scotch

We also had the opportunity to go to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour. The day we were there, Boeing received certification for the new 787 Dreamliner.  During the tour we got to see the 747, 767, and the 787 in production.  We weren't allow to take any pictures during the tour since they do have some secrets to keep.  Check out their website though which has plenty of info if you are interested.  It was awesome seeing these planes in production. The plant is 98 acres so in order to get from one end of the plant to the other, you have to take a bus.  Boeing uses a huge cargo plane called the Dreamlifter to transport airplane parts and two were on the grounds.

On our last day there, we went out paddleboating around the lake.   I had to bribe James and the incentive was getting to see girls in bikinis.  *grin*  

After we took a short trip, Father and I went around the lake.  Here's the view of the property from the lake. 

I also got to have a long chat with our lovely hostess about writing, books and life.   

Me, Cherry, Chase, James and David