Countdown to Australia!

Well, it’s official: me and my little family are headed to Australia in a month.

I guess this trip has been official for some time, but only until now have I been able to release my the full details of my itinerary. Anyway, I can’t even tell you how excited we all are to go on this amazing adventure. Australia is a country I’ve long wanted to visit, and it’s been number one on Greg’s list for pretty much his whole life. Veronica is excited too, but I don’t think she quite comprehends exactly what she’s in for. And Jules? Well, I’m sure she’ll enjoy herself too.

(Oh, and did I mention that Greg’s mom is coming for the first half of the trip? And that his younger brother Brad will be joining us for the second half? And here you thought I was the kind of person who didn’t need an entourage.)

But the people I’m most excited about on this trip? YOU.

Seriously. I would love, love, love to meet all my Australian readers! I’m going to post the details of the trip below in hopes that some of you can turn out. I have several readings, panels and even a workshop I’m teaching, but I’m thinking it might be fun to pick a cafe and a designated time/date in each city where I could park myself for an hour or two and you could come say hi! If you think this is a good idea, then take a look at the itinerary and give me some suggestions of where we could meet. (I’d also love to hear general suggestions on places we should visit, bars, cafes, sights to see, etc!)

Claire & Family Australian Itinerary

Wednesday, August 29 — Arrive Melbourne

Friday, August 31 at 10AM — Reading & Signing (Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Federation Square)

Saturday, September 1 at 1pm — Memoir: Fact or Fiction (Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Federation Square)

Sunday, September 2 at 10AM — Seminar: The Art of Memoir (Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Federation Square)

(9/2-9/5 ) Sunday evening through Wednesday morningย  — Sydney (taking any and all suggestions for fun things to do/see/eat)

Wednesday, September 5 — “Meet the Author Night”ย Brisbane Writers Festival (rsvp toยย  if you’d like to attend this)

Saturday, September 8 at 10AM — Seminar: Dark Themes (Brisbane Writers Festival, Cultural Precinct)

Saturday, September 8 at 2:30PM — Seminar: Mothers and Their Families (Brisbane Writers Festival, Cultural Precinct)

Sunday, September 9 at 12pm — Workshop: The Craft of Memoir (Brisbane Writers Festival, Cultural Precinct)

(9/9 – 9/14) Sunday evening through Friday morning — Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef

September 14 — Return to Los Angeles






  • Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    travel’in mercies, safe journey, total best wishes; hope it is a blast and highly successful

  • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Esther!

  • Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Claire — this is getting really real! And you could not possibly have picked a better pair of Travel Nannies ๐Ÿ™‚ Uncle Brad (aka: The Magic Man) will have a blast with you in Queensland. Please (oh please!) “think me with you” each time someone pits a bite of barramundi in their mouth at one of those endlessly fabulous restaurants, OK? Juliette may not remember very much about this particular trip, but you are setting her firmly on track to become a seasoned and insouciant world traveler. So much fun!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Carroll! We’re thrilled that Brad & Rita are coming!

  • Casey
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    You’re not doing any readings in Sydney? How disappointing for us!

  • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Casey, I know, it’s too bad. I’m happy to meet up at a cafe or bookstore though. And I’ll read to you if you really want! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Emma
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Hey Claire, you don’t happen to be doing any book signings while in Cairns? Cheers, Emma

  • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Emma, unfortunately no!

  • Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I’m so glad you’re going to be in Sydney, even if you’re not doing any readings. I love the idea of coming to meet you in a cafe you’ve parked yourself in for a few hours.

    In Sydney there are a number of cafes that are also bookstores, which might be appropriately literary, but it will really depend on where you’re staying and what you’d like to see while you’re here (if you’re interested in seeing all the usual Sydney things, you might like to stick to the city and waterfront areas — plus, the waterfront is Sydney’s best feature).

    If you like, I’ll happily email you some recommendations for places in Sydney.

    (Incidentally, I’m moving down to Melbourne — well, back down — at the end of September, and have been conscious this whole time that my move dates would mean I’d miss any events you’d be in at the writers’ festival. I wish I could move a little sooner! But alas not.)

  • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Sophie, I wish I was doing a reading in Sydney. But a bookstore/cafe sounds like a good meeting spot too!

  • Jude
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Really looking forward to catching up with you in Melbourne. There are heaps of great cafes/ coffee places and general good places to meet. I’ll give some thought to what might work. Even some just where you are in Fed square.



  • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Sounds good, Jude! Let me know!

  • Sian
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes a cafe in Sydney please!! Sounds like Sophie has options under control!

  • Posted July 30, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    This is great news! I am sure you and the family will love Australia! Which suburb will you be staying in Sydney? Do you want to go to a cafe that is kid friendly to meet your readers? I would love to come and have a chat and meet you. I’ve read your blog for several years now and just had a baby boy – I took a lot of comfort in your old pregnancy and newborn posts! I think you will be meeting a lot of people who feel like they already know you and your family so well!

  • Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Marsha, a kid-friendly cafe sounds good to me! Any ideas?

  • Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, there is a cafe in the middle of Centennial Park, which has a big grassed area out the front. Centennial Park itself is lovely, and walking distance to a couple of great suburbs you might want to check out, like Surry Hills – I’m biased because I live there, but it is pretty great, and one of the best eating and drinking spots in Sydney… But Sophie also said she would email you some suggestions, so I don’t want to run over the top of that.

  • Posted August 1, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Marsha, that sounds lovely! I’ll definitely put it on the list of potentials and will keep you posted!

  • Catherine
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    If only you were making it over to Perth!! My number one recommendation for Sydney is The Paddington Bazaar markets (and surrounding shops on Oxford St) on a Saturday morning if you are free at the right time.. The markets are fashion / hand made / vintage / jewellery / food / homewares.. Also eat amazing modern Vietnamese food at The Red Lantern in Surry Hills, or head over to Hugo’s in Manly for a pizza and a G&T after a ferry ride over and trip to the Aquarium and you have a pretty classic Sydney experience.. I lived there for 3 years before Perth and there are still plenty of good reasons to go back whenever possible! (this was written during a 2am breastfeed for my 11 week old – your blog and a few others keep me occupied at these times!) enjoy Australia.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Georgi
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Very similar to Centennial park but a bit closer to the city is the Botanic Gardens which have two cafes (both with kid friendly room and run by the same crew as the centennial park one), the Pavilon (where I work, so maybe I’ll be lucky) and the Botanic Gradens restaurant. Awesome if its a sunny day, soo pretty and very near Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and the City (lovely places to spend some time).

  • Arnah
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited for you!

    In Melbourne there are so many beautiful lane ways to explore, amazingly chic cafes and boutique shopping. Melbourne also has the very tastiest dumplings I’ve ever had. Camy Shanghai Dumpling at 25 Tattersalls Lane – they are renowned for amazing food (and terrible customer service). The Croft institute is a kooky bar thats designed to look like a mental hospital, and all the drinks are served thematically ๐Ÿ™‚

    I live in Brisbane and highly recommend Southbank – specifically the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in Stanley Street Plaza. There is a man made beach there which overlooks the city. Vapiano Pizzeria in Albert Lane serves amazing pizza and pasta. West End is wonderful, with great food and cute shopping (Like Box Vintage).

    I hope you have an amazing time, and I can’t wait to see pictures!

  • Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Arnah! Hope to see you when I’m in Brisbane! You should come to the Meet the Author night on 9/5. (Details on my events page.)

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