Book tours tend to be frantic, great fun and at times, exhausting. And yet, like most writers, I can't go from place to place without making observations along the way. Last week, for example, I was dead-dog tired, but I noticed the first frost of the year in bluegrass country, Lexington, Kentucky. Beautiful! At the airport there, I was almost asleep as my plane took off but I woke up when something caught my eye: another jet (larger than the one I was on) on an adjacent runway with these words inscribed upon it: "First Class Equine Air Transport." (Huh? I guess some horses have all the luck? They travel better than bestselling authors!) In Charlotte, North Carolina, I was thrilled to find rocking chairs - really nice ones - in some of the waiting areas.(Encountered the same in later stops along the way. Bravo!)...The following day, when leaving Greenville, South Carolina for Nashville, I shared a plane with the University of South Carolina marching band. They were happy and cheerful and almost unbelievably well-mannered. But what inspired me was that the band was integrated, which I'm pretty sure it was not back in the 1960s when I was a kid in South Carolina...Things I loved about Nashville: The Hermitage Hotel. Someday I will have to stay there. On this trip, I sort of snooped around the lobby. Lots of marble and velvet sofas, and the people-watching was first-rate. It was an especially lively weekend in Music City, with the Southern Festival of the Book AND parents' weekend at Vanderbilt University AND the country music scene happening at the same time...Raleigh, my last stop on this portion of my book tour, is one of my favorite places and as always, it did not disappoint. I felt the spiritual presence of my dear friends, Sadie and Bessie Delany, for whom Raleigh was always home.