Midyear Meeting

Spouse/Companion Program

The Midyear Meeting includes events specifically for spouses and companions. See the special events below.

Welcome Breakfast and Book Talk

Wednesday August 7

9:00 – 11:00 AM

(included in the Spouse/Companion registration)

Join registered spouses/companions for a “Welcome to Seattle” breakfast and discussion of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

In the opening pages of Ford’s stunning debut novel, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now, 40 years later, the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes Henry back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

Ballard Shopping Experience

Wednesday August 7

1:00 – 5:00 PM

(included in Spouse/Companion registration)

You will travel to Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood, where Scandinavian fishermen immigrants settled long ago. Overlooking Salmon Bay, this northwest Seattle neighborhood proudly shows it is more than a century-old Scandinavian heritage and offbeat modern mood. Once home to lumber and shingle mills, Ballard’s commercial district continues to be a lively, pedestrian-friendly hub for locally owned restaurants and boutiques.

NCMA Guests/Companions will receive custom designed neighborhood walking maps. There will be ample time on the tour for participants to shop and explore on their own all Ballard has to offer.


Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour

Thursday August 8

1:00 – 5:00 PM

(Optional: The Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour is $135/person and seating is limited. Please register in advance to reserve your space.)

Situated on the same latitude as the French wine country, Washington State has a growing wine industry and is the nation’s second-largest premium wine producer. Nestled in the Sammamish River Valley, Woodinville is a small community that has become a haven for fine winemakers. Travel to Woodinville and taste your way through some of the state’s most celebrated boutique wineries, responsible for exporting nearly 70% of all wine from the state.