Monday, May 22, 2006

Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you toss and turn and twist in your sheets? Spend eight hours schlepping tote bags full of books, posters, toys, catalogs, bookmarks ad nauseam around the DC Convention center. You'll sleep all right. The unit we shared (sidekick, sidekick's hubby and I) was RIGHT NEXT to the Metro tracks. I did NOT hear a single train all night long.Did I have fun?? WHOA!! Yes indeed. Here are the highlights.
Wednesday: arrive at time share around 10 p.m. I am so grateful to SK and SKH for driving. Sort out sleeping arrangements. Out for the night.
Thursday: I PLANNED to go to the education sessions but it was a beautiful day in Alexandria so we headed out to explore on foot. Had we known how our feet would feel a mere 24 hours later, we might have reconsidered our mode of transportation. Never mind. Just when I was thinking I needed a low blood sugar pick-me-up, SK and Hubbie decided to investigate a bank's Free ATM Worldwide offer. The bank had a free cafe!!!!! We ate Thai for lunch YUM! We found an artist's co-op and a fabric artist who makes beautiful mother of the groom dresses- something I will need. We visited a store that let us sit in a massage chair - aaahhh!
Then we went into DC to the opening ceremonies and heard Tim Russert of NBC talk about his books, Big Russ and Me and the new one, Wisdom of our Fathers. So very cool. Ate at a tapas restaurant - never did that before- split a pitcher of sangria and found an author signing in the lower room of the restaurant! Got home around 9 and crashed.
Friday and Saturday : BEA -ohmigolly!! Acres and acres of books and displays of every kind. I managed to get a bunch of signed Advance Reader's Copies of books. These two days sort of flow together.
Highlights: Eoin Colfer's autograph! Avi, Candice Ransom, M.T. Anderson, Celia Rees, Annette Curtis Klause, Stephanie Meyer, Duke from Bush's Baked Beans (I love dogs), but the best was Lynn Johnston who does the For Better or Worse comic strip. I was so excited. I got Andrew Clement's and Jan Brett (twice) and e. lockhart/Emily Jenkins -cutie-pie author that was here in April.
BIG Coup: A copy of the NPR guide to Classical music. Huge beautiful book with links to the music online.
Disappointments: I did not get Steven Caney's Ultimate Building Book . I loved his Play Book and Toy Book when my son was small and I wanted to meet him sooo much. I did not get Tim Russert's book, although we got a picture taken with him. I didn't get to see Tammie Pierce - the line was TOO LONG. You needed tickets to see Daniel Handler and Dave Barry and Michael Sabuda - big bummer.
Cool toys: SK and SKH are true freebie hounds and they found so many cool toys (especially SKH). Spiderwicke Sprite magnifying boxes - stuffed animals - rubber duckies - squooshy stars. I found fold up binoculars, calculators, tarot cards, playing cards, aprons. Saturday I got a couple of stuffed animals and squooshy toys myself.
Friday night we got to hear Dave Barry speak at the ABA Book Sense Book Awards reception. Pat Conroy also spoke. They were both excellent - although Dave was better. Pat read his speech and couldn't read his own writing at times.
Cornelia Funke won the award for best Children's Book for Inkspell but she was unable to come since her husband just died and she needed to stay home with her two children. She sent a lovely letter.
Jon Muth won the Best Illustrated Book award for Zen Shorts . His speech was very Zen like.Anway, I have one huge tote bag filled with books I want to keep and six - count them 6 - tote bags of books, toys and miscellanea that we will give out for summer reading club. I don't know how many totes SK has to bring in.
My feet hurt - my back aches. We planned to go into BEA on Sunday but we were so beat from lugging totes and racing from one hall to the other that we decided to come home. We stayed with SK's brother Saturday night and I got to go to a Trader Joe's - I've never been to one and then SK drove home. Just wait til I bring all this stuff in. I can't wait til next BEA which is in New York City, the weekend of June1, 2 and 3. More later.

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