Me and Lester. Love at first sight (at least on my part!).
My trip to RWA's national conference turned out to be more vacation than work. A lot of this had to do with my daughter coming with me to the conference. It was just so hard to sit in on panels when I knew she was at the pool. Which had everything to do with envy and nothing to do with supervision (she had plenty of that).
Wednesday: Got in late thanks to a thunderstorm over Orlando that delayed our plane for almost an hour. By the time we landed, picked up bags, got the rental car, hit traffic, got lost, tried to check in at the wrong hotel, I was over an hour late to the signing. I still had a chance to meet a lot of great people and catch up with some friends. Big thanks to Misti and Jenn for tracking me down. My dad had work in the area, so he stopped by the signing (one of only a handful of men there!) and then we had a chance to catch up afterward.
One of the killer whales at SeaWorld
Thursday: Dolphin day! My roommate, her daughter, and me and my daughter went to Discovery Cove (amazing). Our scheduled time to swim with the dolphins wasn't until 4 pm, so we took advantage of the SeaWorld ticket that came with the Discovery Cove package and went over there for a couple of hours. We saw the sea lion and sea otter (you know how much I love otters) show and the Shamu show as well, and spent lots of time at the dolphin nursery (awww). It was way hot--close to 100, but we kept cool by ducking into air conditioned shops. We could have spent all day at SeaWorld, but we headed back to DC and swam and snorkeled (they have an amazing coral reef with tons of fish and manta rays) and then we met Lester. He's a 40 year old dolphin who stole our hearts. It was an amazing experience to hold on to his fin and "swim" (he pulls you the whole time) across the lagoon. We were wiped out by the time we were done, so we grabbed dinner, watched a movie in the hotel room and went to bed early.
Friday: Everyone else slept in while I got up and headed over to the conference. I sat in on a couple of workshops and wandered around the lobby for a while looking for people I knew (didn't find anyone). I sat across from an agent talking to a potential client and eavesdropped as the agent told the woman that she was probably going to offer representation (unless the manuscript she was reading completely fell apart at the end). It was fun to watch the woman trying to look cool and calm when she was probably jumping for joy inside. After that, I nearly had to sell a kidney on the black market to pay for breakfast at the hotel (seriously overpriced food), and then headed to the pool with my daughter. I want to tell you that I was using this time to brainstorm my latest project, but really I was just relaxing and soaking up the sun. That night we went to Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping. I could live at Pooh Corner, one of the many stores there. I adore Pooh and the gang, especially Eeyore and Piglet. We finally found a grocery store off Disney property and loaded up on essentials (you know, like Dr Pepper and PopTarts).
My table at the St. Martin's signing
Saturday: I spent some morning time at the pool (last time!) with my daughter and was able to catch up with a friend, too. Then I headed off to meet with my agent (which didn't happen--long story), sit in on some panels, and then it was off to the St. Martin's signing. I brought my daughter with me and it was so much fun to see the event through her eyes as hundreds and hundreds of women (only saw one man) came through the doors and headed for tables to get free books. One woman even had my daughter sign her copy, too (collector's edition!), which was very sweet. St. Martin's probably gave away close to 200 copies of Truly, Madly and I can only hope everyone who got a book will become a diehard fan. :) I also got to meet some email buddies, which was great, and met lots of wonderful people. After the signing, my parents drove two hours north to take my daughter and me out to dinner, and it was good to see them. We got in late, watched a movie, I checked to see who won the Ritas and Golden Hearts online, and we went to bed.
Sunday: Up at 5 AM for an 8:15 flight. Security was crazy busy and we just made it to the gate as the plane was starting to board. Whew!
I came back with lots of great memories, some fun pics and a nice tan. My daughter came back with lots of great memories, some fun pics, and a fever. I'm just glad the illness hit as we were coming home and not while we were there.
Today is doctor appointments and catching up on emails, unpacking, groceries and getting my newsletter ready to send out this week. Can you believe Deeply, Desperately is out tomorrow??
PS: I'll pick a winner of the caption contest later today and post the winner tomorrow. You all had such amazing entries! Thanks for playing along.