Tuesday, August 01, 2006

RWA Atlanta--Part One

Whew--I'm back from Atlanta, and still EXHAUSTED!!!!!! I'd planned to add a few entries while at the conference, but alas, was too cheap!! When given the choice between buying Internet access or purses/jewelry, I'll take the latter every time!! LOL!!

Here's a daily rundown:

Monday--Had a wonderfully uneventful flight in. Checked right into our pretty room on the 6th floor of the Marriott Marquis (GORGEOUS place!!! 47 stories and it was all open in the middle w/ glass elevators!!), then, while Margaret napped, I watched Y & R!!! Doesn't get any better than that!!

We unpacked, then checked out the mall attached to the hotel. Had a strange nacho-like lunch in the food court, then shopped!! Picked up a great pink and white polka-dot purse everyone in the elevators always seemed to love!! Oh--I also snagged a new pair of sneakers at Naturalizer, as I'd failed to pack a single pair of comfortable walking shoes!!!!

That night, we met up with my Winnie and her roomy, IM author, Beth Cornelison, at a sports bar. I was still reliving the black beans from lunch, so I just ordered soup, then snagged one of Winnie's chicken strips!! YUM!!!

Tuesday--Woke up at the crack of dawn to tour the Georgia Aquarium. You have to make reservations, and ours were for 8AM. Good thing, seeing how once the 9AM crowd showed up, the place was too crowded to even see any fish!!! I HIGHLY recommend seeing this place, but only if you go early. They had whale sharks and beluga whales and a gazillion sharks. Gorgeous, gorgeous, but seriously overcrowded.

From here, we schlepped back to the hotel to drop off gift shop purchases, register for the conference (no more fun ribbons to attach to our badges. BOOOOO!!!!!), then took the Marta (subway) to the Atlanta Underground where we basically lunched and tore through a Dollar Store finding goodies for the Booksellers' Tea. I signed up for it, but didn't know we were supposed to bring party favors.

Seeing how I'd made simple business cards with a beach scene and my web site, I tied those with curling ribbon to kid party sunglasses. They turned out darling!! Took the rest of the afternoon to make those. While Margaret napped, Winnie and I had an assembly party in her room while watching Airplane (but a space shuttle version I didn't even know existed) and eating peanut M & Ms. We were supposed to have our goodies downstairs, so we schlepped them all down, only to be told to come back the next day at 2.

Sixish ( I think), we went to the general meeting for the Kiss of Death chapter. The free dinner was a great enticement, as was the evening's speaker, Suzanne Brockmann (sp?). Her speech was wonderfully inspirational and made me vow to quit whining!!! (At least for thirty minutes, or so!! )

From dinner, we headed to one of the hotel bars, where we met lots of cool people!! I'm going to butcher names, but here goes . . . We originally sat down with my Winnie, Beth and Margaret, but then snagged Cynthia Cooke and Nina Bruhns (LOVE them!!). Next, Dream/Danica from eHarlequin.com wandered by, as did Margaret's friend, Dana. (LOVE them, too!!!) Nora Roberts was seated a little ways down!!! How's that for cool??!! We didn't get back to the room till late, but had fun catching up!!

Margaret was speaking the next morning at a mini-inspirational writing conference that Winnie would be attending, meaning I had no one to play with on Wednesday!! I mentioned this to Danica, and she invited me to IKEA. Having always wanted to go to one of these supersized houseware stores, I agreed to meet her at 9 in front of the concierge desk.

To be continued . . . Time to take Daughter to cheerleading!!


christa said...

So glad you had fun. Sounds great.

Laura Marie Altom said...

Thanks, Christa!! The best conference news is yet to come, only I haven't had time to write it up. Hopefully tomorrow!!