I don't know if this is actually a roundup, but that's a funny word and I'm hella out of it from the trip to Philadelphia. All in all, a wonderful time in Motown Philly. Back again. Man I'm tired. Anywho, here's the recap:
Arrived in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. Flight wasn't too awful, with just tiny bouts of Romy crying until we got her to fall asleep (she fights it hard). People complimented us on our handlings of baby on flight. It's so nice that people do that. Will have to remember to do that in the future to others. Our cab driver was odd, but nice, and he originally had XM Radio's '50s channel playing, but switched it it some boring classical stuff. So I said, "Switch it back," and we had a rockin' and rollickin' ride into Philly.
Don't get me started on the hotel suite debacle (which wasn't a debacle, actually, because we did get a free suite upgrade, but were later told by some other hotel guy that you DO NOT ask for upgrades when you are being paid for in a group because that's favoritism. Um, suck it? Because why should I not ask? You have the rooms. Someone's going to get the free upgrade, so why not the people with the baby so that they can put her in a separate room and actually talk to each other and pee and walk around without fear of waking the baby??? And, what kind of manager says, "Next time, remember that we don't do that?" Next time, tell your cronies not to GIVE OUT THE FREE ROOM IN THE FIRST PLACE.). Geez. I guess I got started. We had a beautiful room, and then we walked to the Rosenbach Museum to see some Sendak stuff (they pulled out some original art from "Wild Things." Matt was freaked out. "What if someone sneezed on it?! It wasn't even covered!"). Oh yes, and we had a delicious lunch at a place with a name that I don't remember. Shocking, I know.
Then it was time for me to get ready for the ALAN Cocktail Party. I wore these shoes. They were beyond cute. So beyond cute that every person I met complimented me on them. Seriously. But I could not feel my toes by the end of the night. Seriously again. And my publisher had to call a cab for me (which I shared with two other people), just because I couldn't walk to the restaurant. I'm no diva. I'm just a tool who can't wear high heels. Is it worth it? Why do people love their high heels? I don't get it. Just some sick invention of men trying to slow us women down. I think. Moving on... The party was fun, and I mingled and smiled and said ridiculous things to many nice teachers and authors (although, Sarah Dessen must think I'm a lunatic. The last time I met her I was talking about breastfeeding. And there I was, chatting about breastfeeding again, my apparently go-to topic of conversation, with E. Lockhart, and who should come up to say hello? Sarah Dessen. I imagine the two of them sneaking off to talk about the breastfeeding-obsessed freak of an author. "What was her name? I forget, since she wasn't wearing a name tag [because they spelled my last name "Halperin," that's why. That kind of thing wouldn't happen to Sarah Dessen, no sir.]" Sigh. Then I journeyed along with my publishing peeps (thanks to Tim, Katie, Joy, Jeanne, and Lauren-- am I forgetting anyone? Am I spelling names wrong?) and some GREAT authors (Mary Pearson, David Klass, Paula Jolin, Danica Novgorodoff, and Chris Carlton Brown), and a slew of incredibly nice teachers for a fancy dinner. I sat with some super sweet and fun people and loved talking to all of them. If you're reading this: facebook me! I don't know all of your last names!
The next day was a semi waste, since the museums we wanted to visit were closed on Mondays. The weather was gross, but we ended walking mega far, and Romy slept happily in the stroller (BEST STROLLER EVER). We had quite the food adventure, though. There was a line of people waiting on a food vendor with a shiny silver cart, plumes of smoke puffing out. No signs anywhere, we asked the people what they were waiting for. Everyone in line proceeded to share their food tales, assuring us this guy was like the Soup Nazi, don't ask him any questions, and so on, but the food and the wait were worth it. We left, but decided why not, and came back to wait in line. While waiting, the guy handed out fancy bread slathered in papaya hummus. The resulting lunch was incredible, huge portions of flavory chicken breast (yeah, I'm not a food reviewer. Flavory is such a sad word choice. Yet hilarious.), salad, hummus, falafel, etc. Massive and delicious. Worth the wait and the experience. Then, with the rain and nap time approaching, we just went back to the hotel, each of us taking turns taking naps. Ruby Tuesdays for dinner.
Finally, I presented on a panel with Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones. Nobody told me that when you are on a "panel" with people at NCTE, it means you don't actually have to have anything to do with those people! I was so panicked, since our books are SO different. But I spoke, and then they spoke, and that was that. I signed some autographs, went back to the hotel and snuck around until Romy woke up from her nap, went to the airport (fourth super-nice Philly cabbie, btw), endured the stressful plane ride (I don't know how anyone travels on airplanes with babies without breastfeeding. Sorry, Sarah, had to just say that.)--with more baby-handling compliments!--, and made it back. Today and the rest of my break will be spent unpacking, doing laundry, and trying to finish typing up my new novel. End NCTE roundup.