Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Post-Conference Recovery/Recap

Okay, I’ve been back from San Francisco a week now and I think I’m finally over the reverse jet-lag that accompanies any rapid roundtrip transcontinental flight.

How, you ask, was National? In a word, great!

As I walked into the hotel lobby, I literally ran into my chapter mates, Ann Tripp and Elaine Sims. They had a car and I happily accepted their offer to accompany them sightseeing in the City By The Bay.

We lunched at Fisherman’s Wharf, where, thanks to Elaine, I discovered the delights of Dungeness crab. I may have defected from The Deadliest Catch forever.

At Nash Street and Bay, we found a Maritime Museum. As we strolled along, I caught my first glimpse of Alcatraz. I never realized it was so close to shore. No wonder inmates were always thinking they could escape!

But then…then I saw it--the Golden Gate! I got sooo excited. I yelped, jumped up and down and pointed, like a Sixties teen at the sight of the Beatles.

After Fisherman’s Wharf was a rollercoaster ride down Lombard Street—the crookedest street in the world. What fun! From there, we drove to Chinatown to buy souvenirs for the folks back home.

Wednesday, my roomies (Mary and Lee) and I had just enough time to run across town to the DeYoung museum at Golden Gate Park, where we saw some great exhibits, including one of MesoAmerican art and glass artist, Chihuly.

Wednesday night, the Literacy Autgraphing party was a tremendous success. I worked as an author attendant, meaning I ran and fetched whatever the authors needed…water, more books, etc… By night’s end, we’d raised over $58,000 for adult literacy.

Thursday evening, seventy or so of my Romance Diva friends and I met at Buca Di Beppo, a wonderful Italian restaurant just a block from the hotel.

All us Divas have a special “Diva Name”. Yours Truly is known as “Oh, say it’s so! Diva”. Since J Perry Stone, one of our newest baby Divas, didn’t have a Diva name yet, I got to christen her as “I have no filter! Diva”. She completely lived up to her new name and I’m pretty sure our table laughed harder and longer than any other in the group.

Throughout the conference, I spent quite a lot of time with J Perry, Manda Coll, Santa, Elodie, Lindsey and Terrio, all from Romance Vagabonds. What a fun group!

Manda, a librarian by trade, really missed her calling. She really should be one of those people who read books aloud for Books On Tape. She read snippets of a particular book aloud, much to our delight.

Saturday afternoon, a bunch of us were treated to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen by Julia Quinn, romance author extraordinare and an absolute sweetheart. With authors Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Sherry Thomas and Laura Lee Gurkhe in attendance, we were truly in the presence of the Romance Writers version of “The Ton”. J

Sadly, I probably won’t be in attendance at next year’s conference in Washington DC, as I am playing the part of Mother of the Bride again next fall. But, in October my chapter will have it’s own conference, the much venerated Moonlight & Magnolias. It promises to be almost as much fun as National.