Lyn here, talking about BEA (I know, there are a million post-BEA write-ups floating around on the internet at the moment). I have to say, it was one of the best experiences in my life. BEA was THE best convention I have ever attended, and the company was beyond fantastic. The books I got were great, but I have to admit, they all came in second to the wonderful memories I have of New York.
I had to lift pictures from other bloggers since I forgot to snap a huge quantity of photos while I was in NY (I was having so much fin, I never stopped to get a lot of shots).
Pre-BEA: Prior to BEA, I was a complete wreck. I met Pixie on Tuesday night for supper in the DFW region. It was Denny’s, and I was already feeling sick to my stomach. However, Pixie and her husband were beyond kind and very understanding. Pixie was a sweetheart! I was able to shower her with gifts and hugs.
The night prior to leaving for the airport, my nerves were a MESS, nonetheless. No sleep.
Wednesday, May 28th: Time to leave for NY! I traveled with Pixie for the entire trip. This day was set aside mostly for reaching NYC, luckily. However, we were delayed at the airport for nearly 2 hours into Philadelphia due to weather on the east coast. Snacks and lots of waiting occurred. This was a first for Pixie (flying), so that was an exciting experience for us both. Pixie and I finally made it into PHL late at night, and we barely caught our train into New York. It was a very stressful day, but once we landed at the hotel, things settled down and the fun really started….
Picture of the clouds by Pixie
Thursday, May 29th: BEA DAY! With bags in hand and friends in tow, our ragtag group traveled to the convention center to kick off our entire reason for venturing to the city.
To start, I went with Kara and Bekka to the Harlequin TEEN BEA Blogger Breakfast. I picked up some wonderful galleys and met with Kat and Steph from Cuddlebuggery. The authors and the publishers that visited our table all were very polite and outgoing.
Since it was the first day, I spent most of the time running around on the floor and exploring the area. We all stopped at the café to grab some sandwiches and chicken fingers. Our gang finally found a safe, quiet spot (the elevator area) to eat, just to find that the ladies at Cuddlebuggery were saving us a seat. I even saw them at the table! (Steph was patting Kat on the cheeks, just in case you were wondering). Thanks, gals – you get brownie points anyways!
Once we all burnt out on the fun at BEA, half of our crew takes off for the dinner, and Pixie and I have some downtime before we start on our next adventure. Strand. That’s right. We go to a bookish breakfast, stay all day at a book convention, attend a book dinner, then go to a bookstore after hours. We’re all addicts, and we love it.
Strand Bookstore! Thanks, Jessie, for permission to use the photo!
Pixie and I were the first to arrive. We both check out the store while we waiting, and the whole place was just a treasure trove of everything bookish, and then some! I picked up Coda and The Outside, a new CUTE tote bag and my gift to my mom. The prices were excellent and the selection was outstanding. I love that place. I am going to buy everything I can from that wonderful place!
Back at ye ole Yotel, we stay up WAY too late saying the stupidest things to one another. Love all around.
I miss you, Yotel.
Friday, May 30th: Breakfast with Kat and Steph at Subway! Surprisingly, it was really good.
After breakfast, we all catch a cab back over to the convention center. This time around, I my feet were a bit sore and my curiosity sated, so I sat in more lines with Kara and attended book signings. I traded quite a few of these books, and it was more about the experience than the ARCs! Kara and I did a lot of one-on-one bonding during this time. We ate knishes at the convention center café (never had one – loved it!).
The day was wonderful, and the books were great. We ran into Debby and we made a small gathering on the floor to rest our feet (fair warning – your feet ALWAYS HURT at BEA!).
At the end of the day, we divide up in the evening, and Kara and I go out for Thai food with Kat, Steph, Meg and company. I love Thai food, and I wanted to sample some of the eating while in New York. It was a WONDERFUL time. Asking if Steve Irwin fronted the Australian currency was a nice topping to the event.
Feed me, Seymour.
Afterwards, Kara and I hoof it back to the hotel. Despite the late hour, the city was well lit, and I felt completely safe traveling back to the hotel. We stumble upon Pinkberry – another fabulous food-fueled event! The entire staff was so helpful and charming, and let us sample some of the flavors – try before we buy! The weather was ideal, and the walk back justified the pie a la mode selection in my hand.
We all stay up WAYYYYY too late. We seriously Tweet every damn thing the other says.
Saturday, May 31st: No way in HELL was I going to that madhouse at the Javits! Day off for us gals, and over to Burgers and Cupcakes for, well, burgers and cupcakes. Except I ate a chicken sandwich. Totally cheating, but it was SO DAMN GOOD. We spend some time talking with other bloggers at the eatery, and finally venture back to our room to start packing and rest prior to the Kids’ Author Carnival in the Jefferson Market Library.
Stop. Cupcake Time.
I was FINALLY able to meet Claire again, and I cornered her to sign my Cavendish book (which I bought on site for signing!) and sent her my love. Seriously, she’s awesome.
We get back to the hotel to enjoy our last night together. SILLY is a huge understatement! Fireworks in the evening was the perfect statement to finish off our evening.
Magic. NY was magic.
Sunday: June 1st: Time to go home (tears and sadness!!!) Pixie and I return to the train to travel to Philadelphia to catch our plane back to DFW. Pixie and I had a celebrity sighting (Keanu Reeves in the train station!), which helped smooth over the fact that I HAD TO LEAVE EVERYONE BEHIND!
I grew closer to many of the bloggers while I attending BEA. I never talked to Meg much, now I stalk her. I got to meet Debby, a blogger I have admired for a long time. I met Gillian face to face. I got to spend some time with my co-bloggers, and finally got to have a real-life burn banter with Kara. I geeked out with Pixie, and I grew closer to Jessie. I got to see so many people that I have known on Twitter and blogging for some years now, such as Kat, Ashleigh and Anya. I got to meet Steph! I’m not a socialite, but I was out of my shell the entire time.
New York is beautiful! I wish I had more time to venture around the city, but the schedule was tight, and I did see to see more than I thought I would! The skyline dazzled me, and I grew to appreciate the city.
I already miss New York
The food was AMAZING! I’m not a “foodie”, but I do like to venture out of my safe zone.
I picked up some books that actually have me excited to read.
I’m ready to go back next year. I’m working my bottom off to return before the whole thing travels to Chicago in 2016.
I am so lucky to have some wonderful people in my life. Thank you, all of you, for making one of the best experiences in my life!