Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RWA 2011 Conference Day #1 - Exhausting Monday

I've been back for a few weeks from NYC and I must say, the trip was exhausting! I had a 6 am flight from St Louis to New York so I had to get up quite early. I'm a morning person, but I'm not that much of a morning person.

The morning should have gone without a hitch. Well, that was until I saw the epic-ridiculously long line at the airport. Everyone and their cousin Lenny had an early flight that morning. I had checked myself in early that morning, but being the genius of the world that I am--I didn't print out my confirmation number for Southwest. So I had to wait in three lines before I reached the plane. One line was to get my check-in paper, the next was to check my bags, and then the final one was the security line from hell. I could have stood in two lines, but the line to check in was ridiculously long and the kiosk line was...manageable. Naturally, when I got to the kiosk line, I discovered that I got the jacked up kiosk that wouldn't take my credit card or driver's license. I had a ticking clock in my head and all I could think about was how embarrassed I was with the long line and how I held everything up with my twentieth scan. The girl at the opposite kiosk finished and she let me jump on hers. It worked. The line in security was never-ending once I reached it. I was in line so long that Amanda Berry started texting me with lovely updates: the doors are opening, we'll save you a seat... It wasn't fun at all! I did make it on the plane, but my adventures were just starting.

I'm one of the unlucky souls who does take jerky motions very well. I'm prone to tension headaches and the flight's bumpy flight around Baltimore and NYC didn't help. I took some headache medicine and hoped for the best. (Nope, the drugs didn't work.)

We took a shuttle to the hotel and got to experience a fun ride (not according to Amanda) under the Queens Midtown tunnel. This was my first visit to NYC and I definitely enjoyed my first view. The air is quite different compared Saint Louis though. It wasn't the heat, but a stuffiness in the air. We reached the hotel and prepared to check-in. I got my first ride in the Marriott Marquis elevators. And I must say...it made my headache much worse. Okay, bump that, it made my headache go nuts.

Once we got into the suite, I took a few photos:

Jeannie Lin and Shawntelle
Jeannie Lin and I

Amanda Berry
Amanda Berry

We could've seen the sights that day, but everyone was sapped or in a world of pain. I was in the world of pain camp. We got a bite to eat late that afternoon at Juniors, a nice restaurant that serves 24hrs a day right next to the hotel. (You'll see Juniors mentioned several times this week. ;-) I ate there a lot.) The food was good, but it was hard to eat since I felt like major crap.

Like last year, we got out bags early. They were from Sourcebooks and they were quite nice with pockets on the sides and a zipper to close the top. :D

Since we had Romance Divas Pitchfest in the suite that night, we took a trip to Walgreens in Times Square. This was my first visit to Time Square and whoa, that place is pulsing with life. I heard so many foreign languages, saw so many people with cameras taking pictures. It was a really cool place--but I didn't take any pictures cause I was in pretty bad shape. :(

While the others got supplies, I stopped next door with Megan Kelly at the Subway Metro to get a Metrocard. I needed to pick up the Magic & Mayhem booklets from Penguin the next day so I needed to have a way to pay for the subway.

Once we got back to the room we lounged and hung out until Pitchfest. I took a few pictures.

Romance Divas Pitchfest
Romance Divas Pitchfest in the Suite

Pitchfest in the Suite
Romance Divas Pitchfest in the Suite

Pitchfest was a blast! It was so nice to see everyone from last year or the previous year. :)

It was a damn shame I took that headache to bed with me.

Tomorrow, I'll post how the second day went.