Friday, June 21, 2013

BEA 2013 Trip

In this wee hours of darkness, I am off to the airport. I get dropped off and inside I go! I am sooooo glad that I printed out my boarding pass because there is a long line of people waiting to get checked in. I asked one of the people at the airport about which gate do I go as they looked it up quickly and wrote it down. I thanked them and off I went to the security line as it was quick.

Onwards to find some food! Good thing McDonald's was open as I snagged some breakfast food. Next step was to go to my terminal to wait. I sat and nibbled on my food as best as I could. My tummy was not feeling the best that morning.

The waiting did not take long. I found my seat and sat down as the flight was booked! 5:45 am flight to NYC was booked! I honestly thought it would not be full. We headed on out as I managed to read a bit on the plane but also went back to sleep. Most of the other passengers did the same too. I knew I would need it.

I came out of the doors of the airplane and into the airport of NYC. Airports are always busy no matter what. I followed the signs to 'Ground Transportation!' Once I got outside, it was warm compared to Chicago weather. I spied the line for taxi as it was long but the line of taxi's was long too! The wait lasted about 10 minutes tops. I got in and off I went in a busy taxi cab to NYC. Well, traffic came up! Nine o'clock would do that on a Friday I believe. I saw cars about and tall buildings that was filled with wonderful architecture.

I saw traffic cops directing traffic which you rarely see in Chicago and it was pretty cool. People on bikes. All life was bursting alive. The cab driver was nice and had an accent which made it hard for me to understand. I arrived at the hotel as I was quite early! I could not get in until later. So I sat there thinking what to do. Part of me wanted to explore as the other part of me wanted to just relax. I gave into the exploring side of things.

I checked my luggage in so the hotel could keep it while I go out as I got a map as well. I headed off thinking I can do this! Within a block there was a 'Starbucks'! I went inside snagged some water, a sandwich and a lemon cake pop! Boy I was hungry. After eating the food I decided to hit up the Empire Building.

Out the door I went! People walking and cars honking as I moved my feet. I turned down the one street and passed by buildings. I then found myself at the Empire State building as I looked up feeling awesome to be here. The building also hit me up a bit with the movies and history behind it. I snapped shot a photo outside and then saw tons of people go in. I was thinking the lines were going to be long but it's a risk to take. I entered as I saw the stunning artwork as I took another photo.

Up the elevators I go to purchase a ticket. I got the basic ticket for now to the 86th floor. One line after another. Tons of people there of all ages. Once inside the first elevator, it took us to the 80th floor. Then I walked some more in another line. I think this was to keep everyone moving. It was almost like a traffic control. Then to another elevator that took us up 6 more flights. 86th I arrived! I went outside and saw the amazing views. You could see North, South, East and West views. I could see a bit of Central Park and the amazing buildings around. The cars and taxis down below were small. It was a bit breezy up there but was getting hot! I savored the views and snapshot some photos here and there.

Then after being up there for a bit seeing people with their family and friends, I kind of wanted to get back to the hotel to rest. Off I go back down. Into the first elevator down 8 flights to do conquer first. Then there were some more lines zig zagging away. I had to wait at the next elevator for a bit and then back down to second floor where I exited out of this store as I entered on the main floor of Walgreens.

Walgreens I snagged some goodies to take back to the hotel. You never know what you might need. I had ginger ale, water, saltine crackers, kit kate and raisins. Off I go back into the hot water. I headed back to where I came from as the city was bursting with life as always.

Once I arrived to the hotel, I could go in! Yay! Up on the 10th floor of Eventi Kimpton Hotel, I could see the Empire building which was pretty neat. My hotel was simple: bathroom, bed, small desk, and tv. The wood work was dark which I liked and the bathroom had marble I think. The stone in the bathroom was white, gray and black. I decided to rest. After all I had a Book Blogger picnic to go to at Central Park! Oh and my room was chilly but hey it felt good after being outside.

After resting for a bit, I changed into shorts and a tank top with a light weight black jacket. I knew I should eat before I headed out. I found some restaurants that were right next to the hotel. I had a chicken sandwich which was pretty good. I sat there and watched people come and go out in the busy streets. It was interesting. Sadly I could not eat the whole sandwich. Quickly I headed back to my hotel to drop off the food.

Heading to the lobby, I asked how far Central Park was. The guy at the front desk was very helpful and said I could walk it and I would be fine. I was up for it. So off I went walking down on 6th Ave as it turned into Broadway. I was walking and walking and looking and looking. Next thing I knew I was in Times did that happen? I thought it was another block over. I saw a variety of characters which was fun to see. Then I wondered if I was ever going to make it to Central Park. I pulled out my iPhone and checked the map..yup I was on the right track!

I saw this cool building and could not help but take a photograph of it with my phone. Architecture rules! I saw the park! Now off to find where those bloggers were. Southwest in Central Park…I found them. All of us bloggers were women. There was one guy there which I believe was someone's husband. We chatted and hung out. It was fun. I admit I was a bit shy. I did get to meet Book Soulmates bloggers who were the sweetest ever!

After that was over I was going to walk back. One of the bloggers said I was nuts. I did have good shoes on for this trip because I knew I'd be walking tons. Doesn't that make sense? Of course the shoes go with jeans or shorts..not so much for dressy like events. So on my way back walking, the lights came alive in NYC. Times square busy as usual. I saw the Cowboy guy that sings in boots and speedo with his guitar! Sadly I did not take a picture but the image remains in my head. I found my way back to the hotel with no problem whatsoever!

I entered my room and drawn the curtains as I saw the Empire building lit up! It was yellow. That was so cool to see it from the hotel. I then got read for bed and watched some tv as sleep was calling to me because tomorrow as going to be a busy day!

My alarm went off! My first time using my iPhone as an alarm. I already had my clothes set out so up and at them. I had a banana to eat along with some of the goodies I had in my room that I bought from Walgreens. Sadly I did not really stop for breakfast. I was on a mission. I was going to walk from my hotel to Penn Station to find the shuttle bus!

Life was alive on a Saturday in NYC as I walked down the streets. Once I made it to the corner, some guy was trying to get money from me as I told him I had nothing on me which was true. I saw the huge post office across the street from where I stood as you cannot miss this building. It's white and huge! So where was the shuttle bus? I had no idea what kind of bus it was going to be. This was my first time going to BEA!

I saw a lady putting on a pass that had the BEA symbol as I asked her where the bus was. She did not know either. Then I saw a huge bus as another guy came up to us and told us that the bus was for BEA! I hopped on. There were only eight of us on the bus as the bus went off to other pick up stops. It was an adventure being in NYC on a huge bus.

Arriving at Javits, I headed inside to get registered and such. That went quick! So that was a big thumbs. Then I saw the line for people who were waiting. Well I arrived at 715-730 am perhaps? The whole thing did not open until 9 am. So while in line, I looked at the map and marked it to the exhibits I wanted to go to. I did learn of authors signing as well! Sadly I did not plan my whole agenda out, I winged it! I thought I did well for my first time.

I met some lovely bloggers while waiting in line and we chatted about book blogging and where we were from. We exchanged cards and some of them gave me some good tips. I loved everyone who gave me tips and ideas of what to do!! Thank you so much.

Once the line started, I was excited and off I went. Oh my gosh..some people were out for a mad dash! I was more laid back a bit. I ended up going by one booth as they were handing out bags and people were snatching them up like it was candy. Hands flying in front of me left and right. I did get a bag in a nice calm way. Then I headed off. I was stuck with a dilemma! Sarah Dressen or Spencer Hill Publisher? That was my first tackle.

I thought I'd do Spencer Hill Publisher first since they had two authors signing. I snagged "PODS" and . After I got the books, I went off to see if I could get in to see Sarah Dessen. Sadly, the books sold out! Holy cow…I was amazed by this. The one thing I liked about the autographing section of BEA is that those amazing people who stood out there holding the books for us to see before making a decision either or not to get in those lines was a fantastic idea. Good job!

I went on to exhibits here and there. Then headed off to get some autographed books. A young girl was there from PA got an autographed of Jim Carrey! Lucky her! I missed that. Sure there were some things I missed but hey you can't win them all. I did take a few breaks but I had energy and stayed the entire time. There was one line that was very long and I had to sit at times in order to make it through. I was glad I wore my good walking shoes.

My husband wanted me to get 'The Oatmeal' signature, but he was only there on Friday! Darn! Maybe next year I can snag it for him. I was surprised when my husband asked me to do this.

The place started to pack up around 2-3 pm. I knew it was time to go. So off I went to find the shuttle. Once I was on the bus, I was tired and wondered if I was going to able to fit all these books in my bag going home. I did get a text message from someone I knew in NYC but sadly could not meet up. Then my co blogger from "Me, Myself and I" Amber did not get a chance to meet up either. So I was alone.

I admit it did feel a little weird being by myself and not sharing this event with anyone but at the same time it was an adventure! I arrived back at my hotel as my shoulders ached from the books that were in my bag. I sat on the bed and chilled out. I then went through the goodies I got enjoying them. Two hours later I was hungry so off I went to eat by myself at the hotel restaurant. I had this pasta that was very good but sooooo rich. I was in a pasta mood. Perhaps next time I'll hit up one of the restaurants that was two blocks away or so for pasta.

After dinner, I went back to my room and got ready for bed again. I saw the Empire Building as I drew the curtains and it was blue! My favorite color as it made me smile. I did get everything organized because I had to leave tomorrow morning. Bed, book and movie was next! Then sleep came as I could hear the traffic all about as it wasn't that bad. I did get all the books in my carry on and in my back pack.

Sunday came as I woke up and slowly moved about. I went downstairs to check out and then snagged a taxi to the airport as there was not that much traffic this time. I had to find what gate I was in since I was already printed out my pass! Good thing to do when traveling about. Off to security lines as they kept moving. Everything went well. I got my books on the plane..whoo! Once I was through security, I needed food. Cereal, cheese stick and a banana was what I managed to snag while at the airport.

Time to get on board to the airplane. The one thing when I travel by myself is the boarding number or by seats is always hard to hear because they announce it on the speaker which sounds always weird to I. One in my seat, I got comfortable and off we went. People slept on the plane ride back as I did too. I also did get to start a new book by Cora Carmack "Faking It." I did not finish the book on the plane but the next day I did. :) Anyways, Chicago was quite chilly and I got picked up by my lovely mom who I took out for breakfast for her birthday that weekend. After breakfast I headed home as my kids were sooooo happy to see me and wanted to spend time with me. My husband said they kept asking about me.

So that was my trip and I sure plan on going back out there again soon I hope! Thank you to hotel staff, BEA staff, bloggers, and everyone. It was fun.


Hotel Room

Hotel Lobby/Check in

Empire State Building Photographs and Views

Autograph section at BEA 2013 and Spencer Hill Press Booth

Bloggers ~ Picnic in Central Park

I met Isalys from Book Soulmates! And also Vanessa!!

Buildings and other shots


Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

Hey, I see my card from the picnic! lol, you certainly crammed a lot in short amount of time! You're hotel room looked fabulous! There's no way I could afford to stay on my own, but I imagine that it's kind of nice to have a room all to yourself.

The lone guy at the picnic was Jeremy, Andrea's (of The Overstuffed Bookcase) husband. He brought that awesome Harry Potter cake. ;)

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