May 29, 2013
I’m not sure who had the "brilliant" idea to book a train headed for NYC at 6:34 in the morning but—
Wait. It was me? I booked the train?
Oh. Well, in that case it’s all good.
Gabrielle and I were up insanely early on Wed. morning to catch out train out of Maryland. We knew we had 3 full days of BEA and wanted a day to sightsee and have fun to prepare for the madness of BEA the rest of the week.
We caught our train and were on our way. We got into NYC a little before 9 am and quickly went to our hotel to stash our bags since check-in wasn’t until 3. Then we headed over the diner with our respective mom (mine) and grandmother (Gabrielle’s) across the street for a quick breakfast.
Once we had eaten and no longer felt like we were going to die of starvation, we grabbed a taxi and headed down the Javits Center to get our passes. I’m a huge fan of grabbing your pass the day before BEA—less lines, less people to contend with, less time. We were in and out of that line and had our passes in no time.
We took a few minutes to walk around the Javits, going up a level to see people running around like crazy putting BEA together. It was fascinating to see BEA in a state of disarray with people milling about and a mingled air of confusion and energy. We also bumped into Bailey (from IB Book Blogging) and her mom, Jamie.
I seriously cannot say enough about these two. I officially met Bailey at BEA last year and since then we’ve developed a great friendship. I was so insanely happy to get to spend a huge chunk of time with her at BEA and events this year. She and Jamie are amazing people and I love that I can call them my friends.
Shortly after that we left and headed for the 9/11 Memorial. I visited last year, but this was Gabrielle’s first trip there (and to NYC!) so we had to go again. I love the memorial, but it seemed like the air around it was lighter this time. Last year no one talked, it was a cloudy and somber day. This year the sun was blazing and everyone was chatting and snapping pics.
The plan after that was to visit Chinatown and Little Italy … but that never happened. At this point we were all exhausted having been up since 4 am and wanted nothing more than to veg and relax since we had a Blogger Dinner to attend that night.
After a not-so-quick stop in Century 21 where I may or may not have had the best facial cleansing of my life, we went back to the hotel where we were able to check in a bit early and relaxed.
For months I have been working with Nicole (from Paperback Princess) and Lexie (from Poisoned Rationality) on throwing a Blogger Dinner. We held it at the Olive Garden which was a bit of a mess as they wouldn’t seat us all until all 20 of us arrived, but once everyone arrived and we were all seated, we had a phenomenal view of Times Square while we sat and ate and acted like total fools.
I got to meet so many people I’d been dying to hang out with in person: Liza (from Reading with ABC) who I have met several times and she is still just as amazing and sweet as ever and her friend , Jachy. Lexie brought a whole crew: her sister Tegan, Tasch from Bloody Bookaholic (who also served as our impromptu photographer), and a couple others (I am totally drawing a blank as they weren’t at my table).
I sat with Nicole, her sister Jenn, Marjory, and Nicole’s co-blogger Amy along with Gabrielle, my mom, and her grandmother, and last Steph (from Read, Rinse, Repeat). I loved getting to know Steph—she was so adorable and kind. And finally getting facetime with Nicole was the highlight of my night. This girl is amazing and I just didn’t have enough time with her.
Once the dinner was over, we all parted ways. My group hung out in Times Square a bit, shopping in the enormous M&M store and taking a lot of pictures before heading back to the hotel to call it a night and brace for the insanity we knew was coming the next day.