I’m still trying to catch up with everything but I wanted to just do at least a quick recap of the last week down in Orlando.
I arrived on Sunday evening and Megan picked me up at the airport. Once we got everything unloaded at the hotel (the grounds were quite lovely and our building, while a bit away from the conference center, was actually perfect for that very reason. It was really quiet for the entire conference) we headed to dinner.
We caught up with Angie James as we headed back to the hotel and she was heading out. Chatted for a few and then met up with Vivi Anna for drinks and planned our next day.
Monday was pretty much all Magic Kingdom. We had a great day. The weather wasn’t overly hot and while there was rain on and off, it meant the park wasn’t overly crowded either.
There was a slightly worrisome search for a missing box of tote bags when we returned but luckily the following day we located it and all was well as the hotel began to fill up with convention goers. Usually the hotel has absolutely no idea of what will happen to them when a thousand romance readers and authors show up but this one seemed to have some of the usual glitches taken care of in advance. I found the staff of the hotel to be incredibly helpful (our hair dryer caught on fire on Tuesday and we had a leak in our shower which proved to be a problem all week, but they dealt with it efficiently and the bell staff were wonderful about helping us move stuff around via golf cart). The bars all stayed open after the parties ended, which we learned is now a part of the RT contract with the hotel (this is a really good thing, so yay to RT!).
The lack of a central bar made it a little hard to find people and there were authors I didn’t see one time who I knew were there. BUT the covention area was gorgeous. Beautiful rooms and a long, central hallway marked by seating nooks made it really nice to escape a loud party and sit t o talk with people. I really liked that part and as for the rest, there was lots of texting and calling to meet with friends you’d lost so in the end, it was fine. The food in the restaurant in the main building was quite reasonably priced and very tasty, the drinks weren’t ridiculously expensive either.
Renee and her beau, Joe arrived on Tuesday just in time for lunch and some drinks at the pool bar. His nametag said “companion” so we said he was there to keep her out of trouble, and she promptly fell off a curb and twisted her ankle!
Connected with Cindy Eden, who’s very sweet and helpful husband helped us move things from our room to theirs so we could stuff the bags for our reader party.
The suite party was pretty packed and I got to hang out and visit with lots of folks and get to know some new ones too. I know pictures were taken but I only have a few. Anyone who has them please do forward copies to me!
Renee and Lauren on Tuesday night
I knew Tuesday night was the last hurrah for very little makeup and hair pulled back, but I did enjoy going early so we could ease into our week. The party was a way to connect and hang out with people who’d arrived early.
Registration moved very smoothly and this year, they included an insert for the authors and panelists telling them which workshops and panels they were on, where to be and when. They had info about our party and where I needed to go for the RT Awards show. This was so very helpful! The totes this year were the best we’ve had so far – so thank you to Sylvia Day!
And then bam, it was Wednesday and RT started in earnest! Megan and I had a panel – How to Write With Your BFF Without Killing Them. Sparsely attended though I believe the line up at the EC Cavemen calendar line for free calendars and pictures at the same time may have affected attendance, LOL. Still, everyone who came got a copy of TCOB and I think it was a good panel anyway! In the hall we met a lovely bookseller who was wearing our Hookah/You Will Buy Our Book tee shirt that we had put in all the bookseller bags and had made for our party totes too. She was kind enough to let us take a picture with her.
There’s more but I have to finish up some mom stuff for now. I’ll get back to RT Recap tomorrow!