|One of my fave locales in NOLa -- Jackson Square. The cathedral was gorgeous!!|
Last week was intense, amazing, tiring and an adrenaline rush all in one. I'm a small town girl who runs a cattle farm with her family, so for me to head out alone into the U.S. was not something I do often. I spend most of my time at home. I've been major lucky in the fact that I can be at home with my kids every night after school, my husband makes it possible for me to be a stay-at-home Mom, and to be an author! I don't deal well with crowds, never have really, and there was a lot of nervousness and fear at the thought of the crowds I was about to pushed into.
New Orleans, Louisiana is huge, and I know I only saw maybe a quarter of it while I attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention last week. It was my fifth one, but this one I went on my own. Getting up at midnight to be on the road at 1 a.m. to drive across the border and take a flight out of Syracuse, NY., is definitely something I'll cherish. I'm not a world traveler so to do that on my own, I give myself an A+. LOL Sure I've done past Cons to Chicago, Daytona Beach, and a couple others, but NOLA ... a whole different place all together!!
Of course I ended up with a connecting flight in Chicago, and hauled ass from one gate to another, AND THEN I realized that time was behind an hour so my workout through the airport was appreciated. *snark*
And my flight to NOLA was delayed nearly an hour, but I met some nice people who were also traveling to NOLA and we discussed books -- what else does an author talk about really?? -- and the ladies all asked for business cards. So I was happy that I was not sitting in a corner, head down, fearing anyone wanting to talk to me. I needed to be brave, converse and get over the nerves of being around so many people.
I arrived in NOLA finally, found my friend and roomie, JoAnne Kenrick. And I instantly relaxed. Her vibe was also one of nerves because it was her First RT Con. This put me at ease because I became the "expert" who would do anything to see her through the week. But there was still one HUGE swarm of butterflies in my tummy -- the chance to meet my writing Idol (one of many), Suzanne Brockmann. And meet her I did! With tears, hands shaking, and pretty sure I heard my own voice crack once or twice in the ten minute conversation. Meeting her someday was #10 on my bucket list. And I LOVED crossing that off. Suzanne is a gracious and sweet lady. I met her husband, Ed, and daughter, Melanie, too. Suzanne & Melanie are writing a YA series together as well! Am looking forward to that.
The whole week ended up being one of the most fabulous trips I have ever been on. The scenery is amazing. Bourbon St. -- fun and frantic -- but still loved its charm. The food was plentiful no matter where I ate, and oh so good! People were very friendly too -- from the hotel staff to the people on the streets. Again, Bourbon St. is a world all its own and people were extra friendly LOL but everyone was super.
Here's some pix with captions of some of the highlights. I could go on for pages and pages, but I'll only post a few.
|Here I am with Suzanne! Inside I was still shaking and felt as though I was in a dream. Highlight of my year right here *g*|
|And of course, an Author never stops working -- I found a hottie to help me with inspiration...|
|And me again, this time in front of the Mississippi River! Wow. Such a great trip.|
See you again soon.