Thursday, June 3, 2010

BEA Recap - Day 3

I have to admit that Day 3 (Wednesday) of my BEA trip was the one I was most looking forward to. While I was very excited about attending the Children's Authors Breakfast and seeing the show floor, I couldn't wait to meet Adriana Trigiani (again!)

Kathy and I arrived at the Javits Center around 7:30 and immediately got in the huge line for the breakfast. We chose to set in the back (theater style seating) rather than pay the extra money and sit at the tables. I'm sure you've read many posts about the breakfast, but just in case you haven't, you can read more about the breakfast and the authors here (thanks to Beth Fish Reads for an excellent summary!)

I was really looking forward to the Children's Book and Author Breakfast for a few reasons. I admit that I was more than a little curious to see what Sarah, Duchess of York would say (if anything) about her recent "problem," and I have to give her a little credit for addressing the elephant in the room right away. However, I was a little disappointed in her because she didn't seem very prepared for her role as hostess. She didn't seem to know much about the other books and she even stumbled over the authors' names. To give her a break though, she was going through a rough time and there were loads of huge cameras in the back of the room -- talk about paparazzi!

I enjoyed all of the speakers, but I especially loved hearing Mitali Perkins. She was an amazing speaker and definitely touched my heart with how much books meant to her as a child -- I could really relate. But the highlight for me was when she gave a shout out to Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA. Aaron's is my all-time favorite book store, and I consider Sam and Todd, the owners, to be good friends. I was so sorry that they weren't at the breakfast, but I did the next best thing -- I tweeted them right away to share the news!

After the breakfast, Kathy I hit the show floor. Once again, I was extremely overwhelmed with all of the books (and all of the people!) I think we both had a great time just wandering up and down the aisles. I really enjoyed finding some of my "publisher" friends and having the chance to meet them in person. It probably goes without saying that I also had a great time meeting some of the bloggers whose blogs I follow every day.

At 2:00, Kathy and I headed over to the Harper Collins booth because it was time for the tea! As most of you already know, I participated in a blog tour earlier this year for Adriana Trigiani's Valentine series for TLC Book Tours. Out of all the participants, five bloggers were randomly selected to have tea with Adriana at Alice's Tea Cup. Can I just tell you how much I was screaming when I found out I was one of the bloggers who won?

Once we all arrived, we headed downstairs to meet up with Adriana Trigiani. This might not be news to you, but I LOVE ADRIANA! She is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I've read every novel she's written (and some more than once!) I almost died last year at BEA when I got to meet her, so you can imagine how excited (and nervous) I was to actually sit down and spend some time with her. I shouldn't have worried because Adriana is larger-than-life and immediately put us at ease! She actually walked up to the group and called out, "Are these my girls?"

Harper Collins graciously transported us to Alice's Tea Cup. Upon arriving, we were taken upstairs to the private party room (the very same party room that was on Cake Boss -- but that's another story you'll hear more about in my next recap post!) The room was absolutely gorgeous with teal walls and the most beautiful colored glass chandelier you can imagine. I was in heaven just listening to Adriana! And then they brought the food.....oh baby! So many delicious items including their famous scones (the pumpkin ones were amazing!), finger sandwiches, and desserts. (By the way, Harper Collins is publishing an Alice's Tea Cup cookbook in the fall with many of their recipes -- I can't wait!)

We ate, laughed a lot and just had a wonderful time. It was like we were all best friends for a few hours. For me the experience was magical and definitely the highlight of my BEA trip! A HUGE thanks to TLC Book Tours, Harper Collins/Book Club Girl, and Adriana Trigiani!

After the tea ended, Kathy, Dawn and I decided to get a cab back to Times Square -- at 5:00. There was absolutely no way we were going to successfully hail a cab, so Dawn took us on the subway. I was a little leery because she doesn't have the best reputation for getting around in the city, but I didn't really have another option -- she definitely knew more than I did! Much to Dawn's credit, we arrived safely back in Times Square and she did an awesome job!

I guess I was on Cloud 9 because of the tea and I didn't really realize how darn hot it was in the city on Wednesday -- it was in the 90s. But when Kathy and I got back to our hotel, I could barely stand myself. I needed a shower and I needed one bad!!! I was actually feeling pretty lousy (and grumpy -- sorry Kathy), but I definitely felt rejuvenated after a shower and a little rest. And that was a good thing because it was time to head out to the Book Blogger Reception at the Algonquin Hotel hosted by Harper Collins/Book Club Girl.

I had another great time at this event! I got to see loads of blogger friends -- both old and new; and it was fun finally putting faces to the names. Around 8:30, I realized that I needed some food since I'd only eaten sugary sweets at the tea, so a few of us headed to Chipotle for dinner. This might sound crazy, but I loved our dinner. Needless to say, it was fast food (but really good fast food.) However, the best part was that I did get to spend quality time with some of my best blogging buddies. All too often on this trip, I felt like I just saw my friends in passing and this was one of the few times I could really just sit down and talk with them!

That was pretty much it for my day -- one that was filled with lots of special times. All in all, this was one of the best days I can remember!


Beth F said...

Awesome write-up. Dawn never gets you lost forever! ;-)

You know, I agree, that dinner was great because we could sit and relax and catch up on things. There is so much going on at BEA it's crazy.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Fun post! And don't apologize - who doesn't love Chipotle?!!!

Nise' said...

It's been great reading about everyone's experience. How cool that you won the Tea With Adriana.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

All these posts are making me envious!! So here is the question, can ANY book blogger attend this event? Or does one have to be invited?

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

Great post- so glad you got to have tea with Adriana. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I got in her autograph line and she remembered me from last year and from attending her book signing at the 86th St. Barnes & Noble.
She is definitely a class act.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Love the write-up...I feel like I am almost re-living the day with you. And that tea party! I would have been a total airhead after that event, floating around in a cloud of euphoria. It's too bad there wasn't a better opportunity to sit and really chat with your best buds!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Wonderful post Julie! I didn't know about the Cake Boss connection and look forward to hearing more about that.

SO much fun!

LisaMM said...

I'm so envious!! Sounds like you had an amazing time and really glad you enjoyed the Tea with Adriana!

Amused said...

What a great writeup! So much fun to be had!

Anna said...

Chipotle rocks! Even though there's one about 5 minutes away from my house, we ate there in NYC, too. :)

Tea with Adriana sounds like it was an amazing time. I'm so happy that you were able to go.

Serena, The Girl, and I rode the subway the entire time we were there, and I'm very thankful for the subway map I brought with me.

Diary of an Eccentric

bermudaonion said...

The tea was the highlight of my trip too! You were definitely not grumpy any time I was with you. I may not have to write re-caps - I can just direct everyone here and say "ditto!"

Christi S said...

So glad that you love Adri's books....I grew up in Big Stone Gap so I have a special love for her and her books! Her sister Checka was my best friend's baby sitter! :)

Serena said...

I love Chipotle and cannot wait for the one near my house to open! Its opening this summer!

I love riding the subway. Its a great, cheap way to get around any city.

Sounds like the tea would have been great!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

What a full and FUN day!

I had to laugh when you said I was uncharacteristically quiet at the tea :)

And, hey, getting lost in NYC is part of the adventure (at least, it always seems to be part of MY adventure!)

Thanks for helping to introduce me to Chipotle ... a nice relaxing chat to end the day.