Friday, September 9, 2011

book nerdery at its finest

One of the highlights from 2010 and now 2011 has definitely been attending the Decatur Book Festival. I fully plan on making it an annual trip as long as I can spend it with girls from my online book club because the weekend was full of awesome --even if there WERE a few hiccups.

I can't believe how lucky I am to have met all these wonderful girls and if I'm being honest, the weekend was entirely too short. Here we all are before the last panel began.

Back: Tameka, Jacki, Me, Ashley 
Front: Julie, Jennie, Heather

Saturday morning I got up early so I could make the 3 hour drive to Decatur and hopefully make it there before the first panel began at 10am. I knew this was unlikely since I was running late and not long after I left the house I had an "oh crap" moment. I realized that I forgot to convert the 10am start time from EST to CST. Yup, so now I was freaking out because I REALLY didn't want to miss the second panel of the day (Beth Revis and Myra McEntire) but I did.

By the time I got to the hotel, checked in, parked, and found where the panel was being held it was just about over and people were already forming a line for the signing. While trying to call Julie, I was looking at all the people pouring in and almost immediately saw my friend Anne Riley. She came over and stood in line with me and we had a chance to catch up since I haven't seen her since the spring.

While in line my friends showed up and we got to meet Beth and Myra. I was so excited to meet Beth and I loved that I got a chance to thank her for her support of All 4 Alabama in person. She was just as sweet as I thought she would be and I'm really looking forward to seeing her again at YALLFEST in November.

The next panel we went to was Libba Bray's. Tameka kept talking about her and how awesome she was so I was pretty excited even though I haven't read any of her books yet (I know, I know. I bought the Gemma Doyle books around the time I was getting burned out on series books though). Libba was an absolute HOOT. After the first two sentences out of her mouth, I knew I was in for a lot of laughs and she did not disappoint. She even did a mad-lib! We left the over-flow room when the Q&A session was starting and I'm glad we did. Her line ended up being almost 2 1/2 hours long! She was a joy to meet and I REALLY hope I get to see her again soon. She struck up a conversation with everyone and it was like you had known her for years.

By the time we had finished getting our books signed by Libba, Lauren Myracle's panel was almost over so a few of us went down and got in line. I haven't read Shine (or any of her books) yet and since that's what the panel was about I was OK with missing it since I didn't want to spoil things. I was starting to fret over what I would say to her when it was my turn but as soon as I gave her my book she asked why I had taken the dust jacket off and she, unknowingly, saved me from being a super awkward turtle. I also loved that she had burgundy in her hair because that's what I'm most likely going to do in the next few weeks. 

We all headed back to the hotel after Lauren's signing to rest and make dinner plans. On the way, Tameka had her first ever funnel cake. 

When we got back to the room these yummy Harry Potter cookies from Jacki were waiting for me. Aren't they adorable?! I absolutely loved Ron and couldn't eat him until I got home a showed my husband.

We ended up going to Ted's Montana Grill for Tameka's birthday dinner and I had my first bison burger. It was pretty darn good too. Here are some pictures from dinner.

 Jacki, Jennie, and Heather

 Julie's bestie, Julie, and Ashley

 She was looking at a Hello Kitty sleep mask

She got a free birthday dessert!

After dinner we stopped next door at The Chocolate Bar and got some sweets and then went back to the room to hang out a bit before we all konked out. I was pretty out of it by this point, as was everyone else, so it didn't take long before we had an unofficial silent agreement to go to sleep.

Check back tomorrow for day two!