Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National Book Festival

I made it back!  Were you starting to wonder if I survived my trip north?  I wanted to post sooner, but I've been going since the minute I got back on Sunday.  I had some health issues come up while in DC, but hopefully will be seeing a doctor this week.  In the meantime, I know you're all dying to hear about my trip.  This was the plan:

Friday: leave work at three, drive 8 hours to Woodstock, VA, sleep.

Saturday: leave Woodstock at 7, drive 2 hours to Vienna, VA, take the metro 30 minutes into DC.  Meet Suzanne Collins, make her our new BFF, see some sites, eat dinner with some book bloggers, and spend the night with my cousin.

Sunday: Breakfast with my cousin, more site-seeing, then the drive home

Here's what really happened, with pictures:

Friday: leave work at 3, go to Walmart to pick up the photo album from our HG shoot that we had made as a gift for Suzanne Collins.  Also buy all the things I forgot to pack.  Head north, but stop for a long dinner at Cracker Barrell.  Realize we are now three hours behind schedule and bust a move for Woodstock.  Hotel after midnight - go straight to bed.

Saturday: Get up early, head to Vienna.  Take the metro into DC.  This is the first time I had ever used public transportation other than the trolley in Little Rock.  I managed to spend a good half hour without falling down or throwing up, so it was a success.  Made it to the book fair without incident!
The Book Festival was, as we expected, VERY crowded.  We got there right as it started at 10, and it was already packed.  We headed straight to the book sale tent to buy our box sets of Hunger Games, but on the way we got a sneak peek of...
Suzanne Collins!  That's her with the reddish blond hair and the gray sweater.  She was backstage about to go read from Mockingjay and we walked right by.  Lots of fangirl squealing and stalker-like picture taking.  I have about a million pictures just like this one.  Still, we wanted to be close to the front of the line, so we purchased our books and headed to the signing area.

See those little white triangles in the distance?  That's where she was signing.  Also, see the boy in the red cap?  He's in a second line.  And see the boy in the orange shirt on the far right?  He's in a third line.  Over 8 lines ended up forming.  By the time the signing started they were turning people away at the end.  Thankfully we only had to wait in line for about an hour before it was our turn!

Right as we got to the front we learned that she had stopped signing (stamping) three books and would only stamp one, so that was somewhat disappointing, given we had just bought the box set specifically for that reason.  Also disappointing to realize we would now have to carry around the entire box set for the rest of the day with only one stamp.  But our excitement over seeing Suzanne completely made up for it.  She was super busy and the staff were really rushing her, so we didn't actually get to make her our BFF yet.  But we did give her our awesome photo album with my card in it, so I know she'll be calling me any time now.

I don't like making my posts super long, so you'll have to wait for my next one to see what happened next...Hopefully I will post again this afternoon, but I've got something pretty big going on right now that I don't want to discuss until it finalizes, but it's sucking up almost every second of my free time!