I made it in yesterday with little fanfare. The flight was okay. We hit a bunch of turbulence the last half hour or so and I spent the entire time breathing deeply, swallowing spit and trying to locate a barf bag, just in case. The good news is that I did not throw up, the plane landed just fine and I emerged to meet MEP, who had graciously come to pick me up.
Once E... arrived (she had driven in from City C), we went downtown and checked in for the conference. With our conference badges in hand, we decided to grab a quick bite before the parties. After a bit of wandering around downtown Chicago, we settled on PJ Clarke's, where we dined al fresco and watched people. I saw four much older men wearing brightly colored tie dyed shirts, individually, not together, and one wearing a pink sequined jacket, not to mention what I'm pretty sure was the Village People. And that was a Thursday night. Imagine what I could have seen on a weekend!
Then we headed back to the hotel for the parties. The parties. I was crazy nervous about the parties. I was afraid that I would be the ultimate wallflower. Even without a slew of drinks in me, it turns out I'm not so much.
A few notes:
- I saw Black Hockey Jesus and Stephanie Wilder-Taylor in conversation and somehow managed to walk my knocking knees over to them to say hello. Honest to blog, I was completely flushed and shaking while I was talking to them. Like a complete boob. They were very kind though and did not give me the cold shoulder even though they are blog elite and I am, you know, not. Stephanie even gave me a hug. Did I mention I love her?
- Jen Lancaster was at the second party we went to. I saw her standing alone at the bar and I pounced. I gushed out in one long breath that I loved her blog and her books and how all around wonderful I thought she was. I was about to run off but she engaged me in conversation. Of course, then she pretty much walked off in the middle of said conversation, so I felt a little weird about it. But still. Squee! Jen Lancaster!
- It turns out I am mostly deaf. I could only hear about every fifth word in any conversation because of the enormous noise from the din of a 1000 people all talking at once. It's tough to be witty when you're having completely different conversations.
- Every time I see one of the "big" bloggers, I am surprised when they are normal sized. It's like I'm expecting them to be super tall just because they are well known in the blog world. Turns out they're just people. Who knew.
- I actually saw a ton of blog friends. There were lots of hugs. I felt the love.