Sunday, July 26, 2009

Deb's Excellent Adventures in DC

A Travel Day (July 14, 2009)
As Librarian of the Year 2009 for Romance Authors of America, I will be flying to Washington DC for their annual conference. Not only will I be accepting my award, but I'll be speaking twice at this conference. I've heard it's an exhausting series of day, so I'm prepared for sleep deprivation and sensory overload.
My first experience is being forced to pay $20 for the airlines to bring my luggage along with me. I'm irritated by this, but accept that this is a "wardrobe heavy" event and so pay the extortion.
After the tedious trial of flying, (I'm old enough to remember when flying on a airplane was FUN!) I arrive in DC. I assumed my "car" would be waiting, but no one with a placard with my name on it is standing in the baggage area. I call the car service, and discover I have to go out to the curb. This actually spoils it a bit for me, because I was dreaming of all the other passengers looking at me and trying to figure who I was.
It was a beautiful day in D.C. and I enjoyed seeing the buildings as we drove to the hotel. Lucky for me my partner in crime, um -- co-worker, Chapple, arrived early. She had assured the hotel staff that we did indeed want to remain at the hotel and thank goodness. Our program would be the very first of the conference at 8am on Wednesday, and I didn't really like the idea of trying to get up to the hotel from downtown during rush hour.

Chapple created the perfect ambiance for "Romance Librarian of the Year"! There was even champagne chilling in the ice bucket.
My RWA Chapter, (Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America) sent me roses. I'm starting to enjoy all this attention, and it's only just begun...

Chapple and I head across the street for dinner and I appreciate traveling with a foodie. She's spent the afternoon scoping out the neighborhood, checking out the food reviews and figuring out a schedule. You just gotta love an organized Reference Librarian!

Wednesday, Bright and Early

Program # 1: Romance in the Stacks: How to Plan, Organize and Enjoy Author Events

The guys are setting up the LCD projector when we arrive. I'm a bit grumpy, (Chapple has gone in search of coffee). I actually dragged my LCD projector 3000 miles, because I wasn't sure if they would have one. I have to agree though, it's better to be safe than sorry. This is Librarian Day, so our program is targeted to library staff who want to create author events and programs. Despite the fact that Chapple and I have never done this before, I believe we ROCK! We manage to get all our information into the one hour program. It's 9:00 am and we are finished for the day!

We head for the Metro and ride an escalator that appears to descend into the bowels of hell. The subway in DC goes very, very deep underground. We only have a "sorta" idea of where we want to go, and discover that many people in D.C. have suggestions for how to get to the restaurant we want to eat lunch at. On the way we stop at a jewelry store to admire the window display. We can't resist and go inside, then enjoy a fun time trying on crazy expensive jewelry that we wish we could buy.

Actually, Chapple could have purchased this pearl set. She decided to think about it.
It was beautiful!

After a lot of walking around and feeling foolish, (regrettably - Chapple is as direction-challenged as I am) we finally found the restaurant. Perhaps someone should have mentioned it was in a HOTEL! We did not despair, (although the service was not top-notch) the food was excellent.

This is the best-looking food I've ever seen. And it was "Free-Range" chicken.

My sandwich was amazing too. A very good choice for lunch.

After lunch, we head for the National Museum of the American Indian. This was the #1 tourist thing I wanted to do while in D.C.

Chapple had her own reasons for visiting this museum. Her mother-in-law, (Marionne Langemack) donated to the construction.

We asked at the main desk where the "Donor Wall" might be, and received some very complicated instructions. Chapple managed to find the list on a kiosk, then we tried to find the wall. It just didn't make sense.

So we visited the top floor exhibits, moved to the second floor and realized that the open wall in the middle of the museum did indeed hold the names of major donors. We found Marionne's name. How cool was that?

I have to admit, the organization of this museum challenged me. We were very disappointed that the only Pacific NW tribe represented was the Yakima's. With the rich tradition of art, storytelling, dance and culture, I wished there was more about the tribes of my home area, like the Tlinget, Haida, etc.

Chapple wanted to visit the Newsmuseum, but I'd had enough and headed back to the hotel for a swim in the pool. (I always check the hotel when I'm traveling to see if they have a pool).

I visited the HUGE author signing, and couldn't believe the number of people lined up to have books signed. I decided to just visit my friends instead of standing in line. I have limited room for books to take home, so I'll be pretty discerning. After all, I work for the library system, and we have a LOT of books.

We ended our first day with a Metro ride to Dupont Circle. Since we purchased an all day Metro pass, it seemed wise to take advantage of the convenience! We chose the restaurant that was busy and looked fun. Neopolitan pizza, and again -- great food, fun ambiance and a great ending to the day.

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