Jenn's BEA 2016 Post.
I am so very excited. I hope this post isn't too long. I may have to split it up into sections. There was so much happening. I can't believe I survived and I am back home. I can tell you that I was so completely nervous before going. It was a long trip and an new thing for Ash and I to venture so far from home alone. But we did it and we made it an we had a blast. I will probably use that word a lot because it's so accurate and I am way to tired to think of a different word to use. I also hope this post doesn't have to much rambling. I am very tired and all my thoughts are jumbled between the fun and the lack of sleep.
We had a ton of fun.This was just such a memorable experience. We arrived in Chicago about 11;30 am on Tuesday morning. We hopped on our first tram/subway and headed to the Chicago Loop... which by the way is huge! Chicago is a whole different world for us.
We reached the Chicago loop and hopped on a bus. Of course it was the wrong bus. After about 30-45 minutes of riding we decided to ask the bus driver if we were lost and yes we were. He helped us on our way to the correct bus and we made it to the hotel about 3:30. 2 Hours after it should have but it was okay. We had arrived.
Our hotel... Chicago South Loop Hotel... was nice. Nothing extravagant but it was nice and only 0.6 miles away from the McCormick Center. So it was close and nice. Everyone there was exceptionally nice and we had a very nice stay.
After hanging in the room and unpacking we decided to take our first trip on our own to a Target store. We needed some snacks and some coffee. We made it without any issues so that was great. We did find out it helps to ask the bus driver as soon as you get on if you are on the right bus.
The Target was something else. We have on giant building in a wide open space for a Target there. The Target in Chicago was two story and had an escalator, an elevator, and a cart escalator. So strange. Oh and it had a revolving door. Everything in the loop had revolving doors. We do not have those here. So that was strange.
We visited the Starbucks inside and got some coffee and a new mug for my collection.
Target was a great adventure except when Ash dropped her phone and shattered the glass. Yup great start. So we decided to put most of our supplies back and head back to the hotel with a heart broken Ash. We made it back to the hotel just fine, had a drink at the hotel and played gin rummy the rest of the night.
We woke up the next morning bright and early and made it to the McCormick at about 7:30 am. We got our badges and headed to the blogger conference. We met some great bloggers, bookstagrammers, and booktubers, We had a fun time. That afternoon we ended up in the exhibit hall and got some great books to start out book haul adventure. After about 1.5 hours in the exhibit hall we were exhausted and took our first Uber ever back to the hotel.
We decided after some rest to hit the loop again to head to the Apple store and see what we could do for Ash's phone. That was another adventure in amazing things we have never seen before. A lot of honking, crazy driving, and rushing pedestrians. Nothing like our laid back style of living.
The second day proved to be more exhausting. We got up at 5:30 in the morning. Head to the McCormick by Uber. We got in line for the ticketed authors... 1st n line at 6:00 am. Once the Starbucks opened we got some caffeine and waited for our day to start. By 8:05 am we had our ticketed authors and went to the entrance line. Had a pretty good spot. We were in right after 9:00 am and headed out for our adventure in book stashing and author meeting. It was pretty great.
By the end of the day were were exhausted and had a ton of books and fun. Met lots of great people. We got back to the hotel by about 5:15 and we hit the beds and did nothing for quite a while. When we decided to move we only went to Walgreens to get some snacks, ordered dinner and watched game show network the rest of the night. We were feeling pretty numb from exhaustion
The 3rd day and final day. We got up at 5:30am and reached the convention center a bit after 6:00am. There was already a line. We were about 12th in line. Marissa Meyer was the only thing on mind. That turned our day inside out. We got to the counter and they were all out. They only had 3 Marissa Meyer tickets that morning. Um What? Now I was heartbroken. After a few tears were shed I got over it and headed out for the books and authors I could meet. I got quite a stash and was having some fun. Almost at the end of Marissa Meyers line, Ash gets a text from a friend stating she got Heartless. Someone was tired of waiting and gave her a ticket. She told me to go hang out at the line. So I did. One of the nice workers there were allowing a few people at the end of the line in case there were left over books. I was about 6th in line for the non ticketed people. After watching the publisher counting and recounting heads and books and a few more ticketed people coming through lines and after a many hyperventilations and nailing biting minutes... I was confirmed to get a book. So overjoyed about it I was crying when my picture was taken with Marissa Meyer. My first true fangirl moment. I will never forget it. I was so overwhelmed and emotional strangers were hugging me. It was so surreal.
So after a few more author signings and book drops we headed out a bit early, about 2:30 pm. We were exhausted. SO back at the hotel, some snacks, a bit of resting with game show network, we started to get ready for the blogger dinner. I was so nervous. I am glad I had Ash with me.
I met so many great people.
Becca from Reading Teen
Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat
Michelle from Pink Polka Dot Books
Nicole and Gay from Feed your Fiction Addiction
Whitley from Reading With a Vengeance
Liz from Redd's Reads
Mish from Chasing Fariytales
Shelly from ShellyZ
and so many more. It was such a blast.