So, I did a thing this year. I WENT TO BEA and it’s time for some highlights of what I did. Last year I only did one post and this year, I wanted to divide my BEA experience into two parts. In the first part, I wanted to highlight some of the fun things I did and in part two, I wanted to talk about the event itself.
Day 0 highlights
- Amber and I were on the same train and it took us a while but we finally found each other an hour before the train was supposed to get to Chicago.
- Holly got there 30 mins before us but I spotted her very quickly because she looked just like her avatar. I went on to NOT be awkward and even gave her a hug. I deserve cookies for this obviously.
- We were planning on going to the Maggie Stiefvater event at Anderson’s and ended up having to rush ourselves to make our train to Naperville. There were lots and lots of people there, which wasn’t surprising so we went and got dinner and waited 5ever to get our books signed. Totally worth it though because Maggie was super nice and we got the beautiful jacket for the series (which is now on my wall because there is no way I was going to fold that beautiful work of art).
- We ended up getting back home at about 12:00 and none of the other kids had had dinner yet so they got some dominos and we hung out and talked until around 2:00 (but Val fell asleep). Basically I love these kids. It was a good day 0.
Day 1 highlights
- CJ CAME and I found her and brought her up to our room. We then proceeded to head down and wait in line but because Nori was a smart kid, we found a secret shortcut that ended up getting us inside the venue quicker ;)
- I didn’t meet any authors on the first day but my librarian friend was there and that was super fun.
- We also went to The Bean which Val was like WHAT THE WHAT and I shook my head at her. We also had dinner at a really nice sushi place where I got some Pad thai and Mishma was confused by her food (it was funny.)
- CJ and I walked over the bridge to millennium park and left the kids behind. I got to bond with her about how much it sucked to be a city kid living in a small town.
- When we got back to the hotel, I hung out with Shannon, Val and Holly and we facetimed Larissa and took a group photo. :)
Day 2 highlights
- We had to get up SUPER early on this day because BEA started at 8:00 and since I had stayed up the previous night talking to my young friends, I was in desperate need for caffeine. I also ended up forgetting my day plan in the hotel room so had to run to grab it.
- I met the following authors on this wonderful day: Kristen Simmons (who is so adorable), Audrey Coulthurst, Shannon and Dean Hale (AHHHHH. They were amazing is amazing), Amy Lukavics (who was also super nice), Lisa McMann, Jennifer Niven, Kerri Maniscalo, Sarah Porter, Marissa Meyer (we all agree she is perfect, yes?), ADAM SILVERA (who WAS AMAZING and we fangirled over Hamilton).
- I also met the following bloggers: Danielle, Nikki, Wendy, Sabrina, Pili, Nicole, Brittany, Karen and a bunch of other amazing people, including this nice publicist who I bonded with over a bunch of things including hamilton.
- On this day, we went out to Umami’s Burgers and I had the best burger of my life. CJ can verify this. I also ate it in like 5 mins because it was so great. I topped this amazing burger off with a donut from Stan’s Donuts. 10/10 would recommend.
- Because we are bookworms, we also stopped by a second hand bookstore and browsed for a while. CJ was the only one out of us who got a book.
- Val and I went to drop off Amber so we finally got home at around 10:00 and came home to a drunk Shannon (WOO SHANNON. WE LOVE YOU)
- We talked for a while and I tried to find places for Shannon and Holly to get food because the children hadn’t had any (they went to a fancy parteh.) I was obviously successful and got some mexican food for them and we talked for a bit before I went back down to get some zzzs.
Day 3 Highlights
- I met the following authors: Sona Charaipotra + Dhonielle Clayton (they were SO CUTE. I actually couldn’t), Dav Pilkey (I was fangirling on the inside but didnt tell him how much I loved Captain Underpants growing up), Susan Elizabeth Phillips (who was SO NICE), GENE LUEN YANG (he was literally the one author I knew I would die if I didn’t meet and I got to meet him and didn’t burst into tears and that was good. UGH. WHY IS HE SO NICE??), David Arnold (who is also a sweetheart and told me I had a pretty name :’)), Sabaa Tahir, Jay Kristoff (who was also so nice and put up with a horde of people wanting to take pictures with him and his giant self) and Laura Ruby (who was also really nice and told me that my selfie game was on point.)
(can you tell I am excited?)
- The blogger dinner happened on this day so I got to meet some bloggers and it was nice. I sucked at being social though and wish I had talked to more people and didn’t feel so awkward. I met: Katie, Octavia, Shelly, Cassi, Whitley and Kimberly.
- CJ left us after the dinner and all of us had the sads. (STILL MAD AT YOU, CJ. WHY DID YOU GO?)
Day 4 (AKA BOOK CON) highlights
- I met the following authors: Susan Dennard, Victoria Aveyard, Morgan Matson, Ruta Sepetys and Gene again (who remembered me and remembered me telling him that American Born Chinese meant the literal world to me.) I also met Margot Wood and Heather Doss from HarperCollins. They were both super nice and I loved fangirling about Pax and Sharon Creech with Heather.
- I also caught a glimpse of THE PROPERTY BROTHERS. I died.
- I didn’t meet a lot of bloggers on this day but I got to meet Zoey who was super adorable and I had so much fun hanging out with her and I also met Sarah and her daughter who were both cute.
- After this, we left and said sad goodbyes (I fucking hate goodbyes). Holly and I made it to the train station feeling utterly broken from out bags full of books and hungry. I got home and was sad some more because I missed my squad. LOVE YOU GUYS.
Stay tuned for part 2!!!
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