I survived a trip in a plane, by myself. It was pretty awesome.
I saved my money for a year dog-sitting and saving 5.00 bills every time I thought about it and had enough money to pay for my hotel, food and cabs in the big city. I had no idea Chicago was such a beautiful city. Along with the huge skyscrapers like this:
The main reason I went was to meet some members of my 'nationwide writers group' as we've been dubbed. We just call ourselves, 'The Goat Posse'.
I've talked about these people before, but I've never actually been in the same room with any of them. We all live in different states all across the country. So having 8 of us in one spot was a new record.
Here's us before tackling the Navy Pier. We walked the whole thing, so we don't look as tired as we were when we were done...lol.
Here we are at the end of the pier. I didn't know there was a giant anchor there. Well kept secret.
I love this picture so much. Several of us said the lake and sky look like a background that we photoshopped in because it's so perfect. We even have a token seagull...that couldn't be real...but it is. I guess that summed up our trip. The weather was perfect...sunny and 75 every day. What is that??? In July??? yep. The company was perfect. We loved being around each other and listening to each other's WIP's at night after supper. It was perfect.
We're all so different. Our personalities, writing styles, genres... it would be so easy for us to have creative differences and not be able to get along...but that was SO not the case. Everyone is beyond supportive. One of the reasons we were there was to go to a book signing in a Chicago suburb to support three of the published goats. We were so proud of them as we stood in the back of the room, as the place was FULL! Here are pictures of Anita talking about 'Unhinged', Amy talking about 'Of Breakable Things', and Bethany talking about 'Summer on the Short Bus'. You can see their awesome book covers as they're talking. Yes, I tried to do that on purpose. ;) You can also see the rows of people...standing room only is an awesome thing for a book signing.
We got to ride in a limo there and back which was SO fun and we ate Chicago style pizza on the way back at Giordano's, which was FABULOUS. But there were so many people at the book signing it ran way over, so we had to eat it in the limo. Definitely a good problem to have.
Being with all these talented writers made me appreciate them so much more than I already did. We definitely bonded. Bethany was the first person I saw in O'Hare airport, I almost cried when I hugged her because I was so glad to see her. To be able to see all these fabulous ladies in person...to be able to hug them and talk to them without an electronic device was the coolest thing ever.
This was the last picture we took together in the lobby of our hotel before we hugged one more time and said goodbye til next year. Anita had to leave out early and didn't get to take this one with us. Appropriately, there's a hole where she should be standing.
Bethany was the last person I saw before we had to go to our separate gates. I almost cried again because then I knew it really was over and I had to head back to reality.
I'm proud of myself for having the courage to actually say, "Yes. I'm going to a place I've never been before to see people I know, but have never met in person." Most people wouldn't think that was a big deal, but for me, it was huge.
My friends from home said I was going on an adventure.
An adventure, indeed.