Saturday, January 8, 2011

Midwinter Institute Gushing part 1 #alamw11

WARNING! Major gushing to follow.

Sorry it has been so long, but I hope to make up for it this week with my updates from the American Library Association's Midwinter Institute from sunny San Diego California.

GreenBeanTeenQueen and I arrived Wednesday night and made our way to our fabulous hotel - The Gaslamp Hilton and our room has a wonderful view of the convention center and the bay behind. We have been treated to beautiful sunsets and gorgeous mid 60s weather.

Thursday we woke up and made our way to the San Diego Zoo which was even better than advertised. I grew up going to the Brookfield Zoo which is considered the third best zoo in the United States, but I can fully understand why San Diego is number one. The landscape was beautiful, and I saw animals there that I did not know even existed. It was so much fun, I highly recommend it.

Then we went to the San Diego Maritime Museum and got to go on several ships. First we went on a 1874 merchant ship, then we went on a replica of a pre-civil war era warship, we went on a retired soviet submarine from 1974, then a retired American submarine from 1968. We also went on a steam liner from circa 1870. It was incredible to see all the craftsmanship and we got some great pictures that I will post later.

We closed our evening walking around the beautiful gaslamp district.

Yesterday we woke up and did all of our registration for ALA. Then we went to lunch at the wonderful Yard House. It was amazing, a lot of bar food, but it was bar food the way that a culinary school would do it. So good! Wifey got 3 cheese grilled cheese with tomato bisque soup and I got Parmesan crusted chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and 3 mushroom sauce.

After lunch wifey had a committee meeting so I wandered over to Petco Park where the San Diego Padres play. They have a beautiful stadium and you can walk all the way up to the outfield fence to take pictures of the field.

After wifey's committee meeting, we got to go to the opening of the exhibits. It was awesome, we ran into some friends, and then when the doors opened rushed to get all of the freebees. Within 11 minutes I was heading back to the hotel with bags bulging. After 3 additional hotel runs we went to the Yalsa Not so Silent Silent Auction. It was fun but a bit to rich for us so we left early for our YA Librarian/Blogger meetup. When we got there we found that a publisher had come and comped us drinks up to $500. We had a couple authors and many blogging librarians, it was an absolute blast. The publisher who came had worked for Tor and for Random House before moving to Baen, so I was his shadow for a lot of the night learning all that I could about those publishers. He also recommended a epic fantasy series by Steven Erikson which I am very excited to read. Eventually as the meetup slowed down we went back to the room, ordered room service, and went to bed.

Today has been amazing. We got up and went over to the convention center, and we got tweeted that Macmillan wanted to meet with us. We went over to the booth and found that that the amazing library marketing team had seen my tweets. I had tweeted about how upset I was that neither Tor nor Wizards of the Coast had come to midwinter institute. I had also tweeted how I was carry bags for GreenBeanTeenQueen and that I could use encouragement should anyone see me weighed down with books. Turns out that they had a surprise for each of us. For wifey, they had an ARC of a book that will not be published for more than a year to do a special review on. For me, they had a free audiobook from Tor! I can't give titles until after the conference so come back and I will tell all.

This totally made my day and gave me a whole new respect for Macmillan. I am so grateful for the gift and I promptly tweeted Macmillan's praises.

Now, I am off to lunch, and wifey is in committee today so I think I will take in some NFL playoff football. I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Sounds awesome! I am going to World Fantasy Convention in October, which is also in San Diego. I've never been (I'm in Florida) so I'm stoked about your recommendations. Super excited about the trip. Hope we get some publishers comping us drinks - sweet!

  2. that was so cool that macmillion gave you books! i've never been to a conference like that, but sounds really, totaly amazing.