How has a week gone by since I got home from NYC? I must admit that I missed the chaos and messiness of my life, though it took me a full seven days to unpack. I am also so happy to actually be home because I wasn't sure when I would finally get on a flight that hadn't been canceled. But more on that in a minute.
Friday morning I sucked down my coffee and made my way to Skylight Diner to meet Francine, Lynn Marie, and Julie for breakfast. Give me eggs and sausages, and I'm a happy woman, and the sausages were the size of my head. Time sailed by as we talked non-stop and before we knew it, it was almost noon and we had to get to BEA.
There were two things I really wanted to do on my last day there: meet Lynn Weingarten and get a signed copy of her book, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls, which will be released on July 7th and looks like an incredible read, and chat with Catherine McKenzie, a Montreal-based author whose novels I have devoured, and grab an autographed copy of Smoke, her upcoming novel.
I managed to do both while Francine hung out with me and Julie attended every seminar she could fit into one day. We schmoozed, laughed, and chatted our way through the afternoon, and then it was time for me to head back to my hotel for my annual steak dinner with Meredith and her friends. A massive hunk of meat, Prosecco, and giggles, and I snuggled under my covers until morning.
Saturday was present shopping day for my kids and lunch with Glynis Astie. Well, I was very proud of myself for making it to Times Square (and wondering what I'd been thinking making lunch plans on a Saturday in the midst of the crushing muddle) when I realized I had no clue where I was meeting Glynis. A quick, "Where do I go???" phone call and I was eating a not-so-healthy Caesar salad with one of my favorite people. Being around Glynis is like bathing in sunshine, and I was sad to say goodbye to her outside Grand Central.
Dragging a giant Toys R Us bag (and being serenaded with the store's theme song by amused pedestrians), I got back to my hotel, changed, and with Meredith and Julie leading the way, we took the train to Long Island for a barbecue feast at Francine's. Steak, chicken, and lamb chops plus a dance party? It was a perfect night.
I'd had the most amazing time, but I was ready to go home. Yet NYC had other plans for me when, as I waited at La Guardia, thunder clapped, lightning bolted through the foggy sky, and every flight to Toronto was canceled. Thankfully, Meredith came to my aid immediately, and I made it back to her apartment for another night of bonding. I wanted to appreciate the extra time I had with her. Until I discovered that every flight to Toronto the following day, except the last flight out which I was booked on, had all been canceled. Would I ever make it home? Would Meredith have a new, messy roommate to contend with?
I headed to the airport on Monday, ready to hop on an overnight bus if I had to because I wanted to cuddle my kids so much, sat on the airport floor as flight after flight was canceled, and stared at the schedule until everything was one big blur. I bonded with the other passengers who just wanted to get home, and together we released a collective sigh of relief when we boarded the plane bound for Toronto.
And as the plane made its descent, I smiled. My trip might have been over, but my journey has just begun because I now work on revising my next novel until it is the best damn thing I can write, I get to forge new connections and treasure the ones I already have, and I am home where I belong.
Until next year in Chicago!