I am in love with New York City. I miss it like crazy. If you've never been and you ever get the chance to go, take it!
My hubby and I started out with a trip to the Natural History Museum. Or, as my kids like to call it, "The Night at the Museum" Museum.
Where we got to see things like the most adorable little skellies imaginable.
Okay, I may be just a *little* scared of spiders. They don't even have to be real. Give me any six-legged creature and I'm fine. Give me something with eight legs, and eeuurrrrghh. So, I'm standing there, staring at this wall, trying very hard not to be freaked out that there's some crab-like creature that looks very spider-like and as big as me....
...when my hubby looks up and says, "Uh...." In an "Oh, no-- this is going to freak her out" sort of way. Which immediately makes me crouch, cover my head with my arms and look up. Gosh. This picture so doesn't do this giant squid justice! This baby is like 40 feet long. Big enough that when I looked up, I didn't see the squid body--- all I saw were legs bigger around than my arm, and I screamed. An Imminent-Death-By-Gigantic-Spider-Consumption scream that drew everyone's attention and freaked out every kid (and possibly every adult) around.
Then I realized it was a squid and not a spider (and clearly has ten legs instead of eight), and everything was okay. (At least for me. Some of the kids were still a little rattled.)
We took tons of pictures for our kids, including this of an ancient wall phone that my kids didn't believe actually still existed anywhere in the world. They were awed by the photographic evidence that they aren't extinct.
I loved the Subway. A LOT. Even though there was a disappointing lack of crazy people on it. Seriously? Why so many normal people? I was dying for at least one crazy!
We took it everywhere, even though we were both Subway Newbs. I thought we were getting the hang of it after the first day, until we woke up the second day and headed off toward Random House. Apparently I led us to the wrong Subway entrance on 34th Street, so when we couldn't find the train we needed, we walked in the labyrinth underground for what felt like forever. Eventually, we found what was the right place, but then we thought that Random House was now halfway between where we were and the next subway stop. So we went above ground and started walking.....
And walking faster. And faster. And then hurrying as fast as we could because ohmygosh we were so very wrong and so very far away and even though we left very early, we were going to be very late. (Why it didn't occur to us to hail a cab, I'll never know.)
Oh, and it was the hottest day New York had seen since last fall.
We finally arrived at our destination (late, but excited, smelling like the street, with sweat on my back) and stared up at the beautiful building. (Seriously-- is this not so very pretty?)
Yes, I stood in front of the building and took a picture, while I'm sure the guy inside grinned and thought, "Another Newbie Author's first time here." I didn't even care. IT'S MY FIRST TIME AT RANDOM HOUSE!!
I walked into the lobby in reverenced awe. The lobby is lined with their books. In 5 months or so, mine will be there amongst them. Surreal? You betcha.
The guy behind this desk led us up to the 8th floor to meet my editor, Shana, who is just as beautiful and amazing and kind in person. She hugged me, and all I could think was I SMELL LIKE THE STREET! AND MY BACK IS STILL SWEATY! She probably thinks I'm not okay with hugs by how quickly I pulled away.
But then she gave me two ARCs (and I almost started crying, right there in her office, at seeing my book in book form for the first time), and took me around to meet people. First was my publicist Paul. He is incredible. And I found out that my teacher from a few years ago, Brandon Sanderson, and I share the same publicist! James Dashner, too! Then I met the school and library marketing people, the copy chief, the President of RHCB, the art director, and the marketing folks. I was blown away by how kind and enthusiastic everyone was. I love them all to pieces.
Then I my hubby and I went out to lunch with my editor and the art director, where she told me all about the awesome treatments they're doing on my cover. It was so much fun, I totally forgot to take pictures!
That just means I get to go back again soon, right? ;)
Now let's look at the pretty building again, shall we?
This is me, in the subway, still giddy at holding my ARC.
Then we went on the Staten Island Ferry.
And to the memorial at Ground Zero.
And the next day, to Bobby Flay's restuarant, Bar Americain, with my lovely agent Sara where we got to hear some of the funniest query stories ever. I think this was possibly the thing my kids were most excited about us getting to see. My daughter was dreaming about me running into Bobby and getting his autograph for her for DAYS.
I didn't run into Bobby, but I did get a picture of my dessert! And yes, it was every bit as tasty as it looks.
Then we took a Pedi-Cab on a tour through Central Park where we got to see a wedding under the bridge....
And this fountain. And the homeless man bathing in it.
And as we walked the streets of NY for hours, we saw things like F.A.O. Schwartz....
... where they have Hot Tamales bigger than my laptop!
Then we went here...
....and got to see this. :) :) :) :) :)
And decided that 5 days (two of them travel days) wasn't nearly enough time to spend in a place with so much to see.
Then we took one last ride on the subway-- to the airport. About halfway there, a man entered our car, and started chanting sermon-like. Between his strong accent and the subway noises, I couldn't understand what he was saying at all. Either he was selling drugs that would make you "sleep forever," or saying that homeless people shouldn't be hungry. It was unclear. Another man in the car didn't like the man's loud chanting, so to counter it, he started singing at the top of his lungs "DOE, A DEER, A FEMALE DEER..." The man was unfazed by the competition, so the other man kept getting louder and louder until the song was over and he was just yelling, "LALALALALALALALALALA!"
Crazy subway riders at last. I could've died of happiness.