After months of stress and worry with the planning and roommate situation, I (and everyone else) was FINALLY ready for BEA week! Since Chicago is only a few hours away from me this time, I was able to take a train down and back. My mom and brother took me to my aunt’s house on Tuesday morning, and then she drove my mom and I over to Kalamazoo to get on the train. The parking was weird, and we ended up using a garage across the street. BUT it was raining. And I had no umbrella. OF COURSE. (I am seriously never prepared for the rain. I can’t tell you how many pairs of shoes I’ve ruined because of it). The train ride itself wasn’t too bad! I couldn’t really relax because it was my first time on one, and I had my suitcase sitting on the seat beside me (because I didn’t realize until later that I just picked the wrong section to sit in! Haha). But I didn’t have to sit by anyone! YAY. I spent most of my ride texting Rashika, scrolling through Twitter, and checking out the scenery as we went (I’m the weirdo who was taking pictures along the way). I didn’t even realize we were in Chicago until we passed the White Sox stadium. It took me by surprise!
When I got to the station, I had to wait for Rashika and Amber, who were coming in around 3:15. Once we met up, we walked Amber to her hostel, and then it took around two hours for Rashika and I to get to the hotel. (Seriously around two hours. It took FOREVER between the walking and the subway rides). Sidenote, funny story: my suitcase took my spot going through the ticket thing for the subway, and we had to get the guy manning the booth to let me through! Also, between all of the subway (or train?) rides we had, I’m getting more and more used to them, but they still terrify me! Anyway, it had to be after 5:30 by the time we finally got into the hotel room and dropped off our stuff. We had the Maggie Stiefvater event at Anderson’s at 7, and I was about ready to say “fuck it” and stay in the hotel. We were already late. We had done a lot of walking beforehand (and still had to do more of it) and even though we’d already bought our tickets at the train station, I was *so close* to giving up on it. But Rashika convinced me to go, so we headed back to Union by Uber (I know people have had horror stories when it comes to Uber rides, but all of my trips that week and last year in New York went fine!), met up with Amber, and hopped on the Metra toward Naperville. LOL makes me laugh every time. I love that name.
From the Metra stop, it was around a 25 minute walk to the bookstore. AND IT STARTED TO RAIN AS WE WALKED. Goddamn you and your weather, Chicago! Of course none of us were prepared, but we made it to Maggie’s event a little after 7. She’d already started talking, and the store was PACKED. Like, even if we were standing, we couldn’t see her. They had also sold out of The Raven King, which made Rashika and I both sad because it had said that you had to get that book for the special book hugger (and also Rashika didn’t have her own copy it yet). We were wet, exhausted, and didn’t want to stay. So we decided to just go get dinner since none of us had eaten, and then come back for the signing. We ate at a place called Mod Pizza! It was DELISH. Seriously, I loved that pizza more than the deep dish I tried on Friday (whoops). After dinner, we went back to the store, and she had like JUST started to sign books. We were numbers 158 and 159, so we had a LONG time to wait. We just wandered around the store, mostly the teen and YA sections, and talked books! It was super fun, and it made the time go by faster. AND THEN IT WAS OUR TURN! Eep Maggie is one of my fave authors, so I was SO nervous about meeting her. I didn’t really know what to say! So I just told her I loved TRC and Scorpio Races, and she asked me which one was my fave. And I said Scorpio, and she said that it was her favorite too. She was so nice, and one of the people working was taking pictures, so I have the moment captured on camera! :D
(we also got the precious book huggers, so we were happy!)
By the time the signing got done (and I bought some chocolate frogs because OBVIOUSLY), we walked back to the Metra station and had to wait probably around 45 minutes. There were some people with us who had been at the signing and who were clearly in Chicago for the book conference. I really wanted to talk to them, but I was too shy and honestly tired. It had been a LONG fucking day, and we still had a ways to go before we could settle down in the hotel. By then, all of our roommates were in Chicago and settled in (except for CJ, who wasn’t coming in until Wednesday), and I was dying to see my friends again and to meet Mishma and Kalli. When we got back to the station, we once again walked Amber to her hostel, and then Rashika and I grabbed another Uber back to the hotel. The first one we called cancelled on us because we had the address wrong (totally his fault, though), and the second driver had to take a bunch of different routes to find the right one back to the hotel. But finally, WE HAD MADE IT. (Also, no matter how dead-on-my feet I was and how much I hadn't wanted to go to the signing, I'm super happy Rashika made me go. I would've regretted not going! It was a great way to kick off this week).
(a picture I took on the way, not good quality, BUT STILL WANTED TO SHARE)
Tomorrow I'll be recapping Wednesday, the first day of BEA! Then I'll do Thursday, Friday, and finally Saturday. And at the end of this, I'll have an ARC giveaway for y'all. ;)