Wednesday, June 27, 2018

ALAAC 2018 Recap

Hi everyone! I'm back from the 2018 ALA Annual Conference and here to share a recap with you! This year my husband accompanied me for the first time. We don't always get to spend a ton of time together, so he wanted to join me in New Orleans! (Don't worry, I'm not one of THOSE bloggers - he grabbed a grand total of four books, and one was for someone who was working the convention and couldn't be there for a signing!)

We drove from Central Florida to New Orleans on Friday, arriving around 6pm and checking into our hotel. Since we had exhibit only passes and couldn't attend on Friday evening, we promptly headed out to meet up with Christina from Books & Prejudice for dinner in the French Quarter. We came across a wedding parade, which was definitely something I'd never seen before! We would see a couple more before our weekend in New Orleans ended. (I'm sorry for the vertical video!)

On Saturday, we were up bright and early at 6am. Our hotel was a mile from the convention center, which wasn't a terrible walk, especially before the heat of the day. We ran into Amber from Du Livre on the way and she pointed us in the right direction to get our badges. About 45 minutes later the exhibits were opened and we made our way inside. Saturday was the day I'd hoped to get most of what I'd set out to find and, thankfully, I did! I was able to get most of the ARCs on my Fall and Spring TBR lists. Unfortunately, Priory of the Orange Tree and Wicked Saints were not available at ALA at all. I was able to go to signings for Julie Kagawa and Neal Schusterman (after lunch with Christina and Amber), which was amazing! We don't get many authors in Central Florida for some reason.

Saturday night we were able to do a walking tour of the French Quarter - Killers and Thrillers East Ghost Tour! (It's alternative title is Bad Bitches of New Orleans.) It's advertised as the only adults-only tour of New Orleans, but honestly the only "adult" part of it was when the guide tried to hype up the gore of the first house we stopped at, the LaLaurie Mansion. Still, it was an informative and fun tour! After, we stopped for dinner and then returned to the hotel to prepare for the next day!

View from the room.

Unfortunately, this is where our trip started to take a turn for the worst. While I was brushing my teeth Saturday night, I got a text from my dog sitter letting me know that my youngest puppy had thrown up his dinner. This isn't entirely outside of normal behavior, so I told her to keep me updated. While we were getting ready Sunday morning, we got another message telling us he had been more sick overnight and in the morning. After talking to the Emergency Vet, we had the dog sitter take him over. Since we weren't sure what the word would be, we packed everything before walking to the convention center, just in case.

Sunday's convention fun began with an hour-long wait for Ransom Riggs. He was signing ALA exclusive manuscripts of A Map of Days. After, we were able to form a line for the Wicked King drop, which would be two hours later. While in that two hour line, we were in contact with the vet, who told us our dog (Kovu) was not in any immediate danger, and that he had been given a shot for nausea and pills for diarrhea. We still didn't feel good about not being home though, so we left immediately after getting Wicked King and made the 10 hour drive back home.

ALA Haul (Not pictured: Dry - I was reading it)

All in all, we missed out on most of Sunday and all of Monday at ALA, along with a couple books that were being signed those days, but I'm very happy with my decision to rush home, because my puppy was much more ill than we'd realized. He's since been back to the ER and has spent two days under the observation of his regular vet receiving IV fluids and antibiotics. He does seem to be on the mend, thankfully. Books can be read later! Puppies are much more important.