If you read either Laini Taylor or Kiersten White's blogs, you already know I was out of town last week. I spent ten days in my hometown, Phoenix, and had a brief, mid-week road trip to San Diego.
Feeling quite exhausted.
The trip was so that I could be a bridesmaid in my friend Suzanna's wedding, but along the way, I squeezed in the following: Project Book Babe, a bachelorette party, The Phoenix Zoo, the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden, Changing Hands bookstore, a road trip to California in which I visited Balboa Park and the beach and Elizabethan Desserts, and several games of Yahtzee with my friend Jamey and her family. I also read a large stack of novels and took three separate trips to Arlecchino Gelateria.
It was wonderful.
It was also tiring. Did I mention I'm exhausted? I'm used to hiding in my house, biding my time by refreshing my email and clipping my toenails. My body didn't know what to make of all of this go-go-go action. By the end of the week, I was propping my eyelids open with Q-tips and praying for feather beds.
I'm kind of a weenie when it comes to Doing Stuff.
But here are some of the highlights.
I started off at Project Book Babe. The charity event raised (something like) $80,000 to assist with the medical bills of Faith Hochhalter, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Faith has worked as a children's book buyer and a booking agent for authors at school events, and has been instrumental to the careers of many writers, including Stephenie Meyer. And it's thanks to Stephenie's kindness and generosity -- she donated several items for auction including an ARC of Twilight, old drafts of her novels, and the red prom dress she wore to the Eclipse party -- that the event was such a success.
Several of my favorite writers were there -- Stephenie, of course, as well as Shannon Hale (squee!) and Janette Rallison. Also, Dean Lorey (Nightmare Academy) attended, and I found out he wrote for FREAKING ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. Eek! Now I have to read his novels.
But why was I there?
Because Laini was on the panel, too!
The event was a blast, but no one could top Laini's pink-haired, pregnant-glowing glory. It was so nice to be able to see her again. (That's the thing about Internet friends, eh?) And for all of you who love her books and love her blog, it's true -- she's even cooler in person!
When Book Babe ended, I hopped back to my parents' house for a quick costume change. The next event? My friend Suzanna's bachelorette party. The party was 80s rocker/Jem themed. There aren't many people I would dress up as Roller Derby Rainbow Brite for, but Suz is definitely one of them.
Then the next morning, it was back to Tempe to pick up Laini. And in the following two days we talked writing and . . .
Went for MORE GELATO, and discovered they were closed. The horror! So we checked out the colorful cakes at La Grande Orange Grocery (next door) instead.
Then it was off to the airport for Laini and off to California for me. Six hours of driving later, I arrived in the home of one Kiersten White. Woo hoo! Then we:
Oogled the giant Moreton Bay Fig trees in Balboa Park (look at the people in the background for scale!)
This was the first time I'd met Kiersten in person, so now we're proud to have crossed the INTERNET FRIENDS stage into REAL-LIVE FRIENDS territory. Very exciting! I was so happy I was able to weasel in a trip to see her. And YES! She's as funny and adorable and awesome in person as she is on her blog. And her husband and kids were cute and so much fun that I kind of wanted to steal them to put on display.
I am not sure what kind of display. I'll get back to you on that.
Then it was back to Arizona and back to the wedding stuff. I had the great honor of being chauffeured from event to event by my friend, Jamey. Last autumn I went to Phoenix for HER wedding and was chauffeured around by Suzanna. Kind of amusing how this time it was the opposite!
In between the usual wedding brouhaha, such as rehearsals and manicures (blue nails for me, to match my hair!), we slipped in a few rounds of Yahtzee with Jamey's family. And I ate a dozen pickles and several bowls of popcorn.
You can never go wrong with pickles and popcorn.
And then, finally, just in time for the wedding . . .
The wedding was beautiful. The bride was retro stunning, the groom was all heart, and the bridesmaids carried gerbera daisies and Chinese parasols (mine were yellow). Then it was time to go home.
But not without one final stop.
Here Jarrod's hands are backwards-modeling Nutella and Vesuvio (something involving chocolate & Grand Marnier) on the left, and Mandarin and Valentino (pomegranate & lavender) on the right.
So yeah. That was my trip. Hope it wasn't too --
Wait. What's this?
There's one more picture??