Seriously, I have NO idea how on earth Stephanie handles her whirlwind book tour. I am exhausted from just one day. Whew! Anyways, on to my micro recap. My disclaimer up front, I *know* I will end up missing the name and/or URL of someone I met today. For those of you that made it to the afterparty at Guero’s and saw the length of our bill, you will know why. The total, with tip was $440. Yes, $440. After waiting for the book signing outside, we were obviously ready to have a few drinks. I think I tossed it in my bag when I left, I’ll have to look and see what our bar tab alone was. Whew! (All drivers were responsible and didn’t drink, so it is all good. Good thing we carpooled, huh?)
Katy without a blog & I left for Austin last night just after 4pm. We arrived just in time to be stuck in traffic on 35. Fun. We finally met up with Julia and Staci at Threadgill’s just after 7pm. I accidentally tried Fried Green Tomatoes. I had ordered the Fried Pickles (shocking.) and they brought them out. I couldn’t hear the waiter when he asked before setting them on the table, but I said that they were for us. I tried one, and commented to Katy that not only were they hot, they weren’t very “dilly”. Staci had stepped away from the table, so when she returned she tried one too, after I warned her about the not very “dilly” thing. I thought the pickle texture looked strange, but just couldn’t figure it out. When the waitress brought our entrees, she looked at the “pickles” that we had not eaten and apologized for someone bringing us the wrong appetizer. Doh! It all made sense why they weren’t very “dilly” when she told us that they were, in fact, Fried Green Tomatoes. See, and everyone thinks I never try new things. The pickles were in fact “dilly” when she brought them out to us, although we were too full to eat them by then.
After dinner we speed walked over to the Congress Ave. Bridge to see the bats. Ok, they walked their regular pace, but I am the munchkin of the group so it was speed walking to me. We got to see the bats leaving for their nightly hunt, which was really cool. Then it was back to Julia’s house to spend the night. She is such a fabulous host! I am forever grateful for her opening her home to us.
This morning, we all woke up bright and early and headed in to downtown to see Stephanie! I really can’t put the experience into words for you. She is just as funny as her books and her blog. You can tell she has this sarcastic, dry sense of humor, and I just love that in a person. She photographed the sock, she talked, we laughed, she talked some more, we laughed some more. It was really a lot of fun, and I highly recommend seeing her when she visits your city.
At the end, they passed out tickets so that we wouldn’t have to stand in line at Hill Country Weavers while we waited for the book signing. So we shopped, talked, the beer drinkers drank beer, we talked some more, laughter all around. Great fun. Eventually, I went in to the book signing area, and waited with great anticipation to meet her up close and personal. (Pretend there is a picture here. My card reader is packed for my vacation, so photos will be coming soon.) It was finally my turn, and I was so excited I was talking a million miles a minute. “Hi, I’m Christine from Big Pink Cookie. I do a podcast too.”
She turned and looked at me and said, “OH! I know you!”
Get OUT! (If it had been a Seinfeld episode, I would have shoved her like Elaine shoves Jerry. That probably wouldn’t have gone over very well.) Then, the cincher? When she said that I’m in her Bloglines. Gasp! (*Hi Stephanie!*)
I should insert here that I have blogged a lot longer than I have knit. I have met many web celebrities at SxSW over the years. There were annual parties at Bruce Sterling’s house in Austin. Austin is the city where I meet “famous” people. I know that their fame generally doesn’t make them any different than the next guy, unless it is one of those rare occassions where it turns them into a total ass. Stephanie, obviously, is so not an ass. Still, you would have sworn I was meeting George Clooney and he said he knew me for how I reacted. I know she is really just one of us, which is why I enjoy reading what she writes so much. But I’m still on a high from that moment.
Then I gave her a snowglobe that read “Texas Snowman” on the front. Water, a hat, a carrot, coal. (No snowman to be seen.) I had written today’s date on the bottom along with a note, “Don’t melt!” That was when she whipped out her camera, thrust her sock at me, handed me back the snowglobe, and took my photo after I hastily added my own traveling sock to everything that I was holding. So if she posts the photo (I hope she does!) and I look like a complete idiot, just remember I was recovering from the whole I know you thing.
Then she signed my books and let me gush over her some more. For those of you in line behind me, I’m sorry I took so long. Hopefully I helped you out and took photos for you if you needed or something to make up for it.
Afterwards, Kristen, Abbe, Staci, Tina and I walked over to Guero’s to get ready for the rest of the group. We met up with the knitter in the green cow tipping t-shirt (another name blank) and Tamara without a blog. Then a whole lot of other people joined us, so in no particular order: Katy without a blog, Alicia, Sarah (see the pink plaid sock bag? Yeah, it is right here on my desk. It is AWESOME. Thank you Sarah!), Julia, Caro (who brought me a FANTASTIC credit card / business card case that I immediately put to use and showed everyone who would look at it, because I love it so much!), Kelly, Amy, Susan, my other fellow Houston knitter whose name has run away again on me, the Houston knitter whose name I never found out, Janna and the rest of the San Antonio crew – Kim, Susan, Mary, Enid, another Kim, Amy, and Claudine without a blog – along with their Ken doll that wouldn’t stop mooning us when we took his photo. Ok, he did sit still long enough to hold up my sock for me.
(Imagine more pictures here.)
After we ate and I took everyone’s cash and made change and marked off people’s food on the looooong check, we all said our farewells and parted ways. Katy & I returned to HCW so she could browse through the shop while it wasn’t packed with people, and then it was time to head back to Houston.
It was a fantastic trip. I had such a great, great time. Thank you again to Julia for being such a wonderful hostess. I promise, next time I’ll eat the eggs. Thank you to Katy for going with me and making the drive so much fun. I still have “Take On Me…” stuck in my head, 16 hours later. Thank you to all the knitters who came to the afterparty – it was a blast and I’m so glad you took the time out of your day to help make it that way. And thank you to Stephanie (and Storey Publishing) for coming to Austin and prompting over 200 knitters to gather today. I think every single last one of us had a fabulous time.
Now I must sleep, as we leave for our family vacation in the morning!