National Book Festival Extravaganza

Saturday was the long awaited National Book Festival in DC. I got a little nervous when I suddenly realized that we were going to have to get up at 4:45 A.M in order to catch our flight, but when we walked out the door, onto the dark streets, Bart and I turned to each other and said, almost at the same time, “This is an adventure!”

And it was. Our flight into Baltimore was quick, we picked up our rental car without much delay, parked at the Metro station and arrived at the book festival shortly after it got started. When I saw the back of Shannon Hale’s head on the stage, I knew it was worth getting virtually no sleep.

Also, did I mention Kayla was there? With her baby and her mom? It was pretty much the best day ever.

One of the strangest things about Kayla is how not weird it is to be together. I kind of forget we don’t see each other much. As in, about four times ever.

This was how we spent most of the day. This is James Swanson talking about his book Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. We sort of just stumbled on his speech, but he totally sold me on the book. And then I remembered I had a copy at home on my bookshelf. Woot!

Shannon Hale and her daughter, Maggie. She was awesome – very funny, extremely well-prepared and did more than just talk about her newest book.

We also saw Kadir Nelson, Sharon Robinson, Paula Deen, Jon Scieszka, Lois Lowry, and Sharon Creech.

The weather turned horrible, though, during Sharon Creech’s speech and the tents were getting really crowded and we decided to go see the White House instead.

And just to prove Bart came too:

We grabbed some dinner (where a guy welcomed us to DC by trying to swindle Bart unsuccessfully), caught the T back to our car, and were back home by 9:30.

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  • Reply Serena September 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    The rain was tough, but I lasted until about 5Pm. Anna from Diary of an Eccentric, her daughter, my mom, and I popped into the Freer Gallery before meeting up with other book bloggers like my friend amy and Trish from Hey Lady! at Elephant and Castle. Wish we could have met! I'm glad you had a good time.

    Don't you just love when authors sell you on their books…

  • Reply Lisa September 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    That is too cool that you can just fly somewhere for the day. You can't really do that from here. Maybe Minneapolis, but it wouldn't be worth what you'd have to pay.

  • Reply Crystal September 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time. What a great experience!

  • Reply heidikins September 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Books and bloggy friends. Couldn't be better. :o)


  • Reply TheMoncurs September 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    You know that part in Harry Potter when Hermione goes, "Is that really what my hair looks like in the back?"

    I totally had one of those moments.

    Such a fun trip! I wish we had more time with you guys 🙁

  • Reply Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Rain is not "horrible" weather. 105 on September 28th is horrible weather. 🙂

    Glad you had a wonderful time. I hope to join you next year!!

  • Reply Peaceful Reader September 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    That is the best kind of adventure day!! I love DC!

  • Reply Lexilooo September 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Ahhh, I was there too and I am so sad that I missed you! I was there for Lois Lowry, among others!

  • Reply Carly Jane September 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Hooray for book adventures. So fun that you got to go for the day!

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy September 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Do you read Melthoughts? I'm intensely curious about YOUR opinion on her post today.

  • Reply megan September 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Looks like lots of fun! What a jam-packed day.

    Last time I was in D.C. I got rained on a lot. Soaked. Lucky you had an umbrella.

  • Reply Angiegirl September 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks for the report, Janssen! Would have loved to have been there.

  • Reply LeAnne September 29, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Ohh…that looks like such a good time. I love DC. If you ever want to check out another great city to go and is explore is Ann Arbor, MI. This is the perfect time of year to visit. It is gorgeous and there is so much to do. I miss it sooo much.

  • Reply Mad Hadder September 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Sharon Creech lived "down the road" from me in NJ. My favorite story about her is when she called her editor to inquire as to what IT was when she won the Newbery Award. Isn't she lovely?

  • Reply Whitney October 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    That sounds like it was so much fun. It's been so long since I've read your blog and I have a really bad memory, so you may be wanting to do this already, but you would make a great writer what with your love of books and your experience with reading so many!!!! 🙂

  • Reply McCulloch Family October 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    That looks like a FUN day!! Pretty awesome that you can zip over there for the day too! And.. Paula Deen??? Sweet!! 🙂

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