Tuesday, November 22, 2011
You know those times when you get so SO FAR BEHIND on your blog and you think you'll never catch up but you know you have to catch up because it'd be weird to just pick up mid-stream and not include a complete synopsis of everything that happened while you weren't posting?
I'm kind of there right now.
No, no. There is too much.
Lemme sum up.
And since I can barely remember my own name right now, I'll sum up by going through the pictures I took with my phone during our book tour over the past month. Which should prove...interesting.
Ok. So. The morning we left I decided I needed a picture of my cats to keep me company. I made sure to catch them at their snuggliest, too...
The antenna on the dash was my mobile internet booster antenna. Surfing the 'net in the car? It's like living in the future! Although the more we drove, the less I wanted to be online. Instead we listened to audio books (reviews coming) and I worked on my Portal cross stitch patterns.
There was a time when I thought being on the road for a book tour was all glamorous and stuff. That idea was dispelled pretty quickly on our previous tours, but just to make sure it never sneaks back up on me I'll always have this reminder:
This is a swaddled up A/C unit in one of our hotels - I don't remember which. It made a loud clicking/thumping noise. All. Night. Long. Trying to muffle the sound with bedsheets seemed like a good idea at the time. (That time being around 3:30 AM.)
Speaking of hotel trouble, our very first hotel of the tour shared a wall with the kitchen, and at 4AM they started dumping buckets of silverware into the metal sinks. Since we were *just* going to bed at 4AM, this was Not Good. Our *second* hotel room that night (yep, we packed up & changed rooms) had an overpowering stench of mildew, but it was the last room left, so by morning we were both hacking up a lung and I was begging John to drive me home.
"It's a bad omen!" I yelled blearily into my pillow. "God doesn't want us out of Florida! If we turn back now we can be home by tonight!!"
Somehow we persevered, though, and things got much better after that. The shows actually rejuvenated me; meeting so many awesome people made all the hassle and sleep-deprivation worthwhile.
This is one of the cake toppers I tried to save, but his legs fell off. Then, a few seconds after I took this photo, his head fell off. Again. Followed by his torso. Finally I gave up and just left a grisly tableau for the maid to find.
I wasn't all that nervous for any of our shows, but seeing this outside the mall in Richmond made my palms a bit sweaty:
It's just so...official looking, you know?
(I'm not including any show photos here, btw, but if you're interested you can see them all on the Cake Wrecks Facebook page.)
It looks like the world is on fire, but that's actually a sunset. Wild, right?
In Boston we saw our first snowfall, and it was SOOO COLD. And then we went farther north. Because we're crazy.
Speaking of crazy, Ottawa was crazy beautiful, and we instantly fell in love. All the buildings were dripping with ornate stonework and scrolled gateways and a clock tower straight out of Peter Pan:
We were staying in a hotel which I just kept calling "The Castle," because it looks like one - and everyone always knew exactly which one I meant:
(Picture found here - because I forgot to take one!)
Because neither of us had ever been to Canada, John arranged for us to have our one-and-only day off in Ottawa. Most of the day was spent working in the hotel room, unfortunately, but we did get out in the evening to walk around and gawk and eat:
Did I mention the eating? The eating of the beaver tails and the poutine?
MMMMMM yeah. That was the stuff.
We also had an Obama cookie:
So called because he apparently stopped in this bakery once. (The cookie itself is just a maple leaf shape.)
And then there was this situation:
COME TO MAMA.
No lie: we stocked up a huge take-out box of pastries - AFTER having our third poutine in three days - and THEN stopped to get two more beaver tails on the way back to the hotel.
AND I WOULD DO IT AGAIN.
Moving on, I was thrilled that our schedule had us arriving in Toronto on Halloween night, because they were showing Ghostbusters in one of the theaters there. A really COOL theater:
Why yes, that IS a Klingon Bird of Prey & Starship Enterprise hanging from the lobby ceiling.
I took that photo while traveling down this escalator:
It makes me dizzy just looking at this thing. I had to hang on for dear life and look straight ahead to keep from over-balancing and pinwheeling my arms around like an old Goofy instructional video. ("Here the professional business-goer gracefully assumes the traveling position." "WWWAAA-HOO-OOOEEE!!)
Another thing Canada does better? McDonalds:
Seriously. This is a McDonalds, guys. It had TWO FIREPLACES. With armchairs. And everything was orange, which might have a teensy-tiny bit to do with why I loved it so much. Maybe.
Speaking of all that fast food:
Yeah. That happened.
(Hey, it's a warrior's drink, ok?)
In Chicago we had this sweet surprise:
It's Katie!! (With a bonus tuxedo-kid-photo-bomb!)
Both she and her mom Carrie were there, and introduced themselves after the show. For some reason I was ridiculously delighted to learn that Carrie is a fellow shortie, and we all shared lots of hugs and squeals and not nearly enough time together. I got to sign Katie's book of all your comments, which you can see has lots of page-holders where they've marked out their favorites. I think some of them will be included in the anti-bullying book Carrie is writing!
Again, I'm leaving out most of the actual show details, but I also have to mention this:
This card represents the first - and so far, the only - signing encounter I've had that made me cry. I think I might have embarrassed Laura - and I do hope she doesn't mind my sharing her note here.
I just don't deserve readers this awesome.
Ok, before I start bawling again...look! St. Louis!
Our hotel was right next to the famous arch, although I thought the view on the other side was even prettier:
When we weren't sitting in the car, we were sitting in restaurants. Where John would play with his new wedding ring:
(Yes, it's really rainbow colored, just like our other pair.)
He'd take the ring off and spin it on the table top, and then we'd both take pictures & video with our phones:
We looked like complete dorks, yelling, "Ooh, good one!" and "spin it this way so I can get a better shot!" We're, um, easily amused. Obviously.
Everyone keeps asking about the driving vs flying thing, but I have to say - even after 6,000 miles and over 150 hours in the car - I'll take it over flying any day. It's less stress, more control, PLUS when you're driving through Oklahoma and see something like this...
You can stop for an impromptu museum visit!
More pics of that coming soon, too.
Oh, and I should mention that John actually did all the driving; I was just the passenger. Which probably had something to do with why I liked it so much. ;)
For our final stop in Austin we went to the famous Toy Joy before even checking in to the hotel. It's a quirky local toy store packed with lots of vintage kitsch and just plain odd paraphernalia.
There I bought what might possibly be the most disturbing keychain of all time:
The belly pops out, too, in case you want to play catch with a floating embryo ball.
Like I said: disturbing.
In a kind of awesome way.
I bought it because it reminded me of this clear gelatin belly cake we use in our slideshow:
...but now it's just sitting here on my desk with the baby face all magnified from the liquid and it's just staring at me all 2001-like and frankly I'm started to get the willies. [shiver]
Thanks again for bearing with me!
Oh, and we found a nice big bundle of Epbot pin requests at the post office - too many for our poor little box to hold. The postal workers were pretty confused, too.
"So, are you Epbot, Cake Wrecks, Jen Yates, or 'Her Supreme Snarky Geekiness?'"
"All of the above, ma'am. All of the above."
Anyway, those should start going out this week, so if you sent an envelope in you can expect your pin soon. (Or don't expect it, and just be pleasantly surprised!)
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