Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bouchercon 2011

This will be the first of a few posts on Bouchercon 2011. I have much to share: memories, pictures, video, etc. So let's get started, shall we?

I was fortunate to be able to leave for St. Louis early and spend several days doing touristy stuff. I drove, and the timing of the trip was such that on the way home, there was much more color in the leaves of the trees than a week earlier when I was driving down.

Between Sunday and Wednesday, I was able to visit the St. Louis Zoo, which was wonderful;

the Arch,

including a ride to the observation deck on top;

and simply wander around the city a bit.

I had hoped to get a pedicure, but St. Louis proper is sorely in need of a good spa. One salon didn't have a nail tech all week and the nail specific salon wasn't open at all. Well, such is life.

The weather was gorgeous Sunday through Tuesday, so I soaked up many sun rays while at the zoo. But on Wednesday when we unloaded the book bags and supplies from the trucks, it poured rain. I was a little wet by the time all the book bags were out of the trucks. But I got myself cleaned up in plenty of time to attend the volunteer dinner with the guests of honor.

The dinner was held at Pappy's Smokehouse (warning, there's auto music at this link - you can turn it off), which was appropriate for St. Louis because it was voted the "Best BBQ in St. Louis" by the Riverfront Times, "one of the 101 best places to chow down in American" by the Travel Channel, and one of St. Louis Magazines "Top 40 Restaurants."

BBQ is their thing, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the fixin's. There were a few vegetarians and they had some alternatives to eat. Everyone seemed to leave happy and full.

Ayo Onatade and Val McDermid

RC with Murder by the Book's McKenna and John

Ridley Pearson and Colin Cotterill
Note the full roll of paper towels that were left on each table! Dinner was followed up by the requisite time in the hotel bar. This year's bar was difficult for me because it was so enclosed and there were just far too many people in at the same time, so I stayed outside the bar - more in the lobby area - for the most part and talked to folks there. Wednesday night meant most people were making their way in and there were a lot of overdue greetings to enjoy. The conference was off to a fantastic start!

I will of course have much more to share with you this week on my Bouchercon memories. Be sure to check back for Bouchercon recaps, I have two interviews from the conference recorded to share with you and some Banned Books Week fun as well. Hope your week is a great one!


Ayo Onatade September 25, 2011 at 5:50 PM  

Wonderful Jen!Can't wait to read the rest. I have one more blog to post myself about St Louis when I get round to it. It was absolutely brilliant to meet you and hangout.

Anonymous September 25, 2011 at 6:18 PM  

Hey Jen,

It was great to finally meet you in person. The whole event has become a bit of a blur for me. I know it was a blast when it was happening, but I'm not sure I ever stopped to take a breath. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

The drive back to Baltimore was not nearly as much fun as the commute to St. Louis. (Guess we had more to look forward to on the trip there, and just work to think about on the way back.)

Anyway, I am glad we got to hang out a bit and hope to see you again in Cleveland.


Harvee September 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM  

Waiting to hear more about your trip for Boucheron. It'll be near my neck of the woods next year.

Jen September 27, 2011 at 9:57 AM  

Ayo, I'm missing you terribly already! Meeting you was such a highlight for me. I contemplated how I could kidnap you and bring you home with me. :-)

Kris! We most definitely have to hang out again in Cleveland! Can't wait to see you again.

Harvee! Cleveland's my neck of the woods, too. I'm so excited to have everyone converging on this part of the country.

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