Here I am at the Dolphin Hotel, Orlando Florida… finally. If you follow this blog you may be aware that I do not care to fly (translation – it terrifies me). So when the annual conference for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced it was going to be in Nashville, I looked up the train schedule and decided to give it a try. When the conference location was changed to Orlando, Florida, I took a big breath, made more train reservations and went for it. Since I live in Washington State, that meant a huge cross country trip with my family, including my two young children (no possible way when they found out I was going to Disney World that they were going to be left behind!).
First, let me say that traveling in small confined spaces with two young kids is about what you may expect, only more so. Overall, though, we are having a fabulous time.
We began our journey in Seattle and boarded the Empire Builder train. The views along the coast and through the Cascade Mountains were gorgeous. We stayed one day in Glacier Park, Montana and enjoyed some beautiful scenery. Our favorite excursion was a short hike to Avalanche gorge. The water was the bluest aqua color from the glacier run off.
Our next stop was Chicago, where we visited my husband’s family. Since my husband recently completed his second tour of active duty with the Army (stateside) after a year deployment to Iraq, his sister arranged a hero’s welcome for him complete with a police escort and motorcade. This was a total surprise for my husband (he would have refused it had he been asked) and a lot of fun. The best part was she arranged for all of hubby’s friends and relations to be there to welcome him. It was quite special!
Next we made our way on the Capital Limited train to Washington D.C. I’ve never been there so I had a wonderful time touring the monuments. Many of the monuments are familiar images I’ve seen many times in pictures, but I never truly appreciated their size until standing next of one of them. It was impressive!
From D.C. we took the Silver Meteor train to Orlando. Finally we arrived at the location of the RWA conference, or more importantly (at least to my kids) – Walt Disney World! We arrived a day before the conference began so we could enjoy some of the parks. We have had a wonderful time, despite the oppressive heat and humidity. My favorite purchase so far is a water bottle fan to cool down in the sun.
Yesterday was the first day of the RWA conference and the literary signing to raise money for ProLiteracy. This is my first time at the conference so I was impressed with the size. Approximately 500 authors were signing books (including me!) I had a great time meeting people. One thing about romance authors is they are a friendly bunch of folks.
I am looking forward to the rest of the conference over the next few days. I’m sure I will learn a ton and have a wonderful time!
So tell me about your craziest vacation!