Travel


We had a great time in San Antonio (we were there because a library had “won” me and I was doing a vampire writing camp)…the only bad part was the weather, which was cold. Believe it or not, it was actually warmer in CHICAGO on the day we came back than it was in San Antonio. Grrr. Every time we travel, we bring the weather with us.

I have to write one note to point something out — see the picture with Max where he’s holding hands with a guy? That’s Angel. You should click through to get the larger picture so you can see Max’s face. Angel was part of our wait staff at Oloroso one night. The restaurant was great but the best part for Max (aside from a bunch of Mommy’s mushroom soup) was Angel. He just loved him. He’d wave whenever he came around and gave him lots of smiles.

Max always loves waiters and waitresses, but Angel he really liked. 🙂 He was a great guy!

Oloroso we’d definitely recommend while in San Antonio. Really good food and nice atmosphere. And friendly people. 🙂 We also really liked Boudros, which is on the river (kind of suprising it wound up so good, since a lot of the places there just seemed really touristy). Max really liked the guacamole risotto there (they made him up a plate and boy did it come out from the kitchen fast! I think they wanted to keep baby happy).

G/M Steakhouse reminded us of Coney Island in St. Pete. Even though it was right across from the Alamo, it did have a local dive kind of vibe to it. It was actually a local guy who told us about it.

Our first night (since I’m talking about all the stuff we ate) we ate at Acenar (Hot Mex Cool Bar). It was very trendy and cool. It was pretty good too. Max actually behaved least well there (though he wasn’t that bad), but it was after a day of travel AND we wound up sitting in the back. I’m sure they thought that would be better with the baby, but Max is actually much better behaved if he’s in the thick of things where he can see stuff and flirt. He’s a HUGE flirt.

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Woot! We’re back from L.A. (well, Anaheim, really. We just flew into LAX). The ALA (American Library Association) convention was great. Max was great (best baby ever, actually…even waiters said so). The book promo stuff went great (I’ll have more about that up on my author blog soon.) Now, my eye, that wasn’t so great. I got this infected ingrown eyelash thing on Thursday, right before we left. Lucky for me, one of our neighbors is a doctor and even luckier for me, he was nice enough to come over and take a look at it and tell me what to do. So I was able to get the swelling and whatnot under enough control that no one at ALA noticed. Yay! Who wants to be the author with the plague eye?

Here’s a picture of me and my little vampire baby outside the Mirrorstone / Wizards of the Coast booth. See my book in the window?? They had one of the coolest booths at the show, actually. It looks like a shop from out of Harry Potter. Or, well, any fantasy, I suppose. Very, very cool.
Here’s Max in his new Mickey Mouse hat. Not that he (obviously) even noticed. That was the only bummer about the trip — here we were in Anaheim staying literally right next to Disney, and the boy was way too young to take to the park. But he did get a hat from Downtown Disney.
And here’s what the boy was doing while Mommy was signing her book for the tons (more than a 100!) of awesome librarians that lined up for it. Daddy had him out there promoting my book with a sticker on his chest and my book by his sweet little head. People literally came back by the booth later just to see if the “cute baby” was still there. Seriously.

Note to self: be sure to bring Max to all book signings and other author appearances.

Sigh. I didn’t make a single blog post (well, except on the YABC blog) during the entire month of December. It was a really busy month. So, as Inigo might say…”to sum up….”

On December 1st we went to the Mercer holiday party. I managed to fit into a pre-pregnancy dress (whoo-hoo!) so I didn’t have to buy a new one. We went to the Marriott Lincolnshire and had dinner. It was a pretty low-key event, but it was nice to see everyone. Tony even managed to win a $50 Amex gift card.

We also tried a new place (or rather, new to us) called Jacky’s Bistro in Evanston. Kind of a mini-celebration (got the galley copy of my book – another whoo-hoo!). Jacky’s is a nice little French place with charm and not very many tables. If I was up-to-date on things I’d write bunches more about it (I’m much better if I write up something right away), but I’m sooooo not up-to-date right now. I will say that we liked it, though it was quite a hike from home (I picked Tony up from work, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still). The service was decent, the food was good, and it is on OpenTable.

The next big event in December was our trip to London. This was my last chance trip before being cut off from long distance travel by the doctor. Sadly, I was sick during pretty much all of it (got bronchitis right before we left), but it was still good to get away. And Tony was working for most of it. But, we did get to see Stonehenge, which is something I’ve always wanted to see. We had quite the adventure getting there (part of the rail service was down, so a 1.5 hour trip became a 4+ hour trip each way). BTW, we were seriously wind-blown and freezing cold in this picture.

While we were there we also got to hit another top 50 restaurant (this a top 50 in the world, not US, obviously). We went to St. John. So far, I’d have to say it is one of the least fussy of all the “fancy” places we’ve been. It’s located in old smoke house and basically, they just whitewashed the walls. I mean, hey, any place that’ll do whole suckling pigs isn’t all that fussy. Here’s a picture of the head of one unfortunate beast.

It was a good time. We had all kinds of stuff you don’t normally find on menus (like roasted marrow bones (which was really, really good) and pig’s head fat). The chef believes in “head to tail” eating, which is definitely also Tony’s philosophy. The service was friendly and casual and the dining room reminded me more of a down-home cafe than a fancified upperclass place. Great fun.

When we got home, things were pretty quiet for a while. We got quite a bit of snow, off and on. Grace actually braved it one day, though she never actually touched a paw to the stuff. Just sniffed it, going “hey, where’d all the grass go??” Tony even got to try his hand at sledding. Me too, actually. My first time ever. It was fun, but made me realize I seriously need to get some real winter clothes. As in ones that don’t just get sopping wet.
And this is Tony’s idea of a fun December picture…
Let’s see…also in December we went to a caroling & hot chocolate breakfast at Connie’s house on December 15th. That was fun, though I was still a bit stuffy, so my singing voice was not at its very best…ha, like it ever is. We also had a little neighborhood get-together with a few neighbors and played games.

Then there was the big family visit, though I’ll do another post about that so I can post some more pictures of it.

The only bad news, which in the scheme of things isn’t super-bad, is that I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at my last doctor appointment. So, from now until I give birth (though hopefully not long after that) I have to check my sugar 4 times a day and do insulin shots. Well, at least I know now why I was so godawful tired (it’s one of the high sugar symptoms). There are some risks for me and the baby, but hopefully everything will turn out okay. I’ll be glad to just get through all these doctor appointments.