Friday, June 29, 2018
ALA Annual 2018 Recap
I have been to both ALA and Book Expo and I have to say, I prefer ALA to BEA. For one thing, ALA is much more chill. With BEA it's so much more structured. You got here at this time to get this book and it's your only chance to get it. Plus publishers only bring a limited number of titles with them. This could be my perception but ALA seems like there is more titles. Plus you can ask for what you want and the publishers will give it to you if they brought it.They are also more willing to talk to you and share titles that you might not of heard of. There is a lot more recommending happening at ALA. But it's also easier to get carried away because of that. It's not hard to get 50 books a day (don't worry, I didn't do that).
The other thing I really like about ALA is that it moves locations. It is in a different city every year which I really like because then you can get to explore a new place while attending a fun bookish conference. This year it was in New Orleans which was amazing because I have never been and it is a place I have always wanted to visit. And boy was it a beautiful place to visit, if a little hot and humid. It seriously feels like you are getting two vacations in one.
Okay, that is all for the general info about ALA, how about some specifics about my trip.
Day One: Friday
Then in the morning I woke up and I had to get some work done. I work from home which means I can work anywhere which basically also means I don't have an excuse to take vacation time. So I worked all morning and then when I was done we headed out to get lunch and to the convention center to get our passes. Lunch was great. I got my first of many po boys, this one was blackened fish, from Picayune. When we got to the convention center it was huge. Like at least a milt from one end to the other. I mean there was a whole other conference happening at the same time. That's how big it is. After that we headed to an Escape Room which we had booked because we wanted to do something fun and different but air conditioned. It had this cool jazz theme and was awesome. Besides the five of us we also had three women who got just as into it as we did and we worked together well. We ended up escaping the room and solving the murder with ten minutes to spare. They gave us another mystery to solve but we definitely didn't have enough time for that.
After the escape room we went back to the French Quarter for a ghost tour. This was the main thing I wanted to do in New Orleans. I hate scary stuff but I love hearing the stories. The tour we did was really cool. It was a four in one tour so we learned about ghosts, witches, vampires, and voodoo. The tour guide was not only really engaging but super cute. He kept saying we like everyone on the tour was part of the stories which I completely loved. Plus it was great to walk around the French Quarter because it is so pretty, even though it was disgustingly hot and humid. After the tour we went back to the hotel to swim in the pool. Did I not mention that our hotel room was huge and opened up onto the pool. Then we went to dinner at Mahoney's Po Boys and Seafood because it was right next the hotel. I got a fried oyster po boy which was pretty good but nothing to write home about. We were all oretty exhausted from the day so we went to bed.
Day Two: Saturday
Day Three: Sunday
That night I went back to the hotel to chill a little bit before going to get dinner with Michelle. I was kind of over the seafood so we went to a Mexican place that was like a stepped up version of Chipotle. I know there are better places to eat but sometimes you just need something familiar. After that we ended up going to this park down by the water to relax and check things out before getting more beignets. That's right, two rounds of beignets in one day. This time from Cafe Beignet. They were definitely delicious and I regret nothing.
Day Four: Monday
That night I had plans to have dinner with my coworker who lives there. We both work remotely so it was the first time I had met her so that was cool. Plus we went to a vegan soul food place which was awesome because I could eat mac and cheese and collard greens without worrying about it upsetting my stomach. Then I met back up with Michelle and we went to Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square. It was a nice little park but I wish I had learned more info about it. On our walk back through the French Quarter we ended up stumbling upon where the home of Voodoo Queen Marie Levau used to be so that was cool. But Michelle was hungry and I had to use the bathroom so we walked around trying to find a place for her to eat. We ended up going to the New Orleans Burger and Seafood Restaurant. I was originally going to just get a beer but they had alligator poppers and I wanted to try alligator for real. But I was super full and I kind of regretted it. They were good though. Then back to the hotel for the night.
Day Five: Tuesday
All in all it was an amazing trip. I got to explore a beautiful and amazing city, I hung out with some of my blogging friends in and out of the convention, and I picked up some super exciting books. If you have a chance to go to ALA I would definitely recommend going. Also, try to add a few extra days and do some touristy things. The books are great but the experiences can't be beat and this way you get two vacations in one.
And I did pretty good when it came to books. I got just over 50 which is one of my lowest ever at a bookish conference. Plus I am very excited about all of these books. I definitely have a very exciting fall full of books ahead of me.
Have you ever been to ALA or BEA? What is the coolest place that you are visiting this summer? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!