Hey everyone. I made it back from BEA safe and sound. You already know this though if you saw my previous post. It has been both an insane and a chill week. BEA was really fun and I enjoyed it for the most part. I will say that I wish I had acted better at times. Specifically after arriving to Chicago. Let’s just say that a couple things did not go as well as they could have and I really regret that since it’s a lot of my fault.
I meant to post this a lot sooner however I was still recovering the first couple days after BEA and didn’t start typing this up until just a couple days ago. I also wasn’t sure how exactly I would be doing my BEA posts, so I figured I’d probably just do them all! What does this include? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. 😉
Anyway, this will be about Tuesday, arriving to Chicago.
I knew I wouldn’t sleep much if any on Monday night or Tuesday morning. I slept for a few hours Monday evening then got up around midnight. I started getting ready to leave which involved packing (rather, my mom packing, haha), finalizing lists, fixing my hair, doing laundry, showering, drawing my sad little BEA floor-plan map…,etc.
Around 4am my parents and I went to the train station where we checked my suitcase and waited for the train to come. The train was a little late, but that didn’t affect anything. I boarded the train and was totally freaked out for about 15 minutes just because it was new experience. Haha. After the initial freak out, I chilled out and watched Veronica Mars and slept for an hour to two hours off and on. I had reserved seating on the upper level but didn’t have a seat-mate for the most part, which was nice. I kind of like my space and the seats were pretty comfortable. 🙂
During Rashika’s stop, I waited for her to text for about half an hour, then began texting my mom about it. I then had my mom check my Twitter messages in case she DMed me instead and I couldn’t check it, since I didn’t have unlimited internet.
Two hours later I figure that Rashika didn’t know the number I was using or something happened. Later I got a text from her in a ton of short bursts saying that she’d been texting the wrong number, that she was on the train and asked where I was. She was also wondering about the weird DMs “I” (my mom) sent her. Ha, so that was fun. I told my mom to leave it alone.
So I found her maybe 8 or 10 seats in front of me on the opposite side. We were on the same car from her stop and didn’t know. At least I didn’t know. We only had about an hour left for the ride so we went to the Sight Seer lounge and talked briefly. I was pretty tired from being up all night so my conversation wasn’t very lively at all. I was pretty happy to arrive in Chicago perfectly fine after reading about various derailments and such. I’m always one to worry about such things.
Afterwards arriving we met Holly at the station who got in before us. Then went to buy tickets for the Maggie Steifvater signing in a Chicago suburb. Although I haven’t read The Raven Boys (much to everyone’s disappointment, basically), I figured I would go to the signing and socialize a bit which…did not happen. Sigh. You can just tell I have awesome skills at socializing so far, right?
Anyway, I attempted to get cash off my debit card and that was just not happening. I received the balance amount after trying three times to withdraw the amount of money I thought I had. It was a bit less than I thought it would be.
Cue second freak out during the week. It still worked out! It was a bad first impression though, haha.
A great thing to do when hanging out with people you’ve just met? Not crying or coming close to it. It’s okay, I called my mom, she told me to calm down, enjoy the trip, asked if I could make it work and she would talk to me later.
Before you think that my mom should have done something more, there wasn’t much she could do and the expected balance and actual balance weren’t that different. I ended up with a little money left over even! I had no problems money wise in Chicago which was my biggest concern between transportation and food.
Okay, so I’ve arrived in Chicago at Union Station and met up with Holly.
Let me just say that Rashika and Holly are like super speed walkers. I am not a speed walker. At all. Ha. Or I’m just an exceptionally slow walker. One of the two.
So I’m trying to keep up with them and carry my luggage through Union Station which is huge. I really wish I’d stopped to take a few pictures while inside there. At one point I thought my luggage wheels had actually broke which would have been awful. They didn’t though. It was just those Chicago streets.
They walked me to my hostel since it was only two blocks away then went their own way to their before we would meet up for the signing.
I checked into my room and it wasn’t bad. The cost was less than I thought it would be, so that was nice. I was given a little booklet about Chicago, my room key, the hostel key and told that someone would also be at the front desk (type thing) if I needed anything 24 hours a day. I really liked that a lot. I felt super secure.
I went to my room where I kind of just threw my bags without sorting anything. I changed my clothes, fixed my hair, and put on some makeup. Around this time Rashika texted me saying they were running late and to just meet them at the Union Station.
I made it to Union but not before making a stop in a totally different building that was NOT Union. So after going into Not Union, I made my way to Union which was half a block away. This was AFTER asking the front desk hostel person how to get to Union Station.
Don’t ask me how I missed Union Station when I literally walked out of the building only an hour beforehand.
I told you guys, I’m really directionally challenged.
A nice thing about Chicago? There are always people on the streets. I found a nice group of people at a stop light and asked them where Union Station was and they pointed me in the right direction. I make it to Union and find Rashika and Holly.
We board the train (after going in the wrong direction) and go to the signing. Rashika and Holly were talking so much and I just sort of spaced out (this is what happens when you don’t sleep, ha).
So to get to the signing from the new station, it involved quite a bit of walking. Of course it was raining and of course nobody brought an umbrella with them. I brought an umbrella with me specifically for this reason, but I forgot it in my luggage, of course. As did Rashika, I believe.
We got to the signing which was so busy, I followed Rashika and Holly around the store mostly. We figured we would get something to eat since it would be a while before their numbers were called for the signing and we were all kind of hungry. We went to a pizza place not far away that was pretty good.
Later we went back to the signing, I did my following them around more and eventually the signing ended. We waited for the train for a bit, then took it back to Union.
Then they were kind enough to walk me back to my hostel and I went straight to sleep around 12ish. Well, after watching an episode or two of Veronica Mars and calling to reserve my cab for the morning. I had to call four different cab companies, fortunately, the last one was great. For the most part, more on that later this week though.
I’ll be talking about my first day at BEA on Wednesday! And let’s just say if I thought walking around the Chicago suburb made me tired, that’s nothing. 😉