This great, big, fantastic, amazing country...and making new friends
It's Independence Day, the perfect time to think about this amazing country we Americans call home. I'm still digging out after taking a most amazing trip around a lot of it last month--my husband and I loaded up the dog and way too much stuff in our little motorhome and took off for Lori Foster and Dianne Castell's fantastic conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'd scheduled stops at book stores along the way in order to meet a few of my readers, and we also visited a small museum in Central City, Nebraska, where some artifacts out of my husband's family's past are on display, which was a really cool part of our trip. The map at the top has the entire 6300 mile route drawn out--we were gone exactly three weeks and I still haven't assimilated everything we saw. This country is huge, it's beautiful, and it's got everything.
We headed out with plans to see as much of the West and Midwest as we possibly could, and believe me, we saw a LOT! We also dodged a few thunderstorms, missed most of the floods and tried to sleep through more than one night of tornado warnings. (Those nights were generally in hotels, not the RV. We figured it wouldn't offer much protection, and I didn't want to end up like Dorothy headed to Oz in a whirl of wind and dust!)
The best part of the trip--beyond the trip itself--was meeting readers, both at my stops along the way as well as the conference. Once again I'm reminded just how terrific my readers are. Every single person I met on this trip was someone I'd love to just hang out with if life weren't so hectic or they didn't live a thousand miles away! I'm still on a high from all the neat things we saw and the people we met--I think one of the things that surprised me the most was the common ground we seemed to find the minute we got together. I'd go into the bookstore, we'd meet up and find a table in the coffee shop and IMMEDIATELY start gabbing like we'd known each other for years. It's got to be the fact we're all readers of romance. Is it like that for you? You meet someone at a book signing or a conference, or maybe just standing beside them in a book store perusing the titles, and suddenly you're chatting away like old friends. Is it just romance readers? What is it that gives us that instant connection? I'd love to know what you think.
And, if you're at all interested in some of the pictures of people and stuff, I've got quite a few photos up on our trip "diary" at www.katedouglas.com/june2008