Monday, October 22, 2012

Haunted Hotels, NESA, Smashburgers and Fried Oyster Tacos: Texas Tour Days 5 & 6

So by the time I got to San Antonio, I was hoping for great things because honestly, I was that slap-happy kind of exhausted you get when you spend a week in Ireland, and leave the day after you get back for week long driving book tour through Texas, which is a VERY BIG STATE. I'd started toward San Antonio from Round Rock about 9:30 Thursday nite, eating my Vietnamese noodles sitting in a somewhat well-lit Chevron station around 10:30 because I bought it before my book signing, wasn't hungry, then finally was hungry on the road, only to realize that the waiter had packed CHOPSTICKS not a fork and although I am good with chopsticks, I am not good enough to use them while driving.

Rolled into SA around 11 and found the hotel, which turned out, at least according to bell hop Enrique, who might have been perking up his time on the night shift, to be haunted. Yes, Enrique informed me that the 6th floor of the Sheraton Gunter (MY FLOOR) was haunted from a murder in the 20's. "It happens," he said as he turned on the lights in my room. But it was a HUGE room and the comforter was puffy and white and there were many pillows and I figured that ghosts would want me to sleep at this point.

Spent an awesome day on Friday at NESA, which is North East School for the Arts, housed in Robert E Lee HS near downtown. I got to spend many happy hours with the creative writing 'majors' talking books and stories and characters and eating Swedish Fish and Sour Patch and even my first Smashburger, which looked like this:
And Will from Twig bookstore, which arranged my visit, hung out, too, even selling some books while we ate our burgers:
(Will was hiding from me in this pic, but actually he was quite fun and smart and engaging and majoring in philosophy and writing and all sorts of things like that)

But let me say again: students of NESA-- you rock!! Your teacher Amy Stengel must equally rock, but she was at the Austin Film Festival with the juniors and we did not get to meet. The library staff that took her place was awesome, too.

Then it was a little Riverwalk walking and a boat tour where I saw stuff like this:

And ate and drank stuff like this:

And this, which is fried oysters on yucca chips with jalapeno sauce and was seriously way more delicious than it sounds. (or possibly that was the pink margarita talking):
And then it was back to my fluffy bed until the next day when I spent the morning at TWIG bookstore, which is housed in the old Pearl Brewery complex and is an amazing place and I am ever so glad that Claudia invited me to sign.

Afterward, Claudia walked me through the Farmer's Market that was going on and then to the Herb Market, where I met a lovely artist/musician who creates this amazing tiny sculptures out of tracings of angels from cemetery tombs and then puts drops of essential oils like eucalyptus in them. And who also turned out to be Rick Riordan's mother... which yeah, pretty weird and cool coincidence, don't you think?

It was a lovely way to end the ANASTASIA FOREVER TEXAS TOUR.
Followed by the drive home on I-10, which included a stop at Bucees (look it up if you don't know it) and the Dairy Queen in Schulenburg and then home sweet home.

Thank you Sourcebooks for touring ANASTASIA FOREVER.
Thank you teachers and students and librarians and booksellers for supporting and hanging with me!

And now it's time to WRITE MORE BOOKS!!

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