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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Monterey, California

After the scare with Dad last Saturday night, I was hoping nothing would happen while I was gone.

The car service came to get me on Monday morning at 5:45 am to take me to Boston airport. I was flying Delta. Got on the plane and luckily had the middle seat empty - yay!

But we didn't leave the gate. A tire was flat. Then they had to replaced it. So we left late. Not good.

Got to see The Devil Wears Prada on the plane and it was better than I expected. Meryl Streep was deliciously evil.

So, we made it to LAX late and by the time I took the bus shuttle to the American Eagle terminal to get my connecting flight, they had just given my seat away. So I had four hours to kill. I got back on the bus to the main terminal and hit the only gift shop, LA Gear. If you've seen Pretty Woman, you'll understand when I say the salespeople there were just filled with themselves and judging everyone who walked in.

One guy was beyond gay (and I am not being mean saying that). He actually "sniffed" at me. Hello? You work in an airport gift shop, honey. I'm the one flying to do a book signining. Gee-suz. I laughed at him as I walked out.

I ended up in Chili's to have some chips and salsa and struck up a conversation with a woman next to me who was from Texas. Turns out she works for the ad agency who represents McDonald's. Maybe I'll have an "in" when it comes to do something with WHOA-KTD. Hmmmm. Speaking of WHOA, we're now incorporated in Maine and are non-profit. All I have to do is file the federal forms and we're official.

Finally got into Monterey at 6:30 their time, 9:30 pm my time. I was exhausted. The Marriott was nice and I ordered room service, ate, then crashed. Chris said his dad was okay. Good.

The next morning I was keynote and had to run around to register, set up my laptop and get ready. While I was setting up, people in the audience were talking with the conference organizer about the previous day's keynote, noted mystery author, J.A. Jance. Nobody liked her. They thought she was a horrible speaker, make up her lecture as she went along and just was not prepared. Ouch.

I did my talk, got lots of questions and applause and people promised to be at my publisher's booth at noon when I'd be signing books. After talking with some of the audience, I headed to the booth to drop off my things and Rob, my publicist, told me a bunch of my books had already been sold. Ding, ding, ding!

I went to my room, talked with Chris. His dad didn't look good and was having trouble staying awake. He was worried. I wish I could have been there with him.

I went back to the booth at noon to sign books and had some people waiting for me - sweeeeeet. I spent almost two hours hanging out, then went back upstairs to change and go to the Monterey Aquarium. This is a MUST if you go. They have the only great white shark in captivity currently, which was very, very cool.

I spent three hours there, saw the penguins and sea otters during their feeding times (very cute) and took loads of photos, which I hope to upload tomorrow.

Went back to the hotel, dropped off the souvenirs I'd picked up for family, then went upstairs to the reception my publisher was putting on. Rob was there with some other people from Information Today and we hung out, chatting. Rob was originally supposed to go out to dinner, but he skipped it to hang out with me. He is so sweet and cute!

He told me I was his favorite author and he meant it. That made my day. We stayed there until they kicked us out at 8 pm and it's a good thing. One woman from my publisher had brought her husband with her on the trip and he was an asshole. He hovered over her, jealous if any many talked with her and was totally obnoxious. I think Rob wanted to give him a good punch. I know I did.

Sigh.

Went to my room, packed, slept fitfully.

Got up at 4:30 am Pacific time, then went downstairs to wait for my taxi.

Speaking of taxis, tomorrow I will have to tell you the story of Nascar Cab. You can just guess until then.

Saw The Lake House on the flight home - good chick flick and again was lucky to have an empty middle seat.

Long story short, got home last night, we had pizza, I watched LOST, then crashed. Had to be up early for a radio interview, then a doctor's appointment. When I got home, Chris had already gone to his parents house. His dad is NOT doing well at all. They're having the hospital bed sent over tomorrow for him. It doesn't look good.

Tomorrow we'll spend most of the day there. Mom went for a walk while Chris was there today, but tomorrow we'll make her nap and do her walk. I'll be bringing my laptop to do work on and Chris has some ship model repairs to work on in the shop.

I just hope his sisters will be able to come up here if Dad is as bad as Chris thinks he is. I know I would want to be my Dad's side when he died.

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