ksmith: (Default)

–until next year, maybe. I don’t have all my 2017 cons sorted out yet, and I do not want to travel as much next year as I did/will this year. But I had a good time and I love NYC, so I don’t know….

Last week at this time, I was home, unpacking and making a list of needed groceries. It felt good to be back in my space, with everything I needed to get through the day close at hand, but it was good to get away. I love staying at The Jane. It’s located on Jane Street–duh–in a residential area of the West Village. You leave the hotel and run into folks walking their dogs or pushing strollers. No Midtown-Times Square crowds and craziness. It’s a neighborhood:

IMG_0457West Village/Chelsea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants once you head out to Washington Street, 8th Avenue. And it is on 11th Avenue, which can get busy. But if you cross that, you’re in the Hudson River Greenway. Then there’s the river, and the view (this from one of the terraces at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is a few minutes’ walk away:

view of Hudson River & NJ from the Whitney

I like it.

 

 

 

 

I also like Gitane’s, the restaurant off the hotel lobby. Sazeracs are on the menu, and they have an alligator:

A really good sazeracGitane's alligator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not manage to do all the things I wanted to do. Only managed two museums, the Whitney and the 1st floor of the Met–it was too hot and humid to wander, and I didn’t want to wear myself out before the convention. I never made it to the Campbell Apartments for a sazerac, but since I was able to get a good one at the Jane, I wasn’t too disappointed. I did snag a ticket for a fireworks river cruise on the 4th. I took too many videos, and some of the lighting isn’t the best. I also can’t upload any of them because there’s an 8MB limit for video files, so, imagine fireworks. Shopping was confined to a couple of quick runs through the Chelsea Market, and the Met gift shop. Oh, and the FBI gift shop, where I got the best t-shirt ever:

ZTF shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FBI workshop was great–very informative, with presentations about past cases and Q&A sessions. Thrillerfest was fun. I missed some of the events since I didn’t stay at the con hotel, but my panel went well–I wore my ZTF t-shirt:

photo courtesy of Thrillerfest

photo courtesy of Thrillerfest

 

Heather Graham moderated. From right to left: Me, Kelley Armstrong, Christine Feehan, Mell Corcoran, and Alexandra Ivy. We talked about what scares us, what books or movies inspired us, and whether we had ever had any paranormal experiences. I pushed The Dark Descent, a collection of horror stories that imo every horror fan should have in their library. Also mentioned my love of Constantine the movie. Sorry, purists–I know how you feel, but I don’t have anything invested in the comic, so.

 

 

After my panel, which was on Friday morning, I attended panels, and signed some books. Met some great folks–shout outs to Mell Corcoran, Veronica Forand, and Kate Kessler! Made quick passes through parties.

In closing, the 81st Street/Museum of Natural History subway stop is the best:

81st St. subway squawki was herethe bats are big down here

 

 

 

 

Hummer

Mirrored from .

ksmith: (me)

Couldn’t manage this sort of photo, but I did have a couple of 4.5-Mountain-Days (Jefferson was a little hazy, but Rainier, Adams, St Helens, and Hood were all new penny bright).

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (cloud dream)

Took a short trip to Madison with fellow writer Jen Stevenson. Talked over plot problems with current wips. Hiked up and down State Street. Ate really good Japanese. Enjoyed glorious weather. Walked the trail along Lake Mendota and discussed crow lore. A restorative 24 hours.

On the lake

We also fed baby ducks.

Nothing better than baby ducks.

Nothing better than baby ducks.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (brollie)

Jefferson. Hood. Adams. Mount St Helens. Saw them all yesterday. Couldn’t see Rainier–too much distant haze.

But that was yesterday. Today I awoke to the sound of steady rain. It’s still cloudy, but the sun breaks through on occasion. Chilly. Had a late lunch at the Reedville Inn. Back at the house. Hosts off doing their own thing. I’m surrounded by kitties and pups and watching life on the other side of the glass.

I’m on vacation.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

I’m here

Apr. 2nd, 2012 12:46 pm
ksmith: (red_wine)

In Oregon. The Portland area. My friends’ house in the hills. I can see Mt Adams from the back window.

It’s gorgeous here. Rained off and on over the weekend, but today is sunny with high cloud. Could hit the low 60s.

Saturday was a veeeerrrrrry long day. Up at the crack of dawn. Airport. Uneventful flight. Land in Seattle on time. Then. An hour and a half to get luggage and rental car, in large part because rental car company in question had *1* person on duty on a Saturday afternoon when all the others had 2-3. Landed at 12:25 PST, but didn’t get on the road until after 2. Head pounding by this time.

I don’t think the traffic ever lets up on I-5, but the drive south was lovely and the headache gradually eased. It did rain off and on, but the sun broke through half the time and there were even a few moments when I really wished I had brought sunglasses. Had a few moments of panic as the battery for the GPS unit (brought from home) ran low and the unit conked out and I had to pull of the road and figure out where in the hell was the charger socket in a 2010 Nissan Versa. Hunted all over dash. Under dash. Finally found the socket in the space between the seats. Revived GPS, and continued on to  friends’ house, which is located near the top of the twistiest, windiest road I have ever negotiated in my entire life.

Did I mention that it’s gorgeous up here? Pine forests sloping down to the Willamette valley and the Cascades in the distance. Delicious Japanese food last night at a place in nearby Hillsboro called Syun Izakaya. I had okonomiyaki, a savory pancake with shrimp and scallops. Salmon rolls. An Earl Grey pudding for dessert.

Will try to work a little and wake up. Sightseeing may be on tap for the afternoon. Coffee’s brewing, and I am sitting by a set of glass doors overlooking the deck and the forest beyond. And the valley. And the mountains.

Did I mention that it’s gorgeous up here?

 

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (blue q)
Do ticket prices bounce around like they do for airline tickets? I want to travel to NYC in the spring, and just checked the cost of a round trip ticket from Chicago to Penn Station. It's almost half the cost that it was ten years ago, and I'm wondering if that's because I'm checking months in advance?
ksmith: (blue q)
Do ticket prices bounce around like they do for airline tickets? I want to travel to NYC in the spring, and just checked the cost of a round trip ticket from Chicago to Penn Station. It's almost half the cost that it was ten years ago, and I'm wondering if that's because I'm checking months in advance?
ksmith: (flying saucer)
So I've started looking into flights to Denver in August. There are many non-stop flights, but none of those are available for miles. The only flights I can get for miles involve a stop and, in most cases, a change in planes. I would prefer not to go through that.

Is there any chance that as time goes on, more flights may become available for booking with miles, or is it as good as it's gonna get?

Update: went ahead and booked. $300 round trip, but I have legroom and some pretty decent seats.

Update II: I misentered the dates at one point--ORD/DEN roundtrips 14 days out were going for about $175 or so, which surprised me. I could have been daring, I guess, and waited until mid July to book. But given the other conventions that will be going on in Denver at that time, plus my usual luck when I gamble...I decided to book now.
ksmith: (flying saucer)
So I've started looking into flights to Denver in August. There are many non-stop flights, but none of those are available for miles. The only flights I can get for miles involve a stop and, in most cases, a change in planes. I would prefer not to go through that.

Is there any chance that as time goes on, more flights may become available for booking with miles, or is it as good as it's gonna get?

Update: went ahead and booked. $300 round trip, but I have legroom and some pretty decent seats.

Update II: I misentered the dates at one point--ORD/DEN roundtrips 14 days out were going for about $175 or so, which surprised me. I could have been daring, I guess, and waited until mid July to book. But given the other conventions that will be going on in Denver at that time, plus my usual luck when I gamble...I decided to book now.
ksmith: (Peter)
Two pair of pants are enough for a 5-day trip. But I still would've liked the black pull-ons. If I'd brought them with, I would've worn them.

The boots that are comfortable during Mile the First may still let you down during Mile the Third.

There are no such things as socks that are too soft.

City miles are longer than treadmill miles.

Make room for the sneakers. Just do it.

The cool exhibit that your editor told you about that necessitated the hike to the museum will be described in detail, with photographs, in a reference book you forgot you owned.

Not that you would have known about it if she hadn't told you, but that's beside the point.

Someday, all exit ramps in Chicago will be well-marked, and the driver will have plenty of time to change lanes prior to exiting. Pigs will fly. Cubs. World Series. World peace.
ksmith: (Peter)
Two pair of pants are enough for a 5-day trip. But I still would've liked the black pull-ons. If I'd brought them with, I would've worn them.

The boots that are comfortable during Mile the First may still let you down during Mile the Third.

There are no such things as socks that are too soft.

City miles are longer than treadmill miles.

Make room for the sneakers. Just do it.

The cool exhibit that your editor told you about that necessitated the hike to the museum will be described in detail, with photographs, in a reference book you forgot you owned.

Not that you would have known about it if she hadn't told you, but that's beside the point.

Someday, all exit ramps in Chicago will be well-marked, and the driver will have plenty of time to change lanes prior to exiting. Pigs will fly. Cubs. World Series. World peace.

Gee, thanks

Apr. 1st, 2008 09:55 am
ksmith: (gimme a break)
As I said before, upon arrival at O'Hare, I was greeted by rain and a very low ceiling. Think fog and clouds just about on the ground. I don't watch descents because they tend to make me squirrelly--don't like to fly, me--but I could see the whiteness out of the corner of my eye--because even though I don't like to fly and don't watch descents, or take-offs, for that matter, I always ask for a seat by the window don't ask me WHY--and braced for the turbulance the pilot warned might be coming. Felt a big *BUMP*, and thought, this should be fun, then looked out the window to see we had landed. Clouds all the way from NYC, and one of the smoothest flights ever. Go figure.

The 4-hour nap messed me up. I didn't get to bed until after 1, and lay awake listening to the wind. Finally drifted off around 2, only to be awakened less than an hour later by flashes and beeps. Took me a minute to realize that the power was flickering. It finally went out around quarter to three, and I got to lie there and listen to the silence of my sump pump not pumping. No, I haven't had the battery back-up installed yet--I didn't want to get into that until I got back. So, got up and pulled out all the computer and UPS cords to stop the beeping. Avoided looking in the basement because I didn't want to know. Walked halfway down the basement steps and looked. No water. Yet. Went back to bed because there really wasn't anything I could do. I was tired by this point, but I couldn't fall asleep because I was waiting for the power to come back on. I mean, I went through this last summer, knew things were better this time around, potential basement flood-wise--the rain had stopped several hours before, and the water wasn't running into the reservoir all that quickly. But still, there had been some seepage in the usual areas and so I was concerned.

Thought I heard the rumble of large trucks. Less than an hour later, the power came back on. Plugged everything back in, made sure it all worked. Checked the basement, which was still dry. Figured this was just my house's way of saying "WELCOME HOME!" and went back to bed.

Gee, thanks

Apr. 1st, 2008 09:55 am
ksmith: (gimme a break)
As I said before, upon arrival at O'Hare, I was greeted by rain and a very low ceiling. Think fog and clouds just about on the ground. I don't watch descents because they tend to make me squirrelly--don't like to fly, me--but I could see the whiteness out of the corner of my eye--because even though I don't like to fly and don't watch descents, or take-offs, for that matter, I always ask for a seat by the window don't ask me WHY--and braced for the turbulance the pilot warned might be coming. Felt a big *BUMP*, and thought, this should be fun, then looked out the window to see we had landed. Clouds all the way from NYC, and one of the smoothest flights ever. Go figure.

The 4-hour nap messed me up. I didn't get to bed until after 1, and lay awake listening to the wind. Finally drifted off around 2, only to be awakened less than an hour later by flashes and beeps. Took me a minute to realize that the power was flickering. It finally went out around quarter to three, and I got to lie there and listen to the silence of my sump pump not pumping. No, I haven't had the battery back-up installed yet--I didn't want to get into that until I got back. So, got up and pulled out all the computer and UPS cords to stop the beeping. Avoided looking in the basement because I didn't want to know. Walked halfway down the basement steps and looked. No water. Yet. Went back to bed because there really wasn't anything I could do. I was tired by this point, but I couldn't fall asleep because I was waiting for the power to come back on. I mean, I went through this last summer, knew things were better this time around, potential basement flood-wise--the rain had stopped several hours before, and the water wasn't running into the reservoir all that quickly. But still, there had been some seepage in the usual areas and so I was concerned.

Thought I heard the rumble of large trucks. Less than an hour later, the power came back on. Plugged everything back in, made sure it all worked. Checked the basement, which was still dry. Figured this was just my house's way of saying "WELCOME HOME!" and went back to bed.
ksmith: (gimme a break)
Color Me Wiped.

the wagon train heads out )

So far, so good.
ksmith: (gimme a break)
Color Me Wiped.

the wagon train heads out )

So far, so good.
ksmith: (Default)
Off to NYC tomorrow morning for the Novelists Inc conference. If all goes well, I will be having dinner with my editor at this time tomorrow.

I'm bringing my MacBook, and am going to try to post conference goings-on as some folks professed an interest. Some attendees have said that they do get writing done there, but somehow I don't think it likely in my case. However, I hope the conference vibes propel me through April.

Still need to finish packing. Did the electronic check-in thing. I still think the biggest thing is making sure I remember to pack all the cords and adapters. There are three Apple stores in NYC, including one quite close to the hotel THAT IS OPEN 24/7. It's awful purty on the outside, but I will endeavor to be strong.
ksmith: (Default)
Off to NYC tomorrow morning for the Novelists Inc conference. If all goes well, I will be having dinner with my editor at this time tomorrow.

I'm bringing my MacBook, and am going to try to post conference goings-on as some folks professed an interest. Some attendees have said that they do get writing done there, but somehow I don't think it likely in my case. However, I hope the conference vibes propel me through April.

Still need to finish packing. Did the electronic check-in thing. I still think the biggest thing is making sure I remember to pack all the cords and adapters. There are three Apple stores in NYC, including one quite close to the hotel THAT IS OPEN 24/7. It's awful purty on the outside, but I will endeavor to be strong.

*ack*

Mar. 24th, 2008 06:52 pm
ksmith: (release the penguins)
The last two days have flown. Clothes to be packed all laundered and laid out. New, smaller laptop bag bought. Lucky for me, I bought an airplane adapter for the MacBook. Packed that, along with an ethernet cable, digital camera, and the little USB card reader thingie. Please let me remember the iPod charger, the phone charger, the laptop charger (the airplane adapter can power the MacBook, but it doesn't charge the battery), and all the other electronic frewfooraw. I'm sure there's an Apple Store in the Big Apple just jam-packed with neat stuff, but I really don't want to have to go there.

Clothes are easy compared to electronic stuff.

Shoes! Bought heel thingies and comfort inserts for the boots, which are comfortable enough but could use a little boost. Trouser socks.

I still need to make up a list of puppy meds and feeding schedule for the caregiver.

Any other time, I'd be at that stage of trip prep where I'd be wondering if it was worth all the trouble, and wouldn't I rather stay home? Except that I don't this time. I really am looking forward to the break.

*ack*

Mar. 24th, 2008 06:52 pm
ksmith: (release the penguins)
The last two days have flown. Clothes to be packed all laundered and laid out. New, smaller laptop bag bought. Lucky for me, I bought an airplane adapter for the MacBook. Packed that, along with an ethernet cable, digital camera, and the little USB card reader thingie. Please let me remember the iPod charger, the phone charger, the laptop charger (the airplane adapter can power the MacBook, but it doesn't charge the battery), and all the other electronic frewfooraw. I'm sure there's an Apple Store in the Big Apple just jam-packed with neat stuff, but I really don't want to have to go there.

Clothes are easy compared to electronic stuff.

Shoes! Bought heel thingies and comfort inserts for the boots, which are comfortable enough but could use a little boost. Trouser socks.

I still need to make up a list of puppy meds and feeding schedule for the caregiver.

Any other time, I'd be at that stage of trip prep where I'd be wondering if it was worth all the trouble, and wouldn't I rather stay home? Except that I don't this time. I really am looking forward to the break.
ksmith: (gimme a break)
Happy Easter to all who honor the day.

weather )

HRH performs his sworn duty )

dinner and packing and such )

It hit me yesterday that I'M ON VACATION, and will be so for the next week and a half. I may regret using up the extra couple of days that I've added to the beginning and end of this debauch, but my, it was nice to just sit around yesterday and write--even though the production doesn't show it--and not have to go anywhere or do anything. Today, I need to do things. Tomorrow promises to be a flurry of last-minute this n that. So, taking yesterday off was nice.

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