Friday, November 27, 2009


Where did the week go?  Loved NCTE, so much to blog! 

     The best part was spending time with my friends Randi Allison and Troy Rushmore.  We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast about 1.5 miles south of the Convention Center (lots of walking).  I preferred to call it a Bed and ____ (noun) ... (pretend it's a MadLib and fill in the blank).  Obviously they hired someone to create their website and brochure that had never stayed there.  Could be such beautiful place with just a few touch ups, including a breakfast upgrade (rotten fruit in a bowl and dried bagels, really?) and perhaps a housekeeper who does bathrooms!  Note the "electrical chord" situation in one of our rooms in this picture (courtesy of Randi).  Nonetheless, we did laugh a lot... 
     We also ate well!  

     Thursday night... we were joined by Debbie M. at Mezza Luna, a great Italian Restaurant near our B & B.  The crowd was small on a Thursday and the owner/chef was so interesting.  Delicious (the gnocchi was amazing).  We had a great conversation with him about apprenticeship.  He was trained in his native Italy and obviously had a passion for food and his craft.  We enjoyed our meal (although who knew Philadelphia had a "bring your own" rule in many of their restaurants).  This was a great little neighborhood restaurant. 

     Friday night... we were looking for a nice little steak place near South Street and ended up going to Bellini Grill after a recommendation from a native Philadelphian that happened to see us wandering lost and confused.  The food was terrific!  A great recommendation (Veal Saltimbocca...yum!).  The restaurant was small and we ended up sharing a table for six with a family from Canada that was in town for the Philadelphia Marathon.  It was one of those times when you're thrown into a somewhat uncomfortable situation that ends up being such a great experience.  We even got the table for two next to us involved in our conversation... it was a delightful evening!

     Saturday night... a nice walk from the Convention Center to Fork.  We joined a small group of Stenhouse friends (editors Bill, Philippa, and Holly) and authors (Jeff A. and Terry T.).  It was nice to toast Conferring: The Keystone of Reader's Workshop.  After quite a long wait (and opening many doors) we were seated for a delightful meal in a rather "hip" restaurant.  This was a fun night... lots of laughing (especially when Randi's fish arrived with its head and wasn't filleted) and conversation (Oven roasted house-smoked pork shop, delicious) about life and learning.

     But Philly was more than food!  I'll be blogging a bit more about the more important things I learned throughout the week!

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