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!