Now it is time for a little slideshow about my trip. (In high school, this was the part when the lights cut off, the screen went white, and I put my head down on my desk until the bell rang. Hopefully not everyone will do that now.)

My first stop was Boston. I stayed at a very chi-chi hotel, with a wonderful view.

Also impressive: the minibar. (I only drank the bottled water, by the way. Really!)

That night, I had my first dinner with a bunch of very cool booksellers from the Boston area. I had a cold and kept having to blow my nose (so classy!) but it was a great time.

Next stop: Stamford, CT. A kind of grey, gritty place. Great shopping, however. And I got a hot fudge sundae at this dinner.

The next day, I rode down to Tarrytown, NY. It was raining and my driver got lost but didn’t want to admit it. I just rode in the back and read Talk magazine. Then I got to sit in the lobby in front of this crackling fireplace while they made up my room. God, it was wonderful. The dinner that night was muy fancy, seafood. Lobster spring rolls!!!

By the end of Thursday night, I was kind of beat. Truly. I spent the weekend in NYC and Tarrytown with my cousins, where, on Sunday night we went to see Orange County and had mexican. These were about the most beautiful margaritas I’ve ever seen.

Monday, I proceeded to Philidelphia, where I met the Martha Stewart of book reps, Holly. We had a great dinner with the booksellers from her area: the best dessert I’d had so far.

Tuesday, I headed home. (But first, my flight was cancelled. No biggie, though, for once the airline gods were smiling on me.) That night, I had dinner with my local independent booksellers at probably the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life, Fearrington House. (The only 5 star restaurant IN the state of NC.) Oh, goodness, it was so good.

And what was really great was that afterwards, totally stuffed and satisfied, I got to drive home to my dog, who was waiting up for me. Bliss.

So. (Lights click on, screen goes dark, everyone awakes with a “huh?” kind of noise, rubbing eyes.) All in all, a great trip. I made friends, saw sights, and hopefully got people excited about the new book. Now I go back to my Real Life. Which, after a week off, doesn’t seem so bad at all.