Monday, October 22, 2007

All Roads Lead to Plano

GLS and I woke early Friday morning and loaded up the Olds for I-35 North. Our first stop was the Georgetown Public Library for my speech to members of TLA District III. The new library (opened this year) is in the historic district, the old downtown.

Before the event, we grabbed breakfast at The Village Inn (exceptional ham-and-cheese omelet). Then we continued to the library itself, after swooping through the downtown area and noting Chantal's Bistro & Wine Bar for future reference.

Visiting the eighty-ish Austin/Central Texas librarians was a pleasure. We also were wowed by the library, especially the murals by TS in the children's section and the hip YA section.

After a ham-and-cheese on wheat with mustard sandwich (it was a big day for ham-and-cheese) and tortilla chips, we chatted a while, and then hit the road again for Dallas.

I-35 was as busy as always, packed with truck traffic and construction. It was a pleasant relief to arrive at the historic Adolphus Hotel (lobby pictured above).

It wasn't until we'd settled into our suite that I had a chance to investigate my lovely thank-you gift from TLA--bath salts, a knitted potholder, a fourteen-month mouse-pad calendar, Grow-a-Smiley face, C-shaped sticky notes, a beautifully decorative notepad, and a round crystal candy dish. I was enchanted. And I will grow a smiley face soon!

Afterward, we investigated our welcoming basket from the Star-Lit Festival: Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark (The Sixth Floor Museum, 1997); D Magazine; a Dallas skyline postcard; bottle of water; Nieman's over-sized chocolate chip cookie (the hotel is down the street from the flagship store); a Sixth Floor Museum postcard; a small bag of Goldfish crackers; and Captain's Wafers (cream cheese and chives). We also were delivered a fruit plate (pear, banana, orange, and apple) and ordered artisan cheeses.

Our amazing escort Hope (with Lea) picked us up in the lobby later for the reception at the Dealey Plaza, which is a museum in memory of JFK.

I worked as a reporting intern in Dallas, covering "high fashion" and "high profile" at the Morning News, during the summer after my second year of law school. I remember people telling me how powerful it was and encouraging me to go, but I shied away then.

This was my first visit, and I was moved and impressed by the exhibit. The photograph that stands out most in my memory features two African American women grieving after the announcement of the president's death--the pain fairly radiates off the picture.

We shifted into a celebratory mode downstairs as the reception went on, fueled by much good news at the Dallas Bethlehem Center. I had the honor of meeting BC for the first time and found him to be quite the gracious and lovely gentleman. The barbecue also was outstanding (sausage, chicken, and beans). Highlights of the evening also included some quality time with KWH.

My report on the festival itself may be found at Cynsations, but I would like to shout out again to Hope, and also to Jeff and the Lamar Middle School Book Club (loved the card, loved the photos, thanks for reading Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007)!).

On the way home, GLS and I had dinner at Chantal's Bistro & Wine Bar. I adored my tapas (Catalan sizzling shrimp served in a sizzling pan with garlic and chili pepper infused oil; jumbo lump crab cakes with pickled English cucumber slaw, remoulade and cilantro crema; and selected imported cheeses, fruit, prosciutto with crackers).

Now, it's Monday, I'm back in Austin, and the week started out with a great treat--lunch with GLS, CB, SP, LL, JL, LGS, and AB at Central Market. I had the chicken tortilla soup.