On Saturday, October 15th, my husband and I went to Vancouver. Our first trip back since our move to Penticton last April. The first five days were catching up with a few friends (couldn't get together with some, unfortunately) and taking care of Franciscan obligations. (See that blog entry.)
Then, on Thursday a friend kindly transported us from the Accent Inn, Burnaby, to the Sheraton Guildford in Surrey for the conference.
My husband had to amuse himself while I attended the Surrey International Writers' Conference on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The conference was excellent as always. I didn't manage to connect with friends as I usually do, and that was the only disappointment.
It's so hard to get to all the workshops I like, while still taking the opportunities to meet with agents for pitch sessions and with fellow writers for blue pencils (editing). Still it's worth the effort.
I want to get the calendar in front of me before I tell you what workshops I did manage to attend. For now, here's just the mechanics of getting around.
When I first booked my room at the Sheraton, at the same time that I registered for the conference, I didn't know my husband wanted to come, too. Not to the conference, but to the Lower Mainland, and to extend the visit to include our Franciscan obligations.
As a result, the Sheraton room was not very "handicap accessible" and I didn't think to change that before our arrival. We spent the first night in my original room, but my husband had so many difficulties that they finally were able to give us another room where he could be comfortable.
The staff were exceptionally helpful for the whole time we were there.
My conference registration was for the whole package--which included most meals. They were varied and quite good, but spoiled by the excessively long lines to get to the "buffet" (aka cafeteria style). Surely a hotel of this size and quality can feed a crowd (I think we were about 700 or 800) in a more efficient way that this. I've been to many large banquets where the meals were brought to the tables by staff, so guests could all eat hot food together at the same time, without having to carry the plates ourselves.
Other than that, the weekend was great!