Tuesday, July 12, 2016 is my arrival day in San Diego, California for this year’s RWA conference.  I traveled with my critique partner Tamra Baumann.  Although we’d originally planned to drive to the airport in my car and park it there, her husband’s work schedule changed enough that he was able to drive us.  After the usual long effort for me to get through TSA, we were flying to Las Vegas where we changed planes.

On the flight, we happened to sit next to a lady heading to her own conference in Las Vegas. She discovered we were romance authors and immediately checked her phone to find our books.  Turned out, she’d already read of all Tamra’s books and enjoyed them.  They exchanged contact information, so she could keep up on the upcoming releases.  (Note to self:  Get my books up!)

While we ate lunch in Las Vegas, we agreed this was an omen of a great upcoming conference.  In the waiting area, we met another conference goer who also would be attending the Beau Monde mini-conference tomorrow (the Regency historical era.)  Because we’d only met a day or so ago via e-mail, neither of us knew what the other looked like.  We had exchanged info about appearance and what we’d be wearing/carrying.  It reminded me of a spy movie and how the contact would be the one in a trench coat and carrying a newspaper.  🙂  Since I couldn’t get the Uber app to work on my phone (technology and I don’t always get along), we used Tamra’s, and all three of us rode together to the Marriott Marquis on San Diego’s Marina.

After checking in, Tamra and I walked the two blocks to the grocery store for salads and sandwiches.  Fortunately, our rooms came with refrigerators that were empty of all those expensive little snacks that can clutter an interior.  This conference would be providing two breakfasts and a lunch.  To cut down the expense (and calories!) of eating out every meal, we shopped at Ralph’s.

However, she and I wanted to celebrate our first day in San Diego, so we ate a nice dinner at a restaurant overlooking the marina.  Very beautiful.  According to her tracker, she’d walked over 11,000 steps today.  Since I was right beside her, I did, too!

She told me how as a Navy brat, her family had lived on Coronado Island, which we could see from our table.  The bridge hadn’t yet been built, so every time they needed to visit the doctor or other errands on the mainland, they had to take a ferry.  Afterward, we went up to her room on the eleventh floor and sat on her balcony to watch the sunset, boats and seagulls flying by below us.

Then I left to meet some of the Beau Monde members to play Regency cards games.  About five of us were taught by Cara King.  She was also a Golden Heart finalist in the Traditional Regency category.  It was good to see her again after so many years.  She has become an expert on teaching Regency dance and will be doing so at tomorrow night’s soiree.  Tonight, she taught us how to play Cassino.  The game has two ‘S’, which reminded me of the extra ‘R’ Albuquerque had originally started out with.

Playing cards was fun, but then it was time for bed.  Wednesday would be a very full day, and I needed my rest!