Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nationals coming up

Nationals is in 27 days and I'm holding on to my money like grim death. Not that I don't have cash over the course of the year--but why is Nationals always in July? The height of tourist season, peak airfare, and why is it always somewhere expensive?

Back when we were discussing this year's diva dinner, a couple of people were talking off-site, when someone said, "I checked out the restaurants. They're no more expensive than a regular restaurant in LA." Which is where she lives. Obviously in the good part, because I checked out the links, and I can't afford a twelve dollar breakfast, seventeen dollar lunch and twenty five dollar dinner for five days. That's fifty dollars a day, not including drinks and tip. After a lot of on-line sleuthing, I found a convenience store with attached deli in the basement of the Dolphin. Not that I think the divas are going to converge on the deli, unless they go one by one and pretend they aren't, lol.

Nationals is weird. There are people with good day jobs, authors who've made it, and everyone else. Moms and everyday people pretending desperately this isn't their big splurge for the year. I've seen people in Goodwill clothes and haute couture, Family Dollar and Ann Taylor loft. People drive for days, hitch rides, and sleep six to a room. Last year, after hiking up and down the hill behind the hotel to the dirty, in-basement McDonald's for the fifteenth time, I tore a hole through the Golden Heart desert reception.

Love that thing. It's supposed to be a chocolate and dessert reception with cash bar, but it's really appetizers and desserts. Last year there were three stations. Two hot and one really long chocolate and dessert table. I wanted a dinner plate, because after the first mad rush nobody bothered with the hot apps. I ate shrimp, salmon and caviar until I could barely move, along with a couple other people who all had the same idea. We found a table on the sidelines, watching the glitterati mingle and guzzle liquor, and talked a busboy into bringing us glasses of water.

I should have talked someone into helping me move a couple of those platters of roast beef , because by the time they started rolling it up, there was the equivalent of half a side of carved beef and three trays of cheese and little sandwiches. I'm not sure whether it was the fear of looking broke, embarrassment or pride that kept people from helping themselves, but I remember the year I first met the divas. Two plates of cheese and sandwiches in one hand and chocolate mousse tarts in the other.


Michelle (MG) Braden said...

I totally stayed by the appy bar last year. That was dinner. The dessert line-up was way too long and all those shrimp? Mmm.

What I do (because I also can't afford those prices), is try to go to as many of the chapter functions as possible. For $15-25 give or take you get food and sometimes a free drink.

You should come to the ESPAN Afternoon Tea on Friday. It's only $10 for non-ESPAN members and there's going to be great food.

jodi said...

You should have found our table, damn it. I was trying to browbeat a librarian into doing a guest blog. Not that it worked or anything.

hmmmm, yes on those shrimp. But I was a huge fan of those little salmon sandwiches.

I looked at the ESPAN tea. I thought it was on Wednesday. :(

I'm moderating a couple of lectures during that time frame. *sniffle* I'll have to hit the deli for a sandwich afterwards.