My goals for my first day at the Romance Writers of America conference were simple…arrive in time for the luncheon and then meet with my wonderful editor at 2:00pm. With a 6:00am flight there shouldn't have been any concern with meeting these goals. But as some of you well know, my plans were thwarted by a 3 hour flight delay.
At 11:00am, when I reached Newark airport, I went in search of my shuttle. A man in a lovely knit hat asked me to lend him some cash so that he could book a hotel room. I explained to him that I don’t travel with cash, so the man in the lovely knit hat then asked if I had anything else I could give him. I should have said, “Yes. Advice. Stay away from airports.”
In an attempt to save money, I had booked the “Super Shuttle” from Newark airport into downtown Manhattan. At 11:25am a man steps inside Ground Transportation and yells out, “Meee-lah”, “Meee-lah”. I’m thinking, could he possibly be calling, Miller? Rather than respond with my given surname, I wave my hand and called out, “Meee-lah here.”
I am taken to a van with twelve people crammed inside, each being transported to unique and widespread spots in New York City. I'm reminded of Romancing the Stone as Joan Wilder sits on the Chilean bus with a chicken on her lap. The panic begins to escalate. A panic enhanced by Betsy Horvath's frantic texts of, "Are you here yet?!" A blind passenger asks to be dropped off in Chinatown. He can’t see his suitcase, but describes it as being black with wheels. That depiction certainly distinguishes it from the eleven other black suitcases with wheels. We all begin searching name tags to find the blind man’s suitcase, and then remarkably, the blind man, his cane, and his black wheeled suitcase are left on the curb in Chinatown.
We have now been on this shuttle for an hour and a half and any chance at reaching the hotel in time for the luncheon are lost. All that is left is to pray that I’ll make it in time for my editor appointment. I arrive at the hotel at 1:47pm and quickly check in, gauging that I can run up to my room with enough time to drop off my bag and make it back downstairs for the 2pm tryst with my editor. Then I see the elevator line…
Yes, I made it at 2:03pm, but the suspense of the day took a toll on my hair. :) Here is me and my fantastic editor, Melissa.
Maureen A. Miller