“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”
– Tim Cahill
Last night I attended the Passport to Romance: Free Reader Appreciation Event at The Westin Bellevue ballroom.
I snagged my girl friend, Caring*, and we drove on down I-405 South. After a week of mostly drizzly rain and bright cloud-covered days, the sky decided to cloud up darkly and dump buckets on Washington residents. Accident after accident lined the crowded freeway.
Downtown Bellevue was hopping as we stopped-started-stopped again, slogged through traffic, and parked underneath the hotel. Before heading to the ballroom, we bumped into Jacquie Rogers, Diane Rodes Garland, and CJ Obray. We had a quick chat before riding the escalators up, up, up to the third floor. The ballroom was decorated with bar tables scattered throughout, each featuring an author and their published works, goodies, and freebies!
Around the edges of the room were a variety of gift baskets up for raffle. Not having much cash on us, my friend bought 1 raffle ticket, I bought 2. We made our entries for the raffle baskets we were itchy to win. The one I entered for contained a Kindle, books, and a bottle of Jameson that was converted into a lamp. I had my eyes on that Kindle… and created a mental list of people to give the lamp. The proceeds went to GSRWA to keep its operations running smoothly.
As the night continued, Caring and I bumped elbows and chatted with some of my favorite local authors, picked up some freebies, including books, bags, bookmarks, pens, candy, chocolate, etc.
The end of the event drew near, and they began to announce the winners of the raffles. A line of male cover models presenting each gift basket and prize to the winners.
We watched one woman walk away with not one… not two… but THREE prize baskets! (She was clearly a a big supporter of GSRWA.)
Next up, my bid!
Curses! Foiled again! Alas, it was not meant to be, that Kindle and I. No worries, I figured I wouldn’t win anything. However, there were so many free things, I cannot complain. I even walked away with a free, stemless wine glass. Also, oou may not know this about me, but I am a mass contest enter…er. I am fiercly competitive, but a joyful loser, and often win free book contests!
Back to our story…
As Caring and I watched all of the baskets being raffled, there was one last prize. The beefy cover model dudes were lined up, everyone was standing for the last winner to be called out…
Caring won her raffle!
Huzzah! Her solitary ticket, a last minute placement among so many other hopefuls, was picked out of the tiny paper bag! She went home with a gift tote, a bottle of Vampire (chocolate) wine, a necklace, and a few other trinkets of winning glory!
Me, Caring, and L.E. Wilson!
Please disregard the extremely flyaway, frizzy hair of mine.
I didn’t have time to curl it, and WA weather is merciless to hair.
Caring’s overall prize haul
(including the fab sunglasses tote from the fab Lori Lyn!)
What a spectacular, fun-filled event! Caring was introduced to countless authors who provide so much literary escape, and I was able to reconnect with some amazing people from RWA/GSRWA! It saddened me slightly that I was unable to keep up with my membership to RWA, GSRWA, and unable to attend Emerald City Writer’s Conference 2015, but I have hopes to attend next year.
Passport to Romance is a big hit, and I hope RWA/GSRWA hosts one again next year!
*Name has been changed for privacy.