Good morning, loyal LIT SOUP readers! As many of you know, I'm at Worldcon now, and will be blogging for www.conreporter.com, as well. So this post will be tagged accordingly.
I'm pleased to report that I arrived in Montreal yesterday afternoon, at about 5pm, with just a slight flight delay. The Montreal airport is very clean and very long. We walked through an endless, wide, labyrinth of corridors following signs that had happy luggage symbols on them. They're not kidding when they tell you that people here really do prefer to speak French. And being as I can't speak a word of French other than Bonjour and Merci...it's a tiny bit overwhelming. =) On the other hand, one can really imagine that you're in a foreign country, even though it's just Canada. And technically, Canada is a foreign country, but the English speaking portions are so similar to the US that it's hard to tell when you visit those areas.
Anyway, arrived at the airport, breezed through customs, and got an actual stamp in my passport. Despite going several places with it, I've never gotten a real stamp--I'm happy to report that it's as cool as I thought it would be! I got here and wandered around my hotel for a bit. I ran into Matt Rotundo and Paolo Bacigalupi, hugged both, and with their help I located the restaurant where Lou Anders of Pyr was twittering. I hung out with Lou for awhile, meeting two gentlemen from Israel, Jetse de Vries (sp?), and a lovely guy whose name I can't recall. After awhile, Cheryl Morgan managed to get herself out of the airport and to my hotel, and I got to meet her in person! I've been talking to Cheryl online for months now, but I had never met her in person, so I was very happy!
By the time Cheryl found me, Paul Cornell (of Dr. Who fame) had joined us too. Cheryl, Paul, and Lou all compared what day they got to have a meal with Neil Gaiman this weekend (I do not have a meal with Mr. Gaiman =). We then decamped to Old Montreal, where we had an absolutely excellent meal at a French-Catalan restaurant called Les Pyrennes. It was delicious beyond belief. I had a glazed duck pastry, twelve hour braised lamb, and a giant profiterole for dessert. Cheryl could speak more French than the rest of us, so she was able to be kind to the waitstaff, and they just put up with the rest of us. =) They did give us menus in English though, for which I was everlastingly grateful.
After dinner, we went back towards the hotels and convention center. I'm staying at the Delta, but people are scattered around the area. The Delta is the party hotel (my reason for staying there), but the Intercontinental is where the "official" bar is. So to the Intercontinental we went, where we discovered a very classy-looking bar. Complete with George R. R. Martin holding court at a corner table; I was not brave enough to introduce myself to him. =)
Also at the bar were John Scalzi and his wife, Krissy; Pablo Defendini, Farrah Mendelsohn, Ellen Klages, Mary Robinette Kowal, and many others whose names immediately escape me. Ellen insisted on starting her own lounge table because she had a zeppelin. Which was hilarious, even though I wasn't drinking... but this is Ellen Klages who I've found to be generally funny whenever I encounter her at a convention. I left early, at about midnight, because my right shoulder has been killing me lately (yay, arthritis!). Came back to my room, read e-mail, and collapsed into bed. Totally forgot to charge my Blackberry...
And now, I'm going to unpack the rest of my clothes from my suitcase, take a shower, and hie myself over to the convention center to register and do my reading at 12:30pm. Tonight, more parties, attempting to critique people's stories for the writer's workshop, and dinner with my clients!