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Lady Kim:

When I first mentioned the trip that was in the works to my friend Rachelle at work (the one that told me to read Diana Gabaldon in the first place) she was all for it. I kept saying "I can't afford it, I can't go." Then when Air Canada went on strike and off strike, alas they had a seat sale, and so did the other airlines. Thinking that maybe I could go, I made my decision.

Then Rachelle couldn't go!! By then I had talked myself into going so it was settled, I booked my flight! I got a lot of flack from people that said things like "you're going alone?" "meeting net friends?" "to meet an author?" I basically ignored them and said yes, yes and yes.

I left on the Wednesday afternoon, arriving in Vancouver at 4:30pm. My dh's Uncle was at the airport to greet me. I stayed with them and they were so good to me. After a great dinner I called Judie. We decided that she would pick me up and we would go for a sightseeing drive and out for coffee. Love those Starbucks! Meeting Judie and Charyl was great, they are both so nice. I knew they would be! Judie's dh Rick is wonderful, and Tamara (Judie's daughter) was so sweet. What a nice loving family they are.

Thursday was spent shopping at a nearby mall. That night we were to meet DG so I was excited all day! Judie, Lorri, Tamara and Charyl picked me up at 6:00 pm and we drove to Surrey. Lorri is great! She had us laughing all the way to Surrey. Of course you already heard about the heartbreak we were in for at the book store. We arrived to find that DG's plane was going to be very late and she wasn't going to be there for the book signing. Talk about disappointment. We sort of milled around the book store, trying to decide what to do. Since none of us had ever seen Mandy or Faith, we asked a few young girls if they were them. Then being ever the comedian that I am, I decided to "pose" as DG and sign Lorri's book. I don't think I look anything like her, but it was fun anyway. I sure got a laugh when a woman actually thought I was her!! Also we met a woman named Hedy who was there to have her book signed. We accosted her and gave her a LOL card and told her to join us on the board. I'm so glad she did :) Then after leaving a note for Mandy and Faith, we trooped off to the hotel.

Upon arriving at the hotel, we met Hope and Kate. They were so nice too (and people worried about me meeting "net people"!!). Hope was instrumental in boosting our spirits and getting the party going. We also met Kate's mom who was a hoot! She is an author as well and was attending the conference. Full of stories she is.

Mandy and Faith showed up too and they were sweet and nice girls too. We had a fine time lally-gabbing and getting to know each other. We all agreed that we should leave a note for DG telling her to show up no matter what time it was!

Well, poor Mandy had to leave early so she missed all the excitment. At around 11:00 there was a knock at the door and be darned if it wasn't DG! Well Charyl nearly fainted because she was expecting Kiltboy. I didn't know Kiltboy was coming so I was just damned excited to see DG!! Not even 5 minutes later another knock at the door, and who should walk in but a young lad in a kilt. I couldn't believe my eyes. Judie's reaction was the best "He's not a stripper is he?" Hahaha, he was a stripper, and strip he did, and he did it well. Once he was done, Charyl and I cornered DG and asked her some questions and visited with her. I was wondering the whole time why Kiltboy wasn't leaving. I guess they paid him for an hour so that's how long he stayed for. <G>

The whole evening was more than I could have imagined. It was such a thrill to meet Diana Gabaldon, and to meet some of the hosed ladies that I have gotten to know so well on the internet. You guys are great! Love ya!

Oh yes, I can't forget about Friday. The girls (Hope, Kate, Charyl, Judie, Tamara) picked me up for a late lunch. We visited some more and I was told we would be visiting a tattoo parlor later. Hmmm I thought, the dh won't believe me! Well, I have the dude's business card and pictures to prove it now, so he has no choice but to believe me!! After bidding Hope and Kate a fond farewell, Judie, Charyl, Tamara (oh yeah we picked up Rick somewhere along the line too) and Rick went back to Judie's house to write up our story. Judie has a really cool office and wow you should see her on her computer. She is awesome! Talk about smokin' fingers!

Charyl and Judie drove me back to the place I was staying and we said our goodbyes. I stayed in Vancouver till Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit! Judie thank you again for starting the Ladies of Lallybroch message board. Without you the meeting wouldn't have happened!

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