Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plum Creek Literacy Festival

This week-end was the Plum Creek Literacy Festival in Seward.
Since we had slaved so long and hard last week holding parent-teacher conferences,
we had Friday off so we left town as soon as Marissa, our zoo crew, arrived.

We sped down I-80 so that we could reach A to Z Books in North Platte.
This is a FABULOUS used book store with a tremendous children's section.
At least it was until we arrived! Now it is much smaller.
Much, much, much smaller!

It was a beautiful fall day. A bit chilly, but not so bad that we needed more than our jackets. My trusty sidekick had stocked up on Peanut Butter Oreos, Chocolate Creme Oreos (only to be eaten away from our domicile) and of course, Milk Duds. Life was good.

The countryside was beautiful. It is still
much greener on the other end of the state.
At one point we thought perhaps a filming of
Alfred Hitchcock's Birds was taking place.

This was one of half a dozen groups of starlings.
We also saw about 112 deer between six and seven.
Must not be deer season yet.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in York.
We arrived at about 8:00 central time.
The room was very nice, as Hampton Inns always are.

They had pay for view movies and
guess what we watched!!!

Yep, again --- and it was just as good as the first time!
Mardell thought Vicki and I were crazy ....
we had already listened to the soundtrack for the entire trip down.

We got up the next morning and went down to the continental breakfast.
There was a woman there that I could have sworn was the older sister of a guy in my graduating class. Of course I didn't go up to her and ask who she was. My mother would have, but not me.

We went on to Seward. The event is held at Concordia.
What a beautiful campus.

We registered and immediately began buying books
because we don't have enough in our collection ....
even with the 200 we bought in North Platte.

Then we got into line so that the authors could sign them.
This is Gail Gibbons signing one of the dozen books that we bought.

Oh look! The woman in the yellow behind her head
is the same woman from the motel.
Now I'm truly curious, so I get close enough to read her name tag.

Teresa! Yes, of course, that was her name!

At the motel I couldn't pull up her first name for the life of me. I knew what her last name was, or at least thought I did. But this was too much of a coincidence, so I braved up and asked her if she was originally from Alliance. She was very startled and replied that she was and I explained that I had graduated with her brother. I also told her that she hadn't changed one bit. She hasn't even aged. Bitch. I really hate people who don't age.

Our first session of the morning was Gail Gibbons.
She told us all about her life and how she began writing books.
Did you know she used to work on "The Electric Company" program?
She was very interesting, but she talked too fast and was hard to understand.

Next we went to Cynthia DeFelice.
The hour that she spoke just flew by.
I can hardly wait to read more of her books!

Next we went to Hans Wilhelm.
He is a very funny man.
This hour went by even faster.

He demonstrated how he draws his characters.
It took him 35 seconds to draw Noodles, the dog.

Did I mention that my new camera takes video as well as pictures?
Have I mentioned how incredibly happy I am with my new camera?
My new camera ROCKS!

After Hans, we went to the author luncheon featuring
Mo Willems. He is funny as well.
He is almost sacrilegious about the art of writing children's books.
He had the audience in stitches the entire time he spoke.
I don't think the other authors were as amused as the audience.

The lunch was quite good. We had a turkey cobb salad,
garnished with edible flowers. I got Vicki's flower
because she isn't very adventurous. They also
had the best homemade, or college made, bread
that we have ever tasted. It was even better than Granny's!
Dessert was a chocolate mousse with raspberries. Delicious.

After the luncheon, I got into Lois Lowry's line
so that she could sign The Giver. I didn't know that she was
going to be there signing, so I had to buy another copy.

Of course, I already own fourteen copies of this book.

But, did that matter? No, I had to have her sign it since it is one
of the most powerful stories I have ever read.

She even did it right.

Then we packed up and hit the road
.... on to supper at Ole's.

Ole's in Paxton is well worth the stop.
I hadn't blown every penny on books
so I tried the prime rib. It was scrumptious.

Unfortunately, we will have to go back
because my camera battery died
and I didn't get many pictures of all
the dead animals that watch you eat!

The ones that I did get aren't at all good ...
I had to keep taking my battery out and putting it back in an
effort to get every bit of battery power out of it that I could.

The neon lights reflected in the glass case where
the polar bear resides.

We can hardly wait until next year!


SisterTwo said...

OOOOHHH, Ole's !! Our favorite place to eat. If you ever are traveling down I-80 through Nebraska, you must detour to Paxton to eat at Ole's. It is the best prime rib and if you are lucky the buffet will be open. All you can eat prime rib! Once many years ago, I even had the Rocky Moutian oysters there. Of course I can have those any day of the week.... which I don't and wouldn't. But the group I was traveling with had never had rocky mountian oyseters or as we know them deep fat fried calf nuts. Yummm. I think I will stick to the prime rib. But the atmosphere there is the best and the prices are reasonable. You have to try it.
Sister one, so glad you bought more children's books. But really where are your students sitting now? You have to be out of room in your classroom.

SisterTwo said...

Forgot to ask, did you get a new car?

Sister One said...

No, my wonderful, marvelous, incredible teaching partner drove ..... the entire way in her car. I slept and read in the back seat. Oh yeah, and ate Milk Duds! A lot of Milk Duds!

Sharon and Tony Singleton said...

The video is great!! I love taping and watching these short video clips. Good job!