Where do I even begin?
Where did I leave off?
Where am I now?
I dunno. But I'll try to achieve a little recap.
Well. I woke up early (early! 4:30 am after staying up until 1 to finish my catalog, etc.). Checked flight status, cancelled of course, so called. No flights possible until Saturday. (BIG knot in belly. do they have ANY idea that my entire livelihood depends on me getting tho Philly on time?) so I said. Uh, that won't work I need to be ther Thursday morning at the latest. Luckily a very nice woman kept at it, and came up with me flying to Charlotte Wednesday, then on to Philly on Thursday. Ok. That can work. Got my confirmation numbers and adjusted my attitude.
I called B ( who offered to take me to the airport). My plan for personal grooming (washing hair, etc,) went out the window and I grabbed my stuff and she came and we drove to the airport.
I got to the ticket counter and the agent said... "we have no flights to Charlotte. We've never had a flight to Charlotte. Lots of people have come this morning with these confirmations, but we have no flight to Charlotte. The earliest flight you can get to Philly is Saturday (after the show has opened, and it takes me at LEAST a full day to set up WITH help). She had been turning people away all morning.
At that moment she somehow got word that there was a "ferry" flight (no passengers, just bringing an aircraft to Charlotte) that was opening up to passengers. I was the first to get confirmed on that flight. Amazing. Because of that, there were only around 20 people on that plane, so I took a wonderful little blue pill, drank the whiskey the attendant brought me for free, and stretched out on the entire row and dozed the whole way. Heaven.
Landed in Charlotte (cold!) and got a $49 room at Quality Inn. Slept around 5 hours before getting up to shuttle to the airport again.
Checked in, delayed flight, but NOT cancelled, as all the other ones had been.
Finally got on the plane, sat on the tarmac for 3 hours, then went to Philly. Whew. Texted all my crew, most could make it, some brought friends. I shuttled to my hotel, paid the bellman to bring the 8 boxes we'd shipped via UPS to the hotel, to cart them over to the convention center. No easy task in nearly 4 feet of snow...
And we started setting up.
10 hours later (midnight) I left, went to the hotel, had a martini, some tuna tartar, and went to my room to sleep.
A mere 5 hours later my alarm went off, and I made in-room coffee and washed my hair, got dressed, put on make up (the only personal grooming I had time for) and headed for the convention center to be there early for the electrician to come, as one half of my lights had blown out in a shower of sparks as I was setting up. He fixed them!!!! (I have no idea what it cost).
The show opened and it was a flurry of orders. Buyers LOVED my new work and were terribly impressed that I keep raising the bar with creativity. Wow. I lapped it up, as nutrition after all the struggles.
My system has to get easier though. With four lines, it is (more than) a little complex to take orders. The complexity, not remembering the prices, and not even taking how exhausted I am into account. But I'm "making it work".
I feel SOOOOO grateful to have made it here. There are lots of exhibitors who can't make it in until tomorrow. My heart goes out to them. I hope to be able to help some of them, as I was helped in a similar tough time.
The show closed at 6 tonight. I was happy to shut down and head to the wonderful hotel restaurant happy hour where I had a (well, eventually 2) martinis, and fabulous tuna tartar, and then coconut curry mussels. $5 for each (martinis and food!).
I met a wonderful couple who said incredible things to me that made me feel so full. That's all I'll say, let it suffice that it was pretty amazing and I'll keep it in my heart forever.
Now I'm in my (lovely!) room, I have the Olympics on, and I have promised myself a full 10 hours of sleep tonight (hey, first time more than 5 in.. well... days!)
And I plan to wake up early enough to work out in the morning.
And yes, my new fit, slender body created a very satisfying stir today.
There is so much more, but after 2 martinis and insanely hard work on very little sleep for days now I am deeply exhausted...
So that's all you get for now.
I'm exhausted, but so very grateful. It's all good.