I was undeniably excited for the first day!!! It was the first day of all the adventures, and I also had to speak at blogger con that day, which resulted in me being a bundle of nerves. When I woke up, I realized I still looked tired, and had dark circles under my eyes. It didn't look promising at all. But I just gave a sigh and hoped to God that I didn't look as unhealthy and tired as I thought I looked, and set out to start the day!
Since Wednesday wasn't a busy day schedule wise, all my roommates decided to sleep in. But I on the other hand, had to get there earlier as I had Blogger Con and had to pick up my badge at 8. I met up with Ashley in the hotel lobby, and we tried to find the way to the convention center. It was pretty funny actually, we got lost on the way, and kind of went through the same way twice, that a man standing there called out to us saying, "You two again! Are you lost or something? :D"
I was not that interested in Blogger Con's first panel, so I set out to find the room my panel is going to be held at, even though it was only around 9.30. My panel didn't start until 10, so I wandered around just outside the room, after going into a private panic attack after seeing the sheer size of the room. There, I saw Rachel @ Read Queen who was there with her mum and sister. We know each other from twitter, and it was so exciting to meet her in person! Her mum and sister were also so sweet, and we ran into each other quite often throughout the three days as well!
After I went in, I met Hannah @ Irish Banana and Andye @ Reading Teen who were on the panel with me, along with Liza who was our moderator. I've always been a huge fan of Hannah and Andye, so it was pretty intimidating for me to do a panel with them, when obviously they know more and have more experience than me! But they were so sweet, as well as Liza, and made sure that I am not too nervous or scared. Andye also had this cool Hagrid Funko Pop which we kept in front of us so he acted as our lucky charm! :D
When people started coming inside, I was practically shivering. I was thankful that no one could see my shaking legs. But when I started talking, it became all easy, after all, my panel was about one of my favourite blogging topics ever - social media presence. I might be biased, but I thought that our panel was a great success and we were able to touch on quite a lot of topics and discuss a lot of useful stuff!
I also got a lot of great feedback personally, and people were amazed by the fact that I was 17 and I came from a long distance. I felt so good that day to say the least! :D
After the panel was over, I went and joined my roommates, who were at Starbucks by then. I also met Karen from Kiss in Blue Karen - who was so sweet - and her daughter, with whom I was hanging out by lunch! I also realized that is indeed true that you go without eating during BEA, because I practically had one brownie and some apple juice for the entire day, after the coffee I had in morning!
Since I had a table talk at 1 for Blogger Con, I didn't bother entering the exhibit hall. I just hung around before setting out to blogger con again. I met up with Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, who was my co leader at the table with me on diversity in books. It was so cool to meet her, as she's a volunteer at We Need Diverse Books, and we had some enlightening convos before we went to set out our table.
While the other leaders were preparing for their discussions, I met Steph @ Cuddlebuggery. I am a huge fan of the Cuddlebuggery girls, and Steph helped me quite a lot with my VISA stuff when I applied for the second time. So it was amazing to meet her! I also briefly met Shelly @ Read Sleep Repeat - my wonderful co host of Diverse Reads Challenge! I couldn't talk to her much that day, but then we caught up for that in the following days! :)
The table talk had three rounds, and I loved the enlightening and inspiring convos we had with each batch. I made a lot of new friends, while meeting Vee who runs one of my favourite diverse sites ever - Gay YA. Seriously guys, their master lists rock! You should check them all out!!!
After the table talks were over, I said my goodbyes to everyone at Blogger Con, and left to the exhibit hall. I practically had nothing else on my schedule, so I was freely roaming around while trying to catch any familiar faces or names. The only exciting things after that would be the drop for Replica, and later the one for Aerie and Three Dark Crowns - though I didn't pick up the latter, because I really wanted to make the signing later. I also picked up The Movie Version and The Scourge randomly, and that made my tiny haul for Day 1.
After coming back to the hotel, we decided that we are going out for dinner. While walking out in the streets, I was totally on tourist mode, fascinated with the streets of Chicago. I also realized that I was extremely cold - and I stayed cold throughout my stay there. My spoilt-by-the-tropical-weather-body got chilled extremely soon, and it was quite annoying!
Anyway, we ended up going to this Sushi place, which was really new for me as I've never eaten sushi in my life before. But I am always up for trying new food, so I got myself a plate of sushi, and I have to say that despite it being an acquired taste, I liked it in a strange way!
After dinner, we set out to explore Chicago, and CJ and Rashika - who were our city experts - took us to the Bean. Well, don't kill me when I say this, but I really didn't get the point of it and all the fuss, but it was still nice to visit. My favourite part was the whole optical illusion thing it had inside, it was so cool!
Even though it was all so nice and fascinating, we were also extremely tired. I was so spent that I was exclaiming that the regular spiral pathway thingy we were walking on felt like the Great Wall of China. When we reached a point where our exhaustion took over, we went back to the hotel.
Back at the hotel, I worked on my schedule for the next day - which was chaotic, let me tell you all about it in tomorrow's recap - and talked to my mum - who was frantic. And emotional. And made me cry a bit as well, because I missed home so much. Satisfied with my first day, I hit the bed and just went to sleep.
That's a wrap for Day 1!!! Don't forget to check out Day 2's recap on the blog tomorrow!