>The first part of the adventure was locating the Amtrak station in Charlottesville and boarding the Crescent for my first train trip in years. We pulled out right on time and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was. There were brief stops in Orange, Culpepper, Manassas, Alexandria and DC, and then in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Trenton and Newark before our slightly early arrival in Penn Station. Because I travelled light and it was a nice day, I walked the 20 blocks up 7th to the hotel, checked in and got settled and then headed over to the Hilton to register for the conference. Given the craziness at the registration tables on Thursday morning, I was glad I could get that out of the way on Wednesday. I bumped into people I knew right away (Liam, Michael, Susan, Karen, Sheryl, Gwynyth and Priscilla), caught a glimpse of some of the big names on the agenda like John Irving and Alice McDermott, and had time to study the conference program to begin figuring out what panels I would attend – no easy task given that there are something like 20 panels in any time slot.
With my friend Susan I went out for dinner at a Thai restaurant, where we ran into some other people I knew, Renee and Julie. Then we went back to the bar in the Sheraton where Dan Wickett had invited the EWN crew to congregate. Dan’s report on that event is here, and that about covers it, and brings Wednesday to a close.