Recent School Visit—Brookfield Academy, Brookfield WI (suburb of Milwaukee, locally pronounced Mi-WAW-kee—Go West, Young Ls!)
DAY 1: Drive, not fly. Lots to transport:
- Large dog prop with doggie disguises.
- Small suitcase for stacks of demo-drafts, F&Gs, galleys, puppy masks (child disguises), train whistle, bottled water, two Fiber One Bars.
- Box of extra books, just in case.
- Corgi-sized purse.
- Other clothes (author disguise)
Snack Stop Somewhere: Travelers’ Oasis. Small Turtle-Pecan Cluster Blizzard on premises. Read all greeting cards.
Arrival: Sheraton Brookfield. Complimentary membership in Sheraton Club (private lounge, business center, comp water/soda, daily Happy Hour—what? ).
Room: Well-appointed overlooking outdoor pool area—what? February.
Evening: Sanitize room (my problem—own it). Lay out toiletries and undergarments for morning, prep in-room coffee system, Fiber One Bar. TV Lite, low volume. Fractured sleep.
DAY 2: Primary School. Lost. Arrive 10 minutes late. Make morning assembly anyway. Saint Rene, Library Media Specialist, does FAQ about me with kids. Check into library. Equipment/Set-up successful. Four presentations. Three bathroom breaks. Sign books. Kindergarteners perform One Pup’s Up in puppy masks. Happy day!
Later: Sheraton Club Happy Hour! Comp appetizers—WI mozzarella sticks w/ marinara sauce; phyllo-wrapped asparagus. One wine ($4, not comp). Sated.
Much later: Not sated. Room service Veggie-wrap. Fade to black.
DAY 3: Upper School. Not lost. Morning assembly. Two hours meet-n-greet students. Great questions both ways. Boy named Ferris after namesake wheel. A sign! Wanted to write about Ferris Wheel for years. Lunch with Saint Stacey, Library Media Specialist, and teacher with artist-son. Publishing-Hamline-SCBWI talk (über-active WI chapter). Love Brookfield Academy. Thank you, thank you!
Return to Hotel: Gift shop. Buy souvenir snowflake hat. Shop owner works 12 hour shifts. No reliable help. Consider hiring on, esp for Sheraton Club’s comp appetizers. Not too great tonight—basic veggies/dip and meatballs.
Homeward Bound: Night driving. Good Roads. Until…BLIZZARD. Snowblind. TRUCKS! Exit to Tomah? Pull over. Hazard lights. Pray. Wait. Pray. Road reappears. GO.
Later: Find Fiber One Bar. Demolish.
DAY 4: Dog. Laundry. Husband. Thank you notes. Notes of thanks.