Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Harlequin Party

Held at the San Francisco Four Seasons Hotel...I knew we were in for a good time when I saw the doors to the ballroom were flanked by white tuxedoed waiters handing out signature martinis called a Grape Fog...a combination of vodka, chardonnay, and something else, with a grape sitting at the bottom of the glass. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad!

The ballroom was enormous, awash with soft pink lighting. In the center of the room was a the bar (open), and overhead was an enormous pink sculpture of the Golden Gate Bridge. Each corner of the ballroom had been designated as an area of San Franciso...the corner where they set up the enormous chocolate fountain and the fondue buffet was named Ghirardelli Square. They also had food buffets in two other corners that looked amazing, but I didn't eat anything. There was a cute DeeJay and a good-sized dance floor. We were some of the first to arrive, so I was able to take some pictures of the ballroom before it became too crowed.
There were these pretty trees scattered around the ballroom, surrounded by padded benches. I heard (the next day) that the dancers actually felled some of these trees in their dancing exuberance. I walked over to the party with Holly Jacobs and Nancy Warren, each of whom received a Harlequin award for having written more than 25 books. Here is Nancy, wearing a pretty green dress (although it looks more yellow in this picture)...

Here's another picture of the bar, and you can make out the bridge structure above. This is still early...within an hour, however, the ballroom was packed so tightly that you could barely maneuver your way through the room, and the dance floor spilled out to include the area around the tables themselves. The music was mostly from the 80's...songs like It's Raining Men, and We Are Family. It was very loud, very raucous.I spent some time with my new friends from Australia, Emily Forbes and her husband, James. I met some really wonderful authors who flew all the way from Down Under to attend the conference. I found them to be incredibly warm and funny. Here is a picture of Emily and her husband. Doesn't she look beautiful?

Of course, this was still early on in the evening. It wasn't until a bit later that people really starting letting loose. There were no lampshades, but James made do with his napkin.

It was a very fun party, although I found it overwhelming. There were so many people there! There were men in kilts, men in shorts, and women wearing everything from jeans and tank tops to long, sequined evening gowns. There were many (many, many) people there who weren't Harlequin authors, and the following day I heard that next year, they may require you show your invitation at the door in order to attend. Maybe next year, I'll have a picture of myself with my good friends (and future Harlequin authors) Cathryn and Barbara! That would make the party absolutely perfect.

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