There were fish tacos at the Iron Cactus, a birthday dinner Sunday night at Zaca (which is an Italian restaurant that is both beautiful and delicious), a dinner with friends at Mortons, and Boudros which is tucked away (or wedged away) in a small space on the Riverwalk between two other places and does local and sustainable food. Everything we had there was wonderful but for desert there I had a tortilla fan, which was a tortilla fried and covered with cinnamon, and served with cream and fruit. It sounds like it would be too sweet, but it wasn't, it was perfect.
We also ate at Fogo de Chao, which is a Brazilian all-you-can-eat place that was very good (we missed the sign for it and found it by the smell -- it smells a little like someone is cooking beef on a teppanyaki) with a cold salad and vegetable bar, side dishes of potatoes, fried plantains, polenta, etc, and then when you signal you're ready they run at you with skewers of all kinds of meat. And we had caipirinhas which are a popular Brazilian drink because they are DELICIOUS.
The con: All my panels went really well, and were great to do. My reading went really well too. I had the most people I think I've ever had at a reading, at least 40 or 45 people, maybe more. I had an hour slot, so I read a long section from the Raksura novella, then took questions, then did a bit from Emilie and the Hollow World. There was a lot of programming I wanted to see but didn't get a chance. There was an astronaut and I missed her, and a NASA engineer and I missed her, and a Weta (Peter Jackson's special effects company from New Zealand) panel and I missed it, etc.
The only panel I was really worried about the topic was the "What Happened to Happy Endings?" panel, where as Jessica Reisman pointed out, there has never been a time when all the endings to stories were happy, and it's sure not like all the endings now are sad. But the moderator started the panel by saying that the title was clearly a nostalgic question that was invoking a past that had never actually occurred, so we basically just talked about what makes an ending happy or sad or triumphant or satisfying or tragic etc and it turned out really well.
The parties: The Booksworn eat-a-bug-for-a-book party went great as usual. The suite was a bit small so once the party started it was completely packed. I stayed by the book table and got people to eat bugs and gave away free books and only occasionally caught a glimpse of the other hosts. By about 10:30 I was getting dizzy and quite a few of the books were gone, so I left to go back to our hotel and collapse.
The Drinks with Authors party also went great, and it was in a much bigger room at Ernie's Pub at the Crockett Hotel up near the Alamo, and the noise level was extreme. People would come up and talk to us and we would be like, "We can't hear you, but you seem nice." After a while we were really tired and I thought if I took a nap on the floor people would freak out and think I was dead, so we staggered back to the hotel, had drinks at the bar, and then collapsed.
We also went to the Random House party which was up in the bar on top of the Tower of the Americas, which is very tall, and rotates. (It was built for the 1968 Hemisfair.) While we were waiting for the elevator, men and women in full firefighter gear kept coming out of a door to the stairwell, and the manager told us they train by running up and down the stairs. The party had free drinks and appetizers (satay, fried shrimp, ahi tuna nachos, and spinach feta pockets, which if that sounds like a good dinner, it was) and we stayed until it got very packed, then went back to the hotel, had drinks in the bar, and collapsed. (There was a lot of drinking followed by collapsing at this con.)
Stuff: I didn't buy much at all, just a con t-shirt and a sweatshirt. There was a lot of books, jewelry, and t-shirts in the dealer's room, and free books were being given away throughout the con in registration.
On Monday when the con was winding down, we went over to La Villita which is a historic restored Spanish-German village across from the Hemisfair Park, which now has shops for a lot of local artists.
Here's a few pictures of Hemisfair Park and the Tower of the Americas.