As many of you know, I had an amazing time last weekend at SIBA with Sandy, Heather, and Jill. Since I had so much fun, I thought it would be appropriate to recap the fun for you all in excruciating detail. ;) So this is the first of four posts recapping the awesomeness that was SIBA 2012.

Thursday morning Sandy and I left Orlando for Naples, a drive that took about four hours. Of course, we were chatting the entire drive so it went by super fast. We also stopped for lunch at a delicious little cafe in Punta Gorda. When we arrived at the hotel, after checking in, Jill and Heather meandered their way into our room and we got to meet Jill for the first time! I love how when book bloggers who have never met meet for the first time it is like we have known each other forever. The four of us hung out and chatted for an hour or so before going downstairs to meet the bus we were taking to a bookstore event and dinner that night.

We got on the bus and headed over to Sunshine Books, the only independent bookstore on Marco Island. In fact, they have two locations, so after checking out the first store we all got back on the bus and headed over to the second location, where they had wine and cheese waiting for us! These bookstores were super cute and I was sad that I don’t really live anywhere in the area in order to frequent them more often.

After touring the bookstores, we went to dinner with a large group of booksellers and authors at an Italian restaurant nearby. At our table, we were lucky enough to be joined by the bookstore owner and several authors. We met author Jenny Milchman, whose debut novel, Cover of Snow, looks AWESOME and will be out in January. Also at our table was Peter Golden, author of Comeback Love, Steve Piacente, author of Bootlicker, and Wendy Kupfor, author of Let’s Hear it for Almigal, a children’s book about a girl with hearing loss. At the end of the dinner, which was supposed to be dutch, we learned that JKS Communications took care of the bill! Crazy nice of them. :) Although the food service was distressingly slow, the conversation (and wine) flowed wonderfully and I am pretty sure we all enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

It was an awesome first day, one that showed me the entire event promised to be full of bookish, nerdy fun. Stay tuned for days two, three, and four!