Two weeks ago, I had intended on going to the the "breakfast with Darth Vader" portion of the Star Wars sleepover at the McWane Science Center to take pictures for al.com, but that was when Emily got sick, so I had to stay home with her instead. I'd told the folks at McWane that I'd be there though, so I felt bad about not going. I e-mailed their PR director a couple days later to offer my apologies and promised that I would definitely be at their upcoming book release party for Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows.
I've been pumped about the McWane Center's next Harry Potter party since book six came out. The event they hosted was phenomenal. The entire museum was converted into Hogwart's. They had magic classes (Care of Magical Creatures, Charms, Herbology, Potions...), Marauder's Maps, a Sorting Ceremony, and hundreds of people dressed up. It totally blew away any book store's midnight release party. I expect this time will herald an even bigger extravaganza, and I've been encouraging my friends from Huntsville to drive down here to join the fun.
A few days ago Misty was invited to attend a weekend veterinary conference hosted by Novartis at the Opryland Hotel. It's basically an all-expenses-paid trip, with hotel, meals, and gas mileage covered by Novartis, and she can bring me along. Misty has long wanted to visit the Opryland Hotel, but we hadn't found an excuse to visit Nashville, and we didn't want to make such a trip for the hotel, alone. This mini-vacation seems like the perfect opportunity, so she signed us up to go. The only problem is that it's the same weekend as the Harry Potter party. And even though the release of book seven is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, we still had to weigh book release party vs. free vacation.
I'm sorry, Harry, but the free vacation won out. I hope you and your friends prevail over Voldemort. Your book will be waiting for me on my front porch when I get back.