So, here I am in Columbia, MO. It looks like a nice town. I did some driving around last night (mostly shopping for Preteen’s birthday, which is on Friday). The University of Missouri is here (that’s where I’m speaking today), but it’s not a huge city. 80-some thousand people, according to the sign when I drove into town.
I was a little disappointed in my dinner last night, though…when I’m away from home, I like to eat at a restaurant I can’t eat at at home. And my first choice is almost always something Asian. So I asked the person who checked me in at the hotel where the best Chinese food in town was. Apparently, there’s a Chinese restaurant just a couple blocks from where I’m staying, but he said the best one was actually downtown. He looked up the name and address for me and told me I’ll need to go “upstairs.” So I followed his directions…and there was indeed a Chinese restaurant at the address he’d given me. And it had the right name. I thought the “upstairs” part was a little weird because yes, I did walk up a few stairs…but the stairs were outside the building. When this guy said, “you need to go upstairs,” I took it to mean the restaurant was on the second floor of the building. There was no second floor on this building. But I figured I had to be in the right place. So I went in and ordered. Unfortunately, if this is truly the best Chinese food in town, I feel very sorry for the people of Columbia, MO.
But when I got back to my hotel, I looked up restaurants in the yellow pages and saw there was ANOTHER one downtown…about 3 blocks from where I was. And according to the yellow pages, this other one is “the original Chinese Restaurant in Columbia.” And it is located on the second floor. The ad in the yellow pages also claims, “the finest chef’s exclusive in Columbia.” I have a feeling THAT’S the place I wanted.
And I passed a Macaroni Grill along the way! I LOVE Macaroni Grill (we don’t have one in Iowa City/Coralville). I ALMOST pulled in there…but decided no, I want the best Chinese food in town.
Ah well…it’s not ALL about the food. That’s not the only reason I do author visits. I’m looking forward to my presentations today. I wasn’t clear on whether the kids who are coming to this event are coming just from Columbia, or if they’re coming from other towns, too. But they’re all kids who have done something special to get to come to this event…they’ve read all the Mark Twain award books or a certain number of Newbery’s or something like that. So they should be a good audience.