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Quilt Festival wrap-up

Had a v nice drive in. V easy to park for a change. All indoors too. Mom got us 2 nights at the hotel on-site, so we could walk 8 spaces from our parking -> hotel -> con without ever going outdoors.

Quilt Festival (QF) is 4 days, Thurs - Sun, with some early stuff on Wednesday for diehards who paid extra. The nights Mom got were Sat/Sun which actually worked out better - I didn't have to take time off from work and Huxrin didn't have to take time off from school.

We left Saturday morning and got there before it opened at 10. Saturday was shopping day. I went thru each aisle and noted on notepad in phone the booth # of things that interested me, what it was, and the cost. There were 22 aisles so a lot to look thru. ([personal profile] seidoo_ryuu, I did find that one booth, but it didn't have anything I was interested in and the women seemed a little aloof. Or maybe they were just from Minnesota.)

Then mom and I had lunch. Mom bought chick fil a. All they had left were spicy chicken sandwich. Not bad. Not fave but not bad.

Then I revisited my steps. The break allowed me to get some space and decide what I didn't want. Huxrin got a ring and some earrings at amber place. V happy with her choices. Every year the amber people are there and last year she got a ring. This year she saved up her money from allowances, chores and other paid work so she took $150 to the QF to buy jewelry. 2 rings, 3 sets of earrings and a couple snacks. Not bad!

One booth was the lady who did the US quilt blocks that I'm doing, Debra Gabel. She has many other products in that vein now: books, patches, preprinted appliques, fabric etc. She was actually there and I talked to her. Introduced myself, enthused over her book, and I said "I'm going to show you my quilt blocks now!" Showed them off from web posts. She was happy to see them and said it was so good to find a fan so enthusiastic over her work. She asked if I had traveled internationally. I said I had when I was younger. She took one of her books (with CD of patterns) and gave it to me. Free. I said she didn't have to and she said she wanted to. She gave me a hug when I left. Wow! I forgot to get a selfie with her tho. :P

Got some fabric and some patterns too, but I am being very careful about what I want to buy now. Feeling inspired again, but not impulse purchasing, because I already have a lot of stuff, so I only wanted to pick up things I couldn't get elsewhere.

Saturday night we ordered room service (my birthday dinner) and ended up ordering off the children's menu because 1) cheaper and 2) sounded tastier. We were right! Children's portion of grilled chicken, broccoli rabe and penne pasta with some kind of red sauce (my choice) was just right and pretty darn tasty. Didn't do dessert ($8.25 for a pint of ice cream?) but we had brought plenty of our own food because everything was so freakin' expensive.

On that note: while the hotel itself is super convenient, and on the 23rd floor is the gym and also a pool (!) and an open-air terrace (!), the room had only a mini fridge set to "slightly cooler than the room itself" and a one-serving coffeemaker, and no microwave. wtf, even Hampton Inn has microwaves in the room. Next year we'll bring an ice chest so we can at least keep food cold.

Food we brought: tunafish and mayo and bread, some homemade cheese & corn muffins, butter, various NutriSystem and Atkins products, apples, flavor powders for bottled water, Diet Mountain Dew bottles (that was mine), peanut butter and some jelly packets (which we ended up not using). We ended up really missing salt and actual cooked food, esp protein. It's super easy to get takeaway food that's all sugar and carbs - muffins, cookies etc - but man, I would've loved an actual burger or hot dog after a while.

On Sunday I looked at all the exhibits. I have to get my phone to talk nicely to the computer (it does not, on average, do so) to attempt e-z download of the nearly 300 pictures I took. It took a while. Then browsed the vendor hall a little longer. Huxrin went back to the room for lunch and accidentally took a nap. One might say it was the hotel bed, or one might say it was the 15k steps she'd taken the previous day, plus hitting the gym Sunday morning.

Mom and I went back to the room about 3ish and that's when I said "you know, we could head back home, even though we paid for the night." Mom and I discussed it. She'd paid for the room, after all. But she said we'd certainly gotten the use of the room, using it for storage and Huxrin getting the nap and all. OTOH we had hours to go before bedtime and not much to fill those hours, whereas home was 45-60 minutes away.

So we had a snack, packed up and left. Mom managed to get me out of paying the $48 for parking for the weekend (woot!) (which I used for groceries today) and after the usual exciting time of trying to find our way back to the interstate, went home.

(Every year we forget how the heck we got back to the interstate last time. The GPS comes up with new and inventive ways every year to get us home, which we end up discarding because we don't want to go through Greenspoint Gunspoint, for example. Mom and I end up mock-yelling and crying at each other like caricatures of people in movies and a good time is had by us. Not so much by Huxrin who just wishes we wouldn't.)

Not as many ppl at QF this year and more men than in previous years. Usually any men either go to the Husbands Lounge or sigh and look long-suffering as they follow their wives around the place. The Lounge, btw, has recliners and big TVs with whatever sports game is playing. Anyway this time there seemed to be more men, particularly out on the floor. Mom said she didn't know how she felt about that. Also, some things seemed to already be on sale, and overall we have some concern that this was a smaller turnout in both vendors and guests. It could be because of recent events, the economy, any number of things, really. But is this an aberrant year or an indicator of things to come? Right now it's impossible to tell.

Anyway we had a good time and my legs are sore today from all the walking (and standing). I took today off, though it wasn't a vacation day really, I got caught up on stuff like groceries and so on. Maybe tomorrow or later in the week I can start quilting again.

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