Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Home From the South

I did it. I managed to fly to Florida for the Ricky Tims Super Seminar, visit my friend and my daughter and return relatively unscathed. Five luke warm days in the somewhat Florida sunshine. Not exactly the perfect vacation...... but I would do it again in a minute!

My plan was to take my new, bright shocking pink, camera with me so that I could document my travels and share the photos with you here on the blog. That plan went awry when my purse fell over in the car on the way to the airport and that cute little camera slid out of my bag. I never even noticed the shocking pink camera on the car floor. Better in the car than in the bin at airport security, which is where I thought I had lost it until I phoned my husband.

No problem, I had my fancy schmancy phone with me. That would work just fine..... or not. If you want to see my photos of the trip, you will have to stop by and look at them on my phone. I've spent the last several hours emailing them to myself, but they never arrive. We will have to make do without my original photos

Flying for me is never easy, and I should have known better than to book a flight through Newark in any month where there is a chance of snow. When I tried to check in for my Wednesday morning flight, Continental informed me that my flights had been canceled. They had no options and their operators were very busy. They suggested I "try again later" before hanging up on me. I outsmarted them and booked a USAIRWAY one way ticket through Charlotte. I arrived at the airport very early for my flight so that I would have time to get my Continental refund before I left the burgh. With refund slip in hand, I checked the departure board and noticed that the 12:00 flight to Charlotte had been delayed. I headed straight for that gate and because other poor unfortunate travelers were going to miss their connections, they were rerouted and I was able to snag a seat on the earlier flight - the one that left so late that I actually arrived in Charlotte on schedule - instead of late, and made my connection for sunny Florida. Yippee!

After a night in West Palm, Bernie and I headed for Jacksonville, UNF, and the seminar. We found Lindsay, checked in to our hotel and registered for the seminar. That isn't a photo of the seminar building, that is the fancy new dorm at UNF with the lazy river. I couldn't find a photo of the University Center - work with me here....

There were over 370 women (and one man) attending. Ricky starts on time, stops on time and keeps things moving. Even though Bernie and I were just a few rows from the back, we had no problem seeing everything that was presented. The room was large, the presentations were on Power Point and shown on a large overhead screen. There were tight video shots of the "real life" demos and I don't think there was a bad seat in the house. I was impressed.

The days were paced to move quickly, but there were also generous breaks in the morning and afternoon. Lunch was an hour and a half, which was more than enough time to get out, eat and be back in your seat without having to rush. The doors opened at 7:30 am and the sessions started at 8:30. I would have preferred a later start and less break time, especially the morning that Bernie had to scrape ice from the windshield - in sunny Florida. Luckily the days got warmer the longer I stayed. The last night that I was there we actually ate outside on the patio! Now that I am home, I hear that Jacksonville is in the 70's. - figures......

The seminar days flew by. Alex Anderson did a segment on drawing your own hand quilting designs. As always, Alex made herself available at every break to sign autographs, take photos and listen to endless stories about how her fans have connected with her over the years. I was no different.

On Friday Lindsay joined us for the afternoon session. I specifically wanted her there to meet Alex. The quilt featured on the front cover of the Start Quilting book has a border on it made from fabric that I designed for Timeless Treasures. I named the fabric line after Lindsay. Lindsay's birthday is January 15th, Alex's birthday is January 14th. I now have a photo (on my phone) of Lindsay and Alex and the book which she autographed. Just for fun.

One absolutely delightful segment was presented by Libby Lehman. (that is Ricky's quilt, Libby does thread painting) Libby is a national treasure. She is hysterical, talented, more fun than you can imagine and a very good teacher. Her honest, down to earth comments about her work were great fun to listen to and I don't think anyone left the room thinking "I could never do that". On the contrary, I think everyone that possibly could, raced home to give it a try! I even considered giving it a try on the sewing machine that Lindsay took to school with her, but there just wasn't time.

Blending the seminar with a college visit required that we include Lindsay with meals, take her shoping to Target for "necessities" and spring for a very expensive birthday dinner. Bernie and I have been friends for over 20 years so there was lots of talking and laughing. There justs wasn't time for anything else.

Sunday morning we headed back to West Palm and stopped to vist with another of Bernies friends over lunch. Cindy's home was absolutely delightful, beautifully decorated with quilts - some of which are published and award winning. It was a perfect ending to a great weekend. Then I had to fly home. I left in the wee hours of the morning and other than a 5 hour layover in Atlanta due to mechanical dificulties, all went well.
Quilting weekend, daughter visit, warmer temperatures than we had at home. Steeler victory, New England loss, what else could a girl want? ...... I want to do it again!


Mama Pea said...

Wow. That sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to go to one of those seminars. Thanks for sharing about it. Glad you had such a good trip. Sorry it wasn't warmer...but it could have been a lot worse! :-)

Anonymous said...

Only you would call temperatures in the 30's, complete with ice on the windshield, "lukewarm". I loved every minute of the weekend. Let's plan another!