Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oh I've Come From Alabama....

(...and it's a bitch driving 8 hours with a banjo on your knee.) It was a fun trip, but I'm also really glad to be home and to get to sleep in my very own bed tonight. Tomorrow I'll post some photos from the quilt show, but I haven't gotten them all edited down to a manageable size quite yet. I didn't take tons, but I got a few. For tonight, I'll show you some non-show photos from my trip, since there are less of them and I'm not going to be staying awake all that much longer. ;-) I traveled down to Nashville with my friend Nancy, who also lives in Kentucky but in a different part, about 2 1/2 hours away. Once we got there, we met up with Bev and Kathy, who both traveled down from Cincinnati. And shortly after that, we met up with CrazyBren, who traveled up from Alabama. About the time we all managed to find Brenda near the entrance, I heard a voice say "Debbie, is that you?" (Yes, some people call me Debbie instead of Deb, especially if they've known me a long time.) I looked around and it was Mary and Wilma, who were my quilting mentors oh-so-many years ago when I was a newlywed and decided I was going to make A Quilt. As in most definitely the singular. Well, I meant it at the time. We worked together at the time and I knew they both made quilts, so after checking out an old book from the library, skimming it, tossing it in the corner and doing my own thing, I counted on them to answer clueless newbie questions so the whole thing turn into too much of a hopeless mess. I don't think I ever did tell them I drew all the pieces directly on the fabric using a blue Bic pen and a ruler. That might have made them despair of me. Anyway, I left that job (a display designer for a department store) many, many years ago and pretty much lost touch with them, but now and then I run into one or both of them, and it's always very cool. I wish I'd thought to have someone take a photo of the three of us, but I never thought of it until they'd moved on, dammit. After having the little reunion chat with Mary and Wilma, the gang and I took a lunch break. After all, we'd been at the show a good hour and we had to keep our strength up. Ahem. We decided to take a little walk over to a nearby mall and eat at a restaurant called The Aquarium. It's built around a huge (200,000 gallon? Bev, is that right?) tank with all sorts of fishies and things swimming around inside and there's one smaller tank near the front. And the decor is very underwater-y. Here's a photo we had Skippy take of us in our booth: (It's good of everyone except me. I don't know what the hell that expression on my face was about. Maybe someone else's photo will be better and I can "borrow" it!) Skippy was our waiter. I think he said his real name was Adam. Or maybe Alan. Something that started with an A. But one of the endearingly obnoxious traits of this group is that young male service people are always "Skippy", no matter what their real name is. We warned him he would always be Skippy to us and we tipped well, so hopefully he didn't mind too much and didn't spit in our food or anything. Skippy was was nice and helpful even when it meant taking photos with five different cameras during lunch rush. So dear Skippy, should you ever stumble across this blog and recognize the above photo as your handiwork, I just want to say thank you, and ya done good. And I hope you didn't spit in my water-with-lime. Heh. Here's a photo might give you an idea of the hugeness of the tank in the center of this room. You can see the big toothy fish (shark? maybe??) and a bunch of little fish and see yet another Skippy in the background at one of the tables. While we were eating, a young woman dived into the tank to feed the fishies. I hopped up and stalked her all around the tank, and tried and tried to get a photo of that, but do you know how hard it is to take a photo of a gigantic aquarium in a murkily-lit restaurant without it either being too dark to see what you're shooting or getting a huge flash glare from the tank? Do you?? Well, I'll tell you, it's pretty durn hard! This was about the best I managed. You can't really see her, but you can see her air tank. Sort of. Oh yes, you can too. It's that blue thing, SEE? Exciting, yes? After we finished our lunch and paid Skippy, we headed back to the show for a few more hours. I'm afraid I have to say I was, well...underwhelmed at the whole thing, but more on that tomorrow when I post some photos of some stuff I liked. There were a few interesting things to see and I found a couple of things at the vendors' booths that had to come home with me, including a free-motion quilting foot that looks to be an exact match to the one I broke a few months ago. I haven't been super happy with the generic one I bought to replace it, so hopefully I'll like this one better. Along about mid to late afternoon, Brenda, Nancy, and I decided we'd had enough and we headed on down to Alabama, while Bev and Kathy stayed one more night in Nashville and joined us the next day. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, while we were winding our way back from the convention center area, through the Opryland resort (a feat in itself!), to get back to an entrance that was within a somewhat reasonable proximity to our car, look what we saw in one of the little shop areas: All made from sand. I liked it, even if the shark looks kind of mean. Anyway, we made it to Alabama by early evening and that was my first time in that state. That means I need to revise my "100 Things About Me" list. (mentally filed under Note To Self!) The three of us went to dinner at Macaroni Grill: They put paper and crayons on the table and I amused myself by drawing shoes and then told the waitress (female, so not a Skippy) I hoped it was ok if we put our feet on the table. She didn't get it. I thought it was funny. But then again I was partway through a rather large alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach at that point, so maybe it wasn't. ALTHOUGH....another woman who worked there walked past and stopped to talk about the shoe drawings because she loved them. So HA! Maybe it WAS funny and Skippette just didn't have a good sense of humor! The veal marsala was good. And we found out the next day that Bev and Kathy had gone to Macaroni Grill in Nashville that same night, so how Twilight Zone is that? They joined us the next day, but not until the rest of us had already been to a book store (good), a quilt shop (small, but good....batiks on sale that day!), Goodwill (not good that day, but we had a fun time making fun of the rack of bridesmaid's dresses), Big Lots (found a couple of things in the food section), and maybe some other places too. I kind of lost track. I also forgot to take any more photos after supper the night before. Oops. I wish I'd remembered to get out the camera last night because Bren had a houseful of people and we had a great time, including getting a 'round-the-world phone call from our friend Morven from New Zealand. Then today, after Brenda fed everyone else yummy-smelling muffins that I couldn't eat because they were banana and I'm allergic (sob) we hit the road and headed for home. If you're still awake after reading all that, yay you! 'Cause I'm not. Well, ok, I am, but just barely. So I'll sign off and go to sleep now. Quilt show pics tomorrow, honest.

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