Monday, June 28, 2010

Flags and Wind Spinners

I think Ray has found a passion - flags and wind spinners! As we traveled recently, we stopped at flag shops almost as often as we stopped at quilt shops! In the Outer Banks, we enjoyed the Kitty Hawk Kite Shops but our favorite flag shop was Islander Flags of Kitty Hawk. There was also a small shop near Williamsburg, VA.

We needed an American flag and bracket so that was a must. Old Glory on our front porch:

A small garden spinner:

a couple of new garden flags:

a larger spinner:

and a butterfly spinner.

Would you believe there are more garden flags waiting to be swapped out or displayed later! Hmmm, sounds a bit like my quilt collection...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Newest Kitchen Gadget

While we were visiting Brad and Sheila, they showed us an Ice Cream Scoop & Stack in a magazine. We  thought it looked like a neat gadget. Well, a week later, while we were in the Outer Banks, we found them! Ours is a Cuisipro Ice Cream Scoop & Stack.

You either hold the scoop as it appears above and push the scoop into hard ice cream OR you push the plunger down and let it come up as you push the scoop into hard ice cream. I prefer the 2nd way.

Here it is 'loaded'.

Then push the plunger down and put the ice cream wherever you want it. I decided to make chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Mmmmmm good!

I scooped hard ice cream for 12 Saturday night without a problem! You can fill cones, cupcakes, ... whatever you want! Oh, I love gadgets!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A table runner and a small wall hanging

At Lucky 2B Quilting's April camp, I pieced this table runner then quilted it while we were traveling.

This is made just like the pattern with NO changes. Since I always make changes,  I set a goal that day of following a pattern exactly.

After making the table runner, I pieced this small wallhanging and did NOT follow a pattern. I also finished this while we were traveling.

Friday, June 18, 2010


On our way home yesterday, I began watching the sky. The clouds appeared to be pointing our way!

Then the clouds started breaking up

but only in some areas.

It really was a pretty morning.

Every so often I got the car antenna in the photo...

The sun was bright

and the sky cleared.

Then a few clouds

and a few more

but they were just fluffy.

It was a beautiful way

to end this trip...

watching clouds

and not worrying about

all the "clutter"

that awaited us at home.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The journey was the destination

Wednesday, June 16

We woke up to overcast skies that cleared and we had a beautiful day in the 70s and low 80s.

We meandered back roads across Ohio - 752 out of Lancaster, 316, and 56 to 40. We traveled highway 40 parallel to Interstate 70 into Indiana. I called ahead to a quilt shop, Stitching Nook, in Richmond, IN, and made sure we had the right directions. Nice shop! I'd go back to every quilt shop we visited on this trip! (And they'd probably all be happy to see me and my $$$!)

After lunch in Richmond (we couldn't bypass O'Charley's), we decided to meander across Indiana. So we started on 38 out Richmond, then 47, Interstate 65 (5 miles), 32, and Interstate 74 to Champaign. For us, it was a long day on the road but only 1 1/2 hours were on interstate highways so it was fun. Champaign is the only major city we have been in since somewhere in Virginia!

We are back in Illinois and will arrive home tomorrow. I feel all the clutter of everyday life returning. We were talking today about things coming up and visitors Friday and Saturday. I'll start a to do list tomorrow in the car as well as a grocery list.

This month has been a great journey. The important destination was Brad, Sheila, and family. Other than that, the journey has been the destination and it has been wonderful. We would love to repeat the entire trip soon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

Tuesday, June 15

We began the day with overcast skies. First stop was Elkins Sewing Center. We saw a pattern that we liked in their window last night so we had to stop before we left town. We spent well over an hour there - nice store and friendly people!

Then the journey. Ray wanted to travel some back roads and scenic byways. In West Virginia, we drove highways 33, 79, and 50. Not a lot of traffic and the weather turned partly cloudy and began getting warmer.

Second stop was Parkersburg Sewing and Quilting Center in Parkersburg, WV. Another nice store with super nice people. One of the clerks said we should visit the Amish Country in Berlin, Ohio, when we had a chance. That is supposedly the second largest Amish community. She suggested we call her at the shop and she would tell us where to stay, eat, shop, etc! We asked about lunch and she sent us to Mary B's and told us to be sure to have a dinner roll. Wonderful lunch and the dinner rolls were fresh, warm, and about 4 times the size of a regular dinner roll!

Back on the road, we finally made it into Ohio by the middle of the afternoon! Still on the scenic byways, we drove highways 339, 550, and 33 to Lancaster, OH., where we are tonight. It has been relaxing on the back roads and scenic although we didn't take pictures!

The motel clerk suggested Billy Crickets for dinner. We had Pennsylvania Steak Salad ~ lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cheese, hot pieces of steak, and hot waffle fries with a sweet/sour poppyseed dressing. Perfect for a light summer dinner (lunch was late and the temperature is above 90).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Elkins, WV

Sunday, June 13
Our 40th anniversary! Beautiful and sunny but hot. At our motel, we were hurried out of bed by the fire alarm. Someone had burnt the toast in the kitchen! Eventually we headed for Monticello. We already had our tickets and were right on time for our tour. The place is unbelievable. Thomas Jefferson was certainly a gadget guru as well as a self-taught architect. The main house

and the vegetable gardens.

At some point I'd like to take the tour again - I'm sure I'd see and learn more!  His clocks, calendars, heating and cooling systems, and other creations were incredible! No photography is allowed within Monticello.

Monday, June 14
It really is time to get a little more serious about heading home! We traveled west to Stauton, VA. Gas was $2.359 - the lowest price we've seen on this trip.

Rachel's Quilt Patch is in the old train depot. A very interesting shop. She doesn't really have that much fabric but it was fun to visit. And yes, I did buy a little!  This was the view as we entered

and this was her cutting table.

After walking around Stauton, finding Bad Dog Bike Shop, and forgetting to find the Statler Brothers monument, we had lunch at the Depot Grill (DPO). It was recommended by the people at Millstone Quilts and by the clerk at Rachel's Quilt Shop. Very good!

We crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Shenandoah Mountains, and the Shenandoah Valley today. Beautiful! It was a gorgeous and relaxing drive on back roads. We stopped a couple of times between Stauton and Elkins, WV (where we are tonight). Once for a scenic overlook and once in Monterey, VA at Wool Becomes Ewe, a quilting and knitting shop. I called for better directions (we were one block away!) and then we found the place. She's only open on Saturdays but just happened to be there today! A very tiny shop but nice. If I'd had an idea of what to make, I would have bought local yarn.

Tonight we ate at C.J. Maggies - a rather unique restaurant in the downtown area. Our motel is high on a hill and we have a beautiful view of the mountains.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Charlottesville, VA

June 12, Saturday

Hot, sunny day until the rain, then it was a very warm, sunny day!

On the road by 9 AM this morning! The Crepe Myrtle trees are gorgeous - they look like giant lilacs. In Williamsburg we were told that they are blooming early this year due to the heat.

First stop was Millstone Quilts northeast of Richmond. What a neat shop in a Civil War era mill. The setting is out in the country by a stream - so picturesque! Very nice shop and I found things I needed ;) The friendly staff and customers were telling us about other shops where we needed to stop!

Second stop was Cottonwood, a quilt shop in Charlottesville, VA. Nice shop and friendly people. I found some fabric that we both decided I really needed ;) A pleasant clerk also told us to eat at Bodo's. Great bagel sandwiches - we'd definitely go back!

After lunch, we decided to find a motel which was quite a feat today - I think we tried 5 before we found a vacancy. Glad we didn't wait until 5 PM! University of Virginia is hosting and playing in the NCAA Super Regional Baseball Tournament so this city is full!

We went to Monticello and got tickets for a morning tour tomorrow.  While the storm passed through, we saw the movie and the museum this afternoon .

It took a while to find some dinner tonight since a number of places were still without electricity due to the storm.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Washington, D.C.

Thursday, June 10

A beautiful, warm day. We spent the day in Washington, D.C. with the bus leaving our resort at 6:30 AM - mighty early! We sat near and spent much of the day with Laura, a teacher in Indiana, and Bonnie, a retired teacher and quilter from Ohio.

With our own tour guide, we enjoyed driving by the typical places - the Pentagon (saw where the plane hit on 9/11 and the memorial for the victims), White House, Capitol, Washington Monument, Old Post Office, Ford Theater, the Air Force Memorial, the Navy Memorial, and many more.

Stops included the Lincoln Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial (One of Laura's relatives was the front guy on the right holding the flag!), the WW II Memorial, the Korean Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. We found Jeff Smith's name on the Vietnam Wall - we went to school with Jeff and he was a good friend of Ray's.

We were at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery for some wreaths to be placed and the Changing of the Guard. Also visited the Kennedy graves and the memorials for the astronauts. There was an area set up for a news conference - the scandal about misidentified and misplaced remains was announced shortly after we left that area. We were near one funeral - there are currently 25 to 35 funerals there daily.

We had a couple of hours (not much time!) in the afternoon at the Smithsonian and the National Mall. We spent a little time at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History with a few thousand other people! We were able to see quite a bit including some fun things like Archie's chair,

our friend Kermit,

and Dorothy's slippers.

On the way home, we changed buses in Fredericksburg - problems with the A/C on our bus. It was about 9:30 when we got home. Really glad we were able to take this trip.

Friday, June 11

Another nice day! We are being very lazy - just taking care of things like bills and packing. We did play with the Wii in the Activity Center this morning - I wanted to try out Sports Resort. Now, Ray is watching the Cubs game. We will leave tomorrow morning and head towards Monticello.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A laid back day

Wednesday, June 9

We have spent a very laid back day. First stop was the quilt shop, Love 2 Quilt. I bought one of their original patterns for an Origami Bag and fabric to make it. Nice shop! Then we went next door to the knitting shop, Knitting Sisters, to get yarn to make an i-cord handle for my bag. We had lunch at New Town. The Bicycle Shop guy suggested Baker's Crust. Very good! Ray wanted to check out the flag shop, Serendipity. He found another flag for our gardens! He's getting as bad with flag shops as I am with quilt shops ;)  After a few other stops, we are home for the rest of the day. Doing a little laundry, reading, and probably swimming.

Tomorrow we are leaving at 6:15 AM on a bus trip offered by our resort. We'll spend the day in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another gorgeous day!

Tuesday, June 8

Today was perfect - in the high 70s, low humidity, and sunshine! We caught a bus from the visitor center (this time there was room for us so we weren't asked to leave!) and began our day at the Public Hospital of 1773. It was a hospital for the insane and makes you ill when you see what they did to the people.

We spent time in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Of course I went straight for the quilts - amazing! This 1700's quilt is quilted every 1/4 inch!

Attended a concert by John Turner, a Scottish Fiddler. He also played the pipe (flute) and talked quite a bit - very interesting. This tiny fiddle is the type that Jefferson used when he traveled so he didn't have to carry a big one along.

Lunch time is a slight problem if you want to eat in Colonial Williamsburg - few places. Yesterday we ate outside at a tavern but the food wasn't great - prepared sandwiches and chips. We should have eaten at the museums but we went to the Revolutionary Area and finally found a tavern - it had a 30 minute wait. So we had ice cream and a cookie - we are on vacation, you know!

We visited a variety of shops, the Printing Office, and the Blacksmith Shop where they are doing more excavating. At the end of our tour of the Charlton's Coffeehouse (where the discussion to rebel against the Stamp Act was held), we were served hot chocolate 1700 style - oh my! Neither of us like dark chocolate. This was bitter and had cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne in it. To think I chose it over coffee or tea! After adding sugar and milk, I was able to drink all of my sample which was less than 1/4 cup!

We went on to tour the Capitol building. It was interesting that half of the building (the front half) was the Governor's side and the other half was the House of Burgess' side. The part connecting the two sides is the bridge. This picture is taken from the side. The front of the building is on the left.

The second floor of the bridge is one room where the two sides met when they could not agree on things.

Our last visit of the day was the Joiner which I found fascinating. Ray and I were the only people there since a program was going on out in the street. Three men were working and it was interesting to watch them. No routers here, just planes. The planes to make the molding were unbelievable. This planer was used to make

this molding. One man would start with this planer but as the project neared completion, two men would need to pull ~ thus the two little handles on the sides of the planer.

I asked what they used for clamps and this carpenter posed for me.

A man has to apprentice 6 years to work at the Joiner! This is a full time job for these men.

We walked around our entire resort tonight - it is very pretty. Then used the hot tub and adult pool.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seeing Colonial Williamsburg

Monday, June 7

It rained last night and was finally cooler today - around 80 today. We decided not to go to the breakfast this morning. After thinking it over, it was too good to be true. And we were right! Hard to say if we would have received the monetary gift or not.

We started the day at the visitor center and walked to Colonial Williamsburg. We crossed a footbridge and every few feet we 'went back in time'. We especially liked this.

The trees and flowers are gorgeous. There are so many gardens many are sculptured! We toured the Randolph House. It is huge, taking up a good portion of the 4 acres. Hard to believe that 3 people needed 27 slaves! Our guide, Brian, was informative and very interesting.

We were in the Court House and the Gun Shop, where Ray had to check out one of the guns.

After visiting a few other places, we had lunch at Chowning's Tavern, and made our way to the Governor's Palace. Our guide was personable and  informative. It was well worth the short wait to get in.

The Palace and the grounds are incredible. I think I need at least 20 pictures to show all of the gardens and the maze.

The colors used in the rooms were bright! This is the ballroom.

At Bruton Parish Church we saw Thomas Jefferson's pew as well as those of other greats in our history.

Then we headed to Merchant Square - the modern area.

While we were enjoying ice cream, we met a local fellow who filled us in on some local happenings. Being tired, we were going to catch the shuttle back to the Visitor Center but I got us kicked off! Oh well, you win some...

The adult pool and hot tub were greatly appreciated tonight!


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