I will confess that this summer has completely gotten away from me (yes, already because I’m including spring). No excuses, just some things that kicked up a notch. One of the other Monkey’s and I have a long-arm/quilting business and we are making a move to create a website and to start publishing our own patterns. To that end, we have to actually make (and quilt) those patterns. This takes quite a bit of time and while I’m not complaining about that, I am amazed that this wonderful thing happened where my creativity cranked up a notch. Well, not really a notch, more like a bazillion notches. However, this isn’t a blog for that business – I just felt that I owed you an explanation for my absence. By saying that, I would also be remiss if I didn’t also mention that another Monkey also recently started up her own long-arm business. We are a varied group aren’t we? We like to grow and learn and we are a bunch of goers and doers.
We made plans a while ago to go to Paducah. We made it there and it was incredible. There were lots of lovely shops, and the show, and the museum, and and and….and there was too much to put it all into one post. I won’t bore you with a series of posts on Paducah either. I will just hit the high points.
Traveling with friends. This can either go really really well or really really poorly. We figured that as we had all managed to do our extended retreat times together that this should not be an issue and it wasn’t. We talked a lot in advance about meals and plans and since we are all reasonable adults, we kinda all went our own way during the days to see the things that were important to us and sometimes others of us would tag along. I would highly recommend that if you are planning a trip with friends like that in the future, that you don’t feel like you have to spend every waking moment doing the exact same things. Sure, you are all going to the same place and have similar interests, but you are all individuals with different needs and sometimes a quiet walk or a little more time at an exhibit can give you a little quiet time.
The Show. The show was wonderful. So much to see that when/if we go next time I would prefer to take more than one day there. We did make sure to hit the vendors (and rumor had it that some vendors were selling out of things on the first day!) and I’m glad we did that, but I felt like I had to rush through the quilts being shown (that is on me not on any of my traveling companions). Plus it was very overwhelming to see all the things and people that my head was on a swivel and it was hard to focus. Now that I know more of what to expect it will be not as big an assault on my senses.
Shopping. Holy cow there were a ton of places to shop. I have some mental notes of places I really enjoyed and places I didn’t get to go, but that just gives me a better sense of what to do next time.
The little things. Oh, the ever so important little things. Like sampling moonshine at 10:30 in the am with your Tribe. Yeah, we did that. Yeah, it was worth it. No, we didn’t get drunk. We met and talked with some wonderful vendors and quilters and townspeople who helped us to get around. We visited with people in shops and on trolleys and helped complete strangers pick out fabric. We had our pictures taken because of our matching shirts (We are the ones your guild warned you about!) and posted online. We sat in the evenings and shared purchases and techniques and wine. We enjoyed the breeze from the lake and each other’s company. We brought home souvenirs and fudge and memories. I would trade it for nothing in this world.
Advice. Sometimes you have to go and do something to really understand what others are talking about. If you go for the first time, keep your expectations low and your mind open. Also, make plans to go a second time to put all of your new-found knowledge to good use.