This post is my photographic travelogue of my recent trip to Austin, Texas.
I’d just returned from New York City when I turned around and went with my partner John to visit his son who recently moved to Austin, Texas. It was a quick 3 day trip and it was my first return to Austin, Texas since I used to live in Texas over 25 years ago.
I love taking photos when I travel and Austin lended itself (at least in my mind) to Black & White photography with my camera phone. Here are a sampling of my photos from my trip to Austin, Texas.
I had a wonderful time in Austin, Texas and I had the best beef brisket I’ve ever had in my life at the Rolling Smoke BBQ food truck. I also saw my first Lone Star Beer chandelier (see 2nd photo), a sight I can never “un-see” (smile)!
I remember moving from New York to Texas so many years ago when my late husband was in the military and having complete culture shock as a New Yorker. But I adapted and met many great friends; and now having lived in 5 states around the country it is easier to acculturate when moving (but I have no plans to leave Colorado).
That is it for traveling for now, am currently “travel out” and have a bit of traveling fatigue. It is good to just be home for a while!
So where did I leave off in this series of posts about the recent visits to New York City? Oh yes, on my second visit to NYC my sister and I visited NYC during New York Fashion Week (and the 20th anniversary of 9/11).
After having yummy gelato in Little Italy on Saturday after my first fashion show, we wandered around Soho and stop at a delicious little shop (Cha Cha Matcha) that specialized in green tea matcha and had green tea lattes with special messages from the barista:
We were joking because we just had a break to have gelato, only made it 2 blocks and had another break to have a latte!
After that we ran into Sunny Fong, winner of the second season of Project Runway Canada and competitor in Season 7 of Project Runway All Stars. My sister is a huge fan of Project Runway so she recognized him immediately. She took a photo with him and he invited us to stop by his pop up shop for his new line of watches.
Saturday was the 20th anniversary of 9/11and instead of a somber mood people appeared to be exceptionally warm and friendly. There seemed to be so much love going around on Saturday and we gave the same warmth and love back to those we met and talked to,
We did not attend any of the 9/11 20th anniversary memorial events due to the crowds since we are still in a pandemic, but we did stop for a while at Engine 55 fire station (we came upon it walking around Little Italy) and pay our respects to those firefighters who died during 9/11.
While walking around we stopped by a couple sidewalk vendors on the streets on NYC and spent time chatting with a lovely couple who made amazing little leather wallets. My sister bought one and we had it engraved. We enjoyed chatting with them so much we took photos:
After a long day of wandering about, meeting and chatting with people, and stopping at lots of interesting places (this blog post would never end if I shared all my photos from the trip) we retired for the evening at our lovely historic hotel in Soho.
Here is the lobby where the next morning we met a real Instagram Influencer (they always seem like mysterious people who do not really exist) and her stylist and had a wonderful chat while they waited for their Uber. It would seem strange to have like 100,000 followers on Instagram but she made her living off of it and even had a paid stylist!
In NYC, like in Los Angeles you can always get the opportunity to see famous people wandering about. My sister attended the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC in 2019 and got a special invitation as a past attendee to go see Robert De Niro interviewing Martin Scorsese about their new film The Irishman. A couple rows sitting in front of her was Leonardo DiCaprio!
She had invited me to go with her (she automatically bought 2 tickets thinking of me) but it was in April 2019 and I was moving to Denver, Colorado. I sure wish I went. Of course I was in the midst of some scary stuff – starting a new life after my husband suddenly died in December 2018 so I was not thinking fully about the opportunity I was missing out on.
I can tell you this – I will not turn down an opportunity like that again (smile).
Sunday I needed to eventually get to LaGuardia Airport to fly back to Denver but first we wanted to find an interesting place for brunch. My sister and I thought we’d been all over NYC but we stumbled upon an area outside of Soho we’d never seen before: Little Paris.
We only found it because we asked someone on the street where they recommended we have breakfast and they recommended Maman.
We had an amazing breakfast, amazing server and the atmosphere was amazing!
I had the best almond croissant I’ve ever tasted!
Across the street from Maman was the NYC Police Department and it was just like something out of a movie or a television show:
The photo above does not do it justice – it was so immense and elaborately historic looking!
My sister and I parted back at the hotel and I headed via Uber to LaGuardia Airport. I hadn’t been to the airport in a long time (I usually fly into NYC via JFK Airport) and they had done some major remodeling and I enjoyed watching an elaborate laser water show at the fountain in the middle of the concourse before heading to my gate:
I found a video of it on YouTube if you’d like to see:
Continuing my story of surprisingly visited NYC twice in the span of two months which began in yesterday’s post New York City x 2, Part I.
So a couple weeks ago my sister called me up and asked: “Are you going anything the weekend of September 10 – 12th?” To my reply of “Nothing planned”, she responded: “What about doing something crazy and going to NYC to attend a fashion show during NYC Fashion Week?”
Not sure what came over me but I said “Yes”.
Must be something about these pandemic times and realizing you should take opportunities where you can (as long as you are safe, masked and vaccinated, at least in my opinion not necessarily the opinion of some of my fellow Americans…oh and I am aware that vaccine may not stop you from getting COVID but it does seem to lessen the symptoms).
It seems like 2020 took so much away from us and perhaps I am taking a little too many risks in 2021 but we did recently cancel our long awaiting and planned holiday in Hawaii because the governor of Hawaii asked people not to visit unless it was essential travel.
My sister was invited to buy to tickets to several of the NYC Fashion Week shows because she’s attend pre-pandemic. She got invites to mid-level shows, not the big designer shows like say the Prada show or something (I think you have to be a celebrity or in “the industry” to get invited to those). We decided to go to one show.
Yesterday’s post I mentioned some of the awesomeness of my younger brother. Well my younger sister (there are three of us and I am the oldest) is pretty awesome! She is very adventurous and has done a bit of world travel (more than me) and is not shy in seeking out new opportunities like regularly attending the Tribeca Film Festival, NYC Fashion Week, and getting me into one of her industry conferences where I got to see President Barrack Obama speak as the keynote speaker (see post Bucket List Delight!).
As a full-time working mom she went back to school and got her MBA with a focus in Project Management and now works for a university in a male dominated industry: Construction Project Management. She is ex-military and can hold her ground with “the boys” of the construction industry! She got me into “thrifting” and she has curated for herself a lovely second-hand thrifted wardrobe (I am still in training).
If you can’t tell, I am in awe of my siblings and consider them some of my best friends!
So it wasn’t just the opportunity to attend my first fashion show during NYC Fashion Week but an opportunity to hang out with my sister.
The journey began on Friday September 10th with a flight to BWI (Baltimore-Washington International Airport) with a “Sisters Road Trip” to New York City:
There you can park a car at reasonably priced overnight parking and take the NJ Transit train for under $5 from the Secaucus Junction to Penn Station. Here are a couple photos from that trip for NJ to NYC:
An interesting note about NYC – not only were masks required in many places, but proof of COVID vaccination was required to eat in many restaurants, stores, museums and to get into the fashion shows, etc.
From Penn Station we walked a couple blocks, then took the subway to Brooklyn were our Airbnb accommodations awaited.
My sister got a room in a boutique hotel in Soho for Saturday night, so I treated us to a unique Airbnb stay in Brooklyn for Friday night. The owner is a curator of unusual antiques, vintage items and plants. It’s difficult to describe the place we stayed at but here are photos (and yes the late 20-something host/owner could be described as the “Ultimate Hipster“):
It was awesome but a little bit visually over stimulating!
We found an awesome neighborhood deli/grocery store and picked up a delicious assortment of hot and cold yummies to take back to our room to eat. We returned to that deli for breakfast the next day also. It was the sort of deli you can only find in New York.
The next morning we headed to the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a beautiful event space, for my first NYC Fashion Week Fashion Show!
We had little free gifts from the designers on our chairs and the atmosphere/vibe inside the place was awesome. We saw runway shows by 5 – 6 local NYC designers and here are some images from the runway shows:
After the show we headed to eat a very tourist lunch at Katz’s Deli (famously known for a scene in “When Harry Met Sally”):
But it was really different with it’s COVID restrictions/protocols and for the high prices (which did not used to be so high) we decided to pass on the tourist trap. I’ve eaten there several times before pre-COVID the food is great and the atmosphere is delightful – the crowded busy NYC deli – but had no charm this time unfortunately due to its rigid COVID safety set up.
Instead we wandered to Soho (where we would be spending the evening in the Sohotel a historic hotel in Soho) for find dining.
Before getting to Soho we ran into Little Italyand had a delicious stop for gelato!
I’ll continue the rest of our adventures from this visit to NYC in my next post!
It seems like my blog should be called “tierneytravels” instead of “tierneycreates” as it feels like I’ve been doing a lot of traveling over the past several months, especially since leaving my job of 16 years and taking a break.
Over the past 2 months, I’ve been to New York City (NYC) twice: at the end of July while visiting my brother and his family; and just this past weekend with my sister during New York Fashion Week. In this post I will share my adventures and photos from the visit in July with my brother and his family. Part II will be about my more recent visit.
I was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Long Island and Upstate New York. I spent a lot of my youth traveling to New York City (we would go to Rockefeller Center around Christmas time to see the tree, ice skating rink and Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes). I remember as a teenager (I think I was 14 the first time), my parents let me travel with my friend to NYC for the day on the Long Island train (things were different then and you could actually be okay letting your teen travel without an adult to the city).
When I lived in Upstate NY, NYC was only a couple hour train or bus ride away. When I moved to the Pacific NW, I would take the JetBlue “red eye” flight from Portland to JFK Airport/NYC to meet up with my sister for a long weekend a couple times a year. NYC holds a special place in my heart and I have lots of fun memories tied to NYC.
So until July 2021, it had been the longest period in my life that I had not been to NYC.
Since taking a break from my job of 16 years at the start of July 2021 (see post News) I’ve been doing a bit of traveling (staying safe, I am vaccinated and always wearing a mask and social distancing) which included reconnecting with my family who lives on the Eastern Coast of the U.S.
My brother and his family live outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I’d not seen my darling now 9-year old nephew since 2019 (they came to visit me in Denver when I first moved here) and it was definitely time for a visit. My brother surprised me as I was about to arrive, that I would be going with them to NYC for an overnight because he had a client meeting in NYC he needed to attend.
They picked me up from the Philadelphia airport and we headed to NYC (couple hour drive) to stay at a nice hotel in Times Squarefor the night and have breakfast with his client in the morning.
NYC has not recovered from the pandemic yet and tourism is still down. It was surreal to wander around a fairly empty feeling Times Square with my brother and nephew after we got to our hotel.
Usually there are throngs of people wandering around Times Square.
The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast with his client, a television actor and author with a current television show. (A side note about my brother – he has his own Public Relations/PR and Branding company. He is quite the entrepreneur and started his company while at university in his undergraduate studies. By the time he was in graduate school he had his company up and running which at the time found speakers for colleges. It has grown since then quite a bit).
It was fun dining with a celebrity at a hip eating establishment in NYC! A very unexpected experience.
After the client meeting, we headed to the “spy museum” in NYC called SpyScape. My brother and nephew love movies focused around espionage, covert organizations and intrigue such as The Bourne movies and James Bond movies. We had a blast at the museum on simulated espionage adventures.
I did through the “spy training” academy and the “spychology” assessment I participated in at the museum with my brother, his wife and son, that I was not cutthroat enough to be a spy and that my best position would be an Analyst that works in the background of a covert organization.
Here are some photos from our visit to SpyScape, including the history of espionage, more than you wanted to know about “government surveillance; and the amazing James Bond Exhibit they had:
If you weren’t already paranoid about the government listening in when you arrived, you were definitely by the time you finished going through the museum! But it was really cool to see the James Bond Aston Martinup close!
After the museum we headed to the Central Park area to wander around.
Here I am in Central Park, just absolutely amazed to be there (but a little jet lagged and sleep deprived as I never sleep well in hotels):
We could not help ourselves, we had to stop for some yummy ice cream from the Ice Cream Truck parked in the area (it reminded me of the Ice Cream Trucks that would come around our neighborhood as a kid). My brother and his son have red arrows next to them:
I posted this photo on Instagram around the time of my visit and we had a little laugh that everyone seems to have gotten the memo that is was “blue t-shirt day” that day!
My brother had the idea that we should do a bicycle carriage ride (where you are transported by someone driving/riding a bike carriage) through Central Park. Here are some photos from that adventure:
But the best part of the bicycle carriage ride through Central Park was on one of the many “photo breaks” the driver gave us I discovered “Open Air Salsa” in the middle of Central Park! I spent my entire photo break watching people dance and took this little video which I will use to close this post:
This is sort of Part II of my post from yesterday, Wilmington, North Carolina in Black and White. We also took photos in color and I wanted to share a little more from our trip to Wilmington, NC for my partner John’s business meetings.
Let’s get started with THE BEACH!
In yesterday’s post I provided a little preview with this B&W photo I took after we parked our rental car and were headed to the beach:
Well here are some in color photos from our afternoon on the North Carolina coast:
There was something special about being on the East Coast of the US at the Atlantic Ocean again. It seems like I’ve spent a lot of my life (living in Seattle for 8 years and Oregon for 14 years) on the West Coast near or on the Pacific Ocean.
I grew up on the East Coast (Long Island and Upstate NY) and there was something so nostalgic about swimming in the Atlantic Ocean again! Now for me there was not much swimming as the waves were very active and even while standing on the shore I got knocked down by some forceful waves. John was braver and headed in deeper than I did.
A special treat of being on the Carolina coastline/Atlantic Ocean for the afternoon was all the SEASHELLS!
I spent part of the afternoon at the beach hunting for perfect seashells. I felt like I was a kid again wandering the seashore looking for shells!
Here is my haul:
And yes I have not been landlocked so long in Colorado that I thought the rock (with red arrow) was a seashell – ha! It was just a cool rock I found on the shore that wanted to come home with me!
We had a delicious lunch at a restaurant overlooking the ocean (had one of my favs for lunch – fish tacos!):
Since we were in a touristy coastal town, we had to of course indulge in the obligatory visit to the handmade candy shop (though we stayed away from the standard “salt water taffy” and fudge) and buy a caramel apple – yum!
Although tasty, it was not the best caramel covered candy apple we’ve ever had, that honor belongs to a candy shop in Estes Park, Colorado at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park (see post Rocky Mountain National Park).
Here are a couple more photos, this time in color, from the wander about downtown Wilmington I mentioned in yesterday’s post:
There was beautiful foliage everywhere. Definitely different types of plants than I see in Colorado!
Here we are at the shopping center I mentioned in yesterday’s post, before having dinner with his colleagues at a restaurant called “Port Land” instead of “Portland”.
Did you notice I managed not to cut off anyone’s head in the selfie above? Well that is because I think John took the selfie for me!
I will close this post with some photos that John took of the beautiful sunset on the river as we spent the early evening wandering the Wilmington Riverwalk:
A couple weeks ago my partner John had a 5 day business trip in Wilmington, North Carolina. Since I am not currently working (see post News) I accompanied him and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer stayed with the dog babysitter (Mike will do a post in the future about his adventures at “Dog Camp” for little dogs).
We stayed at the Embassy Suites on the Wilmington Riverfront, and each morning I went on a walk along the river to explore and take photos, many in Black & White. As some of you might remember I like to pretend I am a photographer and do B&W photoshoots (see my blog post category Life in B&W if you want to see more of my delusional photography…).
Here are some select B&W photos from my trip that I want to share with you (as usual I took a ridiculous amount of photos).
Here is the photo that I would call “The Money Shot” (like they do in Hollywood) – it is my favorite photo I took along the Wilmington Riverwalk:
I love the reflection of the clouds on the water!
I was fascinated by the old buildings I encountered while wandering around downtown Wilmington one day.
Wandering around Downtown Wilmington…
THE RAILROAD MUSEUM
I thought I would get time to visit the Railroad Museum while I was there because I love railroads but time got away from me and I will have to save it for next time. I did take some photos though…
Wilmington is on the North Carolina coast and we did spend an afternoon, when John was able to get out of meetings early, at the beach/ocean. Most of those photos were in color and I will share them on another post, but here is my one B&W photo at the on my way walk to the beach from where we parked.
Our hotel room had a separate living room/kitchenette area from the bedroom area. Between the kitchenette and the living room was a desk set up. While on the trip I spent a bit of time catching up on reading blog posts as well as writing some posts. I took a photo of the desk I worked from in our hotel room:
I really enjoyed pretending I am a photographer! I also really enjoyed Wilmington, North Carolina!
John will be returning in the future for more business trips and there is a lot more to explore.
I also met some of his wonderful colleagues that live in North Carolina at a company dinner and look forward to spending time with them again. We dined at a place called the Port Land Grille (and yes after living in the Pacific NW I got a giggle over the name…) and I will close this post with a photo from the shopping center next to the restaurant.
Here is my final installment on my series of blog posts about my first Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop. Thanks to everyone that made it through the first four posts covering days one and two of my adventure to visit all 11 quilt shops so I could complete my “shop hop passport” and get my Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop commemorative pin:
On day three of the shop hop my partner John and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joined me and we traveled to the last three shops I need to complete my passport Ruth’s Stitchery, Sew-Ciety, and Sew in Tune:
Our first stop was Ruth’s Stitchery in Colorado Springs, the shop we attempted to visit on day one of shop hopping but they closed at 3:00 pm. This is also the shop that is next door to a woodworking shop:
So while my woodworking partner John, with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer in a backpack on his back, wandered about Woodcraft, I wandered inside Ruth’s Stitchery.
The shop was much larger than it looked from the outside. I thought it would be a quick “in and out” to get my passport stamped, collect the mini panel for the shop, but instead I wandered for quite a while and bought a couple items. Here are a couple photos from inside the shop (in the first photo you will see their interpretation of the completed shop hop quilt using all the mini panels and one of the large panels:
SEW IN TUNE
The next shop on our third day shop hop adventure was Sew in Tune in Monument, Colorado. Not only was the shop absolutely darling with it’s camping theme, but the town of Monument was so beautiful! John and I plan to do a day trip back there just to wander around.
Here are a couple images for Monument, CO (from TripAdvisor and from HomesOnlineToday):
Yes it is actually that beautiful and looks like what you think Colorado should look like (at least in my mind). John and I were having a fantasy of retiring there someday!
Okay so back to quilt shop hopping – here are some photos from inside the adorable quilt shop in Monument – Sew in Tune (oh and the staff were super friendly):
As you see in the photos above, they had two versions/interpretations of the shop hop quilt using each of the large panels. I ended up buying the patterns as I really liked their designs (each shop that created an interpretation/design of how the shop hop quilt should look, also sold the pattern).
The last shop I needed to visit to complete my shop hop passport was Sew-Ciety in Castle Rock, CO. We did not watch our time very well (my fault for too much wandering) and we discovered the shop was closing at 3:00 pm! We arrived to the shop at 2:55 pm and all I had time to do was get my passport stamped before they closed.
I did not get to take any photos in that quilt shop but it looked like a nice shop and I will return at a later time to actually look around.
I did however get to turn in my completed stamped quilt shop hop passport to them (to be entered into the shop hop drawing); and I got my commemorative pin for completing the shop hop!
Yes it was a lot of work for a free pin but it was so fun to be introduced to a lot of quilt shops in Colorado.
I visited 4 shops, trying to knock out more on the 11 quilt shop visit requirement to complete my shop hop passport in order to be entered to win the grand prize (and get the lovely pin for completing the shop hop):
The 4 shops I visited on my own have red boxes around them in the graphic below:
Two of the shops really impressed me with their fabric selections, interiors and friendliness of staff. Those are the ones I took photos inside. I spent a very long time at Treelotta – the staff was wonderful, I chatted with other quilters and they had an AMAZING selection of fabrics!
The Creative Needle, Littleton, CO
Treelotta, Englewood, CO
I also have this photo but I am not sure which shop it is from! It might be from one of the other two I visited, but is it is a lovely interpretation of how to make a quilt from the mini panels you collect from each shop and one of the larger panels you can purchase during the shop hop:
So that was “Day Two” of the shop hop. I have one more post to share with you about the shop hop and John and Mike join me again for “Day Three”.
I am sitting my hotel room in Wilmington, North Carolina as I’ve joined my partner John for the week on his business trip. It’s been a surprisingly very busy summer of travel (and we’ve careful, safe and are vaccinated). I wonder if all this “make up” travel post 2020 pandemic is only a brief moment in time as things may return to 2020 lockdown levels. I am thinking of/sending good thoughts to my blogging buddies in NZ and AU and anywhere in our world else facing 2020ish lockdowns again. I do know how fortunate I am right now to be able to travel.
This post I am continuing my series of posts on my partner John, my Miniature Schnauzer Mike, and I attending our first Rocky Mountain Shop Hop (which included quilt shops from Englewood Colorado to Pueblo Colorado). If you are just joining us, here are the links to the two previous posts:
So in the previous post we had traveled to the wrong quilt shop (First Stitches in Canon City) which was not part of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop and returned to Pueblo, CO to stop at the correct shop:
Here was their version of the completed 2021 shop hop quilt using one of the large panels I mentioned in the first post on this series:
I do not remember if I mentioned it or not, but I did buy both the large panels from the 2021 shop hop – the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” one; and the Colorado Map one.
Then it was off to lunch on the Pueblo Riverwalk, which according to puebloriverwalk.org:
The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo (HARP) is a 32-acre urban waterfront experience open to the Public daily. The Riverwalk returned the Arkansas River to its historic location at the heart of downtown Pueblo, after being diverted in the 1920s due to a devastating flood that destroyed much of Pueblo. The Riverwalk’s current location serves the community by revitalizing a segment of the downtown area that was previously unsightly and unusable. This urban development transforms the community and has been vital in attracting new businesses, thereby helping to stabilize the economic base of the city. The Arkansas River has been the lifeblood of Pueblo for over 300 years. Native Americans followed the river for hunting and trapping. Early settlers came as sheepherders and cattlemen. Agriculture blossomed in Pueblo’s warmer climate and the steel industry used the bountiful water resources to build a massive manufacturing center.
Before eating lunch on the patio (so Mike the Miniature Schnauzer could join us) the Brues Alehouse Brewing Company, we went for a walk along the Riverwalk in Pueblo and were surprised how cool it was (I love the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas and I did not think it would be as cool as that one).
Here are some photos from our stroll on the Riverwalk in Pueblo:
We wander the Riverwalk while waiting for our table to become available at the Brewery and were sort of disappointed when we got the text that the table was ready sooner than they originally said. We wanted to explore the area a little longer.
We had a delicious lunch at Brues Alehouse Brewing Company, I had the vegan tacos with fried avocados and John had a local speciality called a “Slopper” which is an open faced hamburger smothered in green chili.
Mike had some doggy snacks were brought and glared at his imaginary nemesis – another dog dining outside on the patio (Mike I guess wanted to be the only dog on the patio).
It was a little warm in the shade of the patio so we put an ice cube on Mike’s head to help him cool down from walking the Riverwalk:
Here we are enjoying our craft beer at the brewery:
I know, I know, another masterfully snapped selfie by me (should find an online selfie snapping training program!)
I had fun chatting with the staff at the shop as well as other quilters/shop hoppers. I spent much longer in this shop than I had anticipated (and bought more than I had anticipated, ha!)
Little did I know that the second shop in Colorado Springs, CO closed at 3 pm and I was about to miss out crossing it off my shop hop list because I spent too long at the first shop I went to in Colorado Springs!
When we arrived (too late but did not know it yet) to Ruth’s Stitchery in Colorado Springs, my partner John (whose hobby is woodworking) was greeted with a wonderful surprise: the quilt shop is next to Woodcraft a woodworking shop!
He and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (in his backpack) headed into Woodcraft for a wander and I headed over to the quilt shop to discover it was closed. I was so disappointed as it meant we would have to drive 70+ minutes back to Colorado Springs before the shop hop ended on August 21; but I was able to entertain myself while John and Mike were wandering the woodworking shop – there was a large charity thrift shop in the same shopping center!
After Colorado Springs we headed home from day one of the 2021 Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop – we were tired and I had reached my limit (too many quilt shops in one day makes going into quilt shops less special).
However there are more quilt shops to come in the next post in the series as I was determined to visit all 11 and complete the shop hop!
Here are summary of Day One – 4 shops total (red stars):
Our first Colorado Quilt Shop Hop adventure began in Fountain, CO and in this post we have made it to Pueblo, Colorado for the second leg of our adventure.
But first let’s talk about this:
This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer working a quilt shop staff member at Stitcher’s Gardenin Pueblo, CO for treats! Curiously they happen to have a bag of doggy treats in the back stockroom and Mike was fed many of them!
It was very warm during the shop hop and we wanted to bring Mike the Mini Schnauzer on the road trip but not leave him the car, so it was backpacking into the quilt shops for him!
All the shops were “dog-in-a-backpack-friendly” and I think he gained a couple pounds from treats during the shop hop!
Luckily there we some nice local town parks or scenic walks that my partner John could take him on if I needed some extended time in any quilt shop. Mike enjoyed riding around in the backseat of the car with this cozy blanket and the cooler filled with our sparkling waters, soda, and snacks for roadtripping. (He just wished he had opposable thumbs so he could open the cooler when he wanted and grab his own snack!)
The first quilt shop we visited in Pueblo was Stitcher’s Gardenand here are some photos from that shop so you can have a virtual shop hop experience:
Did you see the Batik fabric cowboy boots in one of the above photos? Those made me laugh! They were not wearable but they would be a funny decorative/storage item for your quilting room! And did you notice the giant bag of treats the quilt shop staff member had in her hand while she was petting her new friend Mike?!?!?!
So far our quilt shop hop was going well until….
After our visit to that first quilt shop in Pueblo, CO, my understanding was that we had one more quilt shop in Pueblo on the 2021 Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop but when my partner John put the shop’s name “First Stitches” into his Google Maps the directions said the shop was in Canon City, CO. So we listened to Google Maps instead of our COMMON SENSE and headed out 41 miles to Canon City (do you see where this is headed…not in the right direction…).
The staff at the First Stitches quilt shop were warm and friendly and when I asked for them to punch my Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop ticket (which gives you credit for visiting each shop) they said: “Oh we are not participating in the shop hop, our ORIGINAL SHOP in PUEBLO is participating”.
So we drove back to Pueblo, tried Google Maps again and found the correct shop.
But, I had a lovely time at the wrong shop and here are photos from the First Stitches quilt shop in Canon City, CO:
I even bought some beautiful Ruby Star Society butterfly fabric at the unnecessary-stop-quilt-shop. John felt bad about the accidental side trip but it was just as much my fault as his for not using that thing called COMMON SENSE and double checking the Rocky Mountain Shop Hop quilt shop list!
After going to the correct shop which I quickly ran into, go my shop hop “passport” stamped and ran out because at this point we were so hungry, we went to the Riverwalk in Pueblo lunch, which was more beautiful than I anticipated.
I’ll save that and our next quilt shop adventure along the shop hop for my next post.
I’ve lived in Colorado for over 2 years now but I’ve never been to a “Quilt Store Shop Hop” like those I used to attend when I lived in Seattle, WA (where I began quilting) and Bend, Oregon.
On August 6th my partner John, my Miniature Schnauzer Mike, and I attended our first Rocky Mountain Shop Hop which included quilt shops from Englewood Colorado to Pueblo Colorado.
To enter the big drawing you had to visit all 11 shops but they give you 17 days to do it (August 5th through August 21st). You also get a special Rocky Mountain Shop Hop completion pin unique for 2021.
The coolest thing is that each participating shop has a unique Colorado themed mini panel that you can collect (for $5) to create along with the major panels, a Colorado themed quilt.
Here are all the mini panels:
And here are the two larger panels which can be configured into many different quilt designs (each shop had their own sampler quilt, pattern and kit for a Colorado themed quilt.
It was a wonderful place to start our shop hop as the staff was so inviting and friendly and they provided yummy snacks!
So you can have a virtual shop hop experience, here are some photos of the shop I took as I wandered about.
The shop had a fabulous collection of antique sewing machines all around the shop, here are a few:
An interesting thing about the shop is that you did not enter via the front door. Instead you entered through this really cool side door. The shop was located in downtown Fountain, CO and the building where the shop was located was obviously historic.
I overheard while in the shop, when another customer asked, the reason for the side door entry was a leftover from having to control entry during COVID pandemic restrictions.
More to come on my first Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop adventure but I thought I would get started sharing with this post.
Back in May my partner John took me for a weekend atThe Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It was absolutely amazing! Here is the image from the front page of the resort website:
And from their website:
We began welcoming guests in Colorado Springs in 1918 and have remained one of the most recognizable and celebrated hotels in the world. Our distinctive blend of history, luxury and genuine hospitality has made us the longest-running consecutive winner of both the AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star awards. We continue that legacy with an unmatched selection of accommodations, activities, and experiences that invite guests to immerse themselves in the beauty and traditions of the American West.
I’ve never stayed at a place so luxurious!
Our hotel room had it’s own doorbell:
John got us a room overlooking the lake and I forgot to take photos inside the room but here is a YouTube video of some video footage I took:
Our hotel room was basically an apartment with a walk-in closet and a bathroom bigger than the room I rented when I was first in college! And we were in a “middle level” room as there were many more luxurious suites and cottages you could reserve (for high level prices!).
The hotel/resort is so beautiful and although it was overcast and a little rainy the weekend we visited I still got some lovely images to give you a feel for the place:
Throughout the hotel there was a historic and European vibe as well as endless places to sit and relax.
I brought my English Paper Piecing with me and we had a lovely time in the evenings sitting around crafting (me) and reading/playing on iPad (John). Although there were a lot of guests, there were lots of cozy nooks you could find to nest in at the hotel.
There was also a LIBRARY! The resort had an amazing library nook/room with delicious cozy places to nest and read their huge collection of books (which you could borrow and take to your room):
As you can imagine, I spent a bit of time in the library. John and I hung out there for quite a while and I snuck back on my own, ha!
We noticed people walking around the grounds in long bathrobes and wondered what was going on.
Well they were coming from the spa area. In our room we had a set of long bathrobes and decided “when in Rome…”, put them on and headed to the spa/pool area ourselves.
It was so fun to walk around the grounds in our robes – here is John walking about in his robe:
We enjoyed the indoor pool as well as the amazing outdoor jacuzzi which overlooked the golf course:
I did not want to leave the jacuzzi but I was getting waterlogged after a while!
And speaking the golf course, The Broadmoor has an amazing golf course. John and I both play golf (he is way better than I am) and next time we visit we plan to book a tee time.
Many celebrities, politicians, heads of state, authors, etc. have stayed at The Broadmoor over the years. The resort has a whole section in one of its hallways dedicated to photos of famous people who have stayed there:
I took of course a ridiculous amount of photos (there were endless photographic moments), but I will just share one more group of photos – The Broadmoor has an amazing “Prohibition” collection of “fine spirits” from the early 20th Century:
It was a memorable birthday celebration weekend and I look forward to returning someday (like when it is sunny!)
I am sitting in the Philadelphia airport and I figure this is a great time to complete this series of posts about the trip my visiting sister and I took in June 2021 from Denver to Glenwood Springs, Colorado via Amtrak train.
See these posts for Parts I – III if you are just joining us:
After an amazing weekend, it was time to take the train back to Denver.
This time we decided to sit on the opposite side of the train (right instead of left) that we did going to Glenwood Springs to try and get different views. Now you could argue we sat on the same side of the train on the way back as we did the way there, as we were on the left side going there and the right side going back…but I think you know what I mean…
So here are some of my favorite photos (we both took a ridiculous amount of photos out the train window) on the train ride back to Denver which include the sunset (we traveled to Glenwood Springs on a morning train; the return train is an afternoon train ride):
And of course the photos do not do justice to the actual beauty of the scenery but it was the best we could do looking out a UV protected film window on the train!
It was pretty late when we got into Denver as the train got delayed on the ride home.
The next day we laid low, relaxed around the house and played with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer. I will close this post (and this series of posts on our adventure) with some darling photos we took of my sister and Mike.
I am visiting my brother and his family on the Eastern Coast of the U.S. right now and spent yesterday in New York City, but that is subject material for a future blog post (it seems like instead of “tierneycreates”, lately I am “tierneytravels”). For now I will continue my series of posts about the adventure I had with my sister in June 2021 traveling to Glenwood Spring, Colorado via Amtrak train.
If you are just joining us, here are Parts I and II (there will be a total of 4 parts when this series is complete):
Arriving in Glenwood Springs via train, we first took in the beautiful scenery around the train station:
After checking into the Bed and Breakfast we were staying at, The Floradora House, we headed out to explore the downtown area and visit the brewery that I enjoyed on my first visit to Glenwood Springs – Casey’s Brewing.
Here we are hanging out at Casey’s Brewing:
Yes, look it is another selfie where I am not looking at the camera – ha!
Downtown Glenwood Springs is lovely and we had fun wandering about the shops and restaurants.
Glenwood Springs has two historic hotels: The Hotel Denverand The Hotel Colorado. They are on opposite sides of the bridge connecting one section of Glenwood Springs to the other.
Our Bed & Breakfast accommodations were within walking distance of downtown and here is the wonderful room we shared:
Even better than the beautiful room was the fun we had at the included breakfast each morning, visiting with other guests visiting from around the U.S. and Canada. Here is the wonderful main floor guest dining area and a sampling of the breakfasts.
We had two mornings of incredible conversations as we chatted with different guests each morning. We even met someone who had grown up in New York like we did.
Our second day in town we headed to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs (what they are famous for – natural mineral hot springs), which in my post Weekend in Glenwood Springs (my first visit to Glenwood Springs with my partner John), I referred to as “taking a bath with a hundred or so other people”.
We spent the morning there and then returned in the evening (you buy a day pass). Here is my sister enjoying some “community bathing”!
It is pretty warm in the hot springs mineral pools and you can only stay in 5 – 15 minutes before you have to get out or just sit on the side of the pool and take a break, otherwise (as I discovered) you get pretty dizzy!
Our third day in town we went on a little adventure and walked a couple miles to the closest thrift shop (my sister loves “thrifting” like I do, actually she was the one who got me into it):
On our trek to the thrift shop we saw some people paragliding off one of the many hills in Glenwood Springs:
After thrifting we stopped at a delicious donut shop, Sweet Coloradough for a treat and relaxed on their patio with our sugary delights:
We had several yummy meals while in town. Here I am at one of the delicious restaurants after a relaxing session at the hot springs:
We wished we had one more day planned in Glenwood Springs, but before we knew it, it was time to head home.
The final post in this series will be photos from our train ride home, which had different views than the trip to Glenwood Springs (time of day was different and we sat on the opposite site on the way home).
Our trip started early in the morning at Denver’s Union Station. Union Station is the prettiest train station I’ve ever been in (including several I’ve been at in Europe):
Here are several of my images as we waited for the train in lovely surroundings:
And if you’d like to see some images I took in the “Silvertone” setting on my camera:
Our train was arriving in the station around 8:00 am but we got there an hour early and had coffee/tea and pastries while lounging on one of the comfortable sofas in the station.
The station is so beautiful you’d want to just grab your laptop and go work on a blog post with a cup of tea or coffee, even if you were not catching a train!
Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, Colorado
6 hours sounds like a long time to be on a train, but not if you get to spend the time having delicious snacks, catching up with your sister, and seeing amazing scenery as we traveled this route:
Driving to Glenwood Springs is a 4 hour trip but I think the additional 2+ hours (the train ride was over 6+ hours due to having to slow down while going over the Continental Divide) is worth it because you are not driving I-70 at steep inclines as you climb up the mountains (not only steep inclines and sharp curves but also some crazy drivers who all seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere…).
After departing Denver’s Union Station westbound, the train begins the section of railway that made the Zephyr famous—a 300-mile journey over the Colorado Rocky Mountains, along the Colorado River and through Glenwood Canyon. Because roadways take a different route, much of the landscape through which the train travels is viewable only to rail passengers.
As the train leaves the Eastern Slope behind, it travels through 31 tunnels before entering the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel and crosses the Continental Divide. Passengers are plunged into darkness for nearly 10 minutes before emerging back into daylight at the west portal, near Winter Park Ski Area.
The route continues on the Western Slope of Colorado through remote Fraser Canyon, Granby—the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and rugged Gore Canyon. The final 12.5 miles through Glenwood Canyon are among the most spectacular, with unimpeded views of the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River, the historic Shoshone Hydroelectric Plant, the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, and of course, the soaring 1,300-foot cliffs.
The seats in coach were very comfortable and were modified recliners with leg lifts so you could put your feet up. Here we are enjoying one of the many snacks we packed for the train ride in our cooler:
Now comes the difficult part of writing this post: deciding which of the zillion photos we took during the train ride to Glenwood Springs to share with you, without blowing out my blog’s media allotment (and I have an upgraded WordPress plan!). Every time we thought we’d seen the most amazing sight out of our train window another amazing sight appeared! And as you can guess, the pictures do not do justice to what it was like to actually be looking out the window.
So I will use the rest of this post to share those images I selected. For the most part the images are in the order that we saw them on the train ride. You will see at times we are traveling along the Colorado River. Oh and one of the photos is of the observation car which has large windows/glass dome – passengers can take turns sitting in the car to get a more 360 degree view.
And here are a couple short video clips I uploaded to YouTube to provide more visuals (the first one was a “jaw-dropping” experience):
Part III of this series of posts will talk about our time in Glenwood Spring, CO.
In early May 2021 I went on a road trip to see Glenwood Springs, CO for the first time (see post Weekend in Glenwood Springs). I love it so much that I decided it was the perfect trip to take my sister on when she visited in mid June. But this time instead of driving there, we took the Amtrak train!
Above is another terrible attempt at a selfie (I am the “World’s Worst Selfie Taker”) and I am not sure why I am staring off in the wrong direction, ha!
We wandered to various little shops boutiques and had lunch at a very delicious restaurant (where I took our selfie).
After the South Pearl Street wander about and lunch, we went to the huge Goodwill downtown (my sister loves thrift/charity shops also) and we had a wonderful browse there as well as several other thrift shops we stopped at on the way back to my house.
I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over 2 years now (moved here in April 2019) and the geologic beauty of this state never ceases to amaze.
A couple of weeks ago, between installments of out of town visitors (3 sets so far and more coming!), we visited Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Glenwood Springs is famous for its natural mineral hot springs and this was the primary reason we visited – so I could experience a mineral hot springs for the first time, as well as see the beauty of this region.
The drive was gorgeous, especially when we got to Glenwood Canyon which is before you get to Glenwood Springs. We stopped at a park/rest stop in Glenwood Canyon along the river and wow:
I did not want to leave the park/rest stop area, just wanted to pitch a tent by the water and relax!
Here is a little video I took that I uploaded to YouTube (unfortunately I did not think to film it landscape):
Once we got into Glenwood Springs, we checked into the Hotel Colorado which is one of Colorado’s historic hotels (there is another historic hotel nearby, The Hotel Denver, and these are the famous hotels in Glenwood Springs).
I appreciated that there was a framed quilt inside the hotel!
There was a bridge from the Hotel Colorado side of the town to the shopping/downtown area, which provided a nice view of the area:
Do you see the train tracks in the image above? Well keeps those in mind for what I will mention at the end of this post.
Once we got into downtown, we wandered about – there are lots of shops, eateries and pubs. We stopped at a wonderful brewery tasting room and had pierogis for lunch from the food truck across the street.
After lunch we browed a used bookstore which also had a quilt:
The hot springs mineral water felt great but it was like taking a bath with a hundred or so other people! We all had our bathing suits on but it still felt a little strange with all those people surrounding us while we soaked in the hot springs!
It was a very fun weekend and I appreciate all the post vaccine travel we are able to do now.
Okay, so I asked you to remember the image earlier in this post with the train tracks. Well in the near future I will be riding on those train tracks! My sister is coming to visit and I am taking her to Glenwood Springs for the weekend via the Amtrak train from Denver to Glenwood Springs.
I am hoping it is as scenic as it looked when we drove to Glenwood Springs and saw the train tracks along the way.
I haven’t traveled by Amtrak train in many years and I am pretty excited about the 5+ hour train ride from Union Station in downtown Denver to Glenwood Springs. My sister and plan to bring a picnic to eat on the train, relax, read and of course catch up.
Since I am in my 8th year of blogging, throughout this year I will occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years of archives.
Here is a post from September 2018 I stumbled upon when randomly looking up something on my blog today. What is bittersweet is that the lines in the song by the group Train that I quote in this September 2018 ended up being so true when I unexpectedly lost my partner in life a couple months later (December 2018).
Here’s to the time we have, here’s to the lines we crossed, here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost.
Here’s to the time we have, thank God for what we got.
Here’s to the one’s we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost, and found, the ones who stick around.
Lost and found, the ones who stick around.
– “Lost and Found” written by Patrick Monahan and William Wiik Larsen
Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”
September 6, 2018
Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are upset or struggling with something and you do not understand why? Well it could be the “Ghost Children“…
Throughout 2018, nearly non-stop, I’ve been listening to non-fiction audiobooks (with a couple science fiction audiobooks peppered in). (Please see the original post Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children” if you’d like to see the list of non-fiction/self improvement audiobooks )
Between my daily walks (3 – 4+ miles a day), road trips, cross country plane rides, and sewing marathons, I’ve knocked off a lot of audiobooks so far in 2018.
Most of these audiobooks were highly engaging, filled with many useful ideas, tips, and inspirations; however one audiobook really stood out: Geneen Roth’s This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide.
While listening to this audiobook, read by the author, I was introduced to the concept of “Ghost Children“. According to Geneen Roth, “Ghost Children” are the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves based on an unhealed/hurt part of us that believes things such as we’re not good enough, we are unlovable, we are not worthy – because at some point in our life, many times in childhood, we had unmet needsor a hurt which are still seeking to get comfort from.
Geneen Roth has done a lot of work with women who emotionally overeat (she holds workshops and has written books focused on this topic) and she ties the “Ghost Children” concept to why people emotionally overeat to comfort their hurting “Ghost Children” but I clearly saw a connection to other behaviors.
This connection helped me during a difficult time on a recent business trip attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Ghost Children” Appear
I work in the healthcare industry and I attended a healthcare industry software related conference in late July/early August held at the Aria Hotel’s Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV.
The healthcare software company sponsoring the conference was very generous to its attendees to include providing a private Train concert on one of the conference evenings, at the Brooklyn Bowl. I was very excited about this concert as I’ve like the band Train (Drops of Jupiter, Meet Virginia, Calling All Angels) since they first came out with their song Drops of Jupiter in 2001.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) accompanied me on the trip to Las Vegas and I confirmed with someone at the conference registration desk that he could also attend the conference. He is also a long time fan of the band Train, so I was excited to share this private concert with him which also included an open bar and food (as I said the sponsoring software conference company was very generous).
So the evening came for the concert and TTQH headed to the tour bus set up for conference attendees to be transported to the Brooklyn Bowl for the concert. While on line to load the bus, we discovered that only conference attendees with conference badges could get on the bus and attend the conference. TTQH was not able to attend with me.
We were in shock and incredibly disappointed as I had verified with the conference registration desk that he could attend, only to find out that the staff at the registration desk very misinformed. I was torn – on one hand I wanted to go to the concert on the other hand I did not want to just leave TTQH behind at the hotel with this sudden disappointment.
TTQH is a very enlightened and well-adjusted person (one of us has to be in the marriage – ha!) and he quickly recovered from the disappointment and strongly insisted that I just attend alone and have a great time. (Something I did not mention the first time I posted this post in September 2018 – for $200 I could have bought TTQH access to the special events of the conference like the Train concert. Oh how in retrospect I wish I had even if he said it was “ok”. I wish I had the memory of attending the concert with him.)
So I got back in line and then got on the tour bus. The tour bus was filling up quickly and people were filling every available seat. Except in my row. No one sat with me. (This was likely because I had a very sad look on my face as I was so disappointed I could not share the concert experience with TTQH). The last person got on the bus and sat with the last seat available besides the one next to me.
So the entire bus was filled, except for the seat next to me. Before I knew it I was quietly sobbing to myself on the bus ride to the Brooklyn Bowl and did not know why.
But – I remembered the audiobook I had recently finished, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide , and realized one of my “Ghost Children” had popped up!
When I was around 10 years old my parents had a major disagreement with other parents in the neighborhood and, unknown to me at the time, the other neighborhood parents had told their children not to play with me. For a couple weeks, none of my regular friends in the neighborhood, who I played with everyday after school, would play with me. They all ignored me.
I did not understand why and as you could imagine this was fairly traumatic for a 10 year old who was used to playing with most of the kids on my block for many years. Finally one of the children was kind enough to pull me aside and tell me what happened. It was a very upsetting and frustrating experience as I was being punished for something I did not do and I was now an outsider/outcast from my long-time playmates. It is one of those feelings you never forget and I guess it eventually became one of my “Ghost Children”.
Realizing where my sudden painful feelings were coming from as I sat alone on the bus (no one wanting to sit with me), helped me pull myself together. I decided: “yes I am attending this concert alone, but I am going to have a fun time and find a group of people to hang out with during the concert”. There is so much power in awareness of where an emotion/reaction is coming from – it gives you options on how you react.
And this is exactly what I did. Upon arrival, I asked a group of women if I could hang with them for the evening and eventually ended up in another group and had a wonderful time – a “Ghost Children” free evening!
The Train concert was incredible (I sat close to the stage in an elevated area of the bar to the right of the stage) and got to connect with some wonderful people before the concert and during. I learned some new trivia about some of their songs from another concert attendee: the lead singer, Pat Monahan wrote Drops of Jupiter about the death of his mother (now some of the lyrics I never understood make sense).
Here is a little excerpt from the concert (which was only open to concert attendees) – Train performing Lost and Found (I finally learned how to upload videos to YouTube):
I love the lyrics in this song (excerpt from Google):
My Dad said son, one Day we’ll have a drink together You’re young You got to take your time Just trust Let me raise you right, and later We can raise a glass to life, and say
Here’s to the time we have Here’s to the lines we crossed Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on And the ones we lost Here’s to the time we have Thank God for what we got Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost
And found, the ones who stick around
Lost and found, the ones who stick around
“Ghost Children” Free
I feel like writing Geneen Roth, the author of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide, and thanking her for introducing me to the “Ghost Children” concept. Thanks to what I learned from her book I was able to reset a moment and turn it around.
You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. It’s possible to treat yourself with outrageous kindness beginning today.― Geneen Roth
During the conference I got to attend my first TED Talks/TED Salon and that was a very cool experience.
The TED Talks were focused on the future of health care. It was amazing after years of watching TED Talks online to see how formally TED Talks are filmed. There are hosts that coach the audience on etiquette for the Talk once filming starts.
The six speakers who talks about moving health care forward were amazing and here is a post on the TED Blog I found about the event:
This is sort of part 2 of the May 6th post Out of town guests? Put them to work!. We didn’t just make our friends visiting from Oregon work on home remodeling projects, we did actually take them sightseeing.
The weather was cold and a bit snowy during their visit but they really wanted to see the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to Wikipedia, The Garden of the Gods is comprised of “red rock formations were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago”.
This was my second time there and very different from my first visit in August 2019 when we took my visiting sister and nephew there (see post And on the 8th Day…Part I). It was much sunnier and much warmer in August.
In honor of the difference between the warm August and cold/snowy early April visit, I took photos in Black & White instead of color.
Here is a photo journal of the day – enjoy (or cringe at my attempt to be a B&W photographer, ha!):
And yes, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joined us in the backpack.
We been “on holiday” and have had several sets of visitors (as well as more to come over the next several months). You give people vaccines and they just go crazy – ha! (Speaking of vaccine, we did get our one dose Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine at the beginning on April – yay!!!!)
So now it’s back to some blogging for me and I was torn between first catching up on reading my blogging buddies posts from the past several weeks versus writing a post myself. But if I don’t go ahead and start writing posts it well it might be a couple more weeks before you hear from me (smile).
OH ORLANDO (FLORIDA)
Not sure why I added the “oh” in front of “Orlando” but I do love alliteration in blog post titles (one of the small pleasures in life).
On April 9th my partner John and I headed to Orlando, Florida for a 4 day vacation which included a visit to Universal Studios Florida.
Here we are in the obligatory photo in front of the Universal Studios Theme Park globe:
I am a notoriously bad group selfie photo taker but at least 75% or so of John’s head got in the photo!
Tierney here, writing to you from the “Snowpocalypse” in Colorado, buried under quite a bit of snow. Any of my blogging friends live in Florida or anywhere warm? May I move in with you?
Well none of you invited me to come live with you in Florida (ha); somehow I got Florida stuck in my mind (warm, sun, no snow); and I read an article somewhere that that Orlando theme parks had excellent COVID protocols.
In retrospect I think I would have enjoyed visiting a Florida coastal town and enjoying the beach but I’ll save that for my next trip to Florida.
When we first arrived at the Universal Studios Resort area which a shopping and eatery area before you get to the theme park entrance, we were very naughty and began our day with a Voodoo Donutstreat:
I had a crazy sugar rush after my exceptionally delicious jelly donut but I worked it off (and hopefully the 10,000 calories) from walking 13,000+ steps per my phone around Universal Studios theme park.
We went on a Monday and were surprised how many people were there. The lines were long to get on each attraction because they had COVID protocols and could not fill each line. We also discovered we were there during a “Spring Break” time (we thought we had bypassed “Spring Break”).
We did not go on as many rides as we planned but here were our favorites:
I could not take any photos but it was based on the Jason Bourne movies and was a mind blowing mix of live action and 3D effects. Definitely worth seeing.
I screamed the entire ride as the 3D was super realistic and I thought I was actually plummeting down a skyscraper!
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
This ride was so fun as it was a virtual race through NYC and being a native New Yorker (grew up in Long Island and Update NY), I’ve spent a lot of time in NYC (pre-COVID my sister and I would go a “girls trip” at least once a year there).
Note: none of the rides allowed you to take photos in the actual ride, so any photos I am sharing are from the attraction’s wait queue line or the front of the attraction.
The Fast & Furious Ride
I’ve see all the Fast and Furious franchise movies and the ride itself was an amazing 3D experience but what was really amazing was the extremely detailed recreation of the garage from the movies where the built and services their racing high performance cars. We really enjoyed waiting on/moving through the line on this attraction and seeing the recreation of the garage.
You can look at the images on the link I provided above and I am just going to share some of my favorite things from Diagon Alley:
Books that can eat you from the bookshop:
And Self-Knitting Needles (wouldn’t that save a lot of time!):
In addition to Universal Studios we stayed in Orlando near a collection of shops, restaurants and attractions called Icon Park. We ate several meals at restaurants at this park and had an especially memorial and delicious meal of paella at Tapa del Torowhich also featured flamingo dancers while you ate.
It was a lot of paella and luckily our hotel room had a refrigerator and microwave so we could enjoy our leftovers the next day. John did go golfing with his colleague who lives in the Orlando area one morning while I binged watched a Netflix show (you got to have some downtime/chill out time on vacation).
So that was our Orlando trip, more stories of recent adventures (and even some about crafting) to come!
I am in my 8th year of blogging and I thought throughout this year I would occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years archives. Here are two posts combined into one for this post about attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show in Portland, Oregon in March 2018.
It is quite bittersweet to share this post (and any posts pre-December 2018) as my partner in life and crafting, Terry the Quilting Husband passed on December 2018. But we did not know that was going to happen and we were fully enjoying life together before his unexpected passing.
Trends Show Part I and II
Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate (originally posted March 21, 2018)
They Invited Me So I Went
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.
I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.
My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015, Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).
I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!
Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.
I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.
My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.
I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).
So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.
Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah Saafir, Kathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.
I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:
The Drive to Portland
There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.
We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).
The Unexpected Roommate
Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).
After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.
It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!
I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!
Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.
When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”
I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.
The Unexpected Teacher
Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.
And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!