Beastie Adventures, Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!

Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part II

This post is a continuation of the post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat .

I have returned today as the Guest Blogger after I was interrupted by Halloween and then Tierney announcing the winners of the tierneycreates 5th anniversary giveaways in yesterday’s post.

Do I need to introduce myself again? This is tierneycreates Beastie. I am a monster, but the good kind of monster. You can learn all about me and catch up on my adventures in the series of posts Beastie Adventures.

Okay so now that the introduction is over, let’s return to how I was left to wander around the Quilt Retreat because Tierney would not let me help the other quilters cut their fabric, sigh.

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Not allowed to actually use the rotary cutter, only teased with it!

Wandering Around the Retreat (continued)

In the last post I shared the Penguin Party blocks that 3 of the quilters were working on. Here are some other works in progress and a completed jelly roll rug:

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There was also some major Tula Pink All Stars action that is a follow up to this post – Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II), but Tierney want to milk stories from this retreat for as many blog posts as possible so that will be covered on another post (Beastie eye roll).


Quilt Retreat Food

There was all sort of interesting foods served at the retreat, a quilter could never go hungry! There was also a birthday celebration for some of the quilters and birthday cake:

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And what’s under this dome?

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Well it’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake! (No worries it was not served on the same evening as the birthday cake – ha!)

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Inside the Quilt Retreat Center Main House

The Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, Washington has a quilt retreat center where all the sewing happens; it also has the main house with the sleep accommodations, living and dining rooms and a classroom.  Here are some images from inside the main house which is decorated with…you guessed it – quilts!

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Tierney always brings the host, Nancy a handmade gift each time she attends the retreat and here are a couple of her gifts from previous years displayed – a miniature kimono and sets of coasters:

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Road Trip!

During the quilt retreat, we had to do a little road trip to a quilt shop! We went to the quilt shop Country Manor in Battleground WA.

I got to wander around the aisle of the quilt shop.

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I like yarn shops better as they can lead to more Beas

The best part though was the road trip to the quilt shop, I got to ride for a while in the front on one of the quilter’s shoulders!

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Road Trippin’!

Take a Hike!

You can’t just sit around and sew and eat. You have to get some exercise! Sew N Go is located in the country with lots of farms around and the quilters went for daily walks. Here are some photos from their walks:

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Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty

As with previous retreats, Tierney visited with Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty.

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Abbey was chewing on one of her “hot spots” on her tummy and did have to wear a “collar of comfort” for part of the quilt retreat:

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That did not slow her down from trying to get pets from Tierney (I could not pet her with my limited Beastie arm motion, plus she might have thought I was a toy!)


Inside the Classroom

The large garage of the Sew N Go Retreat main house was converted into a classroom a couple of years ago. It is an impressive garage conversion! Here are a couple project going on in the classroom.

Quilts of Honor

Nancy the owner of Sew N Go and her friends have a Quilts of Honor (like Quilts of Valor) where they make quilts for Veterans and then present them in a special ceremony. One of the quilters volunteering on this project makes incredible embroidered labels for each Veteran’s quilt that is customized with their name. Here is a section of one of those labels:

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Cool Carry All

Not sure what you would officially call this, but in the classroom were examples of an awesome carrier for quilting or other supplies that were recently made. Tierney bought the pattern to make one herself:

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Back Home

I was exhausted when we got back home, it was a long weekend for a Beastie! Tierney and I took the Central Oregon Breeze bus to Portland for the retreat and back home, and it is about a 4 hour bus ride (why does she live in the middle of nowhere?!?!).

But the best part of returning back home for me, was being reunited with my dog Mikelet who was so happy to see me!

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I can feel the love!

Postscript

There are more posts to come about the retreat, this time by Tierney, but she and I are going to take a little break from blogging after 31+ days straight (and you can get a break from reading these crazy musings!).

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Quilt Retreats

Quilt Retreat Inspiration and Projects

2 weeks ago today, at this time, I was on a bus back to Central Oregon after a relaxing 4 day/3 night quilting retreat at Sew N Go Retreats.

So I think I better finish up my series of posts on the 2017 annual quilt retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters. I have a backlog of other blog posts ideas in my head and unless I finish this series I will not get to them.

If you are starting here, below are the links to the previous four posts in this series:

Relaxation Can Lead to Inspiration

For me it was a mellow and laid back quilt retreat experience. I did not even bring my sewing machine, only hand sewing projects. I did not drive, I took the bus (see post The Road to Retreat (via Bus!).

And, I spent a bit of time here, instead of in the quilt retreat center:

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My special “quilting retreat seating”
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I can see the quilting retreat center from here, does that count?

Looking at this:

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Hello, impossibly blue sky with a couple fluffy clouds over Portland, Oregon region

Or this:

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Hello, beautiful sunset!

I also spent a lot of time going on walks (see post Quilt Retreat Animals) and found inspiration in nature, surrounding farms, and a stump with moss and fungi! (see post The Beauty of Moss and Fungi):

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Area farm
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Lovely little shed, tree and old bike vignette discovered on a walk
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The infamous NW slug
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The beauty of moss and fungi

Sewing did actually occur, primarily by my quilting retreat sisters, however I have a couple projects to report.

Quilting Sisters’ Projects

Before they were projects, they were this nest of sewing machine, fabric, patterns and supplies! (one of my quilting sister’s stations):

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Here is a montage of the projects the other quilt retreat attendees worked on:

One of my quilting sisters was working on a project she found on Pinterest and reverse engineered how to do it (she is mighty crafty!) The project involves scrappy log cabin piecing of roses, set in scrappy pieced green log cabins:

I got a kick out her workstation as she worked on the quilt, it was highly organized with scraps of various colors:

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Inspired by Others

One of my quilting sisters worked on this quilt, with a lovely collection of bee themed fabric:

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The fabric line of the fabric with the printed designs is Bee Inspired by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics and it was very darling:

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Photo credit: Moda fabrics

She gave me her scraps, which I turned into English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexagons during the retreat:

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I had so much fun trying to “fussy cut” the scraps into hexagons with specific images. I have many more hexagons to make before this can become a future project; and I will do a future blog post on this project (like in 2018 when I get to working on these again?!?!).

The same quilting sister was working on another project that I got to benefit from, this time on an even larger scale. She brought several “UFOs” (unfinished objects) including one from a class she took many years ago involving a mixture of embroidered blocks and non embroidered blocks. She did not select the fabric for the class it was part of the class kit. Now revisiting it, years later, she was not sure she liked the fabric or the design of the quilt:

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Small sampling of the blocks, not all blocks put up on wall

The fabric did not match her home decor and she did not have someone in mind to make the quilt for as a gift. I offered to take it off her hands and she gave me the blocks already made and all the remaining fabric/scraps.

Now it has become a “Challenge Bag” (see post Basket of Challenges) and I will feature it in a future post when I finish redesigning it into a different piece:

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Challenge Bag added to the “basket of challenges”, hoping to become a quilt someday

Tierney’s Projects?

So Tierney, besides fleecing one of your quilting sisters for her scraps and even an entire project, did you work on anything??!?!

Why yes I did. I worked on my stack of EPP rosettes (getting the rows between each hexagon sewn together:

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And I worked on an appliqué wallhanging that I started in a class in 2016 (see post Adventures in Appliqué):

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I really enjoyed blanket stitching and the more I practice the better I get (at least in my mind). Blanket stitching and other hand stitching is very relaxing and even meditative.

I might be tied with another quilt sister (she knows who she is) for the title of “Least Productive” but I had an incredible and relaxing time. The quilting sister who shared my lack of productivity was also the one going on wonderful walks including the one in which a local farm invited us over for a visit!

Inspiration All Around the Quilt Retreat Center

The Sew N Go retreat now has two classrooms: 1) the original retreat center/classroom which is a separate building on the farm property; and 2) a brand new classroom which is the converted garage to the main quilt retreat house.

Throughout the quilt retreat house and in both classrooms are many quilts, quilted wallhanging and little sewn projects. Below is a montage of some of the inspiration that surrounds you while you are quilt retreating:

Nancy, the quilt retreat hostess, did a demo on how to make a gift wine bag from a pair of old jeans:

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In addition to quilted/sewn inspirations, there are also wood crafting inspirations (Nancy also holds class in her barn on making wood working crafts):

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She also had a very creative way to display Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage blocks (one of my other someday to finish projects, see series of posts  Farm Girl Vintage Blocks)

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I did have material for a Postscript section but this has been a very long post and I am sure you are exhausted now from slogging through all these photos (but maybe you are inspired to go create something!)

Thanks for joining me as I recapped the annual May quilting retreat with my quilting sisters. For me this year’s retreat was a very laid back. There was no “Floor Show” this year or stand up comedy (see post Quilt Retreat May 2016: The Tools & The Stories) but it was still exquisite to hang out with my quilting sisters and enjoy the beautiful Vancouver, WA countryside.

I did learn about a “new tool” for quilters at the retreat and I will close this post with the adorable information I found on this tool posted on the edge of one of the design walls at retreat:

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Special thank you to Quilting Sisters Lisa and Kathy on providing additional photos for this post.

 

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Quilt Retreat May 2016: The Tools & The Stories

In my 4th and final post in the series of posts on the 4-day quilt retreat I attended at Sew N Go Quilt Retreats in Vancouver, WA, I want to share some of the new tools I got while at the retreat and a couple of the stories.

Naturally –  “what happens in quilt retreat, stays in quilt retreat” – but I think my Quilt Sisters would be okay if I publicly shared a couple stories (maybe, ha!).


THE TOOLS

During quilt retreat I picked up a Martelli Round-a-Bout 17″ rotating cutting mat. Another quilter friend has one and I saw how wonderful it worked!

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In addition to the Martelli spinning cutting mat, I got a set of Bloc Loc Flying Geese rulers. I saw these demonstrated and one of my quilting sister had access to a wholesale set (they are usually fairly “spendy”if you buy them individually. If you would like to read more about Bloc Loc Rulers, check out their website: Flying Geese Square Up Rulers.

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A very neat device I picked up during quilt retreat was the Electric Seam Ripper. Another quilter demonstrated this device and makes seam ripper a breeze (not that I would ever need any seam ripping, I never make sewing mistakes, ha!). A couple other quilt retreat attendees also purchased them and there was no stealth seam ripping at the retreat: we could hear the whir of the battery powered seam ripper motor whenever seam ripping was occurring!

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I thought a sewing light, was a sewing light, until a quilting friend introduced me to the Slimline Table Lamp. It provides full spectrum light for a daylight effect. I picked one up the day of the retreat and used it for the entire retreat. It is a pretty darn awesome light to have over your sewing machine! It also doubles as an imaginary device (see THE STORIES).

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THE STORIES

“I’ve Had the Time of My Life”

When quilters are quilting late into the evening, and “special beverages” have been involved throughout the evening, and the quilters are long-time friends, occasionally very silly things can happen.

Such a very silly thing happened on the Saturday night of the quilting retreat.

Another quilter, who had also purchased a Slimline Table Lamp for the retreat and I thought these lamps looked like microphones. We thought it would be fun to put on a “floor show” for the other quilters and the quilt retreat host.

My floor show partner located the main song from the movie Dirty Dancing – “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and put it on her smart phone speaker. We stood up at our tables and began singing into our imaginary microphones, at the top of our lungs, a poorly ad libbed (but fairly hysterical) version of the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”.

We even threw in a little dance during the instrumental interlude to the song. We nearly kept “straight faces” during our performance…nearly.

Our silliness was rewarded with laughter and applause. (Perhaps the other retreat attendees and hosts were just being polite and hoped we get “our meds adjusted” as soon as possible!).

Yes, to answer your question, photos were taken. They will not be shared. I do not even want to see them (smile).

“Adventures in Spanx”

Are you familiar with Spanx, the body shaping wear (shapewear) that squishes any “jiggling bits” into a smooth format (like a modern girdle)?

Well one of the quilters was preparing to attend an upcoming family wedding and wanted to find a special dress to wear. She told us the story of her first time putting on Spanx and proceeded to pantomime the whole experience.

She shared her story of going  to a department store, finding the perfect dress and while trying on the dress, the sales clerk suggesting she enhance the look of the dress by wearing a full Spanx bodysuit underneath to flatten any “jiggling bits”.

My dear Quilt Sister, then proceeded to pantomime and explain the whole experience of slowly putting on full body Spanx for the first time and how the Spanx moves the “jiggling bits” around to places you never imagined them moving on your body, especially on a middle-aged body (placing the jiggling bits in odd places at first as you slowly wriggle into the bodysuit).

It was like a brilliant stand-up comedy show performance. I have not laughed that hard in a long time and worried that my bladder control might fail me at any moment. The whole room was filled with laughter and at least one quilter had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard!

Well that is it for posts on this quilt retreat. I am looking forward to the next time I reunite with all my Quilting Sisters! 

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Sew N Go Quilt Retreat, in Pictures

This week I am sharing experiences and photos from the 4-day quilt retreat I attended this past Thursday to Sunday at Sew N Go Quilt Retreat.

Yesterday in post #1 I focused on The Road to the Retreat. Today I am sharing photos from outside and inside the retreat.

The rest of the week I will share quilts and projects (in progress and completed) during the retreat; new tools from the retreat; and stories from the retreat (although “What happens at retreat, stays in retreat”, ha!).


Sew N Go Retreat: From the Outside

The Sew N Go Retreat, in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) is located in a private and serene setting on a couple acres of land. There is a main house,  a barn, and several cool outbuildings from the main house to include the Retreat Center.

The main house has many comfortable bedrooms for quilters (some are dormitory style with up to 4 beds in a room), several bathrooms, a large dining room area, and a cozy living room for hanging out and reading with a kitty to cuddle  (optional) if you like.

The Retreat Center which has plenty of room for sewing; its own bathroom and kitchenette; and additional sleeping areas (in case you get sleepy while sewing, ha!).

The first two days of the retreat it was sunny and in the 70s in the Portland area. Of course I did not think of taking photos while it was sunny. I waited until it was a normal Portland rainy day to take photos on the 3rd day of retreat!

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The main house where quilters sleep, shower, lounge in the cozy living room, and where meals are served
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The property and the barn in the distance
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Some of the outside seating areas (it was overcast when I took these photos)
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A shed decorated with flowers
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The Retreat Center, Photo credit: Sew N Go Facebook page

Sew N Go Retreat: From the Inside

THE MAIN HOUSE (What a quilt retreat really looks like while quilters are staying there):

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Abby the Quilt Retreat Kitty 

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I am ready to snuggle with any quilters that are interested. Come read your book on the sofa with me and these quilts!

THE RETREAT CENTER (What a quilt retreat center really looks like while quilters are making a mess working on projects in there!):

And…as I discussed in the post My New Quilt Retreat Gadget – the battle for power strip/surge protector outlet spots:

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Look there are still some empty spots (but not for long…my table mate pulled out her other numerous electronic devices and that was it for the outlets!)

Postscript

One of the tierneycreates readers asked more about xeriscaping related to the post Tuesday…an update, in which I share photos of my xeriscaped (low water, native plant, no grass) front yard landscape.

I wanted to share a photo of a house I came across during my walk in my neighborhood which recently engaged in EXTREME XERISCAPING. They removed their front yard grass and all plants and replaced them with rocks.

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No water required!

Perhaps the correct term is “NON-SCAPING”!

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

The Road to the Retreat

Last Thursday 5/12/16 I “hit the road” to Vancouver, Washington for a four-day annual quilt retreat with my ” Quilting Sisters” from California, Oregon and Washington. We gather at least once a year for a retreat, at Nancy’s Sew N Go Retreat.

This is post #1 of a series of posts about my quilt retreating experience!

ROAD TRIP!

Car loaded up with sewing machine, quilting paraphernalia, fabric and various projects, I got on the road early in the am on 5/16/16. Driving from Central Oregon to Vancouver Washington I found many “car buddies” along the way (see my post Repost: Road Trip for an explanation of “car buddies”).

My favorite “car buddies” were a brown Mercedes wagon and a gray Subaru that I followed for many miles on my road trip to the quilt retreat. If only they knew they had been my “car buddies” (they would have been very frightened by a wacky woman following them and making them her imaginary friends?!?!).


Music Time!

Solo road tripping is an opportunity to listen to wonderful music, rather loudly, and sing along at the top of your lungs! I had my iPhone with the “Tierney Mix” playlist loaded and hooked up to a FM transmitter that sent the music to my car radio. (Yes the classic 2001 Saturn 4-door sedans do not come with a jack for your iPhone or any modern amenities…).

The “Tierney Mix” is a very eclectic mix of music. Here is a sampling of 20 songs that played in order while I drove:

  1. Third World Man – Steely Dan
  2. Lovesick Blues – Hank Williams
  3. Your Love is King – Sade
  4. Annie’s Song – John Denver
  5. How Soon is Now – The Smiths
  6. Black is the Color – Nina Simone
  7. How Deep is Your Love – The Bee Gees
  8. Tom Sawyer – Rush
  9. Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page
  10. Don’t Break My Heart – UB40
  11. Gravity – Jon Mayer
  12. Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar
  13. Okan Bale – Angelique Kidjo
  14. Dancing Nancies – Dave Matthews Band
  15. Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club
  16. Nights in White Satin – The Moody Blues
  17. Like a Star – Corinne Bailey Rae
  18. Cozza Frenzy – Bassnectar
  19. Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
  20. That’s the Way of the World – Earth Wind & Fire

As you can see my musical tastes are all over the place!

I am glad my “car buddies” and other vehicles could not hear me singing along!


The Road Trip Scenery

I know you are not supposed to be engaging in DWP (driving while photographing) but I assure you I only took photos while it was safe. Also there was some construction on Highway 26 (the road from Central Oregon to the Portland Oregon area) and I was stopped for awhile and took photos.

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The landscape is filled with the Cascade Mountains, especially Mount Hood; lots of high desert brush; and endless farms. There is quite a climb in elevation from Central Oregon to the Portland Oregon area through the Mount Hood pass.

Mount Hood itself rises to 11,240 feet (Wikipedia) at its summit. The elevation from Central Oregon to the Mount Hood/Timberline Lodge region climbs from 3500+ feet above sea level to 6000+. Occasionally my ears “pop” on the drive from the change in elevation (but that does not stop me from continuing to sing at the top of my lungs).

It is a winding mountain road and in the winter some times it is not passable. I never drive from Central Oregon to the Portland area in the winter, though many Central Oregonians have family in Portland (and are originally from the Portland area) and drive to Portland for Thanksgiving or other “winter holidays”. Winter begins at the end of October or early November in the Mount Hood pass area due to the elevation!

Finally I arrived at Sew N Go Quilt Retreat!

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Photo credit: Sew N Go Facebook page

NEXT POST: Sew N Go Retreating! 

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Road Trip

In my post Getting Ready to “Retreat” I shared my excitement on heading to a 4-day quilting retreat with my quilting friends from WA, OR, and CA. This next series of posts will be about that 4-day retreat.

ROAD TRIP

Last May I attend the Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) for the first time. I live about 3 1/2 hours from Vancouver, WA and I drove to the retreat with a friend who was also attending. Last Thursday I returned to the retreat, and this time I drove alone.

I was bummed, at first, to drive alone this year to the retreat. All I could think was: “3 1/2 + hours in the car, not fun”.  I was wrong. Road trips with friends are great, however it can be quite fun to go  on a road trip alone!

My husband and I both have older cars (we are all about having paid off cars) and I borrowed my husband’s car, the newer car (which is only 10 years old instead of 14+ years old like my car). My husband teases me that soon my car can be registered as an “antique”, however I do not think there is much of an automobile collector’s market for classic 2001 Saturns (perhaps there is one person in Uruguay who dreams of owning a non luxury old Saturn).

One of the drawbacks with older cars is you do not have the cool technology you have with newer cars – like a built in jack for your iPhone to allow you play tunes through the car radio. I did have an old FM transmitter powered by the car jack (formerly known in the old days as “the cigarette lighter”) and once I found a FM radio channel not used by any station, I was able to transmit my tunes through the car radio!

Armed with a package of roasted almonds, a container of blueberries, water, a turkey sandwich (I was eating healthy on the way to the quilting retreat as I planned to make naughty food choices the next 4 days) and my iTunes mixes on my iPhone, I was ready for my road trip! There is something very relaxing about listening to music alone on a long drive.

Most of my drive was pretty scenic, even if it was overcast, as I journeyed through part of the Cascade Mountain range with little traffic on a Thursday morning. There were a couple moments of what I would call “pure bliss” where it was just me, the road and my tunes. I felt light and carefree and at peace with all around me. I promised myself on the drive not to think about any life worries or concerns; not think about work; and not try to plan my life (I tend to be an over-planner). I had decided to just be in the moment on my drive.

Car Buddies

Along the highway on my trip I would find “Car Buddies“. For more years then I remember I have always been into finding imaginary “Car Buddies” when on long drives. What are “Car Buddies”? Car Buddies are other cars that you follow for a long period of time. If you are on a one lane highway and a passing lane appears, you do not pass them, They are your buddy and you stay behind them maintaining a reasonable speed. The most appealing car buddies of course, are those who are going an acceptable speed! Sometimes if I have been with a car buddy for a long time on the road I get kind of sad for a moment when they take an exit that I am not taking. I always say aloud: “bye-bye car buddy, thanks and take care!”  Yes I am weird. I have imaginary friendships and connections with other cars on the road.

Hey you never know when you are driving long distance, if I am behind you, making you my imaginary Car Buddy!

A bonus to the peaceful and relaxing road trip was that I was headed to a fun weekend. However I did not want the road trip to end – as I got closer, I wished I had a further to drive!