Thirty days, sixteen states, 7,890 miles, 14 hotel rooms, 11 cousins, a new great-niece and great-nephew, 2 brothers, 2 parents, 3 national parks, numerous museums, gardens and national waterways. Countless restaurant meals, 3 audio books and hundreds of tunes – bluegrass, classical, rock and gospel. Three and a half shawls and one half of a sock completed. And it was all good! What a wonderful experience this was. When we first started planning this trip we had certain attractions that we wanted to visit. What we hadn't counted on were the unplanned attractions – places that the locals recommended or places that we just stumbled across. It was wonderful to see different parts of the country – the scenery, the food, the people. But when all was said and done – there really is no place like home. Being away from home really reinforces how much we love where we live and how very comfortable our house is. And sleeping in our own bed that first night was heaven on earth!
This was the most wired trip we have ever made: GPS, iPad, 3 iPods (his, mine and ours), a laptop and two cell phones. We were a little reluctant at first, but we made use of all of them (except my iPod, which is having battery issues). We couldn't have done without the GPS – we were never lost, although "Jane" seemed to have a sense of humor, including leading us through the slums of Indianapolis to our hotel, which was in actuality right off the interstate! The iPad was wonderful – not only could we keep in touch with friends over Facebook while on the road, it was also a great photo album, allowing us to share old family photos with all of the cousins. Since I also had my laptop with the same photos, we were able to download them to flash drives to whomever wanted them. We had one iPod dedicated to audio books, which helped some of the long boring stretches go much faster.
We arrived at Ben and Abby's house on Wednesday afternoon and the girls and Maggie were so happy to see us:
We were worried that Maggie may have forgotten us and decided she preferred her new home, but she greeted us so enthusiastically. Of course, she doesn't have a tail, but she was wagging her little butt so much I was afraid it was going to fall off! The first two nights at home she seemed a little disoriented, but she fell back into our routines fairly quickly.
It was fun to get back in my sewing room and to my machine again. I finished Mei-Mei's quilt top:
All of the blocks for Isobel's are done; they just have to be put together. Then comes the real challenge – quilting them. Realistically I will need to machine quilt, but that is definitely not my strength.
I also came home with a boatload of lace to block:
The pile includes two scarves which have been finished forever, but never blocked. On the trip I finished Aeolian – those last border rows took forever! And I finished three more small shawls from start to finish.
You might think I was burned out on shawls, but when I got home I cast on #9 of 10 in 2010 – the Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark. I'm using the Dream in Color Smooshy that I bought at Paradise Fibers. This is a pretty mindless knit, which is good right now as I settle back into routine.
And routine it is this week – Bible Study group, yoga lessons, knitting group, spinning group. But that's all good too.