Saturday, January 25, 2014

And I'm OFF!!

The next few blogs will have few, if any, pictures in them.  I'm relying on my Ipad to post and I haven't found any easy tricks to add pictures!  I'll probably either update this entry later or do a photo heavy one next month! Yep, I won't be home until February!  But don't worry, DH is holding down the fort at home.  Soaking up that good weather we've been having all month.

I'm sitting at the airport gate in Portland and it's truly o'dark-thirty.  On my way to Ft Lauderdale and a quilters' cruise!!

As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted by the "get ready to board" announcement ... on my way to Ft Lauderdale via Houston to board The Independence of the Seas.  A Royal Caribbean ship.  I'm going on the 'Soul of a Quilter' cruise, a benefit for Libby Lehman.

This all came about because my good friend Mary won the cruise at the Des Moines AQS show last October.  Now really, can you imagine any cruise prize that would offer it for ONE???  I'm pretty sure that even "single" cruises offer 'for two' so you can take a buddy!  BUT, she won a cruise for one.

I've never been on a cruise before.  My niece was on one years ago, and she compared it to being in jail with chance of drowning!  Hope this cruise goes better than that!!

My DH thought a quilt cruise should be my dream vacation, and has been encouraging me to go on one for years. And of course, Mary is the perfect person to go with!!  She is a researcher by trade and we put her in charge of anything we want to know more about!  Don't tell her, but when we find a picture of a quilt that we want to figure out, we hand it off to Mary, saying, "I just don't get it.  Maybe you can figure it out." Within very little time we are presented with a EQ7 drawing, pattern, fabric requirements and even templates.  It's wonderful!

So I emailed her and asked if she had a roomie yet.  Lucky me, she does now!  We've managed to coordinate everything long distance.  Class supples, tour options, room choices, clothing options and of course, Mary is in charge of 'research'!!

My first challenge was getting to PDX at 4 AM!  I really have to talk to my 'travel agent' about that!! [DH!]  I drove up to Portland and stayed at my favorite Portland B&B - my DD's.  I had all the help I needed from Miss P and Mr M [7 & 5 yrs old respectively] and DSIL, after getting off work at 2 am - drove me to the airport at 3:30 am!!

That's 'other duties as assigned' in this family!!  Thanks J!!  This flight is going well, no screaming baby or 2 yr old behind me kicking the seat!  That's my usual flight experience!

Next challenge is Houston airport.  I'm in row 23; over the wing; it's a full flight and I'll have just under an hour to make my connection.  Last time I was in Houston I was doing my old "OJ Hertz Rent-a-car" commercial run to get to the gate.  You know you're in trouble when you come in at the very last gate in C and need to get to the very last gate in B!!  They were paging me for last call as I got off the airplane.  I did check in with my arrival gate, had them call and say I was here.  Then I took off - as only a 61 yr old water aerobics participant could!!!  It wasn't pretty, but I did make it!  Hoping for closer gates and a minute to use the bathroom this time!!  I'll let you know!

No time to update in Houston.  My gate connections were fairly close - 40 to 31.  I even had time to use a bathroom, and pick up a chicken salad wrap at Good Foods.  It was wonderful and if your airport has one of those ... it's a great choice!  After breakfast at 3 am - I was ready for food at 11 Pacific time.

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