Monday, November 1, 2010

Howdy from Houston

Thank you for all your well wishes and I'm going to try to update the blog daily so you can share our adventures if you are interested in what excitement we're having.
Firstly we traveled virtually non-stop since we left home. I left at 6.30am on Sat 30th for a 2 hour drive to Melbourne. I met Julie and Helen there and we boarded our Air New Zealand flight to Auckland. Then after a quick change of planes we flew to LA over night. While we waited for a wheelchair for Helen, The crew invited us to look around the aircraft and of course we had to try out the sleeping area in first class. Then we were whisked through customs and after a quick trip to the next terminal we managed to get an earlier flight to Houston which saved us 5 or 6 hours of waiting at the airport.
We were very happy to arrive at the Hyett Regency, have a light meal and finally get to bed after about 30 hours with no sleep.
Of course we slept in, missed breakfast and after lunch we took a stroll around downtown Houston. Julie and I then walked to the convention centre to get our class schedules. While waiting in line we met up with our friend, Sue McPhee, again and also the lovely Jenny Bowker. After a sort time, standing in line we started chatting with other quilters in line to get some info about things we need. I asked one lovely lady about where to buy a mobile phone and she had no idea what I was saying. Finally I realized that I needed to ask about a cell phone!!
Then as we left to explore a bit I saw Quilting Royalty- Elly Sienkiewicz! I went over and introduced myself and asked about her new book that she's selling at the Festival. She is going to put one aside for me and sign it as I'm doing a half day class with her on Sunday, which will be the highlight of my visit and a long- dreamed of experience. Julie tells me that I was patting and touching her as only I can as I am apparently a touchy-feely person. I wasn't aware that I was doing it but then realized that I can remember the feel of the jacket she was wearing. We had many laughs as I realized how audacious I was.
After a lesson in what iced coffee US style is- we need to ask for an "iced coffee with room" which means room for milk as iced coffee here is expresso over ice and not the coffee milk shake we have at home. Then I guess it's safe to divulge that Julie and I actually entered the Quilt Market and wandered around for an hour, acting knowledgeable about fabric lines and patterns as well as patchwork techniques. We visited the site of the Texas Quilt Museum and I was photographed in front of a vintage quilt which I coveted.
We then couldn't get to sleep until about 4 am but awoke at 8am and we're determined to get through the day and get our body clocks re-set, but coffee may be needed. We were just too excited about rubbing shoulders with Royalty and all the things we'd seen at Market. We didn't attmpt to purchase and just said that we were too tired to make a decision and would return later.
Today we're off to a luncheon lecture and then may shop at the Galleria. We are all looking for a US cell that we can use to stay in touch while we are apart during the day.
Better get a shower now and then off to explore. We are laughing lots and will have heaps more to tell. I feel very much at home here but things are just on a bigger scale than at home. Everyone is very friendly and we are having a ball.
Till later, Hugs Jan mac


Susan Entwistle said...

I wish I were there this year (was there last). Had I known at that time that this year was featuring Baltimores, I'd have surely waited. You keep having a wonderful time. Elly will be speaking with our guild and doing a workshop in the Spring that I'm looking forward to. I'll be sure to ask if she remembers you from Houston :) Across the park, in an office building, there's a little food court/mall kind of place. Pop in there to McDonalds (I think there's one in there, if not, there's one up the street) and order a Mocha Frappe -- it's iced coffee more to your liking. Enjoy!

kaite said...

i read every word Jan, it's all too exciting so thanks for sharing with us down under here. k.