Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Journey to Sun Lakes!

Good morning!

After a good night's sleep I'm feeling a bit more like myself this morning, and as I look around at my dad's place - I am so grateful to be here.  

It has been a long 3 years since I've made this trip and now that we are permanently in Virginia, it's not as easy as it used to be.

I took this photo at 7:30am yesterday morning as the defroster on the van was blowing hard to clear the frost that had settled overnight at 22 degrees. Brrr!  

Travel now requires extra planning - especially when it is only legal for me to be driving in the post-dawn-ores-dusk hours.

It's a 2 1/2 hour drive to the airport - and I flew out of Greensboro for ease of travel and convenience rather than deal with Charlotte morning traffic nightmare.

Greensboro is a great airport - the airfare was the same, the connections and options are many, and long term parking is a snap.  Not so in Charlotte.

Leaving Greensboro!

I also have the issue with my return flights coming home - coming West to East it's always an after-dark arrival home. My flight gets in at 10pm.

I have booked a hotel near the airport on my return that is right off the service road, so close and navigable.  I'm less familiar with Charlotte and there is that whole don't-drive-while-dark thing.

Hotels are also more expensive in Charlotte, so there is that.

Now that we are further away, it just takes more planning for big trips - outbound flights need to be early afternoon, and return flights may require an overnight stay before driving home the next day.

It is what it is.

This also gives me a chance to hit up Costco on my way back next week - that'll be a bonus.

There isn't much to say about the flights.  They were smooth sailing and uneventful. 

I was happily surprised that they served hot tea - and not the warm bath water kind - on my short flight to Atlanta.  This is starting out well!

And yes, I stitched!

I am so excited about upcoming Craftours trips and since things are filling and happening quickly, it's time to put the travel projects for my tour folks on the front burner as well.

This year we've got Vietnam, Egypt, Two back to back tours in Ireland, Poland, and Italy.

I just got off the phone with Jim who is putting together a New Zealand tour you won't want to miss for January 2024.  More info on that to come. 

While I have a Celtic Knot stitchery project for Ireland that was finished before Covid hit in 2020 delaying those trips until this year (What a wild 3 years it's been!) I am working on this sweet one for the trips that are NOT Ireland.

And yes, it's going to be a bit nuts because I go to Egypt, and then straight to Ireland with no in between.

Just wait to you see what little Cat in the Flowers becomes!

The folks headed to Vietnam with me will get to stitch it first!

I got this far from Atlanta to Phoenix - my return trip home should have the stitchery finished - so I know my travelers can finish the stitching on their return flights home too - or maybe while enjoying our overnight cruise sailing in Ha Long Bay onboard a “wooden junk vessel!

Discover the hidden treasures of Vietnam with me!
May 1-10, 2023

• Round-trip international airfare from New York City to Hanoi. (Airfare available from your closest international airport for an additional fee. First/Business class upgrades available)
• First-class hotel accommodations in Hanoi and Sapa. (Suite upgrades available)
• Transfers to/from the airport/hotel in Vietnam for full package guests.
• Hands-on "Lacquer workshop" taught by a local master artisan.
• A demonstration in Black Hmong batik.
• A professional Craftours escort throughout your entire journey.
• A scenic drive through a river valley and hillside rice terrace.
• Visits to villagers in traditional ethnic communities.
• A delicious welcome dinner, introductions, and orientation meeting.
• Delicious buffet breakfast served daily and special farewell dinner.
• Private deluxe motor coach and professional driver the entire time.
• Panoramic city tour of Hanoi with a local professional guide.
• Touring Hanoi’s Ethnology Museum.
• Hands-on workshops in Red Dao embroidery.
• Visit to the village of Van Phuc to see weaving and dyeing silk.
• A professional Vietnamese tour guide the entire time.
• A fascinating visit to a local Pearl Farm.
• Overnight cruise sailing in Ha Long Bay onboard a “wooden junk vessel."
• A visit to the Temple of Literature.
• A tour of the Women's Museum and Craft Link Gallery in Hanoi.
• An opportunity to shop in local markets for hand-made crafts.
• All taxes are included, and insurance is highly recommended.
• A Craftours lanyard, luggage identifier and commemorative gift.

Click for more info! Registration is in LAST CALL, so hurry!

Descending into Phoenix!

It's a totally different kind of mountain experience here!

Exhausted, but totally happy to be with my dad.  3 years is too long - even though we video chat every night.

I know this time is precious and I intend to make the most of the time I am here, no matter what we do.

I barely kept my eyes open through the evening.  But a good night's sleep, a bit of body clock adjustment and all is right as rain.

Early Morning view -

Palm trees and desert plants!

Oh, and this happened 2 days ago on my birthday!

This is Carol! I watched her car pull up into the drive at Quiltville Inn yesterday.
She got out to take some photos, and while she was taking a selfie I decided to photo b0mb her and came running out of the QPO after grabbing my coat.
So much fun! And so much wind. And so much cold!

Carol grew up in Ohio, but now lives in North Pole, Alaska. She flew to Ohio and picked up her oldest sister and drove to Georgia to visit our youngest sister. 

She left both of them in Georgia to drive to visit my friends in Pennsylvania and decided to drive by on her way.  I love that you stopped by, Carol!

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first retreat of the 2023 season happening in just a couple of weeks.

The response to my newest PDF pattern Unchained. has been WONDERFUL and that makes me so happy that you can't wait to dive in and make it, too.

Did you enter to win on The Gift-Away Post? I'll be drawing for 2 winners to each receive an Unchained PDF pattern from me along with a Roy G. Biv Color Roll from Cotton to Quilts!

Drawing happens Monday, 1/30/23!

I have placed the PDF pattern for Unchained at 25% off in both the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop. No coupon needed!  Price discount good through 1/31/23.

I've cut the price on Winter Blues and Forever Mine 25% as well! NO COUPON NEEDED!

But hurry - Winter blues is only 25% off through 1/31/23.  Forever Mine pricing good through 2/14/23.

While digital patterns are always available to you 24/7, if you order physical items like books, rulers, notions, tools those items will ship upon my return.  Thank you for understanding.

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Why is it that we appreciate things more as they are ending, than we do when just beginning?
All of the happiness should not only be focused on looking back.
The real value is in the now.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!



  1. I'm glad you were able to make the trip out west. You certainly look like your father!

  2. Glad you had a good flight. Enjoy your time in the Sunny State. Cute stitchery project. Retirement and less income, so no big trips planned for me. Just a couple of Roadtrips in 2023. I wouldn't mind a cheap flight to AZ.

  3. Enjoy your precious time with your dad!!!

  4. Good morning, Glad your travels were uneventful. I am curious what the name of the block used in the quilt for your daily quote is? Thank you

  5. How sweet of you to come out and greet Carol! That must have been a nice surprise for her.

  6. It looks like you are enjoying your time with your family!! Glad to hear that you have had safe travels so far. Continue to enjoy your trip! :)

  7. Did you know when you chose your stitchery project for Vietnam that this is the Year of the Cat in that country? Chinese New Year 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, but in Vietnam it is the Year of the Cat!

  8. totally understand your travel issues...when i go to maine it's only 500 miles but it's a shuttle/plane/taxi/bus and then get picked up...and coordinating all those is not fun!

  9. Please lift up a few prayers for USA soldiers that did not make it back home as you walk through Vietnam.
    My hubby is still seriously haunted by his time :In Country:! sew many blessings to those that can have this adventure.

  10. We retired to central Colorado 3 years ago and airport travel has definitely been a challenging 3 hour trip one way. But living in this beautiful area is well worth it. Enjoy your dad's visit.


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