Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fun to Play But Home at Last

Sometimes you have to get out and play with your man. My husband's idea of play is hiking in remote areas.  The more remote the better. The nature boy comes out in him and he's happiest when he's far from the maddening crowds. 
So in late April we headed to the island of Sardinia, via Rome, for 10 lovely days of hiking. Except for 2 days of cloudy weather with a little drizzle, that we never needed our raincoats for, the weather was perfect with blue sky and lots of sun.

We hiked from the mountains.... to the coast....and through lots of lovely countryside in

It was very much a nature trek, as we saw deer, pigs, sheep, snakes, goats, dogs, a baby mink, butterflies, and of course some bugs.The dung beetles were my favorite.  Industrious little creatures!

Goats are the most curious animals. Most in Sardinia wore bells so even when you couldn't see them, you could hear all the bells throughout the hills and valleys.  It's music to your ears, as you hike along.

And of course we say many beautiful flowers carpeting the hills and growing wild everywhere. I loved the flowers....

my husband liked the local beer. 

And it seems no matter if you have great hiking boots or not, after more than 100 kilometers, hiking up and down hills, through valleys, across dunes, and along deer trails, sometimes blisters appear. We definitely got some doozies!

These were Mike's.
 These were mine!

 But no time to worry about blisters. It was time to head to where I like to play...International Quilt Market.  It would only be the 2nd time that Mike had joined me for Market. This year it was in Salt Lake City. Back to Rome and on to Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City is beautiful, ringed by snow capped mountains. 

This Market was fun and exciting with the release of my new book "Quilting Those Flirty 30's."

International Quilt Market is where quilt shop owners from around the world come to shop for their stores. During Market, at sessions called School House, shop owners come to learn about all the newest and the latest in the industry.  It's such fun to meet the shop owners, touch base with my customers, share what's new, and what I have been working on. 

This is an apron which is part of the project "Kitchen Garb" in "Quilting Those Flirty 30's."  There are eleven projects in the book, as well as 12 delicious cookie recipes, all family favorites, that I wanted to share with my readers. Yum!

I was so excited to catch up with Donna Ward and her daughter Ashleigh.  Donna machine quilted all the quilts in "Quilting Those Flirty 30's", as well as my other books.  She is such a talented quilter!  We have worked together for about 8 years. We email frequently and send many boxes back and forth but we only get to meet at Quilt Market, when we both attend.  Donna lives way down under in New Zealand.

Left to right, Ashleigh, Donna, and me.

When I had sent the quilts for "Quilting Those Flirty 30's" to Martingale and Company, U.S. Customs did a terrible thing and slashed two quilts that were to be featured in the book.  I had seen photographs that the Staff of Martingale had sent me of the damage but it was gut wrenching to actually see it in person, when I picked up the quilts. 

Thank goodness for the talented staff at Martingale and Photo Shop where the damage could be repaired and the book remained on schedule.

Not a word of apology or any type of compensation for the damage done to my quilts from U.S. Customs.   A sad experience but I count my self very fortunate that this is the first time in 14 years of business that I have had a quilt damaged. That hand coming through the quilt on the left hand side is not supposed to be there!

Such a fun Market...meeting old friends and making new ones, and sharing the whole experience with Mike.  He had fun hanging out with the quilters.

No time to rest. The logistics of moving lots of luggage and lots of quilts to the next stop is never easy.  I really envy those people who can manage to travel the world with only a carry on.  I am not one of those people!

Next stop, Hawaii, for my son Zachary's graduation with his PhD.

This trip will be very productive for clocking some air miles.

Proud parents of the happy graduate at the University of Hawaii!
While we were on Ohahu, we thought we better tour the island and check out the sites.

Zachary, his girlfriend Stacy, and Mom.

After 4 days of celebrations we head to Michigan, home ground for both Mike and I, to visit family. Michigan greets us with perfect blue skies and sunny weather, rather rare for Michigan. All the flowers were in bloom.

I must say that Michigan is one of the most beautiful locations ever, in the summer.  I'm just not sure I can handle the winters there any more.  I think my blood has gotten much too thin, after living in the warm climate of the Middle East for so many years.

After Mike left Michigan to return to work, I stayed on for another 3 weeks to help my Mom downsize, sort her home, pack and move, to a retirement location in Grand Rapids.  With her new apartment and her patio filled with flowers, I think she will be happy and hopefully it is a good move for her.

It feels so good to be home and in my own bed in Abu Dhabi.

It will take me a while to catch up after being away for so long but it was a good trip filled with good times, family, and friends.

We couldn't have asked for anything better.


Notjustnat said...

Hi Cynthia, it was good to see Donna and her daughter here too. Donna looks better with long hair! Good to see your mom, she hasn't changed from the last time I saw her. Retirement home how sad! Hope she is happy there. How getting old is a scary thought - Love Natima

Alicia said...

wish I had gotten to go to Salt Lake City. Perhaps you'll be at the Houston show in October?