This is a fly-by post because my camera battery needs recharged. I did take photos.
The GTG was fantastic!
I left here at 11:00 on Friday. I had thought I would miss the traffic, but I underestimated the power of my fellow Washington area residents to smack into each other's cars as a way to start the weekend. I got held up on the Virginia portion of 495 by a three-car collision. No one appeared to be hurt, just a bit salty. Traffic was pretty much stop and go the whole way down 95. I think I got there around 2:30/3:00, really not too bad. Especially on a holiday weekend.
My roommate, Chrissy, was already there, so we hung out til Beth, our third roommate got there. Beth got a bit misplaced in Richmond, and ended up at the Courtyard by Marriott, not at the Marriott. OOOPPPSSSS. When everyone got in, we chatted for a bit, and went through the stash we'd brought to exchange. Beth had Joan Elliott's Oriental Odyssey, and I asked for that. Such a neat book! I gave Chrissy a book of Celtic designs.
We were getting hungry, so we started looking for dinner places. A cab driver outside the hotel recommended a really good Chinese food restaurant not that far away, so we headed over there with the "help" of the Tomtom--it wanted to take us some wierd ways to get there. We were hopeful that the food was worth the hassle, and it WAS. Beth got shrimp in lobster sauce, Chrissy had beef, and I got curry chicken. We all shared--soo good. It was an indulgence, but an affordable one, and yummy.
We headed back to the hotel for the meet and greet, which was in the hospitality suite. I posted photos of my wedding dress on 123 last week, and so I was "the bride." Everyone kept telling me how pretty my dress is and asking about wedding plans. The general consensus is that 4 1/2 months will go by in a whirl. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad, or a mix of both, LOL.
The stitching room did not open til the morning, so we spent the rest of the night, stitching in our room. We had been told we could stitch in the lobby or by the pool, but we couldn't find the pool, and the lobby seemed full when I brought stuff in, but it was OK. Chrissy made us laugh by asking, "I wonder what all the staff thinks when they see all our orts?" I can just imagine--stitchers must be a CSI's dream. But the staff was wonderful--they all seemed to take an interest in what we were doing. The hostess in the cafe wanted to come see what we were doing, because she is Turkish and handwork is still very important in her country. She told us that you have to have a well-stitched dowry, and your mother in law checks your stitching to make sure your mother did her job properly. Interesting!
The next morning, we took our giant box o' stash down to the trading table, and checked it out. I was a vulture, I admit. However, I contributed a huge chunk of stuff to that table, and my thought was, as long as I didn't come back with more than I left, it was OK. I did get Jean Farrish's America chart, and Fairies in Shoeland, which I have wanted. I got a few more charts (some would say a lot more), but it's all stuff I want. And it was all looking for homes. There was even styrofoam for finishing available! Jackpot!
We shopped a bit. I really enjoyed meeting Designs by Karen. She had her Chincoteague/Assateague series out and asked if I'd been. I told her I loved it there, and that we'd gotten engaged on Assateague. She wanted to hear the story, and said how romantic HTB is. :). I picked two pony charts for me, and a chart of the Assateague lighthouse for him. I also picked up two thread palettes from Catherine Jordan, and a patriotic Sue Hillis chart. Beth got a Halloween SH chart, and Chrissy a chart that benefitted a no-kill shelter in Richmond.
Our goodie bags for the GTG were awesome. We got ALL KIND of kits, including one I want to start NOW. We got a tee-shirt, and a needle minder from Kelmscott, a keychain, even an emory board. LOVED IT.
We spent Saturday stitching. I had Sleepy Hollow along. I wanted to get the angel finished by the end of the weekend, and I was hard at work on that. People asked a lot of questions about the Picture This Plus fabric I am using. It was nice to visit with everyone and see their work, and talk about our projects.
We headed over to Sue's gorgeous house for a barbecue dinner at 5:30. Her cute little cats, Lucy and Ethel, greeted us and were wonderful hostesses. Lucy LOVED Chrissy! Dinner was fantastic--beef barbecue, coleslaw, bean salad, and potato salad, with strawberry shortcake cupcakes for dessert. Great way to kick off the summer!
After dinner, we stitched til pretty late. Sue had a contest we could enter our stitching into. Patsy had brought her lovely Cats' Whiskers chair finishes! Oh, were they lovely! Someone entered their Christmas at Hawks Run Hollow, which was stunning. It was just a wonderland to see all the finishes.
I left Sunday. I wanted to have some hometime with HTB, and then found out his gramma had died on Saturday afternoon. I had been toying with staying, but I know my place was with him. We'd known she was leaving us--she has Alzheimer's and had been declining since Easter. HTB went to see her on Monday, and he knew that she wouldn't last, but he told me he didn't want me to come home from the GTG til Sunday. He is handling it well; she's at peace and with her husband now. And he had the blessing of having her for 41 years; most of us don't get that many years with our grands. I know he is grateful for that.
I will try to post photos when the camera battery recharges.