I feel like I have been in a time warp! I have been away from most media and political messes because we went on a cruise to Labadee, Haiti, San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Martin and St Kitts. We had beautiful weather, awesome food and wonderful company.
Hubby and I met up with my mom, my two sisters and our daughter for a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I discovered that two of my favorite quilting instructors were teaming up to teach new quilt designs and techniques while cruising. I had to sign up. It didn’t take much to talk my mom and sisters into going. My hubby and daughter tagged along to get out of the cold weather. They don’t sew.
On the days that we were out to sea, we sewed. Our machines and fabric were provided. We only had to bring a few small sewing items. The first instructor we took a class from was Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilts. She is so funny and is a wonderful instructor. She has many youtube videos that teach easy and quick quilting techniques. The second class instructor was Lynne Hagmeier from Kansas Troubles Quilters. She is a fabric designer and teaches raw edge applique. I love her fabrics and have made a few things from her patterns.
On the days we were in each port, we were able to explore. We checked out the guitar center shop, jewelry stores and souvenir vendors. We tasted local food and were greeted by friendly smiles in each port.
We took an excursion to the rain forest in St. Kitts where we spotted a monkey! They are usually high up in the forest so we were lucky to see that guy. We were shown plants and how they are used to cure ailments. I loved seeing the banana trees. Each port was so clean and smelled of flowers. We learned a lot about the history of each port. I wish I could remember all the trivia we were given.
John Newton authored the well known song, Amazing Grace. The Amazing Grace Experience is
located in Crab Hill, Sandy Point and is just 11 miles from Basseterre, St. Kitts. Housed in the Lighthouse Baptist Church, minutes away from Brimstone Hill Fortress, the experience tells the story of how a man changed his life and was inspired to write a song that means so much to many people.
I just got home from spending a week with my mom and two sisters. We fabric shopped our way through Missouri on the Highway 36 quilt trail. The theme for this years trail is barns. Each of 17 shops made up their own pattern for a barn block and then made the quilts with the blocks. They were all different! It was fun to visit all the shops and see what was new in the way of fabric, techniques and quilt design. Each shop owner was friendly and encouraging. I came home with new projects to start! I haven’t finished projects from 5 years ago! Ha!
I also got to see my grandson, Max. He is walking all over the place and is hard to pick up now that he weighs 25 pounds! He is still good natured and happy. He was even smiling after getting his shots the day before we visited. He gave me and his great grandma a kiss without being prompted. That was so special.
On our way to our son’s house, we pass a sign that says Free Frank McWhorter. I looked up who he was and found some very interesting information.
Free Frank McWorter was an American slave who bought his own freedom and in 1836 founded the town of New Philadelphia in Illinois; he was the first African American to found a town in the United States.
I found the story to be very interesting. Free was a determined man who enabled many other black people to become free and live to prosper.
I recommend that you read more about his struggles and triumphs at Facts on File, History Database Search.
Hubby and I decided we needed a vacation. I agreed and off we headed to Florida. We had never visited Key West and so now we have. Key West is a wonderful place to visit. It seems as I am not surprised much these days. Everything I wonder about, I have seen on television. Key West was as it was portrayed on television. Quaint houses and abundant amounts of food of every type. We walked everywhere after parking our car in a parking garage. Our car was parked two cars down from a Rolls Royce! I’ll post pictures later.
We walked to Ernest Hemingway’s home and a lighthouse across the street. I don’t understand the location of the lighthouse. We didn’t pay to go inside the tour office and up the lighthouse so that might be why we didn’t figure out why the lighthouse wasn’t closer to the edge of the island. I would also like to know why there are so many roosters wandering freely on the island.
The road to each key was not scary. That was disappointing. I thought that the road would be more like the road in Louisiana. Water was so close to the road that it made me nervous. Not so in the keys.
More to tell later.
My husband and I are enjoying a nice vacation in Florida. We are staying at the Postcard Inn on Islamorada and visited Key West today. We walked everywhere and I am so tired. It was fun seeing where Hemingway lived, the light house and the Mel Fisher Museum.
Back home, it is very cold and icy. It will be hard, mentally, to go back to the land of the tundra. LOL I do miss my bed and especially our daughter and puppies.
We have been eating awesome seafood. Tonight I had New England clam chowder. It had a bit of bite to it but was still good. Just not as good as what I have had in Seattle. We brought Hummingbird cake back to the hotel room and plan on having it for breakfast. It sounded too good to pass up and breakfast is hard to do at this resort. We are getting tired of spending time for a sit down breakfast so we will eat cake and drink coffee and hit the road to start our journey home.
We just returned from a trip to Texas. Texas is a long way from Indiana! It took two days to get there and two days to return home. That is a long time to ride in a Mini Cooper! It was fun though.
My niece graduated from high school so we went to Texas to help her celebrate. Her graduating class had 1429 students. That was a long ceremony! The event was held at a basketball stadium. The school recently built an outdoor stadium that would rival any professional stadium but structural defects have been found and the stadium has been deemed unsafe. What a mess that fiasco has turned into. I hope they can get it settled before next years graduation because having the ceremony at the event center was a big hassle. Parking, traffic jams and seating was horrible.
Just saw a deer run across the back of our field! It pays to look up once in awhile while blogging.
I only work until noon today so I hope to get more clothes washed and unpack my suitcase. I brought too many shoes on the trip. Now, I get to lug them back up the stairs and put them away.
While driving home from St. Louis yesterday, we happened upon a little town in Illinois. Casey, Illinois is not only home to a popcorn festival and David Hanner, 1989 Pulitzer prize winner, Casey, IL is the location of the world’s largest wind chime.
More exciting than an exciting cd rack, was the opportunity to pull the rope to make the chime produce its lovely sound.
The little town of Casey is also home to a very large golf tee. I wish I had asked hubby to stand next to the tee to more accurately show the proportions of the huge wooden structure.
Casey, Illinois, is located just off I-70, midway between St. Louis and Indianapolis. We’re 130 miles east of St. Louis and 110 miles west of Indy. That means we’re about 35 miles west of the Illinois-Indiana border.
Hubby and I traveled to Pigeon Forge last week. I was so glad that he decided to go because that meant I could nap on the way! Little did I know he would veer a bit off course and make a pit stop at a historic landmark.
We visited the first and original KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) restaurant. In 1940 it was the Harland Sanders Cafe. The restaurant, where Kentucky Fried Chicken® got its start, has been carefully restored, and features the original kitchen where the Colonel perfected his Original Recipe® chicken.
They have mini displays and old KFC artifacts. It was interesting to see that the large paper bins in which the flour recipe was delivered, had the ingredients label cut out. The Colonel was very protective of that secret recipe.
Hubby ordered and ate some chicken just so he could say he ate at the original KFC. He gave it a thumbs up.
Last weekend, we visited my sister and her family who live in Pikeville, Kentucky. We are always interested in historical events and with that in mind, we set out to see markers and houses telling the story of the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.
Devil Anse Hatfield patriarch of the Hatfield clan during the infamous Hatfield–McCoy feud which has since formed a part of American folklore. Devil Anse himself survived the feud and agreed to end the feud in 1891.
The Hatfield and McCoy feud seemingly began over a dispute over a hog. Randall McCoy, head of the McCoy family, accused a Hatfield of stealing his pig while he was at war. Tensions grew, bred hate, and the rest is history.
I didn’t watch the History channels premier of “Hatfield and McCoys” – a three episode series. I am skeptical of those shows. I am afraid they will embellish and change the facts and I would rather read historical proofs from local historians.
We were able to see the beautiful landscape of eastern Kentucky.
It amazes me that these families traveled so far to wreck havoc on each other. Our car was pulling with all its might to get up to the top of mountains that horses had to manage back in those days. It seems to me that any aggravation would have settled down by the time they traveled days to get to each other. That was some pretty strong hatred. So sad.
We also stopped at the tourist center at Matewan, West Virginia. This is the location of the trail head of the 500 mile Hatfield/McCoy Trail System. The rugged vertical geography of the area draws dirtbike and ATV enthusiasts from all over the world.
My mom, daughter and I traveled from Indiana to Dallas the past few days. It was a long trip! We looked at corn fields all the way through Indiana, trees in Missouri and dirt in Oklahoma. I wish there was a good way to go where we had things to look at! The interstates all go around the towns instead of through them and that makes the trip so boring.
We made it and now we are having fun visiting with my sister and her family. Today we visited McKinney, Texas. It is a small town with a lot of small shops. We found a western shop that sold everything from cowboy boots to jigsaw puzzles. We ate yogurt at Peachy Keene Yogurt and went to a very nice fabric store. There were many antique stores but we didn’t have time to check those out.
On our way home, the car started making a bump, bump, bump sound. We had a flat tire. It was 93 degrees outside! Luckily, my mom has AAA and they sent a service car out to change the tire. We are home now and I am ready for a nap.