Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekend Out of Nowhere

Talk about impulsive and acting on a whim. We didn't have any plans this weekend and I figured we'd just hang out and I could do real man work on the barn and help a friend move, and before I know it, we're heading down to Nashua for the night, hotel and all. Where did that come from?

R's friend has a quilt that is being shown at some big quilter's convention in Nashua. Apparently her quilt has won awards and was accepted into this show, so it's kind of a big deal, and since she lives in Minnesota, she couldn't actually be here in person. She mentioned to R that it was near us, and if we had a chance, to check it out. I wasn't sure what to make of it, not being a quilter and all. We were originally just going to go down and see it, maybe grab some dinner and then head home, though it is an hour and a half drive. Well, it sort of evolved into a hotel stay and then dinner and a movie, without the movie, of course. Having never been to Nashua, I didn't know what to expect.

But before we could go, we had other things we needed to do on the home front. KR was moving out to the neighboring town and sent out requests for assistance. I was more than happy to help, but couldn't spend the whole day and indicated as much. After helping KR, I was to meet with my Mentor to help him move some hot air balloon baskets, then we'd hit the road for Nashua. We could have stayed for the entire day on Sunday, but I had signed up for a class at King Arthur Flour to make pizza, which was to begin on Sunday morning at 11:00, so we'd have to leave early to get home on time.

Anyway, helping KR move was a breeze, she doesn't have a lot of stuff, and most of it she'd moved already. Plus, she wasn't going far. Fortunately I had my Mentor's car, so we managed to get everything over there in one trip, how's that for packing light? Her new flat is actually a house with lots of space, and she's right next to A's horse riding teacher, in a really cool part of town. Hope it all works out.

Also got to meet T, who might have a bike he'd like to sell for R to use, but we'll see.

After the move, I jetted back home and met with my Mentor, and we loaded a bunch of stuff into his truck, which he moved to Quechee. Then we hit the road.

The drive down was fairly painless, especially considering some of the drives we've done in the past year. The drive home from New York drove me to tears. We got to the hotel, which was designed to look like a Medieval castle and also happened to be hosting the quilt convention. Then again, what really mattered to us was the fact that they had a swimming pool, a key consideration when your kids are running the show. It was interesting because you could tell something was up by the inordinate number of women (not too many guys at a quilting convention, why is that?) walking around in elaborately quilted jackets and vests.

Now I've never been one to really appreciate quilts, and upon first glancing at them, I thought they were nice, but nothing overwhelming. In fact, after we'd found her friend's quilt, I was ready to hit the road and get some food. I'd seen enough stitching for one day.

However, R and the kids wanted to check out some of the quilts (do you really want to?). Naturally, I was forced to wander and browse a little, and you know what? After spending a little time and just checking out the details that go into these pieces of art, you really begin to appreciate the level of skill, thought and craftsmanship (crafts-person-ship?) that is involved. It's mind boggling, dare I say pathological. Every single loop and curve has been stitched in, and these quilts were the size of bed sheets. The details were incredible, to the point where I thought it might even be cool to give it a shot myself, except my Mentor would disown me if he found out... or at least make me give back his hammer, and my brother in law would stop returning my emails.

Anyway, it was kind of cool. I don't think I'd have the patience or fortitude to do it, I think it takes literally years to make these things. I guess machines are becoming more common, though that seems a little like cheating, but who am I to say (nobody)? There were in fact several quilts that were done entirely by hand, a feat I still can't imagine. Kudos to them.

After the show, we ventured out into suburban hell and got a mouthful of it. We went a Mexican restaurant in town that got good reviews and was it ever crowded. A 45 minute wait. I can't remember the last time I had to wait to eat dinner. They give you this pager that buzzes when your table is ready, which was good for entertainment value for the kids. We didn't want to sit around, so drove through the strip malls and found a CVS to get supplies. Our timing was perfect, because within five minutes of getting back, our buzzer went off and we got our table.

The food was okay, about as good as you'd expect to find in New Hampshire. We ate, went back to the hotel, and went for a swim. I was exhausted by this point and for whatever reason, when I jumped into the pool, it felt like jumping into the Arctic Sea. I was freezing and couldn't stop shivering. I felt like a wimp, but what could I do? Maybe it was fatigue, but I got out, dried off, and promptly passed out on the lounge chair.

That's what happens when you're running on fumes. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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