Traveling fills me with...anxiety. Yes, I think that is the correct word. It's a feeling that everyone always answers with "You'll have fun when you get there." And that is also true. I do have fun when I get there, particularly to Quilt Market because the enthusiasm is completely contagious. Who doesn't love to be around people who are excited to be there? It was nice to actually make it there, to Minneapolis, to the convention center in Minneapolis specifically, to find my people, the quilters. Here's how the day went:
I woke up at the unbelievably rude hour of 3:45. Yes, it really exists! I woke up to the sounds of thunder and lightning and I'm not sure if the queasy stomach was there before the first loud boom or after, but I felt it would not be a good travel day. I rushed around, packed the car, and backed out into frog-stranglin' rain (translation: very heavy). The interstate was dark, just me and the bread trucks out at that time of morning. I maneuvered Little Rock and my first security check of the trip. (And here's the deal: if the pieces of metal that I put on daily are enough to bring down a plane, we're all wasting our time here and maybe we should make the planes better. And I don't know if it's TSA training that makes agents speak to you slowly and loudly as though you are disabled but I don't appreciate it, 'mKay? And I experienced it in 2 security searches in the span of 3 days.) I skipped my normal Burger King breakfast and queased (is that a word?) in the waiting area.
I made it to Chicago with a little bounce and then a lurch and then a drop and then a bounce, bounce and maybe a twist and then a lurch...what I'm telling you is that my queasing was aided by a roller coaster ride. And then I landed in Chicago and nearly gave myself a cardiac event because I was trying to be frugal and take a carry-on. I'm done with that. Frugality is against my very nature anyway.
I landed in Minneapolis and all I had to do was find the SuperShuttle.
If you've ever been to the Minneapolis airport, you know what this entails. And I was lugging my luggage the entire miles-long trek up and down and around and through the airport. But I made it. I made it without expiring on the escalator or the people mover. I felt good about that. Oh, yeah, and I was hot from the minute I woke up until the minute I made it back to my car in the parking deck and turned on the AC full blast. I "glowed" every day of my trip. And I hate that.
I made it to the Hyatt and was able to check in, even though it was early. Very early. Still queasing but figuring the hotel food would be better than the convention center food, I ordered a hamburger via room service and went to unpack my stuff.
The conversation went like this:
Operator: "And how is your day today?"
Operator: "What can we do to make it better?"
Me: "Oh, nothing. I'd like a hamburger. And do you have Pepsi products?" I knew the answer but I was registering my displeasure in a way guaranteed to make no difference.
Me: "Fine. I'll take iced tea then."
Operator: "No Pepsi or Mountain Dew for you?"
Me: "No. I'm a Coke girl."
Operator: "Let me see what I can do. I might be able to find a Coke for you or would you rather a Diet Coke?"
And this is when I knew I'd survive:
I made it over to the convention center, via skywalk, around session 5 of the Schoolhouse. I was wandering around following the terrible directions of the registration desk when I ran into Kristine Poor and Jean Johnson of Poorhouse Quilt Designs on their way to check out the booth situation. I was glad to see a friendly face (even though I remembered my intention to send her models back to her into for the show while I was standing there at the show. And that is, needless to say, very unhelpful. Thankfully, her booth was fine without them.) Then I pitched myself into the Schoolhouse fray: a new fabric line here, a new technique there, Carrie Nelson's large room standing-room-only session about all her new stuff (books, contest, fabric line) where Jellystone of the television commercial and Miss Rosie's Spice of Life quilts made an appearance. It's all a blur, but I took a sitting break in the middle and then made it to Pat Sloan's standing-room-only and spill out into the hallway (where the people grumble and shove a little and touch me...really, it was a measure of my friendship for Pat that I managed to stick it out) session for her new rotary cutting system with Sullivans. The edge has a blade sharpener on it! What a cool idea!
And that was pretty much all of Day 1...insult at security, roller coaster ride, lots of walking, sweaty brow, general feeling of unwellness, and the excitement of new quilting stuff.
I'm an excellent traveler, right? On the bumpy ride to Chicago, I was really, really sorry I'd already booked my plane ticket to Orlando for July. This trip would be enough to convince me to stay home. Always. To always stay home. But only the flying part.