Thursday, May 14, 2009

Isabella Street, Pittsburgh Bridges and Jan's I Phone!

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About one in the afternoon I walked back to the hotel with my suitcase, and put it in my room, changed, and then went back to the show and listened to more presentations. I didn't know where my room mate got to and had no way of calling or finding her, so I left and walked across the bridge right in front of the convention center to the "north side", walked a block through a residential section on "Isabella Street", and then crossed the river again on the next bridge. There is the 5th street bridge, the 6th street bridge, the Andy Warhol bridge, the Fort Pitt bridge and the Fort Duquesne bridge, all within view of each other! So I took photos of the bridges and the skylines.....very unique because it's all very old historical buildings mixed in with big tall modern buildings.

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When I got back to the hotel room and Jan was there. So we had a glass of wine together and went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Fantastic food, but very skimpy portions. Bob would feel ripped off. I was quite satisfied with my scallops and asparagus with beet and goat cheese salad.

From there we went back to the Convention Center for "Sample Spree". Jan thought I should experience it, I thought it was extreme madness. The vendors in the market have booths in one room and they are selling kits and specials for phenomenally low prices. I bought a necklace made with old buttons and red wire! The artist is Susan Christie. Her work was stunning and I just couldn't leave this one there! I’m developing my “image”….a new hat, an outrageous necklace…hmmmm…what else can I do to stand out in a crowd!

And I got some samples and pamphlets as well, but I found it a little confusing and extremely noisy.....kind of like a shoe sale at the Army & Navy where people grab stuff from each other and push and shove. Yikes! I actually wanted to leave a while before we did and was relieved when I saw people starting to pack up!

When that was over, Jan and I and a whole crowd of other quilters left the center and headed for our hotels. The crowd thinned out as it progressed and our hotel is, I think, the furthest away. We went into a 7-11 to get a pop and some milk for our tea, and I think we turned the wrong way when we came out. We were walking along thinking we were headed in the right direction, but weren't seeing any familiar landmarks! And yes it was dark....about 10:30 p.m. and there were a LOT of people on the streets.....and not the ones I was fascinated with in the day time for the past two days! We were getting nervous. And then Jan pulled out her "I Phone" and hit the "map application" and typed in the name of the street we were on and the name of the street the hotel was on. We were WAY off the path. So we kept walking and she was watching her showed a little blue spot getting further and further away from our hotel. So we turned around and went the other way and the spot started moving closer to the hotel. We were thrilled to pieces when we saw buildings that we knew and streets that were better lit!!! She figures her phone paid for itself in that short time alone! She said she was a little scared and admired me for just keeping on keeping on.....I figured if we kept walking and just looked like we knew where we were and had no fear, it would be like animals....if we didnt exhibit any signs of fear, we wouldn't alert anyone to our insecurity! But I'll be honest.....tea wasn't ALL we drank when we got to our room!

Jan Krentz is an absolutely fantastic person. It was my privilege to be her room mate. She gave me hints about travelling and things that are very informative if I do this again. And she's very down-to-earth in the hotel room and we laugh and tell stories. She says she wants to keep in touch with me because I'm "a keeper". So is SHE! She's on her fourth book and she teaches full time all over the world. I would highly recommend her to anyone….having seen her samples first hand and spent time with her….I’d go to her class if she came to our area for sure. I'm really happy I got to room with her because it is comfortable and real, especially when you consider we’d never met before. Her new book is called "Quick Star Quilts & Beyond".

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