It was an awesome time. The weather was great, the food was awesome, the company could not be beat. I have to say, this weekend was one of the best times I have had, EVER. I finally have pictures up on Facebook. Take a peek, it was some beautiful country.
Alisun picked me up late Wednesday afternoon, we were off. We had to make a quick side trip to Illinois and then we were on our way to Pennsylvania.
I grew up northeast of Chicago, so I am familiar with the area, I so miss Lake Michigan and some of the great food you get there, Chicago style hotdogs, polish sausages, Italian beef, pizza that is hard to beat. We stopped at Luke's and had Italian beef on our way to Indiana. It has been well over 15 years since I've had a REAL Chicago Italian beef, wet of course, ***burp***, it was delicious.
At the height of rush hour we hit the interstate and south we went to Indiana, passing O'Hare Airport, I caught sight of a few planes. Passing all the familiar signs I had not seen for a number of years. I left Illinois in 1994 and have only been back once for a weekend visit to my home town area. I do get very homesick, but no time for that, a beading retreat is on the horizon and I can't wait.
We put the pedal to the metal and after bumper to bumper in Chi for about 1-1/2 hours we finally escaped. Made it all the way to South Bend, IN before we had to stop. We're just not that young anymore. A good nights rest and we can do this. Up early, MapQuest has been checked, we have an Atlas map in the car, we were off again, Indiana went quickly, stopping for gas and coffee, grabbing our toll ticket and we're off again.
We buzz through Ohio, tolls, tolls, tolls, I-80 is a straight shot pretty much, lots of farm land, barns, cows, a beautiful fall day. Panera Bread for lunch, yummmmm!!!! I purchased some extra bagels and cream cheese for the trip, we will only be having 4 meals there. I have to start hoarding a few goodies, just in case. We expect to get to Pennsylvania by evening.
It was soon evident we were not in the midwest any longer, the hills became more frequent and started getting higher and higher, the roller coaster ride has begun. I soon noticed that we were even with the tree tops. Beautiful scenery and the mountains were not what I expected. Going through the mountain tunnels was fun, Blue Mountain and Alleghany mtn, were just two we passed under that I was able to catch a glimpse of their names. The hills keep coming and the road kept winding, soon we were in Carlisle, PA and near our destination for the night. Ali called Dawn and got directions, yep we were a bit lost. We were close though so we could do this! We rolled into Dawn's about 8PM, rest and relax, the fun begins in the morning.
Friday morning we were off again to the retreat. Was about an hours' drive, more winding roads and beautiful farms along the way. We were in Amish country. Lovely babbling brooks along the roadside, my ears kept popping as we drove up and down the mountains. We rolled into our little retreat, obeying the clearly posted 9.5MPH signs.
We spy the buildings, a large lower main building where we will be playing and taking classes and up above the cabins where we will sleep. We unload and set up, the fun begins. The rest of the weekend was full of laughter, beading, giveaways, great food, more beading, some bead shopping, more giveaways, more beading, and little sleep. I was so excited I won an Ott light, which was on my list for Christmas this year, I have to say I felt very lucky, I won many great gifts, a set 5 pcs set of Beadsmith tools, crystals, Czech glass, sparkly glass pendants. I traded for some awesome Hemimorphite stones. I was able to share with some great women on an entirely different level than I can with any others. It was learning, sharing, friendship and so much more.
Would I do it again? not even a question. I plan to be there again in May and have even more fun.