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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Nashville trip - 2007

Now that I’m home; I can get my life back to its normal routine. In my opinion, AQS should seriously think about moving the Nashville show to an entirely different location somewhere in Nashville. Or another city entirely! Gaylord Hotel does not cater to the thousands of visitors the show brings to their place.

First let me explain…..the purpose of me going on the tour bus trip to Nashville was to view all the quilts up close. I love looking at other people’s work. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them!! Even the quilts without ribbons are a joy to look at and admire. I took as many pictures as my camera would allow. The camera kept winking out on me. I would have a good shot lined up in the view finder then the screen would go white and blank. I’m not sure what the problem is with my camera. I guess its time to shop for another one. I did manage to take 100 pictures during our 5 hour stay there. I put them on my webshots if you would care to look.

I stopped at the Gammill booth and talked with Ron Parker. I always have to stop at their booth and visit with them a bit. I talked to him about a problem I have with my machine. It starts off with really large stitches then extremely tiny stitches as it catches up with me. My machine’s stitch quality isn’t anywhere close to the quality of the machines at the show. According to Ron my belt must be loose. I did check the way he showed me how to check and yes it is loose. I’m supposed to call him after the show is over for fixing the problem of too many stitches per inch. I actually get around 20 per inch instead of the 10 I’m supposed to be getting. Ron says the problem is in the regulator set up. After a short visit I moved on.

I had bought a plastic foot device called the Curve Master Foot at the Nashville show last year. It had cost me $30. Naturally, it didn’t fit my household machine. None of the adaptors in the package fit the old Bernina 1230. When I was walking through the vendor isles I saw their booth. I decided to ask about an adaptor. Yes, they did have an adaptor to fit the old Bernina 1230. It cost $20; so I pull out a $20 bill to pay for it. When I asked for a receipt to use for my business paperwork, he charged me $1.85 for it. Yes, that’s right, $1.85 for a receipt. I guess there is no point in saying…I will not shop that booth anymore! And…I will not promote their product to anyone else. For me to pay $50 to use one plastic foot on my machine is pretty dumb on my part. For them to charge $1.85 for a receipt is just plain outrageous!!

Last year at the Nashville show when it was time for lunch; we would go outside the show and a little further inside the hotel to the food court. The food court had several normal fast food restaurants and some dining type restaurants too. A visitor could actually get a decent lunch for a reasonable price. This year, the hotel had done away with the food court. We asked a hotel employee why and were told the hotel is going “upscale”.
There aren’t any good eating places within ‘old lady with arthritic hips joints walking distance’ from the hotel; especially when we are only there for a few hours. We asked a hotel employee if they had a shuttle to take visitors to other places and pick them up. No, they don’t have that. We were forced to eat in the food area of the show. I’m totally against having food in the same area as quilts. There are too many ways to have an accident.

The prices for food were outrageous. Well naturally!! Why shouldn’t the hotel make it difficult to eat at a reasonable cost? Now don’t think me unbending here. I expect to pay a little extra for a meal inside a show. But come on…. $10.50 for self serve of a small sandwich, beans, and lemonade? The least they could do is offer a bag of chips and a mint with it. Would you call this an “upscale” hotel meal? I’ve got news for Gaylord Hotel…higher prices does not equal “upscale”!

If a person wanted only water to drink instead of lemonade, it was an additional $3. Cookies and brownies were $2 each. A tiny salad – maybe a couple of table spoons – was $5.75. A 1 ounce bag of chips (that costs 35 cents at the store) was $2. They had four lines of people with only two cashiers. The cashiers charged whatever they felt like charging; if you didn’t like it….tough…go somewhere else to eat. The lady in front of me paid $14, I paid $15, and my sister in law paid $10.50….all of us getting the exact same thing. I didn’t argue; I paid it because I had not had anything to eat since supper the night before and I was starving plus rapidly becoming shaky. It was already 1:45.

Now this is only my opinion; but, if the Gaylord hotel is going to continue with meals inside the show area; the least they could do is give every item a separate price which would allow folks to pick and choose and pay accordingly. They might even consider some other food items too.

After lunch I went to the awards ceremony where I had to pay $15 for my sister in law to get in. I got in free as a contestant. I can understand paying to get into the show. The entertainer (the singing quilter) has to get paid somehow. The problem was….we had to stand through a big part of the show. There weren’t enough chairs until more could be brought in from storage. Then they just sat the stack in a corner for the attendees to pull a chair from the stack, carry it to the other side of the room before sitting. Come on now; for $15 couldn’t the hotel employee carry a chair or two for a couple of old ladies? It would have also been really nice if the lights were turned out during the singing quilter’s performance like any normal performance. The lights were so bright it was hard to focus on the entertainment. By the way, the singing quilter is really good.
I made an idiot of myself at the ceremony. I’m not sure Yvonne will want me to go to another one with her. Heck, for me, the whole fun of walking up in front of all those people is to do something really stupid so everyone will have a good laugh! It makes others remember me. I just tell them…I’m the one who did such and such stupid thing and everyone says…oh yeah, I remember you now. Our group - Happy Heart Quilters - got a second place ribbon.

In the back of the quilt show area was a table set up by Clover. They had pamphlets of things to do at a guild meeting. I picked up several really nice ideas. There was also a box on the table that said “free knitting needles”. The box was empty. I went back a few minutes later when it had been filled. I picked up a pair. The needles are very nicely made from wood. I asked my sister in law to pick up a pair too, in a different size, so I could have them. She refused to give them to me. I asked her what she planned to do with knitting needles if she doesn’t knit. She says “but I can learn” and that was that. I’m sorry but I will not be teaching her to knit. I’ve been teaching her to quilt for about 7 years and she still hasn’t bought a single quilt pattern or book or shown any interest beyond simple squares in all that time. Hmm…maybe she is planning to switch hobbies?

I got extremely excited when I came across a lady weaving rugs! I make rugs from left over t-shirt backs. I’m too thrifty to throw away the backs of t-shirts after I have made a t-shirt quilt. I cut the leftovers into strips and weave them into rugs. Anyway, this lady was selling rug frames made by her brother. He does beautiful woodwork!! I’m hoping to consult with him to make a few changes to the construction of the frame for me. My weaving style is just a bit different than the way he has his frames set up. I already have a bunch of strips cut up because I had dusted off my rug frame a few days ago planning to weave again. I didn’t buy the frames at the show. Instead I asked for a phone number so I could call when I got home. He is going to make the changes in the frame for me and it should be ready in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be a long two weeks!
The bathrooms for the quilt show were a long distance from the show area. It’s like walking a couple of city blocks to find a bathroom. Good gosh…I was at the very back of the show area when the urge to make water hit me…twice.

If you plan to attend a show like this with a friend; trust me, it is better if you agree to go separate ways and meet at a certain spot at a certain time later in the day. My sister in law didn’t want to be farther than two feet from my side for the whole trip. It was difficult to see what I wanted to see while making sure she got to see what she wanted to see too. If you go separate ways you can spend your time enjoying yourself and the other person can too.

We got back on the bus at 5:30. Two ladies were late meeting the bus so we had to wait about 15 minutes for them. We had supper at the Cracker Barrel a short distance from the hotel. Service was great and fast! I finally had a decent meal for a decent price.

I guess that’s it for my report on the Nashville trip. My suggestions…anyone going to the show should plan on packing a sack lunch and never take a water pill.

1 comment:

EileenKNY said...

Hi Anita,
DH and I were at the Gaylord 3 or 4 years ago for a conference he had to go to for work. I know what you mean about the bathrooms and the attitudes.
I guess we're not "hoity-toity" enough for them.........