Bright and early (6am to be exact...yawn!) 49 excited quilters meet up with this handsome guy who loaded us all up on this big blue bus. Except for a few of the ladies, most of us had no clue where we were going! We were promised a fun day, and by golly! they were right!
The fun started as we boarded the bus! The committee had a terrific goody bag for us, with a cool handmade name tag (to help the shop owner's identify the bus people and give us our due discount!) We all got a great recyclable green bag from JoAnn's, which most of us filled by the end of the end (more on that later!) We also got the cool little Fiskars scissors, which are great for handsewing! A raffle ticket for door prizes, a salty snack, napkins and wet wipes to keep us neat completed the bag! To keep our strength up, we all got a delicious muffin, and a cooler of bottled water was availble to keep us hydrated during the day!
We had lots of fun trying to guess where we were going, as the bus started our journey. We started out headed west...were we going to Morton and Peoria, or perhaps even further west? When the bus pulled off in Bloomington, a general cry went through the bus, oh no! It's way too early for a quilt shop to be open! But to keep us on our toes, it was just a well planned potty break. When we turned north from Bloomington, we started thinking Rockford, or Madison, WI. Well, we did stop in Rockford, pulling into the Quilter's General Store right at opening time! I didn't get a picture of the shop, but it is in an old farm house! Every inch of space was used! They had some great fabric, especially kids theme!
Besides fondling fabrics, we quilters like to eat (you got that idea from our goody bag, right!) So our next stop was lunch! The Machine Shed in Rockford is a terrific restaurant! They were
pre-warned, er, notified that 49 hungry ladies and one bus driver would be visiting them, and they were ready and waiting to serve us!
I split a BLT with another lady, and we had more than enough food! The sweet potato fries were served with cinnamon butter to dip them in! BTW, this was my plate...Alma's was identical! we shared the fruit cup you see in the background. Then another lady who had too much on her plate gave us her cole slaw which Alma and I shared! They didn't have any lemon meringue pie that day, or you would be looking at a picture of that!
Next stop was the Quilter's Haven! Another delightful shop! We all oohed and aahed at their selection, then helped the economy of Rockford!
Back on the bus, and we headed east. We drove through Dekalb...we saw signs talking of Aurora in 22 miles....were we going to Naperville? Great shop there! But then we turned south. Went through a lot of towns, but we finally knew...we were going to Morris! The Fabric Center is a fantastic store, and was our last store! They have a huge store, with all kinds of fabrics, lovely shop samples, and places for weary quilters to sit and contemplate! They graciously stayed open an hour later for us, and we graciously made it worth their effort! Supper was at Culver's in Morris. I was good and had a salad, and I was so good, I rewarded myself with a Lemon Ice with raspberry topping! It was very good!
Like all good days, it had to come to an end. I got home at 9:30, welcomed by a happy dog and hubby! And see, I did manage to fill my shopping bag!