Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back from Retreat

What a glorious four days! We had so much fun - and laughed so hard we were crying. I finished all the component parts for my retreat project, but decided to wait until I got home to figure out the layout. I brought the red and white shooting star blocks and got those almost all sewn together. I want to finish up both of these tops over the Thanksgiving holidays. I'm real ready to get started on something new. Oops, I have to make my boss' quilt first. Darn!

The flight home was real interesting. We left the hotel at 12:00 noon and took a taxi to Oakland airport. It's a 50 minute flight back to Ontario airport - normally. We boarded and taxied away from the terminal, and sat for what seems like an hour. It was probably close to that. Then the pilot said we had to return to the terminal for dispatch instructions. They brought the plane almost to the terminal, but then stopped again. We had to remain seated, no A/C in the plane. Then the pilot came on again and said we were going to be brought to Terminal 1 for rescreening of all the passengers, the baggage and the plane. We were escorted to the far end of the airport grounds and taken off the plane and put on buses.

When we walked off the plane, we could see the whole plane was surrounded by FBI, air marshals and Oakland PD. Bomb sniffing dogs were out there, and our luggage was all spread out on the tarmac. We were escorted back into this secure terminal, screened again, and the wait began. Finally they let us go to the bathroom in escorted groups, and brought in some soft drinks.

To make a very long story a little shorter, the FBI came in and arrested a guy that was in our waiting area who was wearing a black teeshirt with a large "Police" across the front of it. I had seen him but thought he was part of the security team. Jane told me there was some derogatory comment on the back of his shirt. They then asked the last two rows of passengers to step forward, and those folks were interviewed. Finally we were escorted back on the plane.

We arrived back in Ontario at around 9:30 p.m. One of Jane's bags wasn't on our flight, but they told her it would be on the next flight coming in a little later. She decided just to take me home and deal with that later.

The whole process, while extremely irritating, was interesting. I have never been on a plane where there was a security problem before. Jane overhead someone saying that this guy made some comments about what was in his luggage, and this was apparently overhead by a flight attendant.

We heard at retreat on Saturday that there was a heightened security alert, but by the time we got to the airport on Sunday, it was back down to orange. But it is comforting to know that the airlines and the security forces take this sort of thing very seriously. VERY seriously!

We went to three quilt shops while at retreat. Friday evening is shopping and dinner on our own. We went to a shop that I can never remember the name of (sorry), to In Between Stitches in Livermore, and to ThimbleCreek in Walnut Creek. I love ThimbleCreek. I spent mega bucks in there - but, hey, it's my once-a-year dispensation!! I picked up a lot of patterns, and a tower, both cotton and the silky plaids, of the new Fig Tree line from Moda. It's called Folklorique. Gorgeous!!! Lots of other stuff, too numerous to list here, but I'll suffice it to say that I'm all stocked up until next year! LOL

I'm slowly catching up on all the blogger shenanigans while I was gone. Everyone ignored the rule --- no talking while I'm out of the room!

It's good to be home, but I miss everyone already. This is my fourth retreat, and some wonderful friendships have developed over the years.

Alex has a machine quilting book coming out within a couple of months, and next spring is a book on neutrals. She brought several of the quilts from the book. To say they were stunning is a huge understatement! Our retreat project next year will be a neutral quilt, and we're to collect billions of them this year! Oh, darn, more shopping! :)

Well, I have a picture of Alex and me, but I can't get it to post. Probably just as well. I look like Miss Piggy! Guess I need to go on more than a fabric diet! :(


quiltpixie said...

sounds like quite the adventure -- both the retreat and the trip! Glad you're back safe and sound :-)

Anonymous said...

So glad that your safety was taken so seriously by the security folks and that you make it home safely. Sounds like you had a great time at retreat! Hope you can get that picture of you and Alex to post!

Anonymous said...

Can I have a definition of neutral?
(blacks & grays - would that include black & white prints? Or whites, creams, tans & browns.... or both - in the same quilt?)

Angie said...

Wow, what an experience with the flight. Glad that was all sorted out before you were airborne! Sounds like you had a wonderful retreat...and don't ya just love Fig Tree fabrics...haven't seen the new line yet...I'm sure to want some of it, tho. :D

Lisa D. said...

Your retreat sounds heavenly. Can't wait to see your posts of what you worked on, and that neutral quilt for next year sounds very interesting!

JudyL said...

What a wild ride . . or I guess it was a wild wait to get the ride! That is crazy but I agree that it does make you feel a bit better knowing how closely they are watching everything and everyone.

I think we'd all like to see the picture of you and Alex. I'm so glad you get to keep going to those retreats, have fun, buy stuff and see your old friends!

Glad you're home. How did Daisy do while you were gone?

Judy L.

Suze said...

Welcome home........ I appreciate enjoying your adventures vicariously.

Looking forward to seeing what you make of all the fun stuff you bought.

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

Definitely an adventurous retreat week end. I'm glad to hear, though that you and Jane arrived home safe and sound.

I have to share this - I got a birthday card from a friend last year (we retreat together four times a year) and it said "we laughed and laughed and laughed and then laughed some more - we don't know why but it sure was fun" LOL

Susan said...

Great retreat, ending notwithstanding. I look forward to seeing the quilts from your retreat work.

Clare said...

Same question as Amy. How do you define "neutral"? Look forward to reading more on this.

Bit of added excitement to end was sounds like a fabulous break. Hope your friend got her bag back.

Jeanne said...

Whew -- a bit of an adventure! Glad you're home safe, and that your retreat was so much fun!
Jeanne :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the picture of you with Alex and what you bought.