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! :(