Thursday, 30 April 2009

My First Blog Award!

While we have been travelling Jude has been following our journey.

She has also been kind enough to send me my first blog award!

So thanks Jude and it has been great to have you 'with us' on Route 66!
I have loads of blog reading to catch up on so have not decided who to pass it onto yet.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Saturday in Nashville

Our last 'proper' day was spent in Nashville Tn - otherwise knoown as 'Music City'. Now I am not a big fan of country music but the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was well worth a visit. This patchwork sign was in the foyer.
Nashville was in the high 80s on Saturday.
This is one of the tributes in the Hall of Fame - most people I had never heard of - but I do admire this little lady, even though the likeness is not very good!
In the evening we went to the Grand Ole Opry which was a great nostalgic show - a great evening of country music.
Sunday was the last day of our holiday - we spent it driving the 500 miles back to Chicago. We drove through Indiana, hunting through a few antique malls on the way - yes I did find some more stuff! I will report on my vintage quilting finds soon, Monday we were back in Chicago for our flight, The car had covered over 3500 miles when we returned (there were approximately the same number of dead bugs on the front of it!)- the girl at the rental place could not believe that we had driven as far as Texas!
We arrived home just before 9am yesterday morning - the house was not in too bad a state although very grubby (teenage cleaning efforts!). All the food has been eaten but the fridge was full of beer (even the salad drawer!) and every bath towel in the house had been used and left in a soggy heap - but cats and chickens were fine! So now it is back to washing, cooking and claeaning - but what a great trip we have had!
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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Paducah - Quilt City USA!

We have spent a lovely warm sunny day in Paducah today. It really is Quilt City USA. There are quilters everywhere and the atmosphere is great. There are loads of nice restaurants, quilt shops and antique shops. I even bought some vintage fabric items today including a dress made out of printed feedsack fabric.
This giant cow was outside one of the shops!
This is the inside of Hancocks of Paducah - it is more of a warehouse than a quilt shop!
This is Eleanor Burns' shop.
We also visited the National Quilt Museum which has loads of previous Best of Show winners including Flower Power by Philippa Naylor and two quilts by Sharon Schamber which were stunning.
After dinner we went to see Ricky Tims with 3000 other quilters - which was quite an experience , especially for Geoff, probably the only non-quilter in the audience! Posted by Picasa

Friday, 24 April 2009

Paducah 2009

Today was the day I have been looking forward to for months - the Paducah Quilt Show! I will not be showing any photos of quilts apart from a background shot of Best in Show but hope these few photos will give you a flavour of it.
The first photo shows people coming into the venue - the large building in the background. All the white canopies you can see are outdoor food stalls!
Philippa Naylor won one of the four main awards with her quilt 'Flower Power'. I thought it was great that the winners had a chair so they could sit with their quilt. I never saw Philippa there though as she was teaching all day.
I was lucky enough to catch the 'Best of Show' winner posing for photos. She is pictured on the right - her name is Mariya Waters from Australia and the quilt is called 'Renaissance Revival'
It was a great day - tiring but very enjoyable. Very busy - Paducah is full of quilters and there is a great atmosphere in the whole town. There were not as many quilts as I was expecting - I would say a similar number to the NEC. There were lots of technically excellent quilts especially from Japan,
However the number of trade stands was staggering! I did spend lots of money although I had been saving up so I could have a spending spree. I have triedto buy things that are not easy to get in the UK.
It was interesting to look at what is trendy in the quilting world - needle punching is very popular - I have bought a needle to have a go - also chenille, and jacket making.
What I found most interesting is that traditional quilting seems much more popular than art quilting - both in quilts exhibited and merchandise.
Here I am after 9 hours at the show! Tomorrow we are going to investigate Paducah itself as there is lots to see - not least Hancocks of Paducah, then tomorrow evening we are going to see Ricky Tims!
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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Walking In Memphis

After the long drive through Arkansas on Tuesday today was spent in Memphis. The weather has been hot and sunny - ideal for seeing the sights.
We started with Graceland, the ultimate Memphis attraction. Even though it was a bit of a tourist trap we really enjoyed it. Graceland itself was much smaller than you would imagine but very well preserved and presented.

Here is the front of the house and below a photo of the famous Jungle Room.
Then it was off to Sun Studios - where Elvis made his first record. Other famous acts who recorded there include Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
This photo was taken inside the recording studio.
Now we are preparing for the highlight of the visit - the Paducah Quilt Show - which we will be visiting tomorrow!
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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Goodbye to Route 66.

From Texas we crossed back into Oklahoma to continue our long drive right across Oklahoma, Arkansas and on to Memphis Tennessee. This is a drive of over 700 miles which we are doing over 2 days.
On the way we stopped off in Erick Oklahoma at this very quirky museum of sorts.

Well, what better way to say farewell to Route 66 than with some photos of us!!

We have now stopped just short of the Arkansas State Line, moving onto Memphis tomorrow.

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Other Texas sights.

Just a few miles from Amarillo is a Cadillac Ranch spoof, the Bug Ranch, which consists of VW Beetles instead of Cadillacs. As we are VW fans it was a must-see!

This Art Deco restored gas station is in Shamrock Texas and is famous for being featured in the Disney 'Cars' movie.
And so it was time to say goodbye to Texas!
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Cadillac Ranch Amarillo Texas

The Cadillac Ranch is one of the most iconic sights of Route 66. These photos were taken at around 9am this morning (Monday) and as you can see the weather was glorious today in Texas.

10 Cadillacs have been buried in a field and they are continually spray painted by visitors.

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Sunday in Oklahoma

Yesterday (Sunday) the state of Oklahoma appeared to be closed!
As we drove along we came upon this giant pop bottle in Arcadia, the parking lot was full and people were flocking in. It turned out to be a restaurant themed with trendy pop bottles.

All the glass walls of the restaurant were lined with shelves of pop bottles,
The other place we found open was the Route 66 museum in Clinton Oklahoma.

The highlight of this museum was this VW camper which had been painted to look like a hippy vehicle,

And there was even a Route 66 quilt!

After this we decided to drive into Texas - to Amarillo - which was very significant because this is as far east as we went last year. That means that we have now driven the whole of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. We started our journey in 2000, doing the first section LA to Gallup New Mexico, last year Gallup to Amarillo, Texas and this year Chicago to Amarillo.
We celebrated with a Texan T Bone steak - well at least Geoff did.
If you want to read more about Amarillo look up the USA 2008 posts on this blog.

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Monday, 20 April 2009

Moving on into Oklahoma!

Jude was asking what Route 66 was actually like as a road. Sometimes it is interstate (motorway), dual carriageway or just normal 2 lane roads. There are however some single track sections, known as pavements which are really old sections of Route 66. Here we are on one such section.

These concrete totem poles are a Route 66 attraction built in1948 by Ed Galloway. They are situated in Foyil Oklahoma.
One of the wackiest roadside attractions is the Blue Whale which was built as a waterpark platform with slides and a diving board.
Trust me you really would not want to swim in that water!
Saturday night was spent in Tulsa which we did not get chance to explore fully but were not that impressed with.
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From Missouri into Kansas

I am a day behind with my blogging due to a stay in a dodgy motel where the internet wasn't working. These photos are from Saturday.
We started in Halltown Missouri in this little antique shop - don't be fooled by its outward appearance - inside it was a goldmine of vintage items. I bought about 10 feedsack pieces, mostly plain white but they are so useful for using with my patterned ones. I also bought some vintage buttons.

This retro drive-in is fully restored and working but sadly we did not have time to wait for the show to start!

Then we crossed into Kansas. There is only 12 miles of Route 66 in Kansas. This little diner was nicely restored and its claim to fame was having 'Mater' parked out front.
If you are a fan of the Disney movie 'Cars' you will recognise him.
Shortly after this photo was taken a massive thunderstorm started. Quite appropriate as we were in Kansas!! No sign of the Wicked Witch of the West though!
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