Every year there is a gathering of like minded people on Presidents Day weekend in Portland ME. We call it SPA. If you are into fiber, knit, spin or weave or are even a little bit curious about any of the aforementioned stuff this is your weekend.
Vendors with all sorts of yarn, spinning fiber, books, you name it. Wheels galore! And you are encouraged to try them out by their owner’s if you are so inclined! Knitter’s who are very eager to show off what they’re working on and quick to show you a new technique or help out of you have any questions.
Chocolate, alcohol, manicures, pedicures, massages, food! Shop till you drop, spin, knit to your hearts content. Do it all or do nothing but soak up the atmosphere. This is our weekend to truly indulge ourselves and our hobby\addictions.
For the past 3 years, I’ve tried to leave home on Friday morning to arrive de-stressed and ready to party. And for the past 2 years it didn’t happen. Both due to Husband and his back.
Last year was the worst. I had planned on being on the road by 9 am with both Husband and Younger leaving the house for work and school by 7. Which would have giving me plenty of time to pack and load and run errands before getting on the highway North!
At 7:15 am he was on the floor with back spasms and I was dialing 911. I didn’t arrive in Portland until almost 8 pm that night after spending most of the day at the local emergency room, pharmacy and arranging help for Husband care until I got home Sunday.
This year it was my car that decided to go down. Fortunately, it started giving signs that it didn’t want to make the drive very early in the week. Husband then very generously offered to rent me a car! So Friday morning I was at Hertz to pickup my ‘economy’ size rental car that I had reserved. Image my surprise when I got ..... Wait for it!
A PT CRUISER!!!!!!!!!
Now normally I don’t get too excited about cars. I’m rather picky about them as I have these long legs that smaller cars don’t accommodate very well. But a neighbor has a Cruiser and I’ve driven a couple of times and had a ball! And I had this thing for the whole weekend! Whoo Hooo!
I arrived in Portland around 3 after a leisurely drive north on 95 and a couple of stops along the way. My roomy was leaving down here around 3 and I calculated she should arrive around 6 so when 6:30 rolled around I gave her a call. Now I know what I sound like when I know I can safely vent my stress/frustration about being held up in traffic getting to an important event AND getting lost 2 seconds from my destination!
Roomy arrived a few minutes later; we got her stuff up to our room and hit the bar for food. Is it us or something in the air there that makes men want to pickup fiberist’s? All we wanted was food and a drink and quite conversation with each other and the guy’s on either side of us kept trying to butt in!
At least this year I didn’t have to explain about my Good Gene’s!
Saturday we made the rounds of the vendors and headed out to Halcyon in Bath with another friend. Thank god for K! I had printed out directions from the Doubletree to Halcyon from Google but was reluctant to rely on them as the directions I had used the day before to get to the hotel had me lost in South Portland!
K had a GPS and was a great back seat navigator! We got to our destination without any problems and she even spotted a yarn store while we were waiting to take a left turn. Picture 3 women turning 90 degrees to the rightin their seats and pointing at the same time!
I didn’t feel too bad for the guy behind us though. He had passed me on the highway and almost forced me into the breakdown lane as he came back to the right to cut me off. And I watched him do this to every car he passed as well as slowing down when he pulled into the left lane. So what if he had to wait a few extra seconds for me to move, we had found another yarn store to stop at on our way back to Portland.
I was very restrained with my $$ and then we headed out to the store we had spotted on our way. I did get a couple of skeins of Regia Stretch Color and the owner told us of a great place to have lunch. This is where it starts to get fun! We get off the exit only to find no left turns! I spotted the sign before the end of the ‘exit’ and turned right into a parking lot figuring to take a left out of that. No, there was a divider so antoher right turn until I found a place to turn around and make another right which got us going in the correct direction. Anyway, we made to the restaurant, had an awesome lunch, found out about a gourmet brownie shop and had dessert and headed out to a third shop that K knew about.
I got a book that I didn’t even know that I wanted and some yarn to make The Gift a couple of things. Now mind you, I only brought my wallet into the shop so I had less to keep track of and my hands were kept fairly free. As we headed back to the highway I couldn’t remember if I had brought it back out to the car. So, K checks my bag and asked several times if I had put it back into my purse. I’m starting to wig out as A.) I never drive without my license because I’ve got a commercial driver’s license and I’m a professional and know better than to hit the road without it and B.) I’m in a rental car with Missouri plates on it in Maine! My luck is such I would have been pulled over and ended my weekend waiting for Husband to pick me up.
In the mean time we’re trying to find a place to turn around to head back to the shop and K say’s “Turn right into the mall parking lot!” Being the good driver that I am, I did and ended up going North on the highway! Not what we expected! K calls the shop to ask if they found my wallet anywhere around and what time they closed. It’s now 3:57 and they said they were closing at 4. Yikes!
We did make it back to the store just before they closed. They remembered I had put my wallet in my shopping bag so we all checked the parking lot especially where I had parked to see if I had dropped it and then I decided to tear the car apart. I started with the bag from the store and proceded to my other bags. Somewhere in the frenzy I opened my purse and there was my wallet. I must have put it away and not remembered! Man, we were punchy from laughing so hard!
We got on the highway, going south this time and made it to the hotel in plenty of time to get ready for the Fashion Show that night.
I’m going to save the rest for another time because this is getting long but the ‘fun’ didn’t stop until after I left on Sunday morning.
I did arrive home relaxed and ready for The Daytona 500. I did get The Bosses socks completed and I did had a wonderful weekend.
Today is housework day and then back to work. This weekend is going to keep me going for at least the next 2 months until the Fiber Festival start and I can scratch my itch again.
PS - I found out much later that the Portlant Swingers Club meets at the hotel bar on Friday nights. Yea, those kinda Swingers!