Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Collette Vacation Day 1

Hi.  I won this trip!  In 2018, during the Secret Santa week on Wheel of Fortune, I had been checking my spin ID.  But December 15, I forgot, until I got on my computer and saw a message from Susan,  an online friend from Quiltsy Team, the Etsy seller's team I've been a member of for years.  Susan sent a message asking if I had a Spin ID, and she saw Maryellen M on the winner's list for the day.  I checked my app and it said "You're a winner!"  and I about fainted.  I was shaking with excitement and whoohooing, but needed to keep it fairly quiet because I had just put my Mom to bed upstairs.  I didn't want to wake her.  So, I filled out the info and waited until the next day to see the Youtube video of the show.  Jim, the second place winner, had played for my Spin ID, so I won what he won, the same cash amount and the Canyon Country tour by Collette Travel.  I used the cash to purchase the Handi-quilter Amara, now known as Vanna, because it's from Wheel of Fortune, and needed to wait to take the trip. 

Mom has Alzheimer's and as her caregiver, I knew I couldn't take her, or leave her with my brother John, who is my main support in her care.  She needs help bathing and dressing, and would not let him, or Arlene, my sister-in-law, help.  They often did meals and daily activities, so I could get a break from the 24/7, but I needed to be there for morning and night.  So, luckily, Wheel of Fortune worked with me to extend the dates I could travel.  And when Mom fell and was hospitalized in September of 2019, and rehab turned into her new living arrangement, because she no longer remembers how to walk or stand, John and I discussed possible dates that I could take the trip, before having to decline it.  I had asked my son to join me on the trip, and he was excited, and arranged for the vacation days.  John and Arlene would be in New York to take care of issues with Mom, and to stay with Hazel, my dog.  Since they stay in my house during the visits, it would work for us all.  One of their grandsons was celebrating a birthday, so they were here to celebrate with him. 

I knew that 3 members of Quiltsy were also in the Phoenix area, and made tentative plans to meet with them, and decided to fly out a day early, on Thursday, March 12, to meet them.  This was my first flight in over 27 years, since Matt was a baby, but we were excited and looking forward to days in the sun, the sights, and meeting new friends.  Victory Travel made the arrangements for the first night's hotel (rates were very high because of Spring Training for baseball season). 

Excuse the no-makeup 5 am no sleep face, lol.  Start of the adventure, amid the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

We arrived in Phoenix, and I marveled at the palm trees amid the cactus, and these rock formations.  
Matt had rented a car for us.  After resting at the Howard Johnson's in Scottsdale, we went for a drive, amid the rain showers.  This was the most rain the area had seen in years, especially now, and that's when we also heard that Spring Training was cancelled.  
I loved seeing the Bougainvillea and some of the other flowers.  And of course, I needed to find a quilt shop.  I stopped at Sewing Nuts, and enjoyed the selection of fabric, but only purchased a Row by Row license plate from last year.  Nice shop! 

We took a drive to see a little more of the area, and found the Botanical Garden.  I had just gotten a Panasonic Lumix camera, and I wanted to test it out.  It has a built in lens, but focuses from an inch to forever.  I wanted to play before we were actually on the coach tour.  

The above photos were taken by my Motorola Z4 phone.  These are from the camera. 

Matt looked for restaurants for dinner, and found Cafe Forte, in the Art District.  The atmosphere, the gorgeous huge bougainvillea, (see the photo above) and the food was excellent.  

Unfortunately, my friends were not available to meet us on Thursday, and opted not to meet on Friday, because of the virus.  I understood, so Matt and I made our own plans.  Susan did agree to meet on Friday morning.  

Matt and I went back to the motel and got some rest.  Friday, we tried to get some more Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray for the trip, but CVS was sold out.  We got some beverages and did some more exploring of the area.  Camelback Mountain was in view, and I wanted to get more photos.  We took some back roads, until Matt turned down a road that was a long cul-de-sac.  The houses were stunning, built on the side of Camelback, and the view from the top was amazing.  

In the midst of the flash flood warnings, and the clouds, we decided to drive a bit more.  I had more time before meeting Susan at the Bernina Connection.  
We found The Phoenician Resort and asked the gate keeper if we could drive around for photos of Camelback Mountain.  He gladly gave permission and pointed to the old house, where the view would be best.  I'm not sure we found that, but the fountain and the spot we did stop was wonderful.  

We met Susan at The Bernina Connection, where I also discovered that Jessica Caldwell, fellow Island Batik Ambassador and Designer, worked, but she was out sick that day.  Susan and I had fun looking and decided to also visit SAS fabrics, where I picked up some southwestern style fabrics for some projects for us.  We had a lovely lunch at Ranch House Grille, another great restaurant.  

After lunch Matt needed to return the car to the airport, so we went to our hotel for that night, the Scottsdale Marriott Courtyard, and got the introduction paperwork for the trip.  While I rested, he returned the car and got a Lyft back to the hotel.  We were to meet for information and dinner at 6 pm.  There was another rain shower, and I saw this from our room.   Many of the fellow travelers were thrilled to hear I had won the trip, and we enjoyed a great dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.  

Then it was bedtime, and getting ready for the tour!  
More next time.  



Calicojoan said...

I'm so excited for you. How awesome that you won a one is more well deserved!

QuiltShopGal said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip. Congratulations on such a wonderful win.