My post about going to the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival probably made it sound like the trip was all fun and games and excitement. The reality is actually quite different. A trip like this starts with hours of prep work in the days leading up to the actual event, and then when we finally hit the road we encountered traffic as we neared the city of Portland. This was our view for about 30 minutes before we got to the other side of the city.
Since we were going to the city anyway, we added a stop at our main supplier warehouse (another 45 minutes) and finally we were able to do the 135 mile drive to Tacoma. That took about 2 1/2 hours so we didn't arrive until noon.
We had never attended this event before so figuring out where we were going and then trying to find where to park was another challenge. And this was compounded by having to pay for parking at a kiosk at one end of the lot when we were parked at the other while desperately needing to find a restroom after the long drive! Anyone watching would have thought I was doing some really crazy shuffle dance 🙂
And then that meeting with Franklin Habit? It didn't go exactly as I portrayed it. We did see him in a classroom on a break and it was the perfect opportunity to finally introduce myself, but I only made it about 10 feet into the room before I chickened out and left. What a wuss. I went into the main lobby and spent a few minutes composing myself before getting up the nerve to try again. SO glad I did! And then I had to strengthen my resolve and nerve again when the Yarn Harlot was right in front of me.
I was also meeting with the folks at Carolina Homespun for the first time (thanks to an introduction from a dear friend - who I have never actually met!) And it turns out that even with all the prep work I was unprepared for that meeting. I had spent hours tagging merchandise the previous day, but did I think to tag the things I brought with me to that meeting? Of course not. AND I had taken the spare tags out of the box and left them at home. So we found ourselves in a corner of a small lobby making merchandise tags out of every business card we brought, hand writing product descriptions and pricing on the back, and attaching them to the cases and bags with pieces of yarn cut from my current sock knitting project. I didn't even have scissors with me to cut the yarn and had to use nail clippers. Unprepared is an understatement.
But despite all of this, it was a wildly successful day and we were ready to hit the road home. Too bad the driving directions I brought did not include how to get BACK to the freeway from the hotel. I'm so glad I have a smart phone with Google Maps. The tension of the day was still not over because we had 3 hours of driving to get home and it started to really rain. The speed limit between Tacoma and Portland is 70 miles per hour so that meant most traffic was flying along closer to 80. I grew up and learned to drive in California and my parents were always warning me about hydroplaning on wet roads at speeds over 50 miles per hour but the flow of traffic and the interstate trucks were not about to put up with me poking along that slow so the entire drive was spent with white knuckles. And then there was the time I missed the exit I wanted to fill up with gas and ended up in some strange industrial district and had to turn around and navigate back to the freeway and hope for gas at another exit. And the really bad traffic in Portland again. And the rain that continued, and the spray from the tires. And then I realized that I hadn't really eaten for 10 hours.
Yep, it was a very long day.