It’s going to be hard to adequately capture the last couple of days in words and pictures, but I’m going to try. This timeline starts out Sunday afternoon and continues through Monday. Make sure you “read more” to see all the pictures and such!
3:30 p.m. I got in my car and headed to the grocery store and the office to pick up a few things before I went out of town. Thing is, I wasn’t sure if I was really going to go through with it. I had just wrapped up a nice relaxing birthday weekend and I started to wonder if I was doing the right thing. Is it really smart to drive six hours to meet people you don’t know and then spend 2 days with them? What if they are lame? What if they don’t like me? I could always call Carrie and tell her that my car was making funny noises and I couldn’t come.
4:30 p.m. I decided to head that direction. I rationalized that I could turn back before I made it too far. As I drove, I began to think about risks. Some of the greatest experiences can only happen if you take risks. You have to jump out of a plane to truly understand sky-diving. Not that I’m going sky-diving, but you know what I mean. I would have my car with me so that if I got there and it was no good, I could always go home. I had nothing to lose but gas money.
6:30 p.m. Stopped to get McDonalds.
10 p.m. Arrived in New Orleans and found the nearest parking garage after driving around the block a couple of times. Got checked in and laid down because I had a bad headache.
11 p.m. The aforementioned McDonalds made another appearance into my life and it wasn’t pretty. I believe on the eating competitions they call it a reversal of fortune. I’m really regretting my decision to come at this point. Not only have I not met these people, but I am sick. When I’m sick, I only want to be around people who know that I don’t always look that bad and I’m not always that cranky. What have I gotten myself into?
2 a.m. I finally got to sleep for a couple of hours
5:05 a.m. I got a call saying they’re almost there and heard a knock at the door shortly thereafter. Carrie and Anne Marie have arrived. They come in and put their stuff down before we head out to stand in line for the American Idol auditions, having no idea what we’ve gotten ourselves into, both with the auditions and with each other.
Around Noon We wrap up the American Idol process for that day and get to leave (more idol details later). We go back to the hotel to eat lunch and take a nap since Anne Marie and Carrie had driven through the night. Oh, and by this time, I’ve pretty much decided that things are going to be okay. My head no longer hurts and we’ve all gotten to know each other pretty well after “only” five hours in line. It wasn’t weird at all, it kinda felt like we were old friends picking up where we left off. In a clear display of our priorities, before eating and sleeping we looked at yarn! I brought some yarn for them to take home in a destashing effort, so I showed them that and my Audrey progress. Anne Marie showed me her bucket hat and really cool dishcloth. We don’t have such cool dishcloth cotton colors here! Carrie showed me her progress on the Chickami she’s working on. The Katia yarn she’s using knits up so nicely! Finally, we eat and sleep. Peanut butter and cheese crackers never tasted so good and we’ve rarely slept so hard.
4 ish The alarm goes off. I don’t think we actually moved until almost five. We got up, got ready and headed out to the restaurant that was recommended to us by Chris and Em via Carrie’s blog, Jacques-Imo. We asked the person at the hotel desk about the easiest way to get there and we were excited to learn that we would get to ride the trolley! We had a great ride.
7 p.m. We arrive at Jacques-Imo and get a little table in the front. It was such a fun atmosphere. We enjoyed some drinks, great cornbread, and the huge meal. The only downside was that I wasn’t feeling so well at dinner, but I did still get to have some of my shrimp etoufee! Yummy! The dishes were so huge and so good! Click here for more pictures of the fun!
9 p.m. Dinner was finished and we were tired again so we headed back to the trolley so we could go back and get some sleep before getting up way too early the next morning. As we were walking back to the trolley, we walked past this coffee shop.
It was really cute and had tables sitting outside where one group was playing chess and the other group was studying. We found out later that it’s a chain, but it just seemed like a quaint little corner coffee shop. I love that because we don’t really have those in Houston, it’s pretty much all the big chains. So, as we’re walking by, I hear someone say “Did you knit that sweater?” We looked back to see a girl who was sitting at a table with two of her friends and books open. I turned around and said “Yes” because I was wearing Purple Penny. She said, “That’s Bad Penny from Knitty, right?” I for one was wondering if we had entered the twilight zone or something because of all the times for a girl to stop us and recognize a pattern of one of our online friends, it’s when we’re together. We introduced ourselves and found out that her name was Robin (I think, oh my bad memory, maybe it was Erin). Of course, me and my big mouth had to tell her that we had ‘blogs and “knew” Stef who wrote the pattern and thought she was the greatest and I gave her our blog addresses. So, if you’re reading, say hello! You made our night!
Whew! So, that was the first day. I’ll tell you about more later, but figure I’ve already told you more than you ever wanted to know. I am very glad that we all took the risk and put ourselves out there. It is so wonderful to be around people who understand my knitting obsession and who can share the joy in good yarn and the tragedy of projects that fail. It’s funny that we didn’t really know the right way to pronounce some words and names because we had never said them out loud before. I’m blessed to have made two new friends who feel like old friends. My only regret is that we don’t live closer.