February 21, 2006

a wonderful weekend! Now, back to reality-

Tom and I had a wonderful weekend, after his (basically) week off of comp time:

Tom spent Saturday messing around with his flight simulator program while I was gone- he downloaded a new plane made by some group of Asian plane enthusiasts... These planes have very realistic graphics and controls, but since English was not their first language, he was having some problems understanding the hundreds of pages of instruction manual that came with the plane download. I talked to him at one point during the day, and he said it had been over 1 1/2 hours, and he still hadn't figured out how to do even the simplest things with it. (he thinks this kind of thing is fun... go figure! I would be knocking my head against the wall, if it was me.)

The scrapbooking crop I went to on Saturday was pretty fun- of course, I took all my paper, half my stamps, an assortment of punches, fibers, etc. etc. etc. And did I have anything planned for any of those supplies? No!! But, I did get 12 pages done (minus journaling), and had a good time doing it. (I'll post pictures of a couple of my favorites once I get the digital camera back from Tom.) Lisa, the woman who runs these crops, has quite a business- she arranges day-long crops in Scottsdale, and is expanding to the East or West Valley suburbs, as well as Tucson and Lake Havasu City. There are even overnight crops during the summer, which might be kinda fun- set up your stuff, stay up as late as you want, sleep at the hotel, and leave it all set up for the next day!

I got there a little late (not planning until the night before tends to delay things!), around 10 am, and got settled in at my 6 foot table (! loads of space !). I was across from another new person; most everyone else had been to these crops before, and were there with friends. There was a Close to my Heart consultant who did a make-and-take project- a cute card using some of their new stamps. Throughout the day, we collected tickets for pages completed, and Lisa drew ticket numbers to win prizes. I won a new magazine issue and a couple other things I can't remember. Lunch was served on the patio right outside the ballroom, next to the pool. There were actually hotel guests swimming, although I thought it was a bit chilly to swim (mid 60s).

I ran out of steam around 9 pm; the crop went till midnight, but there was no way I would have made it that long... there were between 10 and 15 people still there when I left, though!

I spent some time doing fancier than normal things on some of my pages, since I had the time. I also tried out the embossing paste with my brass stencils, but you will have to wait to see those results till you all get a card in the mail. The results are nice, but it was a bit messy to do... kinda like glue, sticky, but with the consistency of creamy frosting. It gets spread over the stencil, the extra is squeegeed off, then the stencil is removed and the paste is left to dry on the paper... hard to describe, but kind of cool looking in reality.

Sunday was also wonderful... we got dressed up for a nice change, and enjoyed a leisurely brunch at Top of the Rock restaurant at the Buttes Resort in Tempe- the service there was top-notch, and the spread of food was amazing! Just to name a few of our favorite choices: smoked salmon with dill, capers, and red onion (one of my favorites!); Southwest potatoes O'Brien; a creamy artichoke and mushroom salad; lamb chops (Tom's hands-down favorite!); roasted carrots and asparagus (another must-have for me!); a carving station where you could get prime rib, ham, or custom-made omelets; a station where you could get fruit crepes or waffles made to order (Tom's favorite is crepes with bananas, strawberries, and caramel sauce); a fresh fruit tray; a dessert tray, with triple layer chocolate cake (!), cheesecake, and individual fruit tarts, each decorated with a raspberry, blueberry, kiwi slice, strawberry slice, and mandarin orange slice (they were so cute it was a shame to eat one, but it was delicious!)... there were lots more choices, but I can't possibly remember them all.

And, of course, it wouldn't be champagne brunch without champagne (or mimosas, which was my choice). The view from the restaurant is amazing; you can see downtown Phoenix, Chase Field (which used to be called Bank One Ballpark, aka BOB), and Sky Harbor airport. There was also live music- a singer/guitar player- for even more atmosphere. (We had our waiter take our picture for the scrapbook, too, but it's still in the camera.)

We've eaten the champagne brunch there twice now, and the service was superb both times- the wait staff is always there to take away your empty plates, give you more flatware, fill your glasses, and they even refold the napkin into the fancy fold every time you leave your table! I would love to eat dinner there some evening, to see the view of the city as the sun sets.

We finally headed back home to relax in our comfy clothes in front of the Daytona 500, although I must confess, we both napped through parts of it after that wonderful brunch... The race was also somewhat disappointing to me, with the aggressive driving incidents, and the green-white-checkered finish that ended under a caution. Didn't seem like a real "race" if you know what I mean.

Now for the reality part of it- Tom left for work on Monday thinking he would be leaving that afternoon for the Philadelphia suburbs. Luckily his departure was delayed till today, when he headed for Baltimore, MD. About a half hour before his flight, he found out he would have to be in Philadelphia tomorrow after all, so as I type this, he is driving from the Baltimore airport to a hotel in Media, PA (west of Philly) so he can be at the site tomorrow morning to work on an upgrade to an installation they just did. Then, he will have to head back to Baltimore, to start the job he's out there to do!

He's not sure how long he will be gone, since the Philadelphia detour will delay the start of the job in Baltimore for at least a day. But, thankfully, the weather forecast for the Northeast is clear, with not much chance of snow, so he won't be driving in any blizzards, at least.

So, Sedona, the cats, and I will hang out by ourselves for the rest of the week, maybe even the weekend, if Tom doesn't make it back. I still have my SB stuff all over the place, so I might work on finishing the pages I started at the crop, or even doing a couple more!

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