I have a HUGE group of stitching friends, there must be well over 20 of us now, and we decided to have a stitching retreat at Grand Bear Lodge in Utica, Illinois. That's in Northern Illinois, on the Illinois River, very close to Starved Rock State Park. We left Friday morning in five cars- 14 of us. First stop- Welcome Stitchery in Crystal Lake, IL.
I belong to an online yahoo group for stitchers, and one of those members lived close enough by to meet up with us Friday morning. (Hi Gillian!) It was great to meet an online friend, and now I wish I would have gotten a photo of the event. We had a great chat, and we'll have to get together sometime for coffee, maybe the next trip up.
Second stop was for lunch, in Rockford at the Machine Shed. OMG! The food--- here's hint for eating at the Shed- order dessert first, eat it, and then if you have any room left, order something off the appetizer menu. That's a full meal. If you get a dinner or sandwich, fully plan to not be able to eat at least half of it. Split the sandwich with a friend, and order the sweet potato fries. The coconut cream pie has been renamed "the better than sex pie" just to give you an idea.
Third stop- Needle and I in Rockford. They were wonderful to us, as usual, and gave everyone in the group 10% off, just for coming up! We made it worth their while- with several people spending over $100. I was very restrained... and only spent about $50. There. The first time.
Then to the cabin....Gorgeous! In the woods, birds and tree frogs and room for all of us to stitch, eat, talk, sleep (but not much of that done) and late into the night we all seem to get a bit punchy, giggly, and hyper-caffeinated.... Well I was chugging Dew all weekend, except for the short wine break, so that might explain some of it....
Before we came home, several of us went back to The Needle and I. We had a show and tell at the cabin, and there was just some stuff other people got that we just HAD to have too. I'm set for the next ten years now.
All I can say is that for 14 women to go away for the weekend, we are all still friends, still talking to each other, and are planning to do it again. We have a long list of improvements for the next time, like chair pads, and we will all bring our stitching lights. And perhaps a salad some time during the weekend, because eating mountains of junk food and sweets really takes its toll. I'm trying to flush the caffeine out this week, just to get back down to my two a day habit level.
I didn't take any photos, but I hope to get some from everyone soon, and they'll be here, on the facebook page and on our stitching website.
and there was a bit of culture shock when I got back to work. What? Work? I want to stitch and eat more....