28 October 2008

I’m back!

After over 5 weeks away I came home to the coldest October day since the 70’s – which I didn’t mind.

My two youngest met me at the airport which was lovely. They had to wait a while as my bags were lost. I was not surprised though, I mean I only waited in LAX for 13 long hours to connect from my United Airlines flight from Washington to a Qantas flight to Australia. One would think that was enough time for my bags to make the flight.

After getting out of customs and reporting the bags, seeing my gorgeous kids along came my eldest, Ari!

Not quite due home for 2 weeks after backpacking through Europe for 5 months, he was pretty home-sick and decided to surprise me at the airport.
It was amazing to see him and cuddle him after such a long time.
I was so proud of myself – only initiating 2 calls the entire time. I let him do the phoning.
Thank goodness though, another test of motherhood over.

Just prior to leaving LA I had the opportunity of meeting Tally.

Tally had written to me some 8 months prior to me getting to LA - a fellow blogger. So we met up, she met my kids and ex-hubby drove us around LA, took my daughter and I shopping and we had a lovely day.

Then I headed for Portland.

"Gruppe de Stace" as I so fondly call her was kind enough to pick me up from the airport. We spent some time together with her family and I finally got to meet her kids and hubby Rob.

The next night was Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah.

I felt very out of sorts not being with my family and doing the famililar religious rituals that come with such a Holy day.

But Stacie and I went shopping and together with Rob we cooked up a feast.

As we shopped Michael called and said he was delayed leaving Missoula so he would not make it till at least 9.00 that evening.

So we get to Stace’s place after a rather extensive shopping trip and Rob’s in the back garden.
I thought he was an easy going fellow.
Rob kept calling me to come outside whilst I was laden with bags in my hands.
I was busy organising things but he kept insisting on seeing me and NOW.
I thought my radar must have been off – what could be so urgent? Wht was he hassling me.
I kept saying in a minute but
he kept calling
and calling.

I gave up and went outside trying not to grit my teeth...

Then all of a sudden

“It’s a bird”

“It’s a plane”

Out from behind the house jumps

Well, almost superman!

My super man.


Well Rob, that was one big surprise – I had no idea. It was so nice and I sooo believed the story Michael told me about why he was delayed.

We all caught up and had an amazing Rosh HaShana feast together.

Afterwards I took Michael off to the great hotel where I was staying - here.

A bit bright in colour for me - but it was in a great location and I could go to my favourite French Patisserie every morning and get my much needed coffee.

The rest remains behind closed doors.

The following night we ventured off to The Embassy suites to say hi to whoever was getting free drinks at the bar. It was there that in the distance I noticed some woman was waving this green bag at me. As she got closer I recognised THAT BAG from her blog.

She promised me she would bring it and it was great to meet up with Cindy Dean after such a long time of blogging together. Loved Cindy's sense of humour.

I then finally met Shirley McCutcheon who I have been longing to meet up with for so long too.

What a gem of a woman she is. I recall admiring her work for so long and remembered when I first commented on her blog – you know that comment when you wonder if the other blogger thinks you are some freak commenting on her blog so many times and never having met.
Alas over such a long time we have got to know each other but it was so lovely to meet in real life.

Off to the new W hotel for drinks hosted by the one and only Carol Parks

I’ll be teaching at Carol’s place next year probably late August.

Then I finally got to meet LK Ludwig – yaah another blackaholic.

It seems we both pack a similar bag of either black or white clothes. LK is lovely and we had the chance to meet up several times over the week at Art and Soul.

I spotted the ever-so-gorgeous Katie Kendrick who I had the pleasure of meeting at Artfest earlier this year. Yet another sweetie.

Chatting away with LK, Bee Shay, Leslie Marsh and Leighanna Light.

Without Bee Shay I doubt my Art and Soul experience would have been the same. She was amazing to me and made sure everything went smoothly. Thanks Bee - you really were so good to me and I thank you so so much.
What a blessing you were and are!!!

Ah Leslie, it was great catching up again. Leslie appears later in the week and also in Philli too. A lovelier person one would be hard pressed to find.

Leighanna, the effervescent and oh so bubbly one. How great it was to finally catch up too. I would love to have some of your energy - amazing! But next time we meet we will need to spend more time together.

That's kind of what its like at Art and Soul - a frenzy of activity, art making, meeting people and fellow bloggers. Rushing from here to there, grabbing a fellow artist for a precious few minutes just to say hi.

The story continues but at 2.00am now I will call it a night for now.



Lynn said...

Welcome home and what a wonderful time you had, Shana Tova and all.
I hope one day I am one of those bloggers who gets to meet YOU, Judy.

Jen Crossley said...

Hoorah So glad your home.What a awesome surprise with Ari at the airport that must of been great.
Looks like you had a awesome time in the states.Cant wait to read the next installment

Leslie said...

As sad as it is to think you are no longer here, I am happy for you that you're home with your family. It was wonderful to see you in Portland and to take your wonderful classes, And again in Pennsylvania!

As you commented once, "in this whole wide world, I'm so glad that we met."

And I look forward to the day when our paths cross again!


Redness said...

Yayyyyyyy so wonderful to hear about your amazing time and the stupendously talented people you've met. You've been missed. xo

Karen Cole said...

Glad you are back safe and sound.......AND that those bags filled with so many wonderful and inspirational items made it.

I really enjoyed our time together. The world has certainly become a smaller place.

I think you should post that Kashi recipe mmmmmm.

xxoo K

MB Shaw said...

How lovely. Sounds like a great trip and what a fun hotel. Always nice to catch up with your man :-)
Welcome back.

azirca said...

Welcome home!
I really enjoyed reading about your adventures and seeing the photos of the folks who you met, you must be exhausted after all of those meet ups.


seth said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound. You packed so much into this trip and judging by this post, it was all exciting and amazing.

Julie H said...

It is so nice to have you back Judy and to hear your tales. i will look forward to the next episiode.

ks owens said...

Welcome home and pleasant dreams!! Thanks for sharing your vision with us at A & S in Portland. I soooooooo enjoyed being in your presence and witnessing your creative gift. Hope to see you again - in another time and place :-))

Loudlife said...

Judy, What fun! I wish I could follow you around (in a non-stalker way) and share some of your experiences. (And share some of that great shopping karma you seem to have!)

Thanks for giving me a little mini vacation by sharing your travels with us.


Deryn Mentock said...

Bet you were glad to get home to those kids! Looks like you had a lovely time!

Susan Tuttle said...

I so enjoyed reading about your exciting adventure! I would have loved to have coffee with you at that funky table -- is that candy I see? -- I could not resist sticking my hand in that jar -- multiple times!


BloggingQueen said...

Hurray for the mishpocheh! (Hope I spelled that right, 'cause it's even harder to say!) Glad your sweetie was there to help make the holiday even brighter.

But the next time I see you, I'm so taking you and LK shopping to find you some clothes with color in them. It's either that or make-up shopping. And I know you don't want that any more than I do. ;o)

gina armfield said...

so glad you had such a great trip - it was so great to meet you and spend time with you in Portland.

kass said...

it seems you had the most wonderful time, and what a nice surprise to see Michael earlier than expected too! I would love to meet some of those artists you know, you're a lucky duckie. Comes with the talent I assume!

Sue said...

thanks for sharing Judy, wow sounds like you've had the most amazing time.

Sarah said...

WOW you get around Judy.LOL Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures and all the fabulous people you met.. Not even 2 weeks now until Melbourne, I am looking forward to it..

Ro Bruhn said...

WOW you're back at last, thought we'd lost you. Sounds like you had a ball and imagine Ari being there to meet you, knowing you Judy I think that would probably have been the highlight. So looking forward to reading the next installments and catching up. See you in Melbourne shortly too.

rochambeau said...

Welcome home Judy!
Looks like a wonderful trip, filled with love from Bloglandia and Michael too! Glad you had a great time & that you are home safe and sound now!
All photos great!


Ruth Rae said...

glad your home safe~
you were gone so long!
I bet your so happy to have all the kids in one place and to be at long last home!

lklight said...

Effervescent & bubbly? Oh dear. I must have had one too many margaritas again!
It was WONDERFUL to finally meet you & I am so sorry that we didn't have a chance to connect for tea on Saturday. I completely dropped the ball on that one. All day I had a nagging feeling that there was something that I forget & it wasn't until 5PM when I pulled Michaels' cell # out of my pocket that I realized that I forgot to call you.
Next time we'll just have to make a plan.
Hope you have some good resting time coming up.

LK said...

Hey! I recognize those people!!! It was lovely to meet you and get to chat some! I see from the comments the Blogging Queen, Lisa MB, doesn't like our wardrobe or our makeup- well, we are safe for now because that new little baby that is one its way will keep her busy!

pamelahuntington said...

How nice to see the picture of
you and Shirley... she is a
sweetie! And it was fun to
read about all you adventures...
love the alligator purse., when I
was a child I had a real
alligator for a pet... it was
legal then - he/she? made for
a very interesting pet. Grew very
fast though on his bug diet and
we had to give him to a local
zoo. I do wonder where he is now!
pamela huntington

Sam Marshall said...

Wow what a trip! Loved reading about your adventures!

Robyn said...

Reading about your trip and looking at all the photos is such a treat. Thanks for sharing. I don't think anyone could miss that crocodile bag. I've never seen anything like it. You must be totally zonked. Hope you get over the jet lag quickly.

susanna said...

Holy moley, woman! You have been busy!!!! What a fun life you are living. :)

shirleymcc said...

Meeting you was such a gift, and was the highlight of A&S for me. I loved your class, and wish I could spend an entire week with you.
Thank you so much for your kind words about my artwork - that really means a lot coming from such a talented artist as yourself.
Hopefully, this is just the first time we will meet.

Diana said...

Great to read about your adventure, Judy. I would love to catch up with you sometime at A & S. Glad you had a safe journey home despite the lost luggage and long layover. Hoping your luggage has caught up with you by now and you are settling back in at home with your loved ones.

dede warren said...

I'm glad you're home safely Judy, it was great to meet you in Portland. I love all the photos of good times with friends from a far. Hopefully we can have you join a friend and myself in our studios in so California. hint hint hint

In other news, you've been tagged. I don't usually play along with these things but I am turning a new leaf, and decided to be a good sport. Take a look at my blog for the rules... hope you'll play along as well.


paris parfait said...

Must be great to be back, although the trip sounds fantastic! Great photos of you and all the lucky bloggers and fellow artists who got to meet you.