We are home again, safe and sound, seven states and 4025 miles later! I need a nap!
We had great visits and adventures with family from three states, saw so many diverse and breathtaking landscapes, got rained on, got snowed on, spent 24 hours on a high dessert mesa with 50mph winds, enjoyed 70 degree days with sunshine, conquered a couple challenging Jeep trails, ate yummy food, car camped in campgrounds, stayed in comfy hotels, learned so much about southwest history and overall made the most of every amazing moment. Heck, my parents even bought a house in Lake Havasu, AZ! I see many more dessert vacations with my wonderful parents in our future! I even get to help mom decorate the new place - squeeeeee!!!
There is always both a happiness and a sadness for me when a great vacation comes to an end. Happiness to get back to the life I love and a sadness that the big adventure has ended. My sadness this time was nearly obliterated because I came home to this:
Fresh from the groomers smelling great! I missed them soooo much!
And to these...
It is far too easy to shop online for minis while traveling, but amazing how new minis to come home to can cure the blues!
While on vacation, I was fortunate to be able to spend a couple hours at Auntie Em's in Phoenix. Em was kind and helpful, and even stayed open late so I'd have more time to shop. Russ was fascinated by all the vintage toys her son Jack sells, so he was joyfully entertained, too!
I found some great items, but ran out of time with 1-1/2 isles left to peruse. The shop had a hearty selection of both mainstream minis and artisan pieces. I was overwhelmed by the choices, and could have easily spent thousands if I had it to spend. I did choose a few for current projects and some just because I know they will come in handy someday.
There were also lots of old kit stock to choose from. You know I can't resist kits! I got a couple fun and inexpensive ones, a very spendy sideboard kit and an old Carlson's bay window display kit. I really wanted to go back and see what I'd missed in the last isles, but could not convince Russ that it was a good idea to swing back by Phoenix on our way home from Moab. :oP
The packages I came home to made me excited to get back into the mini swing of things. I got some exciting kits from Jane Harrop, who kindly mailed them to me with no shipping charges...
I also have Nancy's Toto2 basket kit to look forward to...
Even travelling in the Jeep I was able to have some nice conversations with Brae, and place an order for one of her very special old time license plates. She helped me research to find the exact color for the year I'd requested - 1937. It is so perfect, and I am so excited to begin the project it's slated for. I had to have a feed sack and some cow cookies, too! How adorable are those?!?
I mentioned a little earlier that we'd learned so much about the history of the southwest. I found the Native American exhibits fascinating and totally geeked out on those. The gift shop at Grand Canyon National Park had a couple kits that I'm excited to start on. I may even attempt to make 1/12th versions as I go along!
The absolute best treasures I came home with were the kind that only us miniature enthusiasts can appreciate: dead branches! I can't wait to get creative - I've got plans for these... *rubs hands together*
And finally, I have to share the photo of these last boxes. One is the HBS Creatin' Contest 2017 kit, and the others contain the things I need to get started. I had such a hard time coming up with an idea, but my dad's visit here in late January changed all that.
He regaled us with tales from his unique and entertaining childhood on the old homestead in Butte, Montana. To say it was primitive is being very kind. The stories are funny, and in our modern and enlightened world seem a little barbaric. The next time I saw a photo of the kit, I did not see Craftsman, I saw log cabin. Weird, I know, but it'll be fun (and challenging) to see if I can translate the images in my mind to the project. I'd also love to turn this into an opportunity for our family to connect with my dads memories, and for all of us to travel back together to the old homestead - what still stands of it.
It's good to be home, it's good to be so excited about the future and it's good to know my beloved hobby is right here waiting for me. But first, I need a nap...