Thursday, August 22, 2013

25 Years of Wedded Bliss.....

Yesterday's post showed our new Anniversary Quilt and today's post is about our fabulous Anniversary trip to Puerto Rico.
Since Jim is in the Coast Guard, we were stationed here from '98-2000 and had a wonderful time once we acclimated to the culture.
This time we decided to fly in and stay in Old San Juan without a car because they drive soooo crazy there....Good choice:)
So Jim noted when he made the reservation that it was our 25th Anniversary and booked a romance pkg.  He chose the El Convento knowing that CG Admirals and other dignitaries used this hotel when on island.
We arrived too early to check in so they checked our baggage for us and off we went...

This is a gorgeous old tapestry in the hallway leading to the restaurant located in a lovely courtyard.  The first time I had ever seen courtyards like this was when we lived here and I was hooked!  If I could ever find a way to live like this, I would!
So we started with a couple of rum drinks and an assortment of delicious fried treats that we remembered: Bacalaitos, Alcapurrias, sorullitos, and Tostones (cod fritters, sweet plantains stuffed with beef, sweet corn fritters, smashed and fried plantain slices).  SOO Good!!
Then we went to check into our room....In honor of us celebrating 25 years, they upgraded us to the Vanderbilt Suite (where heads of state stay).  To say we were stunned is an absolute understatement and prompted much reflection on where we started in this marriage to where we are now. The photo was taken using my panoramic mode and that is the dining/sitting rooms....bigger than my own kitchen/living room.  There was also a bar area, master suite including a huge bathroom, and a second bathroom...crazy:)
Here is the photo of Gloria herself posing in that exact room circa 1970 something??
The views from our room were the Oldest Cathedral in San Juan, La Fortaleza (Governor's mansion), and the bay leading into the port.  From this window, I could actually see the town where we used to live.

Here is another cute little courtyard in the middle of a home that is now an art gallery.  A street view leading down to the bay.
When we lived here I was also completely charmed by the doorways and the beautiful wrought iron designs that adorned  doors and windows.

We spent some time at the museums too.  We took our kids to plenty of historical sites (less boring) while we were here but not the actual museums.  There was a fiber exhibit .....Not exactly  my taste but interesting when you see how much depth he could attain with basic yarn pom poms .

We had so much fun just wandering the streets without the girls in tow this time and remembering our time together here. We tried to eat as much of the food we remembered as possible.  I found my little Helado cart with the Parcha flavor...DELICIOUS!!  All over there are these little ice cream carts but it is more a sherbet than ice cream and Parcha is the passionfruit flavor that I loved!  You could also get coco, pina, or mango.
And, of course, I am with Jim who always lucks into festivals or something similar, so one evening we came across a birthday celebration for someone...Time to dance:)
No life is completely blissful but I know that my knight found me and gave me a life full of love and happiness that I never imagined possible and I am forever grateful!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I know I haven't posted in awhile but I have a very good reason!!  If you have been following along, I went to Market in May and the summer has just been a whirlwind of activity since then...
Dear friends from our past came to visit.  Then our sweet daughters came to visit with their boyfriends...SO much fun!  The second week in July my brother and nephew came to visit and it was great to catch up and see my brother as a father!
The week before my brother came to visit, I decided that my husband and I deserved a new quilt.  We have a sort-of comforter that I made back in 1995 before I knew how to quilt.  The applique is awful and the binding falling off, not to mention that it barely fit a queen and we now have a king.  What is that saying about the Cobbler's family.......?

So that week was spent pulling out a design of mine that is a variation of the block from Vol 7 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. I proceeded to get all the fabric cut for 20, 18" blocks that would be paper pieced.  I did have to buy some yardage but I had about half of it in my stash plus some of the fabric left from the original quilt from 1995.  This would be my first attempt at a scrappy quilt and you will see that it is very controlled scrappy!  Even with the preplanning, I had a hard time letting some of the fabrics fall where they may.
After my brother left, it was time to get to work chain piecing all the parts for my blocks.  It was now July 15th and I had to have this to the quilter by Aug 3rd.  How about a shout out for overestimating your abilities....
Did I mention that I was doing this as a surprise for our Anniversary and that is why the deadline! I felt I had plenty of time but between company and then my husband taking time off every time I turned around, I started to panic.  I only had weekdays to work and he was cutting into them.... 
 I even started a second quilt as a decoy quilt so that if he asked what I had been up to all day, I could say, "see!".  How crazy is that??  Now I have to finish that too but I do love a deadline for getting lots done!
Here is one of the blocks placed together to see if I like where the fabrics are falling. 
I was able to finish in time (actually a day early) and sneak the quilt off to the quilter on a workday on my way home from guild to avoid suspicion.

When it came home, I was just blown away by how perfect the design was.  When Kathy showed me the design on the computer, I just couldn't see it on the blocks.  It gives a sort of celestial map feel to the quilt. (The colors are right in the above photo and a bit too light in the detail photos if you are wondering.)

In the above photo, you may recognize the fabric with the gold stars in it that is in 3 of the corners.... That is the original fabric. 
In the below photo, you may be able to see the circular design the quilting gives.  Thank you, Kathy and John, of Cape Haze Quilting for getting this done for me.
 I was able to bind it and label it and surprise him!  There are 24 total or partial stars on this quilt.  The label makes the 25th star to commemorate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  I love you Jim with all my heart and am very proud that we made it!!!  Now we can sleep under the stars every night!