Well, I got to the New England Traditions (NET) Painting Convention on Thursday, October 6... but my checked bag did not!
That also meant… no undies, no toiletries (which I paid a king’s ransom for at the tiny store in the lobby before it closed), no medication (my blood pressure meds, lol) and NO MAKE-UP or face cream.
The worst part?! They KNEW where our (myself and one other nice lady) bags were! They were circling endlessly on the WRONG carousel, but they figured they couldn’t get them up to us on time! And we weren't allowed to go down to the PUBLIC carousel and get them ourselves. Chain of custody?! So they sent us thru Customs who said “no way, we can’t let you in without luggage”! So… I left Customs (at 11:50 a.m. – flight to leave at 12:10) and went all the way back to the Westjet Desk, grabbed a nice lady (literally - yes I did, lol) who told me to go back it wouldn’t be a problem and I said “not without your escort, lol”. She walked us thru Customs' initial check-in and vouched for our bags (the fact that they were somewhere in the Toronto International Airport and would follow "later"), but couldn’t do anything at the actual check point/conveyor belt to hurry us thru (U.S. Customs were on "work to rule" so we were advised to "make nice"), then waited on the other side, talked to the Am.Eagle flight crew and had them hold it. We knew there were later scheduled flights to Boston but they said probably won’t get stuff ‘til sometime Friday. Grrr. Oh well. No use crying over it and stressing. Shit happens. After a hot two days in the same clothes, my bag arrived about 6 pm at the Best Western Marlborough, MA. I ripped into that bag sooooo fast for clean, dry clothes, lol. Never felt so good, lol.
The show venue for the New England Traditions Painting Convention was beautiful. People were wonderful, hotel comfortable, apparently the classes (rooms and experiences) were great. The only drawback was the loooooong jaunt to the Trade Show, but what a beautiful set-up for the Exhibitors and the customers! This chapter has done a wonderful job of putting on a show for all. Gawd forbid if there had been inclement weather, though. The distance, in my opinion, of the hotel and classes from the Trade/Exhibit Building is prohibitive. We saw few registrants come on lunchbreaks or breaks as we would at other shows with classes and exhibit areas housed under the same roof.
Our booth (Willow Wolfe and Princeton Brushes) included Rebecca Trimble this show, one of our Signature Artists. What a doll and a fantabulous artist http://www.rebeccatrimble.com/ ! It was so nice to finally meet her in person and see her artwork, watch her paint and just get-to-know her. Her style is folksy and clean with limited colours and I picked up a couple packets and can't wait to do 'em. She'd brought quite a few of her new book, Rebecca's Collections Vol 2, and it was a sell out.
I had little opportunity to leisurely browse the floor, but what I did see was awesome. There were at least 50+ booths and I tell you, it was a shopping mecca for the convention goers.
The service and food in the hotel restaurant was sub-par. One word – indifferent. They didn’t seem to care. Rebecca Trimble and I met in the main restaurant for dinner on Friday night and sat, and sat, and sat. It wasn't busy. Anything but. Most everyone was at the show's Banquet which was sold out. We were still sitting, trying to get someone's attention when Willow arrived from the airport. We waited a bit longer, again trying to politely enquire as to when we might be served when I decided to be proactive, lol. Got up and went over to the salad bar and grabbed a plateload of buns and butter and brought it back to the table! Got their attention then... they weren't happy, lol. So dinner finally arrived and was plunked onto the table. No one bothered to follow-up whether everything was fine. Halfway thru our meal, we finally nabbed the indifferent waitress and pointed out that my steak didn't have the mushrooms that were s'posed to be with it. I got lectured because I was only letting her know now?! Then, the waitress went away and came back with her order book that she plunked on the table beside me and proceeded to tap with her finger and say "see? I did NOT write "no mushrooms" ". Huh? I said we weren't implying she was in the wrong but maybe she might like to let the kitchen staff know? She said no she wasn't going to tell the kitchen staff that tonight. Huh? Let me tell you... it didn't get better, lol. In fact, this same surly, indifferent waitress was in the other restaurant for brekkie the next morning. Argh... she's stalking me, lol? None of us were looking forward to having our next meal there, but with little choice and no transportation... Let me tell you, I wasn't comfortable and just the thought of pulling up a chair in that restaurant made me queasy.
Saturday night we got a “get outta jail free card” and a nice lady, Ginny, who was in Willow's class drove us off the hotel site to a local Italian place, Allora. What a huge difference. Great food, great company, great location and service. It was energizing. I had Ch. Parmesan. Yummy.
At the end of the final day, after packing up the booth and ensuring that all the boxes would arrive safely at their next destination, I took the long walk up the hill to the hotel, not looking forward to eating in the restaurant there, but feeling too tired to ask the hotel shuttle to take me elsewhere. Donna Scully was packing up her car when she saw me dragging my butt up to the hotel and surprised me with the offer of dinner somewhere and a chance to visit before she hit the road. I thought… another git outta jail free card! With no hesitation I said yes and we had a lovely couple hours.
My van showed up on time the next morning and whisked me to the airport (only about 45 minutes, as my ride in on the Thursday was - some registrants and teachers had taken 2 hours or more to get to Marlborough from Logan International in Boston because of traffic). I checked in early and decided to go thru security to just sit and rest in the Air Canada lounge. Of course I had to go thru the full check because the buzzers went off - my bracelets. The lady screener was friendly and explained everything as she went about her business. I kibitzed with her and she thought I was a riot... heehee. I commented on this and she basically said my mantra, "life's too short to get your short's in a knot...". Told her she was terrific. One of the men on the line was fascinated with the commentary we carried on, lol, and then asked about the Pandora bracelets I had on. So of course I had to share about them
Home. So nice to be home. Had a nap then a great meal out at Swiss Chalet. Did groceries today, laundry tomorrow and updating my books/booth schedule etc... off to the Quebec show on Thursday and back Monday. Whew. Salon des Arts Decoratifs http://www.salonartsdecoratifs.com/ . I will be driving so no chance of losing my luggage, lol.