It’s sad to think that my oasis of stitching happiness, the VS Retreat, will be no more. Thea is cutting some of the stress from her life, which hosting a retreat like this inevitably brings. So I understand and sympathize with her, but we were all a rather happy-sad group this year; happy to be with a fabulous group of stitchers and friends, sad that it would be the last one like it.
I left home on Tuesday noon, driving over White Pass close to Mt. Rainier, which was shrouded in clouds, heading for Lacey and Connie’s new home there. They bought a sweet little house that is perfect for them, small but roomy, bright and airy, with Connie’s very own stitching room.We did lots of gabbing, looked over some of Connie’s latest designs, ate dinner out, then back home for more visiting. It was so nice that she could arrange to go into work late next morning so we could have a pleasant breakfast together before I drove on up to Port Angeles to catch the Coho ferry.
The trip across the strait was fun as I joined fellow retreaters, Jo-Celle, Laura, and Kathy. As Jo-Celle and I entered the hotel, heading for the front desk, we heard a big whoop and holler from the bar where several of our Northwest ladies were taking advantage of half-price wine day. Who can turn down half-price wine? We sat down and joined them, having such a great time catching up with one another.
And that’s how it went the entire weekend. Laid back fun, great food, excellent conversation, wonderful friends.
Thursday I stayed close to the hotel with Viv stitching in her room and drinking tea. After dinner the retreat officially started with stitching in the big room at the top of the hotel which overlooks the beautiful Inner Harbour and downtown Victoria. Friday several of us walked up to the Empress for a special box lunch in honor of the royal wedding – delish!
Me, Viv, Kathryn, and Nancy
My roommate, Marty, and Dorrie were so excited for the royal wedding that they got a room at the Empress and watched the festivities all night. I greatly appreciated the gesture as I was not THAT interested, so I got the sleep I desired, and started the stitching day rested and ready.
Dorrie and Marty
Friday evening, Victoria’s fine chocolatier, Bernard Callebaut, hosted a little private chocolate tasting just for us! Oh my, how wonderful was that! Brad had wine and other little goodies in addition to a store full of chocolate for us to try. Of course, I had to take a bit of chocolatey goodness home with me.
Saturday brought another day of stitching in our hotel. Thea had made several videos of the special embroidery stitches which was a wonderful way to demonstrate them so we all could see and understand. She also insisted that we stitch a silk ribbon flower on the edge of our fabric, especially for those who had not done much ribbon embroidery. Later in the day, a big bus took us all out to Thea’s home and VS Studio for a little end-of-retreat celebration. She had lovely salads and sandwich makings, ending with an amazing Black Forest cake.
Birgitta and Marietta
All too soon, the retreat was over. Following breakfast with the gang, Jo-Celle and I walked back to the Coho and finally parted ways at the Budget Parking Lot.
While this was the last retreat in this particular format, the friendships we’ve formed over the years will draw us back together again sometime, somewhere.