MQX, for those of you reading who are not familiar with a machine quilter’s world, stands for Machine Quilters Exposition. That is where I was with my friends last week. When we got back from the Columbia River Gorge on Thursday, we went to dinner with a bunch of the APQS ladies (American Professional Quilting Systems – the brand of machine I own) at Stanford’s at Lloyd Center. The food was excellent, as were the cocktails, and a few folks may have had a few too many, but that would not have been me. I do enjoy a good drink, but am fairly temperate in consumption.
On Friday morning, Cecilia headed off to a day full of classes and Bethanne and I met a few more on line friends for breakfast. This time, just at Denny’s across the street from where we were staying. I know — Denny’s isn’t exactly haute cuisine, but you really can’t mess eggs up that badly, and it was convenient and inexpensive. It was good to see Jean from Washington State and Michelle from Calgary in Canada.
After breakfast, Bethanne and I got on the road for the coast. We took the Sunset Highway to Cannon Beach. Please excuse the quality of the photos in this post, as they were all taken with my cell phone. It has a great camera, but I shake too much to get good photos with it. I had left my camera back at the hotel (doh!).
We were fortunate that the tide was out and we could go out and poke about in the tidepools. Not much in them beside barnacles and muscles, however. Further south around Newport and Florence, the tidepools teem with anemones and starfish.
We stopped in the quaint town of Cannon Beach and went to the quilt shop (Center Diamond). We might have stayed in there a bit, except it was just freezing cold, so we opted to go get a cup of coffee. Bethanne got to taste real NW Coffee. If you travel with me, you know there is no stopping at Starbucks. I absolutely loathe their coffee. We went to the Sleepy Monk and I enjoyed their coffee so much, I’ve been considering placing an on-line order or going back to buy a bag of their beans. It was wonderful.
Next we travelled down to Wheeler and stopped at their quilt shop, Creative Fabrics. It’s a fun shop with lots and lots to see, but it’s also connected to a tunnel of many little shops. We spent some time exploring fashions, jewelry, and ceramics. Just across the street, where we parked, as a matter of fact, was a small dock. Very representative of the coastal northwest.
I didn’t take any photos (since I was driving), but all the little coastal bays and inlets were filled with fishing boats. The salmon are running and the boys (and, no doubt, a few girls) were out there in full force. I wish I would have had room in the cooler to bring home some wonderful fish, but . . . I had a mission in mind for that cooler.
Just above Tillamook, we stopped at a viewpoint. A lovely almost sunny but very misty view of the Oregon coast.
In Tillamook, we stopped at one of my very favorite places, the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Cheese is a very large part of my diet, since I am fairly restricted to protein. I can buy quite a bit of Tillamook Cheese at Costco. My favorite available locally is the Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar. There is one type of cheese, however, that is only available at the Cheese Factory — Squeaky Cheese! Squeaky Cheese is actually cheddar cheese curds. Just lumps of fairly salty cheddar cheese, and it squeaks on your teeth when it is really cold. I love this stuff, and when I’m going to the north coast, there’s always a cooler in the car so I can bring some home. It stores nicely in the freezer.
We also visited Jane’s Fabric Patch in Tillamook. This is a wonderful shop owned by my friend, Jane Wise. One of the gals who works in the shop (I’m embarrassed to say that her name as slipped my mind) is the momma to Ozzie’s brother (from another litter, but same parents), Max. It was great to see Jane and her dog, Rena, again.
Then it was back on the road to Portland, and an early night so I could get Bethanne to the airport at 4:45 the next morning. It was sad to say goodbye, but we really had a good time. I came back to the hotel, took a nap till 9:30, jumped in the shower, went and said my goodbyes at the show, and headed south. I was home by 12:30! It really was a great trip.