I don't even know where to start. Yesterday was an amazing day - everywhere we turned or where we went there was something spectacular to see.
We were up early (again, I didn't sleep all that well) and on our way to the airport. I had booked a van to take the four of us to the airport so we could pick up our rental car (I mean standard size SUV). There wasn't that much traffic in the morning (despite it being rush hour), although we did have trouble getting into the car rental place. The front entrance was NOT that well marked. Thank goodness it wasn't me in the car trying to get in. I choose a WHITE SUV - keep that in mind.
Got the address for our first stop plugged into the GPS and we were off. Well, not before we crammed everything into the car. We didn't pack as well as if we were going to the airport to get on a plane so there was stuff everywhere.
Now keep in mind, there are four women in the car and you know what means? Pit stops! We stopped at McDonald's once we got out of the city and the three of them proceeded to have breakfast. I had already had breakfast at the hotel so I really didn't need anything, but a bathroom break was welcomed as I had water and orange juice at the hotel.
We had a four-hour drive so there was another pit stop required. I saw a symbol for a restaurant on my GPS and we pulled into this little town. I see a gas station and was shocked to find it filled with old cars and in each car were mannequins!! It was totally creepy and needless to say, we did NOT stop for a pee break there. Back on the road until we found the next McDonalds. Yes - these ladies love McDonald's. I do not. I think it's because I ate at McDonald's so much when M was little that I can't entertain the thought. Give me Tim's any day so when I can't have Tim's, I just do without! Isn't that just ridiculous on my part?
We finally arrived at our first destination around 1 PM. We weren't sure if we were going to stop there, but decided to do so since the next two stops were very close and we wanted to make sure that we got to our third stop before they closed at 5 PM. As we were getting closer to our first stop, we knew that we were in quilt country as we saw several quilt blocks on the barns. Of course, I'm driving so there is no way that I can take pictures.
BTW - I don't even now what brand of SUV that I picked, however, it's got that damn system that beeps when you cross the yellow/white lines. I know you can shut it off, but I didn't. Just for the fun of it. But what is really cool is that it has a HUD. Do you know what that is?? A heads up display! Yes - when I look ahead of me, I can see the temperature, the gear that I''m in and my speed are projected onto the windshield that only the driver can see. It's pretty weird - I do like the speed part - perhaps it's there to constantly remind people of their speed? It would need to be positioned just a tad differently for me if it were my car.
Anyway, our first stop was Shearwoods which is a shop run by the Amish. A lot of interesting things in the shop - a LOT of our product in the shop which was exciting. It was one of those shops (like most quilt shops) that is out in the middle of nowhere. I mean nowhere! But the GPS knew where to take us. Yes - I did acquire a few things in the shop that I didn't have at home. How could that be? It's amazing how we go from "I don't need anything" to "Oh my - I need to buy that".
We piled back into the car and decided that instead of hitting the next quilt shop that we should check into our hotel so we plugged that address into the GPS. It was about 20 miles away. Hmmmm - my GPS didn't pick up the address, but Jen's phone did. Let's put it this way - my WHITE SUV was caked in mud by the time we arrived. Oh yes - it started to rain about noon and the RANCH that we were staying at was on dirt roads (at least they are gravelled so it's all good). After one or two false starts, we did manage to find the place. All I can say is WOW!!!!!! This place would blow your mind.
There is one main building, the bunk house and a number of small cabins. It was almost the same price for us to rent the bunk house as it was to go to the hotel. I'm very glad that we stayed here - I did question it, but the reviews were amazing and we followed Jen's lead. I'm not even sure where to start to explain this place. The main house has three or four floors. There are only SIX guest rooms in the main house which was built mostly for this entrepreneur to have a place to gather with his family. There is a whole story about it online. It's called Morrell Ranch. The kitchen is almost the same size as the main floor of my house which is a decent size. There are TWO MASSIVE islands, four sinks, two huge ranges, two sets of dining tables (there is no other formal dining room). There are TWO separate guest suites with their own quaint kitchen facilities and four other large guest bedrooms on the main floor. And let's not forget the MASSIVE great room with a grand piano that is dwarfed by the three story ceiling. A wide veranda that is calling my name with a pack of hexies. Can I just live here forever?
Wrapping on three sides of the great room (on the second floor) are bookshelves filled with books and we could bring whatever we wanted to the bunk house. Apparently there is a secret apartment in the house where the owner lives when he is here. The basement has a pool room (yes - there is a small pool and a hot tub), a billiard room, or at least a room with GUNS on the wall and pool cues and a table. We did have a quick game of pool. Hey Ronda and Shelley - where were you when I needed you? An exercise room, a lounge area, and I'm sure there is a lot of other stuff, but we needed to get moving.
Our bunkhouse has FOUR beautiful bedrooms that are to die for. Two bathrooms, a decent sized but well equpped kitchen, laundry room and a great room that isn't large, but certainly functional and well appointed. I took some pictures, but everywhere we looked there is more to see. It's absolutely amazing.
There is a large pond with swans and ducks, there are cows somewhere nearby, and the cutest little baby fawn. He is new born and I don't remember his story, but he's here and so cute. They are bottle feeding him and we were trying to get to the 8 PM feeding, but when we arrived there was no one else around.
I forgot to mention that there is another HUGE facility which is the guest facility. Should you want to get married or have a party, there's a large rotunda and eating area and the fawn is there along with the check-in area.
Here's the bizarre thing - the place is wide open until 10 PM and we are the only ones here. No, there are supposed to be a couple of quilters here as well and we did run into one lady trying to figure out the hot tub, but other than her, the only people we saw was the lady that checked us in and she was long gone when we got back from our other appointment.
We did toss our bags in our rooms and headed out to our third stop of the day. We did all the checking out of this place once we were back from that. Otherwise we would have missed the shopping at MISSOURI STAR COMANY.
Yes - here we are not far from Hamilton, Missouri, home of Jenny Doan and Missouri Star. It's like Mecca for quilters. I will save that for another day, but let's just say that I heard my credit card groan as we walked through the door of the FIRST of about 12 shops - all Missouri Star. It's incredible.
We had a quick bite to eat because there are not a lot of choices in Hamilton. We also stopped for a few groceries (trying to save money so we can spend more at the quilt shop! I think even the non-quilters amongst us will be converted by the time we leave. EVERYONE was drooling over the shops!)
When we got back to the ranch, that's when we did our exploring that I mentioned above. As we came out of the main house (to feed the fawn), it was about 8 PM and there was the MOST beautiful rainbow that I've ever seen. This place is supposed to have some spiritual connection and after seeing that rainbow, I truly believe it. My phone had died by this time and my camera was in the bunkhouse so I relied on the others to take pictures which they did - it was posted to Facebook last night. Absolutely breath-taking. Stunning - I can't say enough about how gorgeous it was.
Now we're getting ready for the day which includes spending as MUCH time at the Missouri Star as possible although we have a flight out this afternoon so we will have to leave shortly after lunch. Boo hoo!!! But still lots of time to do some serious damage. I wonder how much I can shove into my suitcase?
Have a super day and stay tuned for the amazing review of Missouri Star which I hope to get tomorrow.