G’day, my name is Kassius. I am a fat-quarter sized quilt that Cathy made for her friend Margaret in England. Before I get sent overseas, Margaret has agreed that I can go travelling around North America for a while with Cathy and John – see the world a bit, before I spend the rest of my life in England. What fun!
We set out from Victoria with a very full car. It has a guitar, a suitcase full of quilts, a sound system, some CDs and a whole bunch of other stuff. Do they ever know how to stuff a car! If there’s a hole anywhere in the car, they know they’ve left something behind.
My, Victoria was pretty when we left. The cherry blossoms were out, and the sun was shining. That must be why C&J live there.
We drove straight south, and stopped with friends along the way. C&J have a LOT of friends — they’re always stopping in to see them. Mary and Dusty in Salem Oregon are very nice people, and they play lots of games. We played their favourite game: Quiddler, a word game with cards, and I was even able to contribute some Australian words to help Cathy and John out!
Our first “gig” (that’s what they call what they do – singing for quilters) was in Corona California. I was “unveiled” for the first time at the Inland Empire Quilters guild, and they liked me so much, they gave me a standing ovation! (at least, I think it was for me) We stayed with some very nice people – another Cathy! Her husband Randy had a ‘you beaut’ organic garden in their backyard, where he grows lots of things, including oranges and tangerines. Before we left, they gave us some fruit from their garden, and a couple of avocadoes they grew themselves. Very yummy!
C&J sure know how to drive, and they do it a lot! The next gig was in FLORIDA, and there were some very long days of driving between. We drove through Arizona, and I got to hop around these amazing cacti, called saguaro, which Arizona is famous for.
It was pretty spiky, so I didn’t get TOOO close!
Then we drove up the hill to Flagstaff. I met Wendy, another quilter, and she really liked me (what’s not to like?). Flagstaff has had lots of snow this year, and I got my first taste of it at Wendy’s. Much colder than in Australia. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Too slippery to do much hopping around in.
We didn’t get any snow falling on us as we drove east, which I’m told is a good thing. All the way through Oklahoma, I was singing show tunes at the top of my lungs, which really entertained Cathy and John. In Amarillo Texas we had a Texas-shaped waffle for breakfast. In Alabama, we found a GREAT petrol station – made me feel right at home.
Every night when we arrived at our hotels on this trip, C&J turned on the TV. The Winter Olympics have been on, and I guess it’s a big thing. Because they were being held in Canada, near where they live, they were very excited about the Canadian athletes and them winning metal – three different colours! They watched a lot of things: skiing, snowboarding, figure skating and especially curling and ice hockey. We were in Tallahassee Florida when the Canadian men’s hockey team won against the American team, and were THEY ever hopping around with glee!
C&J told me that the weather would be much warmer, like Australia, when we got to Florida, and it is, but not quite warm enough, for my liking. There’s no snow here, but the wind is chilly. At least we’re near the ocean, and I’m hoping I can get to do some exploring on the beach today or tomorrow. We had a gig on Monday at the Manatee Patchworkers in Bradenton (just south of Tampa), and I made a new friend!
Manatees are sort of strange mammals who live in the sea. Think of fat seals with round noses and a relaxed lifestyle. They’re also known as “sea cows”, and they graze on sea grasses. They like warm temperatures and hang around at the outlets of power stations in Florida. They’re very quiet, don’t move very fast. I was hopping circles around him, but he was very nice, all the same.
Now we have a few days off, and we’re hanging out on the beach. It’s windy and not very nice for walking, but the sun is shining, and we’re staying with some friends from Nova Scotia who are here on vacation. (I’ve been hiding from them, but I’ll come out and meet them this evening.) This weekend we’ll be at the big Suncoast Quilt Show, where I’m looking forward to being admired by more quilters who are there. It’s a good life, so far!
Cheers, mate! KASS