Monday, April 25, 2005

We loaded our car and headed out about 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning for Paducah, Kentucky and the AQS Quilt show. We made pretty good time and arrived in the Paducah area around noon their time. A few wrong turns may have added a little time to our trip but we saw some great sites along the way.

We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Eddyville, Kentucky. I don't know if you are familiar with Eddyville or 'Edavul' as the locals call it, but it is famous for its penal institution. We did not realize we were staying right down the road from this imposing institution. As we were rounding the curvy, country roads we came upon our first view of Eddyville State Penitentiary and began to wonder what we were going to find at our B & B. Thankfully we were not disappointed when we arrived.

Maple Hill Inn is located on a hillside over looking Lake Barkley and reminded me of pictures I'd seen of an old, scenic Southern plantation home you might see in Gone with the Wind.

After we checked in we decided to drive into Paducah, about 40 miles down the road, and check out the quilt show. The town of Paducah was over run by Quilters! We were pretty lucky to find a parking place relatively close to the Convention Center. We navigated the crowds and got our first view of the quilts. There were some stunning quilts to be seen. I was disappointed because I left my camera behind at the B & B. I only saw one crazy quilt and I had someone take a picture for me. Hopefully when they get home (England) they will send me a copy.

We wandered around for several hours and decided we would find some place to eat and rest up for the evening so we could return the next day refreshed and ready for action.

Friday started off with a delicious breakfast of Pecan French Toast (Paula Dean's recipe) and fresh fruit. I think the Bed and Breakfast experience is something I could get use to! After breakfast we headed to the Quilt show. One thing I forgot to mention about yesterday was the vendors! They are everywhere at the show and if you are looking for quilt supplies this is the place to be. My friend came over from England to see the show and she was excited by the value she was getting on her purchases. She said she would pay double for everything if she bought it back home. She was one happy shopper and of course I went along for the trip and spent a bit myself!

After a full day at the show we headed down the road to Hancock's of Paducah. If you have never been here you need to put it on your list of places to go. We shopped to our hearts content. There is more fabric and notions in this store than you can imagine. It was packed with quilters from all over the world. Tour busses lined the parking lot and getting into the restrooms was a good 20 minute wait! Once again we shopped til we dropped!

I know you must think we would be exhausted after all this but there is more! I've never been to a Hobby Lobby before and Shelia, our friend from England, wanted to see it also. We saw an ad in the quilter's newspaper we got at the show and decided to give it a try. Needless to say we once again helped out the economy of Paducah!

Later that evening we had reservations at a restaurant called Patti's 1890 Restaurant. It came highly recommended and lived up to its reputation. We had the specialty of the house - Pork Chops - and they were delicious! The veggies were cooked just right and even though the desserts were tempting I passed on them and just enjoyed dinner.

Needless to say I fell into bed that night exhausted. We had a major thunderstorm just as we turned in for the night which woke me several times but the big old house we stayed in weathered the storm without any problems. (After we returned home I found out the same storm produced a tornado that touched down about a mile from house!)

Saturday morning after another delicious breakfast we stopped at the Civic Center and saw a small quilt show and then we decided to shop some more at Hancock's because they mark down the discount tables on the last day of the show and you can't pass up the good deals. Once again Paducah's economy is in better shape then when we arrived,

After shopping we went sight seeing in the area. We headed over to Kentucky Lake, saw the dam and drove through the state park. The storm the previous evening also brought in a cold front and it made running around a little less enjoyable so we were happy to drive around the country side. Later that evening we found another great restaurant called The Iron Kettle. This was a buffet style meal with fried chicken, mash potatoes, gravy .... you get the idea...good ole fashion home cooking like grandma use to make. I did not pass up dessert that night! Homemade Peach Cobbler with ice cream. What more could we want?

We headed back to the Inn that night very satisfied with our day and all that we had seen and done. All in all, our entire trip was great fun. Seeing everything from the eyes of a visitor from another country was fun. Shelia has invited me to visit her next year for their annual quilt show and to see the sites of her country. I better start saving now because it sounds like it would be a fun trip!

Sunday morning we ate another great breakfast and headed back down the road to home. I had to nap when I got home. I was tired but boy was it fun!

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