Monday, June 11, 2012

My day at the races

Well, I'll start by telling you that I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Although maybe not as much as this guy:

After going to Philly for a birthday party last Saturday, we drove to Dover, Delaware on Sunday for the Fedex 400 Autism Speaks race.  As you can see, it was a beautiful and sunny day.  A bit breezy, and that made it perfect.  I wilt in the heat....and whine like a three year old.  So that breeze helped me a lot.

Anyway, I never thought I'd enjoy a Nascar race but thanks to everyone's good advice, I really had fun.  I was diligent with the sunscreen.  I wore my super-awesome beach hat.  I had ear protection (otherwise I would have had to leave....ear protection was absolutely essential).  And I observed the crowds.  People sure are funny.

I think we had very good seats, too and that made it more enjoyable.  They were at the end of a turn and directly across from the pits.  Being at the end of a turn meant that as the race wore on, I'd get sprinkled with tire rubber from time to time.  But being across from the pits was cool, because watching the pit stops was pretty amazing.  Talk about specialized skills!  Wouldn't it be awesome to have that kind of efficient group around when you clean your house?

All in all, a good day!

At the end of the day, we drove to Alexandria, Virginia, where we had an amazing dinner.  Then spent the night in Old Town and went to Woodlawn Plantation for the Needlework Exhibition.

What can I say?  Fabulous!  Interesting!  Inspiring!  But photography was allowed.  There were several original works displayed, and although I understand why we couldn't photograph them, I sure wish I could share some of my favorites with you.

You'll just have to suffer through with my inadequate words.

So - You know how I adore samplers and there were plenty of those to drool over.  And some stunning canvas work (which may be in my future - they looked like they were so much fun!)  And smocking and goldwork and Japanese silk embroidery.  Seriously amazing stuff.  And there were guides in each room who pointed out special aspects of the exhibits and answered questions.  They even walked over to the needlework with me and shined flashlights on them to discuss details and techniques.  It made for a delightful experience. 

Oh, and here's something exciting and kind of unusual.  The Best in Show Award?  It was awarded to Karen Phillips-Schwallon, from right here in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  Years ago, I took several classes from Karen.  She was a quilter and she loved to go nuts and embellish her quilts with all kinds of embroidery.  Her classes were always enjoyable and completely pressure-free. So, congrats to my fellow Fayette County embroideress!  One of these days I'll have to dig out some of the work I did in her class.  In particular, Karen helped me design a "white on white" baby quilt for Colleen.  It's one of the best things I've ever done.

Now, where's that camera?


  1. The next time you come to the DC area, you should call me! I'd love to meet you in person.

  2. Sounds like a great day, even with the cars. And yes, people sure are interesting. Ain't it great?

  3. YAY JOEY!! I was tickled pink when he won. I was never a Nascar fan either but Masterchief kinda got me interested.

    SO glad you didn't wilt!

  4. I am going to an Indy car race this Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile with my family, my FIL's treat. I hope we are in the shade, I think we will be.

  5. So glad that you had a good time at the race.
    I love Alexandria :)
    Have a great week!

  6. Glad everyone's tips ensured it would be a fun experience, Lee! For me, people-watching at events like this always brings some smiles :)

    And at least you got a trip to Woodlawn Plantation out of it!

  7. Echoing C. You should've let us know and we could have met you!

    The best in show piece was worked twice. First one was stolen from her car!

  8. Ohhh, I can feel from how you describe it that I would have so loved to see the Woodlawn exhibition with all its samplers. It's a pity (but understandable) that people weren't allowed to take pictures. I'd have liked to see some.
    I'm not so sure if I would have enjoyed the Nascar race the same way, lol.

  9. I'll be honest and say that I would never have any interest in going to a NASCAR race--but I think I might be enticed to go to Dover Downs. It looks so neat! I've only driven by it. Our neighbors (in DE) were huge NASCAR fans and we just didn't get the excitement of watching cars go in circles. But then, my husband is a golfer, and I also don't get the excitement in watching a small ball go into a hole in the grass. LOL Your day sounded like a lot of fun, especially the visit to Alexandria and the needlework exhibition!