Sunshiny Faces

We're having a marvelous time here in Pahrump. Mike has been around the track in his #15 white C7 Corvette, and I finished a little quilt top yesterday. We're both in our happy places! So here's what's been going on.

Breakfast and lunch are provided here, and so we went early for breakfast. Mike needed to report at 8:00 a.m. to the classroom for that portion of the school. After he left, I decided it was time to set up the sewing machine. He'd only been gone an hour when I looked out to see them driving around in circles in the far parking area...only, I guess it's not really a parking area, but rather, a classroom lot for doing drills. They did all sorts of things there...making quick turns, stopping on a wet surface...that sort of thing. The point is that they got in the cars right away, which was a lot more fun than sitting in a classroom.

As for me, I was busy getting Pfelicity set up. She was so happy to come out into the light of day.

Since this isn't my usual sewing space, I need to do a little work on the choreography of sewing here. My work flow wasn't very efficient. A few times I reminded myself that I had all the time in the world and that, unlike Mike, I wasn't attempting to set any speed records.

You might recall that I kitted up a few projects when we left home. I totally love this kitty print from my friend Robin, and it was out, so I decided to start there. This was the kit of fabrics I made up for the quilt-along at The Inbox Jaunt. 

My first task was to make 40 HST's. You know how happy I was about making more HST's, don't you? Actually, these went pretty fast.

I remembered to bring my Bloc-Loc ruler for trimming and squaring them up. I'm not really into specialty rulers, but this is a great product. You can click on that link I've given you to find out more about it. So, anyway, I remembered the ruler, but I forgot to bring any PINS! Fortunately, I'm not a big pinner, and I do have about five flower-head pins in my binding kit. That will probably get me by until we run across a fabric store of some kind.

Once those were finished, they were pretty quickly sewn into four rows of ten HST's each.

From there I needed to add five strips, 20 x 3 inches each. Only, when I opened up the fat quarter I'd brought for that purpose, I realized it already had a bite out of it. Oy! That meant I didn't have enough fabric for all five strips.

Not to worry. I had plenty of the cat print, and so I just used that on the outside edges. The plan was always to use it for the top and bottom panels and then for the quilt back.

So, there you have it. I didn't get my HST's oriented correctly. In the image below from Lori Kennedy, you can see that she has hers pointing toward the center. I reoriented mine on the right, but they don't look like hers. I decided I could continue on successfully in life without redoing them.

So about that time, Mike and I met for lunch. There, I saw his cool name tag. Very official, don't you think?

We had a few minutes before he needed to get back, and so we strolled around the place. They are working on race cars in one of their garages.

Here's another one that was parked outside.

Later in the afternoon, he was able to get out on the track for the first time. He's driving the white car.

We've learned a little more about this place in the time we've been here. Mike was in the presence of racing royalty. This is the Ron Fellows School of Driving. Ron Fellows has won every race there is, apparently, and he was here. Mike didn't get a selfie with him...I think he will regret this for the rest of his life, don't you? Honestly. Men.

So even though the driving school bears Ron Fellows' name, he isn't the owner, and is simply paid for the use of his name. Two other guys own the place. There are around 100 C7 Corvettes here for various classes and events. We're told that the tires on these cars are replaced after every two classes (about 500 miles of driving). Also, the cars are replaced every year. The money invested in this place boggles the mind. And when you think about it, the price of the class would barely cover expenses. There are 8 instructors for about 15 students.

So, I have a front-row seat at several different locations, and I was able to get this video of him making his way around the track. If you can't see the video, then click right here. Mike is in the white car.

When he came back to the trailer yesterday afternoon, the energy and adrenaline coming off him was palpable. We both had a great day. There was a "socializer" in the clubhouse, but we decided to go out for dinner. We had a lovely evening at the Symphonies restaurant, which is part of the Pahrump Valley Winery.

The grounds here were beautiful. This is a winery and a resort, and it even has an RV park. We may have to move our RV tomorrow night since class is over tomorrow afternoon. Mike is going to check and see if we can stay the night. Otherwise, we'll need to spend a night somewhere else in Pahrump before moving on to our next destination.

When we got out of the car, we saw these gorgeous flowering trees that look for all the world like desert creosote bushes that have been cultivated into trees. Just now I looked up creosote bushes, and the flowers are different. Nevertheless...pretty.

The grounds were meticulously landscaped. 

Here is a small part of their vineyard. We tasted a Shiraz from this vineyard. Beyond this image and off to the right are some eucalyptus trees. The winemaker was aghast to discover that the eucalyptus trees had shed some of their oils off onto the grapes. The resulting wine has a distinctive odor of eucalyptus, but it was delicious. We had a view of the vineyard from our table. Off to the left and outside the frame of the image below is a fountain, and we enjoyed watching two hummingbirds flying in and out of the spray.

Inside the building, there is this room featuring all their wines with awards on some of them.

As we walked into the restaurant, we walked right past their wine cellar. This picture was taken through a glass door, which explains the reflections you see. Kind of fun seeing their wine cellar.

Although we liked the Shiraz, we were also treated to a taste of this Zinfandel from vines that are over 100 years old. It was so smooth and delicious.

We had a great dinner, and it was a lovely way to end the day.

This morning I opted for a slow morning. Mike went over to breakfast, and I slept in and made myself a bowl of cereal later. We've been on the go for weeks, and I was really more hungry for a slow morning than I was for a hot breakfast. I'll meet up with him for lunch, and then, I'm going to get a chance to ride around the track with one of the instructors. Cool!!!

As for the rest of the day, I'm moving slow. I need to make a quilt sandwich and then I can catch up with the quilt-along. I have steaks marinating in the fridge and Mike will barbecue later today. For all their angst on the first day, the kitties have settled in, and we had a much better night last night.

In closing, I want to thank all of you who are following along and leaving comments. If you have a blog, then you probably know that a blog is more than a way to connect with friends. For me, it's also my journal, and I especially enjoy writing these posts about travel. It's fun to go back and read them years down the road. But it's also great fun writing them when you, my friends, come along, telling me things you know about the areas we are in and also about your reactions to the things we've seen. Thank you for your comments and for your friendship. You are appreciated more than you know.

27 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

What a fun experience for Mike! Ever since you mentioned this class, I have been racking my brain, trying to think of something I wanted to do and haven't, just so I could fulfill a dream, too. Turns out I have a mostly empty brain and apparently just gave up on anything that didn't happen right away, because I can't think of anything that would lead to a class. But I'll keep thinking since the two of you keep doing such cool and inspirational stuff. Although, come to think of it, visiting wineries could easily make the list . . . what a pretty spot! And good grief, your sewing area looks fantastic! I'm glad you're not suffering too badly on the road, lol.

Quilting Babcia said...

You two are really celebrating Mike's retirement in a big way. It's always fun to follow along on fellow bloggers adventures, quilty or not. Have fun on your ride!

Dorothy Finley said...

I love the one sentence in your opening paragraph---"We are both in our happy place" How wonderful is that ? And you with your wonderful sense of humor are the best tour guide around. Love your blog

CJ Smith said...

Being a Corvette'r I will admit to being green with envy! Drive it like you stole it Mike!

If the trees with the yellow blossoms have smooth green trunks I believe you are looking at either a Palo Brea or a Palo Verde. Very similar trees, but the Palo Brea is a heavier bloomer.

Sally Trude said...

I am glad you are having a wonderful time, but truthfully I mostly visit for sneak peaks at that handsome hunk of cat.



Jan @Cocoa Quilts said...

OH my hubby would love this class. I is great to read your travel stories. Can't wait to see where you are headed next.

works4me said...

So glad you both seem to be enjoying yourselves. We have spent an entire day on the Portland racetrack with the BMW club and I know the grin that Mike must be showing. My hubby even scared himself once when he realized what speed he was going, in my daily driver. lol

I have hundreds of photos from all angles, including inside the track. Yup, I was grinning from ear to ear, too. :)

Enjoy. But don't forget the kitty pics next post, okay?

Sher S. said...

Love the little quilt. So glad you thought ahead to make little projects to take with you. Love seeing all your photos of every blooming thing, love flowers. Looks like retirement is sitting well with Mike and he is having the time of his life out there. Enjoy!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I am enjoying your adventures -- with or without kitties, What a beautiful place!!

Sandra W said...

That driving adventure makes me want to try it. What fun! I did look up the school and it is a indulgence but not out of reach (well maybe a little pricey when converted to Cdn. $). But what a thrill.
I'm at my cottage on Lake Huron and am likewise sewing in a smaller space with only a bit of fabric and a few projects. I just got a new Bernina and rearranged my sewing space so that my machine would not be in direct sunlight. The result is not as efficient but at least I am not cooking my machine. I also forget something essential on the first go too. But having to find pins means you absolutely have to get to a quilt shop--so that's good, isn't it. Speaking of pins, I recently converted my regular pins to all glass heads after a few plastic meltdowns. I still have fork pins, heavy duty pins, appligue pins, silk pins, flat head pins, and on and on.
Glad your cats have settled down So nice they travel with you and I love the catio.
Looks like a fabulous trip and adventure. Keep it coming.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a wonderful time for both of you - each having your own niche while traveling together. I'm not a huge pinner either, but there are times you need them and a trip to a local quilt shop (some regional prints too) sounds good. Sadie hasn't had as many travel experiences as Smitty - glad to hear they are setting in, too.

Debbie said...

Drive fast, feel the wind rushing by....go, Mike!!!
Russ took the King for a Day class at the Charlotte Race way a few years back. He had a ball and loved the speed.
I love your version of the small quilt.....we love intended mistakes :)
Continue to enjoy.

Ioleen said...

What an adventure you two are having. Keep the posts coming! I enjoy reading each and every sentence. Happy the kitties are settling in.

Rina Mason said...

I just want to thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It's so much fun to read what you are both up to and how you're enjoying life. I've always loved the travel post and the quilting and the food and well, just all of it. Of course the posts about the fur children and their antics are always welcome.

WoolenSails said...

Bill is talking about retiring within a year, so if he does, maybe we can do more traveling.
Love that fabric, I have some fun cat fabric that I need to decide what to do with.


Brown Family said...

I am so glad Mike is enjoying his first weeks of retirement! He is starting off with a big bang!

Love the small quilt. I would not have noticed the difference in the two if you had not brought it to my attention!

Dana Gaffney said...

I love CJ Smiths "Drive it like you stole it Mike!" it just makes me smile. There's something about Vett's that make you feel like you're in a club.
Nice to read that everyone's happy including the kitties, if you need to move the RV will you try to go to the winery and resort?

Ray and Jeanne said...

What a great adventure! So glad you are both enjoying it and that we get to follow along. Love your version of the quilt - always nice to put your own stamp on projects. 😊 ~Jeanne

piecefulwendy said...

I can't wait each morning to read and see what you two have been up to! Thanks for sharing the video of Mike -- how fast do they go around the track? I can't believe he didn't take a selfie either. Haha. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled a FQ only to find I've cut into it. Hate that! I was going to do that QAL too, but haven't gotten it done yet due to baby quilts that need to get done before the babies arrive. You should be a seasoned expert on HSTs by now. Sooner or later, you're gonna end up lovin' them. Right?? Enjoy your day!

Susan said...

I'm jealous. I want to drive too! Did they have any females in the course?

When I was in my early twenties (back in the dark ages), I had the opportunity to hear a race car driver speak. I don't' remember his name, but I do remember a few key points he made--number one being, "you control your speed with the gas pedal, not with the break pedal." He also said, driving with other race drivers on a race track is much safer than driving on the regular streets and highways because all the drivers follow the rules of the racetrack. Defensive driving means more than following the rules of the road; it means being aware of every one else around you on and off the road and driving so as to not endanger them or put them in a difficult position. You can be an aggressive driver, just not an offensive driver.

So, how did you come to name your sewing machine, Felicity? I enjoy reading about your adventures. My spouse likes to see the cats.

Lynn - JnL4God said...

I really like inbox jaunt and thought about doing the QAL too to help build my quilting skills. After seeing you make your top - I'm leaning even more towards it - I guess we'll see.
Enjoying traveling with you. Thanks for sharing with us.

Beverly Wood said...

What a wonderful retirement gift. I used to have a '71 stingray. It would look good on that track. Enjoy your week.

QuiltE said...

Sure, forget your pins, so you "have to" go to a quilt store!! Great progress with your quilt mini. OUCH on the missing part of the just purchased FQ. Not good at all. Glad you had an option available.

What a terrific start on your first post-retirement holiday for the two of you. I so enjoy and appreciate your sharing your adventures (both holiday and at home) ..... and look forward to joining your Canadian journey too! :)

liniecat said...

What a truly wonderful and exhilarating course to take part in!
Lovely that you've both had a romp round the track too - as I read in a later post - Love the comment above too LOL
Drive like you stole the car LOL

Auntiepatch said...

I'm so glad that you, Mike, and the kids are enjoying your trip! I love going along with you on your adventures!

My Dad, a race fan, once asked me why I didn't watch the races on TV. I told him I didn't need to watch them on TV because, living in San Diego, I was in the middle of a race every day to, and from, work! I've been rear-ended FIVE times while sitting in traffic on the freeways. They can't catch me if I'm moving but sitting still in traffic gives me the creeps.

So, go, Mike, go! Have a great time! And more pictures of "the kids"!

DeeDee said...

I'm loving going along with you. I shared the first post about the driving school with my husband and he was fascinated with your writing before you even hit your destination! I'm going to share this one as well. Thanks for bringing us with you.

quiltzyx said...

Vrrrrroooommmm! I can imagine that Mike was fairly vibrating that first night after the track fun!! Nice job of the video too. :)

Barbara, Barbara, Barbara! No mistakes, DESIGN CHOICES!! Don't forget!

Interesting that the 'old vine' wine came from Lodi - I always hear the old Creedence Clearwater song in my head
"If I only had a dollar
For ev'ry song I've sung
And ev'ry time I had to play
While people sat there drunk
You know, I'd catch the next train
Back to where I live
Oh Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again
Oh Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again"