Quilt Market, Interrupted

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As I mentioned on Thursday, my plan was to spend this week at Quilt Market in Houston, Texas. Quilt Market is the quilting trade show that attracts more than 1,000 vendors and buyers from all parts of the quilting industry. My plan was to return to Long Island on Tuesday.

When I travel to quilt events, I don’t pay attention to news or weather. Except this time. People kept looking at my business name — Long Island Longarm — and saying, in a very concerned voice, “How is your family doing?” After this happened a few times I realized that something big must be happening. That’s when I became aware of Hurricane Sandy. As I watched the news from the hotel room, I could see that Long Island was going to be the epicenter of the storm, and that my Tuesday flight wasn’t going to make it home.

Staying in Houston wasn’t really an option. Houston Quilt Festival — with 50,000+ people — is Houston’s largest event every year. There was no way I could get a hotel room. So the friendly folks at Southwest changed my flight from Tuesday to Sunday, and I was set to come home. I was flying from Houston to Baltimore, and then on to Long Island.

A few minutes before boarding the flight to Baltimore, I received a text that the airports on Long Island were closed. I was advised I would have to stay in Baltimore to wait out the storm (if the flight wasn’t diverted to Detroit). I called the hotel info number that Southwest gave me. No surprise that there were no hotels available in Baltimore.

It turned out there was a gentleman on my flight going to Long Island. We were able to rent a car.  We left Baltimore about 5:00 PM and arrived at Islip Airport around 10:00 PM. He drove, I navigated, and we talked non-stop for 5 hours. He had a very interesting life and great stories about being the oldest of 8 children, going to Vietnam, and many interesting careers. Although we did run into some heavy rain, for the most part driving was good. It was cold and windy when we arrived at the airport, but we made it home safely.

All in all, I am so glad to be here. Yesterday was a long day. I don’t even have the energy to find a cute graphic for this post! However I promise to share my adventures at Quilt Market with you starting on Wednesday.

The airport is closed all day tomorrow, as is pretty much everything else on Long Island. My luggage is still in Baltimore. I pray that everyone will stay safe and that the storm will pass without too much damage.

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