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Posts Tagged ‘Panama Canal’

At Sea With Deb Roberts' Tours And World Of Quilts Travel

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Note: This is first in a series detailing Road to California’s recent sponsored cruise, Quilting Through the Panama Canal, that took place April 15-29, 2014.  Guest writer, Stevii Graves, shares her personal account of Cruising with Road to California with Carolyn Reese, talented quilt teachers, and a fun group of Road quilters. 201404_cruise

Road to California sponsored its first quilt cruise in April. Eighty quilters and quilt spouses rushed aboard Holland America’s Westerdam in Ft. Lauderdale. First stop…. The Lido Deck for some food! Always the food! 

On board were several Road workers: Cathy Norell, Sharon Chaffino, Barbara McDowell, and Carol Marchant. Naturally, Mrs. Road, Carolyn Reese, was there to try to keep us all under control. 

The first two days on board were spent at sea. At sea days meant classes! Lots of classes! Gregory Case taught photography classes as only he can do. Frieda Anderson taught fused applique and machine quilting. Melinda Bula also taught fused classes. Anita Grossman Solomon taught her innovative piecing techniques. And Patt Blair taught fabric painting with inks as well as machine quilting. Every night was “free-sew” in the two sewing machine classrooms. 

[caption id="attachment_1861" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Carolyn and Carol Marchant sewing pineapples in Anita Grossman Solomon's class. Carolyn and Carol Marchant sewing pineapples in Anita Grossman Solomon’s class.[/caption]

Carolyn, Cathy and I took two days of painting with Patt Blair. We had success with both projects and no one except yours truly managed to get ink on their clothing! 

Our first Port of Call was Cartagena, Columbia. Cartagena is a beautiful Spanish colonial city. Many of the quilters took shore excursions around the city or out in the countryside. 

The following morning we were up bright and early for the highlight of the cruise: going through the Panama Canal. (Truth be known, Carolyn was bright, I was just up). Carolyn had requested a room in the back of the ship which was the perfect place to watch the locks close behind the ship and to watch the progress of a container cargo ship that was coming behind us. It took us all day to travel the 48 mile canal, going through three sets of locks and Gatun Lake. That was long enough for three meals and two ice cream snack times! 

[caption id="attachment_1862" align="aligncenter" width="356"]View of closed lock from Carolyn's veranda. View of closed lock from Carolyn’s veranda.[/caption]

We all laughed a lot, but the funniest thing we heard was a guy walking to the dining room who said, “Ok, we have now fasted for two hours. Time for another meal.”

The funniest sight was Gregory Case’s plate the night he ordered a steak and three scoops of plain mashed potatoes. The plate arrived with one scoop of potatoes and three steaks! 

Next up… Costa Rica and Mexico!

Have you ever cruised before? What is your favorite thing to eat on board?


Quilting + Cruising = A World Of Fun

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

One thing you can be sure, Road to California is all about having a quality good time. So when the opportunity came to have Road sponsor a quilting trip through the Panama Canal, Carolyn knew that this would be another great way for quilters to have fun. After all, what could be better than a group of like-minded quilters, sailing on a world class ship, seeing the world and quilting all the way?  

The Road to Panama Quilt Cruise  is being coordinated by Deb Roberts and her World of Quilts Travel and Textile Tours. Deb is herself an experienced quilter, historian, collector, teacher, author, judge and appraiser. She has been interested in quilts since childhood and passionate about travel for as long as she can recall. While traveling several years ago, it dawned on Deb that she was spending much of the time seeking out places to see quilts, getting to know quilters, buying unique fabrics and seeking out those who knew about the area’s quilts and quilt/textile history.  After seeing things that opened her eyes to what has been available in other countries for centuries, gave her pause to think about sharing all she was experiencing with others, and thus she organized her first tour to France in 2004.Worlds of Quilts Travel

What had Deb meticulously planned for Road to California? A trip that leaves Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, travels through the Panama Canal, goes up the Mexican Riviera, and ends in San Diego, California. The itinerary includes over 25 fun filled workshops, inspirational scenery, and amazing classes taught by extraordinary instructors. Sewing machines are provided as well as shipboard accommodations, on-board meals and entertainment. The trip also includes open sewing sessions, a “Pirates of the Caribbean” block contest, and a “Splash from your Stash” contest. The trip ends with a Farewell Fiesta and show and tell. And for those people who love swag, there will be plenty of surprise gifts along the way.  


Whatever your interest: meeting new quilt friends, travel, learning from the best teachers or cruising and whether you like to travel alone or with family, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Won’t you come quilting and cruising through the Panama Canal with Road to California? The ship leaves port April 15-29, 2014. Visit www.road2ca.com for more information. Adios and Bon Voyage.