Sunday, June 29, 2014

Journaling Through Pittsburgh, Front Royal, Raleigh & Charlotte

Dan and I just returned from a fun-filled, whirlwind road trip through the cities of Pittsburgh, Front Royal, Raleigh and Charlotte. The 2000 mile trip centered on a family wedding, so I searched for a vintage wedding photo for the cover of my travel journal.

The trip began on Thursday with an overnight stay in Pittsburgh so we could visit with our former neighbor, Ann, from 30 years ago. Ann picked us up at our hotel, treated us to a delicious dinner at Hartwood Restaurant & Whispers Pub, and then took us to her home so we could see our old house next door and neighborhood. Ann and I became first time Mommies in 1983-84, so we have a long history together. Dan and I were tickled to spend an evening reminiscing with her. 

Ann and me at the Hartwood Restaurant & Whispers Pub
On Friday morning we drove to Front Royal, Virginia, where the family wedding was to be held on Saturday evening. During the drive, we stopped at a Blimpie for a submarine sandwich. We were pleasantly surprised at how generous Blimpie was with the fixins on our tuna sub. I asked the clerk for a fresh wrapper so I could tape a piece of it into my journal. On the back of the page, I glued on an extra gift tag I had with me that I had cut out with my Silhouette Cameo to announce the wedding. It was the perfect tag (a Graphics Fairy image) because the bride wore a vintage style dress.

We visited Dan's sister who lives on Blue Mountain in Front Royal. We had never driven up there before and it was a real experience for us! Often it gets foggy which makes it difficult to see going around the many bends and gravel roads, but we made it up and down safely two times! We met Maximo the huge old English sheep dog and a friend of the family while we were there. Max was sweet and did I mention how big he was?!

On Saturday, since we weren't meeting up with the rest of the family until 4:30 PM, we decided to explore the quaint town of Front Royal. While there, we found 3 flea markets and several antique shops. I found another brass plate to paint (this one is larger than the others at 24" diameter) and a sewing basket full of treasures. I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel to sort through it!

I also found a bunch of vintage photos. Isn't this baby adorable!

We saw scary dinosaurs while we were out driving in Front Royal.

Unfortunately, it rained some during the outdoor wedding ceremony on the mountain, but as you can see the ceremony did take place...high up in the mountains!

We were standing up on the balcony to avoid the steps and I had to laugh at these photos taken of Dan. I told him he looks like a politician. LOL

Meanwhile, inside the wedding reception lodge...

ball jars sat ready to fill,

rose cupcakes were ready to be eaten,

and more pretty purples adorned the tables.

On Sunday, we drove to Raleigh, North Carolina to stay with Dan's other sister and family. Since their move from Alexandria, VA last year, his sister Lauri now has a magnificent glass studio and her husband Jerry has a wonderful space for his woodworking projects. 

I had written about our stay with Lauri and Jerry in Alexandria here, where we made glass pendants. This time we slumped wine bottles I had brought with me in the kiln to make them into cheese boards. Also, I watched Lauri make glass beads. I wish Lauri could have joined me in my recent tour of Kokomo Opalescent Glass. Even though she was making a green glass bead (below), she says all beads are red when the glass is hot.

Lauri's Etsy shop is
These are the beautiful beads Lauri made for me. I thought the colors went well with this Charlotte, NC book that was in the Marriott Courtyard in which we stayed on our last leg of the trip. I may make them into a bracelet but I'm not sure yet. Aren't they pretty!?

Here are the wine bottles after twelve hours in the kiln. The outer two of them sat on forms.

And here is how they look after removing them from the kiln! LOVE THEM!

We had lunch with Lauri and Jerry at Clyde Cooper's Barbeque in downtown Raleigh. American Idol 10th season winner Scotty McCreery's pictures hang in the gallery as he is from that part of the country.

After lunch, we toured the visual arts studio, Artspace. There were kids classes going on as well as artists in action.

Mixed media artist Ollie Wagner 
I was so busy snapping pictures that I didn't get the names of these artists.
After staying in Raleigh a couple nights, we drove to our final destination of Charlotte, North Carolina. It's crazy that I was just in Charlotte last month with my friend, Anita. Anita just happened to be there too waiting to become a grandma, so I got to see her again.

I shopped with Anita and her Mother at The Depot at Gibson Mill. If you are ever in Charleston and love antiques, you must go, but plan to spend a whole day there. At Gibson Mill, I loved how these vintage pieces of china were made into night lights.

This jar filled filled with my favorite things really caught my eye. I really wanted to purchase it but then I realized that I could make one like it upon my return home since I already have the supplies.

These really cool hand made flags are something I also want to make when I get home.

I also saw these pretties.

chalkboard book, jar of aqua sewing supplies, flower cake, chair back hanger & embellished canning jars
Here are the treasures I brought home with me from Gibson Mill: a vintage scrapbook, chenille fabric, white pompom trim, red ric rac, wooden blocks (one with a P), hat pins, sugar bowl night light, little dish, milk bottle caps, bobbins, and a few buttons.

Later that evening, Dan, Anita and I went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Before that, however, we took photos against a giant poppies mural in the Marriott Courtyard business area. When I see a photo opportunity, I do my best to take advantage of it!

I kept up with my journaling each night. It takes practice, just like anything else, to keep a travel journal. Journaling comes easier with each trip. For me, keeping a travel journal is not only a way to remember the things we did, but it is a creative and enjoyable thing for me to do while on a trip.

I have made several travel journals like this one to sell at the Logan Village Mall and for Ashleigh's and my upcoming show at Art Squared in September.

Are you journaling your travels this summer?


  1. Sounds and looks like you had an enjoyable trip. Thanks for sharing it all with us. Wishing the newly weds a life time of happiness.

  2. It looks like a wonderful, whirlwind trip. I love your journal and I do the same thing when I travel. I ask for extra stickers or ice cream wrappers or doilies. We are off to Kauai in 2 weeks and I will be journaling at night - I'll probably just finish the Smash book I worked on the last time we were in Kauai. There are lots of pages left so it will be fun to finish it.

  3. Hello from Spain: your trip is fabulous. The bride and groom are very handsome. Nice pictures. The wedding in the mountains is very original. The travel journal is a great idea. Your life is fabulous. Keep in touch

  4. Great trip! So nice to share this with your DH!

  5. I grab things to add to the journal when we travel, but I have not taken the time to sit down and make one. I love yours though. I love the beads. You have such a talented family (and Dan does). What office is Dan running for? *WINK* The bride and groom look beautiful and what a breath taking background for a wedding. You had so many great adventures this year!

  6. oh my friend, you are just having the best adventures! I miss you! I love the travel journals - I so need you closer to motivate me! I love journaling but forget about it when I go somewhere - I should be journaling every moment of my life! Looking forward to seeing you soon! <3 Becky

  7. Patty, I think you and Dan are a cute couple. Oh my , what fun you had...the wedding was adorable !! All those cute things you got. That art class, just wonderful. I love the beads and the wine bottles. WOW.
    Blessings, xoxo,Susie


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