It was still huge - 44 shows and over 4K vendors - but we noticed the crowds were a little thinner this year. We had no trouble finding parking. We never waited for service when we went shopping. Walking those narrow aisles was no problem. I would be very interested to see their final numbers.
We were in a small show of less than a dozen vendors so that by the end of our five days we all knew each other, we all liked each other, and most them felt it was worthwhile to give it a go again next year. All in all we had a great time - the drive (both ways), though long was fun and entertaining. It was great to break our journey by visiting friends in ABQ and dining at favorite places. The weather the entire time was incredible. I finally managed to shake that Cold from Hell while we were in Tucson. Also, I think there was medicinal value in that Tucson Tamale I ate the first day.
If you'd like to see what The Jade Dog acquired for her shop (and for herself), check out her Instagram - HERE.
Here's what I found on my travels - both in ABQ and in Tucson:
On the way to the Whole Bead Show, we stayed with my dearest friend in Albuquerque. She had given me a gift card to Michael's, so naturally we went there and I spent it all.
This is the lovely place we called home for the week:
Now for the swag (and they were all BARGOONS, I swear!):
I took the day off on Friday and just hung out at the hotel - sadly the water in the pool was too cold for me (lower 50's) - and all I could think was . . . I SHAVED FOR NOTHING!
This was the view from my room. I did go out and sit in the sun and read my book, so not a total loss.
On our trip home, we stayed with my friend once more - and this time we went with her on some errands and also stopped at a fantastic local art supply shop in Albuquerque, Artisan, where I found some Tombow doubles I had lusted after for quite some time.
We got back to my Little House on the Prairie on Tuesday night - and one of the first things I did was of course to spread out all the fabulous boodle and take a picture.
We also got a pile of free beading magazines, the Tucson catalogs, and my one personal indulgence - that beautiful South African handled basket.
I think it goes without saying that once I stop feeling like I'm still riding down the highway, there will be a whole lot more later.