Escape from Winter - 2012 travel blog

proud iPad owner

wrapping the art

sea grass baskets

art samples

tired shoppers

local beauties

shaping wooden bowls





Avid techies might recall the day the first iPad came out. Ken just had to have one. When I asked him what he needed it for, he had no idea. It was just cool. He pre reserved one at the Apple store in Austin TX and we drove many miles to the mall where it was located to pick it up. We walked past long lines of people waiting to get into the Apple Store to buy iPads. They had not pre reserved. I felt like the Queen of England waltzing in past all these jealous folks. As everyone knows now, the iPad is useful for countless tasks and has become a replacement computer for the less techie who just want to do internet, surf, play games or watch videos. Even as a non techie, I eventually had to have one, too. By the time I jumped into the iPad pool, I got a newer version than Ken had. He tried to be patient, but was champing at the bit for the next iteration of this device.

The hype has been extensive. The demand has been so high that even folks who pre reserved are having to wait a few more days than promised for the new iPad. There is no Apple store closer than a day's drive to our location here on the gulf shore of Alabama. What's a frustrated techie to do?

There was a glimmer of hope, because other retailers such as Walmart and Target are being allowed to sell the new iPad. Ken got online and carefully researched the situation. Should he drive to the Walmart in Gulf Shores at midnight to buy one before they sold out? Not a good choice - there were only selling the low capacity model. That would probably be true for Target, too. Verizon stores were also selling iPads and their model would include phone connectivity that would enable us to use it as a hotspot when we are on the road. The nearest Verizon store was twenty miles away and opening at 8am earlier than usual, to accommodate the demand. So we leapt out of bed and jumped into the car, not stopping to have breakfast or coffee. And what a relief. There was no one in the Verizon store but us and a flock of clerks. And they had just the model we wanted. Technology crisis averted.

Then we headed to the town of Fairhope to the arts and crafts fair. The website was rather vague about exactly where this fair would be and advised taking a shuttle bus from shopping malls outside of town. We passed long lines of folks waiting to shuttle and drove into town, finding a parking spot two blocks from the fair. Great move!

We have been to many arts and crafts fairs over the years and this has to be one of the best we've ever seen in terms of quality, quantity and variety of products. It was even better than the one in Sarasota that has been going on for many years. The show was juried, so you had to be good to exhibit. the displays ranged over the entire downtown; it took us over three hours just to walk past it all. Many of the exhibitors used recycled raw materials. As an artistic dud I do admire people that have a beautiful vision and can bring it into being. We were glad we went today. It was well attended and surely will be more so on the weekend. And yes, we found a wood carving that we just couldn't resist. It's resting in a safe spot in the bottom of my closet motor home. Hopefully, I won't forget that it's there when it's time to unload the RV when we get back.

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