Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2018

We left home at 4:45am on Thursday morning which was perfect because we missed rush hour in Spartanburg and Charlotte. But the construction traffic was still miserable! Other than that, we had a lovely drive.

We got to Columbia around 2pm and tried Hotwire HotRates to get a hotel which worked out well. We put in our location and it gave us choices. We picked the quality hotel and price we were willing to pay but we had no idea the hotel or its actual location until after we booked it. Our choice ended us up at the Sheraton across from The Mall of Columbia for $69. Since we booked a room, we headed to Ellicott City and checked out several antique stores. This city was a cute historic city. Then, we checked in and was given a really nice room (almost as nice as Hampton Inn). Then we went to the mall and walked around and had dinner. When we got back to the room we noticed the bathroom floor had puddles, so we called the front desk and they sent someone from maintenance immediately. He wiped up the floor and said maybe the maid didn’t dry the floor after cleaning. About 40 min. later we found new puddles forming and called the front desk. They let me choose whether I wanted a maintenance man to come look at it or move to a new room so we moved to a new room. Apparently, there is a huge rock concert at the Merriweather Pavilion and the bands were staying at our hotel. At 2am, we woke up to an impromptu concert in the lobby and everyone was hanging over the balconies to watch the concert. It was a nice stay and we would use Hotwire again to book a hotel.

We decided to hunt for breakfast but couldn’t find a Denny’s and ended up at Kay’s Diner. It was hidden away in an industrial area and only the locals must go here but it was good and cheap too! Next, we went to another antique mall in Savage and enjoyed that. After we checked in to the Hampton Inn around noon, we went to Wegman’s for lunch. It is a cool grocery store with a food buffet that you pay for by the pound ($9.99/lb). At 2pm, I met up with my friends Wendy and Lois and we went to the Needles Up event held at a local church. I got to meet the podcasters for The Girls from the Yarn CafĂ©! There were vendors there and I bought a skein of Fibernymph Dyeworks. We came back to the Hampton Inn and knit until dinner time.  Then the four of us went back to Wegman’s for dinner. After dinner, I went to Wendy and Lois’s room to knit until bedtime.

On Saturday, we headed to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival held at the Howard County Fairgrounds. They didn’t let anyone enter until 8:30 but we got there around 8am and the line to get in was already long. Before it ever opened, the line of people went all the way out to the major highway. You could buy $5 tickets online for an additional $1.27 fee or pay cash when you got there so we paid cash. Our cash line moved faster than the prepaid ticket line because their tickets had to be scanned. As soon as we got in, I went to Miss Babs booth and there was no line! I was able to go to all the places on my list and get what I wanted by 10am! At 10:30, we shared a Sausage dog and drink ($14). Then we met up with Wendy, Lois, and Lisa. Don took my stuff back to the car and waited for me there. I went to the 1pm Podcaster meet up but didn’t really see many podcasters that I knew. After that, we returned to the hotel and I took a nap. Don and I went back to Wegman’s for dinner around 4:30 and when we got back, I went back to Wegman’s with Wendy and Lois just to keep them company. When we got back I knit with them until bedtime.

On Sunday, Don and I went to Six Flags America in Bowie, MD which was only 30 minutes from our hotel. In the evening, I knit with Wendy and Lois again.

We left for home on Monday morning at 7am and got home by 4pm. 

Things I Learned:
1.     Get to the festival early so you are in the front of the line.
2.     Always be prepared for rain, just in case.
3.     Bring a BIG tote bag to carry purchases.
4.     It is good to have online friends but seeing them in person is awesome!
5.     Yarn and fiber purchases made me happy!


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