Thursday, September 1, 2016

Traveling Totes Summer Fun Recap, Another Giveaway!

Welcome back to the Tales of the Traveling Totes Adventures! Today's installment is a recap of all the summer fun we've been having since our last post on June 1. I'm glad you're here, and hope you'll read through to the end of this post for a chance to win our tribe's giveaway in this installment!
Traveling with MacKenzie-Childs and Kate Spade
It seems summer has flown by and, for the most part, life has been good. Miss Luna C and I started off our month of June with a little bumpy ride, as Mr. P. delivered an unexpected baby kidney stone.
We spent more than 12 hours in the ER early in June, and although it was very real labor for Mr. P., the baby kidney stone was apparently not full term. Another almost 3 weeks went by before the baby stone had to be taken surgically. I'm happy to report all is well with Mr. P. once again, and Miss Luna C provided much needed assistance with carting magazines and snacks for me while I waited......and waited.

Mid-June marks the annual MacKenzie-Childs sale which leads up to the barn sale in July. Traveling Tote tribe members somehow got onto a new tote jag, and I think we are all now proud owners of new totes! My town tote arrived in late June, and she is aptly named after my town. Meet Miss Charley C. She's the perfect size for quick trips and/or everyday use!
Rita C and Miss Charley C, at the Ripley Antique and Flea Market
Miss Charley C made her debut travel to an antique and flea market held in a nearby town on Independence weekend. It was a day of concession food, and lots of unanticipated Panoply buying!
Christa of 60 Grit, and me with Charley C, after loading the SUV
We ended up filling the SUV to the max, thanks to the gal you see pictured above. You can read more about that adventure and all the cool things we bought from Christa here.

Mid-July had me traveling with both Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C, to Bristol, TN, with Mr. P.
Signage in Bristol, TN/VA. "Bristol VA TN A Good Place to Live"
Bristol is a unique, small town that borders both the Tennessee and Virginia state lines; hence, the signs pictured above. If you travel down State Street, you can actually be in one state or the other, depending on which side you're traveling or standing. :) 

It so happens Mr. P. went to school in Bristol, TN, and the occasion for returning was the funeral of his college basketball coach. As sad as that occasion was, it was also an utterly delightful reunion of 8 of 10 (2 are deceased) of Mr. P.'s first and second string basketball team members. I was able to catch a photo of  7 of 8 guys (the other had already left), and we all had lunch together after the service. (I should've had one of the guys hold my bag, right??)
Mr. P and college basketball teammates at an unplanned reunion, Bristol, TN
After the services, Mr. P. offered to take me antiquing in nearby Abingdon, VA, which is a little town I love to shop and spend time in. One of my favorite shops, Foxglove Antiques & Etc., was my choice for the limited time I had. As you can see, I managed to make good use of my time.
Rita C with Miss Charley C outside of Foxglove Antiques, Abingdon, VA
While we were shopping, the shop owner (Karen McClanahan), went gaga over Miss Charley C, and we chatted about our Traveling Tribe. Karen pulled out her latest bag she had purchased recently in Charleston, SC, and we ended up having way too much fun with bags and photos. She even had Mr. P. modeling her bag for the photo ops that she so gladly took charge of handling.
Rita C and Mr. P. having fun with bags at Foxglove Antiques in Abingdon, VA
On our trip home from TN, Mr. P. and I made a stop at Tamarack, in Beckley WV. If you're ever traveling WV Turnpike (I-77 / I-64 at Exit 45) and you've never experienced Tamarack, you simply must stop your next opportunity! Simply put, it showcases the best of West Virginia's artisans in a retail center. The food court offers notable regional cuisine, and has been reviewed and given accolades by Southern Living, among others. At any given date, there may be exhibitions or stage performances on site, so be sure to check their calendar of events at the link provided if you do travel that way.
On the day we traveled through, we took a little break, browsed a few of the shop kiosks, and I naturally took some photo ops. :) These photos all featured Miss Luna C, both indoors and outside. See my own display of Greenbrier China here.
Miss Luna C, posing with Greenbrier China and Those Shoes by Mik Wright
Miss Luna C, horsing around with Jeff Fetty's forged steel horse sculpture.
August was, by far, the most travel Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C have seen to date! As this post is published, Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C are still on a Great, American Road Trip (GART)! So far, here's where we've been in terms of geography:
Road Trippin' USA: KY, IN, IL, MO, IA, SD, WY, ID
Along with these states:
UT, CA, AZ, NM, NV
We've covered over 6,000 miles so far, and are heading back home right now. These are some of the places we've been:
The St. Louis Gateway National Park, MO
Sioux Falls National Park, SD
Smithfield Ham Plant was just down the road from Sioux Falls (you could smell ham in the air, but this little piggy was interested in what was in the bag!)
We visited the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD (a must-see tourist trap - that facade changes annually, and is constructed totally of corn!)
We were ear!
Badlands National Park, SD
Wall Drug Store, SD (another tourist trap - even Annie Oakley was bored out of her mind!)
Crazy Horse Memorial, SD - still a work in progress, begun in 1942
Mt. Rushmore National Park, SD
Cody, Wyoming Rodeo Stampede Park
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Needless to say, we saw lots of cowboys and Indians along the way, some faux...
And some real....
Cowboy at Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
We visited Promontory Summit (UT), where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met and the final, golden spike was struck in 1869. (and once again by me and Miss Charley C!).
We climbed city peaks (Salt Lake City, UT)
And we hiked down into red dirt canyons (Arches, Bryce and Zion National Parks, UT)
In fact, after so much traveling and red dirt, Miss Luna C had to make a pit stop for laundry in Moab, UT to regroup.
And then we lost our heads and landed in Sin City for the night....

...and took in Cirque du Soleil's production of MJ One before our early morning getaway.
MJ One at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas
We finally reached our turnaround point, the Pacific Beach of San Diego, after two weeks.
Pacific Beach, San Diego CA
As we began our trek back east, we crossed the historic Route 66 more than once.
We visited the Grand Canyon (AZ)
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum (Santa Fe, NM)
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM
And that's just part of it! More states were traveled on the return home - Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee  and Kentucky (again) - before crossing back to West Virginia - HOME!
Making our way through Tennessee, we stopped in a couple places, and Miss Charley C proved to be popular among its notable residents, including these:
West TN Music Museum, Brownsville, TN
And Mike Wolfe's Antique Archaeology (Nashville, TN)
Antique Archaeology, Nashville, TN
Quite apart from the Traveling Totes Tribe, I'm sure I'll be summarizing the highlights of this Great, American Road Trip in a few posts here on Panoply, so be sure and watch for those!

ONTO THE GIVEAWAY!
Our host for this installment's Traveling Tote Tribe giveaway is Emily @ The French Hutch. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Emily's September 1 post will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win the following:
September Traveling Totes Giveaway
Our giveaway is a very versatile container in the classic MacKenzie-Childs' Courtly Check pattern, along with two different sizes of paper plates, in colors perfect for fall. Be sure to stop at Emily's and leave your comment to enter the giveaway.

We will offer a MacKenzie-Childs giveaway with our next five posts, each time with a different host! Until our next adventure (coming December 1, 2016), thank you for traveling along. It's a pleasure to have your company and visit!
Where have all the other Traveling Tote tribe members been of late?  By all means, go check them out at the links below. If any of you out there in blogland are also MC traveling tote-carrying chicks and want to join us in our adventure sharing, just let one of us know by dropping us an email. 

For the background on this series of related posts, you can read all about the makings of the Traveling Totes Tribe here. Catch Miss Luna C's earlier adventures by clicking on Traveling Totes under the drop-down menu bar Travel header (top of blog), and you'll find all those posts. Thank you for coming along on our tribe's adventures!

Rita C. at Panoply

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