Day 5 – Classes day.
We woke up that morning and made the decision to skip out on first class and go mail stuff home while we still could. I shipped 40 pounds and it cost just shy of $80 – but worth every penny as flying home with that would have cost me more in overweight baggage fees. Stephanie shipped slightly less than I did – I think about 30 pounds and it cost her about $60? I texted home to tell DH about it, and he jokingly replied that the box might make it home before I do… this will eventually grow to be less funny in less than 24 hours… I digress… After shipping we took the first bit of leisure time for just us. We hit up a great little coffee shop I discovered the day before and did a coffee run to. Coffee in Utah seems to generally be awful – I am sure it is to appease the Mormons, but it doesn’t appease the Starbucks lover in me. So, yummy mochas in hand on a gorgeous, hot sunny morning we took off to the top of the parking garage, sipped our coffees, took photos of the great scenery and just relaxed. For the first time all week we weren’t on the go and could just breathe.
So, back in to pick up our class kit from the first class. It was an acrylic mini-album from Little Yellow Bicycle and it was Hallowe’en themed. Their Hallowe’en papers are absolutely great! I really fell in love with their delicious Dolce Vita line on Thursday, but their Hallowe’en is stand out great as well. It was a well organized kit with lots of great instructions so I should be able to complete it at a crop no problem. Nice and easy. They also gave us a bonus tote bag and one extra sheet each of their Hallowe’en papers.
Second class was from Piggy Tales. I don’t necessarly *love* the paper used for this chipboard mini album, but I do love the chipboard mini album itself. It has a lot of fun sliding doors to hide things like journalling, or more photos, or patterned paper, or rub-ons – you get the idea. I did manage to get this one pretty much finished through class time and a bit over lunch.
Third class was from Scenic Route and was taught by Layle Koncar. She was great, really great. Fun woman, loves to talk, and the layout turned out really nice. I mostly got that one done too, just need to stick some of the flowers down that were covered in glossy accents and not yet dry. Either way – cute layout, cute teacher and Scenic Route is for the most part pretty fun paper too. Stephanie won some cute little acrylic stamps in this workshop too.
Fourth class was yet another amazing Tim Holtz project where we altered a mirror in very typical Tim Holtz style. It was fun to play with a lot of his products, and it looks awesome. He had a lot of his projects on display at the front of the room and I just love how creative he is. He adds things I’d never think of to add to a page and it just works, and looks awesome. He’s also a terrible enabler because every time I walk out of his workshops I have to have whatever it was we were working with because I devise ideas for what else I can do with the stuff once I get home for other layouts. He was also insanely generous with his loot. We got to work with distress inks, crackle paint, glossy accents, grunge board, paint dabbers, fragments and his amazing scissors. Every scrapbooker needs those scissors, seriously. He also got the CKU bookstore to set up a makeshift shop outside the room to sell his products only that we had to have as the shop would otherwise be closed when we got out. I wanted some fragments but there were only 4 packages left and they sold too fast for me to get my grubby little mitts on them. I did buy more grungeboard elements. Inks and paint make for great stocking stuffers from Santa…
That night was commencement crop. For me it was just ok. The slideshow was very long, and the photos less inspiring than past years when Candace Stringham was taking them. She is one talented lady, and her replacement just didn’t have the same eye that she does. I did, however, become a connoisseur of salt water taffy as it was everywhere on the tables – typical for the area. The crop carried on – we went out to hit the mall because I needed to buy some stuff from Bath and Body Works, and Stephanie needed to get back to Archivers to buy stamps that didn’t get bought on a previous trip. On a neat aside, we happened to see CD Muckosky shopping at Archivers when we were there as well. She didn’t seem to have anything to do with CKU – unless she was at the Scrapbooker of the Year banquet that we wound up missing because of the bus tour. When we got back to the crop, Lance Anderson from Rusty Pickle had set up a makeshift impromptu album workshop for $40. We went back to the room to finalize packing and get some semblance of sleep.
At 1AM, after I was done packing and took a shower so it was one less thing to do the next day I ventured down to the lobby to be sure there was bellmen on at 5AM when we would have to leave, as well as use the free wifi to check on our flights. Well, it was a good thing I did as our first leg of the trip was cancelled. So once again I am on the phone to United trying to arrange to get to our destination on the day we are supposed to get home. Neither of us relished the idea of spending another night in Utah, not to mention I had to work redonkulously early on Monday morning – so extra expense of hotel as well as loss of a day’s pay after that shop fest is a horrible idea all around. The first woman I spoke with was a little better than the second guy I talked to…
So – we left off with the first woman I spoke with at United. She attempted to be pretty helpful, but was limited in what flights she was able to view. From what she could see there was no way we were getting home at all on Sunday, but she asked for a number I could be reached at if she should find anything. In the interim she gave me the number for United central reservations to call as they have access to a greater number of flights to view and can get a little more creative. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with him, and he managed to find a way out for us – leaving now at 6AM, by way of Los Angeles and then on to Toronto. It was another code share with Air Canada, which is what we originally booked on, however the issue was the first plane was United. He was able to confirm us on the United flight no problem, but couldn’t reach anyone at Air Canada to confirm the second leg. I even sat on hold with Air Canada myself with no luck. With our flight now leaving at 6AM, it meant leaving the hotel at 3 to get to the airport for 4 and it was at this point pushing 2:30, with only one bellman on for the night. I asked this United guy if I could leave him a contact # so he could call me with confirmation numbers and he flat out refused to call me back. When I said to him “Clearly you’ve never been stranded before” it was met with silence, and then a persistent refusal to call me back.
We get to Salt Lake Airport and are directed to some special line – Stephanie was taking care of this initial part while I returned the rental car. We wind up getting served by some disgruntled employee who was frustrated with United and hated working for them. He refused to charge us for our second bags, and didn’t weigh them either – which was huge for Stephanie as her bags were definitely pushing the limit, if not over it. He also placed us in emergency exit row seating for the longest leg of the trip, which was also much appreciated.
I don’t really know much of the flights as it was the only sleep I was managing to grab in a 24 hour timespan. I slept the bulk of the way to LA, and from LA to Toronto I was awake for the small amount of time we were over Arizona, otherwise I was asleep. It was good to get home after more travel stress and ordeals. I didn’t relish the idea of being stuck in Salt Lake for another night, especially with having to work on Monday – and now needing to pay for a lot of shopping.
Customs was shockingly painless for both of us. We were both over and both claimed shipping items home that didn’t accompany us. Neither of us had to pay, which was nice.
The rumor mill has it that there will only be 2 CKU’s next year – one east cost, the other west coast. There is also a rumor there will be another similar CK event in December that will be announced by Lisa B soonish.
All the travel stresses were well worth it and I am filled with happy memories and lots of loot. The mecca was everything I hoped it would be and more. I really wish there was more time to go to some of the sales we missed, like Scenic Route, and DCWV and of course Cosmo Cricket and SEI. I can’t wait until my huge box arrives. I shipped most of my purchases and freebies so I would have lots of room for the day 2 projects, that wound up being not so necessary after all.
I know there are details I probably left out, but those days were just so jam packed and there was little sleep to be had – also so worth it! I can’t wait for the next one!