Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

It’s no secret that I have a serious case of wanderlust. As a matter of fact I think that I was born with it. And now that I work for Paper Crafts magazine, I get a pretty regular chance to feed my travel addiction. This year alone I’ve been to Anaheim, Louisville, and Manchester, NH, for work-related adventures (as well as trips to San Francisco and an upcoming one to Michigan for pleasure). And I still have one more business trip to Nashville in September. Last week work took me on an odyssey of sorts all over the USA.

Early last Monday morning (July 27th), my sister escorted Cath and me to the Salt Lake City airport for the first leg of my trip. Cath and I were headed to Orlando, FL, to see what was new and hot in the land of paper crafting at CHA (the Craft and Hobby Association trade show). And let me tell you, it is pretty hot in Florida in July. Whew! It was a mistake to attempt doing my hair with hot rollers. Okay – and now for a random side note… Cath and I both pulled out the exact same book (Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan) on the airplane. How wild is that?

One of the best parts of CHA is hanging out with the talented manufacturers and designers! It’s fun to give them all a big old hug in person!

One of the best parts of CHA is hanging out with the talented manufacturers and designers! It’s fun to give them all a big old hug in person!

Cath and I walked the show floor for two solid days (Tuesday and Wednesday) at the Orange County Convention Center, drooling over new products and glad-handing with manufacturers and designers alike. It’s a dirty job, but somebody needs to do it. 😉

Here’s a little peek of what we saw on Tuesday at the trade show.

Here’s a little peek of what we saw on Tuesday at the trade show.

Thursday morning was a super early one for me since I had to be in the lobby of our hotel at 5:50 a.m. to catch a shuttle to the airport. Now I will admit I am a morning person, but not quite THAT much. I didn’t sleep well at all worrying that I might miss my alarm, so I developed quite a headache. But the Paper Crafts show must go on! My Thursday morning flight was headed north to Philadelphia where I’d catch another shuttle to Valley Forge, PA, to teach classes at CKC (Creating Keepsakes Convention).

Once in Valley Forge, I was delighted to find a comfy bed to rest my weary head, a jetted tub for a rejuvenating bath, and complimentary Internet service so I could catch up on Facebook. Huzzah! It was a welcome bit of solace and allowed me to gear up for the two days of teaching that lay ahead.

On Friday and Saturday I taught eight fabulous classes to countless eager students (men – yes, that’s plural – and women alike). I can only hope that I instilled a little bit of card making love in their hearts. They certainly seemed to enjoy every last minute of it. And I’ll admit the teaching came back to me in a hurry. Those 16 years of teaching junior high and high school really paid off.

One of my eager students was adorable Kalyn Kepner.

One of my eager students was adorable Kalyn Kepner.

You might remember Kalyn as our faithful Paper Crafts intern last summer. She and I had a delightful and chat-filled dinner after my classes on Saturday.

On Sunday, I finally headed back to Utah after quite an eventful week of work-related fun. First I had to brave a pretty fierce thunderstorm stranded in a plane on the tarmac in Philadelphia for almost two hours, which meant I’d miss my connection in Denver. But I gotta send a shout out to Southwest Airlines for squeezing me in on the next available flight to SLC.

Whew! So my triangle trip – SLC to Orlando to Philly to SLC – was complete. What a week! It was definitely fun, but I am pooped!

How would you feel about getting your hands on some of the brand new stuff that debuted at the CHA summer show? You’d like that, wouldn’t you? I have two sets of some brand new papers from Pink Paislee to give away. Leave a comment by midnight MDT on Friday, August 7th for a chance to win.

Your expert Paper Crafts traveler,
Susan

P.S. In all my whirlwind travels, I forgot to announce the five winners from my Welcome Go-to Gal, Teri Anderson post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Gina (July 23, 12:09 p.m.)
2. Janet L. (July 23, 5:51 a.m.)
3. mloukirby (July 23, 9:06 a.m.)
4. Yvonne C. (July 24, 8:56 a.m.)
5. Julie Masse (July 23, 6:37 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! You each win three sets of Art Declassified stamps! Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your e-mail addresses. Thanks to all who left so many welcoming comments for Teri!

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