Saturday, November 3, 2018


We may have gotten off on a rocky start - Mother Nature decided to share a drought with the wonderful people and the water level was dangerously low.  Our travel agent - Liz - worked feverishly with the cruise line to mitigate the damages as much as one can when dealing with something totally out of your control. Low water - different ship.

This resulted in our needing to change boats only once and cruising to different locations than originally planned. Our first boat was the River Duchess - she had to step in because the SS Beatrice was stuck in Budapest and could not make it to the beginning of our trip - we will meet up with the SS Beatrice in a couple days. (Original change had us switching 3 times - thank goodness for small miracles that did not happen.)

The crew and staff of UniWorld River Duchess did an outstanding job making our experience as pleasurable as possible under the circumstances.  I had a great time!  Anyway I'm ahead of myself.

We landed in Prague where we spent 2 nights in the fantastic Imperial hotel.  First night was what I refer to as 'corporate orientation.'

This is a picture of the incredible tile work around the clock in the dining room of the hotel - the chef if quite well known - tv shows, on fronts of all the magazines, etc. Chef Zdeněk Pohlreich.This is stitching friend Nancy and her hubby Phil joining us for their first cruise with us.

Then we open the next day touring the fantastically beautiful city of Prague. Wow!  If you follow our Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures Facebook page you will see some fantastic photographs shared by some of the participants.  Not only do we have great stitchers!  We also have great photographers! Here are some teasers.

 View from the top of the hill.

 I loved the identification icons above the doors of houses - this is the house of 2 suns for instance.

And the astrological clock!  So glad it was operating again and we got to witness it making the change.

This second night was when the real fun began for me.  This was the night we (Sandy's Stitchers) got together to meet each other. There were several repeaters with us  so it was like having a mini reunion with your most select friends.  But the new people that joined us were fitting right in and we became one almost instantly.
Mary and I are showing the way to the stitching room at the Hotel.

We donned our name tags, gathered up our goody bags and sat down for a fun-filled night of stitching.  Those who opted to take the Optional Danube Class were given their stitch guides and we got to work. Others were welcome to bring personal stitching and we played with those too.

Notice how beautifully Judy shared her goody bag with us!

BUT WAIT !  (Does that sound like one of those TV ads for  buy one, but wait for just blah, blah you get a second?) There was a surprise kit compliments of me and Teresa- Duo Designs, Inc.  We created a special fob for all participants. It had a canvas I designed featuring the flags of the 4 countries we were to visit - Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Hungary.  The flags were laid out in order of our visits as well.  The kit contained everything needed - stretcher bars, tacks lining, backing ribbon, threads and instructions as well as the clasp.  We also shared how to finish the project once the stitching was completed.

I think it might have been a hit!

          Please please join the Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB group so you can
          enjoy all the fabulous pictures taken of the various visits we made.  I cannot begin
          to cover them all here!

An unexpected treat was a trip to Salzburg and we had such fun stirring memories of The Sound of Music film.  Our guide shared many facts with us of which we were not necessarily aware.  One was that we got to tour the Wedding Chapel in Monsee where the movie wedding took place. (It did not occur in the movie Abbey).  What a special visit!  Did you know that the VonTrapps left leisurely in a train and were not 'escaping while fleeing over the mountains at all?"  Hmmmmm.

Since this was a stitching cruise we did actually stitch.  We had fantastic stitching accommodations.  The hotel had set up a private room and we even had the ability to use our slides through the TV - that was a huge plus.

On the first boat we had a lovely section in the dining room with lots of windows and lights.

This is where we had our beginning kumihimo class.  I think this was well received as it was something that could be completed and as we shared elsewhere on FB some of the bracelets that were completed~

I think Lauren might have been first with Dawn, Judy, Debby and several others following right behind!

Either I am a very demanding instructor or some work way too hard!

You can tell these are different class periods as I have on different clothes - lol.

Another fabulous stitching surprise was a lovely Luggage Tag kit provided compliments of Planet Earth Fibers.  They included some of their fabulous threads.  It is no secret that Pepper Pot Silk is one of my favorite threads!

On the Beatrice we had a wonderful room that was surrounded in glass.  Our own bartender as well - wonder if stitches will need to be removed and redone?  Doesn't matter - it was fun anyway.

 These two snuck outside to watch going through the locks (I think that is what they were doing).

Of course, there were nightly drawings for door prizes as well - here are a few shares from various nights.

I will share one last picture with you here and that is of the new boat we boarded -  the SS Beatrice. She was slightly larger than the Duchess and much newer.

Oops!  Okay I lied!  Here is a picture of most of our group as we enjoyed our farewell dinner together.

This picture was taken in the lobby at the staircase.  We met a fantastic young man - Connor - who did the honors.  He is into photography big time - studying to make it a profession.

I am not a good historian, tour director, etc., so for more thorough information and pictures be sure to visit Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB page as I suggested earlier.  So many fantastic pictures.

Okay, I am still not home so need to pack up from here in Cincinnati (got in last evening and spent the night to rest up before the drive home).  Nasty weather here!

Have a great week!

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