European Patchwork Quilter’s Tour

Tour Lead By Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
U.S.A. to Iceland

Begin in Iceland
Begin in Iceland

Departures from various airports in the U.S.A. including:

Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair, WOW Airlines or Delta Airlines. Both airlines will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with quilt designer Gudrun Erla Gisladottir to her homeland – Iceland, featuring many of the major natural attractions of this unique country – the majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, mountains and glaciers.

After Iceland visit continue tour to Heidelberg, Germany // St. Marie aux Mines (Alsace-Lorraine, France) // & European Patchwork Meeting // Paris, France

Day 2
Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Early morning arrival at Keflavik. Clear customs then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles north from the airport. Once in Reykjavik head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. You get a great view of the city, the ocean and the surrounding mountains from top of the water tanks that supply the city with hot water.

After tour check-in at the Center Hotel Plaza, located on the main square in the heart of the old city, The hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy all that the Reykjavik city center has to offer. Enjoy a “welcome dinner” at Geysir Bistro. (B,D)

Day 3
Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik

Today is free to enjoy on your own without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you busy. Many options are available to you such as: (B)

*The Whale Museum and a Whale Watching Tour
*Visit the National Museum of Iceland or the Harpa Concert Hall
*The Saga Museum
*The National Gallery + many other art museums to choose from
*The famous geothermal spa “The Blue Lagoon”

Day 4
Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - The "Golden Circle"

Gulfoss
Gulfoss

Depart Reykjavik after breakfast for todays tour of the “Golden Circle” which includes:

* Thingvellir National Park – this national shrine of Iceland has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is the location of the oldest Parliament in the world, first assembled here in 930 AD.
*Geysir Geothermal Area – the hot springs area famous for the first geyser ever mentioned in text: the one for which all geysers are named. Geyser erupts every 4 to 8 minutes.
*Gulfoss – the roaring and magnificent waterfall “Gullfoss”, a major highlight on the tour

Check in at Country Hotel Laekur for dinner and overnight stay. Time to hit the outside hot tub to round off a busy day. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Thorsmork - Njals Saga Tapestry

Heydalur Activities”
Thorsmork

Depart for Eyjafjallajokull, the 6th largest glacier in Iceland, beneath its cap hides the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere. Today you will visit Thorsmork, a hidden valley between three glaciers. You reach this verdant nature reserve by crossing lava fields and glacial rivers in a modified “Monster” truck – a exhilarating but safe experience, a adventure of a lifetime. Thorsmork is a popular place for hikers, the “Ring of Basar” is a easy 1.5m walk. Buffet lunch is served at Volcano Huts in Husadalur. On your return visit Gigjokull glacier with its giant icicle ravines – a good introduction to the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Continue to Selfoss & spend time with Gudrun’s family and friends. Dinner at famous Fjorubordid known for its magical lobster soup. Drive by shortest route to Gardur hamlet, located within a 10 minute drive to Keflavik Airport. Checkin at the Lighthouse Inn***. Wake up calls for Northern Lights if appropriate. (B,L,D)

Day 6 & 7
Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany

Day 6
Early morning flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Clear customs and meet your guide, Angela, who lives in Heidelberg. Angela will tell you about the Rhine Valley, the mighty river, the Lorelei and the wine industry in Germany. Arrive in Heidelberg, the oldest university town in Germany and proceed to the new Star Inn Hotel. Dinner in the Alstadt at the Red Ox Inn, built in 1703 and still owned/operated by the same family for 170 years. Enjoy good German food and music…visitors who have raised a glass here includes Mark Twain, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe…an eclectic mix! (B,D)

Day 7
Visit Max Beck Textile Museum. P.M. free. (B)

Day 8
Kaysersberg, France

Kaysersberg, France
Kaysersberg, France

After breakfast at the hotel depart for a 2 hour walking tour through Heidelberg with Angela. Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit as well as Germany’s oldest university. Say goodbye to Heidelberg and drive south on the “German Wine Route” passing through the heart of the Palatinate (Pfalz).

Cross the border into France in the direction of Strasbourg, the capital and seat of the European Parliament. Continue west to the “Gateway to Alsace’s Wine Route”…lunch in the picture postcard town of Obernai. Afternoon arrival in St. Marie aux Mines, the venue of the Patchwork Meet (Quilt Show), the largest event in Europe that is devoted to quilting. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the show. Transfer to the small village of Kaysersberg located on the Alsace wine route and check-in to the charming Le Chambard Hotel & Spa a traditional French manor house located in the heart of the Alsatian wine growing area, your home for the next two nights. (B)

Day 9
St. Marie aux Mines, France

Marie aux Mines, France
St. Marie aux Mines, France

After breakfast at your hotel transfer to the show in St. Marie aux Mines. The entire day is devoted to the Patchwork Meet. Spend a full day at the Quilt Show and then transfer to your hotel in Kaysersberg. Dinner own your own in town.

24th EUROPEAN PATCHWORK MEETING
This important quilting event was launched 24 years ago to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jacob Amman’s founding of the Amish community in St. Marie aux Mines. Quilting has played an important role in Amish life ever since, making St. Marie the perfect location to celebrate the best that contemporary patchwork quilting has to offer. The event has developed to become the largest festival in Europe attracting over 22,000 visitors. (B,L,D)

Day 10
Paris, France

Alsace Countryside Paris, France
Alsace Countryside Paris, France

Breakfast at hotel then take a walking tour of Kaysersberg followed by a visit to the castle ruins that tower above. Depart Kaysersberg and visit the historic villages of Equilheim, Riquewihr and Colmar – Colmar is the largest and most popular of France’s storybook towns. Enjoy lunch and a tour of Colmar then proceed to Strasbourg where you will board the French TGV to Paris – enjoy rail travel French style.

Arrival in Paris and transfer from the train station to the Monsieur Cadet Hotel****. This elegant boutique hotel is well located in the 9th district, close to shopping and entertainment. Dinner at the Petit Cadet Restaurant – superb service and food. They speak English! (B)

HOTEL MONSIEUR CADET
Your hotel is located in a tiny, quiet street in the theater district of Paris. The hotel has 29 rooms that come with a flat screen TV, minibar, hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers and free WiFi.

Day 11
Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

Breakfast then depart for a 4 hour city tour of Paris that includes the old Marais district, the Latin Quarter with the Sorbonne University, the Luxembourg Gardens and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The afternoon is free without a set program. If Paris is new to you just sitting in a sidewalk cafe sipping an aperitif or simple people watching in the splendid atmosphere of this remarkable city is a good choice. For the more ambitious a visit to the famous Louvre would easily fill the afternoon. Beneath the Louvre is a major shopping center.

Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 12
Paris, France

Paris, France
The Palace of Versailles

Today is the last day of your tour and is at your leisure to spend as you wish. For those in Paris for the first time and would like to see more of the many wonderful attractions that Paris has to offer – we offer optional tours to “The Palace of Versailles” and the “Moulin Rouge Dinner Show”.

Option 1) The Palace of Versailles – One of the most famous monuments in the world, the residence of the kings of France, Louis XIV, XV and XVI and their courts from 1682 to 1789. The Palace is over 721,000 square feet – for a comparison the White House is 55,000 square feet. The Coronation Room, the Queen’s bedroom, once occupied by Marie Antoinette, the Hall of Mirrors and the Gardens of Versailles are yours to explore on this tour.

Option 2} Moulin Rouge Dinner Show – A 10 minute drive from your hotel. Experience the most famous cabaret in the world in this atmospheric theater with a dazzling spectacle of drama, dance and music. Enjoy a fine french meal and champagne for a truly indulgent experience. (B)

Day 13
Paris to Home

A leisurely breakfast in your hotel then time to pack and say bye-bye to your new friends. Transfer from the Monsieur Cadet Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport. (B)

Late afternoon arrival in the United States and Canada.

Iceland in Summer – A Tour For Quilters

Tour Leader: Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
United States – Iceland

Godafoss “Falls of the Gods”
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Departures from:

Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair or WOW Airlines. Both airlines will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with quilt designer Gudrun Erla Gisladottir to her homeland – Iceland, featuring many of the major natural attractions of this unique country – the majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, mountains and glaciers.

Day 2
Keflavik – Reykjavik – Thingborg - Hella

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Icelandic Horses

Arrive at Keflavik Airport in the early morning. Clear customs then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles north from the airport. Once in Reykjavik head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. A statue of Leif Eiriksson is aligned directly in front of the church, a gift from the U.S. commemorating the 1,000 anniversary of the Icelandic parliament and a tacit acknowledgement that Leif beat Christopher Columbus to North America by almost 500 years.

Your tour will include the Parliament Building, the National Theater and the main seat of government. Visit the harbor area, where older buildings have been retrofitted as boutiques and restaurants.  Leave Reykjavik and travel along the main route through southern Iceland.  Pass green farmlands where the Icelandic horses will be grazing along the roadside.  Arrive in Thingborg and visit the Wool Center, a good source for the genuine Icelandic woolen products.    Continue on to the hamlet of Hella and check in to the Hotel Laekur your home for the next 3 days. “Welcome to Iceland” dinner this evening and get acquainted with your fellow travelers.(B,D)

Day 3
Hella - Thorsmork - Gigjokull Glacier - Hella

The Adored Puffin
Thorsmork

Rise and shine-enjoy breakfast at Hotel Laekur.  Depart for  Eyjafjallajokull, the 6th largest glacier in Iceland, beneath its cap hides the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere.  Today you will visit Thorsmork, a hidden valley between three glaciers. You reach this verdant nature reserve by crossing lava fields and glacial rivers in a modified “Monster” truck – a exhilarating but safe experience, a adventure of a lifetime. Thorsmork  is a popular place for hikers, the “Ring of Basar” is a easy 1.5m walk.  Buffet lunch is served at Volcano Huts in Husadalur. On your return visit Gigjokull glacier with its giant icicle ravines – a good introduction to the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Dinner at Hotel Laekur. Enjoy the outside “hot pot” or the sauna. (B,L,D)

Day 4
Hella - Gulfoss - Geysir - Fridheimar Farm - Hvolsvollur - Hella

Beautiful Icelandic Landscapes
Magnificent Gullfoss

Depart the Hotel Laekur after breakfast for a full day’s excursion that includes some of the major natural attractions in Iceland. Gulfoss is the majestic waterfall that spans the Hvita River, known as one of the world’s most beautiful gorges.  A short drive will then take you to the west lakes to the next phenomenon, the “Geysir Geothermal Area”.  The Geysir is the first geyser ever mentioned in text;  the one for which all geysers are named.  Though it rarely erupts the nearby “Strokkur” keeps the show alive erupting every 4 to 8 minutes.

Drive on to Fridheimar Farm, an amazing greenhouse and horse breeding complex.  Tour the greenhouses to gain insight into the uses of geothermal heating in Iceland.  Savor a delicious lunch then enjoy a horse show that provides insight into the remarkable Icelandic horse breed.  The final destination today is Hvolsvollur, a small town, the scene of Njal’s Saga, the masterpiece of the famous Icelandic sagas. You are invited to participate in an ongoing project here where  the goal is to sew Njal’s Saga in tapestry form.  Return to Hotel Laekur for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Hella - Seljalandsfoss & Skogafoss Waterfalls - Skaftafell National Park

Heydalur Activities”
Skogafoss

Depart Hella after breakfast for southern Iceland.  Todays visit will include Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls and the Skogar Folk Museum.  Lunch break in Vik i Myrdal, the southernmost village in Iceland.   Continue  driving east across the vast Myrdalssandur glacial plain where the immense Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe will offer spectacular views.  Arrive at Jokulsarlon a glacial lagoon that is 1500 deep making it Iceland’s second deepest lake.  Enjoy a amphibian boat excursion where you sail among the icebergs and enjoy this unique scenery.  You may be lucky and catch seals sunning themselves on the floating ice.  Overnight at the Hotel Skaftafell located just outside Skaftafell National Park.  (B,D)

Day 6
Skaftafell Ntl Park - Reynisfjara - Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar)

Icelandic Horses
Herjolfur

After breakfast enjoy the environment of Skaftafell National Park where the glacier is literally on the doorstep of your hotel.  Enjoy a 1-1/2 hour walk through the park with a expert tour guide or a more adventurous glacial hike (optional) of Falljokull.  Take the short drive to Kirkjubaejarklaustur, a small village that has been shaped by catastrophic natural events that has created a stunning landscape.  Lunch then depart for Reynisfjara with its black sand and crushing  waves one of the most photographed attractions in Iceland.  Board the Herjolfur ferry for the short sail to Heimaey, the largest of the Westman Islands.  Check in at the Hotel Vestmannaeyjar. (B,D)

Day 7
Westman Islands

Geysir Geothermal Eruptions
The Adorable Puffins

You have not been to Iceland if you have not been to the Westman Islands, a archipelago of 15 islands – off the beaten path of most tours.  The isalnds were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions 11,000 years ago; the youngest island island is Surtsey.  The biggest island, Heimaey is the only permanently inhabited one and is the home to appx. 4300 people.  Your tour tour guide today is Pall, once the mayor of Heimaey.  Visit the Volcano Museum and the lava fields.  Lunch at Canton Restaurant then have a afternoon of leisure with no program.  Optional horse ride on Icelandic horses is available at Lyngfell farm.  Visit Brothers Brewery for a fun lecture about the brewing of beet…followed by a tasting.  Good beer, good cheer with a welcoming atmosphere.  Dinner tonight at the “900 Grillhouse”.  (B,L,D)

Day 8
Westman Islands- Selfoss - Reykjavik

Reykjavik
Reykjavik

Today take a exciting excursion by boat around Vestmannaeyjar.  With a excellent view from the ocean you can view the cliffs teeming with puffins and other birds.  Surtsey, a newly formed volcanic island with a rugged lava coastline and colorful caves will also be in your view.  Depart by ferry to the mainland, upon arrival transfer to Stokkseyri a charming fishing village renowned for its magical lobster soup. Proceed to Selfoss, Gudrun Erla’s home town. Enjoy meeting family and friends of your fearless leader, a excellent opportunity to experience how Icelanders live.

Continue to Reykjavik by shortest route and check in at Hotel Arnarhvoll located across the street from the Harpa Concert Hall.  Your location is in the heart of the city with restaurants, shopping and nightlife on your doorstep.  Remainder of day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 9
Reykjavik - Free Day

Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla
Reykjavik In Summer

Credit: GE Quilt Designs

Breakfast at the hotel – morning at leisure without a program. There is lots to choose from on how to spend your free day. You may visit the Whale Museum, the Museum of Iceland or attend a concert at the Harpa Concert Hall. (B)

Day 10
Reykjavik - Quilting Workshop

Blue Lagoon Hot Springs
Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla

Breakfast at hotel and morning at leisure without a program.  Early afternoon transfer to the Hotel Midgardur where there will be a Quilting workshop in their conference room where our Gudrun Erla Gisladottir will teach the class. The class will include both the American group as well as Icelandic quilters who will all mingle and learn together as Gudrun gives her instructions in both languages, English and Icelandic. Sewing machines will be provided and shared. Gudrun will bring her latest creations of designs and quilts that have not been seen before.

After the workshop attend a Quilt Show & Tell in the hotel. Show will feature quilts made by Icelandic quilters, quilts brought by tour members and quilts designed and made by Gudrun Erla.  After the show attend a “Farewell To Icelandic” dinner served at Islenski Barinn, located next door to your hotel.  Tour members and Icelandic Quilters will participate – about 40 guests are expected. (B, D)

 

Day 11
Reykjavik - Return to the United States

Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

This is your last day in Iceland.  After breakfast check out of the hotel Arnarhvoll for the Reykjanes peninsula, where both the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik Airport are located.

Upon arrival at the Blue Lagoon (optional) we will spend two hours enjoying the lagoon and the adjacent facilities.  the rent of towels is included with your admission.  For those that do not participate in the Blue Lagoon visit you can have a few more hours for shopping or take a last walk through the pretty city of Reykjavik before departing for the airport and your flight home. (B)

Paducah Patches Tour

“Quilt City, USA”

Day 1
Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN
Nashville, TN

Arrive in Nashville in the afternoon and check- in around 4 p.m. to your hotel, the Country Inn & Suites. Meet your tour manager and other travel companions in the lobby at 6 p.m.

Tonight we will go to downtown Nashville for a welcome dinner to meet your travel companions. After dinner we will take a short walk to Broadway for a evening of fun and entertainment on Honky Tonk Row.

The clubs of lower Broadway have long been the breeding ground for musicians, song writers and performers all yearning to make it big in Music City USA.

The entertainment is free but the performers would appreciate a tip left in the glass jar if you enjoyed their performance. (B,D)

Day 2
Nashville - Paducah, KY

AQS Paducah Quilt Show
AQS Paducah Quilt Show

Have a early breakfast at your hotel and then proceed to Paducah Kentucky, a small town of 26,000 people located in a scenic area where the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers meet.

Arrive around 9:00 a.m. at the doors of the Paducah Convention and Expo Center the location of the AQS Quilt Show. You have until 5 p.m. at the show then proceed to downtown Paducah a charming small town with a quaint historic district where we will have dinner while watching the “buzz” going on in town. After dinner depart for your hotel for the next three nights the “Kenlake State Resort” located just a short drive from Paducah. (B)

***** The AQS Quilt Show *****Near the end of April each year, the American Quilters Society (AQS) hosts a quilting extravagaza that brings quilting enthusiasts from all over the world to Paducah, Kentucky. During these four days the town of Paducah eats, sleeps and breathes Quilting and extends its hospitality to thousands of visitors. Quilters and textile artisans make their trek to Paducah each year to view the finest in workmanship and creativity as the best of the best compete for $150,000 in cash rewards. In addition to the exhibits, the show includes a Merchant Mall with over 500 vendor booths offering the latest quilting supplies and gifts.

Day 3
Paducah, KY

Depart for another fun filled day in Paducah. Today’s highlight is a visit to the largest quilt and fiber art museum in the world, the National Quilt Museum. The museum showcases breathtaking exhibitions in this 30,000 square foot contemporary gallery. Their collection features a vast array of quilt art by internationally renowned artists.

Next stop at the 27th annual Rotary Antique Quilt Show, another Paducah quilt event sanctioned by the AQS.

Spend the remainder of the afternoon browsing Paducah…shop in the many boutiques and antique stores. Check out all the things the “quilt vendors” are selling all over town. You may find a charming courtyard restaurant for lunch or a sidewalk cafe, or take a horse drawn carriage ride. There is lots to see and do in this small Victorian town with its brick paved streets. Take a walk by the river to see the beautiful wall of murals.

The last stop of the day is a visit to Hancock’s of Paducah a truly mind boggling store for fabric and notions. Hancock’s is a gigantic fabric store that sells and ships to 72 countries. Here you will find any kind of fabric imaginable. The mail order division with over 40 employees serves a customer list of 400,000 avid quilters.

Dinner in Paducah then return to your hotel and spend the evening at your leisure. (B)

National Quilt Museum
National Quilt Museum

Credit: National Quilt Museum

Day 4
Paducah, KY

Today will be your final day at the quilt show. Spend the entire day.

Tonight we will have a delicious dinner at Patti’s 1880 Settlement located a short distance from Paducah.

Patti’s is a log cabin village tucked away in the Kentucky lake country. Enjoy the beautiful gardens at Patti’s with unique gift shops and winding streams. (B)

Day 5
Paducah - Nashville, TN

Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry

Credit: Expedia Viewfinder

Depart Paducah for Nashville and check in to your hotel The Comfort Suites conveniently located close to the Grand Ole Opry and the Opry Mills Mall (with over 200 outlet stores). You will have time to shop at the mall and have a leisurely lunch before returning to your hotel to get ready for this evenings entertainment.

Meet your travel companions in the hotel lobby at 6 p.m. and transfer to the Grand Ole Opry for the show that made country music famous, the Carnegie Hall for country music. This is a true entertainment treat! (B)

Day 6
Nashville - Home

Breakfast at the hotel then checkout and transfer to Nashville International Airport for your flight home. (B)

Amish Springtime Tour

"Amish Impressions"

Tour Day 1
Philadelphia

Independence Hall in Philadelphia
Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Check into your hotel, the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Hotel (3:30 pm check-in). This hotel puts you where the city’s’ main attractions are all within walking distance. Meet in the hotel lounge for a get acquainted drink!

Day 2
Philadelphia

Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross House

Breakfast in hotel then enjoy exploring Philly on your own. Meet in hotel lobby at 2pm and depart for a 2 hour guided walking tour through America’s most historic area that includes sites such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Christ Church and the Betsy Ross house.

Meet tour escort at 6 pm in the lobby and walk to one of the local restaurants located just a short distance from hotel for a festive “Welcome Dinner”. (B,D)

Day 3
Philadelphia-Ronks, PA (Lancaster County)

Winterthur Museum & Gardens
Winterthur Museum & Gardens

Credit: Winterthur Museum

Early departure for the Brandywine Valley in Delaware. You will be visiting the Winterthur Museum which was the country estate of the Dupont family. The estate houses a premier collection of American furniture, decor and fiber arts, including rare and valuable antique quilts that are rarely seen by the public. Your group will be met by a docent and will give you a behind the scenes presentation of these quilts and also a private viewing of select rooms of the house featuring the quilts.

Proceed to nearby Chadds Ford, known in the history books for the Battle of Brandywine where George Washington and our American forces were defeated by the British. Lunch is suggested at Hank’s Place, nothing fancy just down to earth home cooking.

Continue on the back roads of Pennsylvania to Lancaster County, home of the Amish. Arrive in downtown Lancaster for a visit to the Lancaster Central Market touted to be one of the best 10 fresh markets in the world. Lancaster was once capital of the nation “for one day”, when congress stopped in Lancaster as it fled Philadelphia after the Battle of Brandywine. The market is the oldest enclosed market in the country. Late afternoon check- in to the Best Western Plus Intercourse Village & Suites (Intercourse, Pa). Relax for a while then proceed to dinner at historic Revere Tavern in the nearby town of Paradise. (B)

Day 4
Ronks, PA (Lancaster County)

Burkholders Fabrics
Burkholders Fabrics

Credit: Quilt Stalking

The truly wondrous aspect of Pennsylvania farm country is that the highways and byways don’t reveal all their secrets at once. Around each turn lies a splendid view of fields, forests, hills, lakes or a glimpse of a Amish Horse & Buggy passing by. This morning we start our day with a drive to the town of Lancaster. Proceed to the Lancaster County Historical Society, for a “White Glove Tour” – a private showing of Amish Antique Quilts led by a museum docent. The quilt collection reflects the influences of Lancaster’s 18th century English and German origins.

A short afternoon drive takes us to Denver, Pa. to shop at the best fabric store in the Amish area “Burkholders Fabrics”. Return to Intercourse and your hotel. Dinner on your own at one of the local family style restaurants . (B)

Day 5
Ronks, PA (Lancaster County)

Laundry Day
Laundry Day

Credit: mrfrankbarb (Pinterest)

Enjoy breakfast then we are joined by Fay Landis, our local guide today for some intensive and fascinating touring. A short drive down scenic a country lane takes us to Zooks Fabric Store known for a great selection of fabrics with good prices. Visit the Old Country Store just across the street with more fabric and beautiful quilts. Lunch at Stoltzfus Deli where you might be tempted to sample tasty Amish desserts like Shoofly Pie, Apple Crumb Pie or a Whoopie Pie.

Another short ride takes us to a beautiful Amish farm, where Katie Stoltzfus has sold quilts out of their barn for many years. Country Lane Quilts is where you’ll find a mind – boggling selection of quilts in all categories and price ranges. Katie offers the best prices in the Lancaster area for her quilts, quillows, pillows and table runners.

During our busy drives through Lancaster county Fay will provide information on the history of the area. She welcomes your questions about their faith, traditions and lifestyle. Say bye bye to Fay then proceed to the village of Paradise where you will have dinner with a Amish Family at their farm. Enjoy dinner and conversation with the family as young Amish girls assist their mother with cooking and serving. (B, D)

Day 6
Ronks - Annapolis, MD - Williamsburg, VA

Historic Annapolis, Maryland
Historic Annapolis, Maryland

Say goodbye to Pennsylvania and hello to Annapolis, Maryland. Arrive in the center of Annapolis where we will join our guide who is decked out in full 18th century attire at the Annapolis State House for a walking tour of this historic area. Annapolis has history around every corner and is home to the U.S. Naval Academy. The tour ends at the wharf where you can enjoy the famous Maryland crab cakes at “Mike and Kenny’s Place.”

Our next stop today is a local Annapolis fabric shop the “Cottonseed Glory” with a huge selection of quilting fabrics to choose from.

Depart Maryland and head south to Williamsburg, Virginia. We arrive in the late afternoon and check in to your hotel for the next two nights the Park Inn by Radisson – Williamsburg Historic District. Relax for a while then depart for the living history museum of “Colonial Williamsburg”. Step back in time to the 18th century and find yourself enthralled by the costumed residents and historical buildings. We will have dinner at “Chowning’s Tavern”. Every day at 5pm while dining you can join in to Chowning’s tradition of colonial drinks, colonial games, and live colonial songs – including bawdy ones if children are not present. (B)

Day 7
Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg

Credit: oxford14 (Youtube)

The first settlers from England arrived on the banks of the James River in 1607 to establish the first permanent colony (Virginia) in the New World. These settlers were here thirteen years before the pilgrims arrived in Plymouth Massachusetts. Virginia’s capital was named Jamestown. The colonial capital was later moved to Williamsburg in 1699. ” Colonial Williamsburg” is a representation of a colonial city within the city of Williamsburg. Costumed employees work and dress as people did in that era. Prominent buildings include the Governors Palace (featured above), Raleigh Tavern, the Capitol, the Courthouse, William and Mary College and Bruton Parish (all originals).

The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum features a exhibit of 18th century Textiles including gowns, mens waistcoats, curtains, bed furnishings and “QUILTS”. Spend the full day and enjoy! (B)

Day 8
Williamsburg - Alexandria, VA (Washington, D.C.)

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.

Early morning departure from Colonial Williamsburg. Proceed by shortest route to the historic town of Alexandria located in Northern Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.

Meet our tour guide for our morning tour of the nation’s capital brings- The White House and Gardens, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon and the Washington Monument are all on your schedule. Today’s tour ends at The Mall, where you may wish to explore the spectacular National Air and Space Museum.

Check in at the Best Western Old Colony Inn Historic District. The hotel provides a shuttle to and from the hotel to the Old Town from 2 pm to 10 pm as well as a airport shuttle to Reagan National Airport.

You will want to spend the rest of the day in this delightful old city, walking along colorful King Street, with its many shops, boutiques, galleries with a superb selection of restaurants. Close to the river explore “The Torpedo Factory”, with 82 studios, where visitors can watch artists and craftsmen at work.

We suggest that you enjoy dinner (optional) at the Fish Market Restaurant, located on King Street just a few steps from the Torpedo Factory. it’s a lively place; often with live music. Try Gadsby’s Tavern for a different more upscale experience, in operation since 1770. George Washington’s favorite choice at Gadsby’s is still on the menu. Alexandria existed as a major harbor city long before there was a Washington, D.C. and was the local stomping grounds of our first president – George Washington. (B)

Day 9
Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms at the Jefferson Memorial
Cherry Blossoms at the Jefferson Memorial

Full day to explore Washington on your own. We suggest you take a short taxi ride to “The Mall” and visit the quilt collection at the Museum of American History and the DAR Museum (Daughers of the American Revolution) and visit the galleries containing furnishings, paintings and textiles. Pentagon City Shopping Mall and historic Georgetown offer great shopping choices. (B)

Day 10
Washington, D.C. - Home

Breakfast at the hotel then prepare for checkout and transfer to Reagan National Airport for your return flight home. (B)

Amish Patchwork

“The Plain People of Lancaster County"

Day 1
Philadelphia

Independence Hall in Philadelphia
Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Afternoon check-in at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District where the city’s’ main attractions are within walking distance. Rest for a bit after check-in and then meet your tour escort in the lobby to and take the short walk to the “Common Wealth Old City” restaurant for dinner to get acquainted with your travel companions.

Day 2
Philadelphia (Lancaster County)

Amish Quilt Country
Amish Quilt Country

Breakfast and checkout of hotel then depart for Wilmington, Delaware and the Winterthur Museum for a private showing of antique quilts from their collection. Lunch at Hanks Place in nearby Chadds Ford. Travel to Lancaster where we have a appointment at the Lancaster Historical Society for a private showing of Amish Antique Quilts, led by Wendall Zercher, the museum curator. The collection reflects influences of Lancaster’s 18th century English and German origins. Visit Zook’s Fabric Store in Intercourse, Pa which offers one of the largest selections of fabrics in the area, with over 25,000 bolts. Overnight at the Best Western Plus Intercourse Village your home for the next 3 nights. (B)

Day 3
Lancaster, PA

Amish Quilt
Amish Quilt

Credit: Amish Country Quilts

After breakfast depart for the AQS Quilt Show located nearby at the Lancaster Convention Center. We’ll be ready for registration when the doors open. The quilt exhibits and merchant mall areas will be located in Freedom Hall, the Commonwealth Ballroom, and the Heritage Ballroom – all in the Convention Center. Quilters from around the world will display their finest work, and you’ll learn all about the latest in quilting. You’ll enjoy quilts of the highest quality and you’ll meet other quilters from all over the world. We’ll stay at the show the entire day. Depart Convention Center – dinner (optional) is suggested at historic Revere Tavern in Paradise. (B)

Day 4
Lancaster, PA

Lancaster Central Market
Lancaster Central Market

Credit: City of Lancaster

Have a early breakfast then take off for the short drive to Lancaster for a visit to the Lancaster Central Market, the oldest enclosed market in the country. Take in the sights and sounds and smells of the market. Later we will meet our guide, Fay Landis, at the Strasburg Creamery for lunch and then we are off for some intensive and fascinating touring in Lancaster county. Visit a Amish bake shop and sample Amish specialties such as: Shoofly Pie, Apple Crumb Pie, or Whoopie Pies.

A short ride takes us to a farm, where Katie Stoltzfus has sold quilts out of a barn for many years. Katie only offers the genuine article and now has 40 to 50 local quilters working for her. This is Country Lane Quilts, where you’ll find a mind boggling selection of quilts in all categories and price ranges. During our busy drives through Lancaster County Fay will provide information on the history of the area. She will expand on the history of the Amish and the Mennonites; their faith, traditions and lifestyle. You are encouraged to ask questions about their education, church services, transportation, communication or how the Amish relate to “the English” and the outside world. You will learn that the Amish are successful in today’s society both in Pennsylvania and in many other states.

Tonight visit a Amish farm for dinner and conversation (in old German dialect – if you like). The family will answer any questions you may have about the Amish. (B, D)

Day 5
Philadelphia International Airport - Home

Early breakfast and check out – depart Lancaster County for Philadelphia for a 2 hour tour of the Philadelphia historical district. Transfer to airport & your flight home. Clients taking the New York City Extension will continue on to Manhattan. (B)