Friday, December 1, 2017

Tales of Traveling Tote #13 - Birds of a Feather

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Tote #13

They say birds of a feather like to flock together
so Miss Merri Mac and I boarded a plane 
mid October to fly up to meet my collector
QCI friends on the east coast.

After three canceled flights and a lost day,
we finally arrived in Boston!

This year's QCI Annual Meeting was a cruise
from Montreal to Boston and NYC.
 Though I didn't take the cruise, I did meet up with my friends 
for after cruise visits to four homes in 
Connecticut and along the Hudson River.
 The collage above is just a peek at the lovely homes,
delicious lunches, and gorgeous pottery that greeted us.

There were even some MacKenzie-Childs 
treasures within the homes we visited.
 "Designed to camouflage into the rustic backdrop to Aurora Farm,
the Forest Fish Chair stands out in the great indoors."  

"Each chair is a one-of-a-kind treasure . . . with a scenic landscape of rolling hayfields and the still, deep waters of Cayuga Lake."

New York City ~ Always A Favorite Destination
After our farewells to the QCI group, Miss Merri Mac
and I drove into NYC with a friend.
I've many fond feelings about this city and time
spent in the Big Apple when the chef and I enjoyed
a NYC  pied-á-terre for a few years.
My friend and I spent our days criss-crossing the city to take in
favorite museums, shops, and restaurants.

Friday morning, Patti and I had breakfast at Ellen's Stardust.
A new experience for me, this fun diner is home to a
singing waitstaff who aspire to be future stars of stage and screen

After, we hiked the High Line down to 
Chelsea Market, again, new experiences for me.

Rainbow Room, Bar Sixty-Five  ~  Rockefeller Center
Perfect spot for evening cocktail, light dinner, 
and incredible night time views of the city.

Next up and the grand finale of my NYC visit ~
a much anticipated meet up with some 
of the girls of Traveling Tote fame.

With many of us arriving during the week,
we decided to get a jump on the gathering by 
meeting at Fonda for a Happy Hour Friday evening.
Double treat to meet some of the men behind the totes.

On Saturday, the famed Russian Tea Room was
the venue for our first meet up of the Traveling Tote girls.  
What fun it was to actually meet this group 
of amazing ladies, most of whom I'd only corresponded 
with through our blogs, email, and texts.

Following the excited conversation over a delicious lunch,
the group headed down 57th Street to mecca.
The nice folks at MacKenzie-Childs NYC welcomed us 
with champagne and sweets upstairs in the mezzanine
before we all descended downstairs to shop our favorite brand.

Take a look at the video above for an
 overview of the fun shared by this group.
We are already planning more fun with hopes
of all eleven of us meeting up for a shared adventure.
With this edition we welcome two new travelers,
Jackie and Miss Madi K Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess de Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Back home in Texas, I packed Miss Merri Mac once again
and off we went for a November weekend 
in Houston to attend a wedding.

The Saturday morning of the wedding, I joined a
few friends to view the fabulous Oscar de la Renta 
exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Closer to home, Miss Merri Mac and I spent a delightful
Sunday afternoon at another museum, 
the LBJ Presidential Library,
 to tour the Madeleine Albright exhibit, Read My Pins.

"The Madeleine Albright Collection features more than 200 pins, most of the costume variety, which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message before, during, and after her years of public service, including when she led the Department of State from 1997 to 2001.  Sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken, these pins were used as gentle implements of statecraft.  Their stories and messages reflect the Secretary's sense of humor and her humanity, and are visual educational tools of cultural diplomacy." Albright Stonebridge Group

The exhibit shares the story of how the former secretary of state
used her jewelry to make personal and diplomatic expressions and has been on tour the past nine years to over 22 museums and presidential libraries.  LBJ Library is the last stop before
Read My Pins: The Madeline Albright Collection
will soon be part of the permanent collection of the
US Diplomacy Center.
You can read more about the exhibit here.

To round out this edition's travel log, Miss Merri Mac and I
ventured to a local urban farm with a group of friends, where
we learned about the two acre organically maintained farm and
met up with the donkeys, geese, chickens, ducks, and bunnies.

Enjoy this adorable video of the love 
between the owner's mother and Gustavo the goose.
You can follow HausBar Farm on FaceBook to view more videos.

 More Adventures With the Traveling Totes ~ Links Below
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
and our new traveler: 
Jackie and Miss Madi K Purple Chocolat Home
It's beginning to look like Christmas here at
Hyacinths for the Soul.  
Come back December 6 for a
Cozy At Christmas Holiday Blog Tour 2017.

Also joining

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Weddings, meetings, museums, farms and NYC, Miss Merri Mac is more well rounded and traveled than I am! I always enjoy seeing what you girls are up to and following your travels! I know you had a grand time in NYC with the girls that could make it. The Madeline Albright Collection of pins looks fascinating and the HausBar Farm fun...loved the video! Happy December to you! ♥

  2. It's official. I am totally jealous of Miss Merri Mac. What a whirlwind of fun you have had these past 3 months. I didn't even know that there was a Madeline Albright exhibit. I'm a big fan of hers. I'm coming to Austin in two weeks, but not sure I will be able to see you do to appointments with the Manor, doctors, and lawyers. Great post, dear Sarah. I hope that you and that handsome hubby of your have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Sarah, always such class in all that you do, I was totally enthralled with your adventures. The photo of the Quimper mirror and how you framed the reflection is exquisite. Your trip through NYC with friend must have been very satisfying, and then to experience new and fun adventures in the city with Patti exhilarating. Weddings are always bittersweet, and the visit to the Read My Pins exhibit has me green with envy. I would so love to see that (and the Oscar de la Renta too!). The goose and owner's mother reminded me of Pavlova and her pet swan, Jack. :)

  4. It looks like such a delightful time! Loads of smiles here and even more fun!

  5. I loved seeing your video in NYC, Sarah, to see all your Traveling Tote girls in action. Being in the MC store was a treat for me. The bridal couple make such an adorable couple! I would love to see the pin collection of Madeline Albright. You and Miss Merri Mac are good travelers together.

  6. How fantastic that you were able to combine visits to your QCI friends and the TTTs! You and Miss Merri Mac are always on the go, and of course the NYC trip looked and sounded so so fabulous! I have my special kettle key chain attached to my tote and they both go everywhere with me. Love all your pretty photos and seeing the Oscar de la Renta and Madeline Albright collections, and of course the farm, so adorable! I wish you the merriest of holidays Sarah!

  7. Ahhh, How I would love to see the Albright collection and the Bridal collection!! I enjoyed our days in NYC so much and have such great memories (especially the toiletries!!) You certainly have traveled a lot this fall and I look forward to your future tales! Enjoy the holiday season!

  8. I am so happy you shared your QCI snaps Sarah, I missed attending so much! I'm sure you saw such gorgeous collections, the mirror is stunning! You really had a wonderful fall season with so many adventures with Miss Merri Mac. I would love to see the Bridal collection, that's always fun. I would have been right at home with you going to the urban farm and learning about and visiting the animals, I love animals! It was so nice to see you again! Have a wonderful weekend..........

  9. I drooled as I read every word about the New York trip. I love going to New York
    Also I once had the book of Madeline Albright's pins and they are all so interesting.maybe I checked it out at my library
    My last trip we walked the high line at Chelsea market area
    I want a Mackenzie Childs travel tote LOL

  10. Sarah, you do have so much fun in your travels with Miss Merri Mac. Love the QCI photos. I bet it was great to visit the Albright collection and the Bridal collections. New York was a blast and Paul and I were so grateful in meeting you and the other ladies. Patti and you were kept busy with all of the sights of NYC. Down on the farm is always fun. I love animals. Looking forward to our next adventure. have a Merry Christmas you and your chef.

  11. Oh my what a wonderful trip to my home town NYC and the video was awesome dear Sarah. I was so happy reading all about your trip there as we are going Dic. 31 to NYC and will meet our daughter Alexandra, her hubby and baby Maxima.
    I'd also love to have a McKenzie Childs travel tote for my trip... maybe I can find one in NYC.
    Have a nice weekend dear.

  12. Sarah, I enjoyed seeing all your travel photos with Miss Merri Mac! The video is so much fun. The NYC MacKenzie-Childs store seems to have a much different feel than the Aurora store!

    You saw some neat exhibits, too. The Madeleine Albright pin collection is so interesting.

    My tote came in today, and I am so happy! I can't wait to take the Countess de Monet out and about. Thanks for letting me in y'all's group!!!!

    I hope you have a lovely weekend!


  13. I enjoyed our time in NYC so much, and am thrilled we finally got to meet in Joe’s hometown. Looking forward to your return to upstate New York in the summer. Miss Merri Mac will feel right at home in “courtly check country”. We would enjoy seeing the pin collection of Madeline Albright. I love the photo of the business cards and tokens of the places you visited. Joe makes me memory bottles (glues them to wine bottles and then coats them with poly) of the places we have been, and I enjoy watching him sneaking business cards knowing I will soon be receiving another memory bottle  Loved the adorable video of Gustavo the goose. We will be visiting my niece and her family in the Chelsea market area in December. (Joe grew up in Chelsea) I’ll have to check out the Fat Witch bakery! Can you believe I have never been to NYC in October before? I told Joe that we should go in every season once he retires in June. Merry December to you, Miss Merri Mac and Monnie.

  14. Sarah, what an amazing autumn with Miss Merri Mac! NYC is always a favorite destination. It must have been wonderful to have had your own lovely apartment in the city! The Oscar de la Renta collection and the Madeline Albright pins had to have been so interesting. Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. You ahve been so busy in a wonderful way:) How fun for you to have met so many people..seen so many sights..and enjoyed them all..Fabulous Sarah..La Joie De Vivre.

  16. Wow I sure enjoyed reading how you and Miss Merri Mac extended your trip! You both look fabulous all over New York! What fun you had to make two trips into one. And the wedding trip looked wonderful with the gorgeous viewing of the Oscar de la Renta Collection. What a beautiful bride. Miss Merri Mac is a merry traveler! So happy to be a part of this lovely group of ladies!

  17. A fabulous group of amazing ladies!! What fun adventures.

    Happy December, Sarah.

    Cheers to a beautiful and bright Christmas season.

  18. WOW, what a wonderful trip you had. Sounds like lots of fun and so many wonderful places to see. Thanks so much for taking us along with you.

    Have a great week and looking forward to seeing your post on the 6th.


  19. What wonderful travels and great memories. The time I spent living in NYC were some of the happiest days of my life and it was there where I met a life long friend who I treasure till this day. So gad you had a wonderful trip!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  20. Dearest Sarah,
    Even with a difficult start due to cancelled flights, it all turned into a wonderful trip!
    That for sure was a lot of fun to be with kindred spirits that you already knew in writing, not in real life yet.
    Loved the video and also nice that some of the men could join and walk with you etc.
    Sending you hugs,

  21. What a fun trip, glad you ladies had fun. I am seriously loving that fish chair, that I have to go back up and take a second look.

  22. How nice to combine your trips with QCI and TT. I enjoyed your pictures and hearing about your experiences. A wedding and several museums sound like fun back in Texas, also.
    Enjoy December with all it's joys.

  23. You and Miss Merri Mac have certainly traveled here and there. I've always wanted to see Boston. Looks like you had a great time with friends, family and all the sights and food.
    Happy December days to you, Sarah.

  24. You're having such fun with these lovely ladies! There's nothing better than meeting up with friends! I'm having a giveaway stop back over! Sweet hugs!

  25. My but you and Miss MM certainly know how to travel and can always be seen in the very best places, such amazing adventures you do get up to, fabulous darling!

  26. What a glamorous trip you had with Miss Merri Mac. Meeting up with the good company fits to the grand finale of the trip.



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