View Full Version : Going to El Paso Texas!

March 17th, 2014, 12:49 PM
Our son who is stationed at Ft. Bliss has invited us to come for a visit. Coordinating schedules, we now have train tickets for a week-long visit. Woo hoo! I'm trying to convince my husband that it would be ok to bring my sewing machine on the train. He's not buying it.

So I'm wondering if one of my friends from here on the forums can help me out:

1) Is there anyone in El Paso or at Ft. Bliss who can loan me a machine for a week? That would be my safest option.
2) Does anyone have any words of wisdom about travelling with a machine? I have a great bag that I got from Nancy's Notions a couple of months ago that fits my machine and lots of stuff in the pockets. He's worried about having to corral our luggage/suitcases with clothes and my machine tote.
3) Are there any great quilt shops that I need to visit while I'm there? Maybe one that rents machines?
4) I could always buy a cheap one from Walmart to leave at his house, but then he has to move it every time he gets transferred. Not sure he'd like that...

Please, oh please, help me. I will lose my mind if I have to sit around son's house all day while he's working doing his Army thing and look at my husband for a week, or have him over my shoulder or stuck to me like velcro. At least with my machine and some quilting to do, I can at least get some peace - he knows not to bother me then.

March 17th, 2014, 12:58 PM
I suggest that you take your machine along. I was in Florida earlier this month with my ex-wife and her daughter. Daughter has a condo there. She was there for a convention. A friend (retired co-worker) of hers came to the convention. They are both from Alaska. Kate her friend showed up with her Janome and quilted in her down time. She spends six months in Alaska now and travels between her 11 brothers and sisters the other six months. She never leaves home without her machine and quilting supplies.

March 17th, 2014, 01:52 PM
If I can last a month w/out sewing in Hawaii, surely you can do it for a week! You need to get out and about! When your son goes to work, hit the road for day trips! That is what vacation is all about. If you see a quilt shop on your travels, stop and shop!!

Things to do in El Paso: Check out 43 El Paso Attractions - TripAdvisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60768-Activities-El_Paso_Texas.html)

March 17th, 2014, 02:05 PM
If I can last a month w/out sewing in Hawaii, surely you can do it for a week! You need to get out and about! When your son goes to work, hit the road for day trips! That is what vacation is all about. If you see a quilt shop on your travels, stop and shop!!

Things to do in El Paso: Check out 43 El Paso Attractions - TripAdvisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60768-Activities-El_Paso_Texas.html)

I tend to agree - see the sites. Maybe you could take along a hand piecing project for when you do have "down time"?

That being said -

You could also check to see if any of the rental agencies there might rent out machines, but I wouldn't think it would be that hard to take yours on the train. What about packing your clothes around your machine so that you only have one piece of luggage? If you are not out and about every day, could you get by with just two outfits? One to wear, one to wash everyday?

Good Luck and most of all - enjoy the time with your son!

March 17th, 2014, 03:26 PM
Great trip. I used to love traveling by train. Don't know if they still have Red Caps at the stations if they do grab one to get your luggage. Be sure to tip them. Tie a piece of unique quilting fabric around the handles of your luggage. Or get a cart. If your machine is small you may be able to carry it with you. Hope you enjoy your visit.

March 17th, 2014, 08:23 PM
Don't you have any patchwork related task that you don't need the machine for? I hate bulky and heavy luggage. When I travel (and being a tour guide I'm often on the road) I take with me hand-sewing projects. Some times English paper piecing, sometimes blocks to needleturn appliqué on, even a quilt to bind! Cutting tools are also easier to carry than a sewing machine. Don't you have blocks that need squaring, or a load of scraps to sort and cut into regular strips and squares?

Simply Quilting
March 17th, 2014, 09:18 PM
I would try to find things to go to like quilt stores. I don't think that I would take my machine. I try to have some sort of handwork activity that I can take when we go somewhere. I have a friend who just finished a quilt as you go with flannel triangles that she would take with her whether for a trip or just down time somewhere.

March 17th, 2014, 10:58 PM
I would take my machine...but that is me. If you can't I would take some kind of hand work to do.

March 18th, 2014, 07:36 AM
How cool to go on the train!!! I so want to take a trip on a train. You HAVE to send us a trip report when you finish your trip.

I would think it would be a snap to take your machine on the train. It's not like checking in at the airport.

Be sure to bring your passport if you are planning on going across the border. Your son might not be able to go though. I know travel to Mexico is restricted for the Air Force, and it might be so for your son too. I quit going to church mission trips to Mexico due to the craziness going on there.

March 18th, 2014, 11:30 AM
Train travel is usually quite uneventful. I've only traveled on the ground since 2007. My last experience in an airport just left me rooted on the ground... either by train or car. Train travel is fun sometimes - depending on how crowded the train is. One year we went to Colorado for Christmas - that was not a fun trip. There was a young family of 5 (3 children under 3) in the same car. Every time the baby would go to sleep - the father would hand the baby off to the mother so he could play his computer game and it woke the baby up. The rows weren't wide enough so the family could all sit together (2 x 2) and one pair was about 3 rows ahead of the other on the opposite side of the car. Not a fun situation for the family (mother) for sure.

It's going to be a long trip - overnight - about 24 hours from IL to Albuquerque NM. Then another 3 or 4 hours to my son's in El Paso. I hear we'll probably stay overnight in Albuquerque. We should be able to sleep on the train, but we'll see how it goes. Hubby the old Army guy can sleep pretty much anywhere. I'm a little more difficult. The conditions have to be just right for me to be able to sleep on the train. Baggage restrictions aren't as stringent on the train as on an airplane. We get 2 checked bags each and 2 carry on each. That's a fair amount of baggage for 2 people to wrestle with. My hubby likes to bring his entire wardrobe with him on vacation, rather than try to wash stuff or heaven forbid wear something two days... Me the outside look rarely changes... same jeans and different tee shirt, same fleece jacket (fresh unders).

I'm not sure how much sight seeing we'll be able to do unless he's close to public transportation. We hadn't planned on renting a car. Son will need his car to get back and forth to work - silly Army 'spects him to work when his Mom is in town... I'll be able to cook for him though and hug on him some, so that's good. We definitely won't be going across the border since I don't have a passport. I'm sure there are plenty of other things to do. We might get invited back someday too...

I'm not much one for handwork unless I can get some quilting done and then I would have the bindings to do. If I can't come up with a machine, I'll figure out a way to occupy myself while DS is at work... but this Mom with idle hands tends to get herself into trouble. :)

March 18th, 2014, 03:26 PM
We went to El Paso a couple of years ago, drove from Bisbee AZ.. My husband was stationed at Fort Bliss when he was in the Army too & one of my sons is in the Border Patrol, so we toured the base & the BP Museum. The trip was lots of fun, except for the long stretch thru New Mexico desert,,
Don't worry about not going across the border into Mexico, the border towns aren't very interesting. I found them kind of depressing unless you like to hang out in bars..
Anyway, any time spent with my kids is a joy, so I don't care where we go...

March 18th, 2014, 03:40 PM
Get ya one of these:


Personally, I would have to get out and about. Enjoy your trip!!!

Iris Girl
March 18th, 2014, 03:49 PM
I would take some small hand piecing or embroidery with me and be out and about by day. forget the sewing machine and all that enjoy your stay and see the sights!

March 18th, 2014, 06:38 PM
Why not have hubby drive son into work, borrow his car, and come back and pick him up from work. That way you can do some sightseeing without him.

We were (hubby) AF for 21 years. MOved 8 times in the first 15 years. I got really good at giving site seeing directions. Our oldest is now in the Navy and in Naple Italy...don't get over there for hugs, but I am thankful for Skype.

Get out and enjoy the area. The more self sufficient you are, the more you will be asked back...at least that's how I worked it.
Have fun!