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It was an 8 hour drive to Beloit, Wisconsin.  I left home at 3:30 a.m. in order to be in Beloit by noon.  I just made it!  Chicago at rush hour is a trip!  I ended up at O’hare Airport.  Thankfully, it was not difficult to get back on the freeway.  Finally out of Chicago I end up in construction.  I’m just happy I never trust Mapquest when it comes to time.  I always add 2 hours.  It worked out perfect, but boy was I stiff and tired when I got here.

Beloit is a small town of 30K people.  I have to say that I’ve been treated like a celebrity.  I even was stopped in Walmart by a lady who saw my plates.  “Are you from Canada?”  She asked.

“Why… yes.  How did you know?”

She had her young grand daughter in tow, and she proceeded to explain to the child that I was from Canada…. and that I probably still had snow. The child looked terrified of the lady in the big straw hat.  I’m sure I looked a wee bit out of place.

I’ve had that response from quite a few people here.  I think they equate Canada with Sault St. Marie.   I’ve been explaining that I’m actually almost due east of them.  Their eyes get wide when I tell them we have hardly any snow, and that my hubby’s had to mow the lawn in December.  Even more interesting is that we have to go North to get the the USA.  They seem a bit perplexed, and still introduce me as The lady who came all they way “down” from Canada.  But, they are wonderful people and I’m so happy that I came.

I’ve managed to paint three paintings so far.  They’ve been predicting heavy thunder showers, but rain has held off since I got here.  It did rain on my way here.  Since Saturday, we’ve had beautiful weather.  Just a bit of wind, and a threatening sky.  I don’t mind because a stormy sky is interesting, and a challenge to paint.  Just what’s needed for a Plein Air convention.

I’m hoping that our group from Windsor will come here with me next year.  I’m very pleased I did.

UPDATE!

A few photo’s taken during the event by great photographers:
IMG_5320Ladies with Hats by Mark Preuschl

Sketching the Strong Building in Beloit, Wi., by Kim Hutchenson

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