American update and Sculpture in Context opening!

Last Wednesday I attended the opening of Sculpture in Context with my friend Sheila Ahern (Feltmakers Ireland and board member of the Crafts Council) and despite the dreadful rain we had a great time looking at the various exhibits and enjoying a glass of wine.  The work throughout the garden and in the various green houses looks amazing so if you are anywhere in the area don’t miss this great opportunity to visit this beautiful space and view top class sculpture from all over Europe, admission is free and the exhibition continues until 16th October.  That evening I drove back to Clasheen and at 4.40am Alan and I caught the airport bus before our flights to San Fransisco, we are now officially on vacation!

On Thursday night we stayed near the airport at the Quality Inn and Suites (clean, relatively cheap and convenient) before collecting our ‘Green’ rental car and setting out on our road trip through northern California.  Our first day we drove through the Sonoma Valley, a premier wine producing region near Napa taking our time and just enjoying the scenery before heading cross country for the rocky coastline near Bodega Bay.  Once we got near where we had planned on staying for our first night it soon became apparent the due to Labour Day weekend lodging prices were extremely high.  Eventually we headed back inland a bit and ended up staying in Santa Rosa, not ideal but actually not the worst.  As we left the following morning I was delighted to see a knitting store called Village Knitters by chance and what do you guess, we had to stop so that I could get my fibre fix.  The store was a little like Stephanie Kennedy’s new shop ‘The Yarn Room’ in Ashford, Co. Wicklow, gorgeous yarns, loads of books and a knitting workshop in progress at the back of the store!  I bought some gorgeous new Noro yarn in a black and lime colourway, it is a 45% silk, 35% cotton and 20% wool mix (hope I have the proportions right) which feels beautifully soft and tactile in the hand.  This is earmarked for myself, I am making a crochet cowl and in fact I have already made a wool cowl on the flight, a great opportunity to complete some Christmas presents during the time I am away from felting!  We then ambled along small rural roads and arrived in Bodega, a pretty little village where Hitchcock filmed ‘The Birds’.  The village had some interesting antique shops as well as a great artisan’s co-op where I was delighted to buy some locally produced wool yarn as well as some gorgeous soft combed alpaca tops, also local I think.  We ate some tasty barbecued oysters and had a beer for lunch and then visited the schoolhouse where much of the movie was filmed before heading out to the coast and continuing north along route 1.

The only difficulty that we have had so far in the States is that internet access appears to be a problem for us.  Alan did bring his computer but for some reason doesn’t appear able to connect to wi-fi anywhere that it says it is enabled so unfortunately my posts may be sporadic and constrained by finding locations where there is an internet cafe.  Apologies in advance for the sketchy posting, I will keep you as up to date as possible but it may be with intervals of 4 or 5 days between posts.  To be continued …..

5 thoughts on “American update and Sculpture in Context opening!

  1. What a great post ( you always do) I too have to ‘busman holiday’ Stopping at yarn and craft shops. I think all your followers do the same. Its an addiction.

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to more

  2. Good morning Nicola (and Alan, too),

    Welcome to the USA.

    So glad to wake up this morning, to find your post. I’ve missed hearing from you and was just wondering yesterday how your vacation was going. Sounds like you’re off to a great start (other than the computer glitch…Wish I could help out in that area, but what I know about computers, isn’t worth knowing!)

    Can’t wait to read your next update.

    Have fun!


  3. Thanks Joni, Dawn and Grannymar, I have missed posting myself but the good news is that the owner of the motel we have just stayed in is a retired computer guru and has been able to do a fantastic job on Alan’s laptop. We are now truly wireless in USA! Alan just needs to catch up on a couple of things and then I will be back posting every couple of days.

  4. Yahoo! What would we do without those computer gurus. I always thought that it would be fun to work at an “Apple Mac” store, working at the Genius Bar. Wouldn’t it be fun, when people ask what you do for a living, to tell them “Oh, I’m just a genius!” Unfortunately, that is not in the cards for me, but Nicola, you’re in California, where they train the geniuses, so…

    I hope you’re having a great time.


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