Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Parallel Universe

I have fallen behind in posting, but will make an effort to catch up in the next few days. Several weeks ago, my friend Isobel hosted a quilting retreat to Capon Springs and Farms. I was lucky enough to be included in the guest list. If you haven't heard of Capon Springs, you are in good company. Most folks don't know about them becaues they have never advertised. Never.
Capon Springs is a mountain resort in the West Virginia panhandle not far from Winchester VA. It is nestled between two mountain ridges and is named for the clear spring the bubbles up on the property. There are drinking fountains that run constantly on the property, but that is not the thing that really makes this resort unusual. There are no televisions or phones in the rooms. Cell phone reception is available only on the golf course. The only TV sets are in the recreation building. There are no locks on the doors. Really.
Whole families come here for a week at a time just to be together. Imagine. Just be together. Board games, card games, long walks, camp fires, reading by the fireplace and eating together. A parallel universe and it is beautiful, warm, welcoming and stress free.
This is where we stayed. That's Isobel in the red sweater.

Here is the dining room where three meals are served each day, family-style.
Since every day is a slow news day at the resort, the management asked if the other guests could come see out work. It took us about five minutes to put on the impromptu quilt show in the little auditorium. What quilter doesn't like to show off her work?

If you ever want to do nothing for a week, this is the place to go.
More pictures.....
It was such a peaceful place, that I just had to share. I didn't know that places like this still existed. Now I know, and so do you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Like Minded People

Way back at the end of September My Sweetie and I attended the Mother Earth News Fair, a sustainable living extravaganza held at the Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. I had skiied there years ago, but had never seen it without snow. It was a great choice for the fair.
We went up a day early to volunteer for Mother Earth News to help with the set-up and a sneak preview of the events for the weekend. I had the most interesting job of cutting strings and tying knots in the end for volunteer and vendor badges. Hundreds of them. This got me a pass for the two day fair. Well worth the effort.
Later in the day, we went to see Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best residential designs. It was wonderful. So timelessly modern and filled with fabulous art. I would show you the pictures that we took of the house and each other there, but the guide said that all images of the property belong to the foundation and we would be shot or something if we published them anywhere (even on a blog). So you will just have to believe that we were there. Better yet, you go and see for yourself.
The Mother Earth News Fair was wonderful. There were about a dozen different seminars every hour on everything from raising chickens and garden cover crops to solar heating and organic gardening. I wished there had been three of me so I could see everything that interested me every hour.
I found this chicken tractor that was so well designed and attractive. Too bad it was sooo expensive and too big to bring home in the truck. I guess we will just have to build our own.
We took a break from the crowd and rode the ski lift up to the top of the mountain to get a better view. It was a lovely day. This was just the outdoor exhibitors. There were hundreds more inside. Isn't it amazing what can happen when like-minded people get together?
That night we returned to the campground for dinner and to see the medieval reinactment folks who were also staying on the same property. It was so much fun talking to them. I thought they would all be like Dungeons and Dragons dweebs, but it turns out that they were artists, social workers and other professionals. We even met an astrophysicist. Turns out that they are a really interesting bunch who know how to have fun.
I am so glad we bought a camper. We are going places we would never have gone otherwise.