So, Rhinebeck.  I'm not sure what to say. It was a fun trip (mostly because I was travelling with my best friend) but not at all what I expected. 

Our adventure started on Friday when we left work early.  We stopped for snacks on the way home and then changed our clothes, put our suitcase and cooler in the car and headed north.

NJ Turnpike is usually a good ride if you want to get from here to there quickly and without a lot of fuss (plus regular places-to-pee for those of  us who take blood pressure meds with diuretics in them).  This weekend it was not to be.  They are rebuilding (or maybe adding lanes?) and the traffic was stop and go for a good bit once we got into central Jersey. 

And then the Garden State Parkway.  This is just craziness in asphalt.  It is such a congested road and maniacs drive on it.  It too was a bit slower than we had imagined.  We took it up and then went well west of New York City (we are not crazy enough to drive through the city on a Friday rush hour). 

The unfortunate part was that when we got to what would have been the scenic part of the drive, it was dark.  There were moutains out there, you could feel them in the dark, looming over you (Rhinebeck is in the foothills of the Catskill Mts-not huge but big by south Jersey standards).  We stopped at a McDonalds to use the facilities and decided to just grab something hot and keep driving.  We were afraid we'd get to Newburgh (the murder capital of NY) and everything would be closed. And besides, who goes out at night in the dark in the Murder Capital of anywhere?

Our room was a room.  Nothing special.  A bit rundown  but clean enough and no signs of bedbugs.  Pk has a real fear of bringing them home (I work with so many people that have/had them that I have lost my awe for the little buggers).  We crashed and he watched a soccer game and I read the paper and then we slept. 

The next morning, we were up early and out the door by 8.  The sun was just coming up over the hills in the distance.  In my head I kept hearing Bilbo saying "Mountains.  I want to see Mountains, Gandalf".  We headed out for the last leg of the journey into Rhinebeck.  It was about an hour and there was clear sailing until about 3 miles away from the fairgrounds.  I knew we were close when we saw license plates that said things like Y2TOG and WIPFARMS. 

We got to park really close and were inside the fairgrounds right after it opened at 9.  This was perfect.  There were people around but no huge crowds yet.  We were able to move around and see the animals (one of the largest llamas I have ever seen.  His owner had requested two stalls for two llamas but he wanted to be in the stall with his partner and kept trying to climb over so she finally gave in and put them together.  Love.) and pet the merchandise.

We bought the girls souvenirs (t shirts and caps) and I got to meet someone I only knew online.  That is always really cool.  I bought the gorgeous sock yarn you see there and some icelandic sheep roving and a lamb cookbook for Peter Kevin.  And that was about it.  I don't need anything and when we go to these festivals, I look for things that really catch the eye or I can't get anywhere else. 

We couldn't have asked for a better day.  It was cool and sunny and the leaves were turning all kinds of colors.  There were lines for the "superstars" of the yarn world but I'm not into buying something just because everyone else thinks it's special. 

The only lines we waited in were for lunch.  Pk got lambwiches and I got some fried dumplings.  He really enjoyed his lunch.  Mine was tasty and then hung around to remind me all afternoon. 
Delaware Water Gap

We left after about 4 hours and headed southwest toward the Water Gap.  It's the place where the Delaware River separated NJ and PA and it's absolutely gorgeous. 

The idea was a good one.  It gave us a chance to drive through some gorgeous scenery.  The trees were changing and the mountains were all around us.  There are large parts of the mountains where their bones show through the trees and we gaped at the stones/boulders hanging high above our heads (and the signs all said "falling rock area").  We stopped at a farm stand and bought some Empire apples and a huge pumpkin for carving.  They were shooting small pumpkins out of a rather large air cannon.  That was a bit odd.

We drove all afternoon, meandering down through NJ and Pennsylvania until we finally started to get tired of being in the car (neither of us had slept well and we were just plain tired) so we looked for a highway to take us home.  We drove through Princeton and right past Drumthwacket (the NJ governor's mansion-why do governors live in mansions?)

You couldn't make up that name.  But it is a pretty home and grounds.  The man who invented Latex once owned it and his family donated it and now it's on the Registry of Historic Homes and has a foundation for it's upkeep.

We finally got home around 6:30 after stopping to pick up a couple of sandwiches for dinner.  We were just too tired for anything else by then.

Yesterday we did the chores and talked about what a good time we had.  I kept thinking of all the superlative adjectives I had heard describing Rhinebeck and while it was fun and interesting, it was just not all that.  We may go back another year but Pk would like to get to see the Aerodrome so we'll try to work around that.  I guess fiber festivals have their place for people to congregate and take classes and to see some fibers in person that they only see on line (like Quivit.  I touched some actual Quivit roving and it was the most amazing and soft stuff but not worth 55 dollars an ounce).  I doubt we will go every year but it was nice to say we've been there once. 

But now reality is settling in and it's time to go and answer the ringing phones and the emails piling up in the In Box.......

Happy Monday.


Roxie said…
Don't know WHY governors live in mansions now. Used to be they had to entertain, and provide housing for visiting dignitaries, and they had a huge staff who lived on site because transportation wasn't what it is now.

Yeah, fiber fests are lots of fun, but not a life-changing experience unless you totally submerge yourself. Still, it sounds as if you and PK had a lovely time. Good on you! And your drive back sounds gorgeous.
amy said…
Rhode Island doesn't have a governor's mansion. He lives where he lives.

I felt that way about Squam. I'd read so many descriptions about how it was life-changing and so on, but I simply thought it was nice to do some artsy stuff in the woods and actually get away by myself...but that was about the sum of it for me.
Saren Johnson said…
What a fun sounding trip. Murder capital? You couldn't have avoided that one?
Galad said…
Thanks for the pictures of your lovely day. I've never been to a fiber festival but can only do crowds and lines for so long.
DrK said…
we have a big fibre festival like that here too, not quite as star studded, and people always talked it up and when i went i was a bit like Meh. so i get that feeling. still, it sounds like a fun trip, complete with murder capitals! that governors mansion looks awesome, so much history in a building.
Rose Red said…
Oh you were so very restrained! I would go crazy at Rhinebeck. Which is crazy in itself, as I have so much lovely yarn already. I am afraid I am a sucker for rarity, which of course most US yarns are for us over here!

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