In an effort to keep this from being a 15 page-long post, I think I'll split the two days.
So I meet up with my friend and traveling companion Heather, and we get on the road about 4:30pm Friday afternoon. We almost had to go back for my phone (which I found) but we finally got underway and the drive was pretty smooth. We drove up through Connecticut and stopped for dinner and a pit stop at this great little Mexican restaurant called La Boca (which actually had vegetarian options on their menu marked by a little V. I ordered the cheese enchiladas with a cream cilantro sauce, refried beans and rice. There was so much food we had to take it with us and we didn't have room for desert. Then we got back on the road and pulled into our motel at about 9:30pm. The room was pretty big, the beds were big and mostly comfortable, the heater worked almost too well (which resulted in my getting up several times the first night to turn it on and off as we couldn't figure out how to make it kick off on its own). Heather wasn't feeling well and I didn't want to freeze her out or sweat her to death.
We got up the next morning and Heather got into a hot shower and dosed herself to the gills with cold meds to be able to go with me (what a good friend!). We decided to hit Micky D's for breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and o.j.... what we didn't count on was a colorful and not-so-entertaining story from the table next to us about Eddie and the girl having a baby in the hospital..."Didn't you know...she's having the baby in the hospital right now". Then after a quick pit stop, we hit Route 9 North toward Rhinebeck which took us through Hyde Park where the FDR Presidential Library and the FDR Home is located, along with the Vanderbilt Mansion. Then it was into Rhinebeck which is a pretty little town, especially in the fall. We got to the fair grounds, where I discovered that I left my ticket to the fair at home in my wallet and I'd have to pay for entry again. Nice. But two-day admission was cheap enough so I ponied over my 17 bucks and we went on in. There were tents and open barns everywhere with stables stuffed full of fiber, animals, spinning wheels, spindles (I bought one), roving, batt, top, yarn of every type and color including several luxury blends like yak, bison, cashmere, and qiviut. There was a giant slide and a carousel, a magic show, a tent with workshops (like the beginning hand spinning class that I took and got hooked on), and a pavilion with some of the larger producers of yarn carrying Socks That Rock, Orenburg shawls and books, glass knitting needles and spindles, and an "author's tent" where I met Clara Parkes, saw Veronik Avery, and Laura Cho (who I met at the Ravelry lunch time meet-up and took a photo with).
We didn't eat anything at the fair because we were high on fiber fumes and didn't want to waste any money on food that could be put to fiber, lol. I must have blown through 2/3 of my budget that first day! We stayed till the place closed on the first day, and decided not to go to the Ravelry party afterward because we were both tired from walking all over the place, cold, and hungry, and partly because our first interaction with a large group of Ravelers was a bit awkward. Other than meeting Laura, taking pictures with Bob, and having Laura volunteer to take a photo of Heather and I with Bob (how awesome is that!!), it was really sort of intimidating and felt funny. We did end up in the front row of the big photo though! And I did meet some cool people in the spinning class like Gretchen and her mom who made me feel a whole lot better about my Central Park Hoodie. She had on the prettiest hoodie ever and I'm wanting to knit one for myself...except that I'm not nearly as slim and it might not look so good on me, lol.
As far a knits in the wild...I saw tons of FLS's, tams and berets as far as the eye could see, cowls and Ishbel's everywhere, about 8 different Vivians including the ones that Jess and Mary Heather were in. Jess was wearing the very same one from the photo shoot! but more on that tomorrow as that's day 2 stuff. I also saw Rosie in her Clasica Coat, walked past Anne and stared like an idiot because I couldn't believe I was seeing her, gawked at Joe when he walked into a booth right next to me, and was asked if anyone had ever told me that I looked like Lisa by the famous Yarn Harlot stalker lol when I went to knit on the Big Sock.
At the end of the day we followed Beth, our ever patient spinning instructor out toward the parking lot where she told Heather that she was her favorite student ever because we'd asked Amy (of Spunky Ecletic) if she needed any help carrying her new spinning wheel out to her car when Heather said that we didn't say we were offering any help...just asking if she needed it, lol. When we found our car amid the sea of other cars, and got on our way back to the motel we planned to eat at Olive Garden which I guess everyone else planned too because there was not a single parking space and people were standing in the foyer waiting to be seated. We decided to try the nice little Italian place that shared a parking lot with the Super 8 and Holiday Inn. I got the quiche and salad, and we skipped desert for the second night in a row. Then it was back to our rooms where we dumped our haul on the beds and played in it like kids at Halloween till Heather dropped off to sleep surrounded by yarn and I knit on a sock watching Tyler Perry movies on TBS till 10pm when I, too, passed out for the night.
Tomorrow...part two of Rhinebeck!