So that was the first day, and I figured anything else would be anticlimactic, but, oh, honeys! I had no clue, because yesterday was just The Best Day Ever.
We got up again at some ungodly hour I don't even know, and we met in the lobby—Sal and Ellen, Michael and Andrea, me and The EGE—and we drove to Benecia, where we met up with the fabulous Sharon Payne Bolton and visited her studio, which is the kind of place you could wander around in all day long and never see everything, and then we were standing around visiting when Sharon pulled up in her fabulous Motor Coach. She was our guide and driver for the day, and her coach was prepared with snacks and flowers and wine and coconut fizzy water and music and good friends and pretty much every single thing you could want for a fabulous adventure.
Sharon's coach is a magical vehicle, with kitchen and bathroom and bedroom, and she pilots it expertly along the twisty little roads of the wine country, past trees with their leaves just beginning to turn and vineyards with vines laden with grapes ready for the harvest, and it was the best road trip EVER. Seriously.
Sharon's husband, Captain Harry, is best friends with Beau Barrett, who owns Chateau Montelena Winery, which you've heard of if you've seen the movie Bottle Shock. We met up with Richard and Jane Salley and had a tour and then went out to the little island for a wonderful lunch with wine.
Here're Captain Harry and Sharon, looking amazing as always:
Then, late in the afternoon, Sharon drove us through the Napa Valley back to the Academy where the Captain teaches and they live on campus, and he cooked for all of us—salmon on the grill, salad, rice pilaf, all of it delicious and just perfect (with, guess what! more wine!)— and gave us a moonlight tour of the Golden Bear, his ship. Which is a reallyreallyreally big ship. Very big. Way big.
It was a marvelous day, perfect in every way. We couldn't have asked for it to be better. The weather, the food, the sights, the wine. But you may have already guessed what was the best part of all this. A lot of people went to a lot of effort to arrange all this, to take the day and create a wonderful adventure for people from all over: Connecticut and California, Canada and Texas and Australia. And we all met up and spent the day together laughing and talking and catching up. That's the amazing thing about this world we live in, this big world and then this much smaller world of mixed media art and then this even smaller world of Art is You, where there's a community of people spread out all over the globe that every now and then gets to come together and meet up and share adventures. And tomorrow more of our friends will be here from lots more far-flung places, and we'll hug and laugh and talk and Make Stuff, and it will be marvelous fun, as it always is when Sal and Ellen get together and create their world of Art is You. We can't wait to see you! XO