Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gearing Up for Art is You in Petaluma

Today everybody else is hard at work doing physical stuff: setting up tables and putting plastic down on the floors and painting the walls and—oh, wait. In truth, I have no idea what they're doing because I'm up here in the room, going through photos and thinking about what a marvelous time we've had so far, and they're down there doing whatever it is they do. Which I will go find out soon enough, but not now. Now I want to tell you what we've done since we flew in Saturday night. Sal and Ellen picked us up in the van at the San Francisco Airport at some late hour. It was 10 pm here, I think, so that would have made it midnight for us. We got here, got settled in, and went to sleep at some other late hour, and four hours later we were all in the van again, driving back to the SF airport to pick up Andrea and Michael deMeng, who'd been up since The Crack o' Dawn flying in from Vancouver. But they looked fabulous:
Then we went to The Buena Vista, a little cafe on the water, which is famous for its Irish Coffees. So of course we all had to have one, right?
 That's Sal, of course, above, and Andrea and Michael, below.

 Then we went to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is even cooler up close and personal. We got to hike around, and I walked out on the bridge, thinking, of course, of earthquakes and wondering what it would feel like to be walking on the bridge during one. The only one I felt when I lived in California was one that occurred while I was in bed asleep—I woke up to my mother and father piling on top of me, thinking to save me, I guess, by cushioning me from falling debris. As it was, I was in more danger from being squished by parents than by a collapsing building. Anyway, the bridge:
Then we got to go to heaven, also known as Dharma Trading. I'd never been there, but I've ordered a veritable TON of stuff from them over the years. It was wonderful and funky, and a fellow Dharma fan/shopper came up and asked, "Are you Ricë?" and that was really cool. She reads my blog over at The Voodoo Cafe and knew of my love of Dharma. I think we need secret handshakes. I put in some polite requests (floss sold by the cone, a higher quality cotton jersey, stuff like that) and the nice woman wrote it all down just as if I weren't some stranger off the street wanting her to order stuff and not buying a single thing. I've got an order in the works at home, though, and it's not like I'm not a pretty steady customer. Hahahahahahahaha. Man, is that an understatement. . . .

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.
 The food was good, the wine delicious, the weather perfect.

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


Lynne Suprock said...

Love Benecia, Petaluma, California and YOU all! Such a marvelous time and a bonus trip

Dawn Gold said...

Sounds amazing, what a life to live...can't wait for the next instalment

Carol said...

Sounds magical! Keep having a great time!

Jane LaFazio said...

What a wonderful day. And that winery lunch location looks wonderful. Lucky you!