The retreat that Cat Bordhi hosted (the first of two in October) was phenomenal. If you have ever taken one of her classes, you know what a remarkable teacher she is. My only criticism of her classes is that you always want them to be longer. These four days covered things that I'd done in other workshops with her, but there is always so much more to absorb. And, she is constantly thinking of new techniques and encouraging innovation, so I would never hesitate to repeat a class I'd taken before. There were 20 participants, and the length of the workshop gave us time to get to know one another just a bit. The energy of the group was really wonderful as these things go, and I enjoyed the company. It was held at the States Inn Ranch, and most of the workshop participants stayed there. I decided to stay downtown at a funky, renovated motel called Elements (which appears to have been recently renamed Earthbox), and that worked out well for me. I had enough group time, but also got to enjoy some away time, which was perfect. The rooms at Elements are much nicer than the motel-y exterior would suggest (modern furnishings, wood floors, microwaves and fridges, etc.), and it was great to be withing walking distance of the shops, etc. I did take most of my meals at the States Inn, and they did a phenomenal job with that. The baked goods, in particular, were highlights for me.
We had classes in the morning and evening, which left afternoons free to wander. I took in the Sculpture Garden at Roche Harbor,
visited the island's camel, Mona, went to look for rabbits at South Beach (no rabbits, but I did see two huge Bald Eagles), fed alpacas at the ranch, and did a little shopping downtown. All in all, the balance of time in class vs. free time was perfect.
It was a marvelous end to a two-week festival of fun. (New Orleans, the Kentuck Festival and this retreat all in the same trip? How fabulous is that?!) I already have next year marked on my calendar.
Now that I have recovered from pre-election stress and post-election euphoria, I am concentrating on holiday projects. I have some gifts that need to be finished (um, and started), and I'd like to paint my kitchen before our annual "Christmas Eve with the Feinsteins and the Cohens" dinner party. (I said that last year, too.)