Hey, Toto, We’re not in Oz Anymore!

No, we’re in New York, and it’s COLD!!!!!

We landed in NY late on Wednesday night.  Thursday it was cold and raining.  But we didn’t let that stop us.  We arranged to meet up with Frank’s nephew Robb at Grand Central Station and walked around Times Square.  We stopped at Brooklyn Deli for a HUGE American sized lunch:


It was great catching up with Robb, who was in Connecticut starting on the massive job of clearing out his dad’s collections of minerals, African art and loads of other stuff.

On Friday we spent the morning at the laundromat — unfortunately, you can’t travel for more than 3 weeks without doing your laundry!  The weather forecasts for the weekend were pretty dismal — some even predicting snow on Saturday.  So, I bought myself a pair of snow boots for Rhinebeck and Frank decided he’d spend Saturday in the hotel room catching up on academic work.  Friday afternoon we took the train up the Hudson to Rhinecliff.  It’s a gorgeous train ride, right next to the river most of the time.  The trees were just starting to change colors, it will be glorious in a couple of weeks.  Once there, we got a taxi to our hotel, the Rodeway Inn/Skytop in Kingston.  The hotel is up a hill in the forest, with a great restaurant/brewry right next door (and a mile to the next closest shop or restaurant).

Restaurant at Rodeway Inn

The restaurant was packed on Friday night.  As we went in, we saw a couple of women with Ravelry nametags on, so we introduced ourselves and asked if we could join them for dinner.  Peta (Petaknits on Ravelry) is from Maryland, and was with her daughter Rachael (jetgrrl on Ravelry) who lives in New Hampshire.  (See, betsybookworm, we’re not the only mother-daughter set on Rav, not that I thought we were).  We had a very pleasant dinner, and swapped souvenirs (Australia magnets for Maryland lapel pins).  Peta and Rachael were able to give me a ride to the fairgrounds on Saturday (Rhinebeck without a car is a bit more difficult than you might think as public transport is non-existent in that part of the state).

After a stop at a local diner for breakfast and a pleasant ride through the wooded countryside, we arrived at the fairgrounds around 8:30 in the morning.  It is HUGE!  There are at least a dozen buildings full of vendors, plus the usual sheep shearing and animal judging.  I focused on the vendors and bought mostly fiber.


Just after lunch (Polish hamburger), there was the Ravelry meetup — very chaotic, but I got to meet Casey and “Bob”:

Rhinebeck Rhinebeck

Later in the afternoon was the Weavolution meetup:


Weavolution is a social networking site for weavers, with the ability to put in all the project details that weavers want to know.  Claudia (on the right in the photo) is one of the founders of the site.  I’m on Weavolution as spinweaveknit, but haven’t put much up there yet.  The site launched in June, less than a month before I left Australia.

I still haven’t taken pictures of the stash I bought at Rhinebeck (or the cute little turkish spindle), but I’ll do that soon and post them in another entry.

I got a ride back to the hotel from Marion (desertrat on Rav) and Geri and we joined them for dinner in the Skytop Steakhouse.  Marion and Geri are retired teachers from the Toronto area and had driven down for the festival.

Rav Friends

Rhinebeck was a great experience.  Great to meet such nice and friendly fellow knitters, and great to see all the vendors’ products.  Wish I could go again next year.  May have to satisfy myself with going to Bendigo instead.  Weather-wise, I was very lucky.  Probably could have survived without the snow boots as it was dry and mostly sunny all day.  A cold wind did come in the afternoon, but all in all, it was much better than the forecast.

Sunday morning we took the train back to NYC.  Since 9/11 there are no more luggage lockers anywhere.  It was quite a hassle getting around with our bags (we had left the big suitcases at our hotel in Queens while we were at Rhinebeck, and only had backpacks plus a duffle bag full of fiber).  We took the subway up to the American Museum of Natural History, and waited in line for 40 minutes to get in, then had to wait another 20 minutes for a bin to free up in the cloak room for our bags.  It was all worth it, though.  The museum is huge — we barely made a dent in it in the five hours we were there.  Frank enjoyed seeing the large meteorites:

Natural History Museum

And everyone loves the dinosaurs:

Natural History Museum Natural History Museum

There was also an interesting exhibit on American Indians, including some details about the weaving they did:

Natural History Museum

Monday was our last full day in New York.  The weather had been miserable, but on Monday everything cleared up and we had a lovely day.  Taking advantage of the good weather, we started off at Top of the Rock.  The views were spectacular:

New York City New York City

For the afternoon we decided to do a tour of the city so that we could see many of the sights we hadn’t yet made it to.  It was definitely the right decision — we could never have made it to so many places on our own.  It was a 6 hour tour starting near Times Square, going uptown to the Dakota and Strawberry Fields, and downtown to the Staten Island Ferry (for a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island), Wall Street, and Ground Zero.

New York City New York City New York City New York City

After an exhausting day, we were ready for our flights on Tuesday.  I’m now in Reno, and Frank has gone to Pittsburgh — both for conferences.

3 Replies to “Hey, Toto, We’re not in Oz Anymore!”

  1. when you get back, i’ll get off my lazy bum and make it to c’ati IFF you have a show-and-tell.

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