It’s been a week since I’ve posted anything! I feel kind of rusty at it but I threw out a kind of challenge last Monday about adventures and we had one. That’s why I’ve not written or commented on your blogs because I was devoting all my energies to the adventure.
We drove to Woodstock. Yeah, hippie-dippy, groovy Woodstock. We’d heard it was an eclectic place and since there’s a big writing festival every year here, we thought we’d see what it was about.
And it was groovy. But it was wet. From the time we left home from the time we left Woodstock. Raining, every single day and night. I gave up on my hair — it was big, wavy and wet the entire time.
But hey, back in the day, I think Woodstock was a big hippie rain fest so maybe it was meant to be. (Even though the actual concert was held in Bethel, an hour away, Woodstock gets the glory). Despite the rain, we soldiered on and had ourselves an adventure.
Patchouli and Peace
Woodstock has a specific, creative and funky vibe to it. There are those that walk the streets that seemed to have stepped out of the fields of the concert it was named for. There’s also the very wealthy that either live there in some of those large houses tucked up in the hills or that live an hour or so away and come to Woodstock to get their groove on, I’m guessing.
There are shops that smell so violently of patchouli it stings the nostrils. The smell that one thinks of to mask another smell. Some of these shops contained “vintage” clothing, strung up outside on a pachouli-smelling porch or crammed into a box marked ONLY FIVE DOLLARS!!”
Some of vintage apparel had vintage stains on them as well. I got high off the patchouli smell (just kidding, but it did give me a headache).
Then there’s other shops that have hand-loomed scarves that sell for over $500 a pop. Seriously, a giant loom with people making scarves and jackets. And plenty of boutique shops with designer clothing.
So you’ve got over-priced clothing, shoes and scarves in some places and vintage, hippy garb in others. And all sorts of people and incomes intermingling in one place. We had a dinner one night and went upstairs to a place called the Java lounge where, like the name suggests, you can get a coffee drink.
The owner, a nice lady named Stephanie introduced us to her pooch. It was near closing time and she said, “I could just tell you were dog lovers.” Anyway, she’d lived in Woodstock all her life and she said, “My grandfather jokingly told me that when a nearby mental institution closed, some of its inhabitants decided to make their home here.” Hubby and I looked at each other and she said, “I think he was just kidding but there are some characters here. You get used to it.”
As we were walking down the street one day, we almost bumped into a guy carrying some groceries and a large box. He was dressed in pants that were made of multi-colored velvet squares, a paisley shirt and his tangled hair sprung out and flowed down his back from a gray, dingy cap with a short bill. “How ya doing,” we nodded and said as we were passing.
“I’m great man!” He spread his arms open with his groceries in one hand and his big box in the other. “It’s raining, I’m going to go snuggle up with my lady and I live in Woodstock, what could be better?” We saw him the next two days, walking around with the same velvet pants on.
We visited the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery that was perched so high up on a mountain that we were up in the clouds. The clouds that stayed there the entire time we were there.
Did I say it rained? Misty rain, sometimes rain that came down in sheets and humidity. And it was warm. But the leaves were turning and it was beautiful along some of those roads.
We visited Opus 40, a sculpture park that’s pretty incredible. Harvey Fite is responsible and his inspiration came from Mayan culture. We were the only ones there (because it was raining) but it was pretty impressive.
We took our time during our “adventure” and were able to at least visit another place that we’d not seen before. Although we may have explored more had it not been raining (it was beautiful the day we left), we finally just gave in, pretty much stayed soaked the entire time and laughed about it. After all, what are you going to do?
Home Sweet Home
I’ve called so many places home.
I think some of the fun of going to another place is also gaining a new appreciation of home. I love to travel, but there’s also a kind of excitement or relief about coming home isn’t there? No matter how brief or long our adventures are, it’s so nice to get home.
We pack up little pieces of ourselves to journey to different places. I think we do that to carry a little “home” with us. I don’t know about you but when I first walk in the door of my home — the sights, sounds and smells that greet me are just as nice as the adventures I take now and then.
Maybe better because, you know — there’s just no place like home.
Happy Monday everyone and press play for some “Woodstocky” kind of music. Peace.