Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Knitting Vacations

We has them! Most knitters I know will go anywhere at anytime if it means we can sit and knit
and have the potential to buy yarn!
 
One of the most recent knitting vacations we went on was to the Taos Wool Festival in Taos, NM. We go every year. I joined the crew in 2009 as I was still working in 2008. It is awesome fun filled with good friends, good food and good yarn and knitting. We always arrive Friday afternoon and stay through Sunday. As we are checking out of our room we reserve the same room for the next years Wool Festival. We have now stayed in the same suite, room 104/105 at the Historic Taos Inn, for 4 years.

There are things we always do each time we take this trip. The road into Taos is not a large one. Once we pass through Santa Fe we get into Espanola. We always eat at JoAnn's Ranch O Casados. We have been there enough times that seeing JoAnn is like seeing family. She always gives us her new Rancho O Casados pens when she sees us! The link to her restaurant can be found here. From Espanola the road is mainly 2 lanes through the Gorge along the Rio Grande. We always stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center for some fantastic pics and wonderful views!


  Except this year. I was driving this leg and I almost hit the sign when we made the turn. 


Thanks Congress. The knitters were now being affected by the Government Shutdown and we were not happy. It did cross my mind to call the number and let them know that they were throwing a wrench into our plans and we were a little less than thrilled. Thankfully no one was having a bathroom emergency so we kept right on movin' through the Gorge. It is always a beautiful and colorful drive through the Gorge yet this year the colors were turning later than usual. If you have not taken this drive before I highly recommend it. 

When we pull into Taos another one of the things we often stop to see is the St. Francis of Assisi de Ranchos de Taos Mission Church. There is a nice page here that talks about the history of the church. It is among the most photographed and painted churches in the country and it is easy to see why. We spent at least an hour there getting good artistic shots ourselves. Here are some of my favorites...



I love the way the sun is shining in from the upper left in this top photo.  Honestly, I think its probably difficult to take a bad picture of the church. It seems every angle, every view, every 5 more feet this way is a good picture. We were fortunate this day to get there early enough that we were able to avoid getting visitors in our shots. I hate that! I want the shot all to myself!


The sky was so blue this day....not a cloud anywhere to be seen which made for fantastic pictures! 


Any number of the angles you get looking at that back of the church are also good ones. This particular angle is one of my favorites. 



It took me a while to get this shot exactly the way I wanted it. And I love it!



There were so many bees buzzing around all the lovely flowers there and I knew if I waited long enough I could get this shot. Patience is a virtue!


This has always cracked me up because it looks like St Francis is on his cell phone, maybe Facebook, maybe reading my blog!

Sadly, I don't have any pics of our Hotel from the outside and the ones I have on the inside are, trust me, less than stellar. Usually the first night in the hotel we eat treats that we have brought along and hang out and knit in our room. This year we heard there were 2 new yarn stores that had opened up so we ventured out to go see them. Mooncat Fibers located off of Bent Street was fabulous! Down the road a bit was the new store Moxie. I took a pic of my Mom and I outside of Moxie and it happens to be my favorite of us in a very long time...

 Me and my mother Kay outside Moxie in Taos, New Mexico

Saturday morning breakfast is always at the Bent Street Cafe. The folks at Bent Street are fabulous and their food is memorable. The offer all local, homegrown and organic fare and its incredible. There is a reason we have been going back there year after year for our breakfasts on Saturday mornings! The afternoons are all spent at Kit Carson Park where the Wool Festival is set up. We meet up with our friends and go from booth to booth gazing at all the wonders for sale. Many of the vendors have become good friends too. Its always nice to see them and see them doing well in their own endeavors. We sit in park and sit and knit, many people bring their spinning wheels and spin or do whatever it is they do. And the weather this year was incredible! A tad cool, there were no clouds...just blue sky! It was beautiful! This was my haul from this years Festival...



Saturday evening dinner has always been at Graham's Grille. However unfortunately, this year they were plagued with old sewage lines behind their restaurant that caused them to remain closed for repairs while we were there. Instead, we ate at Doc Martins inside our hotel and we very well taken care of. We had eaten there before and knew that it would make a very nice substitute for the evening. Sunday was always go back to the Festival for a final go around. We check out around 11am and pack up for the drive home. On the way home we always stop at lookout points going through the Gorge to take pics of the Rio Grande and the gorgeous views. This is what we saw on our way home...



It was a fabulous trip as it always is. The views are good, the food is phenomenal, the shopping is one of a kind and the company cannot be beat. Knitters will go anywhere, anytime as long as we have the chance to be surrounded by other knitters and the possibility to shop for yarn! If you're reading this then you know exactly what I mean!  Sometime when I win the lottery I would love to go on a knitting trip with Stitchtopia Knitting Holidays which you can read about here. I would love to hear where you go for your knitting vacations and excursions! Tell me your stories!

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