Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chautauqua ROCKS!!

First of all -- no matter how many times Judy Fenton tried to explain it to me -- I simply did NOT GET CHAUTAUQUA...

Mary Mulari and I were delighted to be part of the show "Quilting Around Chautqauqua" the last weekend in September. Both Judy and Kate told me it was a beautiful place, in wetern New York -- not far from Lake Erie -- there is a stunning place -- on the shores of Lake Chautauqua -- it might remind me of the resort in the movie "Dirty Dancing". Hummm...sounds like fun, eh?
But, we simply were not prepared for's a picture I took of the Athenaeum Hotel -- where we "took our meals" every day...(more about the meals -- I promise!)

What I had NO IDEA ABOUT -- was that Chautauqua Institution is an entire SEASON -- every year, they have 9 weeks of intense learning, arts, theater, classes, lectures, writing conferences -- it's ALL ABOUT THINKING. I am sooo delighted with this place, I cannot tell you. There is a huge ampitheater that seats 5,000 people, and a "Hall of Philosophy".

From the Chautauqua website:
With more than 170,000 visitors each season, we're well-equipped to be a gracious host. Accommodations including Inns, Cottages, Bed and Breakfasts, Apartments, Condominiums, Houses and The Athenaeum Hotel are privately owned and must be contacted directly for availability and booking. Many of our property owners make rooms available to rent by the week, a few days, or even a full season. By visiting Chautauqua's Webervations page, it's easy to find the perfect place for your stay. This site allows property owners to advertise their space and let's you shop around for what best suits your needs. Simply check the appropriate box to begin your search. It's best to book well in advance as space fills up quickly.

Chautauqua is a gated community -- with maybe 300 houses -- most are large wooden homes built in the late 1800's. There's a town square -- with the St. Elmo hotel and many charming shops. Including the best independent book store I've been to in many years. Here's Mary -- walking in:

This is a picture of Mary & Nancy in the lobby of the Athenaeum Hotel -- with just a FEW of the thousands of quilting enthusiasts...the show was AMAZING...

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