Tuesday, May 21, 2019

American Museum & Gardens - Bath - Part II

Leaving the riot of color in the American Museum gardens was hard, and
looking out across that beautiful English countryside HERE dressed for spring
 I had to tear myself away to go inside Claverton House. 

Born in San Francisco but later settling in England, Kaffe Fassett has dedicated
 the last 50 years of his life to the world of knitting,  needlepoint and patchwork, 
promoting these crafts through his own work and inspiring others to find their
 own creativity.

The gift shop was a treat - if only the suitcase had been larger to bring all 
these beautiful books home.

One of many of Kaffe Fassett's extraordinary quilts. The exhibition of 20 stunning new 
quilts designed by him is inspired by the Museum's world-renowned collection of
antique American quilts (photos of them not permitted due to their fragility). 
This provides a unique opportunity to see the old and the new alongside one another.

Shaker sewing box.

As part of the Museum's fiftieth anniversary celebration, the collection of folk art
 treasures are redisplayed in an acclaimed new gallery. The collection testifies
 to they exuberant resourcefulness of art and home decoration made
 'by the people, for the people'.

As always, discovering new places with Ruth - see us together in the reflection
 above - and her husband Mike, was special. Later that evening an extra treat was
 meeting their daughter, an accomplished equestrienne, who joined us for dinner. 

Prior to that, after returning to Bath city, we made a stop at wonderful
 independent bookshop 'Mr. B's' where Ruth took me on our first meeting
 a few years back.
My stack of new books is awaiting exciting page-turning - yes I did make
 room in the bag to get those home - and will be discussed in a future post.
 I brought back some special ones!

Monday, May 20, 2019

American Museum & Gardens - Bath, Part I

The sign said, 'Welcome to the American Museum & Gardens'. 
The taxi stopped at the top of the hill and we all clambered out into a chilly,
 but dry, typical English morning, only to view breathtaking green rolling hills
 and the valley beyond - a view of Bath never seen before, literally a different
 side of this wonderful city.
Our friends Ruth and Mike who had traveled from Wiltshire that morning, met us
 with warming hugs and lots of chatter at the hotel whilst we awaited the taxi.
They picked this very special place to take us knowing it would be of interest
to us both - history for Bob and gardens and art for me. They certainly made
 the right choice - we loved it all, including a break for 'elevenses' with coffee and 
delicious homemade cake in the Orangery Café.

The American Museum takes you on a journey through the history of America,
from its early settlers to the twenty-first century. With its remarkable collection
of folk and decorative arts, the Museum shows the diverse and complex nature
 of American traditions and is actually the only museum outside the United States
 to showcase the decorative arts of America.

Claverton Manor 1820 - built of Bath stone in the neo-classical style - home
 of the museum since the 1950's.
Go HERE for more interesting history of how the museum came to be.

Posts later on the fabulous Kaffe Fassett quilt exhibition and the Folk Art Gallery.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

First stop, beautiful Bath . . . . . .

We headed directly to Bath by motor coach from our Heathrow early morning arrival.
Just a few photos of Bath showing famous Pulteney Bridge crossing the River Avon, 
Bath Cathedral, the entrance to the Roman spa, and lovely buildings of golden stone
 along the winding streets. Last there in the summer of 2014 - click to see more photos
 of this amazing Roman city in the heart of the Somerset countryside.

That first evening we met up with a very special blog friend, sweet Rosemary of
Where Five Valleys Meet.  She and her charming husband drove to the city 
and we met in the lobby of our hotel for a long chat. Later we headed to a 
vegetarian cafe for a very tasty meal, followed by a stroll around the 
city center which was quite vibrant being a Saturday night. A lovely all too
short time together, but it will always be memorable as meeting long time
blog friends always is. If you don't already follow Rosemary, take a look at her 
amazing blog filled with color, flower photography, history, and travel stories
 to the most exotic places.

(Sunday arrived and another special day had been planned to meet our dear friends 
from Wiltshire - more on the exciting time with them in my next post from Bath. 
I have a ton of photos to organize and edit from that day).

Monday we were up early for departure from Bath to Torquay, again
by bus, but first we headed out to amble about the city streets.
 Washed down, clean, sun shining but quite cool, as 
were most days on this recent trip, but only a few raindrops!

Friday, May 17, 2019

First things first!

. . . . . . . . . .so when I got home Wednesday evening I did two things important to me.
I cut a small bunch of the now blooming hydrangeas for the kitchen window sill, 
then headed to the potting shed to refill the empty bird feeders.  

Blues and greens of every hue from the same bush - they are such amazing
 flowers - and this year there are hundreds of blooms now opening on my
 four shrubs.

Ms. Woodpecker, the first arrival, came almost immediately after I hung
 the feeder in the late day sunshine.

These two small beautiful things outside in the garden took my mind
off my delayed bag. I worried all day yesterday that I would never see 
it again, then at 10:00PM last night a text message, a phone call, and
 a nice young man delivered it to my door.  Needless to say, I breathed
 a sigh of relief and thanks.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

This way, that way. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . which way is home?
When you have a heart full of love for two countries where you've made
your home, it's hard to leave both and wonderful to return to each.
We said "goodbye" to England yesterday, sad to leave, but happy to
watch the miles tick down from 3,900 to 100 as North Carolina came into
 view below the wing.  

A smooth flight. . . . . . . in fact a very smooth two weeks of fabulous 
times with family and friends in Bath, Devon, Cornwall and London.
The one mishap was when we landed and discovered my suitcase 
didn't!!! Apparently an electrical fault in the bag loading conveyor
system in Heathrow meant many passengers bags didn't make it.
Bob was lucky, his is here, mine is hopefully making it's way across
the pond today and will show up on the doorstep by this evening!

The garden looks fabulous - just couldn't believe how everything 
grew so huge whilst we were gone - will show you more later,
as well as stories and photos from the really enjoyable trip.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Goodbye dear hometown. . . . . . .

Sunset last evening - view across the marina from our window.  

Today we are packing and will be heading to London. 
Tomorrow, a train ride into the city from our airport hotel
for a quick look around . . . . . perhaps a little shopping
 even though the bags are overflowing already, then flying
 home on Wednesday.

It has been one of my most favorite visits home during my
 many, many back and forth journeys across the pond over
 the past almost 56 years!
Lots to share with you later.

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