Boy, I wish Jami had been able to spend more time here, because we were up until almost midnight and wow, can she play the violin! But Dad and I had to leave @ 9:30am yesterday for the trip to Berea--and let me tell you, if I had driven by myself, I would have gotten really, really lost. My directions had us going down 68, and 68 splits no less than three times in Kentucky (which makes no sense at all) and my directions did not specify East/West or North/South.

But we made it there--a little late, but the nice people I was meeting did not mind.

We ate lunch at the Berea Artisan Center (great food), and walked around to view the various handmade items there. It's a really neat building right off 75, but the prices reflect its closeness to the highway. If you drive into Berea itself, you can buy the same stuff for cheaper prices. Just to let you know.

We went to Old Town first--passing the elementary school that looks like a giant UFO--I am not kidding* (and I'm surprised there aren't more pictures of it online)--to check out the antique shops, which were largely too expensive and--in two cases--reeked of mildew. I felt sorry for the people who worked there, in truth. I went into the music store, but got the impression that they didn't do much business. In truth, Old Town was pretty deserted while we were there.

Berea itself was a little livlier, but not by much. Maybe it was an off weekend; I don't know, but there weren't very many people around and the shops weren't busy at all. I wanted to go to the dulcimer shop and the weaving shop--the weaving shop wasn't open on weekends (???? in a tourtist town?) and the dulcimer shop was well, full of lovely dulcimers and handmade furniture. The owner was giving a demonstration to a group of ladies while we were there. (I did not buy a dulcimer, however; they are too expensive for my budget.)

We went to the log cabin gift shop, and another shop where I bought two Bybee mugs. The batter bowls were a temptation, as was the cute blue teapot and the big mixing bowl, but I decided to be good with my budget and stick to it. I saw lots of lovely student-made utensils, carvings, weavings, etc., as well as professional-made stuff like that too, including a $3500 raffia and pine needle basket (it was huge, and intricate and beautiful but entirely impractical.)

After visiting the log cabin craft house, and the disappointment that the weaving shop wasn't open on weekends, Dad and I headed home and I watched Elsa for an hour or so while Emily got ready for today's farmer's market. On our way home, Dad and I scored a pine corner cupboard out of the garbage (!!) and so I had to rearrange a bit in the living room last night so it would fit. I still have to rearrange. However, I can now move the blue cabinet out of the living room and upstairs so that gives me a bit more room. I was very, very tired when I got home last night, and it was very humid in the house, so I turned the air on for a little while before bed. It's going to be hot again today, too. And I have a lot of work to do here, so I'm not going anywhere at all.

*Thanks to the people on the TransAmerica bike trip who posted that photo.


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