Yesterday I came back home from a week at the Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar. Before I show you all of the good things from class I wanted to share some photos of Asilomar's beauty. Asilomar, a name created from the Spanish words "asilo" or refuge and "mar" or sea so that it roughly means the Refuge by the Sea. It is definitely that, no tvs or telephones in your rooms to distract you (unless of course you whip out your smartphone or Kindle), lots of gorgeous scenery and the fresh ocean air. The history of Asilomar can be found here at the official site, but in a nutshell it was started as a concept in 1897 by the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) as a conference center for teaching women life and career skills. Phoebe Apperson Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst, famous for his yellow journalism, fictional star of Citizen Kane and of course Hearst Castle if you're from California) and a few other successful women founded Asilomar and broke ground in 1913. Now quite a few of the important buildings on the campus are named for these women.
Trees are everywhere on the campus grounds but sadly a few years ago a blight left only skeletal remains of the once stately pines. The park rangers have replanted little saplings that are protected by plastic sleeves but so far the Monterey Cypress are good.
Tree arch from the oceanside boardwalk
View of trees from the road near Longview, the bungalow style lodging buildings
Another view from Middle Longview, near my window
They have to protect the saplings from the many deer that are roaming the grounds. These ones were near the path to our classroom in Toyon. (All classrooms and buildings have names.)
I didn't zoom in for this shot, I was this close to the deer.
There are more wildlife at Asilomar. Luckily I didn't see any mountain lions but that may have had something to do with not getting up and out at dawn when they like to hunt. I did see some lovely bluejays but didn't have my camera ready. And then there was this little guy that I happened to see on the steps at Phoebe Hall (the building with cafe, registration, and a gorgeous fireplace and comfy sofas and chairs all in the craftsman style).
I only made time to walk to the beach twice. The second time was yesterday morning but it was drizzling a bit so all the photos are a bit overcast, still beautiful.
The outside of our little classroom, Toyon. It was just barely big enough for all fifteen of us students plus Jill Schumacher, our teacher. Fortunately we were told to bring our own lights to class because it wasn't very well lit. I was fortunate that my lodging was just steps away up the hill. Some of the other students were housed across campus and a few were housed upstairs in the same building.
And the students who took Lonni Rossi's dye workshop were housed in the gorgeous Chapel, but it really didn't have modern lighting. You can't see it very well in this photo but there are words carved in the space under the windows. Gorgeous building.
I didn't take a picture of the luckiest students who were housed in a room called Sand & Surf which was all glass windows and an oceanview. Hmm, perhaps I would have stared outside for part of the classtime.
One evening before walking down to dinner I had to pause and enjoy the stunning sunset. I recovered just in time to snap a picture. This is the view from the walkway in front of my room's window in the Middle Longview building.
If you ever have an opportunity, spend a day walking around, or spend a night there. It's truly magnificent.