Thursday, November 3, 2011

Journalfest 2011 - Day 1

One week ago yesterday, I headed off to Journalfest 2011, held in the small town of Port Townsend in the State of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle.  I flew from Toronto to Chicago and then on to Seattle, leaving home at 4 in the morning for a 6 a.m. flight, arriving in Seattle at 11 a.m. their time.  The four hour flight from Chicago on American was disappointing, since there was no food and no movie ("oops! someone forgot to load it before we took off" - say what???)  I read my book (the delightful "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith), napped a little and doodled things like this:

I met up with my friends Laurie and Irene in the airport and we picked up some lunch at a restaurant called "Dish Delish" (as recommended by Ms. Teesha Moore, generous portions, tasty food) and we found ourselves a table and settled down to chat and do a little show and tell.  Orly Avineri, her friends Pnina and Christina, and Brian Kasstle were seated at the table next to us, so already we were in good company.

The pre-arranged shuttle bus left the airport at 2 p.m. and it was a 2 hour drive to our destination.  Lots of talking and laughing by the 24 people on board, the time just flew by.  We arrived at the fort and were greeted by Teesha and the previously mentioned rainbow - here's another picture of it:

We went inside the building known as The Commons (pictured above, on the left) and picked up our welcome package, which included a key to the room in which we would each be staying for the next four nights.

We had our choice of accommodations, either sharing an officer's house (which sleep 8 people) or bunking down in the dormitory. I chose the latter and ended up with a single, corner room on the ground floor. Nothing fancy and the room was sometimes a wee bit chilly but it was clean and comfortable and really, that's all that matters when you're barely in the room for any length of time other than to sleep.  The shared washroom was just down the hall.

When I started to unpack, I discovered that previous guests in this room had left messages behind inside the chest of drawers.  It was fun to read these messages from the 80's and 90's and wonder what those kids are doing now, if they ever come back to see if their name is still there.

Some of the messages were more poignant than others:

Dinner was next, followed by a kick off session in the theatre on site (which is very much like an older movie theatre) led by Teesha and Tracy Moore, which included an introduction of each of the teachers. 

They were each asked to give their name, tell us what class(es) they were teaching and to answer a random question, such as, "what trip has inspired you most and why?" and "if you could only make art about one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?"

After the welcome meeting, a very few of us journalled for a bit in the Commons and then it was time to head to my room for an early night.  At least, it was early by west coast standards.  By east coast time, it was already past midnight and I'd been on the go since 3 a.m.!

1 comment:

Kym said...

Wow! Thank you for all the photos and your musings on JF. It is so much fun to re-live all the fun times through your eyes! What a treat! I am glad we got to share many of these moments.