Tokuko and I have safely returned to our homes just several hours ago.  We’ve been touring around New England area in the last 10 days – our hard-earned vacation / partly work.  In the last few months, we have been going back and forth between Tokyo and Kyoto/Kobe, Nasu where we had our retreat, and the US and back to the US again.  So, returning home is nice, but then I came home to a huge mess of an apartment while knowing that I need to pack all these stuffs up to move into a smaller place in 4 weeks.  Can I really do that?


Our trip was so full of fun, many friends and inspirations.  Right now, it’s still overwhelming.  I am all over the place between work that have stacked up, things I have brought home from the trip, and new ideas and dreams.


While we do all of our events in Japan (no choice there), a great deal of our customers (in fact, majority) are in outside of Japan.  The US is one of our important markets, and we’ve learned a lot by just being out there, talking to people at Squam.  People often tell us that what they like about amirisu is its “Japanese look”.  While I am extremely grateful that they like it, I have no idea what they are talking about!  I just don’t like cluttered looks, not sure if that is the Japanese style or not.






We’ve traveled from Boston to Squam Art Workshops (in New Hampshire), to Portland ME, to our final destination, Cape Cod.


One of the highlights of our trip is: Oysters!


Tokuko loves oysters (I do too, obviously) but her husband cannot stand them, so she was determined to have some during this trip.  We ended up having quite a lot.  Island Creek Oyster Bar was probably the best restaurants I’d ever been to in Boston, and I’ve been to Boston many times.  Samantha, whom we’ve met at Squam, recommended Eventide in Portland.  We loved everything there – the decor, food, atmosphere… Love to go back there someday.  Naked Oysters in Hyannis downtown is where my friend’s daughter works, and there we had our last feast before coming back to Japan.


If you ever go through the area by car, I’d also recommend stopping at When Pigs Fly in Kittery near Portsmouth.


今回はボストン→Squam Art Workshops →ポートランド(メイン州)→ケープコッドの旅。それぞれのハイライトを。

あ、ハイライトといえば、とにかく2人で生牡蠣を食べまくった旅でした。ボストンではYelp!で一番人気だったオシャレなオイスターバーIsland Creek Oyster Barに。オイスターに加えサラダやおつまみなどを頼みましたが、とにかく全部最高に美味しかった。2人以上で行く場合は予約必須の込み具合でした(満席)。私達は6時に行ったので、10分待ちくらいで入れました。



3軒目はケープコッド(ハイアニス)のNaked Oysters。友人の娘さんが働いているというので行ってみました。オイスターとサンドイッチを頼んで、ちょうど良い量でした。オイスターは地元のものかな?小さめで味はしっかりめ。昼間から白ワインと合わせて最高!




Back to our trip.


We stayed at a B&B called Parkside at Ellery in Cambridge.  It is about 7 min walk from the metro station, near good restaurants, and really quiet.  We were lucky to find a room available at the last minutes, because the owner prefers his guests to stay more than 3 days (the rate increases if you stay only for a day).  He is a practicing landscape architect, so I really enjoyed leaning about his work and the things he collected for the house and the garden (gorgeous).



ボストンで泊まったのはケンブリッジ(ハーバードのあるあたり)のParkside at ElleryというB&Bです。アメリカで旅行するときは出来るだけB&Bをまず探すようにしています。大抵は良い住宅地にあるし、ホテルに比べてコスパが良く、サービスやご飯も美味しいことが多い。もちろん、ウェブを隅々見てちゃんと選んだ場合ですが。ここは3泊以上のお客優先、とうたっているため奇跡的に部屋が空いていてラッキーでした。なんとオーナーはランドスケープ・アーキテクト。泊まった部屋は元々彼の仕事場だったそうで、専門書が沢山あり、学生時代に読んだ本もあって懐かしかったです。お庭や家の中もとても素敵で、オーナーとのお喋りを楽しみました。


We had a great weather at Squam Lake.  It started out a bit chilly, and I got to wear my Squam cardigan (Little Wave by Gudrun Johnston) a lot, and it became quite warm and sunny towards the end.

Aside from the classes, I enjoyed reconnecting with friends, had some wine and knitted with our cabin mates (Helen, Stewart, Jen, Kate, and Maria), enjoyed knitting on the docks, getting lost in the dark woods, and finding our way by the moonlight.  It was a true joy and fun to speak with many people who have their own creative business practices.  A lot of great things will come out of our encounters!  You just have to wait and see :)

For me, Squam is always about people.  This time, I couldn’t even remember which classes I was taking until a few days before I left Japan (and I made swatches for Amy’s class like crazy at the last minutes).  Chatting with people at the dining hall and at the fair was the highlight of my trip.  Such great nurturing and creative spirit was wrapping us around as if Christo’s work were wrapping the whole lake.


It is getting long, so I will talk about my classes in the next post.


ボストンでレンタカーをしてSquam Lakeへ向かいました。トクコさんが「右、右、右斜線」と唱えながら運転してくれました。


ワークショップ以外の時間は久しぶりに会った友人たちとお喋りをしたり、キャビンの仲間とワインを飲みながら編み物をしたり、湖畔のドックで編み物をしたり。夜の暗がりでキャビンを見つけられずに若干迷子になりかけたり。半月にも関わらず、月明かりで自分の陰がくっきり浮かび上がったり。amirisuを色々な人に売り込んだり。クリエイティブな仕事をしている人たちが多く集まってくる場なので、人と話しているだけでもワクワクすることしきりでした。Brooklyn TweedのJaredとは1年ちょっと振りに、デザイナーのGudrunとは1年半振りに再会しました。