Indeed I ‘ve got the opportunity to stay very briefly in Wonderland, that was in Providence (U.S.A).
Barely recovered from the terrible attacks in Brussels I had to leave for Boston to attend the 22nd CZT seminar. Thanks to the help of my dear husband the tickets could be rebooked without problems and I could depart from Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam).
Thursday morning, March the 31st. the airplane left the Netherlands, direction Philadelphia, followed by a transfer flight to Boston and eventually by a short taxidrive to Winthrop. I had reserved a room in a cosy beachside retreat, a few days before and after the seminar in the neighbourhood from the airport. I was staying in a room of an unique and very kind family: Oscar and Robert, their adopted son Tomas Javier (T.J.) and the shy but sweet dog Baxter. Their nice and clean house is situated in a very quiet area close to the sea. In the evening you can enjoy beautiful sunsets and you see in the distance the lights of Boston. A few shops, bars and restaurants are situated at about 15 minutes walking distance. Ideal for me. It was cold and windy when I arrived but I can imagine very good the beautiful summertime in this area. After a warm welcome, and a quick shower, I disappeared soon under the sheets of a comfortable bed. It has been a very long day. I was really tired but satisfied that I was safely arrived in Winthrop.
Sunday, at 12 o’clock, Oscar had provided a taxi to drive me to the station There were heavy snow showers during my trip to Providence with the Peter Pan bus. (about an hour). The hotel is located in a quiet side street, close to the station. Check-in, a little relax,a quick freshen up and then at 6 o’clock dinner was ready, followed by a meet and great with the staff and other students. Rick and Maria, all members of their family, everyone of the staff was friendly and helpful. The hotel is beautiful and comfortable , the atmosphere was casual and everyone was excited. However, I did go early to sleep because again I was very tired and I wanted to be fit for the first classes on the next day.
After a delicious and healthy breakfast, everyone was strictly on time in the “classroom“. Rick, Maria and Molly created a unique style of teaching. Their way to give us as many information as possible is pleasant, instructive and regularly they were joking, which made us smile. All questions from the audience were answered but a certain effort was asked: a lot has to be tangled and you had to listen carefully to the instructions. Out of respect for the future students and seminars, Rick and Maria asked not to communicate on social media about what is going on during the lessons. I agree and can’ tell anything.
What I do want to tell, is that there is a unique atmosphere during those days: an unseen togetherness among so many people (more than 100). Rick, Maria and Molly share all their knowledge and experience in a fantastic way and they are very accessible. The seminar is intensive and requires effort (also because of the language for me) but there are plenty of breaks to take a breath and chat with the other students. I was the only Belgian but soon had contacts with people from America, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Spain ….
During the lessons I was sitting between Adele (U.S.A) (without an accent on her name) and Anja from Germany, before and behind me were especially ladies and gentlemen from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
For me, It was, an incredible and informative experience. I enjoyed every moment. I think, most of us had the same feelings. Of course, the apotheosis was the moment that RIck and Maria gave us our certificate.. That was really very emotional and here and there appeared even tears of happiness …
Once again I like to thank everyone who I met during this fantastic adventure and wish them good luck and a lot of Zentanglepleasure in the future.
At the end of the seminar there was one last friendly chat with coffee/tea and pastries. Everyone could say goodbye to each other. Addresses, telephone numbers, websites etc … were exchanged and definitely I will stay in touch with some new friends.
Kind and proud ladies from Belgium and Taiwan
Cheerful Reena from the States (Instagram:@aneerinos)
On the left, you can see Sue, Maria’s sister. She and her daughter did also a wonderful job. They took care of us in the classroom, we all got a nice purse with all materials we needed to make the drawings.
There was a fantastic shop where I’ve left many dollars, but I have no regrets. I can go on tangling for months without paying one penny. I’m very glad with the new book of RIck and Maria. I can’t wait to read it, so much new information is inside…
After a few( very expensive!) Chardonnays and one extra night in the hotel I traveled together with the charming Swedish Elisabeth back to Boston. Afterwards, again I took a taxi to the familiar address in Winthrop.
On the next day, in the afternoon, Oscar, Robert , T.J. and Baxter brought me to the airport. The return trip went very smoothly. I want to say that all Americans I met were super friendly. A decent knowledge of English is necessary because Americans talk pretty fast and are usually not familiar with the Dutch or French language.
It is truly an unforgettable experience I can recommend all Zentanglelovers. I have learned a lot more than just drawing. Zentangle will always be a part of my life, I’m 100% sure of that!
In the next newsletter of Rick and Maria, they will surely write a little more about this seminar together with a picture of the whole group . I’m already looking forward to it.
A nice card, made by Maria Thomas
On April, the 29th, I will give my first workshop in Hasselt (Belgium) and I will write something more on my next post!