Since we were staying in Santa Rosa (which I highly recommend if you're going to wine country, I thought we should explore that town first. My grad school friend, Rachel, told me I would like Santa way back in 2007: "You would love Santa Rosa. But don't go to Bodega Bay--it's creepy and weird. I don't care if you love The Birds. Don't go there: Go to Santa Rosa." So guess what we did on our honeymoon? We skipped Santa Rosa and went to Bodega Bay because I couldn't resist. Big mistake (read it here). Oh well.
I learned from a furniture store owner that Santa Rosa used to be pretty geographically unified and only split by railroad tracks (I think? I could be totally making this up or maybe I didn't hear right? Whatever, this is what I remember). But THEN "they" built a great big highway and that broke the town in half. It doesn't make it hard to get around, but apparently there was a whole half of town that I didn't see because it was totally obscured by the highway and we just never made it over there.
We went in and out of a bunch of stores--Erin's mom, Susie, needs to come here because the antiques and vintage stuff is outta control. My head exploded all over it.
|One of a million homemade prom gowns at Hot Couture Vintage Fashion on 3rd Street|
The highlight of all the little shops was Cast Away and Folk: a craft store with high end yarns, fabrics, and sewing supplies. OMG.
|Crochet sail on a little boat?! Love.|
|I was using my point and shoot and didn't want to use the flash: blur.|
One of the owners, Leslee, is originally from Bucks County, PA and moved out to Sonoma about twenty years ago. She regularly carves out time to visit NYC because she sometimes misses the East Coast really badly. But, she says that she loves west coast living and doesn't think she could quite give that up either.
Every single little thing in this store is a gem, and they offer a million classes to teach everything from knit and crochet, embroidery, and even felting and weaving. So many gorgeous things to look at.
|You can buy the fabric and pattern to make these little kid pajamas.|
|I'm so mad this is blurry--anyway, she had a little over a yard left of this fabric ... I bought it.|
|I almost bought the fox, but I resisted.|
|They also offer non-textile classes like terrarium building.|
I bought the woodland animal fabric and three "fat quarters" from leftover bolts of fabric:
|This would be really pretty framed.|
Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but I think I might use the rosey one for a project I found in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living. That link won't take you to THE project (the one I saw has a crochet exterior with fabric lined interior)--I can't find it anywhere on Martha's website. Anyway, it will kill me to cut any of them, but that's WHY I bought them so I'll have to get over it.
We spent about two hours walking around, and we should've just done lunch in Santa Rosa and then explored the other half of town on the other side of the highway. I had a much better idea, however [sarcasm], and thought we should drive down to Napa to go to Sweetie Pie's so we could have lunch there and I could get an AM bun (I've extolled the virtues of their AM buns here). Can you see where this is going?
We drove all the way to Napa, arrived at Sweetie Pie's at 2:10pm and were told, "Sorry we only serve lunch until 2pm and no, we don't have any AM buns." Seriously?
Anyway. We went down the street to ABC Bakery and had lunch there--no AM buns, but apricot bars? Yes.
|So I did have time for one vintage/antique store ... I wanted both of these pictures and couldn't afford even one of them.|
When we finished there, it was time to leave--we had hardly seen Napa at all ... we should've just stayed in Santa Rosa. Oh well.
So we headed back to Sonoma to see all the girls before the wedding.
|I want to die because this blurred.|
|Ok, I'm officially disappointed in my trusty point and shoot. Crap. I guess I should've used the flash--since we were outside, it wouldn't have been so bad.|
|Really, can I just have one each of all of their dresses?|
|One is better than the next.|
|Oh sure, because I'm dressed for a wedding.|
Jenny (in the red dress) drove one car of girls to the wedding, and Ron and I drove three ladies and that was that. Time for them to enjoy their wine country wedding.
We honestly weren't starved and we didn't have a dinner reservation and didn't much care. We hung out on the central square in town, and I agonized over buying a hat which culminated in me buying a hat.
|Jesus Christ, where is my lipstick? No lie, I had FOUR in purse. FOUR: Two pinks, a coral, and a neutral.|
I won't lie--I'm pretty happy with it. I killed an hour (two?) talking to Jessica who owns Large Leather, and she (and her husband and sister) makes everything in the store (except the hat, which was made down the road in Monterey). When people would come in, I would step back and listen as she explained how such-and-such was made, what made it special, why this technique worked and that one didn't for whatever item. When she doesn't talk about her art, she talks about philosophy so really, what more could I have asked for? Of course I was buying that hat.
Seriously, go there--she's lovely.
Ron and I did get ice cream later, and that counted as dinner--it was surprisingly chilly sitting on the square before we headed out of town for Santa Rosa.
We started planning our next trip sitting on the square: We're thinking we'll skip the city and do half of our time in Tahoe and half in wine country. Ron's been to Tahoe before, and I could've gone with him but I "had to teach" and didn't go. I later regretted this. A lot. The only thing I regret as much was when I skipped his business trip to Jackson Hole because (duh) I "had to teach." So stupid. I'm an adjunct barely breaking the poverty line, and I skipped both of these locations because I thought it was the right thing to do. Idiot. I've learned my lesson. Sadly, most of these conferences found themselves cancelled indefinitely post-recession because it's not fashionable to do business in nice places when the global economy is sobbing over its retirement accounts. I didn't play those odds very well, did I?
So next time, half Tahoe and half wine country.
Back to Santa Rosa, and I packed up my stuff. The next morning, we stopped in Sonoma to pick Leslie up on our way to the airport. While I waited for her to emerge from the post-nuptial brunch, I wandered around the wedding locale to see what I could see--the Lodge was gorgeous. It reminded me a lot of Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach, and the air smelled very strongly of money. Plus, the pool was to die for. The wedding had gone perfectly the night before (and I got to vicariously attend via Instagram so YAY!).
Back toward SF we rolled.
|PS--you need EZPASS to cross the bridge from this direction. We had cash, but we didn't have EZPASS. Sooooo ....|
|Maybe next time I'll just cross the bridge and enjoy it and not take pictures of it.|
Of course it was cloudy and misty crossing the bridge, but it was sunny and bright by the time you cross south out of the city.
My hat didn't fit in my luggage, so it came with me on the plane.
|Thank you, Jesus: lipstick.|
That was fine, and it was no problem--it was like a pet because it just sat in my lap the whole time. But when the captain was like, "Didja remember your spurs??" when I was disembarking in Philly I was like, "omigod, seriously? And yes. Yes I did." Ok, maybe I didn't, but I took riding lessons for eight years: I know how to use them. So don't try me.
The Fluffs were relieved to see us, although they spent the first few minutes we were home ignoring us out of spite. The whole time we were in California, I was disappointed because I never really came off of East Coast time. Turns out I was wrong, and I spent the entire week after the trip on West Coast time (or trying to get off West Coast time).
For me, one of the best parts of unpacking is digging through all of my luggage to find the new things I brought home with me. Maybe the hat had to sit in my lap on the plane ride home, but the other things were small enough to be tucked away elsewhere.
|I found a white crochet baby blanket at Rococo Mercato in Santa Rosa. It wasn't flawless--there are two holes, but no stains and it was super inexpensive. Home it came.|
|I'm obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge--I tihink because it's red and it's always pictured against a turquoise background. For whatever reason, it's really pleasing to my eye. The card and the large bridge came from Lola Card Stop on Columbus Ave in North Beach.|
|The pencil sharpener was from a store in the Ferry Terminal--The Gardener? I'm pretty sure it was The Gardener.|
|The band is as pretty as the button.|
I'm glad I bought both of my bridges--I regret that I didn't buy a more Eiffel Towers when I went to Paris. That being said, I had no temptation to buy Colosseums or Leaning Towers in Italy. Go figure.
And that's it. That's California 2014. I'm still not tired of it there, and I still want to go back. If you haven't gone, you must go.