Friday, March 6, 2015

California Day 3

Before we begin, this is what it looked like out my window today. This was my view:

Almost another foot of snow--it's the freakin first week of March. For real.  You know what? I can think of a better view than this one.  Hang on ...

There! That's better.  Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, if ya know what I mean.

On our third day in California (two weeks ago--feels like two lifetimes ago), it was just another sunny 70 degree day.  We woke up Sunday morning with no real agenda but without worry that we would fill up the day.  Most of the stores in Santa Rosa open at 11am on Sundays, and there were three I wanted to revisit from last time.

I mean, seriously. Geraniums?  Are you kidding? Geraniums are growing somewhere outside right now? How?

This is Legendary Beads on 4th Street--so many little things to look at. I forgot to ask who that lady is.

If you ever go to a philosophy conference, guaranteed you'll meet a woman who looks like that doll.

The woman who owns the store buys vintage clothes and uses them in displays around the store.  All of it's for sale--see that embroidered black silk jacket? It came home with me.

Next door at Rococo Mercato--tiny little paintings you can wear as jewelry.

Also Rococo Mercato--those felt envelopes would be soooooo easy to make at home.  These in the window are iPad-size.

I was so excited to go back to Cast Away and Folk--this shawl was the first thing I saw when I walked in.

Unfortunately, this is knit and not crochet ... doesn't mean I can't bring the yarn home ...

I picked out this fabric last time, but not enough to make a skirt.  (Not sure I could make this skirt anyway ...)

They have supplies for every kind of yarn or fabric craft, including things for felting.

You know the granny square baby blanket that I've made for nearly every friend?  This is THAT pattern, BUT it's worked only in a half-round (to make a triangle) rather than a completely finished square.  I could easily do this pattern, but it would be boring in just one color.

This is also a triangle shape, but it's made up of shells--very easy. I think I might do something like this in a solid color.

I picked out the yarn--the blue on the Juliette knitted shawl--and they wound it properly for me.  I also bought a gifty for my mom--a kit to make a felted fox with a little jacket.  I didn't take a picture of the box before I gave it to her.  I'll have to post a picture of the finished foxy. (Actually, here's a picture of him.)

I would've loved to stop in Hot Couture Vintage again, but I had run out of time.  Instead we drove over to Whole Foods and bought a bunch of stuff for lunch: a baguette, two kinds of cheese, two of those large cups of sliced up fruit and berries, and naturally I picked out some French macarons and iced cookies.  From there, we went on to Paradise Ridge Winery. Last summer we visited their Kenwood tasting room on our Platypus Tour, but I wanted to go their central estate this time. You can bring your own food and buy a bottle of their wine and enjoy it all there.  Additionally, I was on a quest to find their sparkling red zinfandel--basically, dark pink champagne with a raspberry and smokey taste (from the wildfires that burned that summer--right before our honeymoon here). Since August, I have regretted not buying any ... this time, I was getting it home somehow.

("But you live in Pennsylvania!"  No worries, there's a loophole for everything.  Ron decided it would come home as checked baggage this time with the other bottles we had bought.)

Yup, that's a pizza oven. It gets put to use all summer long.

"Ooooo a pool!"  No, that's a retention pond, said Ron.  "Oh ... can I swim in it?"

Really, go look at the first two photos on this post.  Somewhere in the continental U. S., there are people dozing outside in the sun.  It's criminal.  Honestly, why do we have the death penalty? Just send people someplace with never-ending winter.  Maybe the Russians will let us use Siberia?

We bought three bottles of sparkling zin: one to enjoy right away, one to take home, and one for Leslie.

A gorgeous day--worthy of the gods themselves.  This is, in fact, where God lives.  Did you know that?  I passed him in the parking lot.

I said to Ron, "Why is it that unless I'm smiling this big, dumb, toothy smile I look so unhappy? Why can't I do the closed-mouth smile??"  Ron goes, "What do you mean by big, dumb smile?"

* click * Thanks, Ron. (ps--hell yeah, I brought the hat.)

Not even the slightest bit chilly.

I need more practice with dodging/burning, Laurie ...

See that open door? That's somebody's OFFICE.  Try not to choke on that.

And this is the view from that "office."

Look how much the light has changed.

We had dinner reservations at the girl and the fig at 5:30, and I wanted to stop in the leather store around the corner beforehand.  (I KNOW: I tried to make myself make a reservation somewhere else, but I just couldn't. And no, I did NOT buy another hat.)

The drive from Santa Rosa to the center of Sonoma is one of my most favorite things.  It's beautiful in every season (or at least the two seasons that I've been there).

This bend in the road is my favorite part.

Napa's on the other side of that mountain.  If you get a chance, take Trinity Drive over the mountain (either way) to get to the other side.  Sublime--no words.  Haven't done that in a long time.

This vineyard is new--the owners imported the olive trees from Europe. I think they're 200 years old?  It would make sense.  I forget the name of this place, but it's big enough that there's a new traffic light being installed out front.

Center of town--I stopped by to see Jessica at Large Leather.  She had a sheep skin that was so FLUFFED and so PUFFED that it could've been Pearl.  Honestly, I should've bought it for Pearl to sleep on (and then I'd have to buy a second one for Penny because those two can't share anything).

I never noticed this table near the bar before. Before we arrived at tg&tf, I told Ron, "I am NOT overdoing it this time! Moules and frites and dessert and THAT IS IT! No entrees! The entrees ruin everything! It's too much!!" Ron shrugged and said something like, "Suit yourself." And I did.

We had the same table as last time.

Like I said, I had moules and frites and Ron had one of the specials--a polenta dish.  Both were amazing.  We split the chocolate and salted fig caramel trifle.  Ooey gooey perfection. To die for.

It was sad to leave.

The Swiss Hotel next door

Driving out of town on Sonoma Highway, I made Ron circle around so I could take this picture out the window.  I challenge anybody in DelCo to beat this.  Isn't it pretty, though?

I enjoyed the drive back to Santa Rosa even though it was dark.  We arrived back in time to hear the Best Picture winner on the Oscars.  (So bizarre: The Oscars start at 5pm in California and they're over by 9 ... that's how people have time for all those parties.  Duh. They're not on the East Coast.)

I had to pack up all my stuff so I could fly home on my own the next morning. Ron had to stay and attend meetings in San Jose all week.

I was seated next to a very well-behaved ten or eleven year old boy and his somewhat belligerent--potentially drunk--dad who called the flight attendant a bitch several times for not serving him ginger ale and water on demand for the duration of the flight.  I felt really bad for the boy.

Yes, it was twenty degrees and freezing-ass cold in Philly when we landed at 7pm.  It was ok, though.  I was so happy to see my Fluffs, although they were really surprised to see me and didn't quite believe it for the first half hour I was home. They sat in a corner of the family room and watched me with big eyes as I unpacked and tossed all my stuff down the basement.  Poor Penny gave up on my return the first day I was gone: She let my mom pick her up and carry her all around the house when she would visit.  Penny doesn't tolerate ME carrying her around. She just squirms and worms until I finally set her down. (If it's Ron holding her, she'll claw him.  She knows better than to use those claws with me.  It annoys me because she's so good-natured otherwise.)

Off to bed I went--I had class the next morning and I officially had a cold (I really have a bad track record with air travel and illness).  I still have a few pictures of things I brought home with me ...

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