Once upon a time, I took a trip

Remember that?  Way back in October??  Berkeley???

image from www.flickr.com 
Monday the 24th was my last full day of vacation, as I had a mid-morning flight home on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful, sunny day!!  Finally!

image from www.flickr.com 
We walked to a cafe for breakfast, plotted our course for the day, and took photos all the way home.  We still had a few hours before the rental lenses were due back, so we drove over to the Port of Oakland.

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com 
Fascinating... and we had more wide-angle and fisheye fun!

After returning the lenses, we decided that it was a beautiful day to drive to the coast.

image from www.flickr.com 
We drove to Pescadero and had lunch at Duarte's -- cute place with a lot of history, and oh-so-yum.

On the way to the beach, we searched out a geocache!

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com 
We weren't as successful in finding the small cemetery across the street that was mentioned in the entry.  It sure was pretty trying, though.

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The beach was beautiful, as beaches are.

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We stopped at a pumpkin patch on the way home.

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com 
They even had some chickens!

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We spent a relaxing evening on Monday -- knitting and chatting.  Oh, and then way too soon it was Tuesday morning and time to leave.

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I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people I've met -- both virtually and, luckily, also in reality -- and the amazing experiences and opportunities that blogging has opened to me.  I have been to both coasts, now, as well as a few spots in the middle because of it -- I wish I could do it more often, there are so many others I'd like to visit.  It's occurred to me more than once, in a daydreamy way, that working as a yarn rep within a nice, laaaarge area, could satisfy several of my needs -- and wants.

And may I add that I am, quite simply, verklempt.  I sincerely thank you for your wonderful comments, emails, and calls about Parcheesi -- and everything else.  Thank you so much for reading my blog, and for stopping in now and then to let me know...

XO


Berkeley Bowl, NaBloPoMo, and Ten on Tuesday!

I have never had more fun at the grocery store -- particularly in the produce department.  Once permission to photograph was granted, we slapped on lenses (15mm fisheye and 100mm macro) and tried not to get in anyone's way (too much) (one tends to get lost in the world that appears through the viewfinder).

image from www.flickr.com 
I've lost count of how many photos I took on this trip!  Here are a few faves from Berkeley Bowl.

image from www.flickr.com 
Artichokes -- one of my favorite veggies.  I can get them in Wisconsin, but I'm usually lucky if I can find enough decent specimens for our whole family from the paltry number available at any given time.

image from www.flickr.com 
I should have pulled back for a shot of these adorable little bundles of multi-colored carrots.

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Three varieties of sweet potatoes and two of yams.  Really!  Every single sign indicated the item's country of origin, many went even further.

image from www.flickr.com 
I noticed that many of the mushrooms -- the selection included many varieties that I've never seen before -- came from Oregon and Washington (big surprise!).

image from www.flickr.com 
The Berkeley Bowl set on Flickr.

Nablo_typer_160px And I guess I'm in:  NaBloPoMo 2010!  I've done this a few times over the blogging years -- successfully, for the most part.  I think.

Arguably, signing up for NaBloPoMo might NOT seem to be one of the 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life -- this week's Ten on Tuesday topic -- but (and I'm totally riffing here) I might be able to spin it my way.

10 Ways to Simplify Your Life

  1. Make lists
  2. Prioritize
  3. Delegate
  4. Organize
  5. Clean out
  6. Pare down
  7. Toss/Donate
  8. Establish a filing system
  9. Use online resources for banking & shopping (when it makes sense to do so)
  10. Cook & bake extra and pack yourself a lunch or two when putting away leftovers

'Frisco Friday

My plane arrived in Oakland late Thursday night.  It wasn't long before I was marveling at the reality of standing in the house of Unraveling!  I've "known" Celia for almost as long as I've been blogging -- 6 years or so -- and we've read/commented/corresponded quite a bit in that time, but until a couple of weeks ago I'd never even heard her voice.  So, yeah, there was some mutual marveling -- "You're right here!"

And it was... marvelous.  It would be a lie to say that my nerves hadn't increased a bit as the time approached -- at the prospect of spending four full days + some change with someone that I'd never spent five minutes with on the phone.  Not so much because she was an "internet" friend, because I've done that before; and I thought I had an accurate reading -- as, obviously, thought Celia about me; and (I feel) I couldn't be more laid-back and go-with-the-flow but, you know, what if there were SOME REALLY WEIRD DIFFERENCES that we never noticed on the internet before??  I've been an "open book" blogger to varying degrees over the years, but I still choose what and how I'll write in my book!  What if we COULDN'T STAND EACH OTHER??

Heh.  Well, it's weird that she has lemon trees in her yard instead of apple, but otherwise, truthfully, the weirdest thing were the many similarities and how often I found myself smiling and nodding in agreement.

image from www.flickr.com

On Friday morning, we picked up our rented lenses at the camera store.  We had three Canon EF lenses (which fit both of our cameras) to play with for the weekend -- a 15mm f/2.8 fisheye (same as I rented in May for Vegas, baby), a 24mm f/1.4 wide angle, and a 100mm f/2.8 macro.  I already knew that I loved the fisheye (above), but I have developed a deep and serious love for the versatile wide angle (below)!

image from www.flickr.com 
image from www.flickr.com 

Oh yeah.  Not to mention my love for these Ruth Asawa knitted wire sculptures.  But ahead of myself I am getting...

The weather could have been better for sightseeing but it is what it is!  After picking up our equipment, we took off and drove over some bridges to see what we could see -- the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and (later) San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

We visited the de Young Museum and took photos from the Tower Observation Floor.  It's the California Academy of Sciences (and the Living Roof!) across the way.  I recognized the roof immediately because I'd just sent Ali a "rooftop gardens" slideshow link and this was one; very cool to see it in person.

image from www.flickr.com 

We would have spent a LOT more time on the grounds and in the gardens at de Young if it hadn't started raining in earnest about the time we headed out.  Not to worry... going with the flow...

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com 
...and mostly covered in James Turrell's "Three Gems" Skyspace.  ("Hi, Celia!")

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com 
We were also somewhat protected in the bandshell, shared with some bums watching a movie on a laptop and soon joined by another on his bike/trailer mode of transportation (blue tarp above) and the wettest, dirtiest, mangiest dog in the world.

We had lunch -- and especially dessert -- at 'Wichcraft.

image from www.flickr.com 

I can scratch #9 - Peanut butter sandwich cookie at 'Wichcraft from Trick or Treat! The Big Sweet SF: 50 Treats to Eat Before You Die", but will have to go back for the other 49. Oh darn!

And from there we made our way to Art Fibers in their wonderful new space!

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After deliberations, I bought a lovely little cone of Alfabeto in color #15 -- soft and green.  It will be a scarf -- soft and green.

The seasonal lack of green in my world at the moment must have me craving it, as I just bought some bright lime green napkins today with the idea of brightening my winter kitchen.

image from www.flickr.com 
We walked (and drooled) our way through the new Fluevog store on our way to the most enormous DSW I've ever seen!  While I tried on a couple of pairs of Keens at DSW, I didn't buy any -- it wasn't really a shoe-buying trip, but, you know, a store full of Fluevogs, and Keens @ DSW (they're never at mine!).  This is right out the front door of DSW and I just had to take a photo like this.  It is so The Streets of San Francisco to me -- I expect Karl Malden and Michael Douglas to come flying down those hills, sirens blaring.

And if I just had to take a picture like that, then I most definitely just had to take a picture of this:

image from www.flickr.com
...which, naturally, makes me think of Rice-A-Roni.

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I was slightly enamored of the escalator at Westfield San Francisco Centre, but did not go shopping.

We went home and then to the Berkeley Bowl -- and that's a whole 'nother post!


Re-entry

*sigh*

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A week ago today, DH & I went to Milwaukee.  He drove, I cast on my second inner Dimorphous Mitten.

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First stop:  Zeidler Municipal Building for an official, embossed, signed, sealed, and delivered certificate of my birth.  CHECK!  (And so quick!)

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Second stop:  Beans & Barley for lunch.  I had a Chicken Pine Nut sandwich and a cup of soup -- I don't remember what kind, but it was good.  Oh so good!  My sister used to frequent Beans & Barly when she lived in Milwaukee a million years ago -- I remember hearing it a lot, "Beans & Barley," "Beans & Barley," "Beans & Barley" -- but I don't think I've ever been before!  I had to call her while we waited for a table and say, "Guess where I am?  You'll never guess where I am!"  And she never would have guessed.

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I browsed the market and bought some snacks before we headed for Sheridan Park on the lakeshore.

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We took a walk, looked out over the bluff, watched some planes and geese, said "Hello" to some dogs, and found a place to walk down to the shore.

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Boy oh boy, it sure was a gorgeous day!

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DH dropped me off at the airport where I awaited my flight to the Left Coast.  I've been to WA/OR/CA a couple of times since we moved from Oregon to Wisconsin in 1986 -- we all flew for a visit in '88 when Ali was about a year old, and took the Amtrak in '91 when Maddy was only about 8 weeks, and did Big Sur/Monterey/Disneyland in '96, and my sister and I drove Katie in '03 to begin her college education at Humbolt State University.  DH has been to CA many, many times over the years -- often one of the kids would accompany him -- to do art shows, visit galleries, and get a vital saltwater fix!  This is the first time I've headed to the west coast by myself since 1983 when I loaded up my red '82 Firebird and pointed west... and, actually, that's not true because I think my sister drove with me that time, too!

To be continued...