So... it's been awhile. Not awhile since I sewed anything, but awhile since I posted. You see, I was fortunate enough to accept a new job that started on the first of October (last Monday!). So, in order to not be a crazy, burned out person I decided to take 2 weeks off between leaving my old job and starting the new one! My grandma turned 92 at the beginning of September and, because I was still running around trying to wrap everything up, I missed all 3 of her birthday parties! So, I took about 10 days of my vacation and went down to hang out with her in central California.
She lives out in the country, surrounded by fields and (relatively recently) right next to my Dad's cousin's husband's almond orchard (he's renting the land from my Grandma). It's so peaceful, and definitely one of my favorite places on earth. When we weren't playing cards, napping, or eating, I sat out on her enormous deck in the lazy, hot summer afternoons and worked on pad stitching my lapels.
I also went to visit my brother, who is currently living in the bay area. I went to Stonemountain and Daughter (very nifty Berkeley fabric store with a great sale section on the second floor) and to Britex Fabrics in downtown San Francisco.
I was a little overwhelmed by Britex -- they have some really lovely Missoni knits that I was tempted to pick up, but my recent wool binge has left me with negative space for fabric storage. I've started piling it on top of the shelves that hold my cookbooks since the regular "fabric storage" is packed full of lovely fabrics. One of these days I'll have to share pictures of my fabric "storage"... but not today. So, instead, I managed to escape with a dozen cards of buttonhole twist (So I don't have to pay shipping!) and a buttonhole chisel. Also known as a buttonhole opener.
My brother is a vegetarian, so we ate dinner one night at a really nice vegetarian place called Millenium. It was a little expensive (~$100/person, including pre-dinner cocktails and wine), but a fun experience. I'm willing to occasionally pay for a good experience. It's located off the lobby of the "Hotel California", which is actually a Best Western. I'm not sure that it's the "real" Hotel California of Eagles fame. I think that one is in SoCal. We then went to a fun, slightly dive-y bar in Oakland called "Merchant's". This was painted on the ceiling and illuminated by black lights.
I love a good dive bar! There were a whole bunch of drunk Finnish guys at a table next to ours -- they were very fun and looked like they were having a great time.
We also went up into the hills around Berkeley to get a great view of Oakland/San Francisco and the Marin headlands. We ended up at this great place called "Indian Rock" which is a big rock with an amazing view right in the middle of this residential area. From there we could see the clouds roll into the city.
All in all, it was a really nice, relaxing vacation. On the way back, I even achieved luggage perfection:
(For those of you who have not had to suffer the indignity of air travel in the US recently, 50 pounds is the maximum your checked luggage can weigh before they charge you an extortionate overage fee).
Since I got back, I have been working on a top secret project (my nephew's Halloween costume), and can't post pictures here, since I want my sister to see it first. Mailing it out on Monday! I was planning on going in to work tomorrow, but just learned that the marathon is tomorrow morning, so I'll probably just fiddle around the house. Maybe work on my jacket some more! I still have to pad stitch the collar, but can assemble the rest of the shell.
I hope that you had a wonderful summer! What's your favorite place to visit?