Well, better once in a while than never. Being out of town for a week I just had a ton of stuff to do and am slowly catching up.
Highlights of our trip:
1) Nancy Pearl. I got to tape an episode of her TV show in Seattle, and she is the sweetest lady ever. It will air in September, and after that you can download it from the website. Link and reminder to come.
2) Art in Seattle. Ben and I had our favorites, but we both enjoyed it very much. My faves were the carved Crayola crayons and the Quilt’s of Gee’s Bend, which I’d always wanted to see.
3) Fashion in Seattle! I stopped in one awesome store in Pioneer Square called Violette (I think) that had lots of local designer and handmade stuff that was affordable and very inspiring, and another in Ballard called, Velouria (thanks, Stasha!) next to a cool record store called Sonic Boom. Just go to Ballard. Ballard is very cool.
4) Bainbridge Island. Ben and I spontaneously jumped on a ginormous ferry at dinnertime and felt like we were on a vacation in our vacation. It was so beautiful, we ate delicious calamari and fried oysters (!) by the water with yummy iced tea, and walked by a little jam session in the park on the way back. The only crushing part of this trip was that there was the best fabric store I’ve ever seen called Esthers (www.esthersfabrics.com), and it was closed. But my heart was amused on the ferry back by some neo-goth kids feeding Cheetos to seagulls out of their hands. Or as Ben said, “Being one with the seagulls.” Yes, the seagulls, goths and cheetos.
5) Gualala (pron. Wa LA la) Ca, up the coast a few hours from San Francisco. Spectacular. We could see the ocean from our hotel room. From the bed. The air was phenomenally fragrant. Breakfast was yummy. There were wild turkeys walking around. Outside. Also in Wa LA la – our friends Jessica and Marc’s wedding. It was lovely, and heartfelt. You would have felt the love if you’d been there.
6) Dune. Our friends Dann and Yvonne have an almost one-year-old baby boy named Dune. He’s kind of gorgeous, and he thought me and Ben were really, really funny. Well, we are. We just didn’t expect a one-year-old to recognize it. Man, there is nothing like a baby giggling. Dune would crack up, and then he’d keep laughing so hard until he sort of hiccupped, and then his face would suddenly sober up from the hiccup, and then a minute later he’d start cracking up again. Ben got a little video of this on his camera and it is the best cure ever for what ails you. We took him with us to the Matthew Barney exhibit at the SF MOMA, and he was cracking up in the gallery the whole time. Not even at us. Just at himself, or whatever. It was awesome. He’s rad. Kind of like his folks.
7) Berkeley, Ben and the Golden Gate. The last night, we went to see more friends in Berkeley, which is just like you hear it is, and which I thought was quite charming. Even the house across the street from our friends Tom and Piper covered with television sets. T&P (formerly of Chicago), have a lovely home there, and they gave us a quick, last minute tour around the entire S.F. area. I told Ben the only thing I really wanted to do this time in S.F. was see the Golden Gate, ‘cuz I missed it last time, but time was running out and it didn’t seem feasible because we were pretty far away. Ben actually tried harder than I did to make it happen when I was just like, oh, it’s fine, but he mentioned it one last time to Tom and Piper and they said, “Great! Let’s go!” and jumped up out of their chairs like little kids and had their jackets on before anything else was said, and it was great, and we even got a short little walk in Muir Woods although it was closing up right when we got there. Ended with a yummy dinner back in Berkeley at the Jumping Bean (?). Why can’t I ever remember the name of anything. Long day of traveling home made better by a bag of groceries from the Berkeley Bowl, where I’d totally shop if there were such a thing here. Why are the cool grocery stores in other towns always better than the ones in your own town?