Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Back!

What a fun, fun vacation.  I got to spend time with lots of friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in 20 years (more on that visit in a future post).  I didn't bring my netbook, which means that I didn't blog at all, and that was a nice break.  It also meant that I had more time in the evenings to play Wheel of Fortune on the Wii with Theresa and Barbara, get them hooked on playing Words With Friends, and help Theresa with her knitting.  Plus, there was lots of physical activity, in the form of running, walking, hiking, rock climbing, and swimming, and once again, I'm reminded of how grateful I am to have made the effort to lose weight and change myself from a sedentary person to one who enjoys moving - and I moved a lot on this vacation!

You all know it wouldn't be me if I didn't break up my trip into several posts - hey, I have a lot to share and it can't be contained into one measly little recap!  Here's the first one:  Blogger Buddies.

Debby was kind enough to plan a trip to the bay area while I was in town, and she spent an entire day with me - thanks, Debby!  She picked me up and we headed off to our first destination - a yarn shop...which happened to be conveniently located in a cute little shopping area near a deli/bakery and an outdoor courtyard.  We perused the yarn selection - gorgeous and overwhelming - and then decided to check out the other yarn store in town, just in case.  That one was overwhelming and chaotic, so we ended up going back to the original store - after lunch at the deli/bakery, of course.
Debby at the chaotic yarn shop
Lunch was a delicious apple/Gruyere/Gorgonzola panini, followed by French macaroons for dessert!  My first time to try them - a caramel and a mocha flavor.  Lemme just say, these lived up to their hype.  Holy yum!

Oh, we also made a quick stop at Java Bob's, where we both bought some really good coffee, and I learned all about espresso grinds.
 
I've already brewed several cups of my Jazzland Dark roast, and boy is it good!

Then we spent a couple hours knitting together, which was pretty cool considering that Debby taught me how to knit six months ago.  I had a sweater pattern that was giving me trouble, so she read it and helped me get started (for the third time, lol...I am quite proficient in unraveling my projects).  I have high hopes that this time, I will actually be able to continue the process.  Oh, and in talking with the expert knitter, I discovered that the sweater might be a bit small for me - my "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" style of knitting (gauge swatch? what gauge swatch??) apparently doesn't always work with fitted garments.  No worries, though...I know a couple of people smaller than me who it will fit (or I can diet into it, depending on exactly how small it turns out).

Finally we went back into the original yarn shop.  It was so interesting to watch Debby choose yarn - she has such a great sense of artistry with colors (her quilts are incredible) - while I have a harder time seeing the big picture, so to speak, when it comes to putting things together.  I did, however, fall in love with the colors of this yarn - it's Malabrigo Rasta in Indiecita color.  Wow.  It knits up beautifully, and while it was expensive, I am so glad I bought it!
Long story short, I started making a scarf (on size 17 needles) but loved the colors and feel so much that I decided to buy more yarn and make a throw instead.  Only the shop didn't have any more of this color, so I chose a similar color...now, I don't know what to make with this.  Back to the scarf?  Who knows...

After we finished buying our treasures at the yarn shop, we headed out for frozen yogurt.  They are not as prolific in Santa Cruz as they are in my town, but luckily I remembered seeing one (my description to Debby: "it's in a green strip center on the right side of the street" - almost as good as having GPS, right?) and soon we were in froyo heaven.
This was our dinner - nothing wrong with that, right?

All in all, a great day spent with a wonderful friend.

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A week later, I got to meet up with Janell for our "second annual once a year meeting" as she so eloquently put it.  We met at a BBQ restaurant in Scott's Valley, with Barbara, Theresa and her little friend Emma along for the visit.  I love that Janell is so easy to talk to - there's no shy, awkward pauses...we just get into things right away.  Although the visit was missing her adorable dog, Bella (I tried to convince Janell to call her a service dog so she could bring her into the restaurant!), and it was short, we had a great time.  Afterward, we posed for a few pictures, with Barbara using my camera and Theresa using Janell's:
Janell kept getting distracted by the pig head above the entrance...these disembodied heads are de rigueur in Texas, but not so normal in California, so she had to take a picture:
Janell, come visit me in Texas and I'll show you so many animal heads mounted on walls that you'll burn up your camera battery if you try and take a picture of each one!  Yep, it's crazy out here.

Janell drove off in her convertible VW Bug, which impressed Theresa and Emma so much ("ooh, she's putting the top down!") - it was too cute.  Another great visit with a lovely, lovely woman.

37 comments:

  1. I should be so so very very embarrassed at how Ive waited for this post---yet Im not.
    LOVE THE STORIES and the blogger friends visits.

    SO JEALOUS youve met those two in real life and actually SEEN the VW in person.
    worth the refreshrefreshrefresh!!! wait :-)

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    1. Last year I actually got to RIDE in the VW - with Bella!

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  2. Welcome Home! I am incredibly jealous (and happy for you) for your meet ups! Such great women. And that yarn, well, it is just gorgeous. I saw some like it (I think) when I was on vacation. It was outside a textile store on a display stand, on needles with a note inviting people to make a few stitches! I'd never seen any "try-before-you-buy" yarns. It was so luxurious and wonderful and beautiful that I was almost tempted myself.

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    1. I'm telling you, this has sold me on good yarn. Holy moly, it's gorgeous and feels so good!

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  3. Welcome back Shelley, I missed your posts but am so happy for you you had such a great time.

    I'm almost jealous at Debby and Janel that they got to meet you. I want to meet you too :) It's time one of us wins the lottery, don't you think?

    And I love that Janel's dog is named Bella, you know why :)

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    1. That reminds me, I have a lottery ticket in my wallet for Wednesday's drawing...when my numbers come up, I'm buying a ticket to Holland!

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    2. You're more than welcome to visit me! If it's a big price, could you bring Helen and Lori too? :)

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  4. Welcome home, I missed you! Those photos of you and Janell are wonderful. But I wanted to see the gruyere, gorgonzola and apple panini, LOL.

    (I am trying a new thing and commenting on entries as soon as I read them. Maybe that will help me comment more, haha.)

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    1. How funny, I didn't post a picture of the panini because I though it wasn't as exciting as the macaroons! But oh, it was good!

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  5. Looks like a fun getaway! Welcome back to blogland :)

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  6. Debby and Janell both look fabulous. How nice that you guys met up again. I'm glad you took the blogging break and really ENJOYED your vacation!

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    1. They DO look great, don't they? Beautiful women, inside and out.

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  7. What a fun trip!! Glad you had such a good time. Those little macaroons do look wonderful. I've never had one.

    Fun! Can't wait to read about the rest of the trip.

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    1. The macaroons were amazing and I'm actually glad they don't seem to be available anywhere nearby, if you know what I mean!

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  8. I will look forward to each and every recap of your vacation! What a wonderful time, and great that you got some blogger meet ups. I am not jealous at all. I just lied! :D

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    1. One of these days...maybe when you come out to Austin???

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  9. This was so fun to re-live our day together. So glad you indulged in that good yarn. Maybe one of these times I'll be able to join you and Janell for your annual once a year meet up! Those are fun pictures of you two!

    And yes, I am looking forward to the rest of the report! I think you need to post every day this week to make up for missing two weeks--don't you think that's fair?

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    1. That would be fun to have you there with Janell! :)

      If I post every day, when will I have time to play WWF?

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  10. Yay - you're back! It sounds like you had a great time. How can we tempt you into coming out east once in a while?

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    1. Girl, I would love to...trying to make that happen soon!

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  11. Macaroons and Espresso with Debby? I am crying from jealousy!

    Sounds like a great trip and I am glad you enjoyed it so much!

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    1. Believe me, your name was brought up when we saw both!

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  12. Seriously, I had such a good time. It was great to see both you and Barbara and I can't believe how old her daughter has gotten in one year when we adults have stayed so young and vibrant.

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  13. Sounds like a FANTASTIC trip Shelley. So glad you enjoyed yourself, met up with all kinds of folks, had some good activity but also good food and good times.

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  14. Glad to hear you had a great vacation! As for the macaroons, they look so yum.

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  15. How fun!! And how great to have a meetup with those two great ladies! Glad you had such a great time.

    I'm like you about the yarn thing, once I finally sprung for some quality yarn it's hard to settle for anything else :) Happy knitting!

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  16. I missed your blog posts, glad you are back, and can't wait to read more. It sounds like you had so much fun, and those macaroons look amazing!

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  17. I'm so glad you're back and that you had a great time. I missed your posts so much!!

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