Dave and I have just returned from a vacation to San Francisco, northern California and southern Oregon. One highlight was salmon fishing on the Rogue River where Dave caught a thirty-two pound salmon and I a ten pound salmon. They took Dave's photo and gave him a "30 pound club" pen for his hat; they let me watch.
We walked the hills of SF until we were both exhausted but walked through China Town and had some dim sum for lunch. On a street corner, a woman was hawking her family's restaurant so we followed her and ate lunch. The food was good and we enjoyed the little break. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, before the fog set in, the rock that's called Alcatraz, which looks forboding and forlorn, and the usual street party happenings at Fisherman's Wharf and Gheradelli Square. We wanted to ride the street cars but the waiting line was several hundred people long...our desire was outdistanced by our common sense. We hailed a cab instead.
We took Dave's GPS which was a stress reducer and time saver. I drove and he navigated and we made out just fine. I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, going and coming, and that was fun. We headed to Petaluma where Knitterly Yarn Shop is located with great staff and selection. They gave us a short cut to #1 Highway which is the Coastal Highway and that was one of our primary "tourism destinations". The Coastal Highway goes up the coast with breathtaking scenery of both the Pacific Ocean and the dramatic cliffs that hug the ocean. We eventually made our way through the Redwood Forest and that was awe inspiring. As high as the eye can see and the neck can crane the trees go up, up, up, up. My God is an awesome God.
Grants Pass is where Dave spent his early years and we saw the house where he remembers living. He called his sister and mother, back on the East Coast, and they tripped down memory lane. The Grants Pass Farmers' Market is the oldest in southern Oregon and just filled with fabulous food, hand made crafts and a white woman with dreadlocks singing her folk song heart out. That was a sight...a white woman with dreadlocks singing folks songs. It seemed a bit incongruous to me but she did have a lovely voice. Away from the ocean the heat was dreadful! It was supposed to be around 100 that day and one farmer told me, "oh but it's a dry heat." Right...like hot isn't hot if you're not sweating. Trust me, it was still hot but the only difference between East Coast heat and West Coast heat is I wasn't stewing in my juices.
Back to the coast where we enjoyed lovely cool temps, lots of fog and, at the Albion River Inn a fire in the fireplace if we were awake. How lovely is the ARI...it overlooks where the Albion River enters the Pacific Ocean and the scenery is breathtaking! We did some major rest and relaxation and our entertainment was reading, knitting or simply gazing out the window. No televisions available; those ARI folks have their priorities straight.
The Mendocino Yarn Shop is, quite simply, fabulous. The owner is a truly delightful woman who is very free with her knowledge, her time and her self. She was moving next door into a larger building and was having a sale in the old shop. What Bliss! To find a yarn shop having a major sale...some serious burning was done of the the old credit cards and I was happy to do it. I found a copy of a Mission Falls pattern book I didn't have; Mags K. is the Mission Falls designer and probably my favorite. I enjoy looking at her patterns as much as I enjoy knitting them. If anyone knows her, please pass along the compliment...her work is terrific.
On the flight out, we were stranded in Charlotte, NC airport for five hours but I wasn't bored. I always take my knitting,...along with the TSA page that says knitting needles are allowed...and I sat in the main terminal, in a rocking chair, and whiled away the hours. I met three other knitters, one of whom I had read about in a earlier issue of Spin-Off Magazine. It was a charming and delightful way to pass time while waiting for our new flight connection.
We've been home a few days, have settled back into a routine and are happy to be here. Vacation is most heartily recommended, especially those that are longer than a long weekend. Three days are nice but, somehow, don't quite give the same amount of stress reduction as does a longer vacation. For the next few months we'll eat smoked salmon and relive our fishing adventures. Last night we had a supper of warmed smoked salmon over a bed of mesculin greens with dried cherries and a vinaigrette dressing. It was worthy of being served in a restaurant!
Time is approaching for school to start, craft festivals to begin and autumn is coming. It seems almost too soon we're getting ready for cooler and colder weather, long johns, boots and woolens. I did take a lot of photos and did buy a lot of post cards while on vacation so will have those to remind me of good times.
Now if I could just figure out *how* to get photos on this blog!