So......where was I? Oh yes, yes, the trip! I forgot to mention that before heading off to the Fishereman's Wharf area for "Irish Coffee".....we ate a lovely lunch at a place called "Metropol". Metropol is a great little sandwich/soup/salad place that makes beautiful and tasty food! I had a salad of roasted beets, pears, and blue cheese. Deeeeeelicious :)
The next day was Day 1 of my conference, but I was able to squeak out a teensy bit early and meet up with Marie and the Divine Miss M! Marie is as sweet, kind and funny as they come.......and Miss M.....well, what can you say about the world's cutest 2 year old? I think I will rename her to "Miss Chattybritches". Her favorite word was "No" (of course!). After Marie oohed and aaahhed over the previous day's Artfibers purchases and the KPO needles.....we headed off....BACK to ARTFIBERS to enable yet another unsuspecting knitster...hehehehehehehe! Marie was so excited! She flitted from silk to silk, cones to swatches, back and forth....oh yeah...she was definately like a kid in a candy store! So cute to watch. Miss M and I hung out and played the "colors game" (by which she was able to name all the colors of all the yarn in the store). We then carefully emptied and refilled the wicker baskets with bags of scarf kits and bags of swatch patches (and didn't those swatch patches just cry to come home with me for a yummy cozy afghan!) Miss M really liked the "big dolls"..i.e. mannequins! Especially the "big flying doll" hanging from the ceiling wearing the knitted 2 piece bathing suit! Miss M is my new buddy! (And so of course is her mom) I wish we could have hung around longer, but schedules had to be maintained!
Next stop, Theater 39 at Pier 39 for a delightful production of MENOPAUSE, THE MUSICAL, a hilarious and totally "right on target" look at the good/bad/and ugly side of womankind! Barbara, Bonnie (a CNM colleague of mine) and I laughed SO hard we nearly wet our pants! At the end, we all ended up on stage in the chorus line! Too much fun.
We then ate dinner at a place rated as having "The Best Clam Chowder on the Pier"......hmmmm....per Barbara...it was "not bad"! Riding home, Bonnie and I played "guess the pathology" on the strange parade of obviously ill or injured individuals getting on the public transport system. It was a Twilight Zone moment or two there for sure! It was also interesting (for me) to see how very many publicly homeless individuals there were curling up for the night in the doorways and on the seating benches in front of the buildings. What a frightening way of life.
Barbara did some personal shopping (I heard through another source that she returned to Artfibers...yet again...yes..that would be visit #3 for her) while I was in conference Friday...then we at dinner at a wonderful restaurant called THE E&O TRADING COMPANY which was just absolutely amazingly wonderful food! We had a broad selection of their appetizers. My favorite was the Portabello Mushroom satay. Definately a recipe I will try to recreate here at home! Yum!
On Saturday, my conference ended at noon....and Barbara & I had maps in hand to tour the other TWO yarny destinations of San Francisco proper. First stop....ATELIER in the lower Pacific Heights neighborhood. It was a lovely shop, made even more appealling by the friendly service and local color. While we were there a very lovely, very elderly italian couple came in to exchange yarn the woman had purchased a few days earlier. She spoke very little English and her ?husband explained that she needed a heavier weight yarn...but not cotton....to make a dress for their first great-great granddaughter! They were so dressed up and so cute.....you could just imagine them in their Pacific Heights home overlooking the bay...playing Tony Bennett songs and reminiscing about their Beach Blanket Bingo days.....(OK...I read too much and watched too much old TV...but allow me my license please...) Anyway, both Barbara and I ended up purchasing lovely shawl pins there...mine in abalone...hers...pewter intertwined gingko leaves! Quite lovely....but not the "different selection" of yarns that would necessitate fiber investment! Then off to coffee and further map recon!
We learned quickly that the busline right in front of the coffeeshop would zip us straight down the road to the Castro District to IMAGIKNITS....last yarnstore on our list! Now....i dunno about Barbara...but I wasn't expecting to be impressed....I mean...after all...it wasn't Artfibers...right? But the walk through the colorful neighborhood with colorful homes and shops with colorful names.....and fabulously colorful (and very attractive) locals...was great fun....and we quickly and easily found ImagiKnits.
It was far...far...far...more exciting and wonderful than I'd expected. Truly! The friendly, helpful, knowledgable owner said that she'd worked very hard to have something for everyone...and it showed! OH MY GOD! It was YARN OVERLOAD!!!!!! The staff was easily identified by their black ImagiKnits aprons....and they were all SOOOO helful and so much fun!
I came home with just a bit of Malabrigo 50/50 merino wool/silk in a (6 bags only) one of a kind colorway that totally appealled to my "elitist" streak. I don't remember what Barbara got.....I was totally wrapped up in my own private yarny heaven! If I lived in SF....I think I'd be hanging out a lot in ImagiKnits :)
But then it was time to head back to the hotel as Barbara had a plane to catch. We rode an "antique" cable car back to Union Square and said our "au revoirs"!
I headed back to the hotel room. I was POOPED! I did have a date to meetup with the fabulously talented and elegant RACHEL to hear THE WHORESHOES and THE DEVIL MAKES THREE at THE GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL.....and I honestly waffled for about an hour as to whether or not I should bail and give this old girl's bod a rest.....but then I said to myself..."Self...you don't go out to play like this very often...and you can sleep when you get home....Now put yer big girl panties on and get OUT and play!"...So I did! I took a cab as advised by the hotel staff as the GAMH is in a part of town known as The Tenderloin....and conveniently located right next door to a live sex show performed by "the most beautiful girls in San Francisco"...I dunno...I didn't go in to check it out. Upon arrival at the GAMH, I tried to call Rachel but just got her cellphone voicemail. Due to the music level pouring out on the street, I figured she couldn't hear her phone, so I wrapped my SUNRAY a little bit more firmly for courage (akin to "girding my loins") and purchased my ticket, got my wrist stamped....and headed to the bar for a little more liquid form of courage. The adorable barkeep poured me a stout in large heavy glass and I proceeded to survey the territory for a familiar face! Hey, there she was up in the balcony! And she looked EXACTLY like her photos in her blog. I headed up to the balcony tables and introduced myself! GULP! Now...I have to say...that Rachel is as glamorous and beautiful and friendly and witty and articulate and and and and....as she is in her blog...absolutely what you see is what you get with her...no sense of duplicity or other weirdness....she quickly offered me up a chair, and began to introduce me around to her sister and other friends. As I was shaking hands with one person, she then says..."and you already know my friend Kira"....and I turned to find...KIRA from Artfibers....who I'd obviously spent quite a bit of time with recently! She said "I knew from how Rachel described you...knitblogger, midwife, Alaska...that it would be you coming tonight"! HOW FUN! I must say that these folks made me feel right at home! And the MUSIC! Holy Cow! I was totally wonderfully delightedly TWANGED by the time I left (well past midnight). The concert was OUTSTANDING! I danced and clapped my hands so much they were numb. Almost good ole hoedown music....but with a more tongue in cheek approach! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....a good time was had by all! At one point though....when looking down over the balcony and trying to figure out why there was so much smoke puffing up through the air.....and seeing some big ole fatties flaring up and being passed around......I had a momentary time warp....(ooohmygodi'mamomandagrownupprofessionalwomanforgodssakewhatamidoinghere)....but I was having such a good time that I quickly got over myself! And I got to meet the Whoreshoes in person and shake hands with them and talk a bit with the talented and tangy Lala (banjo picker extraordinaire!) It was a perfect cap to an already EXCELLENT trip. I'm so glad I went! Rachel, Lala, Kira, Rachel2, Jodi....you are awesome! mmmmmwwwwwaaaahhh! And hey, if you didn't check out Rachel's blog...GO THERE....and see the beautiful stole she knit and wore to the concert! She's just so GLAMOROUS!! And Fun! Thanks so much for the great time ladies!
(Me & the World Famous Rachel!)
The next (or should I say later that same) morning....was an EARLY check in at the airport....and another uneventful plane ride (for those that know me...nope...didn't get sick at all...coming OR going...which is a small miracle in and of itself...maybe i've outgrown it? ) back home to a SURPRISE....CLEAN HOUSE....and happy cheerful family welcoming me home! Like I said...It was Great to GO....and now it's Great to be Home........and I'm already planning my next trip in October! Look out Virginia :)