Category Archives: shopping

San Francisco with Mary

I love to eat.   I am not a foody, but Mary is.

I love nice clothes.  I am not a shopper, but Mary is.

I love to travel.  I don’t know places well.

But Mary knows all these things.

SF with Mary100

It’s relaxing to travel with friends like Mary because they hold in their hands all the knowledge they need as they negotiate the world – their cell phone accessed by yelp.  They know facts about everything.  They check me in to all the places we go.  Life is never boring when I am with my friends.

SF with Mary025 Within 7 minutes of arriving at the Double Tree in Berkeley, we were back in the hotel parking lot to catch the shuttle that took us to the North Berkeley BART station.  Within one minute of descending the elevator, the train arrived, and we were whisked under the Bay to San Francisco.  Manny wasn’t wearing his concrete shoes, so we made it safely to the other side.

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The perfect weather beckoned me to dwaddle, so I left my camera in my purse.  Everything I saw I wanted to photograph, but I resisted temptation, and left my camera asleep in my purse along with Manny.  I know – I’d make a terrible Teddy Bear Rights Advocate!

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It was 3:00 p.m., and we hadn’t eaten lunch.  We hustled to the Ferry Station where food choices surrounded us.  It was impossible not to find a good place to eat.

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Unfortunately I had eaten a spinach artichoke quiche at Panera’s AND a bagel for breakfast at about 9:30 a.m.l!  Yikes – don’t do that.  NO MATTER HOW GREAT IT IS!  It will make your stomach feel like exploding ALL DAY!  Resist temptation.  Then, for heaven’s sake, don’t stop at the best bakery in the Central Valley of California.  And if you do stop there, don’t eat a frosted sugar cookie!  Not even one bite!  Even if it’s hours later, whatever you do, don’t eat a warm egg salad sandwich and brussel sprout, sweet potato chicken soup on top of that!  You know there’s more.  Don’t try to sample EVERY piece of chocolate in the Ferry Terminal!  And for heaven’s sake, don’t try to eat a huge Chinese dinner on top of all that!  But if you do, be sure to have the flowering tea.  It’s very calming.

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After we got through making ourselves sick at the Ferry we walked two blocks to catch the N Judah bus which the young lady at the butter pastery shop told us would take us to Union Square.  What she didn’t tell us was that the N Juda buss ran only late at night.  So after letting one or two busses pass us by, we got on the next bus that came along, and it took us where we wanted to go.  The goal was to reach a store called Uniqulo.  This is sort of the Japanese IKEA for clothes. You will enjoy how colorful it is.

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Mary found plenty to buy.  I bought another coat, so I could layer all three as we walked all night in San Francisco.  I was almost warm enough as we toured the park including the ice rink, and walked across the street to Macy’s .

We had to go to Mary’s favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner.  I had one potsticker, a few spoonfuls of wonton soup with sizzling rice in a coconut broth, and one tiny orange chicken nugget, and lovely flowering tea.  It was probably really delicious.

After dinner we walked towards the bay to the BART station.  We stopped at the Embarcadero Cinema, but decided that the only show we were in time to see, Hitchcock, was not worth possibly missing the BART, and our shuttle back to the hotel which ended at 10:30.  So we shuffled back down the street to the station, and one and a half minutes after we arrived, the train pulled into the station, we boarded and sloshed back across the bay to Berkeley.

So much fun.  So much food.  So much shopping, So much cold.  So much walking.  So many pictures.  You know I like to so….  :)

So what did you do this week-end?

Pike Place Market

Traveling to conferences often allows attendees the opportunity to explore new places.  National Council for the Social Studies moves their conference each year to a different part of the country allowing social studies teachers to learn geography as well as history, civics, economics and all the social studies.  In Seattle I ate in some top Diners and Dives restaurants, rode to the top of the Space Needle, got lost in downtown several times, and best of all, went to the Pike Place Market.

Outside the market you needed an umbrella, which I had left at the top of the Space Needle the night before, but inside, the weather was perfect.  I hadn’t carried my Canon in the rain, so these pictures all came from my iPhone.

Since we had just eaten lunch, the flowers attracted us at first.  Bouquets ranged from $5 – $15.  This one was $10, I think.  We wondered how they sustained themselves, but would have bought at least one bouquet if we weren’t going on the plane hours later.

Honey Crisp apple grown in Washington

Free samples abounded, and these Honey Crisp apples were sweet and crunchy, just the way I like apples.  All the varieties of apples came from Washington, but other fruits and vegetables came from all over.  One item we asked about came from Delano, just south of us in Kern County, California.

 

Although fruits and vegetables provided the most color, while fish throwing attracted the biggest followers.  I tried to capture the fish in motion, but clicking at exactly the right time challenged me.

We saw lots of fish eyes, oozy clams, live oysters, and tasted smoked salmon jerky at $39 + a pound.

Razor clams oozing out of their shells brushed with sand.
Mary advocates for purchasing sustainable fish, and organic vegetables.

After the fish festival, Mary wanted to experience the shoe museum which meant a pay a quarter, peek through a lit window for about a minute, and have your picture taken outside the painted window display.

Robert Wadlow’s size 37AA shoe
Come one. Come all. Step right up, and put your quarters in. These shoes will astound you.

You can buy anything you might need at this outdoor market, and people come from around the world to do so.  How does this compare to markets in your city or town?  Did you like it?

 

 

People Can Be Blunt

When I was young, I was taught that with age comes respect.

That meant as a kid I called people who were older than 25 Mr. and Mrs.   It also meant that I was taught to be less than honest.  I mean really I couldn’t  imagine telling my grandma she had a booger showing in her nose.  I just looked away because it was so gross hoping that she would have to go to the bathroom or something.

So fast forward till now I’m the grandma.  I am officially the oldest person in our office.  (and I’m young!)  Same respect???  Same lies???  Here’s my story.

I love Dress Barn.  The 20s something clerk helped me pick out all the right dresses and fashion accessories so that I wouldn’t look like the oldest one in the office.   – Just get the respect.  You see where this is going?

I wore my first new outfit to work the next day –  brown pants, shirt and a beautiful wool jacket with a fluffy collar.  All the women oohed and ahhed when I walked to my office.  I spun around proudly modeling as I walked to my office.  Their admiration was palpable.  Feeling buoyed by their enthusiastic response to my new wardrobe choice, I stopped at the doorway of my fellow consultant, and said, “What do you think, Jon?  Do you like my new outfit?”

He was silent longer than I thought was necessary for a simple, “Wow I love it!  You look great,” which honestly was what I was expecting.  Finally he gave his opinion, “Well……,”more pausing.  I lost my sexy, hand on hip, other hand flipping my hair stance, and should have walked away at that point.  “It’s brown,” he finally finished lamely.

Yes, that was lame, but the rest of the office heard my fashion critic, and I’m sure our laughter could be heard in the basement.

The next day I walked in with, what I thought was my best outfit.  My green sweater dress was accented by a full length gray knitted vest with, yes a fluffy collar that went down both sides of the front the full length of the sweater.  The fluff even had dangly things woven in that subtly caught the light.  I felt like a glamour queen.  Again, the women complimented me, and again I twirled, avoiding Jon’s office this time.

Later in the day another consultant approached my door, and asked me to come to his office.  We have unspoken rules of etiquette in our office.  When another consultant comes to you and wants to talk, even if you are presenting to 600 people in 15 minutes, you stop what you are doing, and invite them to sit down and tell you what’s on his or her mind.  I followed him to his office.

“Close the door, and sit down,” he instructed seriously, and before I could even worry about what was going wrong in the office – and worrying is my default mode – he added, “Has anyone talked to you about your colors?”

Glenn is always up to something, so, of course I lied, “NO!”

“Well, someone should!”   I couldn’t believe I was hearing this!  This went against every grain of respect my parents had drilled into my well-ordered life.  Glenn is at least 3 years younger than I am – how could he???

But he continued pointing at a picture on his bookcase, “Do you see that picture of my wife?  That is my favorite picture of her, and do you know why?”  Actually his wife is my good friend – everybody’s good friend, and she is adorable, why wouldn’t that be his favorite picture?  She looked like she was about 20.

He was getting passionate.  “I’ll tell you why!  It’s her colors.  She hates that picture, but I love it.  Do you see what she is wearing?  Pink.  Do you see how great that makes her face look?  My wife needs color.  That color makes her look great!”  By this time I’m sure everyone on Doe Avenue could hear his voice.  “YOU NEED TO LOSE THE GRAY!  I guess the green is OK,” he hung his head a little sheepishly, “but YOU NEED TO LOSE THE GRAY!” he jutted his chin back up, and repeated his advice a second time for emphasis.

By this time I was reeling.  I staggered out of his office doubled over, and laughed as hard as I could along with everyone else within a 10 mile hearing radius.

There really isn’t a moral to this story.  I sometimes tell it to loosen up an audience before I present.  I try to wear gray every day during the winter – at least a bit of it.  I get lots of compliments when I wear blue or turquoise – pink.  I still shop at Dress Barn.  But people can be blunt – even when you’re old enough for people to lie to you.