A beautiful Autumn Saturday here in the Central Valley of California meant one thing: ROAD TRIP! And Gran and I had BIG plans!
So, at the crack of dawn (9 a.m.), I pulled up to Gran's house and found an alarmingly large pile of luggage in her driveway. Had I misunderstood our plans? Were we going away for a week or two? No, it was just a day excursion, and I never DID discover what was in all the luggage I drove around the Central Valley today, but I should have taken a photo!
Something else I should have photographed? Skydivers! Our excursion took us south on Highway 99, and there's a little airstrip/skydiving outfit right off the freeway about a half hour outside of town. I don't recall ever seeing skydivers coming down over the freeway while I was driving along that stretch before--this was a real (if somewhat startling) treat! And we saw more on the return trip. Skydiving isn't something I want to do (EVER!), but it was kind of fun to see.
So are you wondering where we headed? Our first stop was at a shop called American Country in old downtown Turlock, just a bit south of Modesto. What a wonderful shop--I'm sure Gran joins me in recommending a shopping trip there if you're ever in the area. And now? A moment of silence while I let you ohhh, ahhh, and drool over my photos:
Lovely, isn't it? In reviewing my photos, I regret I didn't get a photo of the bedroom, but each and every part of the shop was filled with wonderful treasures. We had to look through it two or three times to make sure we didn't miss anything, but even so, why didn't I buy that North Pole sign? I must have missed it! All that shopping worked up an appetite, so Lori Barnard, the shop owner, sent us down the street to 234 Bistro for an excellent lunch. Between American Country and Bistro 234, I was feeling quite spoiled!
But you know what? That wasn't all! Next stop? Ladybug's Quilts in Manteca!
Neither Gran nor I had been to Ladybug's before, but it's a favorite shop of our friend Pam (Orcsmom) and we'd heard lots of good things about it. And yep, for a somewhat small shop, it sure seemed to have EVERYTHING we could want and it all was displayed beautifully! Are you familiar with Tracy and Plumcute Designs? Well, the owner of Ladybug's, Jennifer Dancy, must have the world's LARGEST selection of Plumcute patterns and shop samples--and, of course, I came home with a couple patterns in my bag (and yes, I DID actually PAY for them--I know what some of you are thinking!).
Gran and I were also fascinated by Ladybug's P.M.S. nights--click HERE to check it out. I think we'll need to take another roadtrip to attend one of these--it sounds like a lot of fun, especially if we can get Pam and her BFF Colleen to go too.
Once again, I was reminded what a small world it is when you're a quilter--Gran and I ran into another Sacramento friend, Wilma, at the shop in Manteca. It seems we always run into people we know wherever we go--which means, I suppose, that we should act mature and lady-like, right? After all, as teachers we have a certain reputation to maintain. Well, when we were driving down the road leading TO Ladybug's, we saw a road work sign bearing the last name of our friend Pam; I thought it would be just the thing if I stopped long enough on the way back for Gran to jump out of the car and grab it as a souvenir for Pam, but by then we KNEW people in town and we were afraid we'd be spotted, recognized, and arrested. Fame is such a burden, isn't it?!
By the way, are you wondering about the Thelma and Louise reference? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, we DID run into Brad Pitt! No, no we didn't--I'm lying. I'm NOT lying, though, when I tell you I broke the law. But just a little bit, and it was an accident. I ran a red light when I was distracted and excited about finding the American County shop. The light was still a little pink though--I KNOW it was yellow just a second or two before. So it doesn't really count, does it? Yeah, I didn't think so either!
The rest of the day was just as nice. A little nap when I got home included a few visions of sugar plums, cute country primitive stuff, and quilt projects dancing in my head. After that, dinner and some play time in the Sweat Shop. And in a few minutes? I have a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me and a good book. Can life get much better?!