Monday, September 24, 2012

Just had to Stop at the Flagship Shop

 I left Los Gatos and headed north to the City by the Bay. Mom was a little nervous driving through San Francisco because it was unfamiliar territory.  We had to go right through town to get to the Golden Gate Bridge and cross over.  When what did appear?  The car just turned on it's own, or so Mom told me.  We found street parking, and after putting coins in the meter, I knew why.  For each quarter it was only 5 minutes worth of time.  Yikes!  That's steep.  But here we were ready to shop at 1580 Mission Street in the heart of the city.

Treasure Hunting at its Best!

I spent an hour at the Goodwill Store.  Remember the cost of parking?  That was a quarter times 20.  Can you figure out how much I spent?  After shopping Shannon helped me check out.  She wrapped 2 hand blown glasses from Mexico, that gorgeous beaded bag, that brand new green silk pillow cover (still in the package) with beads and sequins, and a pair of like new Cole Hahn shoes---and all for under $25!  I can see why Mom drags me into thrift stores.  It's the smart wasy to shop and I am recycling and reusing.

Hop on Board

San Francisco is famous for its street cars.  It's a great way to move people about a city.  I think we need something like this in Honolulu.  Maybe we could find some that are solar powered or run on solar powered batteries.  Now that would be a smart idea to mininimize traffic congestion on my little island, don't you think?

A Better View

I had to watch out......those street cars were very determined.  They had to transport lots of working people and they were on a schedule.  No slowing down to chat.  The power lines to transfer electricity to the train crisscrossed everywhere!

We Made It!

Yep, Mom and I made it through San Fancisco and crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge without a hitch.  There is always fog in this city, as the poet, Carl Sandburg, wrote,  "The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Love being Loved

This is my dear little friend, Anya.  I was visiting her and her family in Los Gatos, California, just south of San Francisco on my road trip.  Isn't it wonderful to be hugged?

Wow, that's a Big Tree

Alyssa is Anya's big sister.  Do you see that giant tree on which she's standing?  There are many of those huge redwoods in this part of California.  They like the cool, foggy weather.  This one was right smack dab in the middle of Los Gatos.  Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and were on the planet before the dinosaurs!

Oh, Boy!

I'm just getting ready to step into Anya and Alyssa's favorite shop in Los Gatos----a French patisserie chocolaterie.  I can see why!  Come along, I think you will agree.

It's a Family Affair

Yes, can you see why Anya, Alyssa, and their mom, Yulia, love this French bakery.  My mom loves it too.  We went for breakfast and she had the most delicious bowl of tomato soup with a pastry crust!  Very French!

Meet the Chef

Pascal Javier is famous.  He's won awards for his chocolates and pastries and pleases hundreds of Los Gatos clients each week with his homemade delights.  Find at more at his website:

....And in the Back

Alyssa is learning how to make chocolates.  Chef Javier was just getting ready to apply little designs to the top of his sweets.  And all this started when he was at his grandmother's knees learning the way of the French kitchen.  Hooray for Grandmothers!

Ready to Lap it Up

Los Gatos is a sweet, charming little village, a small town full of families whose lives are connected to the world.  It was clean and beautiful.  I liked it there! I especially liked it's dog friendly ways.  I think I'll pay a return visit the next time I'm in northern California.

Be Sure to Stop In

Well, I intended to walk down to the little museum that held much of the history of Los Gatos----it's a former apricot orchard area-----but got waylaid at this thrift shop.  That always seems to happen when Mom leads the way.  It was worth it, though..........just look at the next photo.

Bargains Galore!

Yes, it always fun to go treasure hunting and that's just what thrift shopping is------one big treasure hunt.  Mom always seems to find something she needs----her biggest score is usually children's books.
So......when you are driving north to San Francisco and have the time, stop by Los Gatos, grab a pastry or chocolate at Fluer de Cocoa and browse Happy Dragon Thrift Shop.  Both shops are in the heart of the town.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Taking the Back Road

I left Ojai with a full lunch sack provided by my friend, Judy Polito.  It was packed with hardboiled eggs, raisins, nuts, and lots of love.  The early morning ride was beautiful--sunny and clear.  Mom and I were on our way to Santa Barbara and points north when we stumbled upon this cool creek.

On the Lookout

Lucky for me there were no coyotes in sight at Coyote Creek.  I hear they like cute, little dogs like me.  I didn't stay to long in their territory.  I didn't want to take any chances.  Smart move on my part, don't you think?

At the Ready

These young men were just finishing their training to be seasonal firefighters in Santa Barbara County.  They were testing their mettle, seeing if they could climb the mountain lugging heavy packs and clear brush at the same time.  Wildfires are a major threat to California's forests---dry conditions and hot Santa Ana summer winds create a dangerous combination.

I Love California!

There is something about driving north from San Diego to San Francisco that is really, really fun and educating, especially for a little dog from the North Shore of Hawaii.  What I've noticed is-----the residents are really friendly and ready to talk, to share their worlds.  Of course, I usually start talking first!   Did you notice how long this department has been in place?