Wednesday, July 05, 2006

SF Bay Area Shop Hop

Last Friday I went on one of my adventures--to the San Francisco Bay Area, about 1.5 hours away. On my agenda were two fabric shops that I wanted to visit. I drove to Pleasanton, took BART to Oakland and got off at 19th Street. Unfamiliar with the area and a little disoriented, I asked someone where Bus 51 was, and lo and behold, the bus stop was across the street from Paramount Theatre, where my brother Rob and I had gone to see Bill Cosby a couple of years ago. I filed that landmark in my brain.

I had a pleasant ride to Poppy Fabrics (Broadway and Pleasant Valley), which was smaller than I had imagined, but a very nice store with lots of special fabrics like silks, linens and wools. This is not a quilt shop, but I found a couple of nice Paris-themed cottons and bought a yard or so of each. I'm planning to make quilts for myself from the fabric, one for my bedroom and another for cuddling up with while I watch TV. This was my first trip to Poppy Fabrics, and I'll definitely go back. My seamstress friend Kaye will want to come with me next time.

I caught Bus 51 back to BART. A nice lady invited me to sit with her in the front seat. As the ride progressed, the bus filled to capacity (sardines come to mind), and I thanked the lady several times for letting me sit with her. The bus driver was grumpy and funny at the same time. I laughed a lot. When I got off the bus I thanked him for the ride and said it was very entertaining. I must admit I was a little nervous about taking a bus in Oakland, but this was a nice experience.

Back on BART, I headed north, getting off at Downtown Berkeley. A pleasant walk of four blocks down Shattuck brought me to Stonemountain and Daughter. This is a not a quilt shop, either, but they have a large selection of cottons, many half off. I've been to this store several times, never leaving empty-handed. I bought a cute pink poodle-themed fabric and a couple of polka dot prints--a project for my new granddaughter Reghan, and my real reason for the trip.

I needed to kill some time to let the rush hour traffic thin out. It was dinner time but I wasn't that hungry so I got a Jamba Juice. I sat on a sidewalk bench while I sipped my Mango-a-go-go and watched the people and the traffic go by. Then I parked myself at Barnes and Noble and skimmed through a pile of books. An hour or so later I got back on BART and headed back to Pleasanton. It was just after 9:30 when I drove up to the sushi place in Tracy where I had hoped to eat, but it had just closed for the night. I settled for Olive Garden and had a nice dinner and dessert. All in all, a very nice trip.

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