I'm writing this from a restaurant, where I'm doing something that I've never done before. Eating alone. (You know, it's not so bad...)
This is the trip that I try to learn new things, this is the trip that I don't spend all my time in the hotel room, looking out the windows because I'm a big chicken. This trip (in the 3 hours of free time I have in each city) I'm seeing stuff. I'm shaking off the fear of getting lost far from home and I'm going out there.
Saturday I arrived in San Diego. (By the way, I stopped in Phoenix for an hour and a half - Phoenix has mountains. Well, not really mountains, more like enormous, huge rocks sticking up out of the ground. Crazy looking. I was shocked. I thought it was a desert. It turns out that it is both. A desert with mountains. Very, very beautiful, and hot, but in a totally bearable, dry way. No humidity at all, which is stunning to this Torontonian, who has never known heat without humidity. I would have liked to stay there.)
San Diego is a very beautiful city, and not what I was expecting at all. It smells of the ocean, which is a fine, fine quality in a city, and the sock admired the view from the hotel room window.
This window is the very same reason why everyone who sees me from now on will see me in my Birkenstocks. For reasons that I can't explain to you right now (although I swear it made perfect sense at the time.) I accidentally dropped my right dress sandal out this window, down 27 floors on to the roof of the entrance of the hotel. I toyed with asking the hotel staff to retrieve it, but then decided that the humiliation factor was too great. I had been in the hotel room for a mere 4 minutes. This sort of move is classic Stephanie, I go buy shoes because I'm going to try and do better, be a more put together person, you know? I'm going to get shoes that aren't Birks, maybe a lipstick...and then every time I try, something like this happens. I'm taking the hint. Screw it. This is me, and the roof can have the damn sandal. I do wish the planet could find a way to teach me these lessons without costing me yarn money though.
After the sandal incident I got a hold of myself and went for a walk. I found the Gaslamp quarter:
And I found the Horton Plaza. (You totally need to click on the pictures in that link.) This is a crazy mall. 7 levels over 6 1/2 city blocks in every colour, sound and size imaginable. It's like an ordinary mall on acid. Crazy. You go in, but you can't get out.
It's a mousetrap maze thing. You can smell the bakery and see the bakery, but you can't get there. You go up and down and across bridges and through walkways and onto terraces and you still aren't at the bakery. There's a restaurant every 10 feet, which is good, since if you go into the plaza, you are definitely going to be there long enough to need a meal, no matter what you were planning. In a certain sense, it's a brilliant marketing ploy, since you are forced by the layout of the place to see every single shop, and to stay for hours at a time. Also, the whole thing is outside. No roof. I was walking around (In the two hours that I couldn't find a way out) and kept thinking "These people are going to be screwed when the snow comes."
It was a while before I remembered. The palm tree should have been a hint.
Sunday, over to The Grove, a very lovely, lovely shop. I think multi purpose shops are very cool, and The Grove sells yarn, and books and jewelry and furnishings and clothes. Pretty slick.
This is what the sock saw.
The sock also saw the right side of the room, which is apparently more than my camera can say. My apologies to everyone sitting over there. I don't know where the picture went.
It was a blast and I'm very grateful to everyone who made San Diego such a treat. I met the nicest knitters, some knitting bloggers, I signed books, I got wasabi crackers (my all time fave) from Kris (who was seriously wearing the sweater of the day. Made me feel like a hack.) and my lovely hostess Susan gave me a set of DPNs to make up for the one that Homeland security misplaced. (I swear that I put 4 dpns in my suitcase, last thing before I left. Now, I may be the sort of woman who drops a shoe out the window, I may even be the sort of woman who gets lost in a plaza or surprised by mountains, but I assure you that I am not the sort of woman who would only pack THREE dpns. When I got to San Diego, I had that charming note from Homeland Security in my suitcase advising me that my belongings had been "inspected" and I was suddenly short a dpn. Susan hooked me back up.) Then I may have bought a little sock yarn to take the edge off of my unreasonable longing for the big basket of Kid Crack Silk Haze she had sitting right in front of me. I'm starting to think that sock yarn is like methadone for knitters, you get it just to tide you over. I don't even count it as a purchase. It's not really "using". It's sock yarn. Doesn't even count.
After the signing, it was off to the airport, up into the air, and down again in LA. Today I'll be at the Knit Cafe from 5:30 - 8:30,
for now, I'm finished my lunch and I'm off to explore. (Alone!)