I've decided to leave the Joan Silber and Lily Tuck behind and bring Carol Shields' Larry's Party with me on vacation. That's the low risk decision since I would read anything Shields ever wrote, including her shopping lists...so Annie, shall we start our reading engines?
And I'm bringing the sock to knit. The argument of saving a little room in order to buy more yarn while I'm out there was a persuasive one, especially after Ingrid told me about a place that looks drop dead amazing called Artfibers.
Here is how they describe themselves:
The ARTFIBERS STORE is located in downtown San Francisco at 124 Sutter St. (second floor), between Montgomery and Kearney. Our neighborhood blends work and pleasure -- the Financial District, Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, the Museum of Modern Art, and many other cultural destinations are only a brief walk away. Several things about the ARTFIBERS store are unique:
>This is a factory outlet for yarns produced by ARTFIBERS.
>Custom knitting patterns are provided for free when you buy the yarn for the project.
>A comfortable lounge area includes samples of all the yarns in the store, and you can knit them for free at your leisure.
Now look at these yarns and weep:
I'm sorely tempted by this rustic silk yarn called Siam, or the handpainted version called Chai, the wool/cotton blend called Schooner, then there are the gorgeous colors of the baby alpaca called Sage, and while I'm not a fluffy sweater kind of gal, this brushed silk, Gypsy, appeals to me. I can already feel my brain swelling in the attempt to take it all in. The only hitch is I'm going to have to find a way to get Brian to take the kids off of my hands for, oh, say a few hours so I can hang out there, get to know all the yarns and make up my mind. (Maybe I can trade off with Brian--if he kid wrangles while I yarn shop, I'll forego the pleasures of the Anchor Brewery so he can spend a few hours there...) The promise of a custom knitting pattern is too tempting to pass up--but what do I want to make? I should probably have some idea before I go or I'll just go into a stunned sort of coma...
One thing I haven't decided yet, or even let myself think too much about is the amazing food I'll be eating in the next 10 days.
I'll have to have a Mission Burrito, and visit the palace of insanely wonderful food (aka Ferry Plaza Farmers Market). And in the east bay there is the Monterey Market (I know, it's not as big as the Berkeley Bowl, but still my favorite place for produce) and Picante and Acme Bread and, and, and...Oh dear. Better pack that Gluttony Belt. And an extra memory card for the camera since Brian will probably want to take some photos of the kids, our friends, or the places we go, rather than just the food we eat.
Today I need to do about 5 loads of laundry and pack our (enormous) bags. I finally realized why we need to pack so much stuff--the kids trash whatever they are wearing every day and I'm damned if I'm going to spend my vacation in a Laundromat. I may be able to pack one pair of jeans for myself, but for a 10 day vacation, these goofballs need at least 10 changes of clothes.
We leave at some atrociously early hour tomorrow morning and it looks like I'll be wearing Ian like a shawl flung over my shoulders since he is so not a morning kind of guy and will probably go all cute and want to be carried. I think he grew another two inches in the last week so his legs may drag on the ground, but I'll haul my (big) baby anywhere. Especially if he's being nice to me.