Why, because we once lived there! and 25 years after leaving, a Son of the Golden West (Nathaniel, our off-spring) returned to live in the same city and work for a Silicon Valley company as a software engineer.
(See portrait of the cyclist as a young man)
California is a long way away from everything and everybody! and it had been nearly 18 months since we'd all been face to face. Joyful reunions involve a lot of hugs, exclamations, and (if you do it right) food. In this case the dinner starred grilled salmon and featured incredible praline cupcakes (one bearing a birthday candle for Don's 73rd.) Sorry there aren't pictures, but we were too busy stuffing ourselves (apparently.) It felt so good to arrive, knowing we could stay in one place for a week!
We old folks had arranged a series of reunions with special people--our one-time next-door-neighbors, long-ago schoolmates (Don), a teaching colleague (Elaine), and friends with whom we've stayed in touch over the passage of 26+ years. There were also some events and activities lined up--one fell by the wayside due to a rainy day, but we were so happy that California was getting even a little moisture that no one could complain.
The day after we arrived we had grocery-shopping on our agenda. Nat had given us directions to 'the nicest Safeway,' telling us that it was 'California's Kroger.' Safeway was seldom my first choice back in the mid-80's, but the brand has plainly improved. Paper bags with handles are provided (at a price); no plastic bags allowed. Alcoholic beverages have their own aisles--none of this 'dry county' business!
Mission accomplished, we freshened up and headed into San Jose.
Ed and the DHubby were classmates at Delhaas High School in Bristol, PA. Thanks to a helpful reunion organizer, Don was able to contact Ed and arrange a lunch get-together (along with Marie and me.) What interesting lives these guys have led--and how far from Pennsylvania they are now! The time sped by.
DHubby and I walked down to South First Street--past a pedestrian mall (where a street I was planning to turn down had disappeared) near the Valley Transit tracks (all manner of light rail and other mass-transit infrastructure has cropped up in the intervening years) and arrived at our destination: The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Nathaniel and Karen joined us there.
The first exhibit we saw (this sounds improbable) was a collection of pot-holders. The owner had inherited her aunt's stash and then added to it; most fairs, bazaars, and yard sales feature inexpensively-priced pot-holders, often cleverly food-themed, and the collection was the result of decades of acquisitions. It just happened that the owner was there.
Such a variety of techniques and materials!
I wasn't expecting to be so delighted.
The 'pie' had a woven lattice and red button 'cherries.'
Expert knitting and crochet created the ear of corn and the squash.
I recognized a design from the Sixties--the asparagus bundle.
There was a unique exhibition of textiles used in clothing, including this haunting and beautiful piece:
Also shown--as part of the food-themed 'Tasty' exhibit--were donated art quilts. I made one of these 16 x 16" pieces for the museum and sent it off in November:
'Fig' seemed a natural choice; I was pleased with this piece.
(The red dot on the label means that it was sold.) I was so pleased that we were able to time our visit before this exhibit closed at the end of that week.
We ended our day going out to eat in Mountain View. An Indo-Asian colleague of Nathaniel's told him the best Indian food was to be found at Sakoon...and oh, my! It was wonderful. 'Ghosh' might have been the name of my lamb dish... A very well-stocked used-book store drew us in (we did our best to help the economy) before Natty drove us 'home' and we ended our day.
Stay tuned for further details!