Tuesday, 24 February 2009

All good things come to an end

This is our last night in San Francisco - it is raining hard outside but it isn't cold, about 67 degrees F. We got in last night after an uneventful flight from Hawaii - I started my second sock and today I have knit down about an inch and a half of the cuff. Today we got on the Caltrain and went down to Santa Clara to see the Winchester Mystery House which seemed like a good rainy day thing to do. And it was, a crazy gingerbread monstrosity which the spirits told the Winchester heiress to build, full of doors that open onto walls, windows in the floor, staircases that go nowhere, and many gorgeous Tiffany art glass windows. We took both tours and had a fun half day there (apart from lunch in the cafe which was dreadful). On the way back we got off the train at Hillsdale and walked around the mall, then had supper there before heading back to our hotel near the airport. Tomorrow we are going to try to get up early (although it is hard because Hawaii time is two hours earlier I think) and head in to see the De Young museum which Kaffe and Brandon recommended, then head over to Imagiknit, before coming back to the airport for our night flight home.

On our last day in Honolulu, we had a lovely lie in, packed our bags up, then wandered down the Waikiki beach, shopping, exploring the oldest hotel there which had a fun little museum of its heyday in the early 20th century, and ending up down near Diamond Head on a pier where intrepid people were boogie board surfing in on the waves, which looked like a lot of fun and much more do-able than normal surfing. Maybe next time... We were asking ourselves if we will come back. It is a very long way to come for us, from the UK, and the weather didn't really cooperate. We didn't love the really touristy districts of Honolulu or Kailua-Kona, but then we didn't love the fairly undeveloped areas on Kauai either. I guess we are looking for a middle ground, natural beauty combined with understated development, and a warm sandy beach nearby, with a nice beachside cafe. So not much then. Brandon said that Maui is really nice, we didn't get there this trip so perhaps that is one to explore in future.

I took loads of photos of details of the Winchester Mystery House and some of its antique furniture, all useful reference material for dollshouse building. I love all that wooden trim and gingerbread, the fishscale shingles and the turned spindles. I also picked up another fridge magnet for my collection of resin 3-D house magnets, a model of the Winchester house. In Hillsdale we went to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and I had a great time going through all the craft books - surprisingly there were about 3 times as many knitting books as there were quilting books, a sign of the times? I picked up some quilting and knitting magazines to read on the plane on the way home. I am having trouble with the 50 pound weight limit for the suitcase, I have been a few pounds over the last few flights even though I put all the heavy fabric in a bag for DH to carry. I suppose it is a sign of my mental illness that I was contemplating throwing out a pair of trousers that are a bit tight on me, to cut down on weight and to leave more room for yarn and fabric.

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