The girls and I had one of those really great days today.
After our usual morning routine and an early lunch, we made a special trip out to a specific yarn store. One of those places we keep driving by and saying, "we really ought to stop there one of these days." Well, today was the official "one of these days." *L*
I've actually never been to a yarn specialty store before. I've only ever visited the yarn sections in department stores like Walmart, Michaels and Zellers. That's 'cause I'm cheap. LOL For me to spend more than $3 or $4 for a large ball or skein of yarn is a big deal. The last time we drove by this place, however, we noticed signs saying that they were moving. Aside from the moving sale, I wanted to check the place out before they were gone.
What a beautiful place! Shelf after shelf after bin after basket of yarn. Many were types I would never use. I just don't make projects that require those types of yarn. Even with discounts as much as 80% (though most were 50%), I still couldn't afford most of them - not when I'd have to buy at least 10 or more to be able to complete the sorts of projects I do. After wandering about, touching the different yarns, reading labels and agonising over what I was willing to actually spend money on (did I mention I'm cheap?) I finally settled on 4 skeins of a lovely mohair blend at half price that I will probably make a shawl or stole out of, and a roll of sparkly thread yarn that would make lovely crochet edgings on a neckline. Or something. Youngest was actually afraid to touch anything there, the yarns were so fancy looking. I can certainly understand why knitters and crocheters accumulate yarn stashes! After fondling silks, mohairs, fine cottons, bamboo, alpaca, lambs wool, and so on, it's hard to resist buying them!
Eldest was a lot faster than me with her choises. She was able to splurge on some higher end yarns, since she uses them for things like hair for her cloth dolls. She could pick up a $10 (and that's half price!) skein of silk/mohair blend, and one would be enough. She got herself 3 different ones. I look forward to seeing what she makes with them.
Ever since I picked up hook and yarn again, Eldest has been teasing me about my yarn shopping. I'm forever touching, squeezing and picking up yarns when I buy them. She felt this was improper, and that it was strange for me to be fondling the yarns like this. While waiting for me to finish, however, she had time to observe the many other people in the store, taking advantage of the sale prices. She discovered that *everyone* was fondling the yarn. Of course, I'd told her that this was expected, but she didn't believe me. At least not to that extend. I think I'm actually rather reserved, compared to some of the hard core knitters out there. LOL
When we were done, we took advantage of the location and visited a tea shop - another "one of these days" places. It was absolutely delightful! As Eldest put it, this place achieved to perfection, the atmosphere places like Second Cup struggle hard to reach. It was quite a small place, filled with a wildly eklectic variety of tables, chairs, rocking chairs and even a love seat and armchair tucked into a window area near the door. They were all old, nothing matched, and many had scratches on them. The walls and counters were of a darker wood, and a long shelf the ran along one side and the front, above the windows, held unique teapots and antique loose tea tins. Most of the tables had flowers in either a teapot or a tea tin. One section of wall was filled with tins of different teas. Not having been there before, I thought these were for sale. It turns out that the smaller tins are for opening, checking out and smelling. Once a tea is chosen, the leaves are taken from the large tins and a pot is brewed. We'll be doing that the next time we're there - and there *will* be a next time!
There was one employee behind a wooden counter with display case for deserts. There was a chalk menu board ("No coffee!") near the ceiling, and we asked a few questions about what was what. Eldest ordered a chocolate chai latte, Youngest ordered a caramel chai latte, and I ordered a Matcha Latte; something I'd never heard of before. We also got a coffee cheesecake, pecan shortbread square and a turtle square. Once the order was placed, we were told to go ahead and sit down and the woman behind the counter would bring us our order. The place was very busy, but we didn't have long to wait at all. My tea turned out to be bright green and foamy! When she said it was a green tea, I thought she meant the type of tea leaves, not the brilliant colour! LOL
The girls and I tried each of the deserts. Youngest liked the coffee cheesecake the best. I liked all three, but the warmed turtle square with its melted chocolate and rich flavours was my favourite. Eldest liked the pecan square, but agreed that the turtle square was definately something to order again. We had to wait for our teas to cool down, then we all tried each other's choices. The chocolate chai was spicier than expected, but both chais were deliscious. I honestly don't know how to describe the flavour of the Matcha Latte, but when Eldest tried it, she said it tasted like fish. ?!?!? I disagreed, but I still wouldn't know what to compare it to.
It was all quite relaxed and pleasant. Unfortunately, we were on meter parking, so we couldn't linger as much as we would have preferred. On the way home, we swung by the reuse centre to see what they had - it changes all the time - and Eldest found a few little things to pick up. Then we swung by an Italian grocery store that was on the way home to pick up a few things for supper. They have the most fabulous breads, and the freshest produce section I've ever seen outside a garden. I deliberately stayed away from the deli, though, or the girls would never have been able to drag me away. LOL Such a fantastic store.
All in all, a really great day. I just wish my husband were able to be with us.