You have NO idea how excited I was to eat this banana on Saturday morning in San Francisco (FEB 15th). So excited I took a flippin' picture of it! If you read my previous post about the XPF opening night, you'll see I rushed from place to place. And, um, I forgot to eat. So, this banana was extra delicious AND extra important as it was 7am and I was waiting on my walking tour guide for spending the next few hours in Muir Woods.
I found Tom through an online search for Muir Woods. (If you're wanting to visit Muir Woods, I can't imagine a better way to do it than with Tom's Muir Woods Walking Tour!) Tom provided over 3 hours of actual hiking time, off the beaten path. His commentary was fun, he was patient with pictures and I learned a lot! He has been doing this for over 20 years. You can tell he absolutely loves what he does and I envy him for being able to do this for a living!
Now, I totally and consciously knew that this little side trip would eat into my XPF Vendor Expo time. But, seeing the redwoods has been on my bucket list since before I knew what a bucket list was. When I was digesting the idea of going to SF for XPF, I knew I had to see the redwoods while in California.
I made it!!
It was a very special time for me and I am very thankful that I went with Tom's hike instead of the usual touristy bus load where you get to visit Muir Woods, but you stay on the pavement. It cost the same amount!
The above pic would have been my favorite of the entire trip.
People don't know how to use a phone camera, so this is what I got.
Selfies didn't do this environment justice. :)
After hiking, Tom dropped our small group off in Sausalito to take the ferry back to SF. Well, we ran a bit behind on our hiking and just missed the 12 o'clock ferry by a minute or two. The next ferry was leaving at 2:15pm. At that point, I understood I would be late(r) to the Vendor Expo at the Elk's Lodge. When deciding to do Muir Woods, I consoled myself with knowing I could get back to SF around 1/1:30pm. Waiting for the ferry until after 2pm wouldn't get me to the Expo until around 3pm, at the earliest...The expo only went until 5pm. Hmmm.
I despise being late, to anything, let alone late to somewhere I really want to be. Walking around Sausalito, this just couldn't be helped. I tried to maintain the point of view that it was out of my hands, and all is as it should be, and blah blah. I was pissed. But who can maintain that stance after having been hiking in a gorgeous forest all morning and then walking around the charming Sausalito? Not this girl.
I did some speed shopping. Purchased a beautiful necklace from a local artist that reminded me of home. Funny, we can't wait to get away, and we can't wait to return.
After having explored a few of the shops, I was almost wishing I had MORE time in Sausalito. The art galleries were really top notch and though there were some touristy places, there were a lot of creative artisan shops that I could spend all day exploring.
It was about 2pm and I had 15 minutes before the ferry could take me back to XPF (yes, please!). So what does this aggravated, yet elated, girl do? I walked into the "No-Name" Bar and ordered a double shot of tequila. I said "hey, I'm on vacation and it's been sorta stressful and I haven't had a drink yet." This is how I justified my early afternoon shot of Tequila. It was indulgent and felt wonderful!
I continued this "I'm on vacation, I'm drinking now" on the ferry where I purchased a surprisingly cheap double skinny pirate (Captain & diet - my go-to drink) and scarfed it down on the ride back to SF.
Once again, my phone battery was below 10%. Too many pictures of trees which don't at all do them justice...
I really enjoyed the fog. It's beautiful.
Hopped off the ferry and went into some bookstore where I commandeered an electrical outlet for my phone and sat down on the floor. One would think I would have stopped for food in Sausalito, or now back in the Ferry Building. No, eating didn't cross my mind...sacrilege to most people, I'm sure, what with being in SF and this place supposedly has awesome food. I am not your average garden variety flower and food doesn't really float my boat.
I think now it's about 2:45pm. Gave my phone about 20%. I should have gotten an Uber ride back to my Airbnb apartment, but I'm cheap. So I ran. It was about 7 blocks, I think.
Yes, I hiked in the woods all morning, after having traveled the entire day before. Now, I'm running through the streets of San Francisco trying to get back to my apartment, change clothes, and head to Union Square. I honestly don't know how I did it. I think I really wanted to get back to XPF festivities, after having missed out on a lot already. I wished I would have had time for a shower, but I'd be damned if I missed another minute of what I came to SF for!
Got my Uber ride to Union Square. Chatted up my driver about XPF and she had never heard of mail art but was intrigued, so I gave her a few of my ATCs and a mail-themed moo card. I arrived to the Vendor Expo at approx. 4-ish. I still do not regret it, though, as Muir Woods was a necessity, in my opinion.
Wow, what fun I must have been missing all day at the Elk's Lodge!! I was only there for about 20 or so minutes when Jennie addressed the crowd that the vendors would need to start packing it up. O. M. G. Again? I was late again??! I also didn't see my penfriends that I met the night before. Found out later that most of them were done in by early afternoon. Though, Pamela (of Cappuccino and Art Journal) was there and led me to the Passport Cancellation station. Thanks, Pamela!
The first table I came upon was the National Postal Museum, manned by Melissa of Craftgasm. I know Melissa from the Twitter/Instagram-verse but was happy I had met her in person at the mail/art/book opening event as she's a totally awesome gal. Got some cool vintage cancelled stamps from her booth, along with some NPM postcards.
I was able to make it to about half of the vendor tables before everyone was packing it all up. Art-Life was ermagherd amazing! Then Philip Carey's envelopes, which I regret not buying a few. I wanted to check everything out first before I blew my money on one thing, when I didn't know what postal goodness was around the counter that I would just HAVE to have...Sadly, I was never able to make it back around to get some of those gorgeous colored envies...le sigh. I could have looked at the Art-Life issues all damn day, too!!
Made it to Dame Mailarta's booth. Mailarta was decked out in an awesome purple plumed outfit.
And there were buttons!!
Cascadia Artpost's Artistamp Vend-o-Matic.
Glue stick recommendation from my new friend, Julie.
Now, I want to tell you about Julie. Having had my "give me a double" attitude prior to arriving to the Vendor Expo, I continued the theme while at the Elk's Lodge. The skinny pirates were fairly cheap, and well-made. So, I had 2 doubles of those while I was watching everyone pack up at the expo.
I admit, I was disappointed at the little time I had. I was really hoping to trade some artistamps and stamp more passports. After getting my first drink at the bar, I saw a lady with an XPF passport at a table by herself so I asked if I could join her. Of course since we were both at XPF, we had a lot in common and she generously shared a few of her collected artistamps with me to add to my passport. We chatted about glue sticks and mail art. She was so very friendly to me and I am so grateful for Julie. I will be sending her a proper mail art thank you soon!
Since Jennie was kicking us out ( :P ) Julie and I decided to grab a bite to eat together. The Chinese New Year parade was going on outside just a block away. Julie was, thankfully, a SF native and had her car parked nearby. We walked around the throng of people while spying dragons dancing and hearing the constant echoes of firecrackers exploding.
I am not a drinker, only occasionally, so I had quite the buzz going on and I was ready to postally party. But, I had no idea where anyone was hanging out after the vendor expo. Julie took me to Lori's Diner where I had a California burger (when in Rome) and it was delicious!
I had ink ALL over my fingers. Sign of a good time!
While eating dinner, I saw on the Twitter that the colorful Mary of Uncustomary Art was heading to a burlesque show and that sounded like fun! Julie was kind enough to offer me a ride there to join Mary and friends. But due to the Chinese New Year parade, Julie and I got stuck going in circles trying to get around the parade. The clock ticked to past 8pm and the show started at 8. I asked her to just drop me off at my apartment. Now that I had a full stomach, I was fairly tired from the day's excursions and went home early like a party pooper. I was so very grateful that Julie took me under her wing and hung out with me. I was feeling very tipsy before she led me to the diner and I don't know what sort of mischief I would have gotten into without finding my new friend and having a real meal.
Back at my apartment, I played with my passport and other fun findings. Looked through the mail/art/book catalog and then drifted to dreamland where I continued to run through the streets of San Francisco.
The rooftop deck view at my apartment.
Full moon? Is this why my planned timeline went so wonky???