Good Monday morning, friends! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.
Brian and I usually go out to dinner on Friday nights, but we decided to break out
of our little box this time and try something different. When I got an email
from a garden nursery and flower shop saying that they were hosting a wine tasting,
I thought that'd be a fun thing to do on a Friday night. Especially since it was free!
There were wines from Washington, Spain, France, and Italy. Snacks were set out
in various places, too. Their indoor shop and greenhouses were all decked out
for Christmas. We stayed long enough just to sample some wines and food and walk
around admiring all the decor, but then we left. It was very crowded - hundreds of people -
which becomes a bit overwhelming for introverts like us.
I saw a tree like this last year at Pottery Barn - decorated with woodland
On Saturday, we took a day trip to Evanston. You've heard me talk about this town
before ~ it's the town Brian grew up in, right by Chicago. We love to explore the unique
shops, try new restaurants, and take a walk down by the lake (Lake Michigan). This time
we didn't go down to the lake due to lack of time - plus, it was quite cold! We ate lunch
at a Thai restaurant called Zoba. I had Pad Thai - which was OK. I've had much better.
Brian had the Crazy Noodles with shrimp, beef, and chicken. We ate with forks. Neither
one of us know how to use chopsticks. Tim learned when he was a kid and is still good
at using them. He's tried to teach me, but I still can't get the hang of it.
We were walking around trying to determine where to go next and I pulled out my
phone and used Yelp to find "nearby places". I clicked on shopping and a bookstore
came up. You don't have to ask me twice whether I want to go to a bookstore! All we
had to do was follow the footprints down an alley.
Turn a corner and there's Bookends and Beginnings. This is a "new" store ~ they took
over what used to be Bookman's Alley. Bookman's Alley was an Evanston presence for
over 33 years. The owner was 85 years old and closed the store due to his age, health,
and competition from online stores. Interestingly enough, the owner and this bookstore
made a presence in Audrey Niffenegger's book, The Time Traveler's Wife. You can
read the story here if you're interested.
I love these old buildings that are bookstores: shelves filled floor to ceiling with books...
and long aisles with scattered Oriental rugs.
This is where I spent most of my time: in the cookbook section. I was excited to find
that they had a lot of used cookbooks (at good prices) mixed in with the new. I found
out through the owner that a local man whose wife had recently passed away, donated
her cookbook collection (over 600 cookbooks!) to this store. Part of the proceeds are
being donated to a local music program for children.
Brian found the local and Chicago section and settled right in...
Of course, our trip to Evanston wouldn't be complete without a visit to my favorite
vintage store, Secret Treasures. I found only one little treasure - which is fine since
I'm cutting down at bringing more "stuff" into my home.
This was my found treasure ~ a vintage nut grinder that still works!
Another favorite store to browse in - Stumble and Relish.
Even the little storefront is so inviting. This store is owned and operated
by a mother and daughter team. They have lots of unique gifts and beautiful
hand-crafted jewelry made by local artists.
Our last stop was Thee Fish Bowl pet shop to perhaps find a unique cat
toy for our kitties. The best part about going into this little store was being
able to see and pet the free-roaming animals. This is Will. He was so sweet.
I kneeled on the floor and petted and loved on him for awhile.
I don't know the name of this kitty, but I thought it was so beautiful, especially
with its golden eyes.
And this is Betty - the 70 lb. turtle from Africa. I'm kind of afraid of turtles, so I
didn't touch her.
The weekend continued Sunday with my father-in-law and two of my sisters-in-law coming
to our house for a visit and us all going out for a meal. Father-in-law is in his early 80's and
isn't doing too well, physically and mentally. I believe he has the beginning stages of
dementia - and he knows it. So he wanted to talk to us about a few things before he
completely loses his memory. It's too bad he doesn't write some of these things down.
Well, that wraps up my weekend. Hope you found some time to have a little fun, too.