wine country ramblings, old friends, and more thrift store madness

yesterday i took one of my favorite california drives through wine country to visit my friend nichole in sonoma county.
the wild mustard is growing higher than my head all along the roadsides through napa and sonoma county.
as soon as you take the exit for west highway 12 off big grumbly weary old Interstate 80, you're driving through the valleys of rolling green vineyards and blooming wildflowers and endless lush hillocks and roads curving through oaks and eucalyptus and pine.
i don't know why there seems to be a traditions of planting rose bushes all along the border of the vineyards, but there they are, blossoming in all their spring rainfed vigor.

i headed straight to the hills of healdsburg where nichole was staying at a friend's house. nichole lived in the santa rosa area for six years, and that's how we became friends when we worked together at a gourmet ice cream shop called Screamin Mimi's in sebastopol. now nichole has moved back to maine, and i've moved back to my hometown, but we meet up in our old stomping grounds from time to time.

emily's foresty house right next to the russian river:

i had fun exploring the creekbed and old rustic farm stuff on her property.

we were supposed to go to the river, but it was gray and rainy so instead we headed to the most amazing thrift store. i had remembered it from when i lived down there, and i said to emily, "i remember this giant thrift store just north of healdsburg with like multiple buildings full of tons and tons of stuff."

she knew right what i was talking about. the salvation army off lytton springs road; it's five buildings spread around the hillside with all kinds of dusty treasures awaiting. they even have farm equipment and cars.
my favorite of course, is the clothes:

and let me just put it this way, in the last two days i think i've purchased more than 30 thrifted pieces of clothing. i mean, good deals abound!!! it was 60% off

we spent the rest of the day visiting with many old sonoma county friends.
like reyna, nichole's goddaughter who just had her first communion, a wonderfully bright and silly and hilarious nine year old.
where all the kids (there were seven little family/neighborhood munchkins running around) got a big kick out of my hat and wanted to photograph me in it.

it was a perfect little trip and as i drove both there and back i felt (and i know this sounds cheesy) like i was enveloped and lovingly held in california's arms. i know it's weird, but i am bound to this place and the different counties where i've lived to the point that california becomes personified to me, like some kind of great mother land singing me the sweet stories of my past and all the histories lived here, ever growing with lives and stories like a massive labyrinth of life.

do you ever feel like that about where you are from?


Teenysparkles said…
Yes, I feel like I belong in these hills, they are everywhere here; this landscape makes me comfortable. And there is no city that calls to me more than the Wellington cosmos.
Amy Beatty said…
Heav!! I'm way behind on your beautiful blog. I'm so jealous of your and Ems shopping trip. But was so delighted to see your new blanket, I also got one the other day. it was 8 bucks, kind of steep for DI but who can pass up home made. I love the colors of yours. Mine is more like red white and blue, which matches my blue couch and makes it look homey-er. Too many straight lines will drive a person nuts. And we don't have a slip and slide. the kids are mad for it, and ALWAYS want one. So thank you. I'm sure it is going to be busted out real soon, like tomorrow, since they are both out by 12. They really wanted to do it today but I had to work, and Jarom had to babysit since matt was an hour late, scary crazy huh. Any hoo, the river looks as inviting as ever. Can't wait to hit it up next month with you and you need to take me to your new favorite store. I almost forgot. You looked pretty fancy!!:) for the fancy pizza party that is. When I first saw it on facebook I thought it was just fancy pizza. The party looked way fun. I miss you all so much, but so glad I can start counting down the days!!!!Love you
Courtney said…
What a lovely piece of the world! Interstate 80 runs very close to my house here in PA - sometimes I forget that it's a road that travels all the way across the country.
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Anonymous said…
Yes, I definitely feel like that. The green, lush forests of New York beckon me all the time, but never so much as the summer, when everything here is brown, dry, and prickly. Here, the forests are all lofty pines with none of the mystery of that cool, damp green.

Oh, I miss my home sometimes.
Missa said…
Lytton Springs! I know that salvation army well, isn't it amazing? I love that drive along Hwy 12 too, it's especially lovely in the fall when the grape leaves start to turn and if it's a little foggy out, even better :)

p.s. If you ever wanna have a little meet up during one of your trips to Sonoma County, I know where all the good thrift stores are!
missa, i'd love that! i thought about you while i was there but things were so rushed this time for our one day visit. seriously though, that would be awesome for next time!
Violet Folklore said…
That close up photo of you is gorgeous! I am so copying your braid.

How fun, you live a charmed life with many beautiful friends Miss Heather.
AdieSpringB said…
Bun. That HAT!!!!! I don't know if I showed you the box of Seventeen Magazines my friend gave me...all of them from 1987-1989. One of my favorite colors has a girl wearing that kind of hat...with a red rose on it. She has a thinly striped black and white boatneck shirt with a halter corset top over it and red stretch pants. Needless to say...I wanna hike STRAIGHT BACK TO 88.

Love this blog, wish I could have come but I just needed some downhome crafty time.
AdieSpringB said…
I meant "favorite covers"!!! Don't know why I wrote "colors"???
Kelsie Lynn said…
I hate to have such a shallow comment on this great post -but your silhoutte in that outfit is gorgeousss
Marya said…
i have the same feelings for california (and sometimes think i could never truly feel at home anywhere else . . .). starthistle, apple trees, rivers, dry golden grass - i miss them all

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