Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bigass Vacation Wrap-Up: San Fran, Portland, Vancouver, Football and Concerts...and Home!

I'm baaaaack!! I hope you enjoyed my series about my custom-made dress while I was on my break (go here and scroll to the bottom and read upward to enjoy it chronologically). 

Big surprise: L and I actually went away on vacation! We had a quick 6-day jaunt planned as part of my 50th birthday month (starting a month early!). I took last Thursday off to prep, doing laundry, cleaning and taking out all the recycling. 

Vizzini always knows when we're going away. 
"The Man can't leave if I sit on his jeans."
 Despite him being a little monster, he is also very socialized and needs a lot of attention from us. Both "uncles", Nick and Ross, were tag-teaming on feeding him in the morning and after work, and gave him lots of cuddles. They are great cat-uncles.

When I travel, I am a minimalist. I don't take a lot with me, and most of what I take is planned so that I leave it behind. I go through the give-away piles and take things I don't want anymore, and either toss it (old underwear and bras) or leave it with a "keep, toss or donate" note in the hotel room.
 My travel outfit for Victoria to San Francisco on Friday, Sept 8th.

  • Kimono - Diane Gilman, thrifted; first worn here (3rd outfit, way down) in June, but I wear it as a topper around the house nearly every day
  • Camisoles - I took 6, and brought 3 home (2 black and one white); none tracked, most quite old
  • Jeans - Levi Strauss, thrifted; last seen here (3rd outfit) in August to a sunflower farm
  • Shoes - Vans; last worn here (3rd outfit) in April for walking to a party

Due to predicted hot weather while we were gone, I didn't carry a coat, just this lovely silk kimono.
 It was perfect for wearing on planes, and for providing a layer of sunblock. I had a lot of compliments on it.
 My commuter jeans were awesomely stretchy, thick and dirt-repellent, and the deep front pockets were great for carrying important things when I didn't have my purse with me. By the end of the trip, they were pretty swampy and gross, though. I sweated in them a lot!

The stuff:
I took/wore one pair of earrings for the entire trip, and these were my "dressy" shoes for going out. They are also excellent for doing a full day of walking. Although they came home with me, it's likely that they will be leaving my closet soon.

  • Shoes - Franco Sarto, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) for shopping with Charlotte a couple of weeks ago
  • Earrings - don't remember 

There is no "Stuff" picture of my Vans, since I left them in the garbage in Vancouver - they were first seen here on my blog in June 2008, so a good long haul of 9 years is good enough. I wore them a lot over the years for taking out the garbage and running to the gas station for emergency rations.

Our flight out of Victoria was late, so by the time we hopped the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) from the San Francisco airport to downtown, the fog had rolled in.
 View from our hotel room - unfortunately, we booked without noting that we were right on the edge of the Tenderloin district, which is not the safest neighbourhood in SF.

However, it was a beautiful hotel, the Hotel Whitcomb. Look at the lobby!
 Full of old marble and dark wood and ginormous chandeliers.

And hallways like in the movie "The Shining"!

L and I waiting for one of the very slow old elevators - we explored around our neighbourhood, quickly discovering the areas we should avoid, and had dinner before crashing into bed.
I like a hotel with character, but there is something to be said for a good location.

We spent Saturday, Sept 9th walking to the Haight/Ashbury "Summer of Love" section of San Francisco. I didn't wear flowers in my hair, but I wore them on my shirt.
This shirt was great for sunblocking me, and nice and loose, but as I mentioned last time I wore it, I'm done with it. It was left behind too.

  • Shirt - Lucky Brand, thrifted; last seen here (3rd outfit) for shopping with Charlotte; left behind
  • Cami - left behind

I slept in one of the camis each night, so I didn't need to pack any sleepwear.

We totally got turned around on our way to Haight/Ashbury, but we finally found Haight Street, and enjoyed the beautiful houses.
So much gorgeous architecture.

I liked this big set of legs.
And there we are: Haight and Ashbury! Famous!

One of L's destinations was Amoeba Records. Can you spot him in the centre of this picture?
L is a CD aficionado and collector, so we were searching all over the store, and had the clerk scratching his head over some of the more esoteric requests, but L did really well and brought back a ton of CDs. 

Me, I found a great consignment store with a fabulous designer section, called Wasteland. I found this lovely wool skirt. 
It has pockets!

And it's by Dries Van Noten.
I love the teal, the mustard yellow and the grey and cream stripes. This was $75.00 US.

Exhausted, but fortified from several beer/cider stops along the way, we headed back to the hotel for a nap. 
We were both quite taken with this odd skull-bunny statue.

After our nap, we went to the first of our planned concerts, to Doc's Lab for a small show.
My shiny light grey skirt has not made the wardrobe cut - it was also left behind after a few wears. Whenever I was sick of  my jeans (or they were too sweaty to wear) I wore this skirt.

I ordered my full half-liter of white for the show.
The opening act was Spark Box (a female duo), and we sat beside the mom, dad and uncle of one of the young women.
The one on the left (Kelly, I think?). The other woman was Megan. They were excellent, and L picked up 4 of their CDs (he is more into folk acoustic than me).

The opening act was the Frances Luke Accord, made up of Brian (left) and Nick (right).
We met both of them, and both of us got hugs from Nick. Aw!
They were amazingly good, very much in the Simon & Garfunkle vein of music. L also bought a tour shirt from them, and one of their CDs.

The next morning, Sunday, Sept 10th, we were up early to have breakfast (there was a fab place, Sam's Diner, across from our hotel that we ate at both mornings), and catch the shuttle to Santa Clara to see my NFL team, the Carolina Panthers, play the San Francisco 49ers.
Go, Panthers!

I don't count my jersey as clothes, per se, so I don't track it. I brought it home, of course!

The shuttle was about an hour to the stadium.
Opening weekend of the NFL! We were there nice and early - better for me with the crowds.

L and I ensconced in our seat.
The obligatory selfie!

Watching the warm-ups, about an hour and a half before the game is due to start. 
See where that line of shade is at the bottom? By the end of the game, we were in full sunlight and DYING from the heat.

There's my quarterback, Cam Newton, in the bottom right!
I caught the ball in mid-flight. This bodes well for the game.

Jerry Rice (a very famous former wide receiver for the 49ers) is the gent in the black jacket below, signing autographs for the fans.
There were also some famous NBA players sitting behind us.

More people in the stadium.
My team is in white, doing warm-up drills.

And we're ready to start!
The Panthers come running out of the Visitor tunnel to a chorus of boos!

But the 49ers get flames and cheerleaders!
You can see spectators putting towels on their heads to protect themselves from the sun.

My team is about to score a touchdown here.
 Yay! We won, quite handily!

Very hot and sweaty selfie in the hotel mirror when we got back to town.
Even though L isn't a Panthers fan, we wear each other's team jerseys for the games. I have a Miami Dolphins jersey of my own. 

A quick change to go get dinner from the local market. 
That's a super-fake smile. I am getting tired and I want the damned jeans off.

But up early again on Mon, Sept 11th to BART back to the airport for our next stop on our trip: Portland, Oregon!
A clean travel blouse.

  • Top - Le Chateau, thrifted; last seen here (2nd outfit) in April right after my spring/summer closet swap-out
I only wore this blouse once all spring, and I don't love it, so it was also left behind. It got quite gross on the flight to Portland, where the temperatures were in the "ridiculous" range of over 30/90. 

We had time to wander around the few blocks near our hotel (I had a bit of a meltdown, due to people and brain-fog, sorry, L), followed by a solitary nap for me, and we grabbed dinner and went to our 2nd concert: Jason Isbell (with Frank Turner opening). 

That's my pissed-off, just woke up face
This felt like a lot of clothes in that stifling heat! Hair up!

We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the Keller Auditorium, but I asked if I could take one in my new Frank Turner tank-top in front of the flag background.
This was my 2nd time seeing Frank Turner (the last time was on our way to Nashville in October 2015 here).

I had to get my tour shirt.
I wore this for the concert over my cami. 

Tuesday, Sept 12th was a free day for us, so we spent the day wandering around in the Pearl District, checking out stores and brew-pubs.
Time for light clothes again!

Of course, we made the pilgrimage to the famous Powell's Books! 
We didn't stay long, though - Victoria has excellent book stores, and I did not intent to carry books home.

A stop at Rogue Brewery for refreshing beverages.
I was happy to find lots of craft ciders at the breweries we stopped in - I am allergic to the hops in beer, so no beers for me.

We found only one consignment store (very small selection), so I was open to going to regular retail stores. My rule is to only buy things I can't get in Victoria. I would never find rose-gold metallic leather (LEATHER) cropped pants here, I'm sure.
These are by Free People and were $129.00 US.

I tried on a ton of stuff in Anthropologie, which had a huge sale on, but the only thing that grabbed me was this hat.
 It's an olive green velvet (VELVET) baseball cap, and I was happy to pay $24.95, but it came up at $8.95 US - even better!

A lovely dinner out at the hotel (we stayed at the Hotel Modera), then up early to take the MAX (the rapid transit) to the Portland airport on Wed, Sept 13th.
Last cami! All my clothes are feeling pretty grim at this point.

After a quick 1-hour flight, we hopped on SkyTrain to downtown...Vancouver! Our 3rd city!
We met up with friends Casey and Helene, and Andrew and Theresa, for dinner and then went to our last concert of the trip: Frank Turner again! Above is the lovely Commodore Ballroom, a new venue to me.

These guys opened for him, but I didn't like them, so I've conveniently forgotten their name.
The bassist (on the right) was the best part of the band. Good for you, bassist!

The second opener was Trapper Schoeppe.
Very Bob Dylan-influenced, but great songs and a nice kid.

Then, Frank Turner!
This is my 3rd time seeing him, which is now the most I have ever seen any live act.

He is passionate, funny, British and sexy.
His fans are hard-core, dedicated, and know all the words to his songs.

This is one of his friends, being crowd-surfed ("be nice to my friend!" he extolled) with two shots of whisky, back to the stage.
The crowds at his shows are very friendly and non-threatening. I still won't go into that big swarm of people, not for a thousand dollars (maybe a million).

Frank, drink that whisky!
He walked across the crowds, singing.
It was an awesome night! We stood and danced at our table, and shouted/sang all the words.

L, Helene and Casey, outside after.
Woo! What a show!

L and I stumbled home up Robson Street to our faithful old hotel, the Blue Horizon.
I love sparkly lights, don't you?

On Thurs, Sept 14th, L and I strolled down to the Harbour Air docks to catch our float plane home.
A quick bus ride on the other side, and we were in the door by 11:30 am. Home!

We gave Vizzini some attention (he drooled a lot), then we walked to town to get groceries for our bare fridge.
Nothing special, just getting a final wear out of one of my favourite shirts of the past few years.

  • Shirt - Dept, consignment; last seen here in July as a cowgirl ballerina
  • Denim clam-diggers - Contrast, thrifted; last worn here (3rd outfit) a couple of weeks ago for shopping with Charlotte
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; last seen here in August with chartreuse silk

The stuff:
Mismatched gold hoops - they are real gold, both gifts from L at various points, but I've lost one of each pair. Close enough!

  • Earrings - gifts from L

Vizzini went back to work, patrolling for squirrels.
"An officer's work is never done."
On Friday, I decided that I needed some "me" time, so I walked down to My Sister's Closet in Fairfield.
Another favourite piece - this dress - gets a wear before the summer is officially over.

I'm also getting back on the Hat Attack! bandwagon over at Judith's Style Crone - this hat totally counts, although it's nowhere near as stylin' as some of the glorious chapeaux there.

  • Dress - I'M by Isola Marras, Florence, Italy; last seen here in July with pink shoes
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; just worn the day before

I didn't feel like making a huge effort with my hair, so wearing my new velvet ball-cap.
This dress was not the greatest for trying stuff on - too many buttons!

The stuff:
The cap was lovely for keeping the sun out of my eyes on the walk there and back.

  • Earrings - Stella & Dot, consignment, Vancouver
  • Hat - Anthropologie, Portland

I stopped in at Lazy Susan's on the way, and found these alligator clip hair bows.
They were $12.00. Shiny!

I think MSC is about to have a summer clearance sale, but eh, I won't be back for another 3+ months, most likely, so I only bought things that I loved. (Well, I tried to!).
This is a lovely green skirt - brighter than it looks here. It's square cut, so that parts of the hem hang unevenly. It's by Ricki's, a Canadian mall chain. It was $18.98.

I had good luck with tops, including this lovely thick-woven cotton jacket.
I met L at the pub afterwards for a cider, so some of my pictures are slightly blurry, heh.

A better look at the texture - I like the rough edges, and how nicely it's finished inside, totally typical of Club Monaco's quality.
This was $20.98.

I don't usually bother with t-shirts, but I loved the skulls on the shoulders and hem of this one.
The body is a lacy pattern. It's by Guess, and was $14.98.
Skulls and lace! Love it!

This was just a basic top, but the neckline is very flattering, the colour is awesome, it's washable and it fills a gap in my small tops. 
It's another Club Monaco piece, and was $16.98.
It has a nice thick woven texture, with a banded bottom.

I'm always on the lookout for a good white or cream top for layering under other things.
This one is Chic by Jacob, and was $19.98,
I like the elasticated bottom (can be tucked in or worn out), and it's also washable.

Apparently, beaded cardigans are a thing again. This one is a thick cotton, with heavy glass beads on the front.
It's by Cable & Gauge, and was $22.98.
It's a really nice fit (no pulling of the buttons), and looks good worn done up or open over a top.

And lastly, this gorgeous burgundy silk stretch blouse. It was only $19.98, which I'm sure is due to the previous owner cutting all the tags out of it (no label or content tag, can't mark it up).
It has that lovely sand-washed silk, slightly dusty look to it.
I'll steam it before I wear it (I washed it when I got home). I love the flipped back cuffs and the row of ruffles down the front. 

On Friday night, L and I chilled out and drank wine and played board games. 
"Did someone say "bored games"? More attention over here, Woman!"

We didn't have enough people for Ulti on Saturday morning, so we met up with Chris and Nick for brunch at Floyd's.
A weird mish-mash of top, bottom and shoes, I admit.

  • Sweater - Tatyana, thrifted; first worn here in June with a groovy pink skirt
  • Skirt - Marciano, gift from Caro; last seen here (5th outfit) in June for my pre-/post-Ulti outfit
  • Shoes - Ecote, consignment; last worn here in July with much fringe

I'm done with this skirt, I've decided. It was free from Caro, passed along from one of her coworkers, so I'll pass it along to someone else who will love it.

The sweater is okay, functional. It was slightly breezy out, and I didn't want to go full sunblock with a skimpier top.
Good-bye, pretty skirt! Thanks for the wears.

The stuff:
These sandals will make the cut for another summer. They are comfy and I like the look of them, although not with this particular outfit. Ah, well. 

  • Bracelet - Lia Sophia, thrifted
  • Earrings - vintage 60s, Mom's, modified by me in the early 80s

Mom and I started our new year of plays at the Belfry Theatre on Saturday. We go to the 4 o'clock matinee and then have dinner at the pub afterwards. Vizzini helped me pick an outfit for the evening. 
"Wear something with fringe, that I can attack."
I'd nearly forgotten about this velvet dress! It was the perfect night for it! 
 This is a gorgeous silk velvet in a deep violet purple, nearly an exact match for my hair, which is pulled up so that I look classy.

This is my link to Patti's "Visible Monday" over at Not Dead Yet Style,. Sending good vibes to my dear Floridian friend!

  • Dress - BCBG Max Azria, thrifted; purchased here for $29.95 (it was new, with tags on!)
  • Shoes - Van Eli, thrifted; last seen here in July with my orange tennis dress

 Our play was "The Children's Republic" by Hannah Moscovitch (link here 'cause I love; review here) - we both enjoyed it, but it was very sad and a bit of a downer for the season opener. I hope the next one is a bit more uplifting!
 I loved this comfy dress - I'm excited to wear it again for fall.

I deployed my silk burn-out velvet scarf as my cover-up for walking to and from the theatre.
 It also kept me warm inside. It's not an exact match - being burgundy instead of purple like the dress - but I liked how they complemented each other.

The stuff:
 Photographed after two glasses of wine! These shoes are excellent for walking in - they're keepers.

  • Scarf - no label, thrifted
  • Purse - Reiss, thrifted

Silver bling:
Simple shapes to let the dress stand out.

  • Cage cuff - Bauxo
  • Dragon bangle - Lazy Susan's
  • Bangle - local
  • Earrings - Joyce's, vintage 80s

And there you go, vacation over! I'll leave you with some cute pictures of Vizzini, taken by Ross while we were away. 
"Give me kitty treats, uncle Ross!"
 Vizzini is hard to photograph - he's rarely still for long.
"Come on...I won't tell the Man and Woman that you gave me treats."
 He is a master at looking cute to get what he wants.
"Note how well I pose. Back feet out, whiskers and eyebrows fully at attention."
 Both Nick and Ross were amazed at how cuddly he was.
"This picture is just between us, right?"

Back to my regular posts (and work, ugh) tomorrow! It's been an awesome vacation. 


  1. That red kimono is such a great piece! This was a fun post, Shelia!

  2. I've loved the custom dress series. My sewing teacher is a wedding dress couturier and she teaches her students how to sew entirely custom, so I can really appreciate the entire delightful process! Thanks especially for the detail shots as custom is all about the details!

    Also... Amoeba!!! I went there once about a million years ago and it remains one of the most memorable record shopping / travel experiences of my life. I still have most of what I bought there even after years of winnowing my collection.

    1. Thank you so much, spacegrrl (hee)! Custom was such an amazing experience, and it really was a treat for me. I love the details!

      Oh, isn't Amoeba the best?? I have a feeling we'll have to go back to SF for it...

  3. OMG!! I love the skull bunny and I've always wanted to go to Wasteland!!!! V cool that you take all the giveaway throwaway clothes!!!!!

    1. Wasteland was amazing - I've never heard of it before. I love weird things like the skull bunny. Packing with the plan to discard is the best!

  4. Even though I have no where close to your wardrobe, I have the same attitude about leaving clothes behind when I travel. I go with carry-on only. Though I may enjoy the clothes while travelling, i have so few chances to wear many things, I prefer to leave them. I am now making up your 'note' to leave behind. I hope someone else can enjoy what I did for a while.

    You are using your B'day as an excuse for an excellent time. We should all do similar.

    1. I'm so glad you do this too, Julie! Thanks very much - birthday month is nearly underway!

  5. A second comment - if ever I found that kimono in a thrift store, I'd snap it up. Classy and versatile.

  6. How fun to read about your vacation time!

    I had a trip for work to Portland at the end of June--and stayed at the Hotel Modera! Loved that restaurant, and ate there several times for dinner during the week and almost every breakfast. Did you and L find the games room? Portland is a fun city to visit, even if one is on a working trip.

    Enjoy getting back to your normal routine this week. Have fun with all your great new wardrobe finds.

    1. Thanks, Linda! I loved the restaurant too - no, they have a games room?? So cool!

  7. I feel so satisfied after reading this post, heh. What an awesome week you had! Flying here and there, shopping, concert- and stadium-going. And although it's been colder for just a few days, I almost forget what it's like to sweat in the heat, so I liked to see the sunshine shots. You and L really know how to celebrate. It's an art. I loove those Free people metallic pants. Yeah!

    1. I'm glad it's over now, but so weird to get back to normal. I knew you would love the metallic pants!

  8. Oh I love your kimono - your outfits are pretty similar to how I wear my kimonos in summer! Plain tank, denim and pretty printed kimono on top, haha. Only mine is more a wardrobe rut than a capsule travel wardrobe. I really liked reading about your trip, fun way to celebrate your birthday even if the first hotel location wasn't your favourite. You picked up some great clothes as souvenirs too! :)

    1. Thank you, Mica! I thought of you when I put this little capsule together! Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  9. What a wonderful vacation! And love both your travel wear and your theatre wear.

  10. OMG what a great way to celebrate my dear Sheila ! Looks like you both had an amazing time :)
    Concerts, good food, shopping.... sounds like a dream.
    You picked up some cool stuff, the Dries Van Noten skirt and the cooper leather pants are superb.

    1. Thanks, Lorena! It was a blast! I'm excited to wear the new things!

  11. Haven't you had a wonderful time! All those concerts... I am amazed that you are a minimalist packer; I thought you would have brought tonnes of stuff with you but how wrong was I?

    Some lovely outfits and you bought some fab stuff.

    Vizzini wins the 'Cutest Cat of the Year' award, in my opinion.

    1. I have! I know, people are often shocked that I don't travel with a million items, but I hate having too much stuff to lug around. Thanks, Veronica. Vizzini accepts the award!

  12. Lots of fun! Thanks for sharing your travel adventures with us. (P.S., I just bought a similar pair of checkered Vans.)

    1. Yay, we're Vans sisters...almost! I loved mine and really, wore them until they fell apart. Glad you enjoyed the trip, Ally!

  13. Welcome back, Sheila! Happy to see you had a great trip! So many great pics! So many great new buys too! I love your teal and mustard skirt and the lacy skull top! Vizzini is so adorable! XXX

    1. Thank you, Sasha! I hope you liked how I wore the top. Vizzini is the cutest kitty EVAH.

  14. Wow, I do not know where to begin! So many great outfits, love the opening one with the dotted skirt and cashmere sweater. Loved the orange slip peeking out, and that fabulous coat. That Dries skirt has me swooning , I loved the architecture, with the legs protruding--- all of your fun photos from your trip, the purple velvet dress , and that fabulous leopard skirt...
    A wondrous bounty of fabulous wardrobe pieces! and Vizzini's eyes..!
    xo, Elle

  15. I'm one of your silent blog viewers/fans. Also a fan of all the places you visited although it's been years & years since I last visited all of them! Anyway, can I buy that skirt from Caro? I like it and can see a hack in its future. Let me know. Thanks! Lamar Mendiola from San Antonio, Texas, USA

    1. Thank you for the request, Lamar, but it has already gone to a new home. Thank you so much for reading and commenting - I truly do appreciate it.

  16. Brilliant, totally brilliant post Sheila. All of that lovely jet setting around and those concerts - my, what a fab holiday you've had. I like the idea of yours to take away things that are to be disposed of. Saves you worrying about laundry and stains and keeping everything nice. Welcome home from Vicinni must have been wonderful!

    Anna x

    1. Thank you so much, Anna! We had a great time. Vizzini was so happy to see us.

  17. Seems like you had a great vacay! How funny that your cat can sense when you're going away.

    1. We usually have pretty fun vacations. Vizzini has learned that when the backpack comes out, we're going away.


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