Well, it's been quite a week, right? It seems like everything
has been canceled.
Last week, before everything changed, I drove to Santa Clara to meet my friend, Stephanie. She was going to be in town as a presenter for a conference at the Hyatt Hotel and wondered if I could drive up a few days early and we could spend some time sewing together. Stephanie is one of my dear friends from the Minnesota quilting group and I was excited to see her. So I packed two Featherweight sewing machines in the car and headed up to the Bay Area.
The weather was so nice and I thought it would be a kick to take her to the Winchester Mystery House, so after lunch at a Greek restaurant, we headed over for a tour.
This is an iconic San Jose landmark, a mansion on the national registry. It's a fascinating story, previously owned by the widow of the Winchester rifle magnate. It was constructed in 1884, and was claimed to be haunted by the ghosts of those who were killed with Winchester rifles. Some claim that construction occurred around the clock until Sarah died in 1922. There are staircases to nowhere, doors that open to a blank wall...on and on. Sarah was apparently superstitious and when she was told that she must build continuously, that's what she did. So it's a very haphazard design with most design elements that make no sense.
However, there are many beautiful windows.
Lots of spider web motifs.
Sarah loved flowers so there are quite a few rooms where she kept plants.
There were lots of beautiful flowers outside as well.
Of course I had to take this picture of Stephanie.
We had dinner at Original Joe's in San Jose.
We sat at the bar so we could watch the food being prepared.
The next day we did some sewing in the room and also went to the Granary Quilt Shop, after a great lunch of Thai food.
We met Julie Dueck (owner of the Intrepid Thread) for dinner at a fabulous fish restaurant.
Thursday we went to another quilt shop (Golden State Quilting) and had some Korean food at a great little place Stephanie found on Yelp. (You may be noticing that we tried a lot of different cuisines--and they were all
At first we were a little skeptical as Waze took us to the light industrial section of San Jose, but wow, was the food good.
And the owner was charming.
After lunch, Stephanie went to the room to prepare for her presentation the next day. I hung out in the lobby--I love
hotel lobbies--such good people watching! There were so many people there mid afternoon checking into the hotel in anticipation of the conference formally beginning the next day.
And then she texted and said she had received an email saying the conference had been canceled. Canceled?? Everyone was already here! And that was the beginning of life as we know it changing for the next couple of months due to the coronavirus.
We spent most of thursday evening in the lobby so Stephanie could connect with her colleagues that would all be trying to fly home the next day.
I had thought I would see her the end of this month at a quilting retreat we were attending in Texas. But alas, that has been canceled as well. So those days in Santa Clara with such a good friend seem even more precious. We had so much fun and I treasure the time we were able to spend together. Thanks, Stephanie!
March 14, 2020 at 8:10 AM
March 14, 2020 at 2:12 PM
fabulous winchester window pictures, these are tempting to reproduce as a quilt. I do say that you missed a bet not visiting the San Jose Quilt Museum.
Your Staycation looks to have been fantastic fun with sewing, quilt shops AND global cuisine. I used to work for a San Jose based company that had their Xmas party at the Winchester Mystery House. We dined in the house and then were given flash lights to go exploring. It was a little creepy, but still fun.
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