Friday, June 01, 2012

Skagit Valley Road Trip May 26

Last Saturday the Peggy's, MaryEllin and I hit the road in Peggy's new van, a Chrysler Town & Country, for a day-long meandering through the Skagit Valley.  
Our goal was to get out of town, hopefully with good weather, and hit a couple of favorite destination stores: the yarn shop and the quilt shop in Mt. Vernon (WildFibers and Paw Patch Quilt Shop) and then anything else that came along. 

The weather was glorious, the perfect combination of a cloudless sky and a high of 71.  There was a light breeze.  We headed out at 8:15am.

First: breakfast at the Blue Bird Cafe in Arlington.  
3/4's a success: blueberry pancakes, the eggs and especially the hash-browns were all very good; the French Toast a dismal failure.
 As we left the Blue Bird, we found this place just up the street: Petite Sweets.  We'll try it for brunch next trip.
Then we crossed the street (had to, the Van was parked over there) and found this little treasure:

The Quiltmaker's Shoppe.  She opened a few minutes early when she saw 4 sets of eyes ogling the window display.  We went into what looked like a tiny shop of two small rooms, but it went on and on to the back of the store and then we found the sale rack, 40% off 1 yard or more, 60% off of 3 yards or more.  We quickly discussed the possibility of a 'Pillow Case Marathon Weekend', decided "OH YEAH" and this is what I bought: Moda in three colors, enough for 6 pillow cases and plenty of left-overs for cuffs and trim for many more.

Peggy chose these.
She also found Grandma's Stain Stick, which we will give a try next laundry day.
After Arlington we headed north to Anacortes and Ana-Cross Stitch.

There was evidence of a Yarn Bombing out front. 
Here we have 4 sks of Poems, a total impulse buy which I haven't done for years, at least not with yarn.  Guess I was due.
On the way back southbound from Anacortes, we stopped at the Rexville Grocery on the extreme outskirts of Mt. Vernon, a brief stop with some excellent photo ops:
 The building is vintage. 

Their floors are precious to them, so they ask the multitude of cyclists to remove any footwear with cleats before entering.  People actually do read signs, so this is probably very effective...
The gas is real.
 The ice is very cold.

The displays are...quaint.
Worth a short visit.  No need to return.

Working our way to La Conner around 2pm, we stopped for a late lunch of fish & chips at the Waterfront Cafe.

This is lunch before,

 and this is after.

The fish & chips: fine, not outstanding.  Certainly not the 'best'.  But the company was excellent, which mattered more.

We cruised a couple of La Conner shops, (very touristy, La Conner) and came away with shaking heads at the sad, sad, sad Jennings Yarn Shop.  It's just sad.  They are offering yarn we haven't seen for years at any other yarn shop; the staffer was uninterested in eye contact, let alone speaking.  We think there is huge potential to make this a destination yarn shop, ala Churchmouse or Ana-Cross Stitch ~ it would be so easy and keep sales up in the lean, non-tourist months, but (again, sadly) they aren't any different than they were the last time I was there, in the last decade of the last century, which is just SAD!  Don't be misled by the two 5-star reviews on yelp for Jennings, but if you're interested in buying an established yarn store in a quaint, tourist-trap town, you might want to find out if Jennings is for sale.

We never did make it to the two stores in Mt. Vernon that we started out thinking were a 'must see' this trip.  We got back home at 6pm, tired and happy, and considering dates for the next road trip.

By the way, the Van rocks.  Smooth ride and quiet.  We were all four able to hold a conversation between front and back seats, bonus.  Gas was $54. round trip.  A bit spendy but if you consider it a full day of fun split four ways, not bad at $13.50/ea (not counting individual food and shopping.)

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