It's been more than a week since my last post. Thanksgiving came and went, thank goodness. We went to the movies and had dinner at a local restaurant. Even though it was nice, the three of us felt Brianna's absence. I couldn't help but cry in the car on the way home. She should be with us and we should be giving thanks that she made it. We made it through our first holiday without her. Good hours and bad, good days and bad.
So on Saturday to get out of the house and do something different, John and I decided to go on a day trip. Trevor was with his buddies and decided he'd rather have fun with them. Friends are a good thing for him now. John and I were going to be the intrepid adventurers.
We've only lived in Northern California for two years, so we really haven't explored much here. We decided to take a trip north, about 30 minutes away, to the sleepy little town of Martinez, birthplace of Joe DiMaggio, frequented by Erle Stanley Gardner and where it all started for one of my favorite drinks - the martini.
The typical gin drink with a green olive got its start in Martinez, thus the name "martini." It became such a popular cocktail and being that the town is on the Carquinez Strait, northeast of San Francisco, the martini's recipe spread quickly. So we drove to the seaside town to see what all the history was about and to try the town's spirited concoction. We were surprised to find out that Martinez is the seat of our county, and has been since April 1851. Pictured is the Contra Costa County Finance building, but it started as the county courthouse in 1901.
We took a look at the water and the many geese inhabiting the nearby protected wetland. The wildlife was beautiful. Just a bit inland was a brand new Amtrak station, and a marble historical marker noting that the pony express used to take the ferry to deliver mail.
Heading into town on Ferry Street, I was amazed at the number of antique stores among the town's merchants. There must have been at least 10 in less than a one mile square area. And since I love to shop and John loves to look, we popped into a couple. I found some great old Christmas ornaments to use in my art.
We went upstairs in one antique store and I just had the feeling that the place had to be haunted. It was so old, creaky, dark, deserted and musty. But it did have some neat treasures. I spied a great old doll trunk and a large, probably four-foot paper pulp Victorian doll. I think she must have been a model for women's clothing. Her coat and the dress underneath were beautiful, but I don't think she wanted to be recognized.
It was time for a late lunch early dinner and we strolled into JT La Beau's on Ferry Street. (It runs north and south and if you followed the street north, you'd walk right into the strait.) Even though there were white linens on the tables, it was a great casual place for our toast to the town with drink named after it. So John ordered a vodka martini and I ordered mine with gin, slightly dirty martini with at least two olives. We had hot wings, sandwiches and ceasar salads and were warmed by the hospitality and the libations. It was getting dark and bit a cool and breezy. So we decided to walk a bit before heading home.
I spotted these lovelies in some of the store windows. I just thought there were interesting, and the dress reminded me of Brianna. She loved all things funky, and clothes made from objects other than fabric.
And these fine ladies looked so beautiful in their porcelain finery.
After a little more walking and with the evening fast approaching, we headed home. Even though we were so close to home, it felt like we had gotten away to some place far away. When was your last adventure?