Our final day in San Jose was most enjoyable. The kids hung out together while Colleen took me on a brief tour of yarn stores. Knitting Arts was full of gorgeous high end yarns, way out of my range (but I got to pet them for free). Purlescence was full of friendly folks and more lovely yarn. I carried around a lovely skein of hand dyed sea silk for quite some time but could not come up with a project to justify the expense beyond lace on tiny needles which just doesn't appeal right now. Our last stop was Communknity, a light and airy space quite unlike the usual cramped yarn shop. I finally gave in and bought a skein of chunky Malabrigo in a shade of blue that reminds me of a soft cotton shirt that was my grandfather's. It doesn't have quite the wow factor of many of the things I looked at, but I can think of a dozen ways to use it so I am quite happy.
On our way back to the house we stopped and bought fresh strawberries from some folks on a street corner. Not the best berries I've had in my life, but also not the woody frankenberries I'd expect in March. They were bright and fragrant and absolutely delicious. There are some magical things about California. Towering palms and citrus trees in side yards always strike me as just a bit fantastical. I'll add delicious March strawberries to that list.
I drove (on my own! in rush hour traffic!) to pick up The Spouse from the airport and I can't even express how happy I was to see him. We've never been apart this long and while I'd been having a great time on this trip there was definitely something missing.
We went out for a fantastic meal. Saravanaa Bhavan is apparently a worldwide chain--"a synergy of taste and quality" no less. This particular location is not terribly exotic. It looks like a former Shari's though upon entering the giant refrigerated case is filled not with pies but huge trays of Indian sweets. The food is South Indian and vegetarian--there was nothing I couldn't eat. We let Sanjay handle the ordering and we ended up with no room on the table. I don't even know what all we ate but everything was delicious from the yogurt and chutneys to the delicious dosas and idli. I won't soon forget that feast!
We left full, but not too full for ice cream. Real Ice Cream may lack somewhat in ambiance but the ice cream more than makes up for the fluorescent lights. There were flavors like cookie dough and rocky road, but also cardamom, saffron, fig, and rose. Definitely not Ben and Jerry's.
When Sanjay asked me if I'd like try a paan, I was game. I've read enough to know what I was getting in to: various nuts and spices wrapped in a betel leaf, taken as a post meal digestive. I was not prepared for the sustained explosion of flavors in my mouth--sweet, fruity, nutty, minty, and more. It took forever to finish and the flavor stayed with me for hours. Quite an experience, and thoughtfully documented by Colleen who gleefully took pictures with her iPhone.