As much as Amber and I love to shop (as if this is not obvious by now!), the rhythms of our daily lives are very different, and we seldom get to shop together. This last Saturday was a fabulous, glorious exception. I was about to drag Chris out with me, but he was really just coming to be a nice guy, and keep me company... patient as he is, there is just soooo little for guys to look at in clothing stores. So when Amber called with the magic words "we have a babysitter" (!) I pulled cash from every nook and cranny of my house and high tailed it to her house to start our Girl's Shopping Adventure!
The Salvation Army stores of our area are so dear to us that we call them the "Salvos". Massive, random, frequently restocked, and fond of throwing sales for no other reason than "it's Friday", they are truly the churches of Thrift. It takes a true hunter and gatherer to plumb their depths, but we are up to the task! Post thrift-score, Amber chats on her cel phone outside the Auburn Salvo, in an outfit that just happens to match the sign perfectly. Her awesome skirt and shoes, by the way, were thrifted from another store a half hour before this picture was taken.
Yes, she's that good.
For some reason we had never noticed the store behind the Auburn Salvo. "Mad Hatters?", I wondered, as we drove by. "Costumes?" Amber read off the sign. It was hard to tell from the outside if this was a regular, new costume shop, filled with plastic crap, or if it was someplace filled with fun. The 70s-era sign, faded in the sun, was promising, so we pulled over.
And then proceeded to be exquisitely, amazingly tortured:
Not one of these beauties was for sale. The proprietress referred to them as "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman Dresses" but they were so much more.... dozens upon dozens of the most unique 70s Gunnies and prairie dresses we had ever seen. We tried to buy, friends and dear customers, oh we tried... but we were flatly denied. Costume rental only!
Why, has Amber changed again? Indeed. If you want to know why I love her so, I think it can be summed up by the fact that, though she knew she had not a chance in hell of owning these dresses (and she certainly wasn't planing on renting one) she wanted to try them on anyway. In a wink of an eye she was wearing her fave. Well... it was honestly very hard to pick a fave, actually. Here's one of mine:
This very nice yet somewhat random-looking man (he was helping a sweet lady choose a wacky fairy costume for a big party that night) would not get out of the picture, so you'll have to try to concentrate on the important part- the amazing gingham!!!
I guess this is how hunters-turned-wildlife-photographers feel-- "gee, at least I got a picture". Actually I was slightly traumatized by the experience, but I do remember that when I took this picture I said "at least the whole worldwide web will feel my pain now!" Ha ha!
A few hours into the adventure things started to get, predictably, a little random. Here is Amber humoring me as we wait in line at the Citrus Height Salvo, a airplane-hangar, Costco-sized mega-store that blasts Christian Rock at top volume.
God forbid that blood sugar drop, or the caffeine wear off. Amber took me to the Sacramento Co-op for my first ever visit, where I was shocked to discover the vegan delicacies of the Fancy Pastry case. I am not a vegan by choice, but I'm allergic to eggs, so pastries and I seldom cross paths. (Pity me, please). This is another one to tempt and torture you all: we had the one on the right, two cookies with a cool vegan cream squished in between. Sometimes vegan treats are total cheats, but they are not kidding around at the Sac Co-op. Serious YUM.
Do you believe us that we were "just acting casual" when the self-timer went off? Doesn't Amber look like she is interested in some sort of Amway or Real Estate scheme that I am selling her? There I am downing the Ethiopian Dark Roast coffee that would keep me up til 3am... hee hee....
If you know Amber at all, you know that this is a girl who is freaking serious about her reading habit. Here she is in the Sac library...
...picking up a stack of books that are reserved for her. (She says this is an exceptionally small stack.) Gotta love a girl whose appetite for books never dwindled with adulthood-- maybe it even got greater. She is an inspiration.
Next stop, Thunderhorse Vintage. It was my first time!!! This store blew my mind. We shopped for the store, for ourselves, and even for our friends. They seriously have it all. Here is Marilyn, one of the two (twin sister) owners. Her outfit and hair are blowing your mind. I know.
Their shrine rocks my world. I think I got a little too excited about it. But you know how I feel about kitsch, especially cat kitsch, and especially from this era. That little pinky in the right hand corner.... that is my newest and truest love.
One last stop-- Freestyle Clothing in Citrus Heights. This place is fierce, ladies. Modern and vintage. Rack upon rack of loveliness.
We got an extra hour of shopping in after they closed, because they were setting up for a fashion show. We couldn't stay for it, but we loved the buzz of excitement that was filling the store, along with face-melting techno and models strutting around in high heels!
These are two of our favorite girls of the clothing world, Vanessa and Kylie, who work at Freestyle:
They are incredibly friendly, helpful, down to earth, and just sooooo beyond adorable. Love love love them!
It was all over but the unpacking. Sigh. Why do shops ever have to close? Though I have to admit that at the end of an eight-plus-hour shopping day, it was Amber who won the stamina contest, as she was still trying things on while I sat slumped in a chair literally buried under my purchases!
Til next time, and it better be soon......