Last Thursday I woke up at zero dark thirty to drive up to Petaluma. Normally I would not do this, but I could not decline the invitation of my friend and colleague, Howard Formby, to be a guest at his table for the Daily Acts fundraiser "Ripple the World". Daily Acts is an organization that promotes soil and water conservation through turf removal and replacement with sheet mulching, grey water, and other drought-resistant practices. They have workshops on creating edible gardens, and partner with homeowners and commercial builders to make our landscapes more sustainable for the earth.
The breakfast was just delicious, and to no one's surprise, served on non-disposable plates, glasses and silverware, compostable paper condiment trays, with locally sourced ingredients. I guzzled two cups of Petaluma Coffee with Strauss Creamery Half and Half as soon as I walked in the door! I enjoyed meeting Trathen Heckman, the Executive Director of Daily Acts, and listening to the speakers and recent projects the organization has completed.
After breakfast, Howard and I headed downtown to browse all the fabulous vintage and antique stores that Petaluma has to offer. Our first stop was Sienna Antiques on Petaluma Blvd. This place has it all, due to the collective nature of the huge space. While Howard drooled over an 18th century chest near the entrance (only $1600!!), I snapped photo after photo of unusual items to share with clients. We joked that Howard should open a shop called "Howard's Chairs, China, Books and Baskets!" I would totally shop there.
Our next stop - Vintage Bank Antiques, on the corner of Western Ave. I think we probably spent two hours here! This store, situated in - you guessed it - an old bank, has a wonderful selection of vintage jewelry on the main floor, quirky art, and lots of furniture. Don't miss the mezzanine, or the grand stairs down to their HUGE basement. I couldn't resist purchasing a crewelwork remnant ($45), an Imari plate for my collection ($12.50), a book on William Wurster, and a colorful print of a Humuhumunukunukuapua'a for my son's room ($48). I was tempted by a vintage Persian rug due to its unusual coloring, but decided against it. (Why? Why?) I should have bought it.
All this shopping had us starving, so we crossed the street to have lunch at the Water Street Bistro, a.k.a. "Stephanie's". Howard eats here almost exclusively, and for good reason. The ingredients are fresh, local and delicious. I ordered their Chicken Salad sandwich and Howard got the Trout salad special. Suuuuper yummy food. If you're hungry in downtown Petaluma, I highly recommend eating at Stephanie's, I mean, Water Street Bistro.
Our next destination was back on Petaluma Blvd, at a shop called Chelsea Antiques. Again, we discovered a trove of reasonably priced antiques and accessories. I loved the fretwork screens, and the needlepoint of animals, which would be just charming in a nursery hung behind a crib.
Our final stop was at a sophisticated boutique called Good Gray. Here you will find a well-edited selection of home accessories, gifts, stationery, clothing for women and babies, and linens. I could have bought one of everything! The store is calm and clean, with tall ceilings and white-washed tin wainscoting in a historic building.
I will return!
I left Petaluma pretty exhausted, but energized by all the amazing things I experienced during the day. If you're near the area, don't miss stopping downtown to shop and eat! xo LD