My Irish Crochet Adventure: Day One

Day one of my Irish crochet adventure.  I flew in a day early to do a little site-seeing.  This is something I highly recommend if  you are ever going somewhere for a conference or workshop.  First of all it gives you a chance to get the lay of the land.  Get a sense of space and where things are.  Secondly, my experience with conferences is that they run you from dawn to dusk and you really never get to actually enjoy whatever locale you’re in.

  “Wow, your workshop was in Hawai’i.  That must have been amazing!”

   “Well, the workshop was amazing, but the inside of a hotel ballroom in Hawai’i looks exactly like the inside of a hotel ballroom here at home. ”

So, here I am in Berkeley, CA staying at The Shattuck Plaza Hotel.  Recently renovated and right in the center of things.  How did I find this fabulous hotel?  I called the Lacis Textile Museum where I am taking my workshop and asked for a recommendation (locals always know).  Erin’s first words were, “You should stay where my mom stays whenever she comes to visit.  She really likes it and there is a BART stop right down the street and it will take you directly to the museum for the workshop.”  Nice.  A good hotel a mom would stay at, close to where I need to be, no need to rent a car.  Who could ask for anything more? Oh yes, it’s right in the center of things. 

By right in the center of things it’s right off the University of California campus.  Within walking distance are great little places to eat (Indian, Thai, Korean, Greek, vegetarian, gelato, bagels) and quirky places to shop (Telegraph Avenue where there are more great little places to eat and where I contemplated another piercing).  By quirky I mean those little shops that spring up around college campuses the world over.  Where else can you eat a New York bagel, get your navel pierced and your body airbrushed, while contemplating the buy one get one half off hookah sale across the street.  Don’t worry, mom, I still have only six piercings and no tattoos.

So, how do you pick a great little place to eat?  You ask a local.  I usually start with the concierge.  In this case it was Bustam (sorry if I spelled your name wrong) the young man who checked me in around noonish.  Having not eaten since 6:00 am I was starving.  Knowing what you’re looking for helps.  I was able to ask him for a place not too expensive for lunch but nicer than McDonald’s.  He recommended Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food Restaurant just two blocks away.  Yum!  All natural grilled cheeseburger, baked sweet-potato fries, and a hand-made ginger ale. For about  I would have paid for a McCombo with greasy fries.  I wish they were open for breakfast!

Not sure what I’m gonna do for the evening.  I am a little hungry, but after walking around for a couple of I’m thinking Papa Johns right around the corner.

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