Monday, July 20, 2009

Half to Have It!

The funny thing is, after my store closed in April of 2007, I could not bear to go into any type of interior or exterior design stores. Could not even read any of my favorite design publications; no Coastal Living, no Elle Decor, no Cottage Living, no Traditional Home..... My heart was simply broken after we packed everything up, locked the doors for the last time, and gave the keys to our friend Tom. I wouldn't even go in Pier One or T.J. Maxx! How stupid was that??

This dream all began again last year sometime, after a vodka & cranberry cocktail (really, it was only 1 drink!) at the Cliff House in San Francisco. The cocktail lounge has all of my "stuff" on display - vintage bathing beauties, seashells, blown glass sea urchins.... Found myself sobbing into my drink and realizing that I missed my beach/coastal lifestyle store, web store, customers and my life long dream of owning my own business.

This year has shown me that it might be
possible to get it all back.

It all begins with market research, and part of that research is finding other stores that you might like - not to copy their inventory or their idea, but to help better form your own ideas. "Half to Have It" is a fun, unique, happy store that I discovered in Half Moon Bay on a sunny afternoon. Mermaids, King Neptune, nautical home accents, crushed pottery and glass made for a very happy afternoon of exploring and dreaming just a little. Explore the multitude of unique beach decor items that can be found, all while strolling through iron arch ways and stepping on crushed vintage pottery and glass. Can you see the shell mosaic ball perched gingerly next to the iron mermaid in the top picture? This is just one idea of the many mosaic products that this store carries!

How about a fanciful Mermaid to point out the direction of the coastal breeze?

Glass floats are such a great nautical/beach cottage essential. Look at this array of colors - and extremely affordable too! Think of the ways that these could be used in a display for a cool beach dinner party? Surrounded by white pillar candles -

Stay tuned - still working on that dream to reopen a store, might only be on the web for the next year, but will be full of great new ideas for beach lovers.

Thanks again for joining me on this journey, and thank you everyone at "Half to Have It" for sharing your store and letting me share it with other "beachcombers"!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Marshall General Store - An Adventure on Tomales Bay

First thing I must mention; I may be the only one in the Northwest that cannot stand oysters. Slimy little devils! Now, if my distant memory serves me, I may have had some Wescot Bay Oysters one time in the San Juan islands. I suspect alcohol may have been involved. Hmm... Now that I think of it, I am sure that alcohol was involved! My dad, my brother, my mom, all the neighbors, all my friends, but especially the boyfriend - love oysters. In fact, Tom loves them so much that he usually orders them as an appetizer when we go out for dinner. I politely look the other way while he enjoys them raw (double-yuck!) on the half shell, presented on a beautiful bed of ice.

On Sunday, we had a mini-road trip headed North on Hwy 1, towards Bodega Bay. Lunchtime! Like usual, I am never one to follow the crowd, and am always looking for something just a little funky and fun. (thank goodness Tom is such a good sport!) We found what we were looking for at "The Marshall General Store", located in Marshall on Tomales Bay. This was by far one of our best choices to have an incredibly fresh seafood lunch (and beer!) and create another great memory.
Here's the scoop; nothing fancy. Find a place somewhere on the road to park, next to the general store and marina, then walk in and order your lunch.

Fresh seafood - oyster bar outside. We ordered: Halibut Tacos, fresh cerviche (YUM!!) and the proverbial dozen oysters on the half shell. Tom, the oyster aficionado, declared these to be the best that he's ever had! The trick is, if you want a beer, you can't drink it on their deck or in the small sun porch. Your choice is to grab a seat at one of the tables set up alongside the road. (It's only about 10 feet wide - be careful!)

Have to love this view though, wind blowing, sailboats bobbing in the bay, the tide surging toward the shore with the sun shimmering off of the water. Wow, another perfect Sunday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Comments from Friends..

My friend Heather sent me this comment about the blog - just had to share...

"Makes my eyes moist.
I used to take piano lessons next to the dock in Manchester. I used to play on the beach during my brothers' lessons, make sand faces with shell eyes and seaweed hair under the dock when it was hot. I ran as fast as I could across the driftwood logs. I know the beach smells, sea urchins in beach gravel, bullwhip kelp, and tiny crabs, and used to look for beach glass too. I know why you'll miss it.

You found profound loveliness living in PO, enjoyed it as well as anyone ever could. I know you will find loveliness in your new home as well because you are you and you know how to see the good stuff."

Wow...this is why I am writing this blog, to be able to share beach memories with good friends, new and old. Have known Heather since I was 5 years old and at South Colby elementary school. By the way, I still live within 5 minutes of that school.....

On to more adventures!

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