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Maine, Vacationlandia!

Welcome to Maine! When you cross the border from New Hampshire, that's what the sign says: "Maine - the way life should be." The license plates read VACATIONLAND across the bottom, and so it should be unsurprising that we're now nursing soft focus daydreams of having a tiny seaside ranch there one day. It's absolutely beautiful.

The coast is a little more violent and perilous, the way I like it and am used to and it should be, but there are so many lighthouses to hold fast to if you're more the landlovin' type. We pulled off the 93 to forage for a late lunch in the Yorks and Ogunquit area after getting a little bit lost and ending up in Essex, where we made an obligatory stop at an antique shop (and OMG we have to go back there ASAP so much good stuff).

Ogunquit reminded me a little bit of Guerneville, in terms of being a quaint little gay refuge from the city, except of course it's right on the coast instead of hugging a river. We were starving and there was a wait for a table on the water, but with the Atlantic heaving in the thick mist just a few feet away, the time flew.

The fog was so different from ours back home, as well! Meatier, more dense, and somehow diffused at the same time. Nothing like the billowing kind over Twin Peaks every day, though perhaps it changes at different times of the year. I would very much like to observe this and get back to you on that, whether you care to know or not.

Some roads are little more than cement strips lined with rocks and then seawater on both sides, and when the mist is heavy, with your windows down and the roar of the ocean rushing in, punctuated by actual spray from the waves, you feel the balance of your tiny, precarious life, nestled warm and luminous like a pearl. It gave M the creeps and I, the fool, was utterly titillated. Lunch was great and we wasted no time in getting back on the road to get to our final destination of Portland, ME.

Let's get the outfit malarkey out of the way. I was wearing a cozy cotton dress by Orla Kiely, with a vintage belt, my newer Dooney & Bourke bag, slouchy socks and a pair of oxblood riding boots from Juicy Couture. My horse-y bracelet and necklace are Low Luv x Erin Wasson, the gold chain bracelet is from JewelMint, and the leather and gold bracelet is from Lori's Shoes.

M is wearing her black Dockers with a Polo Club button-up (she thinks), and her trusty Mark Nason boots. I included the petite's boots - scored at a yard sale out here - and her Affirmation Ring from Kiss My Ring in Berkeley, CA. It says From one petal to the next... and we got it for her 5th grade graduation, right before moving on up to Junior High!

Once we arrived in Portland and checked in to our awesome hotel right in the heart of the Old Port District, we landed right inside an adorable cupcake shop called East End Cupcakes. Their sign boasted that they'd been on Cupcake Wars, so we had to try it out. They had awesome art on the walls (pictured above).

Our next stop was to a gorgeous men's shop called Joseph's. Aren't the brick walls and exposed wood beams awesome?  It used to be an old warehouse, built in the early 1800s, but has since been renovated (obviously) and the store's two floors house everything from denim and casual to suiting and sportswear. They, too, had some pretty excellent art on the walls, or beams, rather. It was so much fun to watch M run around like a kid in a candy store, and she's still very pleased with her haul from there!

We spent the rest of the evening just kind of meandering around, doing a little shopping here and there, taking a little break to enjoy some pre-dinner champagne at the hotel bar, and eventually at an incredible meal - and I mean really, really outstanding, easily one of the top three meals we've had on this coast since moving here - at Local 188 in the Arts District. A perfect day for the start of a love affair with another New England state!

Signing off with some stellar foliage for now, more on lovely Maine later!

XOXO, FFAF

 

Whale of a day!

Whale watching! It's here that we set out for our little whale watching adventure. The beautiful Plymouth Harbor and Breakwater don't require a whole of description. Just look! Turns out Plymouth, MA is the last coastal town before you're in Cape Cod proper, and its bay is just a little fraction of the size of Cape Cod Bay - but they still have an adorable little lighthouse at the harbor's entrance. It's called The Gurnet.

It couldn't have been a better day suited for whale watching with Captain John. (Well, it could have been warmer, I suppose, but who's complaining?) Bright, impossibly clear skies and deep blue water for miles out to sea. It took us a good hour-and-a-half to get out to the whales, which brought us to the very end of Cape Cod Bay at the Atlantic Ocean and caused several on the boat not insignificant seasickness, but it was all worth it.

Fun fact: Our hair is lying, since these photos were taken after the four-hour cruise and a subsequent sailor's meal of lots of deep-fried sea creatures. Yum!

As she is wont to do, M bossed me into getting into some boats on the harbor. "No one cares!" she said, "it's just for a minute!"

To think she's the one who ended up with skinned knees years ago from almost falling and drowning in the dark night at an Alameda harbor, all because I wanted her to steal us a boat. Anyway, she was right. I got into TWO boats and nobody cared and nobody and nothing was harmed. In some ways things are more laid back here than in California, to be honest.

I've been using my Everlane backpack a lot lately. It's perfect for outings like this, trips to the farm - I even used it in place of a weekender bag during our overnight stay in Portland, ME and there was still plenty of room left over for souvenirs and guides and snacks, etc. Good thing, too, because my beloved weekender from Tommy Hilfiger died a moldy death last month in the basement, sadly.

Gorgeous light on the Breakwater and some surprisingly colorful little dinghies at the harbor.

Row, row, row your boat gently out to sea. Wait, those aren't the right words...

Oh, well. The next part is the best part, anyway - merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream! 

We saw that old derelict wooden wonder bobbing around in the harbor and I fell in love with it. It looks like a pirate ship! It's not too big. It'd be downright handsome with a little TLC. We'll take it and sail it all the way 'round to Havana, Cuba, just like my nutty uncle with a finger missing!

Let's chat outfit details before we get into the waves and whales below.

M had on a pair of trusty Levi's and her completely adorable PJ By Peter Jensen Goldens golden lab sweater, topped off with an H&M puffer and a pair of Lounge by Mark Nason tough guy boots. She seriously regretted wearing fingerless gloves, but was ultimately glad to have on any at all - these are a pair of Coal lambswool gloves I got her for Christmas last year. Finally, the cream Kiel James Patrick knotted bracelet she took over when I got one in coral. She never takes it off.

We wore really similar outfits, piece-for-piece, even though they turned out radically different. My jeans and puffer vest are Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren, the striped sweater is Paul Smith and I've got on an Everlane belt. For extra warmth, I tugged on these cozy socks with my canvas Seychelles boots, and the vintage leather gloves were a total afterthought and the wrong color. I have a lined green pair somewhere that I need to find ASAP, because wearing these unlined ones felt like not wearing any at all on the chilly sea! I can't imagine having them on in the snow or anything.

Of course, I couldn't go without my Plague of Pigeons anchor earrings, and I also had on my Mariele Ivy bear-and-tine necklace.

Nice view if you can get it, eh? Some sick, reckless part of me would love to spend the weekend in one of these during a Nor'Easter! Not Sandy, though. Sandy's giving me the creeps.

DORSAL DELIGHTS! This playful humpback couple circled the boat for about an hour and it was amazing to see them. M was a little disappointed that they didn't jump 20 feet into the air or make a bloody mess killing some other magical creature, but they were really cool to watch. They're so large and calm and otherworldly, and I liked it much more than I thought I would.

If you can stomach the wild ride out (and there's always medicine to help with that), I highly recommend it!

Classic shot of the tail, or fluke. This one had some white markings, but not all do! It's one of the main ways the naturalists tell them apart, it seems, because they've all got different names and there are lots of them out here!

For scale, you can see how the seagull is just a tiny sliver the size of the whale's head!

Such a fun day! Wish us luck getting through this first big storm of the season. We won't see early snow or anything (sorry about that, Utah and Colorado), but it'll be a good practice run for taking winter's storms head-on.

XOXO,

FFAF

The Hemlock

There's a 23-acre reservation along the Charles River in our town named the Hemlock Gorge. It's a really picturesque and serene area, and within walking distance from the very first home we put an offer on here. I also looked at another house situated on a hill next to Echo Bridge (which you'll see a bit later on in the post), but it was an odd beauty riddled with a few too many issues for our comfort - oil heat, dangerous parking, a flattened and strange layout. But it had tremendous views of Hemlock Gorge, which made it hard for me to walk away from.

M had never seen it before - it was when I was left behind here in April to take care of business with the first offer and then continue house-hunting - so it was fun to point it out to her and get her opinion of it in real life. She thought it was a beast! It did go up in the 1980s and not the 1880s, like most of the homes around it, and was sort of pressed up against a steep incline, but I wish she could have seen the beautiful backyard, just for kicks!

Ah, the house hunt. Mental note to write some sort of Things To Know guide for FFAF readers soon.

You can hardly make it out, but I wish you could clearly see (and hear!) the wee spot where the water falls down over a dam near those white buildings. It was so lovely! I can't tell what the weather looks like in these pictures, but we're still enjoying the odd warm day out here, hence this diaphanous silk Myne dress topped with little more than a Zara leather jacket and a pair of a Seychelles sandals. It was beautiful out, and after exploring the Gorge we hit up a million yard sales and then picked up a ton of autumnal stuff at a local market where a grasshopper landed in my hair and I decided that was QUITE enough for the day.

This weekend our adventures will take us a bit farther out. Out-of-state, in fact, through New Hampshire to our getaway destination of Portland, Maine. We booked a pretty little room right on the harbor and I'm so excited! Our road trip cross-country did something permanent to me, and now I just can't wait to get back in the car and drive and drive and drive, even with our crazy mutts in tow.

The scenery should be absolutely stunning. I have high hopes for the coastlines in Maine, perhaps they'll have a little of that special violence the Northern California coast has in spades. Gimme your tips and recommendations! I'm not sure if we'll get to skip over into Vermont, but I'd love that. Perhaps it'll have to wait for snow and ski weekends, though. We'll see!

Not a whole lot else to cover w/r/t this outfit. The print is so bold against a barely-there blush background that I didn't want to clutter it up with a ton of accessories, so it's just a glittery manicure and my Lauren Wolf druzy ring for added dark sparkle. You'll see that the high slits at the sides flash a whole lot of leg with the slightest rustle of wind, so this dress has a lot going on and doesn't need anything else competing for attention!

Even my hair is more subdued than I usually wear it, just air-dried and brushed with a bit of gloss to tame flyaways and add some shine.

That's it for now, hope everyone has fun and safe weekends ahead as well!

XOXO,

FFAF

PS. Echo Bridge, some tomboy/femme action, and a little leg.

Four long years and your favorite blog...

...is that any way to say hello? and you hold me like you'll never let me go. 

Guess what, kiddos? Fit for a Femme is four years old today. It's a little astonishing. It's even more astonishing when I think of how we're off to the East Coast soon, and how four years ago our Life Path™ didn't seem to be headed in a six-day blaze of glory across the United States on the 80 to a beautiful Victorian we'd call our own. Isn't that just the way of life paths? It's one hell of a twist.

 

While I doubt this blog will still be around in 2016, it'll be great fun to share our New England exploits here for a little while. So many new adventures await us! On Saturday my mother threw us a going-away soiree at her house. Family and close family friends came from near and far to see us off, and it was a tremendously perfect day. We were so touched by everyone's love and kindness, and all of the little gestures that came together in one huge embrace that filled our hearts and will tide us over out there for a while.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that we're flying my mom out for the last half of July. It'll be so much fun to have her help getting settled and set up in our new home. In the meantime, we're slowly and steadily preparing for the big day on June 30th. We took a little break yesterday to get M a much-needed haircut, and of course the wait at FSC Barber for M's gal meant popping across the street to Tacolicious to kill some time sipping margaritas and eating tacos in the rare and happy sunshine.

We also stopped to snap these pics. The gosh darn battery died before we could do any close-up, detailed shots, but this backdrop against the side of The Women's Building was too amazing not to post! Isn't it so cool? We loved it. In all my years I've never noticed this part, and it made me think how I've missed having the Mission as a backdrop for these shoots for the past year or two.

And then we found this little side street with two pretty little community gardens kitty-corner from one another and just had to snap a picture of the street's name - BIRD! (He's currently in big trouble because he just chased a cat down the cul de sac, tsk!) We're thinking of doing a little Tumblr for our road trip with the dogs, what do y'all think? It's bound to be hilarious and incredible and occasionally disastrous and we are ever-so-slightly terrified. We'll keep y'all posted. (Needless to say, your road trip tips are very much welcome!)

This outfit! It's a J. Crew dress, and I have one in navy as well. I wanted something easy and comfortable to wear during the road trip, since it's bound to be a million degrees through certain states, and they seemed perfect. I paired it with a skinny white belt, this incredible Cordoba clutch by Elliott Lucca and my comfy sky-high platform wedges by Kensie. I've got a random gold and white bangle on and my mixed metal necklace from Jewelmint. It was too hot for anything but a ponytail.

That's all for now, y'all.

XOXO,

FFAF

PS. After the barber and Tacolicious, we popped over to Dogwood in Oakland for my last Bay Area book club meeting - we'd just finished reading James Salter's A Sport and a Pastime. One of the gals had these amazing shoes on, and we had to snap a pic since they looked so hot together. ULTRA-FEMME!

Weekend Casual

Sometimes on the weekend you just throw on a pair of blanket-soft skinny jeans, a breezy camp shirt, some fuckoff heels, and then stomp around in a woodsy area (when you'd rather be on a boat, for instance). Don't forget the Everlane belt and Ray-Bans!

It was time for me to see my amazing optometrist (they can be amazing, I promise - just go to Eye Dare in SF!) once again this year, so off I went for my annual exam and to replenish my contact lens supply. I had the brilliant idea to request daily disposable samples for our upcoming road trip! Who wants to fuss with solutions and cleaning and soaking and waiting the requisite 6 hours min. during on top of everything else we'll be dealing with?! Not this lady. My doc hooked me up with two different brands and I'm hooked. It's so much more wasteful than monthly lenses but totally hassle-free. Wish I'd thought of it sooner for overseas vacations!

So triumphant with this big stick! Ridiculous. We realized we had no kindling for the fire (yes, it's still getting chilly enough for fires in the miserable fog zone), so we went and collected some nearby. Resourceful dykes. Just like that one time we threw a pile of matches onto a pile of charcoal and hoped for the best.

Accessories! I've got on my Lisa Galibardy necklace, Lori's Shoes leather and gold bracelet, and my braided leather "nudie girl" bracelet layered with a blush and copper braided bracelet from IndieMart. Also, a seafoam green ring from Crossroads and leather sandals from Seychelles. The jeans are Silence + Noise and the shirt is Hurley. I need a sleeveless one just like it!

I have to talk about this sad meal we had last night. We wanted to have dinner with a dear friend of ours and had been excited to try a new restaurant in the Mission, so we made reservations. Wo Hing General Store opened to rave reviews late last year, with a one-page menu of Southern Chinese street food-influenced items. Just this past April, Details magazine named it one of America's sexiest new restaurants! First, a few positives: I loved sitting at the handsome, spacious bar while we waited for the whole party to arrive. Everything smelled delicious. Our server was lovely and patiently answered our questions. The sommelier graciously brought me a delicious glass of Rosé after the first glass I ordered wasn't to my liking. The meal's pace was fine.

We started with a bowl of Westlake beef jook, like a rice porridge, which sounded wonderful given how freezing the gusts of fog outside had been. Perfect way to warm up for a good meal! But it was awfully bland yet also like being hit over the head with a brick of cilantro at the same time. M & our friend both found it mildly improved to "edible" by dumping soy and chili sauces and actual wontons from another appetizer (I'm getting there) in, but I couldn't get past being brutalized with cilantro and gave up.

The pork and shrimp wontons in chili bean sauce were outstanding. Bursting with flavor, so spicy, and tons of floppy, happy wonton to keep the proportions balanced. It made the rest of the meal confounding. The red Sichuan braised Niman Ranch beef brisket sounded wonderful but was also garishly lost in cilantro, had the consistency of mushrooms and tasted more boiled, less braised. The stir-fried Mary's chicken breast with baby ginger and yellow garlic chives was also a one-note wonder of ginger, ginger and more ginger and nothing else. The rice vermicelli with gulf shrimp and yellow garlic chives was the meal's buoy, not great but not bad, either. We dined upstairs, which isn't nearly as pretty as the downstairs area, and certainly not sexy. (What the hell, Details?!)

Thankfully, we skipped dessert and popped across the street to Bar Tartine, where they sat us in a little corner around an old secretary's desk to wait out of the cold for our table. For a moment things felt pleasantly and vaguely European, warm and happy and bathed in soft light, a low symphonic din of wonderful sounds - the clinking of glasses and silverware, music softening the edges of those metallic sounds and voices, quietly busy waitstaff, our own conversation. I don't think I've ever been so content to wait 30 minutes for dessert! Once seated properly, we lingered over fairly simple offerings with classic Tartine twists - Turo cheesecake with green and red strawberries, a smoky, salty chocolate torte - with champagne and port. It turned the entire evening around.

In other news, we packed six boxes today. Progress!

XOXO,

FFAF

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