The afternoon started with a somewhat long bus ride to the area we were heading to. Nala was fantastic, finding the bus door and settling at our feet for the journey. She hardly moved despite people's feet moving past just inches from her face. Her distraction work is something I have always been impressed with.
Upon arriving, we wandered around for a bit, slowly making our way to a little shop called the Chocolate Tree. Before getting there though, we stopped in at a little kids' specialty shop and poked around. Quite a few of our friends have had babies in the last month-all girls-and I wanted to se if there was anything I could pick up for the newest arrivals. The shop was so cute with little baby wet suits, water shoes, a clothing line, cloth diapers with a plastic outside and these bibs that had the teething ring built right into the design. Apparently, these bibs were just being showcased in London this weekend and she was the only one in Scotland to carry them. I don't know much about baby things since I obviously don't have children, but the quality of the stuff in the shop was impressive. I made a few purchases and we moved on.
We past a few more shops that we looked in the windows, but didn't really go in. There were a few designer cake decorating places, book and shoes stores and pretty much anything else you could want. We popped into a shoe store and were immediately wowed by the beautiful selection of women's shoes. Carmen was attracted to a pair of red heels which I thought were fabulous, but upon turning the shoe over and seeing that the tag read ""260" pounds, we just as immediately left.
At the Chocolate Tree we spent some time perusing the cases of hand crafted chocolates and cakes. I got a piece of Raspberry and Ginger cake while Carmen got a dark chocolate truffle cake with berries. We both didn't skip the whipped cream and Carmen got a coffee. The owner of the shop was incredibly helpful and even kicked some other customers out of the seats we were going to sit in. He took time to go through the small truffles they had for purchase and I picked out four-milk chocolate salted caramel, dark chocolate of the same, beer chocolate for Mr. K and another dark chocolate selection. We consumed the chocolates later at home and were thoroughly impressed.
We settled in at our table, eating cake and just enjoying the general atmosphere. There was a cherry brownie that I realised only had one piece left and I sent carmen up to buy it to go for Mr. K. Carmen picked out a few bars to take home as well. We didn't try it, but apparently they have fantastic hot chocolate which I would make a special trip to taste.
After filling up on cake, we continued on and found another little store that I can only describe as a "stuff store." They had delicious smelling candles, purses,and a whole lot of other goodies. Carmen fell in love with a giant red purse and bought it as her parents' birthday present to herself. They had told her to picks something out; she wasn't being cheeky.
After a round of the shop we moved on to the store I was the most excited about; the bead store. I can't tell you how patient Nala, and Carmen, were while I browsed through table after table of beads. I'd hold something up and ask Carmen what colour it was. I'd decided it would work in the necklace I wanted to make and then decide later that it didn't. I think we spent at least two hours in the store. Eventually, I decided on a collection of amber, amethyst and glass beads. I had so much fun, I can't wait to go back.
After our adventure in the bead store, we headed off to meet Mr. K. Nala's performance was stellar all day, including in the restaurant while she waited for us to eat. Nothing ends a perfect day like a giant, tasty burger. On that same note, a perfect day of chocolate and beads and a very well behaved, practically new guide dog should definitely happen more often. The only glitch was that when I returned home, I discovered that the wire I had for stringing my beads, previously bought, was wire used for wire working instead of beading. Oh well. Looks like I have something new to learn. Last night I spent way too much time on Google looking up wire wrapping techniques. So, all is not lost. :)