There was a period of time when I visited Santana Row in San Jose on a near-weekly basis. I never did this because I was all that fond of the place (80% of the shops sold merchandise outside my budget, and I usually found it to be a sort of here-to-be-scene kind of atmosphere), but it was a pattern I got into with my husband during our marriage. Mostly, I didn't mind so much because I liked being out and (somewhat) about.
In the 14 months since my ex and I separated, I'd only returned a handful of times. This is partially because it's pretty far out of my way, but also because I just didn't feel drawn to go to a place that held memories that were almost exclusively from that time in my life--and the two most recent memories I had of us together were pretty unpleasant.
Today was a beautiful day to be shopping and people watching outdoors, however, and midmorning I got it in my mind to head that way...so I did.
A lot has changed in the past year. There are a few new restaurants and lots of new shops replacing the many that have shut their doors. I think this happens a lot at Santana Row because rent is so high that it's very difficult for businesses to survive; but that doesn't stop their trying.
As I meandered down one side of the avenue, I was magnetically pulled into one particular store, which I've learned is actually one of many locations, though I'd never heard of it before.
Today's New Activity: Browsing Free People
So. Free People is actually the name of the store, not a group of people I was studying. I was drawn inside by all the pretty, flowy things I saw through the window. As was the case with most everything else at Santana Row, the clothing was priced outside of what I'm comfortable spending on my current budget, but it was still fun to look.
I poked around on their website to see if there was some interesting concept behind the store's name: was the clothes made from sustainable materials coming from countries free from human rights abuses or something along those lines. Having not seen a mission statement or declaration of special mission in any obvious way, I'm guessing it's just a name.
So I didn't buy anything today, but I've noted the place for some future day.
To round out the afternoon, I visited a restaurant I've been to before but only for a drink. They had half-off appetizers for their happy hour, so I sat outside on the patio where I could here a live band nearby and read the book I mentioned buying a few weeks back (A Game of Thrones, which has turned out to be incredibly engrossing) while munching on this:
Yum. And though this particular trip to the old stomping grounds was shared only with the company of myself, it was nice. I enjoy my own company. :) It was a beautiful Sunday.