Costume College was wonderful, but the absolute highlight of my trip to the US was visiting my sister in Santa Barbara.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her, but she’s definitely my sister: we immediately had a gazillion things to talk about and show each other, and finding fun things to do together was effortless: I wish I’d had five times as much time to be there.
We walked along the boardwalk and beaches, and saw dolphins along the coast. We went to cool coffee (and tea) shops and tried amazing restaurants. She showed me her favourite secret gardens, where we ate grapes and figs and blackberries, and her favourite parks, where I got excited about squirrels (you’ll understand if you’re from NZ or Hawai’i) and butterflies and plants.
We identified flowers in her wildflower garden, and I made friends with her cats. We went op-shopping and vintage shopping (my bank account and luggage allowance are grateful I didn’t buy that 1940s silk damask, but my heart is still sad…). We discovered that we’re still as excited about the same clothes as we were when we were teenagers – although we’re much more amicable about borrowing from each other’s closet now!
Along the lines of closet borrowing, we played dress up. We’ve been doing it since we were kids: she’s the very first person who put me in a costume. This time we got to trade dress ups: she wore my 1790s red-spencer outfit, and I wore a vintage dress from her collection.
Since she has short purple hair, we needed to cover it with something a little more substantial than my Janeway tiara. So she made use of her fabric stash and the ostrich feather I wore for the Saturday Night Gala, and whipped up a turban.
We went up to the Santa Barbara Mission, and had an absolutely wonderful time, and took far too many gorgeous photos. Here are some of my favourites: