Maybe it's lavender crême brule´e at Girl & the Fig, or wine tasting in the Valley, or possibly a spa. Whatever the drawcard to come to Sonoma, a lot of women love to shop here. Some expect it to be always pricey, but a group of local women would like you to know—"It's not!"
At least not everywhere.
These are the "sisters" of Sonoma—owners of consignment and thrift stores, where shoppers can find an eclectic array of items that some of the well-traveled and well-heeled in Sonoma pass along to others. You might find elegant furniture for that aphrodisiac dinner you're hosting at the vacation rental—and dinnerware to go with it—or the French beret you've always wanted, and everything in between—a "new" dress for Spring, CDs, bicycles, snow skis, baby seats, cribs, shoes, games and videos. Maybe even an elderly violin.
In March, the allure is even greater, for Girlfriends' Getaway Month. In a city where couples are often seen walking leisurely, hand in hand, on romantic weekends and honeymoons, Sonoma Valley Visitor's Bureau is promoting the month with the theme, "Leave the man out of the plan."
So, the women who own the thrift and consignment stores have banded together with a map that will take you from store to store, shopping for bargains. As you go, you can enter your name in a drawing to win a spa package of a 1-hour massage and 1-hour facial from Massage Envy. The more places you shop and enter the drawing, the more chance you have of winning. They're calling it a Treasure Hunt.
A map of locations is included with this article. The stores are:
Bon Marche´, My Girlfriend's Closet, Plain Jane's, Republic of Thrift, Sandbox, Sisters and Vignette.
Ten percent of proceeds from the weekend will go to FISH (Friends in Sonoma Helping), a non-profit which provides a number of services in Sonoma Valley.