Last week I enjoyed a relaxing visit at home for 4th of July celebrations, and in the midst of scheduling a haircut, camping out for fireworks, and whipping up delicious (instant) vanilla pudding, I picked up an assortment of vintage vinyl. An afternoon stroll around town turned into a hunt for gold as I discovered and subsequently sifted through dusty records in one of Calistoga’s consignment stores. I was in heaven as I pored over boxes and squinted at shelves full of rock classics. My favorite finds were Elton John‘s “Greatest Hits,” the Eagles‘ “Hotel California,” and Hall & Oates‘ “Rock ‘n Soul Part 1,” though the haul also included albums from David Bowie, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, and the Rolling Stones.

I started a record collection a couple of years ago when I bought my boyfriend a turntable for Valentine’s Day. Though we don’t usually use it on a day to day basis (how would I accumulate last.fm plays?) it’s always fun to break out some tunes the old-fashioned way. There’s nothing quite like the hissing, crackling, and popping of vinyl on a turntable, and sometimes I leave the needle circling around for awhile just to listen to the sounds.