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Monday, May 05, 2008

A Tourist at Home...and a Contest for Tourists.

I am exhausted! My oldest friend (well, she isn't my oldest friend, but the friend I've known the longest) was here with her youngest son this weekend. Here is a quick run-down of what we did:

  • walked around my neighborhood.

  • took him on his first El (and subway) ride.

  • went to the Shedd aquarium where we saw the Komodo Dragon, the dolphin show, and a 4-d movie. (Think water spraying in your face, air jets on your neck and feet, and things poking you in your back. Fun, actually.)

  • went to the Field Museum.

  • posed for hysterical pictures (none of which are on my camera) with the globe exhibit at the Museum Campus. (Think young boy as Atlas, pretending to spin an 8-foot globe on his finger, etc.)

  • came back to my house for a dinner of homemade crabcakes, salad, celery root puree (which the 9-year-old tried!), and strawberry shortcake.

  • ate lunch the Signature Room on the 95th Floor of the Hancock Building.

  • took him on his first cab ride.

  • went to the Lincoln Park Zoo where he and I indulged our penchants for penny medallions (flattened pennies.)

  • ate at a Chicago landmark, Geja's, an atmospheric fondue restaurant. Gruyere and Swiss fondue followed by lobster, beef tenderloin, and vegetables in an oil fondue, and ending with dark chocolate. Sorry to those near us hoping for a romantic evening--fondue with a 9-year-old does not lend itself to romance, though no one was injured during the consumption of this meal despite the presence of pointy objects, hot liquids, and flame.

  • watched the Simpsons movie, which he narrated with every line prior to its actual delivery by the characters on-screen.

  • ate at a Swedish restaurant in my neighborhood so he could try Swedish pancakes.

  • went to Millennium Park to see Cloudgate, aka The Bean (which he kept calling The Lima Pea), the Crown Fountain, etc.

  • walked to the river to see the Wrigley Building.

  • saw the famous Chicago puppet bike.

  • went back to the Lincoln Park Zoo again. (The Lion Building was closed the day before for a special event, and there was an untapped penny machine which caused great yearning.)

  • walked through the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

  • had Chicago-style hot dogs.

  • ate paletas, Mexican popsicles sold from pushcarts and quite prevalent in my neighborhood.
I am beat. Now that I am done being a tourist in my own city, I need to quickly pack to be an actual tourist. I am off to Sea Socks.

While I am gone, I was hoping to entice some of you to de-lurk with a little contest. I am a prolific collector of souvenir yarns, skeins I have procured on trips. What is your favorite vacation yarn or, alternately, your favorite fiber-related field trip? Post your answers in the comments to win a fabulous hand-selected skein of sock yarn. I promise really good stuff. Pinky swear. (Ooops, that was the 9-year-old rubbing off on me.) One skein will be awarded for my favorite answer and one will be awarded at random, one prize per person. (The last time I had a contest, only one person entered, so she was the sole winner. I hope that a few more people will comment this time.) Winners will be notified the week of May 19.


unraveledgal said...

My favorite vacation (without my husband) had to be our pre-camp yarn crawl and Sock Camp on Orcas Island. What a blast!

Corinne said...

My favorite fiber related trip is the one I take every summer to the Michigan Fiber Festival. It's fun for me because my Man is along! We love to take road trips, but unfortunately, can't take little Piccolo with for this trip.

ikkinlala said...

Well, you're already doing better than last time! Having won by default before, I don't think I should enter this contest. So I'll answer the question for fun, but there's no need to put my name in the draw.

Fibre-related trips have been few and far between in my life - I'm still dreaming of them. The one sort of related side trip I did take was long before I learned to knit, when I went to visit my grandparents in Saskatchewan and they took me to see an alpaca ranch. The alpacas were friendly enough, but they also had one llama which tried to eat my hair. I doubt it was from the same ranch, but on last summer's trip to Saskatchewan I bought myself a skein of local alpaca yarn and the hat I made from it always kind of reminds me of that ranch.

That's one very lucky 9-year-old! It sounds like a great (if exhausting) weekend schedule to me.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Did you say celery root puree? Mmmmm...ok. I would have to say that my fave vacay yarn is in the 'oh my gosh I've been dying to see what that looks like' category. A Verb for Keeping Warm, Dream in Color, Malabrigo were all vacation purchases for me and now they are the gold standard to me!

sophanne said...

My favorite fibery pitstop happened the weekend I was attending a music teacher workshop. It was at the Kanawha City Yarn Company outside of Charleston, WV. Here I purchased my first "sweaterful" of real wool and also learned to knit socks. Another bonus was finding out that there were friendly yarn shops out there because I had yet to find any at that point!

carey said...

I've not gone on any purely fiber-only vacations (yet), but I do make sure to research the LYS of the areas I visit for work or pleasure...I think my favorite incorporation of yarn purchases with a work trip was in Alaska last year--I had the chance to visit 3 shops (unfortunately, not the American Indian quivet coop since they were closed), but I did get some quivet blend in hat kits, and some lovely hand spun/hand dyed angora blend named after local landmarks. I like to keep those safe in my stash--it has to be just the right project to use that yarn! I did make some socks from a gorgeous skein--oh, those are my fave. I wear them about once a week! I don't know why I keep my "commercial" socks around...I try to only wear my handknits! oh well...

Sounds like a FABULOUS time being a tourist in your city! WOW! I'm amazed at all you guys did...holy cow...

Heide said...

Mmmm, Swedish pancakes and a trip to the zoo! It sounds like a lovely trip. I just returned from my annual knitting retreat to the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. I blogged extensively about it on Monday. Anyway, what makes this the best fiber-related vacation is the company and sharing of projects. I bring sock yarn with me where ever I go. It was made for traveling.

f. pea said...

I gotta say it was my trip over the weekend to Maryland Sheep & Wool. I had a blast with some knitty girlfriends. Buying yarn by the pound is my new favorite activity. BTW... congratulations on your winning T-shirt!

Carla said...

Congratulations on your big Obama win!

susan said...

um, i dont really have one, but i love yarn. i do recall going to a yarn store with daughter and got some scrummy yarns and then hitting the train restaurant (little mom and pop diner with a little train that little ones can ride for free, and if you sit at the counter your food comes to you on a train track in little baskets. if you arent quick you have to wait for it to come around again. they sell awesome chocolate malts. and it is just down the road from the original mcdonalds, which you might know is now a museum)whoosh that was long

helenlam said...

My favorite fiber trip was attending Stitches West earlier this year. I never knew there were so many different types of yarns and wonderful vendors. That's where I got my real kick into sock yarns. It was my gateway drug into knitting, yarns, fiber, and more...

Anonymous said...

As all good knitters know, there is but one place that is land of milk and honey for wool, Australia (New Zealand too I think). This was not a knitting trip but rather, our honeymoon. But, I sought and sought a yarn shop, because afterall it's Australia. We walked 1.5 miles in 100 degree weather looking for a yarn shop. We approached the door, I pulled it open and lo and behold my adrenaline went NUTS. I was in heaven. After my one and only yarn stop in Aus, the DH and I walked back the 1.5 miles and who carried the four bags of yarn I had found that I could not live without? My DH.