P.S. Those clear plastic shoes are not Carrie Bradshaw-approved. I know that, but they amuse me nonetheless.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
(where we took 4000 pictures of otters, 3998 of them blurry),
On boarding day, I went on the yarn crawl organized by the travel agent. It was a little crazy (okay, a lot crazy), because the bus had to make three trips to get all the luggage to the ship before the crawl. (I kept my Bossy Girl Badge in my purse and did not get involved in the mayhem, though there were a few things I was itching to suggest that might have made the morning a tad smoother, IMHO.) We managed to hit three of the four planned stops (Tricoter, Hilltop Yarn, and So Much Yarn; Acorn Street had to be dropped due to the late start.) Hilltop was my favorite shop of the day because of the atmosphere. It is in an old house with Arts and Crafts detailing. It is a cozy little place that is full of charm. Then it was on to the ship.
Celebrity really did a disservice to the passengers on this sailing because the ship did not arrive in port until 7:30pm. Instead of a relaxing day with staggered boarding, all passengers were corralled in a no-frills terminal, given cardboard boxes of packaged snacks, and crammed into too-small waiting areas with too few plastic lawn chairs for seating. Frankly, the experience did not live up to Celebrity's branding and marketing efforts. We did not feel as though we were "treated famously" unless they meant to treat us like D-list celebs just booked on a DUI. We were lucky and boarded by 8:30pm; some people didn't get on until 10:30pm. Not a relaxing first day of cruising by any stretch of the imagination.
Our third Alaskan destination was a visit to Hubbard Glacier. As we did last time, the ship was able to get within a mile of the glacier (through a dense ice field this visit), but it was really cold and nasty on deck. Freezing rain and gusty winds made it a bit rough, but it is an amazing thing to see 6-7 mile-long, 300' tall wall of ice in front of you.
Our final port was Victoria, BC, a place we'd been several times before. The ship was a few hours late docking due to the bad weather and reduced speed, so the travel agent called ahead to Beehive Wool Shop to make sure they'd stay open. The husband said the scene at Beehive was like watching zombies looking for brains to feed on, and I have to say that he wasn't far off. (Someone actually grabbed a skein of yarn that was in my my hand. 'Nuff said.) Beehive has an astounding array of Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden, and that's what we zombies were out for. I tried to get out as quickly as I could. When the call went out that the bulk of the knitters were arriving--we didn't take the group bus so we got a bit of a jump on things--I got to the register and hightailed it out of Dodge. (It was crowded before the bus arrived; it must have been madness after.) We spent the rest of the evening strolling around the harbor, browsing in Munro's (a local bookstore with an amazing contemporary tapestry exhibit on display), eating fish and chips and hoisting a pint at Swan's, and reminiscing about our last visit there.
The next morning we woke up docked in Seattle. Disembarking went much more smoothly than getting on, and we were off and had our luggage by 10am. Since our flight wasn't until 2:40pm, I suggested we drag our luggage (4 suitcases plus carryons!) a half-mile or so to The Frankfurter so that the husband could have another sausage or two before heading home.
We're booked for Sea Socks '09, departing Baltimore with stops in Boston, St. John, Halifax, Bar Harbor and another port in Maine. Amy Singer and Jillian Moreno are scheduled to be on board. (If you ever get a chance to hang with Amy Singer, do. She is very, very cool.)
Last but not least, thanks for your comments. The winners are: Abbeykins and The A.D.D. Knitter. I will email you both to get snail mail addresses to send your winnings!
Monday, May 05, 2008
- 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.
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.