Friday, May 23, 2008

Surprise!

Thing Two with Rosie!
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For those of you who don't know Thing Two personally, the surprise is both the dog and the fact that he likes said dog! Not surprising with the ear surgery, he's been a bit off when it comes to jumpy doggies.

Rosie, is not jumpy. She's a wonderdog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For presentations Friday. . .

Young Moses
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Blocking the henley. . .

Linen silk blend. LOVE that!
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Update: I've worn this. I've nearly worn this out. I had to put it away somewhere so I could avoid putting a hole in it during it's first month.
I Love This Shirt.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sea Socks Pics

So, I'm back.
Here're my Flickr pics. Someone tell me how I can download pics from other Flickr Folk's sites, K?

Great bumper sticker

Ha ha waaa
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Welcome to LA

Please coordinate your clothes!*
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I swear to you, every ounce of Khaki green on this man was coordinated and a dead-on match.
Life's too hard to do this every day, right? Or am I just hopeless and poor?

Glacier--still two miles or so away...still big

As I once wrote in my kayak journal. . .


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ICEBERG!

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Juneau, it's a really pretty town

More Juneau
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Waaaay back off to the right, you can barely see the cables for the gondola...up to the tippy top of the mountains.
There were also stairs.

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha

Vandling on the Pahd

Jennie in Juneau with river
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As I Once Wrote in my Kayak Journal...

Beer is good, but sleep is better.

Godspeed, my goofy Pod o' Knitters.

Our Stateroom

On board!
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Preeeety

Juneau
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Early on before the waves and icy wind o'er powered us

Our wake.
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Always Studying...

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Alaska!

Morning in Alaska.
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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 4: ALASKA!

Sunday May 11, 2008
O studious me.

Miss scarlet in the LIBRARY with the knitting
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Because there IS A LIBRARY on board. How is it referred to on the maps?

"Words"

I kid you not.

Breakfast was early, and Dawn and I went up to the Constellation room to have a wide, unadulterated view of the smooth waters as we approached Ketchikan. Very little in Tucson had prepared me for the stupendous beauty that is Alaska. All I thought was, "I wish Andrew and the boys were here, because They Would Love It."

And Juneau was even better.

But I preempt myself.

Everything appeared to be on target for Ketchikan, until:
  • unpleasant information oozed about SeaSocks travelers being expected to take care of high-maintenance roomies because they were "nice" and wouldn't complain. Kind of ignoring the whole "I just paid a ton for a vacation" aspect of the trip...
  • things got nutty figuring out how to get off the boat, and nuttier yet for Jennie-the-Potter and Mom Lucinda (perhaps, honestly, the nicest people anyone could ever hope to meet...ever) since Jennie's mom tragically broke her fibula (the leg at the back of your calf—ouch!) a week before the cruise...thanks to Dawn, my stupendous roomie, she had a three-wheeled scooter (which we all commandeered at some point during the cruise) which was great for getting around...as long as there were ramps.
  • The "ramp" to Ketchikan was actually tweaked (and slippery) stairs.
  • It was beautiful when we docked, and it was spitting down icy rain when we actually got off.
We were undeterred, however, and bravely beat a bee-line en-masse to the first yarn store.

The yarn, the earrings, the notions...it was all just gorgeous (the view didn't hurt either) at the little yarn store upstairs at the Salmon Landing. Our Pod moved, amoeba-like, all over Ketchikan, adding, subtracting, and re-adding limbs as we moved. Lunch was hard to find, made harder by the fact that YOU CAN SMOKE IN RESTAURANTS in Alaska...I thought Arizona was the Libertarian-don't-tell-me-who-I-can-or-can't-kill holdout! Who knew?!

As we discovered cute and cool thing after cute and cool thing, eventually Dawn, Lucinda, and I wound up back at the Salmon Landing at a ridiculously overpriced but better than I could have dreamt fish counter. Halibut was fresh so Lucinda and I shared a Halibut plate.

Like unto Manna.
Seriously.

Back to the boat for dinner...and our knitting theme of the night--Knitty Knits. Unfortunately, again, no actual plans made for where, when, or how to have this happen. Lucky for the SeaSoxers, our Pod moved the lot of us—eventually—to the back of the boat, the back of the Cafe. Our bemused wait staff was able to turn up the lights a bit for us, bring us water (and some nights we got cookies!). The pics of the hoardes with Clapotis on—that is a high point of the night for me. It was effing FREEZING, but that blasted shawl/scarf really worked. And it was extraordinary to get the chance to see SO MANY different ones made of so many different types of yarn. Some were really simply scarves, some were huge, heavy shawls. Really spoke to yarn choice. Good lesson.

So, knitting, then to bed. End of Day 4.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 3: Whaddayamean this tub could sink?!

Saturday, May 10

First: Eat.
Second: Pass muster.

Dawn passes muster
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Why?
Because the ship was already lurching and while—so far—I wasn't sea sick...to quote every George Lucas film, "I had a bad feeling about this..."

In our little check-in room we got our registration materials and our (surprise!) wonderful SeaSocks'08 bag. I had no idea we'd get that, and was overwhelmed. What a lot of work to put together.

Sadly, the stitch markers I raced to finish—shredding fingers on the way—were nowhere to be seen. I figured they'd show up sooner or later.

Dawn and I had an easy time sticking together (it helps that she's the coolest person on the planet) so meals in our ever-expanding Pod were really quite lovely and easy-going. That was one of the best parts—the amorphous nature of the groupings. The people I was able to meet were all extraordinary and little rays of light in an otherwise uniform boatscape.

Except for the art. Someone must have taken photos of the art—it was...unique and it rotated. My fave part of the tub.

Post-lunch I was hit by a wave of exhaustion and I think Brenda and Dawn smiled at the side of my head as I dozed off. I left Amy's (brilliant) class for the last forty minutes of swatch-time so I could catch a short nap before Brenda's talk. It worked and I perked up.

By this time we were in open ocean and the waves were...um...forcefully making themselves known to our ship. Captain Demitrius was fearless, but that didn't stop people from passing out—literally and seriously. Our first formal night was met with the injunction for "ladies to not wear heels to dinner"—an injunction I ignored...and a dinner I couldn't eat. Though it looked lovely.

The dinners, I have to tell you, are surreal on a ship. The waiters—all of them—have been given your name and picture, so you're greeted by name.

Stalker-like.

V odd.

Again, bummer I couldn't eat. Not that I felt sick. Just that I knew it would be dangerous to do so.

Post-dinner knitting was...curious. We were told to go to Michael's Club. But no one was there. They weren't expecting us. We echo-located our pod and had a little drink (Blini anyone?) and...Dawn and I passed out.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Day 2: On Board!

Friday, May 9, 2008
Up, phoning, showering, dressing, comparing lack of departure-time information and messages, bellhopping, elevatoring up and down express and local elevators and finally heading downstairs to try to find (a) food and (b) sock knitters.

We DID manage to find Brenda some shoes so she’d be able to eat with the rest of the pack on Formal Nights. It was fabulously successful, and made possible by Jasmine’s careful and patient watching-of-the-bags. When the bus arrived, we made our way outside to find our bags that our bellmen had faithfully stowed out on the curb. The bus guy started stashing the luggage and it became instantly apparent that (a) the luggage was not going to fit on the bus and (b) we all might not fit on the bus.

But, you know, whatever.

My bags and Brenda and Tonia’s bags made it onto the bus, so we went too. But at least seven folks were left behind. The impression I got was that we’d get dropped off with our luggage at the terminal, the bus would go back and get the remaining folks and luggage, then we’d all wind up at the terminal to check in, get back on the bus, and go on the Yarn Crawl.

But, you know, whatever.

We got to the terminal, sure. 
Got off and got into the line to check in, sure. 
Checked in (freeeeezing in there) and got a ticket for a box lunch, four bottles of water, and a cookie (available after 4pm, damnit). 
Then we waited. 

Soon we got back on the bus…with our luggage. Rumor had it that the longshoremen wouldn’t offload the luggage. Something about lunch maybe, but we were never really sure what happened. What we did know was that we went to a different terminal and we left our luggage on the sidewalk there (you know, whatever). THEN we went back to pick up the remainders who—as you can imagine—were none-to-happy with the lack of information and the extensive time spent in that state outside, with their luggage, in the cold, in front of the Sheraton...with no one answering their phone calls.

After we loaded the unhappy folks, we took their luggage and them to the terminals (the rest of us pretty much sat on the bus, knitting a bit). A chunk of the crawl chose to venture off on their own and visit yarn stores by cab. Both groups ultimately had great times, but I have to admit that not being a competitive shopper, the crawl was lovely in that we saw some beautiful stores and neighborhoods, but I don’t have the stomach for body-checking knitters into the boards for some KidSilk Haze—not that it's not beautiful...just that I'm not that kinda knitter.

After the first shop (Tricoter) and finding Brenda some OPI in “I’m Not Really a Waitress”, Brenda, Tonia and I moseyed down to a spectacular little restaurant for a quiet and extremely tasty bite.

At the last of the stores I walked by a very pretty crocheter working on a spectacular looking crocheted scarf, commented on it, and realized I was talking to my roomie! While Dawn and I were getting to know each other, Brenda and Meg (friends forever) found each other. Lots of squealing and laughing ensued. And I bought some laceweight yarn.

We headed to the boat, ship, tub, terminal. We got “organized” via the coded cards we received during the afternoon check-in. Many of us had the “wrong” cards. Brenda and Tonia were two. Jasmine and her crew were others. Some made it into the right group. Some not so much.

But, you know, whatever.

Dawn and I wound up in our room, rather stunned to be there. Unpacked-ish. Visited the buffet (which may have been our last time doing that). Met up for knitting in the bar where we learned that YOU CAN SMOKE INDOORS ON A BOAT. Passed out.

On board!
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

On Bainbridge

Bleeding heart flowers
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Not far from the Grey's Anatomy finale...

Bainbridge Island
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DAY 1: Arrived!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Up early, early, early, off to the Tucson Airport via taxi service. I say, “taxi” when I really mean, “the big burly guy who’d been up for 38 hours (and had another ten to go) who drove up to my house in a Giant White Suburban."

Think "Moby Dick of the Car World".

It was 5:22 a.m. and my husband had given me the phone number to call this guy. I had zero time to go check with him to see if this was real. I also had zero intention of waking him up more than I did when I kissed him goodbye.

I got my (heavy) luggage loaded in and skeedaddled into the back of the behemoth for our (touch and go) ride to the airport. With only a few weird moments of drifting off the road I got to the airport, got my bags loaded onto the scale and read my fate: 99.5 lbs. I was half a pound away from doom (actually, half a pound and a couple of months since United changed their bag policy shortly after I made my reservation).

I left the bags with check-in and vandled to the gate. No one was there. Too early. I bought a NYTimes (whoo hoo) and looked for articles by Anahad (there weren’t any). I got something that resembled breakfast at the bar (!), boarded my flight, and sat next to a super nice MSW/weight lifter from Tucson.

It looked like we were going to be on the same flight to Seattle, but I had to go work for a bit before taking off and we didn’t make contact after that. Got my work done, boarded the next flight and got to Seattle without much trouble. However, recovering bags at SeaTac turned out to be more time consuming than I anticipated. I also expected to only have to schlep my bags a bit to get to a bus...instead of the entire length of the Seattle/Tacoma airport.

But, you know, whatever.

After waiting FOR EVER for the bus driver to not tell us how to load baggage or board the bus (and after watching him cruelly leave at least 45 people more confused and unlucky than I on the curbside) I rode into Seattle at the back of the bus (a place I’d come to love on this journey) with a very nice Seattleite (Seattlean?) and a guy from Valencia, CA. Nice time. Pretty city. No worries.

It took quite a chunk of time to wend our way to the Downtown Sheraton, but wend I did, then I checked into my room in the Tower (floor 18), texted Syne, found out that she, Brenda, and Tonia, were already on Bainbridge Island. I half expected SeaSocks information with my check-in materials.

But, you know, whatever.

Hotel. Seattle.
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I needed to recharge my phone, dug around for my cord, realized I hadn’t packed it, and got information from the Concierge for a Verizon store. I trotted over there, then caught a cab down to the ferry terminal to Bainbridge to get some quiet, beat the hordes, and, you know, since I didn’t know if/when I was supposed to meet up with the Sea Socks group, why not go find Brenda, Tonia, and Syne early on. Right?

I realized immediately upon getting my ticket that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was after 4pm, so I grabbed a pint and some AMAzing tomato-ravioli soup at a pub in the ferry terminal, read a little March, warned Syne I was on my way, then stood in line for the ferry. I wanted to get a good seat up front so I could see where I was going.

I did.

It’s lovely.

Try it sometime.

I got off the ferry and started walking. 




Lovely. Bainbridge is LOVEly.



I called and hooked up with the crew. Meeting Brenda, Tonia, and Syne, was exactly like meeting old friends. Suddenly I realized that I’d been corresponding with Brenda for over two years, Tonia about the same, Syne for about a year. That’s a lotta letter writing.

We chatted, shared scarves and laughs, and headed over to Churchmouse, a yarn store on Bainbridge. Lovely. Lovely little store with lovely lovely yarn. While there, Amy appeared with the larger group—very VERY nice to see her again. After buying some yarn and tea (whoo hoo) at Churchmouse Yarns, we tried to find out where the Sea Socks crew was supposed to meet for dinner.

But, you know, whatever.

So a small skein of us (get it? Skein of knitters?!) wandered (lonely as a cloud, which honestly, was really, really great) and found a super expensive, SUPER good restaurant. Nice time. Good people. Great food. 

We wandered back to the ferry, got back to the hotel, had a nightcap, passed out and planned to phone in the morning to coordinate something resembling breakfast. 

Onward!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lookee!
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