Tag Archives: vacation

Hurricane

I’m back home, and earlier than expected.

We spent a lovely week in Tybee Island, off the coast of Georgia (about a half hour from Savannah).  We ate shrimp, hung out on the beach, and played a lot of games.  It was delightful.Then, Wednesday night, some of the folks in our group started worrying about the hurricane that seemed to be coming right at us.  I wasn’t worried- after all, it was days away, and we were supposed to leave before it even got near us.  (And, I’m from the Midwest, where we tend to under-estimate the threat of extreme weather.  Oh, there’s a tornado siren going off?  Let’s go outside and see if we can find it!)

We all went to bed on Wednesday, (me, convinced that everything was fine, and everyone else convinced the opposite) and got up the next morning for a nice trip into Savannah for brunch, a nice wander through the little shops and maybe a beer or two at one of the local brew-pubs.

But, Savannah was dead… like, creepily empty.  We were the only people in the restaurant we had lunch in, and we saw tons of people outside of hotels with their suitcases packed, grabbing taxis to get the heck out of there.

While we were having lunch, our waiter informed us that the governor had declared a mandatory evacuation for the whole area, starting Saturday.  Crap!

We all scrambled to get new flights out of Savannah, with varying success.  (My husband couldn’t get through to the ticket counter, so we ended up just buying new tickets.  Luckily, the airline refunded those later.)  One couple managed to get flights out of Savannah, but everyone else had to drive to Atlanta (4 hours away when there isn’t evacuation traffic) before we flew home.  (And then, on Saturday the couple flying out of Savannah ended up having to drive to Atlanta, too, because the Savannah Airport closed!)

It was crazy, driving down the highway in bumper-to-bumper traffic with cars filled with families and pets.  We tried a couple times to stop for breakfast, but every time we did, the lines were insanely long, so we grabbed bad gas station coffee and made do.

After a stupidly long wait at the airport (I think we were there about 6 hours early, since we had to leave Tybee early to beat the 8 AM evacuation order), we flew back home.  (Our bags didn’t make our flight, so we had to go back to the Seattle airport on Saturday to pick them up, but we were just happy to be home.)

It was a surreal ending to a nice beach vacation.  I’ve never been a part of an evacuation like that.  The weirdest part was that the weather on Tybee kept getting nicer and nicer as the warnings became more and more dire, so it really felt like everyone was worrying more than they needed to.  Of course, I suppose the Georgia officials know more about hurricanes than I do.

I’m glad everyone in my group made it out unscathed, and except for being a little bummed out about losing the last few days of vacation, we’re totally fine.  I can’t help worry about all the nice people we met, and all the locals living and working on the island, and wonder what they’re doing during the storm.  I hope they make it through all right. (I’m writing this on Sunday, so Irma hasn’t made it that far yet,  and maybe she won’t- the current predictions have moved her path a little further inland from where we were staying, so maybe they’ll be OK. I guess we’ll have to see.)

If you want to help with what will surely be a tough recovery, think about donating to the Red Cross, or a local food bank in the affected area.

Inspiration: Games!

I’m so excited, guys!  It’s vacation time!

Every year, for the last 5 or 6 years (I’ve lost count), a big group of friends from college (plus some spouses, siblings, and childhood friends) and I have been getting together around Labor Day weekend for good food, good beer, and lots and lots of board games and video games.  It started as a yearly visit to Seattle’s big gaming convention, PAX, but starting last year, we now go on a real vacation!  Last year was Yellowstone, and this year is Tybee Island, Georgia (yay, beach!)

It’s always a blast- everyone lives so far apart these days that it’s great to make a point to get together each year.

And we always get to play a bunch of great games.

Carcassone was one of the first “cool” board games I remember playing, starting in high school (OK, “Cool” might not be the right word, but it’s certainly better than Monopoly.)  The little “Meeple” pieces included with the game are totally iconic… maybe I should make a set of these coasters to keep our games dry while we play.

Meeple Coasters by Ambie ValdesSometimes we even have a “quick” game of D&D (or something similar).  Usually that starts after I go to bed, though… I need my beauty sleep, and everybody else drinks way too much Diet Coke.

I love these dice bags- the Hobbit-inspired monograms are a perfect detail!

Good, Good Dice Bags by Jinger RoyAnd, while we’ve never played checkers at one of our get-togethers, I bet if I brought a set that was this cute, I could find someone to play a round or two.

Sheepy Draughts… and a Wolf Too by Aurelie ColasDo you like playing board games?  What’s your favorite?

Whoops!

I just got back from a lovely vacation up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  It was fantastic! The weather was gorgeous, the scenery was breathtaking, and it was great to see my family again.

Unfortunately, I still had some work to do on a couple patterns I owed my publisher, so one afternoon, I sat down with my laptop, my notebook and a cup of tea.

Well…

You can imagine what happened.

I was chatting with my dad and I tried to pick up my tea, but failed spectacularly.  The next thing I knew, I had spilled an almost-full cup of tea all over my computer.  I lifted it up, and tea poured out the USB ports on the side.  It was not pretty.

I sopped up the tea as best I could, and let my computer sit near a sunny window for the rest of the vacation, while I crossed my fingers that I hadn’t caused too much trouble.

Now we’re home, and my husband has had a chance to open up my laptop and clean out any leftover tea residue.

And would you believe- it’s working perfectly!  (Except that the keys are a little sticky still.)

I’ve gotta say, I was completely shocked- I was all ready to go out and get a new computer.  I guess it’s my lucky day, or maybe they’re just making computers more idiot-proof than they used to.

Anyway, now that my computer is up and running again, I’ll be able to get all caught up with my work again, and hopefully I’ll be a little more careful in the future.

(In the meantime, here’s a picture from my vacation- The UP really is absolutely gorgeous!)Have you ever spilled on your computer?  (Not that I’m counting, but this is the third time I’ve done it… and it’s never good…)

Inspiration: UP North

I’m writing this from the past (through the magic of scheduled posting…oooh!), but I am currently at a big family reunion up in the wild wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Penninsula!

If you don’t know where the UP is, its here:I bet you didn’t even know that the US went that far north!

My grandma lives all the way up there, along with an aunt and her family, so the rest of us (dozens of cousins and aunts and uncles) are all descending on a tiny town waaaay up north for this year’s family vacation.  I’ve only been to the UP once before, and it was decades ago.

From my understanding, we’ll be spending the week hiking in some National Forests.

Hiking Socks by Kerin Dimeler-LaurenceWe’ll spend time canoeing around lakes and streams, looking for interesting birds and fish.

Kejimkujik Canoe Cowl by Raven Knits DesignWe’ll tour copper mines from the 1800s.

Copper Plait by Kathy ZimmermanAnd one thing’s for certain, no matter how hard I try to avoid them, I’m definitely getting eaten by some big old mosquitoes.

Mosquito Scarf by Kim ChristensenAre you going on any fun trips this summer?

Spring Break! (Woooo!)

Happy Spring Break, you guys!  The Seattle schools are off this week for spring break, which means my sewing classes are off, too.

So what’s a girl to do with a whole week of spring break all to herself?  Should I go to the beach?  Should I sun myself and drink tropical drinks by the pool?

Of course not!  I live in Seattle where my spring break consists of knitting, drinking coffee and (maybe) a little yard work if the sun comes out.

Yesterday was lovely and sunny, but the day before was crazy!  Pouring rain, sun, hail, and crazy wind.  That was some of the weirdest weather I’d seen here in years.  We even had “sun-showers,” where it was simultaneously pouring and super sunny.

Sparkling Rain by Christelle NihoulOf course, spring really has hit here- The daffodils are going crazy, the cherry trees are clouds of pink and white, and the tulips are getting ready to explode.

Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson JohnenSpring break in Seattle is also a time for goats.

That’s right.  Goats.  (Especially baby ones.)

(I spent the afternoon yesterday at one of my favorite local breweries, sipping tasty beer and saying high to a whole herd of baby goats from the Puget Sound Goat Rescue!  They were tiny (smaller than my dog), and so stinking cute.  Seattle is the best!  Where else would you get to pet baby goats on a Tuesday afternoon?)

Goats of Inversnaid Gauntlets by Kate DaviesDo you get a spring break?  What do you do when you get a break in your neck of the woods?

Yellowstone!

I just got back from a week in Yellowstone, and even though I missed all the Olympic Gymnastics coverage, I had a really fantastic time.

A big group of our friends (9 people!) rented a big ‘ol cabin outside of West Yellowstone.  We spent the days hiking,Beaver Ponds Hike (26)And boating, Boat day (8)And making friends with horses.Wilderness Edge (27)We spent the evenings playing ukeleles (because we’re dorks),Wilderness Edge (19)And playing board games (also because we’re dorks).Wilderness Edge (17)It couldn’t have been more delightful.

We even saw a bunch of sand hill cranes, and three badgers (but we didn’t get a good picture of them).Beaver Ponds Hike (24)And, since we stayed about 45 minutes from the edge of the park, I had a nice long drive every day to work on my knitting (I’m halfway through the collar/button band-just sleeves to go!).

If you haven’t been to Yellowstone, you have to go!  (Actually, if you have been, you should go again.) It’s one of my absolutely favorite places to visit, and I can’t wait to go back again.

Zzzzz… Huh? What? I’m awake!

Oh my god, you guys.  I just had a ridiculously fun long weekend.

My in-laws came to visit (Hi, in-laws!) and we spent three days on the Olympic Peninsula.  We hiked, we picnicked, we beach-combed, and we played in the snow.

We rented a little cabin, tucked between a lake and a beautiful waterfall, and spent two nights there, between day trips across the Peninsula.    We went beach combing on Rialto Beach (along the Pacific coast). Ollie really liked that- especially the piles of stinky driftwood!WP_20160402_004And, we went up to Hurricane Ridge, where there were still feet and feet of snow on the ground!  It was just gorgeous! Ollie had never seen snow before, and I think he enjoyed it.  He rolled around in it like an idiot (an adorable idiot, of course) and tried (unsuccessfully) to catch the snow balls we tossed for him.  And he also managed to pose like a model for Doggy Vogue. (So glamorous!)WP_20160403_025Needless to say- we are completely beat.  I’m still in my PJs, and my husband could barely get out of bed this morning to get to work.  And I don’t think the dog has been awake for more than 30 minutes at a time since we got home.

All I want to do is curl up in my warmest, comfiest knitwear and read a book.  (Any recommendations?)

I’d love to wear this adorable striped, cabled, and pocketed sweater.  How cute and cozy!

Cosy… by Marion CrivelliDSCN0278_medium2[1]

And this shawl somehow manages to be both modern and very classic.

Campside by Alicia PlummerIMG_5088_medium2_medium[1]

But, really, all I want to do is cuddle up under this blanket and go to sleep.

Neat Ripple by Lucy of Attic244441709480_00f95eea23_z[1]

I can skip work today… right? Right?

What do you like doing after a big, fun, but exhausting trip?

Mystery Vacation and Vacation Knitting

Have I mentioned that I have the World’s Best Husband?  Because I do.  I really do.  (Sorry, this post isn’t going to have a lot of knitting in it… oh well!)

So, my 30th birthday was this week (yep, I’m officially a grown-up now), and instead of going out to eat or having friends over or renting out the roller rink, my husband decided to do something flipping amazing for me.  He planned a secret vacation!

All I knew going in was that we were heading out of town for about a week, and a few days before we left, he told me to pack for the beach (which was lucky, because I was 100% convinced that we were going to Portland).

I packed my bags, and made sure to bring plenty of knitting (because you never know), and we headed to the airport.

I didn’t take a picture of my face when he finally told me where we were going, but it was something like this:

7241270_f260Because we were going to Hawaii!  Kauai, specifically.  5 days of beaches, snorkeling, tropical drinks and hiking in the rain forest.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was utterly delightful.  And I didn’t even end up sunburnt! (As a super-pale Seattleite, this is a huge victory.)

And while sunbathing and swimming isn’t terribly conducive to knitting, I did get most of the way through my Diagonal Lace socks (two 6-hour-one-way flights) help with that!  I’ve just got a little bit of cuff, some finishing and a quick blocking, and they’ll be done!

Yay vacation!  Yay socks!

Sequim!

Phew!  I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Sequim, a little coastal town on the Olympic Peninsula.  It’s pronounced “Squim” (rhymes with “him) it’s as fun to say as it is to visit!  We spent 4 days hiking on Hurricane Ridge, tide pooling on Rialto Beach, and eating delicious local seafood. WP_20150906_004Ollie spent his days barking at seagulls, running after seagulls, and trying to eat seagull poop.WP_20150908_002And what else did I do?  Oh, right… knitting.

Lots of knitting!

In fact, between all time driving between natural wonders, and mornings watching flocks of birds fly up and down the beach, I made it three-quarters through a pair of lovely lace-y socks! (A Christmas present for a lucky someone!)

WP_20150908_005After all that relaxation, I’m ready for another vacation!

What do you like to knit while on vacation?

Inspiration San Diego

I just got back from a trip to San Diego with my husband and his family.  We ate a lot of good food, drank a lot of good beer, and generally had too much fun.  (I’m a little crispy around the edges, even though I spent half my time applying and re-applying sunscreen.  I guess that’s what happens when you take a white girl from Seattle and put her on a beach in southern California.)

We spent the week beach combing, (attempting to) body surf, and generally being beach bums.  And as nice as the weather was in the daytime (70s and 80s-sorry everyone in the Great White North!), the evenings got quite chilly.  You need a sweater at night in San Diego.

Luckily, I specialize in sweaters.  Let’s take a look at some beach-appropriate sweaters that I will definitely be knitting before my next trip south.

This light pullover would be perfect for wearing on your morning walk, sipping coffee and examining the beach for treasures that washed up overnight.

San Diego Pullover by Kimberly K. McAlindin

tcb_197_medium2[1]This sweater should be worn while sipping margaritas and eating guacamole at an outdoor cafe overlooking the ocean.

California Dreamin’ by Ilga LejaCalifornia_Dreamin__Main_Image_medium2[1]

And this is the sweater I want to wear while sitting around a campfire on the beach, listening to the waves and looking at the stars.

driftwood by Isabell Kraemer

DSCN0355_medium2[1]What knitwear do you like to pack when you travel?