Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

October Knitting Cruise/Retro Post #3…

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Mom met me in Seattle, then we spent the weekend at The Lion’s Paw Inn.  Besides shopping for scrap booking supplies and yarn, we went to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

The coastline along the way:


The North Head Lighthouse, and my Mom:


The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:


On Monday, 1 October, we returned to Seattle to board the Celebrity Cruise Line Ship Mercury…

On the first evening, I started my spinning project, some beautiful pink wool from Heidi Parra at The Artful Ewe.  When it got too dark to spin, I worked on my (future felted) laptop sleeve made from needlepoint yarns.  The wheel is my friend Caryn’s Louet Victoria.  It spun a very fine thread very nicely – so nicely and fine that I didn’t finish by the end of the cruise and had to wind it into a ball to ply with more later:


Our first stop was Nanaimo, BC.  My Mom and I went on a nice historic tour of the downtown area.

This is a fillet crochet piece that was gifted to the church we visited:


Here’s an antique saxony spinning wheel on display in the natural history museum:


Then we headed over to Gabriola Island to visit Paradise Island Alpaca Farm.  While we were waiting for the ferry, we met a lovely woman, Jane, who is from about 40 miles from where my family is from Upstate NY.  Since we didn’t see the farm’s van waiting for us on the island, Jane gave us a tour of the island by car and took us to the farm.  Here are some of the alpacas we met…




The farm’s shop was very cozy with a nice selection of different weighted alpaca yarns.  I even got some highly coveted alpaca in black and gray.  Since it was so chilly, I bought a hat crocheted from a white alpaca boucle yarn.  To help artisans in Peru, the farm sends it’s fiber to make items the shop can later sell to further help the artisans.

For dinner, the appetizer I picked was a portabello aspic with goat cheese.  Since I was reading  the totally wonderful book, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell, I had to order the aspic, which was pretty tasty after you get over the texture:


And here’s the flan for dessert, complete with caramelized sugar and chocolate ric-rac:


The next day, we went to Victoria, BC.  We started off by doing some yarn and button shopping.  In my rush to buy up lots of Hand Maiden yarns, I forgot to take pictures of the Beehive Wool Shop and the Button & Needlework Boutique.

After we ate lunch on the cruise ship, we went on our planned excursions to the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and Butchart Gardens.

The male Atlas Moth…and the female Atlas Moth…who will only live for about 3-5 days after emerging from their cocoons – long enough to make more Atlas Moths…



A Blue Clipper:


A Common Blue Morpho (female):


A Great Mormon:


A Mocker Swallowtail:


Another Blue Clipper:


An orchid:


One of the many Angels Trumpet trees:


And on to Butchart Gardens…begonias to start:


The Sunken Garden:


The Ross Fountain:


Some dahlias:








The Japanese Garden:


The Star Pond:


Here’s a shot of our cruise ship:


A cool hallway on the ship:


Our last day was one at sea.  I took a free-form knitting and crochet class in the morning with Tatyana Tchibova(concentration not helped by the rolling seas).  In the afternoon, I took Olde English knitting with Jule Castner.  Other classes were taught by Alexandra Immel and Susan Dirk.  That evening, we celebrated Sam’s (early) birthday on the cruise:


After the cruise, we ran all over Kitsap and Mason counties on a search for a size 1, 47″ Addi Turbo Lace needle to no avail and met up for dinner with Spring, Venita, Maria and Kevin at the Outback.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic at dinner.  Spring gave me her clapotis-inspired scarf from her own hand-painted bubblegum silk.  Now I don’t have to covet it from afar!

The next morning, we met up with Maria and newlyweds, Ward and Sharon, for breakfast at Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe:


We went up to The Artful Ewe to see Spring and Heidi.  I wound off my pink fine wool single with Heidi’s ball winder.  Here are some shots of the shop…can you see Spring on her Lendrum?



…and Heidi modeling one of her beautiful shawls…


Then we cleaned the rest of my things out of my house for hopefully the last time (it’s on the market).  Here’s a shot of the newly remodeled kitchen:


Retro Post #2…

Monday, December 3, 2007

Seaworld with Jim, Mary and Juan on 22 September, 2007

The orca show:


The Pacific Ocean from the Bozo Peninsula:


The baby walrus:


Retro post #1…

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Since I am sooo behind on posting, I’m going to work on some retro posts.  Please bear with my extreme tardiness!

9 September, 2007

Here’s a pic of Blue Street, Yokosuka at night.  I wasn’t driving, but it can be a bit scary to drive on this street with all of the hustle.  In my first three weeks of driving in Japan, I turned on my windshield  wipers five times when I meant to use my turn signal.  This really isn’t too bad if you consider the first five hours of driving in the U.S. after moving to Japan, I turned the wipers on five times.  There were witnesses for three of the times…


Here’s a nice Japanese man we met at a local beverage establishment…Kristen, Rich and I learned a lot about Japanese culture and history that night.  I successful example of talking with strangers…


10 September, 2007 

The next day, we visited Yokohama with the intent to shop at a flea market.  We missed the market, but went to Chinatown.  Here I am with Marlys, near the entrance to a shrine. 


11-13 September, 2007

The next week, I moved into my house and had a birthday.  I share the same birthday with Tim, and my boss’s wife, Sherri.  Another friend, Steve,  in Japan has his birthday the day before.  Unfortunately, several people were sick and couldn’t make the dinner to celebrate all four birthdays.  Here I am, cutting the chocolate birthday cake with Tim, Juan and Marlys watching.  We went to Yanchaya for the delicious meal. 


 I’ll probably do a whole post on my house, so hold your horses…

15-16 September, 2007

The following weekend, Kristen and I made the (slightly) harrowing trek to Ikea.  This was my first time driving on toll roads in Japan.  I was very glad to not be doing it alone! 


This trip re-emphasized how much I love my car (RAV4)..and this isn’t with everything out of the carts:


The next day was a pilgramage to the 5-story 100 Yen (Daiso) shop in Machida.  We had to drive instead of taking the train since we knew we were going to practice “professional shopping”.  Next time, we’re going to take my rolling shopping cart instead of dragging hand baskets and bags around.

Here’s Kristen, showing how excited we were to actually find the place after going in the bus station with her car.  We didn’t learn that “buses only” sign very well in our driving course!


Labor Day weekend travels…

Monday, September 3, 2007

Saturday morning, I successfully took the train to the future rental home’s closest station and managed to find said rental home directly, within 10 minutes of easy walking.  By easy, I mean not up a really steep hill…just a little one.  One I could bear pulling two wheeled suitcases up after riding the train for 2+ hours from the airport…but maybe not after eating one of everything at the bakery on the way. 

That afternoon, Jim, Mary and I went to Yokohama to see the Yokohama Bay Stars beat the Tokyo Giants by one run (a home run, actually) in the bottom of the 9th inning…8 to 7.  The game was great, although over 4 hours long.  I got the clapping portions of the cheers, but am still baffled by the words that accompany them!  Here’s a pic of my lunch (first course – I had to have a McD’s cheeseburger later):


For the record, I did try the fish – it was okay, but I was concerned about the bones still inside…that’s my excuse for not finishing it…yeah…

On Sunday, I went with some friends to Hase (by route of Kamakura) to see the Great Buddha.  I managed to get a sunburn on only my right shoulder.  Here I am, pre-sunburn, with the Daibutsu (Great Buddha):


Afterwards, I had the best cantalope melon ice cream ever…and a few hours later had more dessert – a slice of choco-vanilla cake.  Sidebar – I’m looking forward to making small cakes in my small Japanese oven soon.  Despite all the desserts and other carb-infested (not really, actually) foods, I am still shrinking.  Smaller Levis may be on the list of items for care packages. 

We found a Shinto Shrine on our way to the beach in Hase.  I’ve never seen ravens as large as the ones there!   

On Monday, Jim and Mary and I met up with a friend-of-a-friend and her friend – both visiting for a conference in Japan (she a Canadian from Boston and he from Ireland).  We went to Hakone and bought weekday passes that allowed us to pay one fee to ride several modes of public transit – including trains, buses, cable cars and pirate ships.  It was a great day for talking to strangers – from the young Japanese boy singing his ABC’s (the English version) to two gentlemen in the train station – one visited many cities in the U.S., the other lived in Kentucky and Tennessee for over two decades.  We all took turns helping to snap pictures of people for them on our travels.  I also added 14 years to my life by eating two black eggs hard-boiled at the sulphur springs of Owakudani.  You could only buy them six at a time, so it was fun sharing them, including with a young Japanese couple whom I refused payment – I thought being brave enough to ask in English for one was enough!

All-in-all, a great weekend.  I only ended up with four new cell phone charms and three packs or origami paper. 

Here are some pictures from Monday:






More Rainbows on Sunday…

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Given our wet winter NW weather, there was no horseback riding, but there was knitting (and frogging).  I went to Seaview, WA with a knitting friend for a getaway weekend.  Allen and Michal at The Lion’s Paw Inn were wonderful (despite our late evening arrival).  The food and conversations were great.  I think it would be hard to go back without staying there!  Stella will come with me next time.  I think she’ll get along very well with the Millers’ three dogs.  Here’s a picture of Taz’s favorite place inside…

Taz’s window seat

We went to the World Kite Museum, the Tapestry Rose Yarn Shop, Full Circle Cafe (next to the Tapestry Rose), Heron & Beaver Pub and The Port Bistro.  While having lunch in the Cafe, I found a mistake in the socks I’ve been working on…thought it was just on one side of one sock.  I was not looking forward to dropping 3 stitches to correct in each of the 7 repeats.  Back at the Inn, I found another error even further back in both socks and ripped out 8 rounds on each.  As of this morning, I caught up.  Here are some more pics from the weekend…

The top sock is frogged, the bottom shows the mistake (a slight shift by doing row 2 instead of row 4).  I don’t like leaving mistakes.  The other sides of the socks are cooler colors, but they seem to blending more now.  Cherry Tree HillSupersocks yarn in Brights colorway, Central Air Pattern from Blue Moon Fiber Arts on size 1, 47″ Addi Turbo needle:

Cherry Tree Hill - Brights

The beach about 100 yards from Tapestry Rose & Full Circle Cafe:


Tetrahedron kite: 


Framed antique crocheted lace (see the peacock feathers?) from the Boston Commons room: 


On the way home, many rainbows…several were doubles, but the photos weren’t so clear with the rain and windshield: