Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Portland, Oregon

ok ok sorry i have been so lazy but this whole working-5-days-a-week thing is hard to get use to again.... oh and BTW this will be a bit picture heavy

so after having a fantastic time in Texas and a spectacular experience in the Dallas Airport we headed off to my home town. PORTLAND!!! Woot woot!

I was so excited to get home and even better was that my dad was waiting for us as we walked out of the airport. I turned into a little kid again as I ran up to him to get a big bear hug. We arrived pretty late at night so he took us straight home where we promptly fell asleep after exciting hello's to my mom.

The day after our arrival we did something so exciting. Something that I took for granted when I was younger and living in the States. We went to Safeway and Costco! I know!!! It was so much fun.

In Safeway we went up and down every isle and oooed and awwed over all the exciting things like red onions that are bigger than a golf ball and darker in color than watered down pink lemonade. There we giant cucumbers and rice mixes in al flavors. There was an entire isle dedicated to cereal and another to salad dressings. There was all kinds of milk and sour cream. You should have seen all the yogurt flavors. They even had blackberry my very favorite!!! It was fantastic!!

Then in Costco we wandered around looking at the bargain packaging of dish soap and tortilla chips then looked at all the reduced price books (that would make them nearly half the price of the same book here) and oooh the packages of socks!!! We even got a jumbo size bottle of vitamins. Then on our way out I got a hotdog and a coke for a dollar fifty! $1.50!!! Why cant we get hotdogs made with beef out here that are that good. Seriously. I know they exist and I want them. Now! So tasty.

The next day we headed over to my dad's where a bunch of family had come over and we had a proper barbeque. We had barbecued chicken with pasta salad and fruit. YUM! It was great to see all the family as it's been sooooo long! All the kids grew loads while I have been away.... Apparently kids grow whether you are there or not. Go figure.

Monday was Knitting Bee Day! My all time favorite LYS... Need I say more?
Dream in Color Smooshy in Pansy Golightly - Used this for my very first pair of socks (stay tuned)

Plymouth Yarn Dye For Me Happy Feet will be for my first Kool-Aid dyeing attempt. And my brother came to town from Oakland to hang out with us while we were in town

Tuesday it was off to the Oregon Coast where we had lunch watching the surf break and then headed to the Tillamook Cheese Factory . Then we headed over to one of my favorite places, the outlet mall! Oh that was good times... although for some reason my husband wasn't as excited as I by this last stop.

On the following day Mom, husband and I headed downtown to my all time favorite bookstore, Powells and we roamed around there. All I can say is that it's a good thing we had luggage that was already full otherwise I could have bought hundreds of books. Hundreds I tell you! Then we headed over to Knit Purl.
Fleece Artist Woolie Silk. I just couldn't resist these colors! The pic doesn't do them justice

Artyarns Regal Silk

The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering which I used for the Knot Hat - more on that later

My sister came to town as well! It was so much fun to see everyone and hang out. We (sis, brother, hubby & I) went and wandered all around downtown again. I just can't get enough of that place. We ended up at a little cafe that has fantasic juices and get this: Sheesha! Hahaha!

Finally after more days of lounging around, eating and chatting with all my family ooooh and there was shopping. Lots and lots of shopping we headed over to (drum roll please) Twisted!!!! They carry Blue Moon Fiber Arts and I had been itching to get there the entire trip.

Look at all that yarny goodness!!! I got four skeins of BMFA Socks That Rock in different weights (if you are interested in colors and weights you can check out my stash on Ravelry) and I got another skein of Smooshy and the Monarch on the end in Green & Yellow.... My schools colors. How could I pass that up!?!? I'm going to knit socks that represent the Ducks! Woot woot!

Overall the trip was great. I got to see everyone. The weather was fantastic and I went to all my favorite hangouts. It was just so nice to be home. It made me realize just how much I miss my family. I think it's a feeling I try to surpress a lot because when you live on the other side of the world there isn't a whole lot you can do about home sickness so you just try not to think about it. But to be home, seeing everyone, talking to everyone whenever we wanted, just made me realize how much I miss everyone... How much I miss home.

I think I'll go cuddle some of my new yarn to cheer my self up now....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Airline Rant

Well I forgot to tell you all about my experience with, rhymes with, Pamerican Pairlines. We used this airlines for all our flights domestically while we were in the US and they weren't too bad.... except for in Dallas.

They didn't have the terminal on the itinerary so because there are like 5 terminals at DFW I called ahead to see where we should check in. After pressing all the numbers and dealing with the automated system I found out our plane was taking off from "Terminal A - as in Alpha"

We checked in to terminal A said our goodbyes to Husband's family and went through security. After we got through security I looked down at our freshly printed tickets which said Gate 34 in terminal C.

What?! Terminal C? I had only called a half hour ago and was told to go to terminal A! And did any of the ladies too busy chatting behind the counter feel the need to tell us we were in the wrong terminal? No!


So we head for the little tram and take it over to terminal C. We walk for a while and get to gate 34. Still an hour to go before the fight so we're fine even with the terminal change. Wait. What time does the bored say? The flight is delayed by an hour??? Yup the flight was delayed yet another change the lovely ladies behind the counter couldn't clue us into.

So then we had plenty of time so I headed down to the bookstore to browse around. After a bit of time wasting I head back to our seats only to see they are all empty. Empty! I look to the left to see my husband beckoning me over. Oh the gate has been changed. Changed again! So we lug all of our bags to the new gate. Gate 25

Fortunately this gate has seats with TV screens near them and they are playing the news. Only the before had Michael Jackson's death been announced so we were eager to watch the news. We sat there watching the news for a while and also watched as passengers ran past us from one side of the airport to the other trying to catch their flights. I finally got up to go check on the status of our flight and make sure it wasn't delayed again. What happens when I stand up? The seats are all empty!! EMPTY! AGAIN! I had this flash of panic where I thought we had completely missed the flight so engrossed in the news coverage of Michael Jackson. I run up to the gate desk to see what? Yup the gate has been changed! Gate 30 my friends. SIGH! BIG FRUSTRATED SIGH! We trudge to the next and final gate because our flight is suppose to start boarding in 10 minutes. My husband and I grabbed our stuff and ran to the next gate.

Huffing and puffing we reach the gate just as they are calling Group 1 to board. Fortunately we were Group 3 so we had a bit of time to catch our breath and make friends with the people standing next to us who were elderly hand had an awful time trying to keep up with all the gate changes the airport had put them through considering they were just laying over in DFW on their way to Portland from another town. While we were chatting we got to experience the man working at the gate yell at the waiting, paying, passengers like they are four year olds. He seriously told everyone that he was "not going to try to speak over everyone" and he would just "wait for everyone to quiet down" he would board any more passengers. Seriously.

Finally we got on the plane and took off for Portland, the next leg of our journey. But I must say I was sorely disappointed in the service they provided. I mean all the airlines are talking about how they are barely making ends meet and they are charging passengers more and more the least they could do is offer some decent customer service. Seriously I think they under estimate how much people would be willing to put up with if someone would just treat them with respect and take ownership when things are not functioning as expected. Treat people with respect and then they will be way more satisfied customers... even when the flights don't go according to plan.

A little courtesy would be nice too... I'm just sayin'

Monday, July 13, 2009

New York, New York

So the couple days before and after New Jersey were spent in the Big Apple. I, personally, am a huge fan of New York City. Whenever I am roaming around the city with my coffee and bagel I think to my self "huh, I could do this.... I could totally do this!". Fortunately my husband is almost as fond of New York as I am.

The forever flight wasn't too bad, I slept for an hour, watched four movies and knit an entire hat (to be shown later). Fortunately this time around passport control was a breeze with my husband making friends all along the process in his usual way.

Right when we got out of the airport we headed to my sister's house in Brooklyn. I'm not sure if she realizes just how much I look forward to seeing her as I enter and exit the country. It's like immediate home. I don't have to take another flight or go any further to get that sense of home right away by spending time with my big sis. Not to mention my Niece is BEYOND adorable. I just love hanging out with her and her family.

So we made it to her house in the evening and ate and crashed... but a 14 hr fight will do that to you. But look at what my sister got for me on her last trip to Ireland!!!! SO EXCITING! Irish wool! I'm going to have to make something with cables.

The next day we bummed around the city going to the east village and to Purl Soho because I just could not wait any longer! I got some gorgeous yarns (I'm not going to show you everything just my fave but you are welcome to check out my Ravelry stash page to see them all)I loved the pewter color of this Tilli & Tomas beaded lace

So I guess my husband hot a little board with all the time I was spending in Purl Soho (although really I don't see how) so he was sitting out side and I was hovering over some sock yarn when I hear "Why thank you. It's nice to meet you too" and I turn and look outside and my husband is chatting with Ainsley Harriott (the guy with like 5 different cooking shows on BBC Food)! I briefly thought of putting down the yarn to rush out side and say hello as well but 6 months people(!) and a year and a half since I had been in a real, live, LYS so I stayed put, petting all the yarns.

After New Jersey we had another couple of days in the city where we went to Rockefeller Center

The Empire State Building

and Central Park

As you can tell we completely exhausted our selves in the first couple days of our trip.... but it was totally worth it.

After New York we headed for Arlington Texas to spend some much needed time with Husband's family. It was so much fun but I didn't get any pictures as we mostly just hung around and chatted. After all Texas is almost as hot as Abu Dhabi and who wants to go running around in that kind of heat?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

FO: Orange Hat

Fifth reveal Finished June 6th:

I knit this hat for my brother in-law. His vary favorite color is (you guessed it!) Orange! and not just any orange but bright cheeto orange. Fortunately I had some cheeto-orange yarn sitting in my stash so I started searching for the perfect hat pattern to knit. It had to have some design element to it, you know, not too plain. But it also couldn't be lacy or girly or anything. So after much searching I found the perfect pattern.

Isn't it FANTASTIC! I love the cables on this hat. Although I have realized that working cables makes my fingers hurt but for the effect it's totally worth it.


Pattern - Groovy Cable Tuque by Mimi Fautley
Size: Man's size
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in Orange
Mods: No mods. This hat is perfect just the way it is.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

FO: Roar!!!!!

Fourth Reveal Finished June 6th:

I saw the Dinosaur hat a few months ago and just couldn't resist knitting it for my niece. I figured it made a nice balance to the party hat I made her. This way she can be a princess one day then the next day she can be a dinosaur. Roar!

The hat was a breeze to make and the shaping kept the project interesting. Also I was able to use stashed yarn. Lots of stashed yarn! I love that part!


Pattern - Toddler Dinosaur hat by Julia Farwell-Clay
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in green heather and Cascade 220 purple heather.
Size: smallest
Mods: well the only mod I made is so minor that it hardly counts. I added an extra hole on the chin strap to increase comfort.

I can't wait to see my niece wearing this!