Thursday, April 28, 2005

Just the beginning...

Where do I even begin? I suppose the beginning would probably be a very good place don't you? First off, the day before I left I received a nice little package in the mail from Keri. Totally unexpected surprise there. Look what she sent me...

It is some delicious hand-dyed merino wool. Yummy! I obviously couldn't wait to do something with it. Just look at the colors... mmmmm

I first tried Branching Out, but the colors made it hard to even see the lace so instead I started a mini-Clapotis. Sorry, no picture there because I didn't get very far... I was working on my Dale sweater. I promise those pictures will be coming soon, it's just I have so many to show I have to do it in stages.

Well, we arrived in England and I can't even begin to describe to you how tired I was... I think I was up for about 30 hours with only about three hours of sleep on the plane. Ouch. But after a great night's sleep of about 13 hours (I never, ever, sleep that long and I'm shocked that I actually did) we were ready to actually start sightseeing.

First off, let me show you a picture from outside my window...

Tell me that isn't exactly what you would expect a London street to look like?

Our first day out we went to the Tower of London and toured around there a bit.

So it's not exactly a tower, more like a fort, but definitely interesting. This guy was our tour guide...

And this it what it looked like when you first walk past the gates.

Are you getting the historical feel yet? I sure did, it was like something straight out of the middle ages. Very cool.

Some of the other sights we saw that day were....

The London Bridge... I wasn't expecting the blue parts (if you clink on it to enlarge it you can see them) but the insides of the stone towers is all steal. They just built the stone around it to blend in with the London architechture.
Then there was...

Big Ben, who was every bit as big as you might expect. Notice the gray clouds. Yeah, it was pretty dreary. All of these pictures are from the same day so you can see how quickly the weather changes over there.

We also saw this from the river boat cruise we took...

It's the Globe Theater (or Theatre, whichever way you want to spell it) where Shakepeare's plays were performed (obviously reconstructed several times because those thatched roofs sure wouldn't have stood the test of time.)

And then there's this one which has a very funny story to it...

That's mom and me on the river boat cruise. Why is it funny you ask? Because this is about the tenth picture we took and the only one that came out because mom kept closing her eyes everytime the picture was taken. We finally figured out the reason. My camera flashes two times and she would close her eyes after the first flash... We had a good laugh about that one.

So that was the first day... More to come I promise!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm BACK!!!

Oh my goodness, I have so much to say and not even close to enough time to say it in! So this is just a quick post to let you all know I survived the trip and I'll be filling you in with pictures (more pictures than I'm sure you'd care to see actually) and stories very soon. Stay tuned! By the way, I've missed my blogging friends and can't wait to read up on what everyone's been up to!

Monday, April 11, 2005

England or Bust...

Tomorrow I leave for England. It's sheer crazyness that it's come this fast. I'm definitely excited but I've been so busy getting things ready for the trip that it hasn't actually hit me that I'm leaving. Does that ever happen to you? You get so wrapped up in preparing for a trip that you don't even realize that you're leaving for it? I'm positive it'll hit me like a slap in the face the minute I walk into the airport.

So get this. My flight leaves at 6pm or so tomorrow night. Guess what "time" we get to London? 8am..... Guess how many hours the flight is going to be? 8..... yeah, I'm going to be losing quite a few hours on my way over there. That sucks because the day won't even be starting when we get there. My parents have a bus tour scheduled for that day just to keep us awake and to get us adjusted to their time. Crap I'm gonna be tired. Ah well....

I was so productive this weekend. And it all has to do with getting things together for the trip.... that included my knitting that I wanted to bring. But I was bad... I couldn't just pack up all that yummy yarn I had to bring with me. Nope, I needed to do a swatch just to make sure it'll knit up right. And then knitting a swatch turned into casting on. Because seriously, who wants to cast on 216 stitches on the plane. I'll just do that and put it down. HA! Fat chance... I definitely knit a little more that I was planning and the worse part was I felt guilty almost the whole time!

I'm so bad!!!!

D's neglected scarf actually got worked on quite a bit because the guilt was driving me to work on something other than my England project!

I suppose guilt can be productive sometimes huh?

I wasn't the only productive knitter this weekend. Look at D's progress on his sweater!

Tell me that doesn't look like a professional did that? I'm so proud! And he's so excited!

And just because this is an extremely cute picture of Ramses I had to post it

He loves it when I scratch his chin. He's in kitty heaven I tell you!

Well folks I'm off. I hope you all have an excellent two weeks. I'll probably be checking in if I find a decent internet cafe, but I don't think I'll have the time to post anything but a quick hello! Cheers!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Has it really come to this?

When it comes to cars, I have come to accept that mine is less than straight-off-the-lot new. In fact, mine is falling apart. But it’s been a good car. It gets me where I need to go with little or no difficulty. However, its appearance is lacking. Quite a bit lacking in fact. When I took it in to have the oil changed I could swear I heard those guys laughing about that state in which my poor Jeep is in. I’d like to see them try keeping a car that’s 12 years old rust-free in Central New York where salt is a season all it’s own.

Anyway, the oil change went off without incident, or so I thought until I got to D’s place and noticed that one side of my hood wasn’t latched down. How I didn’t notice this on the ride there, I have no idea. So I lifted the hood to see what the problem was. Turns out that the guys were a little rough with my baby and broke the bolt that attaches the latch to the hood. Granted, that bolt was probably close to rusted through, but really, with a car this old, you have to be gentle.

I couldn’t really do anything about it at D’s so I ignored it until my drive home when it became more than apparent that it wasn’t exactly safe to have the side with the broken latch flapping in the wind. I had visions of the hood coming up in my face like in that scene from Tommy Boy. If you’ve seen Tommy Boy you know exactly what I’m talking about. Thankfully, those engineers at Jeep know a thing or two have a safety latch in the middle of the hood so I really wasn’t in any danger of this happening.

When I got home my dad and I had a little chat about what to do about my hood. Since it wasn’t the weekend and we didn’t have the kind of time it might take to fix this, he came up with a temporary fix.

Now I’m not one to care much about appearances. For instance, I can accept the fact that my doors are sort of rusting through…

I can even accept the fact that my wheels are not what you’d call shiny….

But when there’s a bungee cord holding the hood of my car down, I feel the need to hide my face with the embarrassment of it all…

I guess it could be worse, at least it’s not duct tape.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

New York in the Rain

D and I went to New York City this past weekend. Though it wasn’t at all spur of the moment for him, it did take me up until Thursday to decide if I wanted to go or not. In hindsight, I gotta say it was a great decision.

We went because one of his roommates from college is moving from NY to San Francisco in a week. When confronted with the choice to either drive to NYC or fly to San Francisco, I’d say that driving the 3 ½ hours is probably the cheaper of the two. Of course, with gas prices the way they are, I might be wrong. Anyway, it was fantastic. We left Friday afternoon, stayed through until Saturday afternoon and then drove home. I never knew you could pack so much into just one day, but we did!

Saturday we went to the International Auto Show (see, I knew I’d be dragged to one of those eventually, though I have to say it wasn’t half bad.) I got to see the new Honda hybrids, which I covet. Someday, Honda hybrid, someday. D got to see the new Shelby Cobra mustang which he covets, and we both were happy in our own car heavens.

D had asked me before we left if I wanted to go to the top of the Empire State Building. Seeing how I’d never been to the top I said sure. Unfortunately Mother Nature had it in for us that weekend. You couldn’t even see the top because it was so cloudy and oh, did I mention the rain? So we nixed that idea and decided to go from the auto show right to dinner and then home. The crappy part was the auto show was on the other side of town from the place he wanted to take me to dinner and there was a torrential downpour with gale force winds going on outside. Fun stuff.

Armed with nothing but our flimsy collapsible umbrellas we headed for the subway which was about halfway between the show and dinner. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so unintentionally wet in my entire life.

D stopped us on our walk (if you’d like to call it a walk, I’d like to call it the most exhausting trudge through the wind and rain. And wrestling a flipped inside out umbrella is a treat I can tell you!) I didn’t realize we were outside of the Empire State Building until he clued me in. Then he said “I wanted to tell you this at the top, but since we aren’t going up anymore I’ll tell you here…. I love you…”

*Swoon* - that was me by the way! At that point I completely forgot about the rain and the wind and the fact that my pants were soaked up to the thigh, if you think I’m kidding take a look, see that line, yeah that's a water line...

I was happy there in our little umbrella cocoon and I don’t think I stopped smiling for the rest of the night. And I’m not just talking the little smile either, I’m talking the grin from ear to ear, make your cheeks hurt smile. Maybe it was just my imagination but it seemed that the rain let up a bit then and it wasn’t nearly as burdensome to walk to the subway.
Here’s the subway shot, notice the soaked hair but just don’t give a damn smile?

Yeah, it was a great day.

What’s that you say? You came here for knitting? Oh, ok, I’ll show you some knitting. Here is Retro Prep #2 all finished…

Ok, when I say all finished, I mean, totally ignore the fact that there are ends to be sewn hanging down from the sleeves. Oh, and pay no attention to the grey turtleneck which obviously looks horrid and I’d never wear under it. I was at work and it seemed like a good time to take the picture.

I’ve also been working on a little something for D. I made up this chart while I was bored at work (bored at work? Psssha, that never happens…. Note the sarcasm) You just gotta love Excel…

And I started it in the car on the way to NY…

It’ll be a scarf when I’m finished, but I can’t guarantee I won’t go crazy when I get to the plain stockinette stitch part. However, I can’t really start anything that’s too involved before I go to England. That’s t-minus 7 days and counting by the way! I think this will probably occupy me until then, whaddya think?