Tag Archives: travel

I Love New York

IMG_1946 Just to be clear I may hate the NY Yankees, but I do indeed  love New York.

I just returned from a business trip. The days were all work, but in the evenings I was able to enjoy some NYC classics, including a Broadway show (!), a stroll around SoHo, and dinner in a fancy midtown restaurant.

The train ride there and back afforded me some much needed knitting time. I made excellent progress on another pair of welted rib socks.

And the best part of a trip to NYC for this girl? Sitting in the lobby bar of the New York Hilton, watching the Red Sox, “continue their domination over the Yankees”*

* a quote from the YES network announcer, as Paps finished them off in the 9th inning on Wednesday night.

Don’t you just love it?

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Airport Knitting

Lately my work life has been travel-filled, which is always good news for a knitter. Last week, while flying from Boston to San Francisco and back I finished these.

Welted Rib Socks

Welted Rib Socks

Get all the details on Ravelry. They are knit from my own hand-painted yarn, which I posted about here.

Flying 6,000 miles in 4 days is always more bearable when I have a pair of pretty socks on the needles. And in addition to relieving the boredom, knitting has a wonderful way of bringing people together.

On the way home from San Francisco I had a very long wait at the airport so I splurged on one-day pass to the United Airlines “Red Carpet Club”. The staff couldn’t have been nicer. And they had snacks, coffee, tea, soda, and very comfy chairs!

One very sweet employee noticed me and perched herself on the arm of the chair next to me to chat about knitting. Then about 20 minutes later, another traveler stopped by and asked if I’d mind explaining how I was knitting in the round. We had a little knit group right there in Terminal 3!

Tomorrow morning I fly out again, this time to Las Vegas. I am a little worried about the 12 inches of snow (!!) forecast for Boston later tonight. I am hopeful that the good folks at Logan will keep the airport open and won’t keep me waiting around all day for my flight to depart, but just in case I will have a new sock project packed in the carry-on.

And if you see me knitting away, please say hello.

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Deciphering The Code of Lace

The thing I love about lace knitting lace is that moment when the pattern “clicks”. For me, every new lace project is both a joy and a struggle. The happy moments are when I’m selecting a lace pattern and choosing just the right yarn. I’m also happy as I set up my charts, copying and resizing for my 42 year-old eyes, highlighting the repeats, and arranging it all on my KnitPicks Chart Keeper. Fiber and needles in hand, the cast on begins and my optimism remains.

The struggle usually begins about two or three pattern repeats in. One moment, all is going well, and then suddenly I come to the end of a row and realize something is wrong. Maybe there are two extra stitches or not enough. Whatever the case, I’ve made a mistake and the now the frustration begins. Slowly I unknit each stitch on a hunt to find my error. Sometimes the tinking is short and the error appears quickly. A missed YO or an extra knit stitch. Other times, the tinking continues for rows, the errant stitch cunningly hiding from my squinting eyes, until I throw up my hands in defeat and frog the whole darn thing.

This has happened with every lace project I’ve ever knit. And every time I ask myself why do I continue with this lace knitting. The answer to “Why do I do this?” is because I love that moment when when my brain “clicks” and the secret code of the pattern reveals itself to me. I can suddenly see the paired increases and decreases. I can see the structure of the pattern, the center line and the edge stitches. I am comfortable enough with the code to confidently knit each row with just a quick glance at the pattern. No longer to I need to hold the chart in a white-knuckled death grip as I go.

This time the “click” happened as I sped down the tracks from Providence to New York City on the Amtrak Acela Express. Maybe because I was sitting in the quiet car, away from the distractions of cell phones and where conversations couldn’t raise above a whisper, I was finally able to focus my attention completely on my knitting and decipher the code.

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Never Refuse Peanut Butter Crackers

As I raced out the door, Jeff kindly offered me some peanut butter crackers. “Take a few. Put them in your purse. For a snack” Haughtily, I refused. “Oh, I’m fine. I’ll get something at the airport”.

Traffic was slow but I did manage to arrive at Logan with time to spare. I paid my $2 to check my bag at the curb, headed inside, took off my shoes and shuffled my way through security. I found the gate, found a seat, then realized my cell phone was dead, gathered my purse and my laptop, my book and my knitting and went in search of spot near an electrical outlet. Finally I sat.

Not too much later, I realized I was thirsty, really thirsty, from all the shuffling and lugging. I checked my phone. It was almost charged. I called Jeff, told him I’d arrived safely and now I was dying of thirst, so I was off to find some water. He wished me good luck. I unplugged my phone, gathered up my possessions and walked until I found a stand selling water. The stand also sold beautiful apples and bananas and turkey sandwiches wrapped in plastic. I ignored all this bounty and bought just one bottle of water. With my computer, my files, iPod, phone, power cords, book, knitting, and purse, I couldn’t carry much more. “I’ll eat on the plane”, I thought.

I boarded the plane, found my seat, buckled my seatbelt, stowed my belongings, pulled out my book, took a sip of water and settled back for the flight. We moved about 500 feet, when the captain announced we were in a ground hold, waiting out a major line of storms from Maine to New Jersey. No westbound flights were allowed to fly. It being Boston and all, that means pretty much everyone was stuck. The waiting was inconvenient, but I had my knitting and a good book, so heck, I was ok with waiting. But I was getting hungry. I should have taken the peanut butter crackers. I searched my purse and found a few mints and three pieces of gum. I popped the gum in my mouth and opened my book. Then I knit. Then I read some more.

Finally, three hours later, we were airborne. At 32,000 feet, the flight attendant announced that the passengers in the main cabin (a.k.a. the peasants) were welcome to purchase a snack – salads for $5, chips and candy for $3 each. A snack?! She’s kidding right? Not even a little bag of pretzels? Nothing?! It had to be my imagination, but I swear I could hear the first class passengers laughing at us over the clink of their china plates and silver flatware.

I watched closely as the food cart inched its way toward me, straining to count the exact number of Asian chicken salads piled on top, at the same time scanning the passengers in front of me, trying to calculate the percentage that would choose salad over potato chips or a Three Musketeers bar. The salads were going fast, but I tried to remain hopeful.

Sadly, the very last salad went to the young girl in the seat next to me. We were in row 23. There are 36 rows on the plane. Even sadder, a bald guy in row 22 scored the last plastic fork, so it looked like the poor girl would have to eat her salad with her hands. She was resourceful though. She bought some chips too. “Maybe I can use them as a shovel”, she proclaimed.

I was next. I scowled at the flight attendant as she charged me $3 for a candy bar and I swear she did a little jig and trilled merrily, “we are only as good as our caterers”. Oh yeah, that’s reassuring. American Airlines is only as good as its caterer. The caterer who is unable to master the mathematic complexity involved in supplying one fork with each salad, never mind providing enough substantial food for over 100 passengers. Yeah, I feel much better now.

Asian chicken salad girl was very kind. She shared her chips with me.

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On Flying Away

This little guy was attached to the front door when Max and I returned from our Sunday morning stroll around the neighborhood.

I say attached because despite my opening and closing the door twice while trying to locate my camera, he did not budge. I expected him to fly way, but he chose to hang out at my front door. It’s easy to believe that he enjoys the peacefulness of my little world.
In a few hours I head to California. Nothing major, just a tradeshow exhibit in San Diego, but I’ll be away from home until Friday night. And I’ll be missing this little world the whole time.

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Pictures Pending

Updated, with pictures…
Kid sock yarn…check
Pictures…blogger, we have a problem.

Believe me, I’ve taken the photos, but beta.blogger seems to be suffering some malady and the nice toolbar with the ‘insert picture’ icon has gone AWOL. Hopefully, it will return soon, so I can share my thrilling photos with the world.

Speaking of photos, did I tell you that when we were in Florence I ruined by Kodak Easy Share Dock? Before we left for the trip, Jeff and I stopped at Brookstone to buy a voltage converter that would allow him to charge is iPod and me to charge my cheap, but nonetheless reliable Kodak digital camera while we were on the road. Those Brookstone salespeople are so aggressive. Can I help you?!!! What can I show you??? We managed to survive the attack and find the voltage converters without stumbling and landing into one of those vibrating massaging chairs.

Once in Florence, we dicussed (argued) about how the universal converter actually worked. Finally, we plugged it into a funny italian socket, which has the vertical plug openings instead of horizontal. Those crazy Italians.

Actually, we didn’t just “plug it in”. Jeff had to do some major finagling (is that a word?) balancing and maneuvering the plug to stabilize it in the outlet. After about 15 minutes of electrical acrobatics, the converter was in place and the Easy Share dock was connected. Then we fell asleep. (It had been a busy day filled with much walking and museum-going. And wine. And gelato.)

Ten minutes later Jeff woke with a start, jumped off the IKEA-like, low to the ground italian bed and sprinted to the outlet. Little wisps of white smoke puffed into the air. The acrid smell of burning electrical wires filled the room. The Brookstone converter was in fact, JUNK, and my Easy Share Dock was toast.

Now, to show you my yarn, I must attach two wires, first to the camera, then to the computer and to the power source. I’m shocked that it works.

Hopefully, when blogger is fixed I can show you pictures. Until then, rest assured, my weekend plans are right on course.

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There’s No Place Like Home

Tomorrow Jeff and I leave for vacation and we don’t have far too go. We were both born there. Jeff grew up there. I’ve lived 40 miles away all my life and have had two jobs there. Yes, we’ve decided to spend a week enjoying Boston like tourists.
We will stroll through the Boston Common and maybe take a balloon ride. We will stop and have a beer at Cheers. We will watch a street performer at Faneuil Hall. And of course, we will catch a game. And yes, Jeff’s been warned. There will be yarn on this vacation. There are two yarn shops on Newbury Street, and of course one downtown. See you next week!

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Did You Bring the Camera?

Va-ca-tion – A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation.

Some folks think of vacation and they think sightseeing, tour buses, non-stop activity. Jeff and I are very literal folks. We stick closer to the actual definition of the word.

As proof, I offer this photo. During a lazy stroll from my beach chair to the towel shack, I saw this colorful shrub and snapped a photo. Then I pointed the camera towards Jeff. He hid behind his pina colada. I didn’t argue. That was the end of the photography. For the rest of the trip we enjoyed the sunshine, the tropical drinks and the local cuisine so much that stopping to remove the lens cap seemed like too much work.

Maybe someday I’ll regret the lack of photographic evidence of this trip, but probably not. It was the perfect break. Like most people, I’m not very good at living in the moment. But really, it is amazing how quickly the everyday stresses of work and life faded away on this trip.

The stress didn’t disappear completely however. We did rush to an early dinner one night so we could be back to our room in time to watch the Red Sox on ESPN Deportes (completely in Spanish). Thankfully, they won. Posted by Picasa

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I’ll Be On the Treadmill If Anyone Needs Me

Because in less than a month Jeff and I will be sitting by this pool, under a palapa, sipping something containing rum. To celebrate the fact that we are both officially “in our forties” we splurged on a tropical getaway, and I used up all my long accumulated 60,000 frequent flyer miles to upgrade our flights to first class. No sitting with the great unwashed for us! We will have free earphones, free slippers, free champagne, and plenty of room to knit. Yippee! Posted by Picasa

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Nothing To Say But MEME

4 jobs you have had:
Friendly’s waitress
Microfilm technician and inspector
Inbound telesales at a travel/tour operator for senior citizens
Marketing Manager

4 movies you could watch over and over:
Once Around
Far and Away
Sense and Sensibility
(I’m a sucker for a good romance, what can I say..)

4 TV shows you love to watch:
The Office
The Amazing Race
Soprano re-runs

4 of your favorite foods:
Good dark chocolate
Baked stuffed lobster
Creme brulee
Is red wine a food?

4 Websites you visit daily:
imdb.com (almost daily)

4 places you’ve been on vacation:
Paris, France
Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
St. John, US Virgin Islands
Road trip to Saratoga Springs, NY – to see the Travers Stakes

4 places you would rather be right now:
Lounging on a tropical beach, eyes closed, listening to the crashing waves
In a sidewalk cafe in Paris, sipping a glass of wine, watching Parisians walking their dogs
Sitting on the porch of my new dream home, needles clicking, enjoying the fantastic view
Any one of these destinations

4 bloggers you are tagging:
Any others that have absolutely nothing to report on knitting but feel the need to post.

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