Thursday, December 20, 2007
More of Laura's Christmas in Paradise
On our second day in Key Largo we went out diving. Every couple of years we try to fit in a scuba diving trip to keep our skills fresh and enjoy the water. We had a great time, but I ended up more exhausted than I expected. Even my lungs felt tired!! I have to admit that I didn't actually get any knitting done on the boat ride out- it was way too windy for that!
The next morning we had a great brunch at a local coffee shop, The Key Largo Conch House, and I brought the second mail man hat along. After brunch we headed south to Key West. We had heard so much about Key West we figured we should check it out. Plus is the southern most part of the United States and only a couple of hours away. I got a lot of knitting done in the car so I didn't mind the drive. I think that Key West is probably more fun a) in the summer b) after dark and c) very very drunk! We had a nice afternoon walking around and window shopping, though. We finished the day off sitting on the dock watching the sunset. How nice! As we were leaving I found a yarn shop---15 minutes after it closed, of course!! I peeked inside, though, and it looked nice. Its probably a good thing I couldn't get in, I really don't need any more yarn right now! If you are in the Florida Keys, though, you should check it out for me and report back. The shop is named Knit Wits and its website is here.
For our final day in Key Largo we decided that the best strategy would be to just chill out on the beach. So I spent ALL day laying in a hammock (or lounge chair) knitting and reading Drunk, Divorces and Covered in Cat Hair by Crazy Aunt Purl (which I recommend, by the way. Its very well written and funny!) Thats the life, huh? I finished up the socks and the blue toboggan, and cast on for another toboggan, also in Super Wool but this time in "Evergreen", a semi-solid dark green. This time I'm going to try it top down. Once this hat is done I'll write up the instructions for both the top down and bottom up versions. My father-in-law was kind enough to try on the toboggan for me, even though it was around 80 and very sunny today! I also knit a little cozy for my camera to keep out the sand and protect it from bumps and scratches. Knit with a double strand of Super Wool its thick and cozy (as a camera cozy should be).
For dinner we had a really impressive seafood dinner at The Fish House, known for being the freshest, best seafood restaurant in Key Largo (if not the whole of the Keys). Every year on the North Carolina coast I have decent seafood, but you know, it really doesn't compare to fresh Stone Crab claws caught off the Florida coast, or sweet, tender scallops and shrimp bathed in a key lime sauce. Mmmmm. And, of course, Key Lime Pie for desert-- we got take out so we could take it back to the hotel and enjoy it with, appropriately, Key Lime Martinis! This is my new favorite drink-- creamy Key Lime Liqueur and Vodka with a little bit of cream (or in my case skim milk, hehe). I bought a bottle of the Liqueur (from the discount store from the last post) to bring home with me so that whenever I need a touch of the Keys I can just pour myself a drink. Yum!
You can see the progress I've made on the green toboggan (the third of the three I need to get done by Christmas). I've got all the top increases done and now its just ribbing until its long enough! I got some help from a local sea creature to help speed me along :)
Tomorrow morning we will get up early and head home. We had planned on stopping over night to break up the driving but we have decided to try to do it all in one shot--its only 13 hours of driving, after all--so that we can have more time at home before Christmas.
Usually when I go on a vacation like this--not visiting family or attending a conference, but a real vacation where you eat too much food, get too much sun and be as unproductive as possible--part of the reason I enjoy it is to "get away" from something. I think most people are like this. For me its usually school-- going on vacation means a break from homework and preparing for tests, from worrying about grades or feeling like I need to spend a certain quota of my time studying. Now that school isn't a big part of my life I don't have that to get away from. For many people the next big thing to escape from would be work. I am SO fortunate that I don't need to escape work, in fact I kind of miss it while I'm away. I won't pretend that the last couple of weeks haven't gotten a bit hectic, trying to get orders out before my trip so that everyone will have their yarn for the holidays and then trying to fix the mistakes I make because I'm in a hurry, trying to figure out what to do when Pay Pal acts up on me and then the computer crashed*....So yeah, its been busy and some evenings when I realize its past bed time and I haven't had a chance to knit yet I feel a little stressed out, but I don't regret for one minute my decision to try my hand at being a professional fiber artist.
So THANK YOU to all of you who have bought a skein of yarn, posted a positive review on your own blog or mentioned The Unique Sheep to a friend. Every time you do this, you help me (and Kelly) to make my dreams come true and let me live such an amazing life. So with every skein of yarn I send out, I include my thanks-- not just for your purchase and your money, but for the opportunity you give me to have a job that I enjoy more than any vacation!
*p.s. my computer crashed. Yes. My life, compressed to the size of a laptop, crashed. I FedExed it to the IS Help Desk on campus and hopefully they are doing something to fix it right now, but who knows when I'll have it back. For now I'm using Chris's computer to check my emails and blog but of course I don't have access to tons of the information and programs that I am used to having at my finger tips. And my organization is all messed up. So if you have emailed me in the last week (or in the coming week) and I haven't gotten back to you, or its been a brief, disorganized email, I apologize. I am pretty much dysfunctional without my laptop to keep me together.