on the needles

Monday, September 04, 2006


I'm finally back from vacation. I actually got back a few days ago but I needed a few days to unpack, clean house, put my life back in order and just generally decompress. It's been a pretty big task - especially because both of the kids are starting at new schools tomorrow. When did back to school get to be so difficult? I'm pretty sure my parents just threw some pencils and lined notebook paper at me and shoved me out the door sometime near September first every year. Sheesh.

Anyhow - the trip was a good one despite it ending with a bunch of strange and not so good things happening. I'll give you the quickish run down.

1. We drove all the way across America in our brand new RV. It took us 3 1/2 days with a day off in the middle to visit friends in Tucson. We stopped along the way at Luray Caverns in Virginia (big underground stalagmites & stalactites kind of thing), and the Nashville Zoo. Other than that we drove and drove and drove. The kids we real troopers and everything went really well, despite the fact that we discovered early on that the dvd player in the RV wasn't really working right. I'm not sure we would have knowingly attempted an across country drive with two young kids and no dvd.

2. The first day at my Mom's house she backed the RV into a huge rock and broke one of the taillight panels off. We ducktaped it back on. Fortunately the taillight still worked.

3. We spent a day at Legoland. My son actually levitated with excitement when he saw the Lego statue of Darth Vader. I thought he was going to go crazy in the Legoland shops but actually he was very restrained and only bought two kits. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he already had everything else there. :)

4. My Mom and I dropped the kids and hubbys off at the beach. I don't do the beach because I have really really fair skin and I have yet to find a sunblock that doesn't make me breakout in a rash. It turned out to be quite a handy excuse anyway since my Mom and I hit the yarn stores - twice! Woohoo! I will do a post later on what we did at the yarn shops - brace yourselves!

5. I finally got to meet another blogger! - Karen from NoeysMommyKnits. She and Noey came down for the day and met up with us at Balboa Park. We toured the San Diego Natural History Museum and took the kids to ride on the carousel. The museum had a kickin' exhibit called Dinosaurs: Reel and Robotic - we were given the guided tour by Noey since she had already seen it. The carousel was awesome too because it still had the brass ring!! You know, where if you grab the brass ring you win a free ride. I've never seen a carousel that still had the brass ring - so cool. Karen and Noey were just as nice as I thought they would be - and my daughter really liked the idea that now she has a friend on the west coast - she wants to send Noey some mail. (Do all little girls love mail as much as mine?) She and Noey got along like a house on fire and were walking along holding hands by the end of our visit. I gotta tell you - it was really cute. Plus Karen gave me some really pretty Koigu KPPM in blues (my favorites!). I've never used it before so I have to figure out something special. It was super great meeting you guys!!

6. The next day we went to SeaWorld. We signed up ahead of time to get to "interact" with a dolphin. My daughter was too young to get in the water to swim with them so the interaction option was the next best choice. We met a dolphin named Dottie. We got to pet her, toss fish into her mouth (my son didn't really want to touch the fish so he tossed Dottie ice cubes), and we gave her signals to do tricks. At the end Dottie did a swim by and soaked us from head to toe by shoveling water at us with her tail. It was kind of gross - not the world's cleanest water. But it was awesome to touch a dolphin - she felt like a wet river rock, smooth and cool.

After that we saw the Shamu show. It was not as interesting as I had thought it would be - probably because we had just gotten up close with the dolphins. But the end of the show where the really really big Shamu came out and did his jumps was cool. He was impressive.

While watching Shamu I did this to myself:

That's me the day after SeaWorld. Did I mention I have fair skin and refuse to use sunblock? Well - let this be a lesson to you. I'm sure the sight of me scared many a child into life long devotion to sun protection. This picture in no way conveys how horrible of a burn I got - it was ten times as red in real life. I wore that pink and beige tank top the next day as a sort of camouflage. What do you think? It must have been pretty effective because no one mentioned how hideously burnt I was until the second day at Disneyland when some guy in the elevator said "Good Lord! What happened to you?!" (Thank goodness I did this to myself the day AFTER I met Karen. I would have scared the dickens out of poor Noey. And I can imagine their car ride conversation on the way back home, "And THAT is why you wear sunblock Noey!".

7. We went to Disneyland. We were there for three days. There were rides, there were parades, there were Disney Princesses galore, there was shameless commerce and consumerism, plus there were fireworks every night. I still haven't recovered. But I'll be damned if Disneyland ISN"T the happiest place on earth. :) Somehow, every notion of being a normal sane person just flies straight out of my head when I enter the American Nirvana that is Disneyland. I don't bat an eye at grown up's wearing Mickey Mouse ears and paying $80 for a Cinderella costume and sure what the heck kids - go right on ahead and spend $20 on that twirly whirly thingy with lights and Tinkerbell on it. I don't do amusement park rides - that's Dad's job, my stomach can't hack it - so to while away the time I amused myself by squashing a few pennies in the penny squashing machines. By the third day it had become a mania. I had a list of every machine with every squashed penny in the park. I had a little souvenir book to put them all in. I made it to every machine in the whole darn park and got every penny there was to get (except for the machines which were out of order!) so what if I broke my back lugging around massive amounts of coinage to feed the machines - I was a woman on a mission. That's the Disneyland effect folks and it ain't pretty. I finally knew it was time to get the heck out of there when I found myself silently lamenting that I didn't have an extra thousand dollars lying around to spend on an Armani statuette of Tinkerbell.

I made it out alive - but lots of people I know will be getting Disney stuff for Christmas.

(Pssst - if you have any squashed pennies where you live send me some, apparently I am collecting them now.) :)

Okay - this post is super long (guess I lied about that quickish post thing - sorry!)and if you've made it all the way thorough you must be a trooper! I'll blog about yarn shops as soon as I take some photos of the haul. :)


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