Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back On The Road - Part 2

I was having problems positioning the pictures in this post, but will just put it up because Atlantis is now home - time has really flown!  The Space Shuttle had a flight path to land at the Cape that brought it up the middle of peninsular Florida and a lot of us got to hear the sonic boom it creates. Actually, this time it was a BOOM - BOOM! Cayenne was on the back porch and was quite disturbed by the noise. I quickly let her in the house and explained that Atlantis is just coming back home, but she was having none of it - slinking around with a slightly puffed tail!
Anyway . . . .

On Friday, May 14th I headed up to Cocoa Beach with my DF Sheri for the last launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. There are only two more shuttle launchs left, so we didn't want to miss out. We got up there with enough time to grab a sandwich from Subway's and settle in at her condo before 2:20 p.m. and the launch.  It was a gorgeous day and we heard on the TV that record crowds had come out to see the shuttle go off - 300,000. We were not disappointed.

As I think I mentioned, I can often see the shuttle go off from my house, 2-1/2 hours south of where we were, but up in Cocoa Beach you can HEAR the shuttle! Not something that happens in my backyard at home.

Following the excitement of the launch, we took to the living room couches and watched the SPEED channel until it was time to go out for an early dinner at one of the local seafood restaurants. DF Sheri returned with leftovers which got quickly stowed. Here's a picture of half of her kitchen with the great FLORIDA wallpaper which looks like those "vintage" tablecloths of the 40's or 50's. I just love it.

The next morning we were up and out and off to Historic Cocoa Village, about 15 minutes west of Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Village is along the Indian River with a nice Riverfront Park. It's several blocks long and wide with an old theater, restaurants/cafes, and shops - including Knit and Stitch! The goal - have a bit of breakfast and shop for YARN! When we got to the area, we found a few streets blocked off and discovered that there was a craft fair going on. We were lucky to slide into a newly vacated parking spot and then we headed for a bite to eat. I captured a picture of this mural on the side of the building of one of the nice, old restaurants in the Village area - The Black Tulip.

After a breakfast treat of a warmed egg, cheese and spinach pastry at the corner cafe, Ossorio's, I crossed the street and dove into Knit and Stitch Boutique at 15 Stone Street. Sheri hit the streets to peruse the booths of the craft fair. Knit and Stitch is a fairly small shop with both yarn (lots of it) and cross-stitch. The yarn is on one wall and in the back of the shop and the cross-stitch is along the other wall. In between are several displays and a very large, conference room, sized table with lots of high-backed leather chairs around it. Since the shop had just opened and not many people were there yet, I was able to maneuver along the wall of yarn behind the leather chairs and see the "selection". I found some Cascade 220 that I was looking for to make another Mara shawl for a present, some Cascade 220 Handpainted, and a few skeins of Ella Rae sock yarn in a nice dusty rose color. I also picked up a DellaQ knitting bag. Here's a picture of the wall of yarn and one shot toward the back of the shop, which turned out blurry, but has saved me from cutting out people's faces. The shop has a really nice selection of yarns, but unfortunately when customers are seated at the large table it pretty much prevents shopping THE WALL. Soon after I arrived, a class started at one end of this table and several other customers took to the chairs at the other end of the table. I was glad that I already had my pile that I was taking home with me!

On the way home, we stopped off at Indian River Community College in Ft. Pierce and went to a show at the Hallstrom Planetarium. Their programs are always fun and very educational. So it was a HEAVENLY two days - the shuttle off into space, out of this world seafood, heavenly, heavenly yarn, and time spent studying the stars!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back On The Road - Part 1

Two weekends ago I was flying up I-95 again. I haven't been on a road trip in months since I've been battling pain in my right foot and leg due to a heel spur and driving doesn't seem to help. So I was really looking forward to a weekend away to attend the North Florida Rug Hooking Guild's Spring Hook In. First stop was Flagler Beach to meet my DF Henri at one of my fav restaurants, Blue. As I approached Flagler Beach, I remembered it was Friday and their Farmer's Market was in full swing, which could only mean that Shelley of My Bolga Baskets would be there manning (or I should say, WOmanning) her booth. I tried to turn to go south BEFORE the market, but for some reason the car kept going straight and I got a glimpse of her booth with all the colorful baskets hanging and more baskets lined up on the ground. In the next blink of an eye, I was turning the corner and my car was sliding into an empty parking spot on one of the otherwise packed side streets by the market. OH MY! I guess I needed to check out THE booth! I snagged a new shaped basket, new to me, and another U-shopper basket, which is my favorite shape to hold my cross-stitch patterns and projects in. This one had Amish quilt colors, so I had to add it to the "collection".

I quickly resumed the trip and arrived at Blue just as DF Henri was heading for the restaurant. Since it was in the mid-80's (the heat is already on here), we decided to sit inside and had a lovely view of the ocean from the window.

And here's a picture of the side of the building where the restaurant is. It's not a stand alone establishment, but is part of The Topaz, a hotel along south A1A.

Following a great lunch, we drove west on SR 100 to Sew and Quilt, a quilt shop that I first stopped at on the way home from rug camp in January.  The shop recently added yarn to their offerings, so we had to check it out. No yarn purchases, but I did end up getting two yards of Bali Batiks to add to "stash". It was time to move on to points north and as I was heading to I-95 to resume the trip, I noticed that I was following my favorite driver!!! Hey, I was even going to pass him! Adios, Jr.

3 p.m. and it's Jacksonville! I jumped into DF Melody's vehicle and we were off to Macclenny to the Local Needle. My Knit Along project was with me so I could show Joan, the owner, in between checking out her new stock. We decided not to stay for the shop's Friday night open knitting and headed back to town to hit Biscotti's (another fav of mine) for dinner.  We indulged ourselves in their fabulous cheese plate and it wasn't until almost the last almond and apricot were gone that I remembered - A PICTURE!!! So here is what was left of our 2-cheese plate of "Vintage" - 5 year old aged Gouda (gone) and "Maytag Blue" - blue cheese from Iowa, I believe (still a bit left). It was deeeeelish! A glass of Riesling for each of us helped to make the experience another memorable one at Biscotti's.

The Hook In on Saturday was fun and well attended.  I got to catch up with lots of friends, the food was good, great desserts, and even got some hooking in. I was having so much fun, I totally forgot to take any pictures. Sunday was Mother's Day and I joined DF Melody and her family in celebrating her mother, Jane, at brunch in the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville.  Melody covered our experience in her blog post so I won't go into it. Later that afternoon, we drove down to Hanks, another of our fav yarn stores in Gainesville.  Here are a few pics - their wall of sock yarn, a shot of a gorgeous Kromski spinning wheel in one of their windows, and a close-up of a very cool sock, which I caved and got the pattern for.  It was knit in my fav yarn, Malabrigo - the sock weight.

And here is the other basket I picked up loaded with most of my weekend loot! Bali fabric, gorgeous Dream in Color yarn, ShiBui sock yarn, a new spindle, and a few skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn in a yummy dark blue grey green. 

It was a great extended weekend. I was even able to get in a visit with my uncle on the way home on Monday. I got to see his pictures and hear about his one-day trip to Washington D.C. that happened on that Saturday - two days earlier.  He was part of a contingent of World War II veterans who made the trip up to see the new WWII Memorial as well as a few other sites.  It was exciting for him and he had great time. Check out Volusia Honor Air to learn more about this great program.