Well...I got back two weeks ago...I just haven't had the energy to blog about much! Many of you have asked where I went in my travels. Well, I'll tell you! The first week I was gone I was in Fairbanks for a work conference. It was fun, but it was work and I don't have any photos to show for it. :(
And then the day after my conference ended I flew from Fairbanks to Cincinnati for nice two week visit with my family in Ohio. That's such a long-haul day of flights, so I upgraded to first class to make it a little bit easier on me! It was my first time on the other side of the curtain and boy did I get spoiled. The leg room alone was enough to hook me, but they stuff you and wait on you hand and foot. What a nice gift to myself after a looonnnnnggg and stressful summer.
The first thing I did when I got home was scope out a yarn store, of course! Well, actually, the first thing I did was have my mom pick me up at the airport and we made a beeline for Bloomington, Indiana, where I could meet my nephew, Jackson. He's the most perfect little guy in the world and I can't wait to see him again in a few weeks.
But the second thing on my mind was yarn, so my sister took me to one of two yarn stores in Bloomington: In a Yarn Basket. It was a lovely store with very friendly staff...and here is what I came away with...
Two very generous 250 gram hanks of Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist. They had several colors, so of course I had to get two shades! I had never seen this yarn in person before (only online) so it was a real treat for the eyes. And it's so freakishly soft that I just want to snuggle with it all day. And the yarn is local to Indiana, which is also pretty cool. I got a pale heathery pink, to break out of my mold of usual colors, and a deep eggplant. I have no plans for them yet, so they'll hang out in my yarn basket so that I can pet them regularly.
They were also having a clearance sale on Cascade Luna, of which I also got two different colors: the first is very pale lavender, which I thought would be great for a little girls shrug, and the other is a bright in-your-face green, which I have no plans for as of yet.
And the one thing I was REALLY excited about was my Namaste bag. I have had my eye on them for a while and I finally caved and got one. I originally wanted red, but they did not have any red in stock so I settled for teal, which I am now glad I got. It carries SO much and it's been by my side every since I bought it...and I'm not really a purse kind of gal, but I love this thing.
I was disappointed that I did not get to visit the other yarn store in Bloomington, Yarns Unlimited. I was only in Bloomington for two days, but the one day we decided to go, it was closed. And I found out that the day before they were having their 30th anniversary celebration and even had a trunk show/booking signing by Alison Stewart-Guinee, the author of Fairy Tale Knits. Maybe next time...
Other than knitting, I packed in quite a bit of stuff into my two weeks at home. First off, I got in some much anticipated snuggle time with the little man.
Then once we had enough of the snuggling, we took little man to a pumpkin patch. By the time we got there it had been pretty well picked over, so we tossed him into a big barrel of gourds for a photo op. As you can see from his face, he's not too thrilled about it.
Then, after picking out a crazy big pumpkin, we took it home and promptly cut it open and threw the little man inside. He even got to cull out the insides of his very own mini-pumpkin and loved every messy minute of it. Seriously, does it get any cuter than this?
And how about our matching shirts? I got these shirts made up just to take photos in them. Jackson's nickname is Kitty (much to grandpa's chagrin) so I got my sister and myself t-shirts that say 'I Heart Kitty' and Jackson a shirt that says 'I'm Kitty'. I know I'm a dork for doing it, but I'm obsessed with ordering personalized gear from zazzle.com. Just ask Jeff how many coffee cups he has with our picture on them. ;)
Then after all the excitement of the t-shirts, we took a trip to Paint Creek Park, where Lib and I used to play all the time when we were little. It's so weird how small everything looks once you're grown. The slide that seemed to be a mile long when we were younger just didn't seem to match up to the memory I have retained. Anyway, here we are posing along the path to the creek.
Jackson had a really fun time swinging until his mean mommy stopped him.
Then one evening we had a campfire by my grandma's pond. Apparently they happen all the time in the summers when I'm not around, so I told my mom when I was home I really wanted to have a fire. It was totally worth the wait....and it's such a beautiful setting.So, without my consent, The Ohio State University has been making a ton of changes to campus since I've been gone and I was none too pleased that the area is now almost totally unrecognizable. Where are the dive bars I used to go to? And the gritty storefronts of High Street? They've all been replaced by brand new trendy shops and eateries and campus just doesn't have the same heart that it used to. Begrudgingly I put aside my feelings long enough to take a personal tour of the new student union, still under construction. My childhood friend, Sara, works for the construction company that is building it and she gave me and my friend Molly a tour one evening. Here we are looking dead sexy in our hard hats in the main entrance hall. All feelings aside, it's going to be an amazing place, although it will never hold a candle to all the memories I have of the old student union. *sniff*
And in the further adventures of Allison and Molly, here we are next to the float that hitched a ride on through the Fall Festival of Leaves parade.
Every year that I'm home for the FFL, Molly and try to sneak onto float so that we can wave our way through the parade and pretty much make jackasses of ourselves. Molly, of course, being the extrovert that she is, loves every minute of it. Me, on the other hand, not so much. It always seems like such a good idea in the beginning and I get all high on adrenaline as we run out to a float in the street and clamber on up. But then reality sets in when the float starts to make its way through the huge crowds of people...and then I get the urge to jump off the float before I have a massive panic attack. But I have to just grin and bear it and wave...but in the end I'm always happy that I did it, as I am with most of the things I do with Molly. By being friends with her I've done a lot of things I wouldn't normally have done on my own. And that's a good kind of friend to have.
Special thanks to Joel and Cathi who let us ride on their Lazy H Cabin Rentals float! It was a blast!
And after all that excitement, it was time for me to fly back to AK. I was definitely sad to leave, but I knew that I would be back soon for the holidays so it was a fairly easy goodbye. At least there were no hysterical crying jags while at the ticket counter at the airport. Because that's been known to happen a time or two. *ahem*
Here's one last look at the frosty morning that I left. The sun was just beginning to rise over my parents' front yard. Can't wait until I'm back again!