Sunday, May 06, 2007

I'm back!

And I don't even know where to start. How can you distill a week-long sock-knitting cruise down into a reasonably-sized blog post? I've got a gazillion pictures, but I can't find my laptop power adapter so I can't download them from my camera yet. I'll just say, the maiden voyage of Sea Socks was a trip we Gardiners won't soon forget...

So we got on the boat in Los Angeles on Sunday morning, after a looooong flight with two tired kiddos (up at 5 am after going to bed after 10 pm - bad idea), a looooong bus ride from LAX to the cruise ship pier in San Pedro and a looooong wait in line. As a virgin cruiser, my only complaint was the ridiculous amount of waiting in lines we were forced to do (which was probably made much more ridiculous than usual due to the fact that my mom and I had to try to keep two small children happy during these looooong waits). We had lunch at the buffet, checked out the outdoor pool (which we never used due to the chilly temps) and finally got into our cabin where everyone promptly fell asleep. I went to check in for the sock-knitting portion of the cruise and snagged my awesome goody bag chock full of yarn and patterns.

After the kiddos woke refreshed (but not necessarily any less crabby), we attempted to go down to the main dining room for dinner. After about ten minutes of Owen screeching at the top of his lungs and trying to stab everything in sight with his gigantic dinner fork, we made the walk of shame out of there and up to the buffet. Sit-down dinners are just not a good option with The Boy these days!

We generally managed the buffet okay, apart from the last night, where we sadly had to take the walk of shame out of it, too, after Owen decided that he absolutely needed to smear giant handfuls of mashed potatoes all over his chair and the table. When the plate of potatoes was moved out of his grasp, he screeched at the top of his lungs and then scooted out of his chair, under the table, and took off running at top speed, weaving in and out of the legs of people trying to carry their plates of food in peace. I quickly got tired of the (real or imagined) looks from our neighbors of "why can't that woman control her kids" and dragged him, screaming once again, out of the restaurant and down to our cabin, where I thankfully was able to turn tail and head up to the Sea Socks cocktail party and accompanying open bar.

I'll spare you the blow-by-blow of every moment of every day, but here are a few of the highlights. I got to meet Erin (creative genius behind Mama-E's C*eye*ber Fiber), the lovely Michelle of The Sweet Sheep, Amie, Eunny (who is just as brilliant in person as she is on her blog, and more fun than a barrel of Monkeys when you get a couple gin & tonics in her), Abigail (who used to be a sailor and gave good advice on what to do if the ship started to sink - eek!), Lynda and her daughter Kaity, and many, many more awesome fun-loving knitters including the brains behind the whole operation, Patricia, and her extremely-patient-with-the-whole-knitter-thing husband and business partner Michael.

Let me tell you how wonderful Patricia & Michael made the cruise for us knitters. We were greeted the first day with a bottle of champagne and fruit plate in our cabin. Every Sea Socker had a cute little laminated sign on their cabin door welcoming them to Sea Socks '07. On the third evening (our infamous day of quarantine in San Francisco - more on that later), we got milk and cookies in our cabin which couldn't have been timed any better. In San Francisco and Victoria, we had yarn-related excursions arranged specifically for Sea Sockers. And on the final night, we had an open-bar cocktail party with a barrage of fabulous raffle prizes. Unfortunately, I got so overcome by my Cosmopolitan (which came on top of a glass of wine with dinner, and is more than I've had to drink since I got pregnant with Sydney five years ago) and crazy-ass networking talk with Eunny (who, in case you've been living under a rock, is the new editor of Interweave Knits and apparently likes at least one of my designs) that I left mine behind in the bar. Oops.

As for the quarantine, Mom was unlucky enough to pick up the kids' stomach flu and spent the early hours of Tuesday morning hugging the toilet. They're very sensitive to these kids of things on cruise ships due to all the bad press surrounding the Norovirus outbreaks, so after a quick visit to the infirmary, Mom was put on 48 hours of in-cabin quarantine and the rest of us on 24. Fortunately, we had a balcony cabin and we docked in San Francisco that day. We had a great view of downtown and the Bay Bridge, and the kids were kept somewhat happy with plentiful orders of cookies from room service and Boomerang (which I don't normally let them watch) on the television.

We spent a day or so trying to decide if we should cut the trip short and have Bill come pick us up in Victoria, but Mom managed to make a complete recovery by then and hopefully managed to keep her germs to herself after that. I'm not sure why Mom and I happened to be so sensitive to those germs - no other adults that were in contact with the kids got sick. Regardless, our days in Victoria and Vancouver more than made up for the yuckiness. And I was glad that we avoided single-handedly bringing down Sea Socks by contaminating the ship and forcing the cruise to end early because everyone was, well, you know...

Crazily, I managed not to buy any yarn. I was obviously unable to join the trip to Marin Fiber Arts in San Fran, and Mom and I opted to walk back to the ship in Victoria instead of checking out Bee Hive Knits (our tour stop after the lovely Butchart Gardens), so I avoided temptation all together. I think a few of the other cruisers thought I was a little off for doing this, but I'm trying really hard to get my life organized and part of that involves keeping my stash somewhat under control! Plus I'm a little shopped out after the Shop Hop craziness.

Sorry you missed all the fun? Well...Sea Socks '08 is already in the works, this time heading to Alaska. Sea Socks '07 participants were given the chance to sign up early, so I'll be on board, along with my good pal Amy Singer (rejectress of all of my feeble attempts to crack into Knitty) and Miss Lime & Miss Violet of, well, Lime & Violet. Think Amy will publish one of my designs after I stalk her around the ship next year? Probably not, but we love her anyway, don't we?

7 Comments:

Anonymous lynda said...

It was such fun to meet you, and all the other great new friends. I really miss sitting down to knit with you all every night!!

I'm so sorry you missed the yarn shops - but, well, let's just say I bought enough for the two of us!

5:52 PM  
Blogger Lavendersheep said...

Welcome back to land! Sounds like you had a good time, well except for the bug thing.

6:05 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

Sounds like it wasn't too bad, all things considered. We rarely go anywhere to eat in public with The Hoodlums. They pretty much lose their minds in restaurants. Waiting for the food to come and after they finish eating is torture, and I know what you mean about "the looks". On the rare occasion we do go out to eat usually hubby scoots them out to the truck as soon as they're done, I stay and pay the bill. It's all an eat-and-run thing, no enjoyment. (Even though they always promise to behave, it's quickly forgotten!)

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Back Chrissy!!! Sounds like you had a GREAT time with just a few slightly less great interludes (life is an adventure - especially with kids).

Hope the house is still standing and the chickens are getting closer to laying.

Will catch up with you soon, check your e-mail for a note from me.

Your Knitting Fairy

11:21 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Welcome back! It was fun to read about your trip, especially the part about people making "looks." Isn't everything funnier in hindsight? Too bad about the quarantine.

12:17 AM  
Blogger knitnthings said...

Welcome back. Pictures...we want pictures. And socks - I'd like those too.

;)

9:28 AM  
Blogger Lavendersheep said...

I nominated you for a thinking blogger award, check out my blog for more details.

2:10 PM  

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