More Summertime Wanderings

Well, the summer vacation is over and it’s time to settle back into the regular routines of life.  Bummer!  But what have I been doing for the last month or two, you say?  Recovering.

Here’s the shortlist:

  • We decided to take a looooong driving and camping vacation – 18 days total – from Seattle to LA and back again.  We did not drive in a straight line there and back.  We took a very scenic and wandering route.
  • Stop #1 – Crater Lake.  We were very impressed; after the first hour, Son was not.  Teenagers!
  • Stop #2 – Coast Redwoods near Crescent City, CA, with a short visit to the Oregon Vortex (weird and a little bit circus sideshow) along the way.  We loved the Coast Redwoods so much we repeated the visit on the way back.  Pro tip: even teenagers love to climb into ancient hollow trees the size of tiny houses.
  • Stop #3 – South Lake Tahoe.  After so many nights in a tent, it was nice to sleep in a real bed and lounge on the beach for a few days.
  • Stop #4 – Yosemite National Park.  The main Giant Sequoia grove was being renovated, so we made do with a secondary grove.  I’ve decided that I like the Coast Redwoods best.  We also decided that the drive into the park from the northern entrance is the way to do it right – so many gorgeous scenic views!  Next time we’ll camp to the north of the park, rather than to the south, or go when it’s not still 90 F at 10 pm in the foothills.
  • Stop #5 – LA and environs.  Again, a real bed and Internet!  This stop was for amusement parks and visiting with Husband’s brother.  I finally got to play in Harry Potter World at Universal.  (Yes, I brought a wand home with me.)
  • Stop #6 – Morro Bay.  We were supposed to stay at a campground near Santa Barbara, but we discovered that it was not as advertised.  So we found a last-minute place at an inn in Morro Bay, had a picnic on the beach, and enjoyed a much better location and weather.
  • Stop #7 – Monterey/Pacific Grove.  Our campsite reservation near Big Sur was cancelled due to the wildfire, so we relied again on a last-minute spot in a local inn.  No one complained about touring Hearst Castle, walking on the beach, eating a seafood dinner, or touring the aquarium.
  • Stop #8 – San Francisco.  I toured museums and knit for a few days while Husband went into the office.  Still not getting tired of visiting this city.  We tried to stop at Muir Woods on the way north, but parking was impossible and we decided to just keep going up the coast instead.
  • Stop #9 – Leggett, CA.  A good spot to stop after driving up Hwy 1 and before continuing up Hwy 101.  Bonus: The town sits in a micro-climate that is similar to the coast, so it isn’t blisteringly hot and dry.  There is a small Coast Redwood grove with a drive-through tree nearby.
  • Stop #10 – Coast Redwoods near Crescent City, CA.  Yep, we love it there.  There’s a scenic gravel drive through a huge redwood grove that is worth doing over and over again.  I could totally just stay there forever.
  • Stop #11 – didn’t happen.  We intended to stop overnight in Portland, but made such excellent progress that we just kept going until we got home.  Yay, soft bed and warm shower!!!
  • I took a sock project, two summer sweater projects, a fingerless mitt project, and a stuffed toy project.  It was a long trip, with lots of hours in the car.  I didn’t want to run out of knitting.
  • It is impossible (not to mention inadvisable) to knit while driving.  It is also rather difficult to knit while ogling the scenery, or pitching a tent, or building a fire, or walking a hiking trail.  All of which means I didn’t manage to run out of knitting.
  • I did finish one of the summer sweater projects while on vacation.  I also got about halfway through the sock project, then finished it as purse knitting once I got back home.
  • The other summer sweater project just needed a few hours of work.  That one got finished in a couple of Knit Night gatherings once I got home.
  • The mitts and the stuffed toy never made it out of their project bags on the trip.  These will be long-term works in progress over the next few months, along with a small blanket.
  • The deadline knitting/crocheting has begun in earnest.  There is a spreadsheet with daily and weekly progress goals for each project.  I love a good spreadsheet.  I also love being able to tell myself (and anyone else who wants to know) that yes I have to be knitting right now, there’s a deadline.
  • The stuffed toy is composed of a million (not really, but close) little crocheted motifs.  This makes for an excellent purse project.  Remember how fast Husband’s last pair of socks were finished, because I had all that time spent waiting around?  Yep, you guessed it.  I’m knocking out motifs now.
  • There is also some spinning happening.  In between the deadline crafting, I’m processing the rest of the alpaca fleece to get it ready for spinning.  I also have a dyed Shetland project on the wheel.
  • The time since vacation has been spent in deep recovery mode.  No, not the usual couple of days’ worth to reinsert one’s self back into normal life.  I had oral surgery shortly after returning home, and it knocked me down more than expected.  I thought: I’ve had surgery before; I got this.  They didn’t tell me I wouldn’t be able to eat for 2-3 months!
  • I’m discovering that it’s hard to get enough calories to function properly when on a liquid diet.  Which means it’s nearly impossible to get enough calories to do much physical activity – the category my pay-the-bills work falls into at the moment.  I also get very cranky when I haven’t had enough to eat.
  • I feel a bit like a teenager again.  I’m grumpy all the time and my diet stinks.
  • The last few days there has been major progress on the eating front.  I’ve graduated to oatmeal and macaroni-and-cheese.  There might also have been a test of rice and meatloaf.  Pho has been a diet staple – sip the broth, slurp a few noodles, move up to gingerly chewing a couple of soft veggies.
  • Bonus: I’ve lost 5 lbs in the last three weeks.  They (rather cheerfully) tell me that most people typically lose 10 lbs after this type of surgery.  I am decidedly not impressed with this method of weight control.

Thank goodness I can still knit, crochet, and spin!  Otherwise, my sanity and the health of everyone in the immediate environment might have suffered over the past three weeks.

We now return you to the regularly scheduled crafty programming.  There is, after all, deadline work to be done.

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