Weekend Getaway

I just got home from my weekend getaway to the Sunshine Coast and it was great! If you have running buddies- I highly recommend you travel with them! They’ve already seen you at your worst and know all your weird quirks:)

We left incredibly early Saturday morning as even a month out we couldn’t get a ferry reservation on Friday. It made for a long day, but we made it work!

We stopped for breakfast at Gourmet Girl in Davis Bay. I made that executive decision because they had lots of gf listed on their website. It wasn’t quite as clear when we got there and the cook wasn’t very pleasant, but it worked out in the end. Brenda had a green eggs and yam wrap, Dennis had buckwheat waffles and I had a breakup bun and a chai latte. The food was really good, but the chai latte didn’t taste like any I had ever had before! Definitely a good stop for breakfast!

We arrived and hung out for a bit seeing all the changes they had made to the house and yard in the past year and then headed out to the craft fair.

The Hackett Park Summer Arts and Crafts Fair is a juried fair with about 50 different booths. It costs $2 or $3 to get into the park where it is located and it took us about an hour to go through it all. Keep in mind that two people in our party talk to everyone! There was a wide variety of crafts displayed and some were amazing, others were just weird! 🤣. I ended up buying two skeins of tweed yarn and a kid’s book for my classroom. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon and I think everyone would find something interesting here.

We walked down by the water and visited some more before heading back to the house. Dinner was quick as we had tickets to a concert in Pender Harbour that was part of the Chamber Music Festival that was going on this weekend. It was a very interesting evening and while we all agree that the musicians performing were amazing- we were definitely surprised by the selections they played. When you’re trying to see how many more pages are on the music stand- it’s not a good sign!🤣 The first piece was the one we all liked:)

Sunday morning we got up to a lovely breakfast of an omelette, fruit salad, toast, etc.

we then headed out to Smuggler’s Cove for a walk/run. Dennis had gotten permission to run so we planned to walk out and run back while everyone else was doing a walk of differing lengths. The area was beautiful, but the trail is quite technical with a lot of rocks and roots! We were kind of surprised when we arrived at the end, it just kind of stopped and we were left wondering if we were where we were supposed to be. It was a gorgeous view and so nice to have Dennis back running.

I laughed that after this we ended up in spender Harbour. I haven’t been many places on the Sunshine Coast, but I’ve been to Pender Harbour about five times and there isn’t a lot there! We walked down to the government wharf and then stopped for lunch in a cafe. I was amazed that they had a gluten free dairy free morning glory muffin that I got to have. It was very yummy and moist!

Sunday afternoon and evening we just hung out visiting in the backyard. I always love low key holidays like this where you spend time relaxing with friends:). We enjoyed a lovely dinner of President’s Choice ribs- the bbq ones were great, corn on the cob and a baked potato:)😋

This morning, I got up to Dennis saying we were going for another run. We ran the pink trail at Kinnickinick Park. This trail was only 2.75km so perfect for Dennis when he hadn’t run in a month. We had a pretty good pace and it was a lovely, wide, groomed trail that would be good for everyone. I have to admit that at 7am it was a little dark and tough to see true roots that were there.

We had yet another awesome breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon. We were all saying that we don’t need to eat for at least a week!

We then headed for the ferry. I finished my latest book, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillary. It was a great book about two people who are trapped in a hotel elevator and a relationship ensures. It was neat that the cute meet wasn’t the typical and that the problems weren’t exaggerated drama, but stuff that could happen to everyone. I liked that the characters grew emotionally during the book and the ending was cute! A nice, easy read:)

Well, I am so close to finishing my latest knitting project that I’m going to go work on that, though maybe a nap first!

Have fun!

AJ

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Turn Around

Today was my one day at home to get ready for my next trip.

Exercise:

I was worried that after not running for five days straight, it might be tough to get back into the habit, but I got out first thing this morning for 4.3km. It felt great because it was nice and cool out:)

I actually got out for another 4km this evening as well. Thankfully I didn’t know it was raining until I was already out there! I had just finished listening to a Marathon Training Academy podcast and the interviewee was talking about how it’s good to smile when you’re running. It must have worked as I felt great even though I wasn’t particularly faster for most of the run. I did however hit a 5:15 pace at the end:). If only I could do that consistently!

Knitting:

Tavia and Cori came for Tavia’s knitting lesson today and I had her start a Grandma’s favourite dishcloth for her mom. I only had to show her once and she had the yarn over down. I love seeing her tink back when she makes a mistake. I think k it’s going to turn out great!

I finally made some progress on my halter top that I started. I had twisted my stitches last night and didn’t know until I went to do the folded hem, but it turned out to be good as I got to try it on and realized I needed to take about fifty stitches off of it to get it to fit me. Ugh now I have to do math all the way through:(. I am loving what it’s looking like so far though! I have made sure to pack it and hopefully will get lots of time to knit this weekend as we visit.

Podcast:

I listened to a Marathon Training Academy episode, but I also listened to the first full episode of Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club. It was quite cute and I definitely share some experiences with Ellen. I also found a knitting podcast to try, so hopefully I’ll get to that soon!

Socializing:

I met up with Brenda for tea and made plans for the weekend. I’d better get to sleep as I’m being picked up at 5.40am!

Have fun!

AJ

Traveling

Well not a super exciting day, but I’ll tell you about it anyways.

Reading:

I finished my current book, All For You. This book had four short stories and I really enjoyed three of them. The third, which is the longest one, was just too tough to get into and didn’t really hold my interest. I just saw that I’ve actually read this book before too.🤣. It didn’t even seem familiar.

Shopping:

My mom and I looked around Ladysmith and I managed to buy nothing but another pair of Birkenstock sandals. This is okay as I saw them when I was there earlier in the summer and thought about them before buying them:)

We checked on my dad at the house and it was coming along well. It’s amazing how nicely the foundation looks now and how that neatness definitely improved the look of the place overall!

Eating:

We went for lunch at the Sawmill Pub. We shared nachos which were fine, but not as good as the ones at the Well that I usually eat. I also tried a Merri Berri Cider and it was quite yummy!

Sightseeing:

We looked around Petroglyph Park. I told my mom I would be embarrassed for visitors to see this park! It is about five carvings in rocks that you can barely see:( There are so many other awesome parks that I would give this one, just outside Nanaimo, a pass!

Traveling:

I took a float plane ride home followed by two skytrain rides. It was great that there were no cruise ships in port right now and it was before rush hour so this was definitely the time to go! I must remember that 2pm flights mid week are lovely!

I unpacked and then proceeded to have a two hour nap. My mom wore me out!🤣

Baking:

I did get busy and baked some brownie bark as I have Tavia and Cori coming for knitting tomorrow. I made it from the cookbook I am reviewing right now.

The recipe was easy to make and if you like chocolate, it would probably be considered a success. My two pans came out differently- one is crisper than the other and I prefer the crispier. The only complaint I have is that no where did it say how thinly or thickly the batter should be spread. Probably why my two pans turned out differently. I’ll let you know what my company thinks tomorrow.

Knitting:

I am about to start a new project, but this will be my third try as I keep having difficulty with the provisional cast on🙄

This is the first project I am attempting from my book, Knit So Fine: Designs with Skinny Yarn by Lisa R Meyers. I am thinking I’m going to work my way through the patterns in this book as out of 21, I really like ten of them. We’ll see how I do or whether I get distracted by something else.

I did get all my new yarn put away and I did a great job of buying yarn for weights that I didn’t have a lot of🎉🎊

Have fun!

AJ

The End of the Plan

Well we set off again today, for the last time this trip.

We started by going out to look at Youbou which is a small community of just under a thousand people. There were lots of signs about not logging and about elk and amazingly, I got to see an elk. One was literally standing on the side of the road!!! Boy was it big!

We also checked out Lake Cowichan which is another small community of 2000 people. My mom took me to see Marek’s Clock Shop as he has been servicing and cleaning all their clocks. Wow he makes some amazing clocks and does exquisite work!

From here we decided to visit Honeymoon Bay and Gordon Bay just because we could. They are super small, cute communities and now I can say I saw them. They are a little too rural for me though.

From here we took a paved logging road from Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew. It was so peaceful as the people weren’t angry on it and it had amazing scenery too!

We stopped in Port Renfrew at the hotel that is right on the dock and had lunch. We shared the salmon burger which didn’t look impressive, but tasted wonderful! Six birds out on their bath show for us while we were eating. It was really cute to watch them.

Finally we headed out and though we didn’t plan to stop, we did end up stopping at French Beach. It is as beautiful as all the beaches are on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. We were lucky that it was a sunny day and I think we both felt revitalized after our quick walk on the beach. The beach at the Provincial Park was surprisingly quiet though there was a sign that said the campground was full.

From here we resisted stopping again until we got to Sooke. At Sooke we went to the Seaside Button and Yarn shop. The shop is small and absolutely stocked with yarn and buttons! It has an amazing selection!

The owner was in and was so helpful and kind. She saw me looking at the rovings and once again wondering if it was worth getting stuff and trying it out. She explained and demonstrated for me and got me set up with an economical way to try spinning:). I also picked up some amazing buttons for a very reasonable price!

We then continued down Sooke Road to Colwood to the North by Knitwest yarn store. This store is tucked away behind a lawyer’s office, but it was a lovely bright, airy store with a good selection of local yarn lines. It also had a great selection of teas, soaps, jewelry, and even some cute knitting T-shirt’s that I wish they had in my size! One of the co-owners was working and she was super friendly, enthusiastic and energetic. She gave the place a real energy! I managed to pick up some more buttons, soak and a dryer ball for my mom.

We headed home after this as my parent’s have Wings Wednesday tonight. It was a small group but I enjoyed my black cherry cider and then went home to eat leftovers.

I did try out the drop spindle a bit this evening. I was doing okay until it started breaking. I obviously need to watch more YouTube videos.

Sorry I have no pictures of what I bought today because it’s already too dark:(

It’s now time for bed!

Have fun!

AJ

On the Road Again

We were off again for another road trip around the island.

Our first stop was Boutique de Laine in Oak Harbour. It’s in a lovely little strip of stores amid a residential area. The shop is bright and airy and lovely to spend time in! The owner was friendly and helpful without being overbearing. I found little samples of Eucalan which I had been hoping for along with some buttons, a pattern for an entrelac bag and Berroco Folio on sale! It is so soft!

Mom says it’s bright, nicely laid out and she liked how the yarn was well organized in plastic boxes. The owner was pleasant but not in your face and yet still interested in you. It was a pleasant experience. Even better, everything was soft!

We stopped for a quick coffee/tea in a pretty patio garden and then carried on.

Our next stop was Knotty by Nature. My mom and I both agree that this store was interesting. It definitely catered to spinners and weavers and “earthy” people. I have to admit, I won’t make the trip just for it again.

At this point I was starving so we made it way to the Fan Tan Cafe which is in downtown Victoria, in Chinatown, two blocks from Douglas and Blanchard. This place looks a little dodgy on the outside but is quite sleek inside. My mom and I shared the GF Funn Noodles dish with prawns and it was amazing!

I was super excited about finding gluten free Chinese food as Chinese food was the one meal we went out for each year when I was a kid, but I haven’t found any I could eat since discovering my allergies. This was an excellent stop and I would recommend it to anyone looking for gf Chinese food.

We then went back to Beehive Wool Shop. This is in the neatest building that has a tower you can see for several blocks. The store is quite large with a wide selection of local and international yarns. They were advertising their sale and had several yarns 30% off. I found it interesting that their needles were kept behind the cash desk, though I did notice they had an extensive selection of needles!

My mom says that two of the personnel were super helpful and very knowledgeable. They helped without being in your face. The store was airy.

After this stop, we ran over five blocks and down one to another store called Button and Needlework. This store is the place to go if you need buttons. They had an incredible variety and a lot of beautiful cross stitch items, in addition to knitting items. The store is smaller and darker than some knitting stores, but came across cozy rather than dank. It had some awesome yarns, a small sale section and was well organized.

My mom says she would definitely go back to this store and she loved the variety of buttons.

This may be my new favourite part of town- gluten free Chinese food, two knitting stores and an amazing new and used bookstore within a five block radius, sweet!!

After this we stopped in and visited my brother, sister in law, niece and nephew. It was so great to get hugs and a nice cup of tea! I also managed to grab a shower here so I feel so much better!

It was a quiet evening and I got all my new yarns put into my Ravelry stash along with the new book I bought yesterday, The Knitter’s Handy Guide to Top Down Sweaters.

Well that’s it for me. I am trying to schedule this to go up at 2am/6am so we will see if it works.

Have fun!

AJ

Food-2, Yarn-0

Well after a quick meeting with the plumber, my mom and I set out for Sidney.

We stopped by mistake in Duncan, but it turned out well. My mom thought I had another yarn store in Duncan, but The Garage is an awesome cafe and bakery that offers lots of gluten free and dairy free options. We had a bunwich that was so yummy! I may be biased however because it had guacamole on it.🤣

We got on our way again and it was very cool as we took a ferry from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay. This is only a 25 minute ferry ride, but saves having to drive around the Saanich inlet. It’s much more peaceful and relaxing and I would recommend it to anyone. It does have pretty BC scenery for those who aren’t familiar with it.

I was wanting to go to Sidney because there is a yarn store there and the Sidney bookstores have been on my bucket list for years.

We started with the knitting store, In Sheep’s Clothing. I was super excited when I saw they had two sale bins on the sidewalk, but less excited when I saw how little they were discounted. A $1.50 discount isn’t what I get excited about. The shop had a lot of samples and lots of yarn, but as I looked around (with my fingers) I discovered that most of the yarn wasn’t very soft:(. It also seemed as though they had a lot of only a few types of yarn. The shop was bright and I liked how the clerk wasn’t hounding me or trying to be super “helpful”, but I have to admit, I don’t think I’d make the drive for this store alone.

My mom says she thinks they bought the wool for the colour combinations but there was no touch test to determine if it was soft or scratchy as it didn’t seem very comfy. The yarn seemed to be bought without any sampling.

Of course we both realize that not everyone shops with their fingers like we do.

After the yarn store, we proceeded to wander along Beacon Street which seemed to be the main tourist street in Sidney. We started with Beacon Books which was slightly overwhelming with towering piles of books that weren’t overly organized😖

We hit Tanner Books next which was a lovely, open, airy bookstore. They had an amazing selection of magazines, but the other topics were quite limited. It was neat that they had both new and used and a good selection of journals and puzzles too.

After that we hit the Haunted Bookstore which I felt would have fit into the Harry Potter world perfectly! It had very old books and the proprietor didn’t even look up from the book he was reading.

The final bookstore we hit was Galleon books which had an amazing selection of naval and military and local history books. I was surprised that it also had lots of tea cups and little tchotchkes for sale too. I thought this would be their perfect place to buy a present for my uncle!

We managed to hit all of the bookstores that I knew about and if I had to pick my favourite it was Tanner Books. My mom says that was her favourite as well.

After this we were desperate for a bathroom and some food. We stopped to look at the menu of the Pier Bistro right on the water and while I said I was willing to just eat salad so we could enjoy the view, my mom said we should go somewhere else. We ended up at Fish on Fifth. It was amazing!

I had a gluten free blonde beer- Glutenberg Blonde along with onion rings to share. Then we shared the two piece cod fish and chips with yam fries and coleslaw. All of it was gluten free and dairy free. My mom said she wouldn’t have been able to tell if she hadn’t been told. I ate way too much and enjoyed every bite!

We stopped at The Loom at Whippletree Junction in Duncan on the way home. I had been Here the last time I visited and had found tons of things, but this time I came home empty handed.

Thank goodness I ate well today because I sure didn’t shop well!

Now I’m going to relax with my book!

Have fun!

AJ

Westwood Lake

My mom and I discovered that none of the knitting stores were open today so we had to come up with another plan.

My mom had told me a while ago about Westwood Lake in Nanaimo. We found it by feel and there was a very easy parking lot.

We set off to the left and made our way around the lake. It’s a gorgeous trail that only has three hills!

I am hoping to run around here one day. There were lots of people out, but I would definitely go out towards the right from the parking lot as it can be a little tricky to find the path coming around that way. This would be a great walk for anyone!

We had a lovely dinner out and I’m experiencing my parents continuous company right now.

By the way I started the day by breaking the toilet and ended the day by breaking the car door so I may be asked to vacate the premises quite soon.

Have fun!

AJ

Seattle Take Two

Well we survived the second day and packed a lot in!

After sleeping in, we booked ourselves some tickets for a tour and then set off to make our way there.

We started at Pike Place Market which was absolutely packed! The flowers were gorgeous and there was a ton of jams to try. I somehow missed the cinnamon place with supposedly had df and gf, but I found the yarn stall. The yarn is dyed right here in Seattle and I picked up a skein is gorgeous fingering weight. I think the thing I liked best about Pike Place was the view from the far side out over the water.

The gym wall is right by the market. There was a steady stream of people going to look at it, but it did gross me out a bit in person! The sticky note wall as you’re walking away seemed cuter to me!

From there we headed over towards the Ride the Ducks tour. I of course found the yarn store in our way. The store was beautiful, had a large selection of a variety of yarns, a really good sale section and many books. It even had a yarn that is dyed especially for them called Market Flowers, however, the woman working in the store wasn’t the most welcoming. After a stop for beer and wings (a Kind bar for me) We ended up looking around the area of the Space Needle and the MoPOP, which are right beside each other and beside the Ducks Tour Office.

I had taken a duck tour in Boston so knew what to expect. I have to admit the annoying woman behind me from Palm Springs really didn’t help the situation!😖. Our guide was awesome and interesting though I found this tour was more looking at Seattle and hearing about things that had happened here, rather than being shown specific sites. It was amazing how many things started in Seattle though! I think I liked being on Lake Union the best!

We headed back towards the hotel and walked the waterfront the whole way . There is just nothing as nice as being near water!

We looked through the Olympic Art Centre and it was interesting to learn that 1% of a development’s construction budget, if they use any public money, has to go towards public art.

We wanted to go to Elliot’s and though they seemed to have tons of empty tables on their patio, we were told the wait would be 25 minutes so we kept walking. We ended up at Von’s, and had a lovely time sharing tacos, clams and drinks for happy hour. Well actually my friends shared, I had gf/df cod tacos to myself.

From here I was excited that my friends were willing to go on the Underground Tour. We went and bought our tickets and did the 75 minute tour. It was super interesting!!!! We all decided we would have enjoyed the later adult only tour as well as maybe it would have gone even deeper into the history.

After a quick stop at the hotel, we headed out for a walk around. We asked the doorman where he suggested and he pointed us to the Taproom. This place was huge but not super busy. They had 160 beers on tap, including about six ciders and they even had a local gf beer in cans. I decided to do a tasting flight so stuck with the ciders, though I really wanted to try the Grapefruit IPA. Oh well, my cider and chips and pico were good. We are definitely noticing they everything is bigger down here!

At that point I fell immediately asleep and am now ready for another day:)

Have fun!

AJ

Off Again

I am off on another short adventure. I knew I wasn’t having a big holiday this summer so it’s nice I get a few small ones.

Exercise:

I had a list this morning and got a few things done before my running buddies were ready. It did work a little better that I told Sarah if I didn’t hear from her by ten am I was just going out for a run on my own. We did a short run around the inlet and got 4.2km in. I’m glad I had the auto pause on so my pace didn’t plummet too badly. I am only 0.4km off of where I should be right now for the month. Not bad!

Knitting:

I knit like crazy last night but didn’t quite get the sweater finished, but I did manage to finish it up this morning. It was very long and lean when done and I’m wondering if I should have refrained from blocking it and just let it loosen up as I wore it, but I blocked it🤣

I’m figuring that large white stripe must be from where I added the second skein. Oh well, hopefully it won’t show up too much. I looked at a couple of different sweater patterns, but mainly figured this out on my own and if you’re curious you can read all my notes on my Ravelry page. I am pretty happy with how it turned out and can’t wait to wear it!

I have already decided to work my way through a pattern book I had bought two years ago. It is for skinny yarn, of which I have lots and I like 9 of the 21 projects in the book, so it should keep me busy for a while:)

Traveling:

This afternoon I headed out on the train to downtown so I could take a float plane over to the island. The plan is to visit my parents for two nights then my mom and I will work our way down the island knitting stores to visit my brother for a night or two. I’ll then go home.

So far I have enjoyed vegan cheese, garlic sausage and pickles and a glass of wine with my mom while availing myself of their WiFi:)

A good start to any holiday!

Have fun!

AJ

Knitting

It was a day of exercise, knitting and friends.

Exercise:

It was cool this morning and felt so good to get out in it for a run. I was planning on 2km as I was a little seat sore from my bike ride yesterday, but it felt so good that I did just over 6km. This was a good start to my wish to up my mileage.

Baking:

I’ve been trying to use up all the blackberries before I leave so today I got busy making some blackberry muffins from the cookbook I am working from right now

These were supposed to be blueberry swirl muffins, but I figured blackberry was close. I have made them before with blackberries and had the note that they were yummy. They looked good and tasted okay, but I made them too big and the top collapsed down.

Knitting:

My friend Cori and her daughter came to knit with me again today. Tavia is doing amazingly and so we worked on her joining a second colour today. Hopefully it will add some interest while she continues to practice the basic knit stitch. I’m thinking next time we’ll start a dishcloth so she can practice increasing and then decreasing.

I tried on my sweater for them and they told me that I shouldn’t tear it out. I have continued on and finished the sleeves. I have just torn out the bottom ribbing and plan to add onto the bottom. I forgot I’d have to pick up over 200 stitches though and I so dislike picking up stitches!!!

Outing:

When we were done our knitting lesson for the day, Cori’s husband two boys joined us and we walked over to a new ice cream shop, Vashti Rose Ice Cream. This is a cool little cafe that is in the front of a gym. The guy makes his own ice cream and offers both vegan and dairy options. I got to try all of the vegan recipes and finally decided on a flight including peanut butter with blackberry jam, cookie dough and peach blueberry. It was amazing, but definitely too much ice cream! Thankfully there was a teenage boy around to help me out with that🤣

Well I’be packed and I’m going back to my 200+ stitches.

Have fun!

AJ