Shop, Lobster, Repeat

Today we spent the day in Freeport, Maine.  Woke in a lovely room in the White Cedar Inn and went down to a delicious breakfast of eggs and sausage cooked by our host Rock and served by Monica. IMG_8181.JPGThat was the gluten free, dairy free  breakfast they provided for me. My travel partner had a delicious looking orange croissant French toast with sausage. There was also hot coffee, a big selection of teas and a few juices to choose from. Yum!

I quickly learned that the knitting store and children’s consignment stores I wanted to look at were just too far away for walking:( So we headed out to explore the Main Street shopping. One of the neat things about shopping in Freeport, Maine is that most of the stores are in buildings that are either old or built to look old. It really makes for a lovely, quaint shopping experience, and the whole shopping district is quite compact!

Stop #1: Georgetown Pottery- absolutely beautiful pottery and many other local crafts as well. I was especially intrigued by the mug rests filled with Balsam Fir, but if you want something bigger they had everything, including a bathroom sink!

Stop #2: Sherman’s Book and Stationary Store- this is way more than just a book store! I of course found two knitting books I wanted and a cookbook. They even have a large selection of Maine authored books. To add to this you can get stationary, cooking gadgets, jams and jellies, clothing,…

Stop #3: Coastal Maine Popcorn Company- wow! All but one of the flavours is gluten free and many are dairy free! The young clerk also allowed us to try way more than the states two samples. I have to say I loved the Maine Maple, the  Marshmallow Treat and the Jey Lime Pie flavours. My friend bought a small package of the New England Berries Flavour. Again, someone came up with a cute sign!IMG_8192.JPG

Stop #4: Mangy Moose- this is a souvenir shop that offered a lot- both big and small. Plenty of the usual magnets and t-shirts but also just cute little stationary supplies. I picked up Massachusetts glasses for my friend and a lobster oven mitt for myself. My friend found a Maine salt grinder here.

Stop #5: Wicked Whoopies- supposedly this is a Mains treat staple. I asked but they had no gluten free and dairy free options. There were some very interesting flavours and a variety of sizes from mini to gargantuan!

Stop #6: The North face – a good kid’s department and everything was 50% off, but I ended up with nothing because of the exchange rate:(

Stop #6: Patagonia- the store is very small so it quickly feels very crowded! It had some pretty looking prints, but personally the two Burmese Mountain Dogs out front were more interesting to me🤣

Stop #7: A Wilbur’s Chocolate Shop- this was a very cute shop upstairs of a florist. IMG_8202.JPGYet again I asked about gf and df but was told they had those at the store attached to their factory, but not in this location. Wouldn’t you think they’d have something if they make them????

Stop #8: The Orvis Company- we had never heard of this store before, but have since learned that it is a fishing store. It has some clothes but not anything that really appealed to me:(

Stop #9: J Crew- seemed the same as at home, but not as good of sales:(

Lobster #1: Linda Bean’s Main Kitchen and Topside Tavern- my friend and I shared the Big Lobster Claw Salad. It was a chef’s salad either lobster added and the restaurant kindly put the gluten and dairy ingredients separate and brought two plates. A lovely place with sidewalk dining or balcony dining as well as inside options. IMG_8203.JPG

Stop #10: Sea Bags- I loved this store and everything in it. IMG_8206.JPGGorgeous bags of every shape, size and colour and some beautiful accessories to go along with them.

Stop #11: Freeport Village Station- seemed like a small outlet mall with stores such as Coach, Haggar, LL Bean Outlet, Francesca’s, Old Navy, Nike, etc. IMG_8207.JPGIt was fine, but I didn’t feel the need to buy anything.

Stop #12: Abacus- turned out to be arts,crafts and gifts. It had interesting items, displayed in a bright, clean store, but the clerk was definitely not welcoming, helpful or friendly:(

Stop #13: Cotton Weeds Quilt Shop- absolutely beautiful store with lots of material and tools along with samples and even previous samples for sale at very reasonable prices! If only I had more room in my bag:(

Stop #14: When Pigs Fly – turned out to be a bread store! It smelled divine, but I can’t tell you how anything was because there was flour flying everywhere in there so I got out quick!

Stop #15: Freeport Historical Society- this had one show on right now of donated objects, but everything was very local and well documented. The atmosphere was bright and fresh:)IMG_8222.JPG

Stop #16: Gap outlet- just like every other Gap outlet in the world. My friend did find some dark wash jean Bermuda shorts that she’s been looking for.

Stop #17: Frosty’s: a make it yourself doughnut shop. It was pretty picked over by 3pm but it’s an interesting concept so I suggest checking it out early in the day!

Eating #2: The Lobster Cooker and Upper Deck Sports Pub- I only saw the downstairs of this shop which is a take out counter with tables and chairs set up outside. I asked about gf and df lobster rolls as it showed up on my “Find me GF” app, but really they were just going to give me lobster with nothing on it on top of lettuce. I think I can find a more exciting lobster dish somewhere else.IMG_8216.JPG

But the sign outside was quite cute! Someone has a sense of humour:)

Stop #18:  The LL Bean Campus. It feels as though this town should be called LL Bean Town as it is everywhere! However, I’ve heard they are a good employer and a great community member so I guess it’s a good thing:) They certainly have a pretty campus and offer a wide variety of events and activities in the community. We checked out the Ben and Jerry’s, but they only offered Berry Berry Extraordinary and Lemonade flavours of Sorbet so we decided that wasn’t interesting enough to waste calories on. We saw the big boot and backpack art and had fun taking pictures with it and checked the menu for the 1912 Cafe which had lots of gluten free options listed for their sandwiches, salads and soups, but no seafood.

Eating #3: Coffe by Design which is in the LL Bean Store. They had a variety of coffee and chai options and provided soy, almond or coconut milk alternatives. They also had about five gluten free treat options. I went with an iced chai latte with coconut milk and an OAT ( Oats Any Time) blueberry tart ( though it looked and tasted more like a cookie) which were both very yummy,but also came in at $8 and change!IMG_8260.JPG

Stop #19: Great Foods and Gifts from Great Britain- I have to admit this store only got a quick look because it was freezing inside!!! It had a variety of things, including absolutely beautiful knitted and wooden garments, but everything also seemed quite expensive:(

Eating #4: Harraseeket Inn’s Broad Arrow Tavern- I had the Seasonal Tavern Salad (Demi size) and added lobster to it. It was just the right size for me and was delicious as it came with a champagne vinaigrette. My friend enjoyed the complimentary bread and butter and we both enjoyed the hunting lodge decor. The food came very quickly as well:)IMG_8284.JPG

we finally did something other than shop and eat lobster after dinner when we went for a walk along Main Street to West Street to South Street and then up Bow Street. We saw a statue dedicated to sailors and soldiers IMG_8299.JPGand enjoyed the very quiet neighbourhood street.

Freeport didn’t disappoint in any way, but now it’s time for bed asstonorrow is another travel day!

Have fun!

AJ

Bittersweet Homecoming

Today was the day; after 19 days of lazing around my parent’s boat, I had to come home.   It’s always bittersweet for me coming home from a holiday. On one hand, having 860 peaceful, fully stocked  square feet to myself is bliss, however, I enjoy spending time with my family, being on the water, and coming home means unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping, in other words, work:(

I worked on my Reyna shawl on the ferry while my nephew played on his iPad. I was actually very surprised that no one spoke to me about my knitting. I’ve always avoided knitting in public because I thought tons of people would ask questions and my shy personality didn’t want to deal with that. I wonder if that’s the normal experience or if I just had the sleepy Saturday morning crowd?

My condo was in one piece, and other than being slightly warm, quite lovely.  Before I left, I had put water bottles with holes in the lids in a few of my plants. It worked for one but not for the rest:( My lavender and chives may never be the same again:( Is there a better holiday watering solution out there?

I have finished my Reyna shawl but it is being blocked so I can’t share a picture quite yet.  My shawl turned out to be 12 rows shorter than the designer’s as I just didn’t have quite enough yarn. I got smart and measured the yarn I had left when I got near the end by taking an arm measure, knitting a row and then taking another arm measure. This way I knew exactly how many arm lengths it took to do a row and I knew exactly how many rows I could do. I thought I was so smart until I started to do the bind off. It was a new technique for me and made a pretty edge (though it had the tendency to roll on me), but it took double the yarn I had planned on. I ran out of yarn thirty stitches from the end and had to tink the bind off and go with my usual bind off.  With this bind off, I had success and have less than a meter of yarn leftover😀 I dislike having yarn leftover and feeling like I could have done another row and then there’s the question of what do you do with that tiny bit of yarn?  I am very happy with the Reyna shawl! It’s gorgeous!!!!img_7281.jpg

The Indigo Moon yarn in Hollyhock red turned out to be beautiful! The variegation is quite subtle, but very pretty. The yarn was easy to work with, though it is definitely a heavier and slightly rougher than the fingering wool I have used in the past.

I managed to also do some reading today. I love Goodreads!!! I was looking through “my books” and noticed the Neighbours from Hell series by RL Mathewson and when I looked I saw there were some I hadn’t read yet. I’m working on Christmas From Hell and quite enjoying it. It’s a trashy romance or chick lit ( whichever you prefer to call it) so perfect for a laid back summer day!

With being back home, it’s time to get back on the healthy wagon! I was going to workout tonight but I have a shawl taking over most of my living room floor so I just went for my usual walk along the inlet trail. It was a lovely night!IMG_7282.JPG I ran into two families that I know from school, but I know this is a side effect of living and teaching in the same community:) I actually think it’s a good thing for my students to see me out and about so that they realize teachers are normal people with lives too!  I also noticed, that while I was away, the city removed the extra railroad tracks that were used for the handcar races during Golden Spike Days when I was a kid. I’ve noticed that Golden Spike Days has changed dramatically since I was a kid and I guess this is just the next step:( It’s kind of sad through as I think my childhood ones were better, but maybe that’s just nostalgia talking.🤣

Well I’ve finished my knitting project, so it’s time I went and started my next one. This one is a retro pattern from one of my Grandmother’s magazines and some recycled wool from a vest, but more about that another time.

Have Fun!

AJ

Chill

Today has been a pretty chill day:) When my students ask what I do in the summer, I always tell them I like to lay in bed in the morning with my cup of tea and think about what I want to do that day and then go do it. (I don’t mention I have to get up and make the tea first😞)

The biggest decision of the day has been; should I read or should I knit? Definitely my type of decision. I’ve been trying to read as many books as possible while I’m here so I can leave them for my mom so she can read them and then pass them along in the awesome book give and take the Ladysmith Community Marina has.

I have made it to chapter nine of Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber today and so far it’s been a good and easy read. Perfect for a summer boating day:)

In knitting I have made it to row 69 of the Reyna shawl by Noora Laivola that I started this morning.  This is  what I’ve decided to make with the Indigo Moon wool my parents and I spent last night untangling. IMG_7250.JPGSo far the pattern has been awesome. Super easy to follow and yet still interesting as it alternates between two stripes. I love that the designer/author even included a row tracker! As I was knitting along I was thinking that it would be a perfect project for a knit night or a knitting retreat as it would definitely be possible to visit while you complete the project.  The project is showing off my wool colour beautifully, but it could also easily handle a much more interesting wool too.IMG_7271.JPG

The wool is Indigo Moon Fingering weight in the colour Hollyhock Red. I absolutely love the variegation in the wool and it is easy to work with. My one concern would be that it seems much heavier than a typical fingering wool to me. I was set to use a 2mm needle and I had to go up to a 4mm as it was just too dense and tight. I am happy with it now through and think I’ll get lots of use out of the shawl:)

I’ve only left the boat twice today. The first time was to run back up to Main Street Yarn to get a longer 4mm circular needle. I remembered to ask, and the super helpful woman yesterday was named Lynn. I was hoping she would be there today as yesterday there was another customer from Halifax talking about a scarf pattern with moss stitch edging that uses up stash wool. She had found the pattern in a knitting magazine and I am kicking myself for not getting the details as I have plenty of stash to use up! If anyone has any clue, please tell me! Otherwise that will be another Ravelry search😛

The only other time I left the boat today was to walk part of the Holland Creek Trail with my mom. We’ve been saying we were going to do it for two years now and tonight we at least did part of it. We walked up Roberts Street six blocks and then walked the trail from there down to Coronation Shopping Centre (or almost).  The trail was beautiful, shady and cool on this hot day, very peaceful. IMG_7255.JPG

Holland Creek Trail

We didn’t see the Creek for a while, but when we did, it was satisfying:) I thought I had read that the trail was wheelchair accessible, but the part we did would definitely not be fun in a wheelchair!! Very hilly and several sets of stairs and roots. We took a footpath to cross under the Tans Canada Highway and returned along the old E&N Railway tracks. Perhaps not part of the trail but since they aren’t used by trains anymore a safe and quick route and surprisingly pretty with the sweet peas, butterfly bushes and gorgeous mystery flower (neither my mom nor I can remember the name) bordering the edges and the rabbits crossing our path.  It was a lovely half hour walk, bough we were very surprised at only passing one person!!! Don’t people walk around here???

Mom and Dad have gone off to Music on the Dock night and so I will now return to my dilemma of the day, knit or read???? 🤣

Have fun!

AJ

A New Start

Everyday little things happen that I don’t remember. I know I should and I started a “good things”  jar to help with this, but sometimes it’s tough to decide if something is big enough to put into the good things jar.  Does anybody else ever question this?

So this evening as I sat detangling the wool for my newest project, I decided that perhaps I should just record what happens on my days. I always think I want to keep track of what I wear, my new favourite things to cook, bake and eat, the newest project I’m working on, the cute things my students do, the places I visit, etc but I don’t have enough time or energy to have a blog or diary for each of those so this little site is going to have all my rambling thoughts on it:). So here goes!!!!

I’ve been visiting my parents on their boat for a few weeks, well actually we’re at 16 days now (can you say cheap holiday???) and so my life hasn’t been exactly normal, but I’ll take you through my day anyways.

I started the day well with a thirty minute run this morning in Ladysmith. Did I mention that my parents haven’t untied their boat from the dock in the Ladysmith Community Marina in a year? I love being out on the water, but this works too:). My run got done but my legs were screaming the whole time from the squats and lunges I did yesterday, obviously I haven’t been doing enough of those on this holiday 😫 The best things about the run was I ran up this hill two times in a row and it didn’t feel hard (yay!) and I saw the cutest lab running with a woman! I somewhat felt bad for dragging my mom out to walk while I ran a whole ten minutes after she got out of bed, but then again, it was good for her😛

I made myself face the scale when I got back from my run since I felt so pudgy yesterday and it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I can live with 99.2 on a holiday. I’d better get back on track right away when I get home though so this doesn’t get out of control. I’m way happier at two digits!

Breakfast was awesome! Fruit salad with a dab of cocowhip and a chai latte with coconut milk. Much more decadent than I would have at home, but I am on holidays:) I found this Domo Authentic Chai stone-ground tea latte at London Drugs and it has done a good job of taking the place of a tea each morning since I’m without a tea pot here (insert gasp of dismay here).

I helped my nephew study the next chapter for his PCOC test. (Had I mentioned there are four of us sharing this small boat??) I’m starting to think that I should probably take this new test. I have a certificate from my safe boating course I took as a kid, but now that I’ve studied everything with him, maybe I should just update it anyways. I so have better things to spend my $50 on though!!!! Decisions, decisions… I don’t ever plan to actually drive the boat, but it would be cool to be able to say I have it when people ask. I guess I don’t look like the boating type as people seem shocked by my going on a boating holiday each year.  Can you call it a boating holiday when you stay tied to the dock?

Last night I had finished my latest knitting project so I had promised myself I could go to the local yarn shop and see if they had anything interesting.  I went to Beehive Wool Shop in Victoria last Friday and the awesome clerk there, Kate, had introduced me to some local yarn. I had never thought about asking for a store’s local offerings, but I definitely will from now on!!!  I hit Main Street Yarns in Ladysmith, BC at 10:30 this morning and finally at 12:30 I emerged. I knew right away I wanted to do something with the Indigo Moon wool from Gabriola Island, but I just didn’t know what. I had just finished a shawl, so I jumped on Ravelry to see if I could find something else, but ended up deciding upon the Reyna shawl I had in my favourites. The clerk was awesome! She was helpful when I had questions and offered opinions but also didn’t impose herself and let me take my time. It was a seriously tough choice choosing a colour out of all that gorgeous hand-dyed wool!!!

The fam and I headed out to Duncan after that. A quick stop in Crofton at my dad’s favourite second hand store (under the Brass Bell pub) netted my nephew a new reel for his fishing rod. Then it was onto the Pacific Northwest Raptors in Duncan, BC. I really wanted to see this place even though my dad and nephew didn’t. ( I don’t think I’ve ever met two such negative, grumpy people in my life! How can I possibly be related to them???). We got to the raptor centre  just in time to see the end of the flying session. It was amazing! I had to duck as a barn owl flew just over my head! I don’t love seeing animals in captivity, but it was still very cool and educational. Definitely a great stop! My nephew complained the whole time, but I think he’ll remember it. My mom and I loved it!  I certainly learned a lot!! Who knew that a stork was a real live bird, I always thought they were just a fairytale creature that delivered babies 🤔IMG_7231

A quick stop at Wal-Mart for more fishing stuff (don’t ask me what all those things are for lol) and fruit so I can enjoy my fruit salad again tomorrow morning and we were ready to head home to the boat.  Two things: I bough more fruit because if I take nothing else from this boat holiday I have realized that I can simply mix fruit together and happily eat fruit salad every day for breakfast. It gets really interesting when you add a new fruit each day. I wonder if there are actual recipes for fruit salad? So far I’ve been enjoying the random combinations.  Secondly, my mom and I were looking for board games for the boat and I can’t believe the price of them!!!! 😳$15 or $25 they all seemed to be. Maybe families would spend more time together playing board games if they weren’t so crazy expensive! Think I’ll just keep my eye open for a sale on Clue, Scrabble, Monopoly and Yahtzee.

It’s Wings Wednesday so my parents are out enjoying themselves. I promised my nephew pizza from the Roberts Street Pizza here in Ladysmith, BC. We had it the other night and it was good and he says he enjoyed the meat lovers pizza again tonight. I was going to get a gluten free veggie pizza with no cheese but it had to be a large and that is just too much pizza and too much money so I enjoyed a nice taco salad from last night’s leftovers.

So I’m heading back to detangling my wool so I can start my new shawl… If anyone reads these ramblings, feel free to comment or give suggestions. It’s been neat to be able to record my thoughts and questions.

Have fun 🤣

AJ