Monday, November 29, 2004
Home from France

Bon Jour! I'm home after what seemed like the longest flight(s) ever! I left Nice, France at 6 a.m. (France time) and arrive in Paris at 8:20 a.m. where upon I had to pay $200 to change my flight home (to avoid spending the night in JFK). After taking almost three hours to check in my luggage and get through security, I waited a few more hours before boarding a plane to Chicago.

Once in Chicago and greeting my luggage in Customs, I found out my plane was delayed almost two hours. I purchased Middlesex (which I love by the way) to pass the time. I had read all my other books and was working on Proust. Unfortunately Proust can not be read while tired and smelly from traveling. Middlesex is much better suited for that. I eventually did board my plane to Seattle and arrive home shortly before 1 a.m. PST. I figure it took me almost 24 hours to get home from France.

I had a fantastic time and got to meet the wonderful Kate. She took time to show me bits of Paris and took my friends and I out for a great dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. Cheesy bowls are divine! I do have a photo to show we actually met but alas it is on my camera at home. I'm still a bit dis-organized though I attempted to spend most of yesterday cleaning up and getting it together. One thing I'm upset about is a missing knitting book. It's my recently acquired "Scarf Style" and I only hope I didn't dump it at the libary when I was returning books before my trip. I may have to fork over the $21.95 again because I MUST have that book. Of course, once I do that, I shall find my errant copy.

I shall re-tell the tale of my trip in the coming days but for now know that it is possible to become sick of cheese, take 500 pictures of "cute" village doors and learn to drive like the French. Yes, I drove in the South of France and now my car feels HUGE and people around here drive so carefully. All in all, a successful and wonderful trip was had by all. Jen and Stephanie -- are we going to Spain next? I need to practice my spanish!
Monday, November 15, 2004
Quick! I still have to PACK!

Tomorrow I leave for Paris! Yes! Tomorrow I will be on my way and I am super excited!

I feel like a little terrier shaking with excitement. And I'm not only excited because I'm going to Paris, I'm also excited because today marks the day I have acutally lost 5 pounds! Now I can get my manicure which I hope to get tomorrow while I enjoy one my LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG layovers in Chicago.

So with that in mind, I need to pack and run around in circles because I'm going to FRANCE!!!!!!

Friday, November 12, 2004
Kate Deliveries

It's been fun the past few days receiving packages for Kate. Last night, I popped by the house to grab another sweater and saw another box had come for Kate. I opened the box and placed it aside while looking for the perfect spot to store Kate's goodies. Destiny, quick as a whisker decided the empty box was her new home. She jumped inside and quickly fell asleep. Now a quicker blogger than I would have taken a picture but I had left my camera at Zubin's house so no picture. But I can tell you she was so cute!

I can also tell you that Kate ordered some yummy looking yarn! What temptation! I had to quickly put it inside my suitcase. In some crazy idea of being organized, I've started packing early. OK so I brought out my suitcase and put Kate's yarn in there and that's it.

After that I went home and caught a startitis bug. I started the bag from the cover of Last Minute Knits. Fabulous!

Last night, Mot and I had free passes to see Finding Neverland. While the movie theater seemed a bit un-organized, the movie was beautiful. I cried and cried throughout most of it but then again, I am the girl who teared up watching The Incredibles. James Barrie was brought to life in this film which in turn developed in me a new appreciation for the story of Peter Pan. I would highly recommend this film but I do caution others, this isn't a very good story for children (in fact the ones in the theatre looked bored) and neither is it a fast moving film.

This weekend, Bridget Jones!
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Reasons for a Good Day

Today will be a good day!

I awoke to this slobbery face:

Zubin's parents are in Australia so I'm watching the beast for them before and after my trip. Another friend will entertain him while I'm gone.

Since I was up early to drive Stephanie to the airport, I had time to get my favorite treat! (Stephanie left today for Prague, I'll join her and Jen in Paris in a week)

My belly is nice and full and happy.

And I got free passes to see this tonight with Mot.

I wish I could show you some knitting but I worked on my secret project last night. Well, I ripped part of my secret project last was highly frustrating but I had to fix a huge mistake a billion rows back. It will be better this next time around.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Paris FO

I've finished the Paris Trio Scarves! These were quick knits with fun chunky cables in three colors for the three travelers. Stephanie gets the green one to match her eyes. Jen gets the beige one to showcase her sparkle and I get the pink one since I'm obsessed with pink! You can see Destiny eyeing the scarves from the background.

Destiny also likes the pink one.

I think she may have been sleepy when I wrapped the scarf around her neck because unlike her usual behavior, she sat still and allowed me to photograph her wearing my new creation.

Destiny here! I want to let you know that I am NOT amused by this lady! She has taken to wrapping woolish things around me! I know it's winter but I already have a fur coat. Wheessh! She's crazy!
Friday, November 05, 2004
Some Actual Knitting Content

While in DC, I made a visit to Knit Happens where I aquired the goodies above. I picked up the newest Debbie Bliss Book Seven and my new favorite book,Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

The book was a big draw because I really want to knit the cute bag on the front cover.

It should be quick, right?

The yarns were purchased because I have a sock yarn obsession. Yes, I need to actually start knitting socks from the sock yarn but I'll get to that!

And lest you fear that I'm not knitting, I am happy to report that I am! I just don't have any pictures right now. With Winter in our midst, daylight is precious and night time makes pictures hard to achieve.

I'm back to working on Lara and hope to finish her soon. I'll get some photos this weekend in the daylight! I also need to finish my last Paris scarf. I have two made and now need to make one for myself. My friends and I will be Tres Chic in Paris!

Speaking of Paris, I leave in just a short 10 days. Wheeeee! I'm hoping to meet up with Kate so I can bring her some American goodies. It is important to spread good cheer around the world.

As for running, I have an itch to go again but I need to treat my toe with a bit of respect. I do confess that it has been nice relaxing this week but one can't rest on their laurels forever!

Enjoy your weekend and remember there are only 50 more knitting days until Christmas.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Running a Marathon

So I did it! I ran a marathon and I didn't die.

Norma, my toenails survived though I did gain a horrible blister between two of my toes. Ouch!

The morning of the race was a bit muggy and warm. We lined up on a highway outside of Crystal City (by the Iwo Jima monument) for the race. After waiting in line for the final bathroom break, we lined up behind many Teams in Training and Aids Teams In Training. They were very organized and happy. Some of the groups had whistles and would blow them when it came time for them to walk. Stephanie and I made an effort to escape "Team Mickey" on the downward section of the run.

Along the way we ran with Frankinbride, Backwards guy, an Army Ranger guy with a huge heavy flag and saw Kermit the frog. The Rockcreek parkway was beautiful and Stephanie really enjoyed the "snowing" leaves. Once we entered the Mall around mile 11-12, I began to have problems with the heat. It was at least 75 degrees and I had become used to running in 55 degree weather. So I was struggling along, making noises and throwing water on myself when Stephanie told me that I had run in the heat before and that I could do it again. So I did.

Around mile 14, we saw my friend Liz and her husband, Scott with their two children,
Isaac and Chloe along with her brother Ryan. Isaac ran along side Stephanie
and I and told us about how fast he could run. They lifted our spirits and
got us chugging along the next six miles.

Throughout the entire run we knew we had 5 hours to get to the 20 mile mark and neither of us were going to let some time limit stop us. Miles 18 - 20 were lonely and tough since we were feeling the pressure of making the bridge in time. Stephanie also said she didn't think she could do this again so she was making sure I got to the 20 mile mark. We got there around 4:20.

Shortly after that was when we slowed down. We walked across the bridge and around mile 22 started running again. I had to take a few more breaks than in the previous miles but I knew I was going to finish with Stephanie at my side.

At mile 25.5, some one told us we had less than a mile to go. I wanted to
sprint in that last mile and then I felt something go wrong with my toe. I
yelled and told Stephanie that I thought I had lost a toenail and that it
hurt. She said we could walk. She also suggested I take off my shoe so I walked for a bit without it. We then saw Liz and her family again. She took pictures of us pretending to run and sprinted to the finish line to get some more pictures. I ran the last .2 miles in, finishing in 6:22 and some seconds.

After we finished the Marines hung our medals around our necks and shook our hands. They thanked us for the support and I thanked them for their great support. They were so effective at every water stop and I must say this was one of the most regimented races I've ever run. While they weren't perfect, it was very organized and well-put on.

Stephanie and I then got our picture in front of Iwo Jima (and I may buy
that one) and quickly went to get cold water. That was our only desire. We
really wanted cold water. and I had a bagel.

The Metro ride home was crowded but we were back at Liz's in a short while
where Stephanie had arranged for cold Stella beers to be waiting for me. I
so enjoyed that brew! Caroline -- I had three beers that night! I knew I was a lightweight but I had to have them just to prove I could.

Tomorrow, my adventures around DC and a tale about Knit Happens.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
I DID it (with a little help from a friend)!

Yep, I did it. I ran the Marine Corp Marathon on Sunday in 6 hours and 22 minutes. It was fantastic! Stephanie really pulled me through a tough, tough spot around mile 12. I'll have a full race report later tonight but for now, here are some highlights.

My medal!

Inspirational Stones from Stephanie for finishing the race

Goodies from Knit Happens

I also finished a scarf for my friend Liz who kindly put Stephanie and I up at her house. After much convincing, I got her daughter to pose for me. She then quickly ran up to give it to her Mom.

Also when I got home last night, I had a package from my Now Norma Knits. I was so excited that my Secret Pal was Norma from Now Norma Knits. I've been reading her blog for a short while and LOVE it!

And I loved having her as a secret pal. How can one not when they get this in the mail?

I got two beautifully soft skiens of Classic Elite Inca Alpaca yarn. I think a lacy scarf would be perfect for this. In fact, I think I might have the perfect pattern from a book I purchased at Knit Happens. And Norma also sent me the best treat! Chocolate covered pretzels, the perfect mix of salty and sweet for those times you can't decide if you want a sweet treat or a salty treat! I do love these! And she included a chocolate frog. I may have to share the frog. My Mom collects frogs and loves them so if she sees this, it may be stolen!


OK now I must get back to digging through my work emails and getting caught up! Marathon stories tomorrow!
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