Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Socks and Celebrations!

It's wonderful to go away but it's also wonderful to be home and together as a family again! Mr Puffy in particular is happy that the vacationing is over and we can get back to our regular daily lives.

As I breathed deeply of the salty air, felt the dry warmth of the sun on my skin, and watched Mr Puffy play in the sand, I realized that as much as I enjoy visiting other places there is no place I find more enjoyable than my own deck in San Clemente, California with a steaming pot of tea, a good book, and Mr Puffy to keep me company.

I didn't accomplish much knitting on my vacation, so I thought this would be a good time to share a pair of older socks. These are actually my favorite "go to" comfort socks and I wear them a lot in the Winter. Of course it's too warm to wear them at this time of year, but I've modeled them nonetheless perched upon a rock in front of our house - just for you - so you can see how they fit.

These socks have held up really well despite a slight tendency to pill. The yarn is Mountain Colors Bearfoot (60% superwash merino, 25% mohair, 15% nylon). Because it's a handpainted yarn it doesn't require a fancy stitch pattern so I chose a simple seed stitch motif on the leg to give them a bit of interest. The pattern is from The Joy of Knitting by Lisa R. Myers.

I "borrowed" my neighbor's fence and pretty hibiscus flowers for this shot. Hibiscus flowers are a quintessential California flower and they are particularly prevalent where I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. I love hibiscus flowers because the blooms are huge and colorful and they have a long season.

So What Was the Cruise Like?

Oh. My. Gosh. Going on a cruise is an incredibly relaxing and fun vacation. We were on the Carnival Cruise Line. The cruise was a week long and left from Long Beach, California and traveled along the Mexican Riviera (Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas). Besides relaxation and fun, there is also the food. What you hear about food on cruises is true - the food really is wonderful!

For those who have never been on a cruise, I would liken the experience, on this vessel, to something like being in a Las Vegas Hotel at sea. There is gambling, shows, food and drinks and impressive interior design (glass encased elevators, huge paintings, art work, etc.) In addition, you have the shore excursions which are a fun break on the journey. Here I am in Puerto Vallarta looking every inch the part of an American Tourist.

Here's Steve with my mom and dad, who are all looking quite the tourists as well. My dad in particular is looking pleased with himself as he has just found the perfect leather bag to hold his golf balls.

This particular cruise was family oriented and had fun shows in the evenings (comedy, musicals, a ventriloquist, etc.) and lots of activities that my nephews (ages 9 and 11) really enjoyed. Another nice feature of this ship is that the staterooms had private balconies. Here I am on our private deck modeling my newly completed Monkey sock!

I really enjoyed sitting on the deck being able to look out at the ocean. On several occasions we saw dolphins playing in the boat wake, and that was something to see. There were so many and sometimes they jumped so high they were completely out of the water!

Unfortunately we missed out on our day of snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas due to strong currents in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Douglas. But, I did manage to take this shot of the famed Cabo San Lucas "Los Arcos" rocks before we headed back out to sea.

You will recall from my last post that this cruise was a gift from my parents to the family in celebration of their 50th Wedding Anniversary. I love this photo, as it shows how happy they are together. This picture was taken on the last night of the cruise in the dinning room. I have to say the dinner waiters were just terrific and every night they either danced or sang for us and really made the dinners a fun experience.

Fifty years of marriage and they are happier now than they have ever been. If you ask my mother what is the secret to a happy marriage she will tell you "don't major in minors". What she means is - don't over react to small things. She would also tell you what her Aunt Joan told her (a woman who enjoyed an exceptionally happy marriage) and that is to bring a spirit of generosity to your marriage. If you plan on giving of yourself 75% and expect to receive 25% in return you will be setting a tone of "giving" that paradoxically is actually the most rewarding.

Here's a picture of them during their whirlwind courtship period (all of 3 months long *giggle*). The picture was taken on the beach in Santa Monica, California very close to where I live now.


jillian said...

Sounds like a perfect trip! Wow. 50 years. And they both look so good for their age! Happy and spry. Here's to many more years.

Theresa said...

what a lovely trip you had...and the pictures of your mom and dad are truly priceless...a beautiful couple then and now...

amanda said...

This is such a lovely happy post! It looks like you had a fantastic time (just wait till I show Lily the photo of you cuddling the donkey), and it's so nice that you got to celebrate your parent's anniversary with them. You certainly have a nice view from home to come back to too.

Kelly said...

sounds like a great trip!!! Too bad you couldn't go snorkelling though it really is amazing, even if you do throw up in the water... "who me???? NEVER"
I do hope you brought that little donkey home for me, he's soooo adorable!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful trip. 50 years is really amazing, and very reassuring to see! Lovely socks too!

Bridget said...

What a great trip it seemed to be!

I'm glad it was fun, and that you are enjoying being home now, after being a world traveler this summer ...

Pretty socks! Knitting with some of the variegated sock yarns is so much fun now, they are so pretty.

(P.S. I think you look like your mother, seeing her picture and yours at the same time.)

(P.P.S. BTW, Lisa Myers taught me to knit! If you look in the index of the Joy of Knitting, you'll also find my name ... bet you had no idea I was so famous!!)

knitting dragonfly said...

What a wonderful trip. Your parents look like they are as in love as the first years. Great pictures, and of course love the socks old and new!

Marie said...

Congrats to your parents on 50 wonderful years together!

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time on the cruise. I have never been on one.

The pic with you and the donkey is such fun!

I agree with you about vacations. As nice as they are to go on, it's even nicer to get back home.

amanda said...

What a wonderful trip! Glad you had a wonderful, but I know what you mean about the comforts of home :)

Congrats to your parents and wishing them many more years together!

tiennie said...

Great socks! I want to go on a cruise someday!

I love all those cute pics of your parents!

Channon said...

What a great post! Pretty socks, a Mr Puffy lead-off, and some wonderful family photos. Here's to many more for all of you. (And gee, I think I'll nudge the Knight about re-booking the cruise we cancelled when Fred died last fall...)

Monika said...

Wonderful pictures of a wonderful trip! Married for 50 years, now that's amazing, and being happy too! The socks look nice and comfortable. What you do, for us, just so we can see your handknits! :o) Mr. Puffy must be very happy to have his family back. :o)

Willow said...

What a lovely cruise! I would love watching the dolphins and sitting on the private deck and looking at the waves, dreaming about where those waves had been and where they were going.

Congratulations to your parents!

Willow said...

Somehow I thought there were two posts here. Thanks for visiting my blog for Project Black.
My blog is 'supposedly' a knitting blog, but I tend to wander around all over. I love the beach, and since I live in SoCal too, I think it's the most beautiful place in the world.

Windyridge said...

What a great idea for a 50th anniversary and your mom's advice sounds like gems to live by.
BTW you look just like your mom.

Alison Boon said...

Congrats to your parents. Your mum has some very good advice. I guess all to often we get upset over something very little. The trip sounds like great fun

Sherry said...

Yes, there's nothing like returning home after a fun vacation. Glad you and your family had a great time. What a wonderful inspiration your parents are for the happiness that can come from sharing life with another. Very nice blog post/tribute to the trip, your knitting and your parents!

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed the cruise. I just love your touristy picture with the donkey - the colors are so inspiring.

Hilary said...

Congratulations to your parents! 50 years...that's so inspiring!

I absolutely LOVE the pic of you with the donkey -- hilarious! (In a good way!) I'm so glad you had such a nice, relaxing time. Nice Monkey sock, btw!

Firefly Nights said...

Welcome home. I know Mr. P is glad to have you back. You always find the prettiest ways to display what you knit. Love the sock with the hibiscus.

The Puerto Vallarta photo is a new look for you, but as usual, you look great. Bet you were having a lot of fun. Your parents also look so young. Hard to imagine that they’ve been married 50 years. Please pass on my congratulations to them. They were a lovely wedding couple, and time seems to have been very good to them.

Sorry you didn’t get to go snorkeling but it sounds like there were plenty of other things to do.