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.