Tag Archives: orlando

Kayaking with alligators…

and turtles and birds…and who knows what else was out there in the water?

Vickie and I went out to Orlando to play in the sun for a few days and then come home with CollegeKiddo. Our plan was to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and to see an alligator somewhere. Mischief managed on both counts.

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I’m not much of a theme park person, but I loved how this area of the park looked like a quaint little village. Most of the shop windows were just set dressing, and they were fun to peruse. It’s been a while since I read the books, and I’ve only seen the first movie, but it was quite amusing, all the same.

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We explored the University of Central Florida Arboretum after dinner at Bubbalou’s BBQ with CollegeKiddo. (Big finals study weekend, so mostly work and no play for him.)

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The next day’s main adventure was kayaking at Wekiva Springs State Park. This is a beautiful and beautifully kept state park. You can rent kayaks or paddleboats or canoes here. There’s a swimming area with 72 degree water. Lovely! But it’s best to stay in the swimming area if you want to be *in* the water.

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Me? I like being *on* the water.

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We saw lots of yellow slider turtles

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herons, egrets, and other birds

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and small alligators (up to 4 feet long)

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There are at least five alligators in the last picture: two on the log, three in the water. Click for a larger view. Do you see them all?

This was a very serene way to get close to the wildlife! In the afternoon we went to Winter Park, even though all the museums are closed on Monday. We toured the lakes and canals via pontoon boat. It’s a beautiful area.

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Even the sidewalk utility covers are beautiful in Winter Park.

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We popped back to Winter Park the next morning for a quick visit to the Morse Museum to see the beautiful Tiffany treasures there, but not before having coffee and knitting with blog buddy Dee. Three knitters, three projects.

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In the afternoon, we took CollegeKiddo on an airboat tour of Mullet Lake (this was after his last final that morning).

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Fun, but definitely not as serene as kayaking! Alligators don’t lie around posing for you in the lake.

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We did see this one, though. And a group of manatees. They surface with just their noses, so they can take in air. You can hear them breathing; it’s very cool. (Click on this picture for a zoomable view.)

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Lots of birds, and this baby alligator, too. It’s about 10 inches long.

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Captain Bill was full of stories, and we learned about some things, too. Do you know what this is?

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We packed in a lot of activity in a few days. I’m glad to be home. But one more cool thing to show you. We flew next to a thunderstorm on the way out. How cool is that?

Back to knitting! I finished knitting my green sample that was in the picture, and I’ll have a couple design reveals for you in the next week or so. I’ve been busy!

Knitting a blanket…for a bridge

I’m knitting part of a blanket…for a bridge.

Wait, I can explain! Portland’s Broadway Bridge turns 100 this year, and Tyler Mackie wants to celebrate by installing four handknit banners on the bridge in August. Each banner will be 18 x 21 feet. When the celebration is over, the banners will be deconstructed into 6 x 6 foot blankets for Portland’s homeless. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash, a practical easy care choice.

I’m knitting several 12 inch squares for this project. Check the Facebook page if you’d like to help knit. Check out the indiegogo funding page for more information on the project. And I’m especially happy the finished project will be made into something useful. Recycling is so very Portland!

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I knit my way across the country this weekend. This is Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Daytona Beach, Florida, and my first stripey blanket square.

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203 steps to the top! I love circular staircases.

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The Fresnel lenses themselves are a thing of beauty, created to magnify the beam out to sea.

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We had a great visit with Kiddo! A little cool at the beach, but a lovely day.

On the road again…

Where have I been? Not knitting much. I took a trip to Orlando last week to see CollegeGuy. DH was in Orlando working on a project, so I thought I’d just go use his hotel room. I left on Tuesday, but got stuck in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport while waiting for a connecting flight, due to some tornados. I kid you not. At first they asked us to move away from the windows. Then to move to the center of the terminal. And then the sirens went off and they put us in the storm shelters (bathrooms).

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I was slightly amused by this, thinking it was a great bloggable moment, but then the storm came through (no tornado at the airport, thank goodness). The sky was really dark, the wind was howling, there was lightning, thunder, and golfball-sized hail bouncing off the windows. And that shut everything down for the night. No flights. When I saw the video of tractor trailers flying through the air, I realized it was way more serious than I had thought.

After a sleepless night in a hotel, more canceled flights, three re-bookings, and three standby lines, I was lucky to make it to Orlando Wednesday night, due to the kindness of an excellent ticket agent. I was flying first class on an award ticket, and she found a first class seat through Miami. I was too fried to knit, but at least it was a nice flight.

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I had 2 instead of 3 days to see the Kiddo, but we made the most of it. I took him to Cocoa Beach, because it’s the end of his freshman year and he still hadn’t been to a Florida beach.

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It was great to visit with Dee while Kiddo was in class. Look at the UCF Knights snowman she made for me. With beads!

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And the trip home was smooth and uneventful. Thank goodness. I knit an entire something, which I can’t show you until the next post. But soon!

How was *your* week?

Took a little trip…

…across the country to Orlando to visit SirCollegeDude. He’s at the University of Central Florida, and they’re the Knights, hence, SirCollegeDude. I cashed in a bunch of miles and took CollegeGrad with me; DH met us there. We had to fly first class on the way out, boo hoo.

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A little afternoon cocktail with my knitting? Sure!

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Dinner was nice.

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SirCollegeDude’s working on a Baja car like this one with the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), but this year’s car is taller. It was a very soggy wet weekend with torrential rains, but we took advantage of a break in the rain to get in a quick campus tour.

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We headed to Kennedy Space Center on Sunday. This was a great place, really interesting and inspiring. Lots for the science geeks!

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This enormous building is where they assembled the space shuttles for launch (the orbiters plus all the stuff that put the orbiters into space). From there they were taken via crawler to the launch pad. A very slow, exacting process with a maximum speed of about one mile per hour.

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Here’s one of the engines at the Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry. And my guys.

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The Apollo/Saturn V Center has an actual Saturn V rocket in it. That thing is LONG. There are a lot of interesting exhibits about the moon missions. I’m not sure why we went to the moon, other than because we could, and we wanted to do it before the Russians did, but a lot of science and engineering went into the feat.

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Maybe it’s because we needed a Hello Kitty astronaut.

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It was great to spend some time with the whole family. I also got a chance to knit with Dee last weekend, but I forgot to take a picture! It’s always fun to meet a friend from the blogosphere.

I finished the knitting from the first picture this week; it’s another This Little Ziggy vest. I’ll show you, soon. I’m still trying to catch up with myself…I’m moving way faster than a space shuttle on the crawlerway!

Podcast: Entrelac. Forecast: Sunny

I’m on the Knit Picks podcast, Entrelac-tastic! Stacey asked if I’d be a part of an entrelac episode, and I was happy to say yes. The episode begins with an interview with Rosemary Drysdale, author of Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting, which I reviewed here. The episode also has an interview with in-house designer Kerin, and a review of Gwen Bortner’s book, Entree to Entrelac.

It was fun to chat with Stacey in my current role as entrelac evangelist. She asked me how I started designing, and I gave a roundabout answer, but the real answer is this. Sometimes I want to knit something, and can’t find a pattern that’s exactly what I want. So I have to come up with a way to match the picture in my head. It’s that simple.

Knit Picks is giving away a copy of Rosemary Drysdale’s book. Leave a comment on their blog to enter!

The funny thing about this interview is that Stacey and I live in the same city, but I was a continent away when I spoke with her. Another college visit, this time to University of Central Florida in Orlando. This is a huge school, 46,000 undergrad. But the 1700 student Honors College appears to be stellar; we were quite won over by the director’s presentation.

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The teams are called the Knights; the school logo is Pegasus. There are a lot of constellation names on this campus (Gemini, Apollo, Orion), which makes sense because the school started out as Florida Technological University, a support system for the nearby Kennedy Space Center. The campus is laid out in concentric circles, with the student union at the center, classroom buildings on the next circle, housing at the outer edge. It feels a little theme-parkish (very Orlando!), but it makes perfect sense to keep traffic out of the main pedestrian campus.

Speaking of theme parks, we had an extra day in Orlando, so we went to Epcot. It was ok, but I’m not much of a theme park person.

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This fellow came to lunch.

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Here are a couple other birds; I made them in a needle-felting class last week. My friend Carole signed us up for this class at Collage as a Christmas present. It was great!

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I’m scheduled to teach at Twisted next Thursday evening; coincidentally, it’s entrelac! We’ll be doing my Infinity Entrelac Infinity Scarf, and the Lacy Entrelac Infinity Scarf will be a bonus option included in the pattern that comes with the class. If you want to learn a spiffy provisional cast on and the basics of entrelac, this class is for you! You can even learn to purl back backwards (without turning your work). Contact Twisted to register.

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