Honey

Last week brought with it all the magnificent wonders of Rhinebeck, and what a great time it was. I can’t tell you how much I love that time of year, and the people I spend it with.  Both days of the festival turned out to be sweater weather, brilliant for people watching (I took a lot of notes about the beautiful things I saw people wearing) and for wearing my own sweater – finished and blocked on Rhinebeck eve.

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I did the festival with a bad cold this year, and though I fear I was patient zero for the annual Rhinebeck Crud that seems to make it’s way around every year, me and my box of tissues managed to have a pretty good time. (Apologies to any of you I met on the weekend and refused to hug or shake hands with – I swear I was just trying not to spread it around. Extra apologies if it didn’t work.)

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Sweater: Little Wave, Yarn: Blackwater Abbey in Pippin. (5 skeins) I love how it turned out – it’s a bit big, but I wanted a workhorse of a sweater, a cozy grampa kind of thing, and it suits perfectly. (Photo Credits to Caro)

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(As an aside, I didn’t know my hair was that grey until I saw those pictures.)

When Rhinebeck was all said and done, I went back to Boston with friends, and awaited some papers that need to come through before I leave the US. I had big plans to rent myself a cheap spot for a while, hunker down and work, and have a good look at Boston. I thought it would be lovely. Apparently I’m not the only one who thought so, because when I went looking for a place even slightly affordable, it was a total bust. I got on the phone with Joe, and while we were chatting, we had a crazy idea. We looked for cheap flights and cheap hotel rooms, and well.  It was Las Vegas.  In a move that was totally and completely unlike me in every way, at 3pm I bought a ticket to Vegas that departed at 6pm, booked a hotel that had a sale, and left for the airport.

All the way to the airport, I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I’m a planner. A person who thinks ahead, a person who absolutely doesn’t buy a same day plane ticket and who certainly doesn’t buy a ticket to Las Vegas. Still, there I was… the plane was a little delayed leaving Boston, and I worried about missing my connection in LA- but we made up the time in the air, and landed in plenty of time to make it, and I would have made that connection too, except there was no gate to pull into. We sat there on the tarmac, with me anxiously checking the clock every fourteen seconds, until I watched the plane I should have been on push back from the gate, taxi away, and take off without me on it.

Now, despite lacking spontaneity as a personality trait, I am a pretty seasoned traveller, so I didn’t panic straight off. Heaven only knows what time the last flight goes to Vegas. I’ve seen lots of movies and it seemed to me like anything would be possible. I sat there on the plane for 75 minutes, until we pulled into a gate, and I disembarked, and hustled straight to the help desk. I won’t tell you the whole thing, but suffice it to say that it had been the last flight to Vegas that I’d been booked on, and they were very sorry, but there were no flights with room on them the next day either – the best they could do was to bump me to another carrier, and put me on an 8am flight out. I sighed, accepted the vouchers for the shuttle and the hotel, and went to find my luggage.

Things got worse from there. It took a long time for them to retrieve my bags. There was no shuttle, and when I got to the hotel, there was a problem with the voucher that took a while to resolve. I stood there, leaning on the desk and finally convinced the guy that maybe he could work on the problem while I was sleeping? If I gave him a credit card as insurance? He agreed, and I fell into a bed of questionable quality at 2:30am.

When my alarm went off at 5:45am – just three hours and 15 minutes later, I couldn’t help but wonder if spontaneity was for me.

Back at the airport, I lined up for my new flight, and when I found myself at the front of the line, I presented my ticket, issued the night before, and stared blankly and somewhat dumbly at the clerk as she told me I wasn’t booked on that flight at all. I showed her the ticket again – pointed at the place where my name was clearly indicated, showed her the time… and she agreed that all of those things were right, but that there was no record that matched.  I’d have to go back to the other airline and figure out what happened, she couldn’t help me.  I went outside the terminal and waited for the bus (because I am of course, at the wrong building) and thought about what my approach would be when I got back to the offending airline. Would I start with the gate delay that had wrecked the connection? Maybe the problem finding my luggage, or the 3 agents that were there to help 40 people who missed connections, or the vouchers for the shuttle that wasn’t running, or the messed up voucher for the hotel, or would I just focus on the fact that they’d not properly fixed any of that. I got angrier and angrier as I wrestled my two suitcases off of the bus, and was close to tears of fury when I finally made my way to the right desk.

Unbelievably, right when I was about to lose it all over this unsuspecting clerk, I remembered that she hadn’t done anything wrong at all. She’d just gotten up and gone to work, poor lamb, and here I was, about to rip the living snot out of her. None of this was her fault. I took several deep breaths – literally, and then I told her that. I told her that I was so sorry. I told her that I’d had three hours sleep, and that I was going to try and be as nice as humanly possible about the problem I was having, but that I couldn’t have any more problems. I really needed help, I told her, and then I blurted out the whole thing, inserting as many apologies as I possibly could, sprinkling it with as much gratitude as I could find, and generally tried to be as charming as I know how to be.  She listened carefully, and then she said “that sounds like a pile of ****.” (Accurate.) Then she apologized, and started typing and making phone calls and figured things out, and I kept thanking her and telling her she was wonderful, and somehow, magically, I was on the 8am flight to Las Vegas that they had told me was impossible the night before.

I could have kissed her on the mouth, and if I didn’t still have a cold and there wasn’t a counter to tall to scale between us, I probably would have. I’m so glad I managed to contain the rage that was seething inside me, heard my mum’s voice telling me that you catch more flies with honey, and remembered what it was like to be in the service industry when someone was feeling … like I felt. It paid off.

So… long story short, greetings from Las Vegas. I’ve got a couple of days on my own here, and then Joe’s taking the plunge and meeting me for an adventure, and bringing some more appropriate clothing, which will be a huge relief, because I packed for autumn in Boston.

Until then, if you see someone knitting, wearing jeans, wool socks and boots while googling “what do you do in Vegas if you don’t gamble” know that I’m doing the best I can. There’s four sweaters in my suitcase. It’s hard to fit in.

(PS to Joe: Bring sunscreen.)

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186 thoughts on “Honey

  1. Wow. That is a big pile of garbage.

    As for things to do in Vegas. I don’t gamble (well, I occasionally buy lottery tickets), so I went to see a show or two and eat tasty food at a couple of different restaurants. The hardest part was finding places that were far enough away from gambling that I didn’t inhale all the cigarette smoke.

  2. The Mob Museum is SO COOL. Definitely a good way to kill a couple hours. I don’t gamble either, but there are lots of museums and exhibits to see. The Bellagio has a nice art gallery, too.

  3. Oh, no! Could it be the knitting deities exacting payback for the perfect match of stitch and row gauge/tension? If so, I hope they are now appeased, and you and your wonderful husband have a lovely time!

  4. What an adventure! I’m glad you’re finally at your destination of choice! Las Vegas can be very fun as a non gambler! Here is my list of suggestions:
    * Go see Celine Dion or Elton John perform (or Blueman group, if you’re into that) =)
    * Use some scissors to make your jeans into shorts and go and take a hike in the mountains/ outside the city.
    * Take a tour to the Grand Canyon.
    * Check out the cool architecture! My fave is the Luxor (Pyramid) and the Bellagio.
    * Watch random people get married?

    Have fun!

  5. Go see the Blue Man group. Very funny and original. I also don’t gamble but I love watching people who do. Sounds like you need to spend at least one day catching up on sleep!

    • I second the Hoover Dam tour! I went on the hard hat tour “several” years ago – probably close to 16 years if I am remembering correctly. It was amazing. I heard that tour isn’t available anymore though, which is unfortunate.

  6. Wow, what a story. Just remember that you could run into the same airline issues even if you plan ahead. Stuff happens in airports.
    Have a ball in Vegas. There’s much to see and do without even going into a casino. Just walking up and down the street and looking at the hotels is a show in itself, at night.
    The weather has turned nasty here in Southern Ontario, so take in as much sunshine and warmth as you can. It might have to last until Spring.

  7. People live in Vegas (like, regular people)-doesn’t there have to be a yarn shop or two? I know you just did Rhinebeck, but there’s always something wonderful you might find. And wouldn’t they be surprised at a visit from The Harlot??!
    I will try to remember about honey and airline ticket agents-the approach I’ve used in the past wasn’t totally successful!

  8. Take a tour of the Hoover Dam and check out the art gallery in the Bellagio after cruising their gardens and gazing at the ceiling of the lobby, the Chihuly flowers are amazing! The people watching is top notch in Vegas.

      • Yes, please please PLEASE shorten those sleeves! If I sent you a pic of a sweater that fit like that, you would tell me , so I am telling you. Please shorten your sleeves. That sweater is too lovely otherwise to roll those cuffs up. (Knowing you as we all do, you will fix this. You just wanted to have it done for the weekend – totally acceptable.)

  9. My first thought when I saw your picture is “WOW – her hair looks great” then I too thought it was grayer than I remembered. Rhinebeck must have very low humidity this time of year – you have way more curl than frizz. Have fun on you mini vacation in Vegas

  10. There’s s really nice yarn shop (maybe more than one but I’ve only been to the one) called Sin City Knits. Awesome local yarn when I was there.

    The light show on Fremont Street is cool. Stay at least an hour. Don’t bother with the zipline tho; they make you take your glasses off.

  11. Stephanie!! Please go to Red Rocks-the closest unbelievably gorgeous sanity place (nature-wise) and so close to you. It’s out Charleston Blvd (west), you’re in the city, suburbs, then suddenly the wilderness. Plenty of fabulous slickrock and quiet. I get there about once a year from Vermont, and it is the highlight of my year. OK, I haven’t made Rhinebeck in a while, but… Please go. It’s the best the Las Vegas Valley has to offer unless you throw everything over and make a run for the Grand Canyon.

  12. Your Rhinebeck photos are amazing (as always) and I hope that some year I get to go back. I must also say that I love your group photo. I have always been the type of person to knit alone and sadly my friends aren’t interested in learning. Your photo makes me think that perhaps I should look for a knitting group locally so I can make a circle of knitting friends to add to my non-knitting friends!

    • Yes, find a knitting group. There’s nothing quite like sitting with like-minded people talking and laughing and knitting. Knitters were the ones who showed up to help with grocery shopping and laundry when I broke my ankle and was stuck on the couch for 5 weeks. Check the library, sometimes they have knitting nights where you could meet people to arrange a coffee and knitting date with.

    • I too was like you – knitting alone. Then I did find a knitting group. They are the most fabulous women. Interesting, ready to share, funny, talented. Big shout out to Sable in Kingston ON. Our claim to fame is that we have met Auntie Yvonne twice at the place where we gather – The Ports, yes a bar and they love us.

    • I’ve had difficulty finding a group where the discussion wasn’t centered around husbands (he did this, he complained about that, why won’t he…?) How do you find a group that is truly focused on creativity & fiber, & not gossip? I know they exist!

      • In your web browser, try entering Knitting Group —– (dashes stand for your zip code). If you’re in a medium or large metropolitan area, you should get a reasonable list of groups. Or you could search for yarn shops, and ask the staff if they know of any groups.

        By the way, this search technique works for just about anything you’re looking for (movie theater, grocery shop, auto repair, etc.). Good luck!

        • P.S. In my area (San Francisco Bay Area), quite a few libraries also host knitting groups. Usually someone from the staff attends, which helps to keep the focus on knitting instead of personal issues. Of course, once you identify some new groups, it’s still a process of trying them out till you find the one(s) you like.

    • I live in small town western Manitoba and have decided that I must be the only knitter around! No such thing as knitting guilds, and the closest shops are 2-3 hours away. I put an ad in the paper asking if there was anyone interested in attending a “stitch and bitch” and got only two calls, both asking if I was taking in mending *sigh*

      Have fun in Vegas! Go shopping for warm weather clothing, wander around and rest up until Joe gets there. The climate and some unwinding will do wonders for your cold!

  13. The Rhinebeck sweater looks fabulous. OK, so you didn’t need that coordinating skein to help the green wool last. Shorten the sweater’s sleeves, and use that and the coordinating yarn to knit a pair of socks!

    (P.P.S. to Joe: Also bring her swimsuit — all the hotels have pools, and there’s always the Bellagio’s fountains!)

  14. My family is going out to Vegas next month on our way to Hollywood with the school marching band to be in the Christmas parade! We will only be there one night, but we will be seeing the Cirque de Soleil Love show, then head out by bus to the Hoover Dam and a nearby ghost town. Personally, I can’t wait to see Love!! Have fun while you are out there!

    • LOVE is utterly amazing. I’ve seen a fair number and variety of theatrical performances and it was my favorite ever. Have so much fun!

    • Yes, Love and O and Mystere (personal favorite) are wonderful. I haven’t seen the rest of the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil shows, but they are my favorite thing to do when I visit family there. There is also a funky little pinball arcade a bit off the strip, if you like that sort of thing.

  15. Top on my list of “things to do in Vegas if you don’t gamble” is a day pass to the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian. Good yoga classes, lovely spa area (from the website: Aquavana® Experience, a collection of European-style thermal cabins and aquatherapy environments), a relaxation room where I sometimes just hang out in a cushy robe and read and knit, etc. It’s my favorite place in Vegas:). And the cushy robe helps you deal with the “Boston in October” wardrobe!:)

    (Of course, at this moment, my VERY favorite thing to do would be to get a glimpse of my young Mormon missionary son, who is serving there right now! If you happen to run into any 19yos with ties and name tags, say hello:)

  16. Dancing Waters at the Bellagio. Then wander inside, get a nice cup of tea and people watch. After that, stretch a bit by visiting the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, just off the main lobby. And, of course over at the MGM there are lions and tigers to watch snooze. But even better is to watch the kids squealing and pointing as the lion walks overhead. And I second Red Rock Canyon, as well as a trip to Mt. Charleston just because it’s pretty and so unexpected in the desert.

      • I “third” Bellagio fountains, and be sure to walk into the lobby and look up – the ceiling is glass by Dale Chihuly and quite amazing. I’d personally pick Blueman Group but I’d bet any of the shows are great. Even this time of year, drink lots of water and wear that sunscreen!

  17. If you’re up for a long day of driving in the desert, Rachel, NV is an amusing trip (home of the Little A-Li-Inn, and all the Area 51 conspiracy theorists you’d ever want to meet, they’re all pretty nice).

  18. Oh, you poor lamb. I am so, so glad you managed to get there in the end, even if you are lacking somewhat in the warm weather laundry department.

    Your sweater, you don’t need me to tell you, is phenomenal. Gorgeous. I should get my own needles clicking in the direction of something green and snuggly…

  19. Total. Nightmare!! But, on the plus side? You weren’t travelling with kids! 😀 Small mercies and all that…As a fellow non gambler, while in Vegas, I loved the flower garden display thing in the Bellagio, the guided bus tour of the town and visiting Freemont St at night watching the zipliners under the illuminated canopy. Enjoy!

  20. I was in Vegas last month – and I’m also not a gambler, and not much of a drinker – but my friends were getting married and so there I was. There’s a lot to see. The flower display at the Bellagio was especially captivating!

  21. If you like music and don’t mind crazy women wearing sequins, pop down to the MGM Grand. The Sweet Adelines International Competition is happening there until Saturday. They like their sequins but it is amazing music and the women seems to share the same kind of crazy love for what they do that knitters do.

  22. If you want a great meal, for not much money, try Nora’s
    6020 West Flamingo (at Jones). Little hole in the wall place tucked in a shopping center that the locals love.
    Hope your visit is awesome!

  23. I think Vegas is a wonderful place to get stranded for a couple of days! I don’t gamble at all but I love to eat, drink (fancy cocktails), people watch and occasionally see a show or hang out by the pool. The water show at the Bellagio is stunning at night and they have a lovely glass art display inside. The Wynn has a nice outdoor cocktail patio to have drinks and they have an interesting show (lights/music/art) to see. Have fun!

  24. The Springs Preserve is a lovely botanical garden, and the Belagio has marvelous fountains (water show) as well as lovely flower designs inside.

  25. The Sweet Adelines International Convention is going on in Vegas. Quartet finals Friday chorus finals Saturday. If you have never heard good accapella singing live, go. It’s great. Check it out

  26. The cactus garden at Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory (and you get a free piece of chocolate!) The botanical garden at Springs Preserve. That garden was so interesting that we didn’t even make it into the museum. People have already mentioned the Bellagio’s garden and the Chihuly flowers but don’t forget about their fountains as well. The Neon Museum. Another fabulous place that I suspect you only find in Las Vegas. And, of course, walk up and down the Strip and explore anyplace that looks good to you. (By the way, when we were there last year we went to Elton John’s show! It was totally worth every penny – just in case he is in residence at the moment.)

  27. Clink – a toast to our Harlot! She pulled it off, and what a nice sweater it is!

    You and Joe have tons of fun! You deserve it after the cluster **** just getting to Vegas.

  28. I don’t gamble, and Vegas is one of my favourite places in the world. In fact, I have no idea why anyone would fly across the entire continent to such a fun place and then spend the whole time staring at a slot machine or whatever. But seriously, as I’m sure you’ve discovered by now, there is *tons* to do in Vegas that doesn’t involve gambling, and lots of it is even cheap or free. And as at least one other person has pointed out, if you have access to a vehicle, there’s lots of amazing scenery and stuff really close to the city (last year, my husband and I rented a motorcycle and rode through Death Valley. Ah. Maze. Ing.). So enjoy Vegas! (And let us know if you find any good yarn stores — that’s one thing I haven’t done any of the three(!) times I’ve been so far.)

  29. Next time I experience a travel snafu, I am going to try to channel you. I would not have dealt well at all with all that!

    Enjoy Vegas and try to store up some extra vitamin D to get you through the Canadian winter!

  30. I have been to Vegas many times and have yet to see outside of a conference room or casino, so likely not the best bet for suggestions on things to see. On the other hand, should you find your lovely non-spontaneous self wandering through a casino (which is purposefully hard to avoid in Vegas, there’s a reason those elevators are a mile away from the entrance), here are a couple of tips:
    1. Do not under any circumstances believe anyone who tells you Craps has the best odds and is easy to learn. All you will learn is to throw dice and watch them take your money. If you know how to play Yahtzee you already possess the first skill and the second one is not pleasant.
    2. Blackjack is good. Never hit on 17. Unless you’re feeling reckless and lucky. I’m guessing you used up any rampant reckless impulses by getting to Vegas and then venturing into the bar to watch the debate, so never hit on 17.

  31. Saw you at Rhinebeck (didn’t want to intrude) and your sweater looked lovely. What a perfect weekend it was this year. Enjoy Vegas. There’s a wonderful Asian restaurant called Tao. I forget which hotel its in, but you can google it. The food is wonderful and the ambiance very cool…dark with fountains and Budha’s. If Cirque de soleil is still there, its an amazing show.

  32. You… are a trooper. That is indeed a pile of something.

    My first Rhinebeck was amazing, the highlights being meeting you and Kate Atherley. Thanks for being polite when I accosted you coming out of a bathroom.

  33. Vegas was never on my radar until our son did his emergency residency there.
    Many wonderful things to do.A City Tour is a must.Red Rock Canyon is spectacular-mob museum is informative and the Lake Meade boat ride good.If you want Elton John tickets go to the box office and ask for the lady who comes from Calgary-she gave us fabulous seats.

  34. Zappos! (The shoe company) has a very interesting tour of their headquarters. It’s all offices and their unique business “culture”, but I doubt you’d see anything like it anywhere else. “Quirky/fun” pretty much describes it.
    You are supposed to get tickets ahead of time, but it might be worth checking with the hotel concierge or with Zappos themselves to see what’s available.

  35. Glad you got there in the end.

    When we travel and want to save money on accommodation we use airbnb. We’ve rented entire homes and cabins (you can also rent a room in someone’s house) around the world for much less than the cost of a hotel room.

  36. Mirage Fiber Arts is a lovely little shop on the way to Red Rock Canyon. Two birds – one stone! It’s relatively new and the ther people there are extra friendly! As a local, I can attest that this is a great city for non-gamblers. The people watching alone is worth the trip. You’re here at the perfect time, you can step outside without bursting into flames, which should make for a pleasant visit!

  37. Goodness! What a travel adventure! Hoping the rest of your time is w/o incident, and that you and Joe have a great time.
    Love your new Rhinebeck sweater: color, style, everything!

  38. Travel can be the worst, I’m glad the desk clerk was able to finally help! Our first time in Vegas we didn’t gamble, either (still don’t, really). What we did instead was play those giant oversized novelty slot machines. We took $20 and played them as we found them (I think they are like $1 or so). We knew we would lose the twenty, but it was a fun way to look around and play the casino without actually being out significant funds (or figuring out how the crazy video machines work!)

  39. Book a bus trip to the Grand Canyon! Lots of knitting time there and back. Bonus points if the trip goes to the Hoover Dam. The glass bridge is very cool but you can’t take your own pictures.
    Google free attractions in Las Vegas.

  40. We go annually to Las Vegas to visit my Father-in-Law. We don’t gamble, but there is plenty to do.
    There is a great Thai restaurant on the north side of town, in a very run down shopping center – Lotus of Siam. Well worth the trip.
    Your cardigan looks great, I wore a shawl to Rhinebeck this year – the weather was great.

  41. Find the nearest thift store and buy a pair of shorts and sneakers! Love your sweater. Beautiful photos too. Man that was a crappy trip but you stepped up to the being a good human challenge. Good for you.

  42. Go shopping.
    See Blue Man Group, or Cirque du Soliel’s Ka
    See Penn & Teller – I think they’re still in residence somewhere.
    Find a yarn shop. I know there’s a cross-stitch shop called Stitcher’s Paraside a couple of streets away from the main strip.
    Sit near the Bellagio fountains and watch the world go by – there’s always something interesting to see on the strip.

  43. Vegas is home to one of my favorite inventions ever: the cupcake ATM. You give the ATM $4.50 and it gives you a box with a delicious cupcake inside.

    It’s at the Sprinkles bakery, which is just a short walk from the wildlife sanctuary at the Flamingo. The sanctuary has a pelican named Virginia, and watching her eat is unexpectedly enthralling.

    Have a great time!

  44. I am so sorry you had all these problems traveling.
    I want to recommend that you find yourself a good, responsive travel agent. Maybe even one who knits!
    And then use a travel agent for all the travel you do. You will find the service fees worth it.
    I can say all this because I was in the industry for almost 30 years and often got calls at any time of day or night to rescue my clients and I did. In those days, the airlines paid us commission. They no longer do which is why there will probably be a service fee for each transaction. It’s totally worth it. I do the same now.

  45. We have a 2nd home in Las Vegas suburbs and are still finding new things to do. Red Rock Canyon is a great for hiking and photos. Also nice is Mt. Charleston (it’s actually an alpine climate) and the Valley of Fire State Park. If you go by car to the Hoover Dam, be sure to stop in Boulder City at the Boulder Dam Brewing Company. Lots of great craft beers that they don’t bottle. Can only get them there.

    The Grand Canyon is on many bucket lists, if you’ve never been there. South rim is at the National Park is actually nicer than the north, but farther from Vegas.

    Sin City Knits in Henderson is a great shop. Drop in knitting any time, different themed groups meet in the evenings, but the shop is still open. Say hi to Debbie, the owner.

    We have a list of favorite food place, depending on what you’re hungry for. Post back if you want suggestions.

    If you’re flexible on a show to see, try Tix4Tonight. They discout same day tickets as much as 50%. The kiosk in the Town Square Mall is never as busy as any of the others. Those are vouchers that you buy, though. Take them to the appropriate box office and pick up your tickets soon after you purchase. People watching is also a spectator sport on the strip or on Fremont Street in the evenings.

  46. I’m sorry that you had such a rough time. There’s really no excuse. I know that there’s a lot to do in Vegas if you don’t gamble, but I have no idea what those things might be. Go see some shows. Visit Red Rocks and the Hoover Dam. Get on Rav and see who lives in Las Vegas.
    As for me, when in Vegas I gamble, I drink, and I shop. And eat really good food. And right now, I am madly jealous.

  47. I’m a long time resident of Las Vegas (40 years) who knits and is a non-gambler. Welcome to a very unique place. It’s interesting to read what all the non residents who visit this city have to say about it. Like the woman who stated that the young Mormon missionary would stick out like a neon sign…not at all. There is a huge Mormon population in Las Vegas, some of the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. Las Vegas was founded by the Mormons…check out the Mormon Fort near downtown on Las Vegas Blvd. at Cashman Field.

    There are three knit shops in town, two east of the Strip: Sin City Knits on Windmill & Eastern. Unwind on So. Eastern. Mirage Fiber on Charleston & Oakey which is west of the Strip. All have a different vibe. Im sure all would be thrilled to have the Yarn Harlot show up at their store.

    Go to some of the buffets that are so popular among the tourists, the one at the Rio is super. Red Rock Canyon is worth the short drive away from the strip. One of my favorite places on earth. Also Valley of Fire for some very scenic rock formations where you’ll eventually end up at the north shore of Lake Mead. The Conservatory at the Bellagio is decorated for each season and is spectacular. So are the dancing waters after sundown.

    Enjoy your stay in Las Vegas and please return when the local knitters can come to one of your shows. The number of knitters here will astound you.

  48. You let that last person be a hero rather than a target. Thank you so much. I will keep my mental image of you at that spot in mind next time my plans go completely nutso and try to live up to your good graciousness.

    Mine was simply funny last week, watching dawn arrive at the airport, wishing I hadn’t booked us the early flight, stuck with a plane that couldn’t take off: it was a brand new plane, apparently a brand new type of plane, and the pilot prepping it had hit the wrong button and triggered a freefall of oxygen masks all down the plane just as we started boarding. Oops. Takes too long to fix, okay, park that over there, wait for the next plane!

  49. I’m so glad I was drinking a beer while reading this. Dude, I am never going to plan a last minute trip to Vegas. As for what to do there??? Netflix some Star Trek Voyager or Detectorists and knit. Maybe find a liquor store within walking distance and buy some beer.

  50. I was so certain that the long silence meant that the sweater was being held hostage in some lost luggage hell. So relieved.

  51. The Neon Museum -it is at the top of the strip. All the old signs are stacked about a HUGE yard, you have a knowledge tour/historic speaker tour your group about. You can book the tour on line prior, or not. daytime or night time (signs are ON).

    ALSO, the National Atomic Testing Museum (VERY close in to the strip at the more southen part)…this is part of the UNLV. Stunning, historical letters, offices of underground buildings used during the testing years, newspaper articles, ads for clothes for J.C.Penny – showing how the clothes made it through an atomic blast. fascinating, heart-rending. Magnificent bits of machinery here and there. wonderful.

    Also, although this is a depressing drive – it used to be scrumptious desert, now simply defeating string of houses and suburbia – the Dam. Pretty awe inspiring and knee weakening.

    Or, drive west into the Red Rock Canyon – 30 min from downtown. At first, another depressing forever stretch of houses, but then…wow. another world. nice hikes and things.

    I love vegas for NOT the strip.

  52. It was great to meet you at Rhinebeck, I never expected to be so lucky! I could tell you didn’t feel well, but you were still very gracious when I interrupted your yarn crawl. I hope you and Joe have a great time in Las Vegas!

  53. Wish I would have seen your quandary sooner. Heck, I would have driven the 2 hours to LA, and driven the 4 to Vegas as an adventure!

  54. I know I shouldn’t laugh at this: I know I shouldn’t. But “rip the living snot out of her” just cracked me up. I’m glad it all worked out. and I hope you and Joe have a glorious time in Las Vegas. You really are among the kindest people I’ve ever met.

  55. Depending on time, grand canyon is abt 4 hr drive and it is wonderful to be there now when it is not crowded. We did it last year at this time.

    • We just left there this morning. I didn’t have high expectations but I loved it! And Stephanie, it’s very cool there so you’d get use out of your sweaters.

  56. Vegas activities:
    1. Neon Museum – neon signs and history and general weirdness!
    2. Atomic Liquor – an old bar that used to be a place to watch the nuclear test blasts but now mostly has a dive feel and a quality cocktail menu
    3. Container park – weird outdoor mall thing made of shipping containers! I didn’t love the shops but the feel of the place was very interesting.

  57. Your hair looks great, grey or not. After many many “lowlights” that were usually 80% the wrong color, I have decided to grow out my grey/white hair. It looks kinda platinum and I’ve gotten many compliments – shouldda done this sooner/saved oodles of $$. I agree that, in spite of it being a grandpa sweater, sleeves need to be shortened. Other than that, gorgeous!! p.s. I wondered why you Instagrammed from LAX – I thought that was a crazy route from East Coast to Ontario!!

  58. Things probably already said dozens of times, but… I loved the Bellagio fountains and watched for hours. Good knitting place, weirdly contemplative sort of place. Also at the Bellagio, Chihuly’s glass exhibit. Fremont Street light show. Is the volcano at the Mirage still going? Or the Pirate Battles at Treasure Island? The moving statues at Caesar’s Palace. The gondola rides at the Venetian aren’t free I don’t think, but walking around is…

  59. Plane or helicopter to Grand Canyon. There must be a yarn shop or two to pop innocently into. Fremont Street, a gondola ride in the Venetian. The Bellagio has a glass ceiling that is to die for. The chocolate shop there is not bad either. I am not a gambler but Vegas is interesting and there is quite a bit to do. Have fun! Sorry you had such a hard time getting there!

  60. I am so happy to hear that the sweater made it, you left us with a cliffhanger.

    You have an infinite amount of patience, have a great holiday.

  61. This is about traveling, not Las Vegas. One of my dear friends, who travels as much as you, was on a flight to Hawaii recently and, on viewing the three people in line for first class and the one agent for them and then the hundred plus people waiting for coach, also looking at one lonely agent,
    tweeted a photo to Alaska Air saying essentially, what the …? Within minutes, seveal agents miraculously appeared to handle the waiting crowd. Hurray!

  62. Visit Hoover Dam. Visit Red Rocks and watch the amazing climbers climb rocks. My daughter is among them somewhere. There is wilderness outside of the circle of Vegas. Look out there.

  63. This is Head of the Charles time in Boston. It’s a big deal in the rowing world. Kind of the largest regatta in the world — for general regatta. Thousands of competitors plus tens of thousands of spectators. Cheap place = impossible. A place to stay period — quite tricky indeed.

  64. I bet tickets to Vegas were cheap because no one wanted to see that last debate. Thank goddess THAT’S over.

    And I think it’s karma for the perfect sweater you’re wearing. Just saying 🙂

  65. so sad you missed Boston at this time of year…it’s wonderful!

    Next time, try airbnb’ing it. Have had great luck, even when hotels don’t play nicely.

  66. Good on you for reverting to your default kindness! And your Rhinebeck sweater is beautiful! Glad you get a few days away with your love. (But I can’t wait to hear what clothes he *actually* brings for you.)

  67. People, the sleeves on Little Wave ARE cuffed–just not rolled up as high as Stephanie had them at that moment!! It’s allowed–in fact, it’s a design feature! =)

    • Oh, and clothing bought on vacation to deal with weather emergencies (as in, what I got don’t match what’s happening out there!) TOTALLY counts as souvenirs! Entirely legitimate…

      • Yes, the sleeves are cuffed, and turned back at the end of the ribbing, but these are rolled up higher and still cover half the hands. In my view, they’re too long. They look too long. But to each her own.

        • Fair, yes, I’m actually with you on that…but that’s maybe 2 inches too long, not the 8 or so that seems to be being implied in some comments…You know, for a total fashion plate icon that Stephanie obviously is I’m sure she’ll be shocked that we didn’t catch the subtle nuanced statement she was deliberately making with these sleeves…=)

  68. Omg, what a dreadful trip!!! And being sick to boot 🙁 But your sweater turned out fab!! You and Joe try to enjoy your few days in Vegas.

  69. What are those adorable puppets that Amy is holding? Please tell me they can be mine for some combination love, money or knitting.

  70. I spent 5 1/2 hours on the phone yesterday trying to resolve an issue… Being transfered around and around made me an unhappy camper. I did apologize at one point for being snippy with the 5th or 6th person I talked too… But then she transfered me back to the 2nd person I talked too… And by the time I get back to her I was done apologizing to anyone. So good for you for enhancing the much deserved reputation Canadians have for being nice. It’s a shining examp to the rest of us. (I did get lots of knitting done while on the phone so a plus therr) (oh. And after all that time, I have to write a letter. The issue can’t be resolved on the phone or in email.)

  71. Greetings from the UK (the sticky-out bit on the south-west)! I hope your cold is all better, that your travel woes are all sorted and that you have shortened those sleeves (Yes, they do need it). When are you going to fly the Atlantic – your UK friends need you? xx

  72. Your hair is a lovely shade of grey. My eldest granddaughter (8 now) informed me a few years ago that my hair was not golden like hers (it never has been), it was silver. That has made all the difference.

  73. I I was just in Vegas in August in the sweltering heat! Near Freemont St. is the Container Park – all built from shipping containers. Cool shopping and great authentic Mexican and BBQ. Yum! Also, see the gigantic praying mantis from Burning Man spew fire at night. We also wanted to check out the Neon Museum. (used in the movie Mars Attacks) You need to book your tickets ahead of time. It’s kinda a neon sign graveyard. Best to go at night when they light them up. I never got to go. Next time… 🙂

  74. Welcome to my home town! I wish I were there to welcome you myself! Go to red Rock, and dont take the cat buses they are terrifying. Have fun!

  75. Hi Stephanie. Sad to hear about your travel issues. I think everyone on the planet who has flown can relate. 🙂 As I was reading your post, I thought what you need is a list of back up people. especially in the large cities. a list of people that simply would be fine for you to stay the night in a pinch and leave without requiring long visits. For example, I have a guest RV at my house that I would be fine for you to stay in while traveling through. 🙂 But I don’t live in LA. Maybe just keep your eye out on who you meet as you travel, because helping someone can be a very nice feeling, and not a being put out feeling. 🙂

  76. In and Out Burger. Eat there. And then leave Vegas. Go hiking somewhere in the desert. Explore powerline “roads”. When you rent a vehicle, do not ask for the SUV with the highest clearance level (highest above the ground), just find it and take it. They don’t like to think you will take it off roading. I hate Vegas, but my research area is 1.5 hrs away in Searchlight, NV. I studied the rocks there, geology. Tour the Hoover Damn. See the Grand Canyon.

  77. Rent a car and see Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam, buy a bathing suit for the pool, go to some shows and eat, eat and eat some more.

  78. I cast my vote for the Hoover Dam Tour. My husband and I did that last month while in Las Vegas. The tour was fascinating. Something I will never forget. The Dam is truly a magnificent feat of architecture.

  79. You know Stephanie, there are tons of knitters in Boston that would put you up for free? you know that right? Should you ever find yourself in the warm south and need a place to sleep just Instagram your need. You will be amazed at the number of people that would love to have you visit. I gambled, lost $8.00 and then … quit.
    Viva! Los Vegas!!!

    • Fair, yes, I’m actually with you on that…but that’s maybe 2 inches too long, not the 8 or so that seems to be being implied in some comments…You know, for a total fashion plate icon that Stephanie obviously is I’m sure she’ll be shocked that we didn’t catch the subtle nuanced statement she was deliberately making with these sleeves…=)

    • Sorry–the comment below was SUPPOSED to post under the sleeve discussion–technology is great until it isn’t.

      HERE I wanted to say: that’s an awesome idea!! Very Amanda Palmer–esp in the early days she would ask from the stage whether there was anyone in the audience she could stay with after the concert, and she says it almost always worked out amazingly! You have to have a certain tolerance for…what? Risk? Social awkwardness??! hmmm…

  80. I can probably determine that airline you with the missed flight, the airline they supposedly connected you to, and, obviously, the airline you were with in the end. We went through a similar ordeal, also dealing with a connection at LAX, on Giftmas last December. All we wanted was a trip to NOLA with a good day and a half to explore the city before our cruise. ::sigh:: Stupid airlines. I did lose it in the airport and wound up a mess of tears with two screaming children.

  81. The Neon Museum is great, even during the day. There is, surprisingly, a “wetlands” refuge where you can see turtles, herons, fish and birds. The Las Vegas Springs Reserve is a nature park and cactus garden where the original Vegas springs were located. And Clark County has a nice museum with homes from the early days of Vegas. Red Rocks and Hoover Dam are fabulous.

  82. Welcome to New England in the fall. Often not a room to be had in October for all the leaf peepers that come to, well, leaf peep. Surprisingly, people come from Europe to New England in October. I would think that they have colorful areas there, but apparently it’s New England.

    The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival is the first weekend in October, but much smaller than Rhinebeck. Maybe that can go on your bucket list for some day.

  83. “The Beatles: LOVE” – Cirque du Soleil is utterly magnificent. It’s like being on an acid trip without using drugs. Plus, Beatles’ music! Each of the theatre’s seats has its own special sound system so you feel as though you’re IN the production. Well, you actually are.

  84. See a show! If that is too expensive, just walk up and down the strip, because Vegas is one of the best people-watching places EVER. Don’t miss the fountain show at the Bellagio. Also, there are some really great restaurants.

    Unfortunately, the best yarn store is located far from where most hotels are located. But I assume you brought plenty of knitting with you.

  85. Sin City Knit Shop — best yarn store around! I always imagine women with bad tattoos, fish net socks with holes in them, and cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, while knitting baby blankets! You MUST go!!!

  86. Sin City Knit Shop — best yarn store around! I always imagine women with bad tattoos, fish net socks with holes in them, and cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, while knitting baby blankets! You MUST go!!! And Boulder City, about 45 min. out of Vegas is a lovely little city in the desert. In the basement of the old hotel there used to be a small shop run by the local artist guild, where they sell everything from photography to weaving, knitting spinning, jewelry, all made by local artists — I couldn’t tell from their website if they are still there, but the breakfast in the restaurant is worth the stop anyway. and it’s on your way to Hoover Dam. Don’t judge Las Vegas or even Nevada by the strip!

  87. So sorry to hear about the cold! I am extra thankful you paused for a photo with me. And happy to report I do NOT have the cold crud!!

  88. I know you’ve had 6 million (CAD = 9 million USD) ideas about what to do in Lost Wages…while you wait for Joe. I’d say, find a show. Cirque de Soleil is said to be amazing. Any Canadian superstar. You’ll enjoy ’em and feel like you’re at home at the same time. Hugs!

  89. To me, Vegas is just the cheap flight so I can head back east towards Utah. Make a stop on the way at Valley of Fire State Park (still in Nevada, 1 hr) to see the petroglyphs, then head for Zion Canyon. (2.5 hrs) If you’ve time after than, head for Bryce, just over an hour away. Canyon country is amazing, have to see it to believe it, and if you’ve seen one, you have not seen them all, heck, they’re completely different depending on the time of day!

  90. My first thought when I saw your hair was what a gorgeous colour grey it is. It is really lovely and the colour of your sweater complemented it beautifully!

  91. Next time opt for Wichita. Not a lot to see, but the guest room is free and although this is the land of beef, there is some decent vegetarian food to be had.

  92. Ethel M chocolate factory tour, Cranberry World West tour (I think it’s still there,) Ziplining in the canyon, Tour Hoover Dam, Red Rock Visitor’s Center, my Vegan friend high recommends the Veggie House restaurant.

  93. It’s probably been said – but either Zion National Park or the Grand Canyon are within driving distance. We used Las Vegas as the jumping off point to a wonderful southwest tour a few years ago.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Hood River next weekend — My daughter’s boyfriend’s mother & I are going to the Fiberfest together.

  94. Ugh, what a horrendous experience! My blood pressure was going up just reading about it. You held it together well. Hope you are enjoying some relaxing time now. BUT, that sweater! It’s gorgeous and looks great on you.

  95. Oh, bless you! I imagibne how frustrated and tired you were! And bless you for your insight and understanding of the position the service person was in! I have been in customer service for more than 25 years, and it”s always a pleasure when someone recognizes we are people and not there to make it worse. We really want to make it better!

    As to what to do in Vegas, see the shows, find some wonderful food, check out the area beyond the Strip. People actually live there, and can point you to some amazing things.

    Enjoy the time off!

  96. If it’s not to late to add….Sin City Knit Shop
    2165 E Windmill Ln #200, Las Vegas, NV 89123
    10AM–4PM Phone: (702) 641-0210

    Was there on about my birthday in July. Some lovely stuff!

  97. Hi, so sorry for your hassles getting here but I think you handled it beautifully. We met at the Arkansas Fibre Festival a couple of year ago. You probably won’t remember but I’m the single-handed Kiwi that was in your speed knitting class. We’re in Las Vegas, my husband and I, and I thought if you’re looking for company for dinner tonight or tomorrow night we could pick you up and you could join us. I’ll email you my number. Cheers, Jeanette

  98. We don’t gamble either, but had a good time in/near Vegas. One friend from the group was delayed, but our off-strip hotel had a free airport shuttle. They were happy to drop us off at the W-Mart right near the airport where we picked up water and snacks. Someone forgot their bathing suit, and grabbed one while we were there. They also had postcards and really silly souvenirs, so we killed a couple of birds with one stone.

    When our friend arrived with the rental car (cheaper and easier to book online from home than in person at the airport) we rode out to the Hoover Dam/Lake Meade area. There ARE tours ($$) , but we were happy enough to walk along the Dam ourselves and take pictures. You can photo yourself with one foot in Nevada and one in Arizona if you are so inclined. Be sure to drink a lot- it’s VERY easy to get dehydrated out there.

    The people-watching on the Strip is fantastic. Nothing like it. Next time I’d like to get a lawn chair and just sit there and watch for a few hours. If you sit and knit for a while and people would probably drop money in your coffee cup! 🙂

    Fremont Street is the older part of town. Also good people watching there, plus the old casinos and their neon signs, and a light show under the roof.

    Almost every hotel/casino has free things to see. After all, they want to entice you to come/stay there. We’d ask a hotel employee about the special features of their hotel, and they’d tell us “Oh, you must see ….” and they’d direct us how to get there, or the best time to enjoy that event.

    The only thing we DIDN’T get to see was the Neon Boneyard, which hosts all the vintage neon signs they’ve been able to restore. Still sad we ran out of time for that.

    Enjoy your mini-vacation with Joe!!

  99. Good for you for how you handled it all–for being brave and spontaneous, and for taking the high road with the airline clerk who was just doing her job. I’ve been in customer service for most of my life (most of it from the other side of a computer screen), and you’re right–you get MUCH better service if you remember you are talking to a human being with feelings and pride that can be wounded and a pathological desire to help if you treat them right. 🙂 Enjoy your adventure in Vegas. 🙂

  100. Although I am not a knitter, I love reading your blog! Being married to an airline pilot, and also not being a spontaneous traveler myself, I could so relate to your travel woes in attempting to fly to Las Vegas. Kudos to you for realizing how best to deal with customer service, when so many people cannot. I hope you enjoy your adventures in Las Vegas and that we will get to read about them as well!

  101. Los Vegas is so very not Rhinebeck… feeling rather sorry for you. An idea for another time: short train ride to lovely Providence for you. Mega bus to Buffalo airport (not longer than getting out to Pearson and through international security etc), and then Southwest to Providence for DH.

  102. Personally, i found the Hoover Dam as boring now as 1970 when I was 10. But the gift store/restaurant is great for ice cream. Drive on east to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. re sleeves — you could put thumbholes in the cuffs and then it’s a sweater with built-in mitts, which supposedly is trendy.

  103. Ditto the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Hoover Dam. People watching is also fun. My sister likes the window shopping (for the winning gamblers) and the eating.

    Your travel story adds proof to one of my travel proverbs: Every hundred thousand miles or so, things go kablooey. And it is worth the effort to be as polite as possible to the hapless grunts in uniforms who are forced to deal with the traveling public. They are doing the best they can, even when the exhausted traveler can’t see it.

  104. If you stop by Sin City Knits and talk to them about the possibility of a class in, say, Jan. or Feb. when it’s COLD in Toronto, that makes the whole trip a marketing effort and tax-deductible. Then go to the top of the Freemont and knit and people watch until the Sun goes down. Sams’s town has a cool retro anamatronic laser show at sundown. The aquarium at the Silverton Hotel is way cool.. Divers put on a show narrated by an actual marine biologist. Also, tricked out motorcycles. Cheap fun. Bellagio conservatory is so pretty. Bliss Dance at the park between the Monte Carlo and New York, New York. Circus, circus has mini shows every half hour to promote the big show. Lots of great food everywhere.
    Julie in San Diego, hoping to see you this winter…

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