August 3, 2004

There and here (or "Link-o-rama")

It's done. Today I've been knitting on the little baby sweater,


(and the poncho, but that looks pretty much the same) and making tons and tons of phone calls to the Maritimes. Arrangements have been made, itineraries set, campgrounds booked and I have finally set the dates and plans for the Harlot Family Holiday. I really couldn't be more excited. I'll be blogging as usual this week, but then then we run out of Toronto at a thousand miles an hour on Saturday morning. Our itinerary looks like this:
Saturday: a flight from Toronto to St. Johns. Newfoundland. We spend three very cool days in the capitol, visiting Joe's family and friends, whale watching, touring, and desperately trying to avoid getting "screeched in". This is something of which I have a mortal fear, though I can't say why. While I don't eat fish, I'm not scared of them or anything, I think it's the screech. Knitting stops (what? You didn't think I'm just going for the family thing...did ya?) in St. Johns include Nonia, and Harpur's Knitting Centre.
Tuesday (10th August) we move into the rest of Newfoundland, especially the West Coast, where we'll visit the towns that Joe grew up in, like Pasadena and Corner Brook. I'm very excited about Gros Morne National Park, and Strawberry Hill. I don't know about knitting shops in the area, but it's enough to imagine sitting on a cliff overlooking the sea, knitting with the wind in my hair.
Saturday: A ferry ride from Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador to North Sydney, Nova Scotia. The crossing takes hours. Prime knitting hours. About six. This will be, by far and away the biggest boat I have ever been on, and it's crossing the biggest water I've ever been on. I'm completely flipped out about being on the ocean. Completely flipped out. When we get off the ferry, Joe's sister Kelly (who is a fine knitter) will meet us and bring our sea-sick little selves to her home in Cape Breton. We'll arrive just in time to celebrate Megan's birthday with the cousins, and I'll knit with my feet in the ocean. Late Sunday night Ken arrives with the bikes.
Monday (16th August) - another ferry, this time from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands P.E.I. This one is shorter, only 75 minutes, but crosses The Northumberland Straight, a sometimes "Whale highway". Darned pretty. We park the Ken's car in Charlottetown and camp there.
Tuesday we ride our bikes to Borden.
Wednesday it's on to Cabot Beach.
Thursday, because we have three daughters, we'll ride on to Cavendish, home of Anne of Green Gables. This part of the trip is really for me. I'm pretending that I'm going for the girls, but really the Anne books were such an enormous part of my childhood that I can't wait to see it all.
Friday we ride back to Charlottetown, coming across the Confederation Trail.
Saturday Ken and Joe begin the drive back to Toronto, while the children and I get back on the ferry to return to Kelly's house in Cape Breton. This trip is really only so I can get to Baadeck yarns. Otherwise known as "The Whole Reason Our Trip Is To The Maritimes This Year". Don't tell Joe.

Tuesday or Wednesday I'll be back, and normal blogging should return. I'm still trying to figure out how to blog from the road, and I have yet to figure out how I'm going to get to Fleece Artist. Don't tell Joe that either.

Posted by Stephanie at August 3, 2004 3:35 PM

I'm feeling very faint and all's spinning around me. How LONG will you be gone?
Yeah, and I envy you that trip. Fabulously exotic. I'm only going to Europe in September. Who *hasn't* been there. Pish.

Posted by: Valentina at August 3, 2004 3:50 PM

One of my great regrets is that I have 2 sons and I fear that they will never truly appreciate Anne Shirley as I did. I am just about as jealous as I have ever been, about your trip to Cavendish. Do a few rows for me while you're there.

Posted by: Nancy at August 3, 2004 3:54 PM

Oh no! What will I do! You're my late-afternoon @ work salvation!

You will be missed.

Posted by: Natalie at August 3, 2004 3:54 PM

Just as I'm clicking links and thinking how idiotic I must be to think of St. Johns as inherently romantic just because I'm humming "...there isn't that much water between Boston and St. John's," I click the "screeched in" link and now I'll be spending the afternoon irritating my colleagues by belting out "We'll RANT and we'll ROoooAR like true Newfoundlanders..." (In on the chorous, Merrick.) Does Joe get to hang out with Great Big Sea, huh, huh? Swear some year I'm skipping family Christmas so I can be at the St. John's Christmas Eve concert...

Posted by: rams at August 3, 2004 3:55 PM

We went to PEI when I was eleven--I remember that ferry!--and my parents drove by Cavendish but decided we didn't have time to tour it. I've regretted that ever since. They had four daughters, all reading those books that trip--what were they thinking!

And a few years ago I was visiting the folks in Maryland and Mom mentioned some scratchy yarn she'd found in a box in the basement, with no idea of where it had come from. I described it exactly, and she asked, "How did you know?"

Because I remember her buying it at some place in PEI that owned the sheep it came from. Maybe you'll find yarn from the descendants of those sheep. (Nah, look for something softer.)

Posted by: AlisonH at August 3, 2004 4:03 PM

My sister and I went to PEI last summer. We are also Anne fans and went to all the sites we could. I recommend breakfast at the PEI Preserve Company.

We also made a wild U-turn on the way "home" from the potato museum when we saw a sign for Kool Wool. It was a neat little shop, run by a very friendly knitter, who takes yarn made from island's sheeps wool and dyEs it with Kool-Aide. I bought some that looked like Cotton Candy and knitted some socks on the plane home.

Whatever you do Avoid the Anne musical. My sister and I went and were Dismayed.

Hope you have a great time. Am terribly envious to think of you pedalling around the Maritimes while I am stuck here in Texas where the heat grows daily.

Posted by: kern at August 3, 2004 4:09 PM

Preparing myself for Harlot withdrawal. I will miss you and the daily belly laughs. Fortunately I will know that you are having a marvelous time, developing those sexy, shapely calves and infusing your yarn with salt sea air. Greet PEI for me and tell them that I'll get there next summer. Now I'm off to hunt down my Anne of Green Gables books...

Posted by: Nathania at August 3, 2004 4:23 PM

I was in Corner Brook last September - what a pretty little city it was! I'd go back to Newfoundland in a heartbeat. Hope you have a WONDERFUL vacation!

Posted by: Robbyn at August 3, 2004 4:25 PM

Does that mean you're not driving back to Toronto as well? You're missing all those prime yarn stores on the drive back to TO? There's Tangled Skeins in Dartmouth (not far from the Fleece Artist)... Cricket Cove in Blacks Harbour and St. Andrews, New Brunswick... and just think of all those places in Maine and New Hampshire and Vermont on the way to Upper Canada!!!!!!! It would be worth all the yucky, sticky car time just for those pit-stops...
I haven't been to Baadeck yarns, but drove by the CLOSED shop on a business trip this spring. I'm actually looking forward to my next 4+ hour drive from Halifax/Dartmouth to Sydney, just so I can pass through Baddeck. to think I used to shed tears about making that trip on my own... Have a great vacation!

Posted by: Stephanie VW at August 3, 2004 4:28 PM

I will survive being Harlot-less for a few days. I will survive being Harlot-less for a few days. Rubbish. Who am I kidding? Perhaps you could post twice a day until your departure, just to help ease the pain later. Enjoy PEI. I'd love to do the Anne thing someday. I'll pass on the fish-kissing, though.

Posted by: Samina at August 3, 2004 4:37 PM

I'm jealous. That's all there is to it - jealous of your trip to PEI. Have a wonderful time!!! Share much when you get back - I'll miss your wonderufl postings. (gotta keep telling myself... its only a week. its only a week)

Posted by: melissa at August 3, 2004 4:47 PM

I loved visiting the Anne house in Cavendish with my girls two years ago. A bit surreal, though. Touring the house like that, it felt like Anne was a real person. I had to keep reminding myself that she was just a fictional character.

Posted by: Sarah at August 3, 2004 4:49 PM

I wonder how I could stow away... Sounds like SO much fun! May the wind be at your back and gently blowing through your hair.

Posted by: Vicki at August 3, 2004 4:49 PM

My family went to PEI the summer of 1990 -- drove up from New Jersey. We stayed in a cottage just in back of the Green Gables house. I remember being amazed that the sun was still up at 10:30 pm. The Haunted Woods are fun. :) I remember Cavendish being very pretty, and there was a tea room that my praents said had the best lobster (I would know I don't eat lobster).
Charlottetown was really nice, too. We went to the musical, and as musicals go it was pretty good.... cute. I think I still have a tape of the songs around somewhere.
One of these days I'm going to have to convince my husband to go to PEI since he's never been to any of the Maritime provences, which I find odd since he's from Ottawa.

Posted by: Liz at August 3, 2004 5:08 PM

What an ambitious vacation! Sounds like fun and lots of beautiful scenery. Glad you will be around this week and we'll try to get by without you...sigh.

Posted by: margene at August 3, 2004 5:13 PM

And as soon as you get home you can start saving for MS&W. Even if your admirers have to take up a collection to get you there. You have food and board taken care of.

Maybe I should start a paypal account to get Stephanie to sheep & wool.

Posted by: lizzy at August 3, 2004 5:56 PM

This is how I read your post...blahblahblahblahBaadeck.

Baadeck! Nice job concocting the elaborate ruse to get yourself there. Devious, and a tad criminal. And *I* should know.

Posted by: claudia at August 3, 2004 6:25 PM

"...I can handle a jigger, I cuts a fine figure, whenever I gets in a boat's standing room.
We'll rant and we'll roar..."
If you get to Fleece Artist, Steph, bow to them for me.
If you should see the Lovely Alan Doyle, well, try to act casual, and don't get too drawn in to the GREEN eyes and the whole-visage smile, and...and...and...

Posted by: Kathy Merrick at August 3, 2004 6:27 PM

...and =hair=, and hair...

Posted by: rams at August 3, 2004 7:09 PM

You're going to Green Gables.

*dies of jealousy*

Posted by: jae at August 3, 2004 10:29 PM

What?? No mention of the rare Newfoundland sheep? Surely this is the reason for your vacation. Yes a little sheep adventure. Wouldn't Joe and the girls want to pet a rare little lamb or two? It could mean future rats and sweaters too.

Nova Scotia is home to the Helen Black center and a good place to visit if you happen to be a fiber-holic.

I can stand the no blog but surely you will write about the Newfoundland sheep and their fleece. I mean the Maritimes are great places to visit. The music is toe tapping and the's screech. But the fiber Stephanie. You can't forget those sheep!!

Anna Mae Liscomb

Posted by: Anna Mae at August 3, 2004 11:26 PM

Stephanie, I have a really good seasick diver solution if you really, really don't want to get seasick and don't want to fall asleep over your knitting (from the dramamine). For reference, I get seasick from looking to closely at a PICTURE of the ocean. ick. Anyway, it is called TripTone and you usually can only get it at dive shops, if at all. You take two tabs the night before before you go to bed, and two tabs in about an hour before boarding the boat and NOT on an empty stomach. The only side effects are dry mouth and sometimes a moment or two of mild dizziness about 15 minutes after you take the tabs. TripTone is truly a miracle. Since you're leaving so soon, if you'd like to try them, email me your address and I'll overnight mail a box of the stuff to you. btw, no, i'm not a sales rep for TT! just a grateful consumer... Enjoy either way, that vacation sounds amazing..

Posted by: caroline at August 4, 2004 9:16 AM

The YH says: " it's enough to imagine sitting on a cliff overlooking the sea, knitting with the wind in my hair." Now, Steph, you know, I know and all your blog-readers know that this is not the Harlot way! The reality will be the wind whips your hair into your eyes causing you to drop knitting over the cliff. Mr. H. will attempt to rescue (knowing that Mrs. H. will heave rack his way if he succeeds). Hilarious mishaps occur. The young H's meanwhile have decided that mother H should be screeched and are in search of puffin so she can kiss its arse. Hilarious mishaps occur and a photo is taken of the Dublin Bay sock kissing a puffin's arse. Now that's the Harlot way! Have a great time!

Posted by: Mary at August 4, 2004 10:11 AM

We did the PEI trip 2 years ago. Cavendish is the most touristy place on the island. ( Thought Anne the Musical was worth it (either you're the musical kind or you're not) You can also go horseback riding on the beach there. Big, big sky. Big, big sea. You'll love it. Avoid the screech thing at all costs.

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 4, 2004 11:14 AM

I'm so happy that you're taking your vacation at the same time I am (we're leaving Friday). This way I don't have to wonder what I'm missing, and will only be home for about two harlot-free days before you return. I feel for all your other (addicts) readers, but this will make my vacation more bearable. Isn't it pathetic how we've come to depend on you? Raise your hand if you suffer withdrawal on weekends.

My 3 newfie friends tried to convince me once that they were allowed to screetch me in even though I had never been to Newfoundland, simply because they had created a "pocket" of Nfld. in Ontario just by moving here. Unfortunately I AM afraid of fish, desperately and ridiculously afraid of them. So I had to settle for just drinking the Screetch. Ick! Kissing the cod might have almost been more pleasant, despite my ichthyophobia.

Have a great time!

Posted by: jodi at August 4, 2004 11:19 AM

Well, yeah, Ramsey, of course the hair.
And the pipes. The truly amazing pipes.

Posted by: Kathy Merrick at August 4, 2004 12:04 PM

I have been a life long martyr to seasickness, married to a man who is part fish.

A few years ago I found elastic wristbands with a accupressure bump in the motion sickness section of our local drugstore. They are called Seabands, and they truly work. Take it from a woman who has "horked" on a raft in a swimming pool, and in every major body of water the world over. Once I found these little miracles, I was able to cruise some very rough seas on the North Atlantic and maintain my dignity.

Posted by: carla rey at August 4, 2004 1:01 PM

(I'd say 'and the bodhran' but don't think I'm spelling it properly...)

Do you see what happens here, beloved Harlette (no, wait, they were Bette Midler's backup group) on the days the posting is lateish? We all hang around the waiting room chatting and drinking and knitting and laughing. If there are no posts for over a week you're liable to come home to find 2,573 comments on the last posting and bodies behind the couch.

Posted by: rams at August 4, 2004 1:02 PM

rams -- bwah! (And I do think bodhran is correct.)

I like Mary's coping strategy -- imagining what Stephanie's adventures are going to be like. Maybe you could leave us an open thread before you go, Steph? Please? :)

Posted by: Rana at August 4, 2004 1:23 PM

I know you've probbaly answered this ques. a million times but could you tell me what pattern you used for your poncho? It's super spectacular!

Posted by: Beverly at August 4, 2004 1:36 PM

"Bodhran" is indeed correct.
However, the Lovely Alan Doyle doesn't play the bodhran.
He plays the guitar and the mandolin and the bouzouki and the five string banjo.
AND he SINGS gloriously.

Posted by: Kathy Merrick at August 4, 2004 2:25 PM

You need to figure out how to get to the Fleece Artist. I have had visitors so I haven't been reading your blog every day and I don't see Halifax anywhere on your trip itinerary:(
susanna in Halifax
p.s. my e-mail isn't working just now but i think i already sent you contact info

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