That’s why they call it Mean time

So far, so good.  This year’s road trip is going swimmingly.  We dodged a crazy storm that looked like a wall coming at us…

Literally seven drops of rain fell on the car while we skirted the edge of this monstrosity, and while severe wind made it a little scary to drive, we did fine.  We crossed the border like it wasn’t even there- there was an odd flinch from the border guard at the words "spinning retreat" but he waved us on without anything more.  We bopped along to a fantastic soundtrack (courtesy of both our ipods and the fact that we were both 16 at about the same time) and when it got dark Rachel took the wheel and I knit.

Gripping, I know.  Just a little plain sock start, something I don’t need to be able to see to knit.  (Someone will ask, so the yarn is a STR rare gem, one of a kind colour.)  We blew along, guided by Daniel the GPS, until we quit driving last night in the bustling metropolis of Paw Paw Michigan.  We ate dinner in the only place we could find that wasn’t a fast food place, had something really disappointing called a "Bosco stick" that sounded good but turned out to be deep fried- then screened three hotel/motels, chose the least bates-esque" and went to sleep.

This entry is brought to you by the fact that last night, lying in the hotel room in Paw Paw Michigan, thinking about when to set our alarms, Rachel H and did some mediocre thinking.  If we get up at 7:30, we thought, and boogie out the door by 8:30 we can be in the fine city of Chicago by 10:30.  That would give us time to visit some yarn some nice people, have lunch and then, with almost no effort at all, we could strike out from the city about 12ish, and still be at SOAR by 3:00 like we’re supposed to.  Perfect, we thought, and the plan was struck.  We were both pretty crazy tired, and it was a little late,  and both of us wished that there was another hour or two of sleep in there, but what can you do. Time is what it is.  We set the alarm for 7:30.

The night passed (in our insanely overheated hotel room with the window screen that is actually a magical forcefield that won’t let cool fresh air in) and when we woke up at 7:30 it hit both of us simultaneously.

We’re crossing a time zone line.  We start driving here in Eastern time, and pretty quick, before Chicago for sure, whammo.  Central time hits you like a large wet fish and it’s an hour earlier.   We could totally have slept another hour.

That’s the sort of thing a GPS should tell you. 

168 thoughts on “That’s why they call it Mean time

  1. I envy you SOAR — but not much, as next year it will be in my own back yard. I will be able to *commute* to it, that’s how close it will be, and that’s the only way I’ll ever be able to do SOAR, so I am totally carping the diem.
    I envy you that yarn that I by definition can’t have, but not much, as I have sock yarn that you can’t have. (Can you say “Wollmeise”?)
    But that sky picture? I totally envy you. What a rush.
    Have a fabulous time!

  2. I am from Cincinnati and I have heard of and been to Paw Paw Michigan. My husband’s aunt and uncle live there. I thought he was joking the first time he told me that they live in Paw Paw. (I only ever heard of paw paws from a song I learned in grade school: “picking up paw paws, putting ’em in a the basket.”) Hope you enjoy your spinning retreat. And thanks for all your humorous blog posts. It’s not often I laugh out loud when reading, but your posts usually get me to do that. 🙂

  3. “Entering new time zone in 200 yards. Prepare to go back in time.”
    I think, given how crazy your days were 36 hours ago (give or take a time zone) a vanilla sock makes perfect sense.

  4. Shame. I’m sure that extra hour of sleep would have been appreciated but then again, you get an extra hour of yarn shopping. It’s a good trade.

  5. Totally random song popped into my head when I read “Paw Paw Michigan” : The Bare Necessities, from The Jungle Book. I think I need more coffee.
    Happy SOARing!

  6. this is about 24 hours too late to help, but I was recently searching for a good dinner in Paw Paw and ended up finding really good cheap Lebanese food in Kalamazoo (where there are also amazing doughnuts and a microbrewery.) If you’re heading home that way ….

  7. Ouch, dang. Yeah, those time zones will get you, one way or another. But, hey, now you get another hour to spend in Chicago! Of course, I’m a wee bit biased, as it’s my home!

  8. Or another hour knitting, or another hour crawling yarn shops, or another hour looking for yarn shops…either way, it all balances out…that hour will be gone when you turn around to head home!

  9. But, what are you going to do with TWO whole extra hours, when you get home? The clocks “fall back” to Standard Time on Sunday at 2 a.m.
    I hope you have an awesome time at SOAR. I’ll get there someday, but, for now, I’ll enjoy it vicariously, through you.

  10. Hopefully the easy border crossing balanced out the time zone mistake. I hope you have a wonderful time at SOAR- one filled with enough good memories to fill up this year’s SOAR allotment and last year’s empty one too.

  11. little did you know you were in the wine “capital” of Michigan, and did you remember that you GAIN an hour once you cross into IL.? You may have been able to do both — sleep and shop!

  12. I’m with everybody that said an hour of extra yarn shopping is worth it. I always appreciate having more time to browse. I don’t necessarily buy more that way, but I enjoy my purchases more!

  13. Not to start a debate, as I leave town, but I believe the (stupid)time change is next weekend, Nov 6-7. I saw it on a calendar somewhere…

  14. Ack! Math in the morning is not my strong suit. The magic of Standard Time does indeed roll in this weekend, but it means you’re already living on Eastern Standard Time, two days early.

  15. Just think of this as a bonus hour of knitting, shopping, getting settled, etc. before beginning your adventure at SOAR. I envy your proximity to lots of people who not only “get” but participate in spinning for pleasure. Co-workers, neighbors, etc. either get a frozen perma-grin (which translates into “I think you’re crazy and don’t want to upset you or make any sudden moves”) and nod their heads slowly or flat out laugh when I tell them that I spin. Ironically, I live just a stone’s throw across the River from Famous Tina (STR type) and just a mere 30 minutes from Portland, which is teeming with spinners. Alas, enough lamenting. Enjoy your emersion and please take lots of pictures to share.

  16. Hey, Bosco sticks used to be good in middle school! They had to put a limit on the number each student could buy, haha.
    Have fun at SOAR and yarn shopping in Chicago. There are so many yarn shops there!

  17. Loving the storm picture, but I’m glad you were able to miss anything severe.
    Sleep is for wimps. Sleep less – shop more!!!

  18. Years agi we got lost in Chicago so I do hope Daniel knows what he is doing . With the extra hour you should still be ok tho. Good luck and thnks for the post and pictures. Love that yarn for the sock.

  19. Like daylight savings but road-trip style — love it! I wish I crossed a time zone in my commute that allowed me to leave work an hour early… !!

  20. Yeah–the MI wine country thing is what PawPaw is known for–all of extreme SW Michigan for that matter. Probably better food at the winery tours, too.

  21. Love that cloud picture! It’s the kind of thing that I try to capture all of the time with sky shots. I totally commiserate on the time zone thing, it will be happening to me as I travel to Detroit this weekend!

  22. Good morning!
    Good thing you missed those awful storms.
    Have an amazing time at SOAR! One of these years I am going to pull it together and get out there.

  23. Last fall while vacationing in Tennessee, that pesky time zone thing (eastern TN is on eastern time, central and western, on central time) enabled me to hang out at a very cool yarn shop and snag some great yarn (thanks to my wonderful husband). Gotta love time zones! 😉
    Glad the storm didn’t cause too many problems for you. It was pretty intense here!

  24. That really must have been some magical forcefield on the window- we had 30 mile an hour winds last night, gusts up to 60!
    If you do make a return trip the same way, my friend has a blog where he reviews restaurants in the Kalamazoo and SW Michigan area: although I also highly recommend a stop at Bell’s Brewery and their cafe for food and locally brewed beers (also in K-zoo).

  25. My Mom and I have always said, an experience is never wasted if you get a good story out of it. Sounds like you’re off to a good start. Have fun!

  26. Those pesky time zones! A similar thing happened to my husband and I on a road trip from Michigan to Kentucky. We timed it perfectly to arrive at the hotel right at 4 for check-in. We walked into the lobby and their clock said 3:00. Apparently we picked a hotel right where the time zone line (I’m sure there’s a technical name for that) jogs east to include the hotel in the central time zone. There were no signs or anything on the freeway. So we had to poke around in a tiny unexciting town (read: no yarn shop) for an hour.
    I’m guessing you already know where the great yarn is in Chicago but I love Nina and Loopy. Also, I recommend the Fruishi (fruit instead of fish with awesome vanilla coconut sticky rice!) from Orange restaurant.

  27. Well…I would have preferred the extra hour of sleep in your situation. But consider that it could have been worse…you could have been crossing time zones the other way and had to rush around like crazy people to make up for the hour!

  28. Actually, thanks to the crazy that is Indiana, you won’t cross time zones till you’re at Chicago. Just think of the lost hour of sleep as a found hour of visiting people (people in yarn stores anyway).

  29. Yay for Kalamazoo!! I grew up in that area!! Totally recommend and glad you are having a good trip!!

  30. If I’d known you were passing through Chicago, I would have met you with a yummy homemade breakfast to take with you (muffins – granola – sliced fruit – fresh ground coffee. Road food can really mess me up so I try to have something normal in the car. I hope you brought coats – it’s cold here in the windy city and yes it is windy for sure. We’ve been having a violent wind storm for 2 days. Ugh!!! Enjoy SOAR and safe travels.

  31. You passed so close to us! There’s a great little winery (St. Julian’s) in Paw Paw…you should stop in next time and do a little tasting. Next time, let me know and I’ll bring you fresh baked goods from Amish land!

  32. Paw Paw’s not such a bad place, the area has some great wineries.
    It is also a wonderful place to get fresh blueberries and asparagus, in season.
    Can’t speak to the hotels, though. I hate hot hotel rooms. With your extra hour, you could have driven along the Lake Michigan shoreline, a beautiful place.

  33. I tweeted you this last night… ut YAY Michigan. I lived there for 9 years and my husband grew up in Three Rivers – very near where you spent last night in Paw Paw. I totally thrid or fourth the recommendation to go to Kalamazoo and stop at Bell’s Brewery on the way back if you are at a stopping place! Great beer! They have a Stout with espresso in it – I am blanking on the name but AWESOME!!!! my two faves – beer and coffee together!

  34. “there was an odd flinch from the border guard at the words “spinning retreat” but he waved us on without anything more” – LOL, if he’d had any sense he would have volunteered to go with you.

  35. Eating Bosco sticks in Paw Paw….is it just me or is that like the most red-necky (my apologies to any rednecks in the Harlot audience) sounding sentence you’ve ever read? >:-)
    Glad to see you are working a plain vanilla, mindless sock. Sometimes I swear I can see your poor brain smoking from here and I worry you’re gonna overload your circuits…

  36. I hope you took the extra hour anyway as Chicago traffic/parking can sadly eat that up pretty darn quick.

  37. Sleep is nice but you always get another chance and can do it in any time zone. You can’t say that about visiting the Chicago yarn shops so go enjoy!

  38. If only I’d known you were staying in Paw Paw – I could have recommended some *excellent* restaurants. And then there are all the wineries… yum! I lived there several years ago, and still miss it!

  39. I spent the last two years living in northern Indiana (Eastern time) while my now-husband lived in central Illinois (Central time)–I can’t TELL you how many times I’ve made that mistake and been an hour early (or late) to things. So many times.

  40. If you end up going to Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, make sure to eat at Food Dance. It’s super near to the brewery and excellent food!!!

  41. That “whamo” happens to be where I live! Oh, after the “whamo,” you will be driving my commute (until you hit the state line in Illinois), enjoy (she said with a knowing grin).

  42. Grew up on the Indiana/Michigan border and the standard question was alway “Indiana time or Michigan time?” for any event, church, movies, dates, as they used to be an hour different. My parents gave me a Michigan curfew as it was an hour earlier than Indiana time – really cut dates short.

  43. I am a German knitter, a silent reader of your wonderful blog and I was an exchange student in Kalamazoo, MI 10 years ago. My American friend and roommate back then in Kzoo was from Paw Paw and she and her family went to Wawa (Canada) every year for vacation. These names sound hilarious to a German Native :-)…You made a woman in Berlin smile today in reminiscence, thank you!

  44. The Sugar Bear ice cream/restaurant in Paw Paw actually has GREAT homemade soups and vegetarian wraps.

  45. It’s always annoyed me that my GPS doesn’t know about time changes. My phone does – why can’t my GPS (whose name is, quite unoriginally, Tom)?

  46. I know that this a day late, but, if you return home on the same route, stop in New Buffalo, Michigan and hit Redamak’s. They have great burgers! I know that they close in November for the winter, but if they are open, it is a must! Should they be closed hit Tossi’s in Niles, Michigan or you could always take the shore line north (196) and hit some great towns (South Haven, Holland and Saugatuck, all with great dining options for the weary traveler) and then cut east at Grand Rapids to make your way across Michigan. Can you tell that I have spent every summer of my life on the south west shore of Lake Michigan? 😉

  47. I love my GPS because it is so non-judgmental….. she just keeps repeating nicely: “Take the third exit on the roundabout”….. even when I go around the 4th or 5th time. (I can imagine my husband’s tone of voice the 3rd time…. SERIOUSLY JUDGEMENTAL!)

  48. If you’re into souvenirs, the airport in Kalamazoo has pencils (and probably pens) that say “Yes, there really IS a Kalamazoo.” They sell out every year in May when the International Congress for Medieval History is in town.
    The last office I worked in had a tradition of bringing back silly pens/pencils for everyone when you went on a trip. Great fun. I still have my Ketchikan, Alaska letter opener and my Mickey Mouse pen. MUCH harder to lose than most pens.

  49. You make me want to start a pair of socks again. I have fallen off the sock wagon, but it’s getting cold and there is something about plain old sock ribbing that always looks so cozy and warm. I’m so glad you got an EXTRA hour, would have totally sucked if it had been the OTHER way!

  50. one more thing…I just saw that SOAR is at Lake Lawn Lodge (Resort)…, love, love that place (but a little saddend that they may be closing at the end of November)! If you are taking 94N and exit @ HWY 50, make sure to hit the Brat Stop and get a New Glarus Spotted Cow! It is about 1/4 mile off the exit and will be on the right (north) side of the street, next to a Taco Bell. Don’t forget to pick up some cheese curds and fritzles in the gift shop! You can also get beer to go so you can stock up for Lake Lawn.

  51. That’s okay – guaranteed that you need that extra hour to get through Chicago traffic – it awful all the time!!
    Safe travels!

  52. When I was a kid, we lived in South Haven, MI and would travel up to Paw Paw in fall to visit orchards and buy apples. I have only a vague memory of a historic area of town with a park that had a little lake in it. There was a foot bridge so that you could cross over to the little island in the lake.

  53. “Central time hits you like a large wet fish and it’s an hour earlier.”
    That made me laugh right out loud – thanks for that! Although I’m back in New England now, when I lived in the Midwest, that large wet fish hit often when my parents would call in the morning to say hi! 🙂
    Enjoy your time in Chicago!

  54. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the comments today…especially the one that recommended the cheeseburger for you!!

  55. I LOVE that colorway! Anyway you can persuade Tina to make it available? I’m not a member of the Socks That Rock club this year. I was last year but I am a member of 2 other clubs & that was just too much for me to keep up with (truth be told so is 2 but not as bad as 3) & the other 2 are run by SAHM whom I like to support whenever I can.

  56. Does your Daniel know my GraciePearl? What a sweetheart/lifesaver she is! And like Barbara M’s (at 11:26), she is non-judgmental…even after repeating “Recalculating” more times than I want to admit. Safe journey, you two…

  57. From Chicago, good luck with your plan! We have this thing known as traffic and road construction!

  58. From Chicago, good luck with your plan! We have something known as traffic and road construction!

  59. That happened to us this summer. We went to a wedding in WI and we got up early to drive up there too (we were at my folks in IN) when we arrived we were fish slapped with the notion that we were several hours early.. so early we couldn’t check into the hotel.
    Have fun in Chi-town. One of my favorite places on earth.

  60. Sorry you didn’t find a nicer place to stop. If you’re doing it on your way home, I recommend the Riverfront Cafe in Niles, MI which has yummy salads and numerous vegetarian options that are not fried or all-white, or drenched in melted cheese and cream of mushroom soup. And there are (among the Bates-esque motels) several decentish places to stay. And you can check out our “wee little yarn store,” the Red Purl!
    Also? That “extra” hour was probably used up in traffic getting into Chicago, am I right?

  61. You stayed in Paw Paw? Like, there is nothing there! Been there, know that. Welcome to Wisconsin.

  62. That wicked wind stretches all the way back here to Toronto!! Glad to see you grabbed a cone of yarn before heading out the door. This morning I scored some mohair/angora skeins in an amazing shade of sky. But not THAT sky. THAT sky is scary.

  63. I’m going to add to the “PAW PAW does have decent restaurants” group….and second, third or fourth the “STOP AT BELLS” in Kzoo!
    We also have a much larger selection of rooming establishments…some with air conditioning and heat controls.
    What’s a 1/2 hour difference when you are changing time zones.

  64. Consider yourselves lucky for skirting the storm. It wasn’t pretty. And, ya gotta love those small towns. My best friends says I live in the big city because my hometown has a traffic light. Hers does not.

    sorry for the all caps but i mean it!

  66. Hmmm you’ll prob’ly need that extra hour and maybe a couple more. Best of luck with the Chicago roads!
    Have a great time at SOAR!!!!!

  67. So sorry about the sleep deprivation thing! I got three hours last night, so I’m there with you in spirit.
    Yeah, I’ve seen storms like that. They look like the end of the world.
    Nice sock.

  68. Hi! I can just imagine my GPS saying “time zone change ahead” just like she says “right turn ahead”. Sadly, my unit has to have its clock manually reset to stay correct. Fortunately, my cell phone figures it out all by its lonesome. Just remember, the hour you are gaining now gets lost on the way back (where some part of your trip will now appear to take an hour longer than you thought…). I have a child in college in Chicago, so I am working on my third year of trips from Eastern to Central time, and that additional hour on the way back gets me every time.
    Have fun in Chicago! So far I have had time to visit one yarn store exactly once, but every time I head out there for the college back and forth thing I am ever hopeful…

  69. Wow, that’s a good storm. We’re run ahead of storms like that on I-40 and the pictures are impressive when going up from a valley to the plateau where we live – one recent time it actually looked like The Nothing from Neverending Story was coming for us.

  70. I grew up in Kalamazoo. Very near Paw Paw. Never realized till I moved away that people think both places sound far-fetched & amusing!

  71. I thought you were heading into rush hour traffic and lost an hour that way. Time zone was an unexpected twist to the story! Much better twist.

  72. I hear ya, Harlot. Had the same thing happen–in reverse–when the dog and I drove to Nova Scotia to visit my sister. I thought I’d make it to her work to surprize her, but since we lost an hour, it didn’t happen and ended up just meeting her at the house. I totally agree that GPSs should adjust for time zones automatically, some of us are a little fuzzy-headed in the mornings when we are undercaffienated and can’t keep track of these things!
    But just think, on Nov 7th, you get an extra hour legitimately (thanks to Daylight Savings Time), that you don’t have to give back until March! Happy knitting, happy SOARing, and thanks for the chuckle!

  73. Well, welcome to Chicagoland! I just recently moved here from Milwaukee, WI and I’m still in search of my perfect yarn store. There’s one in Des Plaines, Montoya Fiber Studio, that is very cool and helpful, but other than that, nothing. I remember driving to Oregon, and passing a billboard in Minnesota that read “Yarn Mall” or something of the like and claimed to have the largest yarn selection in the country. If it hadn’t been almost midnight we would have stopped. I agree on the time zone alert thing as well. My GPS doesn’t even change time automatically. So I keep driving, thinking we’re 2 hours ahead of what we really are, until we stop for gas or hit rush hour and then I realize what happened.

  74. Sock Recipe sounds good to keep you grounded and reaching for the state of Zen, and more able to avoid those ‘bates-esque’ (love it) motels. (Why do people call something plain, ‘vanilla’? Vanilla is such a delightful flavour)

  75. Oh yeah. I hate Bosco Sticks too. They served them once a week at my high school and everyone else went nuts for them and I was always left feeling mildly queasy if I ate one.

  76. Strangely enough I was just pondering buying a paw paw plant after tasting paw paw sorbet at a nursery here in Oregon. Have fun! So glad you decided to just grab and go. Hope you find some inspiring yarn on your outing, I mean how could you not? : )

  77. Love, love, love the pix of the stormy sky! I can just feel the electricity in the air! Have fun at SOAR for all of us watching vicariously.

  78. Love the STR, it’s very Christmas looking. I’m working on a pair with a gingerbread themed yarn my son picked out.

  79. The town so nice, they named it twice. Actually, I drive through Paw Paw each day on my way to work (at Mental Health!). If I’d known you were going to be in town I would have let you stay at my place! Great dinner and breakfast! I would not have let you sleep in my “stash” room though. I would not want you to see all of my “unfinished” projects! Actually, Paw Paw’s not a bad little town. There are several decent places to eat.

  80. Is the GPS named Daniel after Daniel Craig? If it is I need one but if I had one it would distract me from driving.

  81. Thank goodness cell phones change time automatically! When we were skirting a time zone, mine kept changing depending on the tower. It was pretty funny. My gps also changes – but my daughter’s does not. Depends on kind I guess. But wasn’t that extra hour of sleep the best you’ve ever had!

  82. I hope the extra hour didn’t get eaten up by Chicago traffic! That’s always been my experience.

  83. When you leave home, do the remaining people turn the furnace on? Or have you caved? I try to wait till November 1st, but can cave if I can see my breath inside, or if I think the pipes might freeze. This year is challenging me though!

  84. I really hope that you’re going to hit up Chix with Stix in Forest Park, Illinois, just outside the city. It is my favorite yarn store and the women who own it are hilariously fun. Welcome to our fair city and I hope you get to enjoy your knitting time here:)

  85. I’m not all that great with converting time, but if you could have slept an extra hour, but didn’t…doesn’t that mean you now have an extra hour to visit some yarn/some nice people??

  86. I’m with the folks above who’s first thought was that you really have an extra hour to visit those nice people (yarn)…. Hope you have a great time!

  87. I live in Battle Creek. You should have stopped in K’Zoo for dinner before getting to Paw Paw, since you got in so late. There are good restaurants in Paw Paw, but you have to know them or know a local. 🙂

  88. Is there no yarn harlot calendar this year?? I just looked to buy my three copies, one for all knitters in our area, and there is no listing on amazon….

  89. Paw Paw? You really should have thrown in the towel and stopped in Kalamzoo. There are great restaurants and excellent beer there. I was just there last week and I had more fun than I probably deserved. I didn’t get to the yarn store (I was with a bunch of biologists), unfortunately, but that was the only downside.

  90. Maybe if we all praise that fabulous yarn colorway enough your STR friend will dye up a bunch for all of your fans??? I absolutely love it! I’m also enjoying all the tips on eating and drinking in MI, just in case I ever manage to get there myself. Have a great time.

  91. Can you give my dUghter in Chicago a hug. I have not seen near since June and it is still several weeks until she is home for Thanksgiving!

  92. Waving as you drive by. Hand up in the air waving. I am about 50 miles from SOAR! Have a great time.

  93. We did not miss the storm but were hit broadside. A few trees down but the stash is safe. I threw my body over it. Fast thinking.

  94. It’s embarrassing to discover that I’m the only sloth in the group, but honestly…if I wake up an hour earlier than necessary, I go back to bed.
    Have a great time in Chicago!

  95. Um, your schedule is crazy optimistic. Even with an unexpected extra hour.
    “Boogie” into and out of Chicago traffic? Good luck with that.

  96. I know where Paw Paw is! My weekend place is in Three Oaks — I could have made you drive another 45 minutes and stay at my place…there’s a stocked bar! If you want it on the way back, e-mail me and I’ll arrange it for you. (And, for your edification, the furnace is only sortof on. Since we aren’t there, it is set at 50 degrees, just in case!)

  97. I’m sorry to use the Yarn Harlot’s blog but I know tons of people read…
    within the last couple of days I saw somewhere a beautiful tiny angel knitted with angora…
    didn’t bookmark (duh) and now I can’t remember where I saw it!!! I did however get some angora today specifically to knit her
    can anyone tell me if they know where I saw this mystery angel?

  98. Haven’t been to Lake Lawn Lodge since we were kids… hope it’s still as pretty! Love the storm pic. Wow.

  99. Now the question is whether you made it out of the yarn shops and Chicago — or whether you’re closing the bars with Dolores Van Hoofen tonight.

  100. On the way home, stop at New York Bagels & Bialys in Skokie north of downtown Chicago, and take home some cheddar bagels, and buy bialys to eat right away. They are wonderful!

  101. For Franka in Germany, Paw Paw and Wawa make us grin on the East Coast, too. Also, to the best of my recolection, Bosco is chocolate syrup you stir into milk. How do you get it on a stick? Sounds like nailing Jello to a tree to me.

  102. Ah yes, the bustling metropolis known as Paw Paw. It’s so great they had to say it twice. I’m NOT kidding, that used to be the motto. I’m in Kalamazoo. You had to go through there to get to Paw Paw. I agree with Courtney that Bell’s is a great place to stop, it’s right downtown, not near the highway. There are a lot of good food places down there however. The hotel in PawPaw – ugh is what I have to say about that. You could have stopped 1/2 hour sooner and gotten a decent one in Kalamazoo. At exit 78 I believe it is (Sprinkle Road, where Denny’s and Perkins are) there are 6 different ones to choose from. I’m just saying. I hope you get some great knitting in while you are in Chi-town. Tell me, how did you manage to make it there in only 2 hours? Yeah, it switches to central time right there at Indiana, what little time you spend in Indiana if you are heading down I-94.

  103. Our GPS doesn’t even know when it’s Daylight Savings Time. We drove back from Niagara Falls last weekend, making what we thought was remarkable time, only to realize that the distance to home wasn’t matching up to the predicted time of arrival. The end of a long drive is not the time to realize that there’s still another hour to go!

  104. I love the picture of the storm…the angle is brilliant – makes it look like the storm is tilting the world on its side!

  105. @JoAnn- Thank you for your affirmation! 🙂
    Btw I had a wonderful time back then in Michigan with very lovely people, my roomie being the best!

  106. My GPS is Daniel too. First he was just DAN acronym for(dumb ass navigator). We changed his voice to the british accent guy so now he’s Daniel. When I was in Columbus for Knitters Connection the Valet did look at me strange when I commented that I needed to get Daniel out of the trunk.

  107. About the time zone thing: I live in Minnesota now, which is in the Central time zone, and I always thought our state’s northern border crossing (to Ontario) should have a big sign over it: “Welcome to Canada. It is later than you think.”
    Enjoy SOAR!

  108. Next time in Paw Paw try Bistro 120. The food is home cooked and good enough to drive from Kalamazoo to eat. Also Cafe 123. Both of these establishments on the the main east/ west street. Ask Rams if I can be believed. Sorry I can’t speak to the motels.

  109. There is something so seductive about beautiful sock yarn on smooth metal DPNs. Just makes my fingers itch. (sigh)
    Have fun at SOAR!

  110. Oh, just think of it as another hour to b/u/y/ y/a/r/n/ bobble about a lovely city and see some c/o/o/l/ y/a/r/n/ sights.

  111. So sad that you didn’t venture a couple of blocks further. Paw Paw has some wonderful bistros. Wish I had known you were coming through – would have met you and taken you out.

  112. LOL. Look at it this way — you have an extra hour to burn while visiting some yarn, I mean, um, some people. Or you have an hour of leeway in case you run late. : )

  113. I’ve probably missed your telling us this in one of your blogs, but I’m trying to find your page-a-day calendar for 2011, but I can’t find it. Where can I order/buy one? Thanks.

  114. Paw Paw?!?! That’s just 20 minutes down the road from me here in Kalamazoo! Gosh, you could’ve stayed w/ me – it wasn’t too hot in my house. 🙂 Enjoy SOAR!

  115. Oh man! I totally hate that stupid time zone thing. I got caught by the same principals only in reverse. I was in Pensacola, FL trying to make it to Tallahassee (sp?) to catch a flight. (Stupid me, I thought a 4 hour road trip was preferable to paying 100 bucks more for my plane ticket.) I was about halfway through the drive, thinking I’d make it with bells on when I crossed the time zone line and realized that I now had 1 whole hour LESS to make the trip. To this day, more than 10 years later, I don’t think I have ever committed that many moving violations at one time. I did make it on time, but it was a very close thing. I never would have made that flight if security levels had been like they are now. What a ride that was!
    Have a wonderful time at SOAR.

  116. I’m so glad you got to go with a good chance of making it through the whole SOAR thing this year. I’d rather have an atlas than a GPS. Atlases can lie too, but at least when they do, you can rip the page out or crinkle it up and you haven’t trashed a hundred dollar’s worth of electronics.
    I just finished a sock I started last June and have started its mate. Maybe I need to join a sock club. Actually, the reason I got back in gear with socks is that all the ones I’ve knitted have honkin’ big holes in them so I have to knit new ones to get me through winter in Maine, if it ever gets here.
    Shine On,

  117. Whoa – that is some sky!! I love watching wild weather from the relative safety of a house or cabin, I don’t even mind hiking in it frankly…but I *despise* driving in it.
    Have ridiculous amounts of fun at SOAR. I’ll just be sitting over here not being jealous or anything…

  118. Passed through Paw-Paw myself yesterday. Hope you too enjoyed the odd combination of Adult Entertainment and wine tasting outlets.

  119. Hi! I saw you at SOAR today signing autographs. I considered “Kinnearing” you, but I ended up being a little more blatant. 🙂 My friend and I were there for the Marketplace only. Someday, we’ll save our pennies and stay for the retreat. It was wonderful walking into a place that had so many like-minded people. (The fiber fumes were nice, too.) Glad you made it there safely!

  120. GPS…my behind!
    The only thing my GPS told me one time was, “Just find any place and make a U-turn.”
    I kid you not.
    Of course this was right after I left the most fabulous yarn store EVER in New Orleans, had spent boo-koo money on yarn that was hidden under the front seat, and was driving like a mad woman to get to my daughter’s soccer team.
    The GPS had no mercy.

  121. Oh my. I went to college near Paw Paw… Haven’t thought about that city in a really long time! You know, you were 10 min from a much broader selection of motels and restaurants…

  122. I just noticed that on NOV. 4th, Aeroplan will match our donations of points to Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders! More bang for your points!

  123. Paw Paw has an excellent Winery– not the big one advertised to hell and gone, but the little one further down the street that’s in an old mill– Warner vineyards– great sherry, and I bet you’d really like the Holliberry wine, we do (They also have an excellent red and some good whites. When we get there, we buy a couple of cases of wine 🙂

  124. Paw Paw? Paw Paw?! Not Kalamazoo or St. Joseph? Just a little sooner or a little later. As for food try Clemintines in St. Joseph. Or Beezy’s Cafe in Ypsilanti (Sorry, no yarn shops in Ypsi, don’t know about St. Joseph)
    Have fun.

  125. Alarm clock? Just thank your lucky stars that you were driving west rather than east. The error worked in your favour(sort of).

  126. The cloud pic is really beautiful. I am so enamored with your imposed sock club. If you haven’t considered, it would be nice (tiny please) to see a final grouping for the year of your accomplishments. Thanks for letting us gain more knitting enjoyment through you and your blog!

  127. I am originally from Kalamazoo… if you ever drive through Paw Paw again, I recommend Bistro 120. Also, other readers have mentioned Food Dance and Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo. Both great places! To those I would add Cosmo’s Cucina (especially for breakfast) and Fandango Tapas Bar. There are many great restaurants in Kalamazoo for the size of town it is!

  128. OMG! You stayed in my hometown… Paw Paw Redskins, class of 1972. I’m a Kalamazoo girl now. Glad that you’re traveling through, enjoy your SOARing. I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time now, thanks for sharing your life stories so beautifully.

  129. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Lorna’s Laces! I was there Sat. and Beth mentioned you’d visited and had pizza and beer. It’s a great place to visit–I hope you took some yarn w/you. 🙂

  130. Ah! I wish I had read your blog a couple days ago because there is a simply FABULOUS yarn shop in St.Joseph/Benton Harbor, MI (on your way to Chicago) called Ivelise’s which has the most gorgeous yarn and the most helpful, kind knitting folk around. As a former southwestern Michigander, I hope you enjoyed your trip!

  131. You really should have asked around. 🙂 Your readership could have told you about much better eateries. There are several in Paw Paw. Oh, well. In your next life maybe.

  132. “What sends something you love to the back of the Closet?”
    Grandma’s rule: “work before play!” Unfortunately, I’ve let that bit of wisdom get out of hand, (perfectionism and ADD I guess), and there is always work to be done. I’ve decided to throw this one away and have dessert first for a while. There I’ve said it and posted it on your site. (We’ll see what happens).
    Thank you for sharing with all of us!

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