Briefly from the pool

We arrived in Costa Rica yesterday, after a day that started at 4:30am and -19, contained a decently long flight, several amazingly bad cups of coffee (none of which have been in this country. They have their coffee scene together, let me tell you) and had a bus ride from the airport that was one of the most amazing things ever.  The roads curve around  mountains and volcanoes and every so often the driver would pull over and say “mono” and gesture wildly out the window.  It turns out that “mono” is MONKEY and there they would be, hanging from the trees, swooping along from branch to branch, a few even with their babies on their backs. One for the bucketlist, right there.  There were howler monkeys, and spider monkeys, and apparently there are white-faced monkeys, but the guy cautioned us against going near any monkeys at all, but especially not the white-faced ones, which he claims (and it is possible that this was a mistake with his English) are “bi-polar.” (Your guess is as good as mine for what that means. I will avoid the white-faced monkeys until I figure it out.)   Not only does the road curve, and occasionally become rather steep, one whole section of it was… you know what? I’m not so sure it was a road, at least not in the modern use of the word.

We arrived in the late afternoon, found the place we’re staying and got sorted. (It’s very nice.) Today we relaxed, got our crap together, and planned where we’re going and when, and got all the transportation arranged. Then we did nothing. Zip. Nil. Nada.  I went to yoga on the beach, Joe read a book and listened to music, and I swam and knit and swam and knit and knit. With today’s knitting and yesterdays together, I have a very pretty pair of socks all done. We did the finished object pictures for them right there by the pool.

sockssocksonpool 2016-01-06

Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit: India, colour 2305. Pattern, my regular one.

Now, we have reservations for dinner, and Joe’s almost done his email, so there’s only so much time I can spend with you, but let me tell you this. If you would like to perplex and befuddle a few of the hardworking people of Costa Rica?  Have your drink delivered as you just so happen to be modelling a pair of wool socks by the pool.  (That drink is a pina colada. Joe’s idea.  I like myself a nice sedate gin and tonic in the heat, but Joe was absolutely sure we would have more fun with a frozen drink. I don’t know if he was right, but felt compelled to check.)

poolsokcs2 2016-01-06

People walked by, looked stunned for a minute, then slapped a smile on their faces and asked me if I needed anything.  Likely thinking I needed some sense, since it was more than 30 degrees here today.

More tomorrow! (I hope. We’re going to a rainforest.)

PS. I wonder if that’s the first picture of me in a bathing suit on this blog? I bet it is. Well, it was bound to happen eventually, and I would have put money on it involving wool socks.

121 thoughts on “Briefly from the pool

  1. And for a woman with a self-declared style problem, you’re doing well. The socks actually match the bathing suit! Dying to see what else you’re working on, but really, don’t worry about the blog for a while. Just relax and take it all in, bi-polar monkeys and all.
    P.S. It was +3C here in Kingston. Balmy for January. Lake still not frozen over.

  2. Well done, you two. Get aways are The Best, and you deserve it.
    (We just had one, and I may never be the same. Sunshine/flowers in winter = amazing. Who knew Paris was in bloom in Dec.?)
    Rest up for Madrona – xoxox – Joan

  3. One: Please ignore Elizabeth M. (sorry, Elizabeth) above and do feed us updates every single day. Thanks in advance. (You know we go NUTS when you don’t post for 3 days in a row!)

    Two: Perfect, perfect, perfect color pattern for Costa Rica. Good job, girl.

    Three: “If you would like to perplex and befuddle a few of the hardworking people of Costa Rica? Have your drink delivered as you just so happen to be modelling a pair of wool socks by the pool.” <===hahaha and hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    (and yes, I'm the same fan you heard from a couple years ago when the cretins at airport check-in at Cozumel took my sock needles from me!!!)

    BEST WISHES on your vacation interlude, so very very glad you and Mr.Harlot managed to pull this off!!!!!
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    • Oh, those Cozumel-ian security cretins (an excellent word) are awful. They took my tweezers a few years back. What did they expect me to do? Pluck somebody? Eesh.

  4. Good for you and Joe taking the vacation.

    Perhaps consider a few pictures of people holding the sock. Is that still a thing??

  5. Enjoy the sun, warmth and blooms…and the monkeys from a respectful distance! It is -6 C in southeastern Virginia!

    I love piña coladas, though I only slightly think of a good one as an alcoholic beverage. It is more like an adult icee with alcohol.

  6. Tee Hee. Thanks for the post! Waiting to hear if the Blog knows about bi-polar monkeys. Seems to me someone must.

  7. Socks and a pina colada! I’d say you’ve got it all covered. (Although you may want to translate those temps for our American friends…) What the heck is 30 in Farenheit? Uh, 90? Hmm If body temp is 36…

    • And -19 C == -2.2 F (I’m in Minnesota, USA, and *had* to check! We’re currently at about 25 F or -3 C but the cold is coming, perhaps 1 F or -18 C for Sunday’s high temp.)

    • If you want approximations, here’s an easy one: 16 and 28 C translate into 61 and 82 F. Just reverse the digits. That doesn’t cover all situations, but where I’m from (U.S. West Coast) it does bracket the temperatures that I am comfortable living in.

  8. Ahhh, you’re in one of my top 3 favorite places on earth. Did you cross an Oh-my-god bridge yet? Had Gallo Pinto for breakfast? (despite the name, it’s vegetarian). I totally agree about the coffee there, yummmm. Love the socks. Relax and enjoy.

  9. I thought you said that you had no fashion sense? Your socks go perfectly with your swimsuit. That’s pretty fashionable.

  10. Hooray for winter getaways to warmer climates! Good for you Steph and Joe! Can’t wait to hear about your Costa Rican adventures. Knit, imbibe, knit, repeat…

    BTW, it’s a “balmy” -9c in Tofield, Alberta.

  11. I have a young friend who is well on her way to a PhD in primates and does much field work in places like where you are. Her advice is to try not to stand UNDER any monkeys. They have somehow learned it is amusing to pee on people and it is well, everything you would imagine it would be, including unhealthy if the monkey has certain conditions.

  12. Ah, pura vida! I spent two weeks in CR with my family this summer. It was lovely and the monkeys were awesome. If you go to the Samara area, don’t miss Samara Trails; it’s a terrific hike through a family-owned former ranching area that’s been reclaimed and is going back to its natural state. You’ll learn a great deal about the forest, the area, and more. Alvaro is a great host!

  13. I was in Costa Rica in Novemebr! We saw and spider monkeys, and both two-toes and three-toed sloths, and some other cool wildlife. The coffee is THE BEST there! I am totally and completely filled with envy that you get to spend an entire vacation there, and of your ability to knit a whole pair of socks in 2 days! I think my long term plan involves moving to Costa Rica. Have so much fun you can’t stand it!!

  14. Have a wonderful time! Love the socks. I’m on my first pair of socks…ever….using your recipe from Knitting Rules. Thank you!

  15. Well, the bathing suit and wool socks do share a color scheme – good on you! I’m very happy you two are far out of the ordinary! Have a blast…wonder who the surprise knitter will be down there.

  16. Hmmm…..a Pina Colada and a photo shoot of you in a bathing suit modeling wool socks by a pool in Costa Rica….I see a connection! But perhaps that’s just me 🙂

  17. I will be reading every letter of every word you write (which I do anyway, but..). Our daughters gifted their father with a trip to Costa Rica for his last Very Big Birthday — which we have yet to cash in on. I am not a tropical person but suspect that CR could change that. Have a wonderful time, you two.

  18. It’s our job as knitters to confound the non believers as often as possible. Either way, a lovely pair of socks, and I’m excited to see what else is on the needles. I know that that pair can’t be the only knitting in Costa Rica.

  19. Don’t wear any handmade socks into the rain forest! When I went on a hike through the rain forest in Costa Rica (many years ago), we had to slog through several shoe-eating sections of water and mud. And that was in a dry year!

  20. Beautiful socks. Enjoy your vacation. And don’t worry about the blog. We’ll all still be here when you get back.

  21. Such a fun read! I love the picture, (you are so cute!) and I love the socks. My ex-husband is going to Costa Rica with his big new family in March. He hates monkeys. Good to hear about the many monkeys-I hope he gets bit.

  22. Just tell them you are from Canada 🙂 …. if they wonder about the socks.

    Hope you have a good vacation. Enjoy the sun and the monkeys (from a safe distance)!

  23. Is this the first time you’ve been photographed wearing red? Are the socks a late gift, an early start on the sock accumulation for next Christmas, or “be still my heart” for you?

  24. Going there in a few weeks. Is there yarn available to buy? Seriously. I have considered going with a suitcase of yarn and a few clothes, I figure I can buy the clothes but maybe not the yarn.

  25. I have done the photos of knit socks by the pool thing before. Luckily it was by a pool at a house we were renting, so no one except my family was there to think I was crazy. Come to think of it, my feet might get a little cold if I was sipping a frozen beverage, so I’m not so sure it’s at all crazy.

  26. Ooo, not just matchy-matchy socks but ones that coordinate with the swimsuit! I think you may be right about the first blog photo of you in swimwear. You know, I do get anxious if I don’t see a new post daily, but that’s just me — please relax & take it easy, The Blog will indeed still be here when you return.

  27. The cappuccin monkeys at the beach are known pick-pockets and will steal things when you’re not looking: food, wrappers, anything shiny, wallets, etc. Cute but crafty…maybe that’s what they mean by bi-polar?

    Enjoy more smoothie/slushy drinks and time together 🙂

  28. The socks match perfectly!

    My husband and I are not yet thirty and we’re still in the young-and-struggling time of our lives. I have high hopes that someday we too will have a robust enough vacation fund that we can look at it and say, “Costa Rica? Done.”

  29. A swimsuit and a pair of wool socks that match!?! Only the Yarn Harlot. . .;-)!

    If you really want the Costa Ricans to think you’re crazy, try modeling a matching hat, scarf, and pair of mittens with your swimsuit! (No, Steph won’t overheat — but Joe might!)

    Don’t know for sure about the monkeys. They might just want matching knitwear and swimwear of their own!

  30. I always match my socks to my shirt, but can honestly say I’ve never matched them to a bathing suit. Well done. (Must say I had to laugh when you said you and Joe did nothing, nada, and then proceeded to list what you did. We have to work on your definition of nothing.)

  31. Enjoy every minute in CR, we love that country! The best place / best price I’ve found for Fair Trade Costa Rica Tarrazzu coffee beans is at Cost Plus World Market. Maybe there’s one in Toronto, or you can order from their website. Hope you meet a coati mundi – our hotel in Playa Conchal had a few that wandered through the grounds. Pura Vida!

  32. I almost flipped when you said -19, then remembered that is centigrade, not fahrenheit, so it translated to a measly -2. Here in northern Michigan, that’s not too bad couple of days ago it was -13 here. Enjoy the sun, the warmth and the break, you guys deserve it.

  33. Try a splash of bitters in your G & T. Perfect combination of your favorite with Joe’s “vacation drink” concept. Enjoy!

  34. I dare say, you look relaxed. And very white and Canadian! (this is a white U.S. person from Northern CA talking, of slightly more swarthy heritage.)

  35. Bipolar is both a clinical diagnosis and a slang word. It’s short for a type crazy and refers to the tendency to switch emotional states quickly, going from calm to postal in a flash. Bipolar monkeys sound like something to be avoided, you can’t reason with the monkeys while they’re throwing their poo at you and I bet their even more unreasonable than Canadian squirrels :{

  36. What fun – woolly socks with a bathing suit. Watch out for the style police!

    Have a great holiday. And don’t do any knitting around those bi-polar monkeys, who knows where it would end up.

    I’m waiting with baited breath for part 2 of the holiday report.

  37. A few years ago our partner persuaded my husband and I to take a family vacation in Belize in the middle of an icy Northern winter. I was so incredibly resistant. I’m fair, I burn very quickly, I like museums, I don’t know what to do at the seaside, who wants to just lie around doing nothing in the sticky heat all day?

    Well. It was such a revelation. It turns out that what I did at the beach was be in the water or on the sand. We had a pool at the little house we rented. We walked up and down the island (including to the resort with a swim-up bar), spent half the days in the pool, and those who were keen on dawn yoga experienced dawn yoga. (That’s not me.) The answer to “who wants to lie around doing nothing in the sticky heat?” was “Meeeeee!!!”

    So in short – I am so envious of your getaway right now. Glorious. Poolside with a piña colada is my idea of heaven, it turns out.

  38. I’m not sure they’re bipolar so much as duplicitous bastards. Cute duplicitous bastards, it’s true, but don’t fall for their winsome head tilts.

  39. Bathing suit with sock?! That’s SO Canadian! Make our mark out there in the world. Better than planting a flag. 😀

  40. The white faced ones are probably capuchins. He’s right. They are adorable little devils, who are made worse by tourists who feed them. While at Manuel Antonio (which is covered in signs saying not to feed the monkeys) some friends and I were harassed by a gang of them who were demanding (with fangs out) that we share our colonies with them (we didn’t). Cheeky buggers!

  41. Bring some coffee home for yourself–but get it at the supermarket, it’s cheaper than gift shops or the airport–I liked the stuff in the pretty blue & green bags. Also get big bottles of salsa Lisano, it’s a little like HP sauce, but different.
    Bi-polar monkeys–they will pee on you if you give them the opportunity.
    In the rainforest– DO NOT ask, if you see a spider, “is it poisonous”–they ALL are…Have fun!

  42. Red is a good color for you. The socks are lovely matchy matchy both pattern and color coordination with your suit towel and surroundings.
    I don’t drink alcohol but used to love pina coladas without the rum. Alas, I’m now allergic to pineapples. Guava nectar is a lovely thing to sip if you don’t mind the texture (slight grittiness) mmmmm flavor.
    have fun, we’ll watch for posts but will survive if you choose to leave it until later.

  43. I always got smiles when knitting socks by the pool in Mexico. At least I thought they were smiles. Your socks look wonderful with your bathing suit, by the way.

  44. ALL of my holiday knitting and holidays themselves went to the wayside this year. Most of you know little to nothing about me, but I was disabled by a drunk driver 15 years ago. As a result, I became a knitter and a mommy to 3 beautiful American Eskimo dogs. Snowie 16 years old, Crystalline Winter nearly 6 years old and my Frostie Aldeberon who would have been 7 1/2 years old on December 20, 2015. I sadly have to say would have been because Frostie passed away from a VERY SERIOUS sudden and unexpected infection on December 12, 2015. My babies were all handicap assistance pups for me. In my heart, I lost my daughter that day! Snowie is dealing with and medicated for seizures of unfound origin. I have no choice but to try to get another American Eskimo puppy to train to help me. However, the thousands of dollars in medical bills for my babies has left me unable to come up with the $400 to adopt another assistance Eskie.
    Please keep us in your prayers, we need them right now, and if anyone can think of some way for me to acquire the funds needed to get an Eskie pup to train to help me from the spinal degeneration I suffer from. My email address is

  45. I watched a monkey pelt a mango at a poor unsuspecting man walking below his tree – beaned him right in the head! I’d second the notion of giving them a wide berth.

    I loved Costa Rica, but I have to say this fuzzy-haired northerner had some of the worst hair days of her life in that climate. You appear to be faring much, much better. Enjoy it all – go zip-lining if you can stomach it!

  46. The socks are a nice touch ^^

    I’m so glad you are having fun! (as I can look out the window here and see 6-8in of snow)

    You look amazing in the swimsuit, by the way :))

  47. Sounds perfectly lovely. Enjoy the remaining time on vacation, and though we love your posts, don’t feel so committed to them to take away time from your sweetheart. BTW, I think we saw pix of you in a bathing suit at the lake once or twice.

  48. I had to “touch” the foot to comment. How appropriate. Love the socks, and love the descriptions of the rainforest and monkeys (the roads, not so much). Enjoy!!

  49. I seem to recall a photo of you at a body of water (lake?) with your mum and maybe a couple of the girls, in which you were in swimming attire. I’m guessing it must have been quite a while back, since the girls in question were still of an age to be vacationing with you sans rebellion, so maybe ’07 or ’08?

    But I could be wrong, and I’m positive you were not wearing matching socks at the time!

  50. You are certainly wise escaping to somewhere warm and relaxing after the bustle of Christmas! Love the socks and agree, gin and tonics are lovely.

  51. Sounds wonderful. I also think we’ve had swimsuit photos on the beach before…I have memories of pics of Louis fast asleep in the pusher on the beach during that extended family holiday, and steph swimming, maybe making sand castles. Very cute. (By the way, have you worked on the growth-neutralising machine for him and frankie, cause they’re too cute and hank and the ‘ladies’ are totally lovely, but grew up a bit too fast for the blog’s ooh-and-ah requirements.).

    Have a truly wonderful time, and when you get back you may like to watch the animated movie “Madagascar”. My kids cackle at the monkeys every time they watch it.

  52. Never mind the swimsuit, I can’t remember ever seeing you without your glasses! Good to know that they do come off.

    And to quote Joe, from a very long time ago: “Nice rack, Babe!”

  53. The white-faced monkeys are Capuchin monkeys. They are very smart and like shiny objects. They will cuddle up to you and be all cute, all the while stealing your phone, wallet, sunglasses, etc. before running back to the trees. They can unzip bags. I haven’t seen them undo a carabiner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they could.

  54. I just want to report that all my needle gauges have gone missing. Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to the parade of scissors and measuring tape that float through my life. I’ve accepted the fact they run off and wish them a life of joy together.
    But needles gauges? WTF???

    Also: cool socks.

  55. Just popping in to wish you a happy, well-deserved vacation!
    P.S. Nice socks! As the frequent recipient of strange looks as I pose knitting in public, I am highly amused at the poolside modeling.

  56. OK, I am officially worried. One week and no word from you ! Last thing was you were heading into the rainforest. Did you make it out????

  57. I love that you’re on vacation and that your socks match your bathing suit!
    However, not hearing from you always takes a little happiness and sunshine out of my day.
    I sincerely miss your witty banter and delightful stories.
    I hope all is well!

  58. I’m a bit late to the party as I have terrible to non existent internet but so pleased that you and Joe are having the chance to do some fun stuff together. Enjoy 🙂

  59. I click on your blog and the excitement wells up-is she back yet-is she back yet? No? Oh well, I hope she is having a good time. I can’t wait to try again tomorrow!

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