Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the tag “Florida”

Florida Trip: Inedible Things

So, other than eating, there were lots of enjoyable things on my recent trip to Florida (Southern bit, near the Everglades).

As I kind of alluded to, the flight was terrible. The people beside me were really restless and demanding and I felt sort of bad for the flight attendants. And when we landed, I picked up my jacket and personal item from where they were “safely stowed under the seat in front of me” to find the jacket soaked with juice, presumably dropped by the kid in front of me. At least I hope it was just juice (the two kids in front of me were otherwise really well-behaved during the flight). Fortunately it mostly hit my jacket, which I didn’t really have a lot of need for in Florida, and missed electronics, so not so bad. And, as Louis CK says, I got on a plane and flew through the air, incredibly, like a bird, partaking in the miracle of flight.

And when I landed it was tanning climate and I got a fresh salad and there was lots of lovely scenery. Read more…


Florida Trip: Culture Shock and Ice Tea Plea

I’m planning to split my Florida posts in two to keep them from being long: one on food (this one) and one about things that happened that were not food-related. Priorities.

I’m not a big foodie, although I’m better than when I was younger about trying new things (went to Dim Sum yesterday and agreed to eat rice with fish in it. It was okay I guess. Still too fishy for my taste). I’ve travelled a bit, so I expect to eat weird things or else go searching for stuff to mimic what I’m used to, especially when trying to save money. But the weird thing about going to the States is how everything appears to be like home, but when you bite into it is almost always slightly different. Stealth new foods.

1. The Great Yogurt Experiment

I’ve found it difficult to take yogurt seriously ever since Sarah Haskins pointed out the craziness of the ads. I still eat it occasionally, but my Mom and sister are serious yogurt-eaters and have it every day for breakfast. And since my parents had arrived a couple of weeks earlier, my Mom had been searching for the best yogurt. According to her, they all tasted cornstarch-y or weird and according to my Dad, she had basically bought a new type of yogurt every time they went grocery shopping to try to find one she like. For fellow Canadian yogurt fans, she finally seemed pretty happy with Liberté Mediterranean, which apparently is very different from the Liberté Greek, which you should supposedly not get, because it is cornstarch-y. I thought Greece was in the Mediterranean, but my geography skills are pretty weak.

2. Raisin Bran

My breakfast is typically Raisin Bran and I thought it was less sweet, but my Dad thought it was sweeter, so we couldn’t put our finger on exactly what’s going on there, but it is definitely something sweetness-related and don’t think we won’t pin it down eventually America! (I actually usually buy the cheap-o Selection brand at home, so that might be why we find there’s a difference).

3. Things they sell at Walmart

  • Pez dispensers with 8 different Lord of the Rings characters for $10
  • M&Ms in a ridiculously huge array of sizes from a set of fun packs to basically a pillowcase
  • Dulce de Leche Cheerios. Whaaaa? I thought the whole point of Cheerios was that they’re NOT sugary, although I guess we do have Honey Nut flavour. Someone told me they are coming out with peanut butter Cheerios up here. Why? Why ruin the simplicity of the Cheerio? It is perfect as is.
  • Souvenir Naples shirt for $10. Not food, but they do sell them at Walmart. Ever since our Cessna pilot in Hawaii recommended stopping at Walmart to pick up souvenirs, my sister and I have checked it out and they often do have a few things in tourist-y areas.

4. Gelato

This wasn’t that different. A+ job on the lemon gelato Florida! If you’re not sure what flavour to get at a gelato place, check out the lemon and be surprised by the perfect sweet/tart balance. And it’s so light and refreshing when it’s hot out.

Lemon gelato

Gelato in Naples! What? Oh no no. Naples, Florida. Where did you think I meant?

5. Tea

The southern part of the States doesn’t really do hot tea. There are no teapots. Not in the rental place where my parents were house-sitting. Not at Walmart (or even Super-Walmart, according to my parents, which is just acres and acres of what you would think is everything you can imagine), not at Target and not at Publix. All kinds of other trivial things (fancy refills for an automatic handsoap dispenser, for example), but no teapot.

My Mom brought five kinds of tea with her when they drove down, which seemed like overkill when she told me, but now seems incredibly wise.

But all this has really buried the lede for what I wanted to say, what really must be said. Canada: We need to make unsweetened ice tea a thing. Florida does unsweetened ice tea, and at first it takes you by surprise, but once you get used to it and realize you can sweeten it yourself to whatever degree you like, it’s hard to come back to our restrictive system. If you believe in freedom, help me in my campaign to let me sweeten my own ice tea.

Bring it up at your local restaurants, put it on a t-shirt, write your MP. Okay, some of those actions may be a little extreme, but we neeeeed to make this happen. Last summer David’s Tea had a promotion where you buy their re-fillable mug and then all summer you got their iced Tea-of-the-Day for $1. It was fantastic, but it ended with the summer weather.

I also took to making my own ice tea, which I sweetened a little, but it still tasted like tea. Highly recommended: North African Mint, Luscious Watermelon (only available in summer :() and your standard Orange Pekoe from Tetley or whoevs also comes out pretty great.

If people really love the sweet drink most restaurants serve now, we could keep it but rename it. Unsweetened ice tea. Let’s make this happen yesterday. A message from the People for the Selling of Ice Tea that Tastes like Tea.

Bird Walking

I will probably make a few posts about Florida things, but as I’m catching up at work, here’s just a quick video of a bird that I took. I’m not much of a bird watcher-don’t have that patient, centered attitude-so I don’t know what species it is. But my parents have gotten pretty into birds as amateurs since they retired and Florida is full of birds you don’t generally see in Southern Ontario. This bird trotting around on top of the water in a Family Circus-style path made me chuckle. I didn’t take my video camera, so this is just with my point-and-shoot; sorry for the poor quality.

$5 in Paris: La croisière s’amuse

The title is my subtle way of telling you that I’m going on vacation. Ages ago I read an article about Canadian politics that explained “La croisière s’amuse” basically means a group of folks try to amuse themselves with frivolous things.

(Weirdly I have always assumed the phrase had a bit of a negative connotation, but I found the article online-could not find my hard copy which I think I clipped from the paper back when I actually used to clip things from the paper, back when I got a paper made of paper-and it doesn’t really imply the expression is negative. Maybe just because of its context in the article? “La croisière s’amuse” was also the French title of the TV show “The Love Boat” and that’s not negative. Well, okay, I’ve never seen it, but the opening song is great. Incidentally, results for the TV show are basically 98% of what you get if you Google the phrase and I have no idea what keywords I ended up using to find the article since all I really remembered was I thought it was about a Canadian election.)

ANYWAY, yes, I’ll be doing frivolous (hopefully) things in Florida with my family for the week, but I hope to have posts queued up before I go (I should be in the air when this gets posted) and will have internet, but perhaps slightly less frequently than normal.

I am trying to take just a carry-on and have prepped what I have of my sweater to go with me.

sweater started

Hooray for top down-try it on as you go. Feel even stupider if it doesn't fit in the end.

I didn’t initially plan to knit so much of it since I have a whole week’s worth of time to fill, but after the lacework it was sort of nice to just knit round and round in worsted while reading. And by the time I was finished the first non-ribbed stripe, I figured I should finish the shoulder increases and get the sleeves onto scrap yarn to check the fit because it would probably be really awkward to do that on a plane.

sleeves not done yet

So many pointy needles passing my face to try this on, yet I am uninjured so far!

But when I got the sleeve stitches transferred, I just kept knitting. I wanted to do some short rows on the front, as suggested by someone on Rav, so there would be less bunching. It seemed like a good chance to practice Japanese short rows, which I’ve been wanting to try, since the results would basically be hidden in my armpit. I was reviewing this video before I started, but I continued to knit in the round as I watched and when the video said “Continue purling across” apparently my brain responded well to the not-so-subliminal messaging:

accidental purling

Purl across? Don't mind if I do.

So I tinked that back. Then did my short rows, but when I went to knit back across all the stitches, I realized neither this video nor the first related one did short rows in the round and so I was left wondering how to deal with the purl-side turns. I did it by trying to imagine what things would look like from the other side: knit to one before the gap, slip that stitch purlwise, lift the marked yarn onto the left needle, put the slipped stitch back and knit those two together. It turns out that if I had bothered to look up “Japanese short rows in the round”, I would find that someone else had already worked this out (except she slipped knitwise and then went through the back like you would with ssk, so mine probably leans the wrong way, but still GO ME for kinda figuring it out on my own).

I finally forced myself to put the sweater aside Saturday afternoon, picking up Skew to keep my hands from reaching toward its siren call again. I still cannot get over how ugly those socks are going to be. I’m excited yet horrified at the same time.

Post Navigation