Friday, January 8, 2010

After a whirlwind tour of the Midwest and a full day of traveling, Thayer and I arrived back in Gates Cabin yesterday afternoon.  Our trip was wonderful- we spent three days in Minneapolis and about three days in Libertyville.  In Minneapolis, we got to attend Claire and Sam's wedding, which was beautiful and happy.  We also spent a great amount of time with Thayer's parents, Carolyn and CR.  I thoroughly took advantage of being back in civilization by visiting a yarn store, REI, and Starbucks.  Libertyville was likewise wonderful; I visited a yarn store there, too!  We had some great time to reconnect with my parents, saw my grandparents for 'Christmas dinner', and visited my sister, Kate, in Chicago.  We went to lunchies with her near DePaul, and then spent a (too short) afternoon at the Lincoln Park Zoo.  It was very very fun, and even though it was much colder then we're used to, it wasn't too horrible being outside.  Although I have to admit that the gray weather in Chicago was definitely not appreciated.

[T - the trip went by way too fast, but we got to do pretty much all that we meant to, at least.  I was so happy seeing Claire and Sam getting married!  There weren't really any shops that I wanted to go to, although I looked at snowshoes at REI, just because I was curious.  There's no way I'm investing in winter gear when I might be going somewhere that doesn't even get regular snow.  They're pretty cool though.  It was kind of weird being in climate controlled houses.  Our cabin is so much more variable in temperature!  I also missed our wood stove.  It's so cozy to make a happy little fire in it and feel it warm up nice and toasty, not to mention that it's just pretty having a fire.  It's weird how much sunnier it is here in Gothic in the winter, but I never really thought about it until we were in the midwest and nothing really get particularly bright and the sky can be overcast for no reason. 

The culture shock at being back in civilization for a bit wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it might be.  Complicated traffic was kind of overwhelming, and Jessica and I found we had a much lower threshold for loud stupid people after being completely isolated from anything irritating like that, but it was pretty manageable.  TV was kind of exciting.  Jessica and I actually enjoyed watching commercials, because they were pretty much all new to us.  We also enjoyed having food that wasn't our usual selection of cabin food!  We took full advantage of it. 

We also went to Avatar in 3D at an IMAX theater near Jessica's house, and Ebert doesn't exaggerate when he says it is a genre defining movie.  I'm sure I would have enjoyed it a lot in 2D, as I found the characters lovable and the plot fun in a predictable/cute way, but in 3D it's nothing that has ever been done before.  It is by far the most immersed I've ever been in a movie.  It made me want to go into the world.  After a bit, I stopped thinking about how it was 3D and just thinking about how the world was so unbelievably real.  It's the first time I've fully accepted CGI without having that niggling awareness that it's not "real."  I have been unfavorably comparing CGI monsters and spaceships to the classic 80's models up until this point, but I just have to say that especially the CGI ships in this I loved and admired just as much as any model.  The whole movie is kinda like if Fern Gully had special effects that swept me away. Well, and if Crysta's grandmother was instead Sigourney Weaver.  There were some things Jessica and I would have changed, and the script isn't going to make you stare deep into your soul, but we didn't really care.

Also, I think it's the first movie I've ever seen with a horse running around on fire.  It's a CGI alien horse, but still.]

I used some Christmas money from my Grandma and Grandpa True to buy this wonderful gorgeous handpainted yarn in Minneapolis.  It's a silk and wool blend, made by Mountain Colors- one of my absolute favorite yarn manufacturers.

It will eventually become this shawl

This is how far I am on it now (thankfully the often-overzealous TSA people did not take away my needles)

Also, I received yarn and the pattern to make Elizabeth Zimmerman's green cardigan (you can see it here).  Yay- so much knitting fun for the next few months!!!  And speaking of knitting, now that I've given away Christmas presents, I'll be able to show you (maybe tomorrow) what I've been working on over the past few months.

Even though our visits were wonderful and far too short, we are so happy to be back in Gothic.  I mean, where else will you see this?

Gothic has welcomed us back with sunny weather in the low 30's- life is good.  I figured out how to take widescreen photos with our camera, so I'll leave you with this image from the day before we left for our trip.

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