Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh, Canada!

Alright.  I finally have time to recount our escapades in Canada- it was quite an amazing adventure!  Are you ready?  Come on, eh?

I'll buy a vowel, Pat. An "eh" please.

We began our little trip by driving ~7.5 hours and crossed the border into Niagara, Ontario.  We arrived around 2pm thinking that we would have all afternoon to spend touring the falls and then leave at a decent time in the morning to Listowel where The Yarn Factory Outlet is located.  Yeah......planning and I don't really get along all that well and, well, you know what they say about birds of a feather.  Birds of a feather drive-all-day-into-another-country-just-to-spend-the-afternoon-crocheting-in-the-hotel-room-and-end-up-taking-a-nap together.  (Well, not "together", but....oh you know.)

Yep.  We spent our first afternoon in another country- one where thousands of people flock each year to view the majestic sights and wonders- napping.  In all honesty, it was AWESOME.  I was exhausted from the drive and, well, it was the first vacation I've been on where it was totally ok to just....chill.  No stress.  No plans. No schedules.  Just....relax.  What a concept for a vacation, eh?

We ended up waking up around 7pm and realized, Hey! We're in a different country! Let's explore!  After getting some pizza delivery, of course.  So, we ordered in the Niagara, Ontario world famous pizza- Little Caesars.  Hmmmm.....not quite getting the whole "exploration" thing yet, but we were still fighting the groggies from the epic nap.  (BTW- the pizza was gross.  No offense to our Canadian neighbors, but it truly is ok to use salt in the sauce.  A little hypertension never hurt anyone.)

We then decided to take a little walk outside of our hotel.  We were right off the water and (as we found on Sunday) about a minute from the Niagara Whirlpool.  But, it was getting dark, so we didn't have much hope of seeing anything all that spectacular.  It was ok- we were driving back on Sunday and had nothing planned, so we could do our touring of Niagara then.  Since we were right by the water, and since it is still summer, and since my blood must be mosquito's crack, I debated on whether or not to use my OFF.

Me: Do you think they have mosquitoes out here?
Lyteyz: *pause*  Well, it is still planet earth, right?
Me: *blink*  Shut up.

America and mosquitoes across the water...and a wondrous Canadian tree blocking the view

Since we were no longer tired, we had all night to spend however we wanted to- no dinner to cook. No babies to change. No husbands to appease.  So, we did something we haven't done in forever- went out to a 10:30pm movie.  (!!)  We saw The Other Guys and I think my abs are still sore from all the laughing.  It was HYSTERICAL!  As an aside, Lyteyz is the best person you can watch a funny movie with- her laugh is so infectious and her reactions just slay me.  I love her!!

The next morning, we spent some time at Souvenir City and bought gifts for our family.  I hope they like their post cards.  (What?  More gifts for them = less yarn for me.  Der.)  We also took this awesome pic for my mom.

(Actual conversation the weekend before we left.)
Mom:'re going to Canada without your Mister?
Me: Yes! My friend and I are going on a yarn binge! It's going to be awesome!
Mom: You girls be careful.  They have grizzlies out there and you don't have your men to protect you.
Me: *stifling laugh* We'll be careful, mom.
Mom:  I hate bears.  They eat people.

 Run lyteyz, run! Once he's done with that fish, you're next!

And then we were finally off to Listowel.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive from Niagara through some beautiful Mennonite farming communities.

Not a Mennonite farm, but pretty none-the-less.

We have quite a few pictures of the farming communities on the drive there.  Listowel was in the middle of nowhere and I was really wondering if the mill would be connected to a farm.  Listowel truly was a very cute little town and the mill may very well have been connected to a farm; however, I wouldn't know since I had complete tunnel vision once I saw the tent with all the woolly goodness inside.  Apparently, Lyteyz was very tunnel visioned, as well, since this is the only picture we have of my yarn Mecca.

Can you see the awesomeness?!?

Yeah.  Well, you're just going to have to take my word for it.  Once you walked in to the tent, there was a lovely lady who offered us a "shopping bag" - a black, 30-gallon trash bag.  I about died laughing!  And then I about knocked the lovely lady over as I attacked the bins of yarn like a grizzly attacks people.  It was filled with all types of Patons, Lily, and Bernat yarns.  I went specifically for some Patons Wool and SWS.  (No seriously- I drove all the way to Canada specifically for those yarns- this whole trip was for some Patons.  I'm nothing if not loyal.)

This is my haul:

Upon getting home, my mister immediately saw the huge garbage bag.

(Actual reactions)
Me: Hi Mister!  Did you miss me?
Mister: Yes! How did......what is that big bag?
Me:  That would be my shopping bag.
Mister: *pause* *squints eyes*  I hate you.

Whatever- he'll forgive me.  One of these days....

*in total wool coma*

Yes. I know.  Be jealous.  Do you know how many felted bags are in there???  Actually, if you can see in the middle right, there are 2 skeins of yarn on top of a bag.  That is because I busted open that bag in the car ride home and started on a bag.  And then I finished it yesterday.

Patons SWS Turtle Handbag
I know I've shown my Traveling Turtle bag, but I don't think I've shown its little sister- the Turtle Handbag.

Turtle Power!

I've been working on this pattern for a while and was able to finish writing it with this bag. However, I need to finish the second Traveling Bag just to have wool yardage.  I LOVE how this bag came out!!  I was hoping to find this specific SWS colorway (Natural Crimson) on my trip.  I think I would have been very sad had I not found it, but instead, I've got a beautiful handbag!

From Listowel, we headed out to Toronto where we stayed two nights.  The whole purpose of going to Toronto was to visit the yarn store we hit on Saturday- Romni Wools.  Oh.My.Lanta.  I have NEVER seen so much yarn in one place!!  It was simply amazing!!!!!

1/4 of the store....not including the basement
1/4 of the basement- the Cone Portion
The Spinning portion of the basement
Debra and Jacqueline worked in the basement of the store and were sooo nice!  I saw the spinning tools and started asking questions.  They asked me if I wanted to learn.  I LOVE THIS PLACE!  They taught me how to use a drop spindle (I won one as one of my Bobby Awards- more on that at a later date) and I had so much fun!

You spin me right round baby

 If you are ever in Toronto, you MUST stop at Romni.  The basement is filled with clearance yarns, which is awesome.  The yarns on the top floor were truly amazing, but....well....a little pricey.  However, it truly was a sight to behold.  Seriously- wow.  

On Sunday, after we got over our Romni Wool hangover, we left Toronto back to Niagara to finish up our touring.  Lessons learned after an hour and a half of frustrations on the Ontario side: if you visit Niagara Falls, stop in the New York side.  Parking is cheaper ($10 vs. $20); you are a 5 minute walk to the Falls vs. a mile or two, and you are actually very close to the water.  It was amazing!

Canada across the water...and a couple of wondrous Americans blocking the view.
We had an amazing time!  The really awesome thing is that our husbands think it's a good idea to let us have another trip again next year.  See- I told you he'd forgive me. ;)  

So, Lyteyz, where to next year?  TNNA?  Stitches South?  The Crochet Guild of America? The possibilities are endless!  I'll be sure to pack my mosquito and bear repellents and ensure there's plenty of space in the car for our hauls.  Love you girl!

PS: Check out Lyteyz blog where you can get her perspective of our trip. :)  (I wasn't kidding when I said I about knocked the lovely lady over at the Tent Sale....)  


  1. Gege!!!! I love you to much and this made me laugh so hard. So many FUN memories of this trip that will be held in my heart FOR-EH-VER!!! I'm going to get Kevin to read this post...because you crack my junx up girl!!!

  2. Oh you had a blast! Your mom is too funny. But seriously, if I was let loose in all that yarn, I think upon my return home some bill just wouldn't get paid!!! Are you kidding? Cable's not necessary. lol I'm so glad you drove. I could see you now trying to explain the suitcase bulge to airport security. :-D

  3. OMG Thanks for the wonderful story- loved reading it! And now I am indeed even more jealous! pant pant pant My fav yarns are the Patons wools....where do you live? What is your address? When will you not be home?

  4. Gege-
    Thanks for the recap of your FABULOUS trip! I was daydreaming of the sights, smells, luxurious yarn petting and adrenaline rushes must have been going on. Sigh....
    So glad to hear you had such a great time. Yes,I have a little green monster peeking it's head out.:)

  5. Lyteyz- I had so much fun with you! And I didn't mention the so fine guys and klutzy us....(kind of a "had to be there" thing. ;) can't wait to see how your vest is turning out!

    Libby- totally spot on- who needs cable for entertainment when you have all that yarn to devour? Heating? Who cares! I've got a pre-blanket waiting in my stash! We did have some 'splaining to do at the border crossing..... Yes, officer, those huge black trash bags are full of yarn. Not a dead body. No, you don't have to check. DON't TOUCH MY YARN!!!

    Kuddlekubs- yay! A fellow Patons lover! So many people are Cascades 220 fans, but they are more expensive than Patons, AND you have to wind them into ballls. Urg! My address is, 1234 North.......hey......wait a minute........

  6. ooooo you almost gave it away! Soooo close! LOL

  7. Tracy- you must have responded while I was typing this morning. :) (just got home from work.). Yes, it was indeed a jealousy inducing trip for our fellow yarn-aholics. For our husbands on the other hand.......when lyteyz text her husband about the awesomeness we were beholding, he replied, "I wish I was there! Oh wait- I would rather someone throw me into the falls instead." *sigh* They just don't get it. ;)

    Kuddlekubs- ha! You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get me to tell you that I live at 1234 North.......hey......wait a minute........ ;)

  8. Left you a blog award on my blog: