Imaginary Maggie Knits!

The creator of LadyHawk Nutrition blogspot not only works, entertains, finds time for family and friends, and operates a thriving nutritional consultation office on weekends, but she's crafty too!

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Location: Saugatuck, Michigan, United States


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Meandering Vacation: Chapter 6

We spent the night in Bowling Green Kentucky, not far from the Corvette Museum and only about 90 minutes from our next scheduled stop: Nashville Baby! And we didn’t have to be there until noon, when we were scheduled to have lunch with our most infamous friends: Pete Huttlinger and his adorable wife Erin Morris.

Now Erin is the publicist for some pretty famous country music stars including Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes, and John Michael Montgomery. And of course the uber talented Pete Huttlinger, who is arguable (I’ve argued about it) the most talented guitarist in North America.

So we’re sittin’ there eatin’ some great organic, fresh, and tasty Mexican with these guys and getting’ caught up. Did you know? Did you? Pete’s going to be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno TOMORROW NIGHT! It’s too cool for words. We are just SO proud to know you Pete. So set your TiVo’s to record Jay Leno Thursday night, November 1st. Even better, he’s playing with LeAnn Rimes. Just the two of them making beautiful music together for us. All is right in the world.

Then set your TiVo’s for next week Tuesday (November 6th) and sit down to enjoy them again on the “Dancing with the Stars” show. Again: so proud to be able to tell all my friends that we “did lunch” with you. And you too Erin! Love you!

Since Pete and Erin had just returned home from a long 3-nights-sold-out-performances in Aspen weekend, where Pete reunited with the rest of John Denver’s old band for the 10th annual John Denver memorial concerts. Whew! Three nights in Aspen with three completely sold out shows. And Pete and the band keep saying they’ll never do it again because nobody would be interested… Right! We wanna go next year!

Click on this link for Pete’s website and click the “Schedule” button on the right to look up his upcoming events. You can purchase his C.D.'s there too.

We said our goodbyes in the parking lot after they suggested we go just a block or two down the road to Blackstone Brewery so that we could sample some of the local micro brews. It was there that we realized that we completely forgot to take any photos of our lunch with Pete and Erin. Well, I do have photos that I took during a concert he performed near Ludington Michigan a year and a half ago. I’ll give you a couple of shots of that performance here:

Now if you want a real thrill go to You Tube and watch Pete’s performance of “Superstition”. It’s the bomb!

And here are some photos of Blackstone Brewery, which had excellent beer; well above the average micro brew. And we’re beer snobs! I’m just sayin’ is all.

This photo of the pick up truck with a trailer full of spent grains, or grains that were used to make the beer here, belongs to a farmer who is going to give the grains to his cows and/or pigs. I am just amazed how cool it is that not only are the grains used for making beer, but instead of throwing them out they GIVE them to animal farmers to feed their livestock. I’ll drink to that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Meandering Vacation: Chapter 5

And where did we go right after Mammoth cave? We drove an entire 15 or so miles to the National Corvette Museum.

Here are loads of gratuitus photos. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Meandering Vacation: Chapter 4

Monday morning I awoke early, grabbed the laptop and headed to the free breakfast offered by the hotel. I checked my Emails and surfed the web for about an hour, sipping my tea, before checking out breakfast. It was the usual hotel breakfast, with tons of pastries, cereals, and breads, and little in the way of “real food”. I found that all of the free hotel breakfasts on our trip offered hard boiled eggs, which I usually ate.

Now I’m a little bit torn about checking my Emails while on vacation. On one side I just love modern technology, and it makes me able to go on vacation without worrying about problems at work. On the other hand I sure miss the days when going on vacation was forced relaxation, and you honestly didn’t even think about work for the entire time you were gone. I vividly remember the first time we went on vacation after Ron got his first cell phone. We left on vacation and one of his sub contractors called with a question. If we hadn’t had the cell phone nothing would have got done on that part of the job for the whole week we were gone. Ron was delighted, elated, and was able to relax the whole time we were gone just because people called him with questions that got answered, and he was making money while we vacationed.

Where were we? Oh yeah, Mammoth Cave. We left the hotel at the crack of 10:30 and got to Mammoth Cave about an hour later. When you get off the exit to Mammoth Cave they say to drive west for a few miles. Trust me, it’s more like 10 miles, and not all of the signs are clear telling you how to get there: it reminded me of a road rally. You might be tempted to stop at any one of the dozen or so trinket shops along the way, or Dinosaur World, or camp sites, etc.

Once we found the headquarters nestled on top of a densely wooded mountain, which was honestly a beautiful place, we parked and went inside. There were more than a half dozen different cave tours you could take and we decided on the “snowball tour” which started in about a half hour and included a box lunch inside the cave (for an extra $5). It was a 3 hour tour, and now you’ll have the theme to Gilligan’s Island in your head for the rest of the day. This particular cave wasn’t pretty like some you might think of, but it was large, which I loved because of my slight claustrophobia, and it had over 150 years of history. I’ll give you some pictures here of 100+ year old graffiti and of our lunch.

These are the "Snowballs" made of either lime or gypsum (I forget which).

Here is my Ronnie standing in the "lunch room" where we had turkey sandwiches, chips, and an apple. I actually drank coffee to get warm.
Hello! It's me!

This is he ladie's bathroom at the bottom of the cave. I honestly thought it was one of the coolest parts of the tour. How did they get plumbing down there, and can you imagine the lift pumps needed to get the "stuff" back up? Yikes!

This is some 100 year + grafitti. I reads "Cofland's Tonic" which I'm guessing was a few medicinal herbs soaked in cheap vodka. They wrote the grafitti using the soot from the flames of their candles.

We left the caves and headed just a few miles down the highway to the National Corvette Museum. Almost all of the cars there are on loan from private individuals, and other than that I think the photos will tell the rest of the story... tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Meandering Vacation: Chapter 3

I am one of those people who fade every night around 10:00. I struggle each night to stay awake until the 11:00 news but I usually fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV long before then. I wake up around 6:30 – 7:00 weekday or weekend, and I think it’s strange that I struggle to get out of bed on weekdays, but I jump out of bed bright and early on Saturday and Sunday because I look forward to “lap time” with the cats and watching BBC America. I do my best writing in the morning, and if I read I retain the most at that time of day. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those chipper happy morning people. I just have my most clear minded moments at that time of day.

Not so much with Ron, who loves to stay up to watch Jay Leno and loves to sleep late on the weekend.

Sunday morning finally came and as usual I was up early, start watching “How clean is your house?” on BBC America, drinking citrus flavored green tea with a cat on my lap and a stack of knitting books and magazines on the floor beside me. I had decided to start my 2nd ever sweater and although I didn’t have a pattern I surely had a tone of mercerized cotton yarn that I bought with my friend Cheryl at a going-out-of-business sale for about $25. Woo Hoo! I love a bargain. I picked a pattern out of last springs’ Interweave Knit magazine, packed all the yarn and all my needles and my little help book into my bag and I was officially ready for a little “Vacay”.

Ron got up slowly, drank coffee, we showered (we like to shower together and we even have a 6 foot long shower with 3 (yes 3!) shower heads each with their own temperature control because we don’t all like the same temperature. Call me spoiled.) I cooked eggs and toast for breakfast, and we left the house at the crack of 11:00. Heh.

We went directly to Bill and Cheryl’s barn warming party, and their barn was really more like a 3 stall garage. There is a double garage door on one side for his and her vehicles and another single stall door on the other side for Bill’s fishing boat. There was plenty of room on the other side of the cars and the boat to store tools and other manly barn implements, and lots of electrical sockets to plug all the tools into. And the coffee maker, because Bill planned on spending many a morning out there totting around drinking coffee and listening to the radio. I was so impressed with it also because although their house isn’t new, the garage had matching siding, roof shingles, and trim. It matched their house so very nicely! Ron brought a growler of his most recent foray into beer making, which was a Stout I think, and everyone who had the kahuna’s to try it liked it. Bill even had seconds, which was good, because I didn’t really want Ron to drink a 3rd glass before driving to Kentucky.

We left the party at the crack of… 1:00? Oh boy. And drove a whole 18 miles before stopping at a gas station to pick up beef jerky and chips for the road. We could only laugh. We headed south about another hour before Ron spied a Harley Davidson dealership out in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana and just HAD to stop to buy a T-shirt. I’m kinda glad he did because I had to go to the bathroom already. Blame it on the beer. He bought his T-shirt and a H-D shirt and pants for our grandson Connor and off we went. Again.

We ate lunch at a Steak and Shake where, when I went to the bathroom (blame it on the iced tea) there were two waitresses who also were in there and neither of them washed their hands. They didn’t even pretend to; just preening themselves in the mirror on the way out the door. Icky!

Ron decided that he would drive as far as Elizabethtown, Kentucky that day, because you know we had just watched that movie with Orlando Bloom and all. I pulled out the laptop and tried out my new Sprint internet card which worked in the middle of nowhere Indiana! I was thrilled! And I was thrilled again when I found the Elizabethtown chamber of commerce website which should be a pattern used by all cities’ websites because it was so easy to use. It had links to dozens of hotels with their average rates listed on them, as well as links to all the restaurants, stores, historic sites and attractions.

Overall Elizabethtown was a very nice town, and our first day of vacation was just fine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Meandering Vacation: Chapter 2

It’s Saturday and mom dropped off her 10 year old BMW convertible ready for the road and picked up my good old P.T. Cruiser that she drove while we were gone. Dad said that the car would be empty because they didn’t need anything else at their Florida house, but mom had other ideas. She asked me last Tuesday night how much luggage Ron and I would have because she wanted to send some boxes down in the car. Well, we would each have a duffle bag as well as my computer bag and my knitting bag (of course). These four things alone would pretty much fill the trunk of the BMW, which are not known for their large trunks to begin with, then add the convertible option and their trunks are about big enough for a set of golf clubs.

When we got the car there were two LARGE throw pillows in the back seat. Mom said that we could use them for seat cushions on the drive down, but if I put one behind my back my boobs would be pressed against the dashboard, and if I sat on one my head would make the rag top bulge up about 2 inches. I held my tongue when I opened the trunk, which was packed with 5 boxes and a bag, with one of the boxes marked on every side “Fragile!!!” There was enough room for my makeup bag. Maybe.

OK, I’m exaggerating a little, and we did get our medium size duffel bag and Ron’s Biker Boots in the trunk, but by the time we got all of the other bags (including a goodie bag of snacks and a small cooler of bottled water on ice that was really to put beer in to bring up to the hotel rooms) and Ron’s king-sized pillow in the back seat we were cracking jokes about the Clampett’s.

Well, it looked like we were all ready to leave on Sunday and the crack of dawn. We know we only had to drive about 6 or 7 hours to Mammoth Cave, which is just north of Bowling Green Kentucky, so we certainly didn’t have to leave too early. That would give us time to sleep in, and it would give me some extra quality “lap time” with the kitties.

Then Ron said something to the effect of “Oh, yeah! I forgot to tell you that Dennis has been planning a Barn Warming party all summer for Bill and Cheryl and it’s on Sunday. We can go at 10:00 and leave by noon. OK?”

Wait, you knew about this all summer and you’re just now bringing it up? But it sounded like fun and we weren’t in a hurry, and we ARE on VACATION after all. OK! Let’s go!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Meandering Vacation: Chapter 1

So the idea was that since all our lives we Michiganders (Our law makers say “Michiganians” but most of us prefer Michiganders, which by the way Spell-check also prefers!) drive to Florida in the winter and try to break land speed records on the way. Our men are often heard saying things like “Yeah, I made it to Orlando in 22 ½ hours” or “I made it to Key West in just over 25 hours” which we know is a lie. The problem is that not only does that make for a painful trip down for the rest of the family, as well as our bladders, but there are so many great tourist destinations on the way that are always missed.

The romantic version: My Dear Husband and I decided to drive slowly from Michigan to Florida and stop to smell the roses on the way. We would drive a whole 6-7 hours to Kentucky on the first day, wake up the next morning to take a tour through Mammoth Cave in the morning, stop at the National Corvette Museum and if we had time at the Corvette assembly plant down the street in the afternoon. I set up to meet friends for lunch in Nashville on Tuesday, which was a whole 1.5 hour drive from the Corvette museum. We downloaded and talked about many other touristy things to do in Tennessee and Georgia. We decided that the highlight of our journey would be seeing the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs on the Gulf coast of Florida, which Ron had seen as a child, and had taken his kids to see years ago, but I had never seen. We would then spend a couple of days with friends on Pine Island further down the coast, and end up in Key Largo. All of this would be done at the leisurely pace of 10 days. Ahhhh.

The not-so-romantic version: My parents asked us to drive their car to Florida for them so they could fly down.

With digital camera in hand we planned our vacation. Over the next few days you’ll find out how it went. Cross your fingers! And yes: I did bring my knitting with me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sucked in by Lion Brand

So a couple of Fridays ago I got my weekly Lion Brand Yarn Email with an adorable free pattern for a crocheted candy corn Halloween bag. I simply HAD TO make two of them for my grand kids, and about an hour after receiving their Email I was streaking over to my LYS to purchase the four colors of yarn and a very large crochet hook, since I knew I didn't have one anywhere near that large.

Yes, I was sucked in by Lion Brand.

I'm not so proud of that. It's much more cool to say I was sucked in by Tilli Thomas or South West Trading. But no, it was you common run-of-the-mill, good old-fashioned Lion Brand Wool.

And three hours of quick work for each of them while watching TV I have two of the most adorable Halloween bags I've ever imagined. Love them!

Ain't no candy gettin' thru these holes!