Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Where Do I Start?

Sunday night we got back from our 30th Anniversary Celebration Cruise up the Inside Passage to Alaska...Wonderful is cliche, I know, but it was that and more. Best part? Too many things to mention!

Was it the food? Though heavenly, I managed to come back without gaining an ounce. How? Easy! I pushed my 160-lb. DH all over the ship -- and all over Juneau and Ketchikan.

The scenery? Spectacular! Mount Roberts, where we took the tram straight up through the lichen/moss trimmed evergreens. The Jewel Gardens in Skagway, where there are begonias the size of a tea saucer. The crystal beauty of the aquamarine Hubbard Glacier. The Ketchikan Rainforest Conservatory -- eagles, black bears, spawning salmon, trees laden with velvet mosses...


We broke even in the Casino Royale, laughed and sang along at two shows -- "Piano Man" (a tribute to Billy Joel, Elton John and Stevie Wonder) and a one-woman tribute to lady legends of song such as Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Barbra Streisand, Vicky Carr... and then there were the Art Auctions, from which I came away with both education and prints -- at great prices!

The shopping? They even teach you how to shop -- both on and off the ship! There's a great deal of commerciality to it, which I learned to take with a grain of salt...I gleefully won a bear from Del Sol -- cute and cuddly, its pats and the inside of its ears change colour in the sunlight -- and took advantage of the freebies and coupons I felt comfortable with. I came home with delightful, tiny pink sapphire stud earrings for my DD, and a set of simple solitaire rainbow topazes -- stud earrings and a pendant for myself. My DH bought a great pullover in beige and cream, and we added to our DS' hoodie collection with a black number emblazoned with the head of a bald eagle.

The best, however, was finding two handwork shops, owned by locals -- one in Juneau and one in Skagway. These shops have to handle all the needleworker's needs, and so carry fabric, quilt patterns and books, embroidery supplies (including kits and patterns) and yarn. In Juneau, at Changing Tides I found a great fat quarter covered with wolves' heads in greys and blacks, as well as a wonderful counted cross-stitch pattern featuring a design by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee: "Kuspuks by the Yard".

In Skagway, I bought a 1/2 yard of blue fabric sporting graceful Orca whales, at Changing Threads.

It was there that I got into an extensive conversation with the owner about the yarn I lusted after: qiviuk. In Juneau, I'd been told I'd never find it in the southeast part of the state -- only in Fairbanks or Anchorage, or better yet, why didn't I try on line when I got home?! At Changing Threads, however, she had a supply -- straight from the Canadian Yukon! LOL! And I came away with two balls (a generous 214 yards per ball) in a deep teal blue (a mere $72 USD each!), plus a pattern for a lace mobius scarf -- and a deep-down feeling of delight at finding someone who understood me.

1 comment:

Bess said...

Oh wonderful wonderful! I don't know which is more thrilling - that scenery behind you and DH or the thought of buying 2 balls of Q at $72 a pop! Gal - what a happy anniversary treat. But welcome home = I've missed you.

Ankle is getting better S - L - 0 - W - L - Y