Friday, November 24, 2006


It's always a treat to go to Dianne and John's house for dinner. In addition to enjoying a great meal, we always meet some new people

Christine and David

Ralph and Lois

...And spend time with family.

Todd, John's son.

Jean, Dianne's mom.     

Let's not forget our hosts.

Dianne and John

Tom and Dianne and the cameras

Dianne and Tom are taking pictures of each other

Now they're not.

It was a great evening.

New Camera

I think I mentioned that I'd spent some time—not knitting or sewing—shopping for a camera. It all started on the trip when on several occasions I'd forgotten the trusty Olympus (which was small when be bought it four years ago). Tom suggested we get a smaller camera that would be easier to carry in my not-very-large bags. So we did.

With a new camera come the test pictures. And what better subjects than dogs?

Like Mandy...
        "Oh,no! Not again!"                      "Okay! Fine!"

...And Cody

"Is this really necessary?"

"You know I could be sleeping right now."

Tom is a more willing subject

A few days later

Monday, November 20, 2006


Knitting - finally!
In the almost 20 days since arriving home from the cruise, I've made precious little forward progress. In fact, I'm just now getting back to where I was. The count was off when I started the short rows and in looking closely, I'd moved an increase over by a stitch. I could see only two options for correction, since it affected about 20 rounds:
   • Pull out 20 rounds of double increases on each side
   • Pull out to the offending increase
I opted for the latter—imagine the grayed out area on the picture as pulled out stitches... Hopefully, a little water and agitation will even up the the "V" of wobbly stitches, caused by the kinked yarn. But it is progress.

On the more positive side, Tom's Christmas gift is finally shaping up. But I darenot say more, since it's supposed to be a secret.

Geek stuff
After chronicling the trip through 200 photos, 8 blog pages and 170 web pages, I seemed to have gotten stuck to the computer. So I did some work, researched phones and cameras, and found some cool FileMaker tools that work with Apple Mail and Address book. I am a professed propellor head, after all.

It's nice to be back to knitting. Next I'll need to dust off the sewing machine.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More temptations

When will it ever stop? There was 11 days of mail waiting for us when we got home, including the elusive Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. The list of "what I'd like to make" grows ever longer.

For a while I stopped my subscription because I just wasn't seeing enough patterns that really captured my attention, but the Holiday '06 has redeemed least for this issue. There's the very cool woven trellis scarf on the cover, to start. Then I saw the Winter White Lace.
It's all about the lace.

But the styles and colorwork in the Foreign Affair patterns were equally intriguing.

And because I also love cables, two Town & Country patterns spoke to me.

The past couple of years I have always found several patterns that were really intriguing in each issue. The Winter 2006 issue was disappointing in that the only pattern that really caught my eye was the Arctic Diamonds Stole - so much so, I ordered the Arctic Lace book. (And it's arrived via UPS as I write.)

Speaking of lace...
Based on the description, and my found love for lace knitting, I preordered Victorian Lace Today in August and it arrived today. Omigosh! Everything in the book is beautiful and screaming at me to try it. Here are just three examples.

Back to our regular programming


Mandy decided since Cody isn't using it, why not take advantage of the soft squishy bed?

Is it really necessary to take another picture?

Fine, I'll just clean my paws like a cat.

I'm here. Where's my cookie?

Having discovered how to use the macro on my camera (after 4 years...), I decided to try it out on Cody. A little scary, but still cute.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some Final Cruise Thoughts

The last day at sea was Halloween Tuesday. Once again, we wandered around the ship and had time to really sum up the trip.

The Good
New friends
In addition to our great dining companions at dinner, at the one lunch we at in the dining room, we met Mike and Liz Hashem (alas! no picture), who happen live across the river from us in Oregon City.

Frank and Lorita Eagle introduced themselves to us as we people watched on the Lido deck. "You must be newlyweds because you're always holding hands." No. We've been married for 24 years.

Ship's crew

Hariyanto was our cabin steward who worked hard to keep our cabin immaculate.

Jonathan worked on the Lido deck, when he wasn't assisting passengers as they disembarked and other tasks.

Staci who managed the library was very helpful and friendly.

Our AAA escorts, Jeryl and Jocey.

Topolobampo, Loreto and La Paz

Pinnacle Grill

The So-So
We found the dining room food to be good, but not exceptional as we experienced on previous cruises. The good news is that we didn't gain any weight.

The bad and the ugly
Better management and communications could have prevented the two events from going bad. Fortunately, there was enough of the good to overcome the bad.

Would we do it again? Probably.

But it is good to be home.

Just Two More Ports

La Paz
The trip to the port of Pichilingue was short, so the late departure didn't affect our scheduled arrival. La Paz is a thirty minute bus ride from the port. It was fairly quiet on a Sunday morning, even with the busloads of tourists descending on the town.

After wandering the short main street with the Lake Oswegians, who we met after making our first purchase of the day, we had ice cream, then a cool drink before heading to find the Mercado.

Tom wanted to find some tequilas that we can't find at home (which would be a lot since Oregon is ah alcohol-controlled state). There was a really pretty bottle in a locked case, but for even for Tom 1512 pesos (US$137) is a lot for "sight unseen" so we found some interesting bottles as considerably less.

Back on the ship
The Master Chefs Dinner was billed as "dinner theater," with the dining stewards dancing and singing with an "amazing dessert" to finish. The entertainment consisted of less than enthusiastic dining stewards marching around with trays of food. The amazing dessert was a white chocolate mold with chocolate mousse. Good, but like most of the food on the ship, nothing exceptional.

Our regular dining partners had reservations at the Pinnacle Grill so missed wearing the chef's hats, but ate far better than we. Apparently main seating guests can get seated early if they wait till serving is ready to begin, so six others were brought to the table. The most interesting were Nelson and Dottie, who have been married for 62 years. Dottie told us a story about a young couple that approached them because Dottie and Nelson were holding hands. "We hope we're holding hands still when we've been married as long as you." Dottie's response, "We just hold hands because Nelson is holding me up."

The best show of the cruise was comedian Chris Pendleton. In addition to the stand-up, we were treated to music in the form of an electric fiddle. She was excellent at both.

A turtle was waiting for us on the bed.

Cabo San Lucas

The second badly handled event occurred Monday morning when I awoke to a waste back up in the bathroom.

"Mr. Hudson, it's not your fault. There was a block in the port side aft plumbing and the engineers are working on it now." That's what Tom heard at 6:30 am on Monday. The question was, couldn't they have told me that at 5am when I went BACK to the front office after reporting the problem an hour earlier. Why I hadn't seen a plumber to fix the toilet that wouldn't flush and the sewer back up in our bathroom? I waited for over two hours for a plumber or some information and nothing. I do understand that these things happen but a little communication of the situation would have been under the circumstances.

The Day
It was a brief visit into town. We had hoped to get to the glass factory but it didn't open till noon, and we'd tendered in before nine. Even at that hour it was already heating up with high humidity. The souvenir for the port was something with Cabo Wabo, so we found the bar and Tom got his third bottle of tequila.

We got dressed up for the last time. The red carpet dress made an encore appearance. And Tom was once again very handsome in his tuxedo. He also was the only person who got the AAA trivia question right.

We passed on the show and got back to a very cool monkey.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The town
Loreto was our favorite town. It was a pretty, quiet little town, and we had a "personal" tour guide. Russ and Jean have spent time in Loreto, so Russ invited us to join them in a tour.

After tendering in, we wandered to the main street, where there was music and dancers. The music was more reminiscent of native American music than typical Mexican music we hear. And I loved the dancers' skirts.

We did a little shopping and took a look at the mission, which was the first mission built on Baja.

And we saw some dogs…

After shopping, Russ scouted out places to eat and found Sofia's. The menu was very simple because Sofia did all the cooking herself. We ate well and enjoyed the experience.
The rest of the day
We headed back to the ship, where we rested and headed to dinner. Still full from lunch, I had one of the best dining room meals – very tasty chilled strawberry soup and salad.

John D. Smitherman, billed as "Three Tenors in One" put on an excellent show. He sang opera in Italian, Andrew Lloyd Weber Broadway songs, pop music, and most impressively, "Ol' Man River."

The towel animal for the night was a butterfly.

Visit TheHudsons for more pictures.