Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Niagara, Part 2

I can't believe it's already Tuesday! Apologies to those of you who have been waiting to hear about the rest of our Niagara weekend with bated breath. When we got back Sunday night it was a mad rush to get everything ready for the coming week, and with choir practice last night, I wasn't able to get a proper post out.

OK! Dinner with the kite bigwigs Friday night. (Again, let me stress what a big deal this was to Phil. I really had no idea who these people were, but if the kite world had a king and queen, 2 of our co-diners, David and Susan Gomberg, would be it.)

Our patrons took us to a swanky steakhouse restaurant in the Niagara Casino. Sa-WAN-ky, I tell you. We had a private room, champagne, and ordered off a superb menu where everything was à la carte (cha-CHING!). I had the filet mignon with fresh asparagus. It was heavenly.
Dinner and company were so enjoyable that we missed the fireworks, but we retreated quite happily to our king sized suite (yeah, they booked us a suite - grins sheepishly), and were up at the crack of dawn (maybe even before that) to get ready for a day of kite flying.

The day's flying was at Reservoir State Park, a short drive away from Niagara Falls. It's a really large, flat fairground, perfect for flying really big kites. Unfortunately, Fūjin was not smiling on us Saturday. The rain held off but the winds were sporadic at best, and it was up, down, up, down all day long. Still, Phil got his Jordan 200 off the ground a few times and was able to test out his new koi fish, a birthday present he picked up from himself to himself with love.

(Check out more pictures here)

Saturday evening there was a flyers reception shindig planned at an abandoned train station in Buffalo, New York. Yes, you read that right. Abandoned. And without heating. In a reaaaalllly bad part of town (think crack houses). That should have been the first clue that the evening would not go well.

Phil had offered 2 of the people who were also at the previous night's dinner a ride to the station, since the bus that was taking most of the flyers to the reception wouldn't be making it's way back until midnight. As we left the hotel to follow the bus to the station, one of the gentlemen, Alan Sparling, tripped on a small step that the designers of the hotel apparently thought would be a good idea to stick right in the middle of the parking lot, and anyway, he went down like a TON of bricks. The ppor man literally took a header, falling face first on the pavement and scraping his forehead, nose and glasses RAW.

We called an ambulance, and when they were finished wrapping him up, I swear the poor fellow looked like Imhotep. Our friends accompanied him to the hospital (he only ended up needing 2 stitches, but Man! That was a nasty fall), and we left with our lone remaining passenger for the station.

Of course (of course!) we got lost, and spent a friggin' half hour zipping back and forth along crack-house lane, trying to find this station. After stopping at a local firehouse and asking the friendly fireman for directions (whe I told him where we wanted to go, he looked at me and said "you SURE you want to go there at night?"), we finally found it, and DUDES. It was friggin' creepy. Very Gotham city. I kept expecting the Joker or the Riddler or even Batman himself to step out of the shadows. (Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that, as according to Wikipedia, it was used as a location for such fine films as Prison of the Psychotic Damned and The Eldritch: A Tale of Erotic Horror. Nice.)

Anyhoo, we basically went in, took a look around (Freezing. Port-o-Potty. Stay in lighted areas or you may get mugged. Cockroaches.) and left. We had dinner with Barry and Karen (our patrons) at the Red Coach Inn, and it was delicious.

So all in all, a great weekend. We met great people, made new friends, and left with some interesting stories to tell. Can't wait to do it again.

I didn't get as much knitting done as I would have liked, unfortunately. I spent most of Saturday walking around, getting lunch and fetching drinks for everyone (I say fetching, but I was happy to do it. These people were working HARD!). The important thing is that I got my 2 main projects cast on and off.

First, may I present the Brainmonster Hat!

Maxime was this thing where he sort of growls when you say either the word Monster or Dinosaur (I'm going to try to get him to say "brains.... BRAINS!!!", but it'll do for now). So when I saw this hat, I knew I had to make it for him.

Knit with Cascade 220 using 4.5 mm needles. Very quick knit. Lots of fun. I highly recommend it. I was worried about sizing, because the pattern says if for either an adult with a small head or a child with a large one, but it fits him perfectly. Both my kids have large noggins. I knew this.

And lastly, Émilie's Frog Beanie for a dorky kid.

I think you all know how much Émilie loves frogs. Seriously, she knows more about frogs and I ever cared to know. She knows their names, where they live... she just loves them. So when I saw this hat, I knew I had to make it for her.

It's been a bit of a challenge (ahem!). The actual making of the hat was super easy (it's pretty much all double or single crochet), but I've had issues with length and eye placement. When I put it on her yesterday morning, I felt it was too long (it covered her eyebrows) and the eye placement wasn't right (the frog was looking sideways rather than straight ahead). So I skipped Curves yesterday, ripped out 3 rows, re-did the band, sewed the eyes in place. No problem.

This morning I put in on her again, and this time it's too SHORT. Aaaaaaaack!!!! I'm going to have to rip it back, add maybe 1 or 2 repeats, then redo the band AGAIN. The trouble is that yesterday I chucked all my remaining purple because I was SO done with this project, and now I'm afraid I won't have enough. I hate this frog. He's giving me a dirty look with his google eyes. Smug bastard... We'll see who gets the last laugh!

I'll end this post with a video of Phil, taken on the drive back from Niagara on Sunday. I think you all know how much Phil loves the game Guitar Hero III? Well, he loves it so much that he even had the music blasting in the car! There may not be a Wii in the car, but that didn't stop him from playing up a storm. Enjoy!

Happy Knitting Everyone!


kate-the-enabler said...

Ahhhhh. The (understandable) wait is over. Thanks for the update, the pics and the highly entertaining video. You guys sounded like you'd had a really good weekend.

And the kite...
The hats...
The Koi? Neat. Um. Will it go over badly if I say it reminds me of a colossal celestial fishing lure?

Roll on Rhinebeck.

Sereknitty said...

The kite photos were gorgeous! Love the 'brains' hat :)

Alrischa said...

"braaaains.... BRAAAAINS!!"

Haha! What a fun project! I'm going to have to make one for Byron, now.

Sinéad said...

That is one cool fishy kite, and some of the other ones in the album are cool too. Sounds like an interesting (if Batman character filled) weekend!
I've great images of Maxime lurching round saying BRAINS! heh heh
I think the froggy hat is gorgeous, not at all smug. He's not laughing at you, he's croaking ripit, ripit.

Anonymous said...

Up, down, up, down eh? You DID have a suite, didn't you? ;] OH WAIT- you meant the kites. Whoops!

The hats are adorable, and I LOVE that video! He drives like Yannick- hands on the wheel = optional.

Yannick took a similar (in the teasing sense) video of my sister a week ago, she was over using our Wii Fit and doing the hula hoop game, wearing stretch leggings and tank top. Yannick was sitting behind her videotaping with his cell phone. She was NOT amused!

Mrhide said...

can't believe you posted that video ! ;) ... and ok, it's funny as hell

kois: these things are 7 meters long... that's right, 22 feet! they are beautifull and while in japan, I've searched and searched and when I found some, a set of 3 x 1 meters + winsock + assorted hardware to put them on a pole was ...800$ ! I got the 3 X 7 meters + 7 meters winsock + harware to put them on a pole for ...300$! the guy I got it from says they are worth 3000$ and I do believe him. They really are gorgeous and fit the Jordan 200 perfectly.

AliP said...

Thats some safe looking driving goin' on!
The Koi kite looked like a fishing lure to me too BUT I add that I think fishing lures are pretty and that the kite looks really cool.
The floors are beautiful, the Brains hat is a HOOT!!! When Cameron says it though, with his speech impediment, its "Bwaaaaaiiiinsth, BWAAAAAIIIINNNSTH" which is just hilarious. Even more funny is when he gets POed about something and goes "Oh cwud!".
And next week its: "Rhinebeck baby..duh, duh, duh-duh-duh,duh-duh-duh, duh...(whispery now).. Rhinebeck baby..."( all to the tune, such as it is, of Ice Ice Baby) "Word to yer muddah!" (and flash the gang signs....aaaand exit stage left)

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Fun trip you had there!

Love the brain monster hat!! Funny!

Phil is hysterical!