Having recovered from our attempt to drive without gas, we finally made it to our hotel on Saturday night. The suites here are spiffier than my house is, plus there are nice ladies who come every morning to bring me fresh towels and make the beds. I feel like I should call them Mom. Our suite has two bedrooms, a bathroom (no big surprise there), a little kitchen, and a "living room," which also contains a pullout couch. There are three TVs, all of which have cable so my kids can watch one mindless show after another. Our room was also thoughtfully equipped with a genuine rubber chicken, which we found hiding in the furniture. Please don't ask about this. We have returned it to its hiding place so that the next family with a curious four year old can experience the same joy that we did upon finding this charming mascot.
Our first day in Florida was a bit damp. The rain started gently in the morning and we did what any family would do on arrival in Florida after a long and swimming-pool-free winter: we went swimming in the rain. Or at least those of us who remembered to have their mothers pack their suits went swimming. Others, whose mothers are 1500 miles away and not really thinking about bathing suits, may have had to sit huddled under a canopy while everyone else had all the fun.
Later in the day, the rain started to take itself seriously. There was no dinner in the house, so some of us took it upon ourselves to venture forth in the inclement weather and make the trek to the store. It was felt by all 9 year olds involved in the expedition that cars were for sissies, and the parents of the 9 year old somehow failed to take a stand on this issue. Instead, the bold adventurers swiped the umbrellas from the sissy-car and waded to the store. 45 minutes later, the rain was coming down even harder and it was time to wade back. Drenched does not even begin to describe how wet we were. It was tremendous fun, although El Husbando seems to have the sniffles now. We are not telling Grandma about the expedition in the rain or the sniffles, because she might feel compelled to give us vitamins or lecture us on the Necessary and Proper Use of Foul Weather Gear or the Importance of Preventing Colds and Other Communicable Illnesses.
On Monday, we played games with Grandma. One of our favorites was checkers. If the board looks a little lopsided to you, it is only because you do not understand the rules of checkers. You would not be alone in this deficiency. The first rule is that Matty gets 17 checkers and Grandma (or any other willing victim) gets 3. This, it was explained, was to ensure that Matty would win. The rest of the game involves the players taking turns whacking each other's checkers off the board. This must be done in the prescribed manner, which is a secret. The winner is always Matty. We also play chess, which is pretty much the same except that we get to use all the pieces and sometimes we get to stack the pawns really high before we clobber them.
Today the weather was much better. We went swimming again and collected large fronds. They turned out to have bugs on them, so we thought it would be better to put them back.
We also got to eat lunch at the pool. This involved hot dogs and french fries and hamburgers and french fries and chicken fingers and french fries and grilled cheese and french fries. Here is El Husbando, who didn't have to pay for all those french fries, hanging out with Matty, who agreed to be his best friend on account of all the french fries.
In knitting news, things are not entirely sunny. Below is the Must Have Cardi. 20 hours of car travel produced a lot of sweater. I'm hoping that it grows a lot when I block it, because right now it looks like it's going to be a little snug. Of the four projects that I just had to pack for the trip, this is the only one that has seen any progress and it is, oddly enough, the one I almost didn't pack. Go figure.
I have also been working on my Nutkin sock, made from my mixed vegetables colored yarn. Here are the before
pictures, and no, I did not get the pictures out of order. For the second time, the sock is too small. This time, however, I was not 4 but 7 repeats into the pattern before I tried it on, discovered that it was unbearably tight (although at least this time it fit over my heel), and had to employ a lot of golf language while I tore the little bugger out. If you look closely at the 'after' picture, you can also see the spot where I pulled one of the needles out by mistake when I took the sock out for picture time, which is pretty much par for the course where this sock is concerned. I'm willing to try one more time to get this sock right, but if I run into any more trouble I'm going to take the hint and pick a new sock pattern. Or a scarf pattern. Or anything else that I can work on for an hour or two without making a major mistake.