Tag Archives: Bahamas

I’d go back in a heartbeat

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The view from the veranda.

The view from the veranda.

There’s nothing like looking at vacation photos a few days after returning home to make you sigh wistfully. For me, holidays feel like time outside normal linear life-time, as if they happen adjacent to everything else. When I get back, it’s like I’ve never been gone, but also just had an amazing dream I can’t fully describe to people. Luckily, though, unlike dreams, vacations have photographic evidence. (Also, none of these photos have been edited or colour corrected, so yes, the water really is that colour. I couldn’t believe it either.)

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Since we’ve been back it has snowed (and then melted) and I’ve been sick (and gotten mostly better), L has been hard at work on his thesis, we’ve had (and still have) house guests, and Ganymede has been her most cuddly self ever. It’s nice to be back, but man, if you told me I could go back to Eleuthra tomorrow, I would be at the airport in no time (my speed would be helped by the fact that I’ve only half-unpacked).

Rainbow Bay Beach. You can see our house just up the shore (it has the gazebo).

Rainbow Bay Beach. You can see our house just up the shore (it has the gazebo).

Our time in Eleuthra (an island in the Bahamas) overlapped partly with one aunt and uncle (my dad’s middle brother and his wife) and partly with the other aunt and uncle (my dad’s youngest brother and his wife) and entirely with my grandparents, with whom we stayed. My grandparents have been going to Eleuthra in March for the last several years and I can absolutely see why. It’s pretty far north as far as the Caribbean goes (it’s about 60 miles off the Florida coast) so it’s more temperate than the islands farther south (I’d say the temperature ranged from 15 to 30C, and it was only 15 one evening when there was a breeze). Being in the north also means the flight is pretty short, which is a major bonus.

The beach outside Tippy's, which had the best pina colada and mojito I've ever tasted. Ever.

The beach outside Tippy’s, a beach-side bar had the best pina colada and mojito I’ve ever tasted. Ever.

The thing that really won us over, though, was that there were no resorts on the island. There’s a fair bit of tourism (it’s their main industry), but it’s tucked away in small hotels and guest houses and in rental homes, like the one we stayed in. We went out for drinks and lunch some days, but we made most of our meals in the house. We drove around to lots of beaches (Eleuthra has some amazing beaches), but we also swam off the boat slip in front of the house, or at the beach just down the shore. We went for walks and read and knit (well, I knit) and L kayaked and in general, the six of us hung out did our thing.

Ben Bay Beach (at the northern tip of the island) was an amazing beach.

Ben Bay Beach (at the northern tip of the island) was an amazing beach. It was a little tricky to get to, but, well, look at it! How could that not be worth it?

My dad’s family all lives in out East, so I don’t get to see them very often, and L hasn’t seen them in years, so in addition to being a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in its own right, the family time was invaluable.

I'm avoiding family photos, since I didn't ask first, so instead I give you dolphins! These look like they're in a pool, but they're 100% wild and we saw them when leaving Spanish Wells, the cold, colonial town/island off Eleuthra's northwest side.

I’m avoiding family photos, since I didn’t ask first, so instead I give you dolphins! These look like they’re in a pool, but they’re 100% wild and we saw them when leaving Spanish Wells, the old, colonial town/island off Eleuthra’s northwest side.

Truly, I would go back in heartbeat. And, if you go (or want to), let me know so that I can a) travel vicariously, and b) tell you about all my favourite places that didn’t make it into this post.

It tended to cloud over at night, so there weren't many great sunsets, but boy, when the sunset was visible, it was stunning.

It tended to cloud over at night, so there weren’t many great sunsets, but boy, when the sunset was visible, it was stunning.

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Snow on re-entry

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Time flies when you’re in the sun. We got back to Toronto last night, and it was snowing. Snowing! When we left Eleuthra yesterday morning it was still cool (we left the house before the sun was up) but it was still probably 17 or 18C, and then we landed in snow. Boo.

Nevertheless, we had a fantastic holiday. I will do a proper post about it in a day or two, but before then I have to go through the many photos and unpack, and deal with all the things that didn’t get dealt with while we were away, and also cuddle Ganymede, who spent the week in an empty apartment (don’t worry, though, a friend of ours visited regularly to check on her).

So, in the absence of real holiday pictures, lets talk socks – apparently I need to start wearing them again.

Finished Stepping-Stones.

Finished Stepping-Stones.

I finished the Stepping-Stone Socks last Friday, the day after we arrived. I had the cuff finished before we left, and the leg finished by the time we landed in Nassau and the heel turned by the time we boarded our teeny plane for Eleuthra (it sat 18, including the pilots, and I didn’t knit on it). Even with swimming and walking and reading and eating and drinking, it was a breeze to finish the foot on Friday, and L obliged me with some lovely photos.

This one is less lovely, but he thought a behind-the-scenes shot would be hilarious, so...

This one is less lovely, but he thought a behind-the-scenes shot would be hilarious, so…

Certainly one of the reasons these socks were so quick to knit was because they are knit in worsted weight. Man, what a difference that makes! Besides the heavier yarn, though, these socks have a delightfully fluid and quick stitch pattern that only takes two rows to memorize. Honestly, I will knit these socks again and again, and because it’s a six-stitch repeat, it’s an easy pattern to adjust for size and yarn weight. All that being said, I found the subtle change from leg to instep pattern weirdly hard to adjust to; it just didn’t flow as well for me. The instep is just a little less intuitive (it also involved more counting) and while I like how it looks, I think the next time I make these I’ll continue the leg pattern down the foot and see how it looks.

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I knit these socks over two weeks, but actual knitting time was only about four days, so these would make an excellent last-minute gift. My mum requested that the socks be a little taller than the ones I knit for myself, so I knit the legs to 7 inches. She also has slightly longer feet than I do. Those two factors meant I needed just a bit more than 100g to knit these, but you could easily make them from one 100g skein. I now have 82g of red yarn leftover, but I might just whip that up into another Puerperium Cardigan (our friends had a baby girl last night!), so I’m not annoyed in the least that I needed that little bit of extra.

Details
Pattern: Stepping-Stones by Clara Parkes (from The Knitter’s Books of Socks, but also available for free on Ravelry!)
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Ravelry Red
Needles: 3.5mm
Modifications: First of all, I changed the needle size. I thought the large size would be too big for my mum, so I just adjusted the small. They knit up perfectly to fit a size-10 foot (9-ish inches in circumference). I also changed the heel. Since I went up a needle size I was worried that the one in the pattern would be too thick/bulky for a comfortable fit, so I just went with my normal slip-stitch heel (also saving me extra ends to weave in). Other than that, I knit it exactly as written. (My socks are Ravelled here, if you’re curious.)

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I also finished another pair of socks while away, but I’ll save them for another post.

Beach holiday

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Surprise! Although going down south for a week is rather out of character, tomorrow L and I are doing just that. Every year for the last few years my grandparents have gone to the Bahamas for three weeks in March. They rent a house and spend their time reading and walking on the beach and being warm, and every year they invite family down to stay with them. This year, L and I are going, and even though it’s not the sort of holiday we usually take, I honestly cannot wait.

Our trip is actually a bit of a muddle, though, since I’ve been busy trying to get work stuff sorted out before we go (did I mention that I’d switched jobs and am now editing full-time at the Financial Post? I still do EweKnit‘s website, but I don’t work in the shop anymore) and run errands and organize stuff. And L, well, he’s also writing his PhD thesis (due in May) and this is not an ideal time to be taking a week-long vacation to a place with spotty Internet access. I think excitement will win out, but there has been some anxiety. I truly feel that this is all anticipation nerves, and that once we’re there and in a routine, it will be fine. We’ll be in a house, and not on some adventure trip, so he’ll be able to work, and I’ll be able to relax, and we’ll both get to spend some awesome quality time with my grandparents, which I am really, really looking forward to.

I am also looking forward to being consistently warm, to swimming, to wearing my summer clothes, and to spending days away from the computer. I am bringing books (plural) and knitting (also plural), and I plan to split my non-swimming time pretty evenly between the two. My beach books will be Tamas Dobozy’s Siege 13 (the most recent CanLit Knit pick), which I’m almost finished, and Some Great Idea a new book about Toronto by local journalist Edward Keenan. I may throw in a third book at the last minute though, since those aren’t very long.

On the knitting side, I still have some deciding to do. I’m going to bring the Stepping-Stones socks I’m knitting for my mum, because she will be heading down to the Bahamas with my dad a few days after we leave, and I want to leave them there for her (she bought the yarn when she was here last month). I have one sock finished and the other one started and since they’re in worsted weight, I half suspect I’ll be finished them by Friday.

My mum asked for red socks, and now I have a knitting project that refuses to be well photographed. Sigh. They're almost this vibrant in person.

My mum asked for red socks, and now I have a knitting project that refuses to be well photographed. Sigh. They’re almost this vibrant in person.

I’m also going to bring Shaelyn, the shawl I’m knitting (doesn’t it sound like I’m talking about a country singer?) This is a top down shawl, so even though it feels like it’s knitting up quickly, I know that feeling will subside. Still. I think I might throw in a ball of yarn for another pair of socks as back up. Or, I could just bring my languishing Seafoam socks and finish them up. Tricky. Summer clothes do take up less space than winter clothes, though, so maybe I’ll just bring it all and see what happens.

I have barely knit on this thing and it's growing like crazy. I have two skeins of this yarn, so I  haven't decided yet how big to knit it (I'm thinking medium to large).

I have barely knit on this thing and it’s growing like crazy. I have two skeins of this yarn, so I haven’t decided yet how big to knit it (I’m thinking medium to large).

What do you think? I still have a few hours to decide.

Since I'm already bringing back-up yarn for both the shawl and my mum's socks, adding another one isn't that much more.

Since I’m already bringing back-up yarn for both the shawl and my mum’s socks, adding another one isn’t that much more. (Also, yes, that is the same skein that I’ve been bringing as back-up yarn for almost a year now. What’s up with that? I consistently want to knit this yarn and then consistently don’t. Am I jinxing myself by bringing it?)

Also, this means I probably won’t be blogging until the end of next week. I promise a vicarious vacation when I get back, though!