Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

The Gryffindor Sock Goes on a Bender

July 4, 2007

While most Gryffindor paraphenalia is stuck at school all day, going to lessons and arguing with Slytherins and defeating dark wizards and such, my Gryffindor socks have had an exciting existence.  They’ve been to Disneyland, they went on a very exciting band trip to Banff, they went to Cuba, and they’ve basically been living the exciting sock life.  In fact, a little too exciting.  In the last few days that we were in Cuba, the sock got a little too high on life. 

It started, innocently enough, with some wine with dinner. Not too unreasonable, right? They’re just coming right around to your table, offering up some wine.

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Nobody was too concerned. And then it’s only natural when you’re spending a few hours in the lobby bar that the sock would want a little something. After all, those fruity drinks are very refreshing.

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But pretty soon, the sock was downing the blender drinks. And we all know how the blender drinks work. You can never have just one.

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And then the sock got a good look at the pool.

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It decided it wanted to go for a little late night swim, and it completely ignored the no diving sign.

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It was content, after that, to lounge by the pool for a while, enjoying the view.

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But then it got a little too much into the spirit of things. And I suppose I should have seen it coming. After all, we were in Cuba. But it was still a shock to see this on the beach.

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I guess I can’t blame it too much for this one. Those mojitos were ridiculously good. (Man, I could really go for one of those right now.)

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Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to take into consideration that it was, you know, a sock, and therefore not exactly endowed with outstanding alcohol tolerance. And that was a lot of drinks in one evening for a not even finished sock.

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Poor sock. A cold shower took the edge off.

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And a hot bath brought back some of its good spirits.

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The sock briefly toyed with a midnight foray into the ocean, but had limited bathing suit success, despite Chantal kindly lending it a bathing suit. (Actually, Chantal wasn’t home when the sock stole her bathing suit, but fortunately Chantal is a very tolerant friend and roommate who doesn’t even look at you funny when you tell her the sock stole her bathing suit.)

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The next morning was looking pretty ugly. The sock woke up groggy and grouchy, and didn’t want to leave the room. It was a beautiful day, so I can see why the sock was a little hesitant to face the sunshine. So we let it rest for a while.

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And then, promising that the light wasn’t THAT bright, took it outside.

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It wouldn’t leave the little hut, though, and proceeded to sleep by the pool for most of the day.

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Overall, I think the sock wasn’t so sorry to be going home. Cuba had taken its toll on poor Gryffindor. So it was happy to be heading home, although a little nervous about the effect the flight would have on its stomach.

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After so many thrilling adventures, I was a little concerned that the Gryffindor sock would find life around Edmonton a little dull. (I was also concerned that I would find life around Edmonton a little dull, and I must admit, I do still miss Cuba.) I left the socks alone for a while, finishing up numerous baby items (one of which I TOTALLY forgot to take photos of, because I am a doofus), finishing my Central Park Hoodie (Yes, it is DONE, and photos are coming soon!), doing other such things.

But then I remembered that the Gryffindor Socks had a purpose. July was going to be THEIR month. A movie release and a book! Two more perfect occasions to wear these socks will never happen. So the socks had to be finished. After all, what else could I possibly wear with my “Trust Snape” shirt that’s in the mail right now? (It better get here in time for the movie. I am looking forward to arguing with people about it, because he is SO CLEARLY NOT A DEATH-EATER ARGH!) The socks had to be finished.

So this morning, I grafted the toes. And I pulled them on, and went into the yard for one last photo shoot with the travelling Gryffindor socks. (Note: July is not prime wool sock season. I suffer for this blog!) And here, in all their glory, are my Gryffindor Socks. Please ignore my pasty legs.

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These are, of course, knit in Sunshine Yarns Gryffindor Stripe, made by the inimitable Dani. Knit on a size 1 Addi Lace needle, with 60 stitches around, a basic heel flap toe down sock. (I don’t use a pattern any more.) They fit like a glove, and they are my most favouritest socks ever.

Bring on the book, baby.

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The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Cuba

May 28, 2007

Holy crap, Cuba was awesome.  So, so awesome.  Everyone has been totally depressed since we got back on Saturday and we’ve all been swanning around complaining about the lack of pre-lunch rum and the severe shortage of cabana boys.  (There were some days when I had three drinks before lunch.  They had bananas in them!  That’s breakfast!)  It really was ridiculously fun and unbeliveably relaxing. I read three and a half books and a magazine. I actually didn’t knit as much as I was expecting to, but I did get a large chunk of one of the fronts of the Central Park Hoodie done as well as several rows on Mountain Peaks.

And, of course, there was the Gryffindor sock.

Now, if you want to be strictly accurate, the sock isn’t quite as well travelled as it appears. On the Cultural Tour of Britain , I was knitting Gryffindor socks for Beth. The Cultural Tour of Disneyland featured the Gryffindor socks that I’m knitting for myself, which was the pair that came along on this trip. Still, both pairs are doing much better than most of my knitting! Very well travelled for a sock, wouldn’t you say?

(If you want to see some of the photos that feature things other than the sock, go on through to my flickr account. And if you think my photos are kind of lame, you’re not wrong. Fortunately, I was with 20 other people and they all have tons of photos. Leave me a comment if you want to see some of those and I’ll send you some links.)

After a couple of days at the resort, we took a catamaran trip that featured the following incredibly awesome event (no sock, I know, sorry, but this is too good not to post.):

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Why yes, I am squealing like a complete dork in this photo! Thank you for noticing. That was so freaking cool I still can’t really believe it.

Right, on to the sock.

On Wednesday, we all headed to Havana for a tour. It was a two hour bus ride from the resort to the city, so I was very glad to have my sock with me. I actually hadn’t planned to bring it at all, but then as I was literally going out the door (Jamie was putting my other bag in the car), I grabbed it in a panic, not wanting to be small project-less in case of long drives. This proved to be a good decision.

One of the coolest stops on our tour was the old Capitol building. It was designed in the style of the U.S. Capitol, and inside is the world’s third largest indoor statue. It’s of Athena. (I think.) Here’s me and the sock checking it out.

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I really am holding the sock. See?

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On the floor in the exact centre of the room was a replica diamond of some diamond that was very important to Cuba. (It should not be news to any regular readers that I’m really bad to actually paying attention to detail on this sort of thing. It was weird to travel without Jamie, because he always knows this shit and tells me later. I’m feeling weirdly uninformed about some of this stuff.) Anyway, the sock decided to check out the diamond.

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While it was down there, it noticed the very impressive ceiling and decided it wanted a photo with that. I happily obliged, as the ceiling was really cool. I’m a bit concerned that all these extravagant holidays are turning the sock into a bit of a prima donna, though. Most of my knitting is happy if it gets to come to work with me.

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The ceilings in the two hallways that flanked the dome weren’t too shabby either.

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The sock and I both agreed that what my house is really missing is one of these on the front door.

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Don’t you think? It would add that certain something, don’t you think? Or maybe we need one of these just outside the door.

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Right after Kristy took that, someone came and yelled at me for sitting on the step. Apparently their statues have personal space issues. So we moved down the steps for some more photos. We took a shot with the three roomies:

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Me, Chantal, and the sock. We got along very well. Chantal is also a knitter so she was quite good at telling the sock how marvellous it was and other such things. She also lent it a bikini, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here you see the sock admiring the sights from the steps of the Capitol. Those little yellow blobby things are the really neat little cabs that they have.

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The sock also insisted on being included in some group photos. Aren’t my friends obliging?

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After a stop at a cigar shop, where the sock stayed in my bag since it was MAYHEM, and I bought two cigars and some rum (so cheap!) and some coffee, we headed to Revolution Square. Here I am with the sock checking out the José Martí Monument designed by Enrique Luis Varela, and the sculpture by Juan José Sicre. (Yes, I had to look that up.)

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Here we are with Kristy in front of the really cool monument to Che Guevara. Kristy has a bit of a crush on him (he is pretty hot, as revolutionaries go), but I mostly just like his hat.

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So the sock did pretty well taking in the sights and culture of Havana. Unfortunately, the sock then went on a bit of a bender at the resort. But that is a post for another time. Stay tuned for further exploits of the Gryffindor sock in Cuba!