Travel Archives - Page 7 of 7 - Patty Lyons | Knitting Teacher

Well it’s been a long, been a long, been a long

. . . been a long time (you can take the girl out of musical theatre, but ya can’t take the musical theatre out of the girl!)

I know, I know (as my pal Kia pointed out) Feb 4th, what the heck. Well, it’s been a month. First there was preparing for the semi annual sale at the Point. That was a scene I did not anticipate. We put the entire store on sale (20% – 75% off). I asked Leia, one of the women who works at the Point, “do you think a lot of people will come?”. She replied only “are you kidding?”. The Saturday of the sale was not to be believed. They were hanging from the rafters.

Sunday afternoon David and I headed off to Israel. We were going for a week for his nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. We didn’t really have time to do much planning (or any) so it was all a little last minute. We arrived late on Monday exhausted. Tuesday morning we woke up to a sight not seen in Jerusalem for five years.


It took a bit of figuring to decide what to do next. You see Israelis don’t know what to do when it snows, and start to shut everything down. Our nephew Carmiel is a tour guide, and he planned our day. First he took us to these very cool caves. Since the snow turned into pouring rain he thought it would be good to run from cave to cave. Here’s a few cool pics

(burial cave)

This was the translation of one of the more bizarre inscriptions:

(The bell caves)

Here is the version of the main post office. The holes in the walls are for carrier pigeons

A BRIEF break in the rain affords a glimpse of the countryside.

Next we went to a Bedouin Village to see the women spin and weave. When they spin they go right from the fleece, with all the straw etc.

Here’s the yarn hanging out to dry after the dyeing process:

Here’s the weaving:

I bought some yarn just because. It’s terribly rough and overspun, only suitable for a rug. I may try to take some of the twist out, wash it and hang it out, then knit up a little throw rug.

The next day we headed off to Haifa. We saw the Bahai Center at Haifa. Gorgeous!

(The view of the harbor from the garden on the hill)
The next day we went to the old city at Acco.

After a lovely day in Acco we headed back to Haifa for a great meal and to enjoy the garden lit up

Next morning to was back to Jerusalem for family time. The next few days were all about hanging out with the nieces and nephews and about the Bar Mitzvah. It was fun to spend time with everyone since we don’t get to see them all that much.

Sunday we did a bit of bumming around the old city. Checked out the markets, etc.

Sunday night was the party. Lots of food, music, family and fun. We were so tired, but the party was great. After that we got in a cab to the airport at 1:00 am (ugh), two planes and 19 hours later, we were home!

As for knitting, I left the scarf I was working on at home (it was on US 4 Knit Picks and I was afraid they’d get taken away). I took my Fitted Knits sweater on my plastic Denise Needles instead.

Here’s how it’s coming along:

When I got home I finished the scarf out of the yarn that one of our reps gave me. I love this yarn. The color changes are so subtle and beautiful. We are going to order it in lace weight and worsted. Here is is:

I forgot, I finished Mr Greenjeans before I left, but I didn’t get any pics of it.  Next time

Thomas Wolfe was wrong . . .

. . . or so my mother says. Maybe you can go home again. Over the weekend, my sister, brother and mother did just that. We went back to Forsyth Mo as a kind of memorial for my Grandpa. My Grandparents bought a house in this tiny town in the Ozarks when I was 6 or 7. We spent every summer there and we loved it. When my grandpa died recently we decided that rather then getting together for a funeral (we aren’t funeral people, our family is too small) we would all meet up in Springfield Mo, go to his grave, and then go to Forsyth and do everything we used to do with my Grandparents when we were kids. It was a perfect trip.

I got in first after a miserable sleepless night. Springfield MO not being a huge travel hub, there weren’t a lot of choices on how to get there from San Fran. I left straight from Jersey Boys Saturday night show and took a 12:50 am flight to Dallas Fort Worth. I landed at 6:20 am (4:20 San Fran time), so not a lot of sleep was had. I then had a DELIGHTFUL 3 ½ hour layover. No more sleep for Patty. Next a 1 ½ hour flight to Springfield, where I took a cab to our hotel and immediately fell asleep from noon – 2:00 pm. After the rest of my family got in and we got something to eat we went to the cemetery where my Grandparents are buried. It was interesting; it’s the only military cemetery in the country where both Union and Confederate soldiers are buried together.

I forgot how hot it is in the Ozarks in Aug. It’s like Africa hot. It was 103 all four days we were there. We were a sweaty mess after visiting the cemetery, so the natural thing was to do a little shopping in the cool air-conditioned Target. We needed “creek shoes”, and I needed a bathing suit (I somehow forgot to pack one). Pickens were slim in the bathing suit department, but we found awesome water shoes for $2.50. NOTHING makes my family happier then a bargain. We were still crazy full from our late lunch, so we decided to go out and drink our dinner. We found a funky looking cocktail desert place in the middle of a strip mall in the middle of nothing . . . weird. After eating and drinking our fill, we went back to the hotel, sat in a hot tub for a bit, and then fell sound asleep.
The next morning we headed for Forsyth. My mom booked us a really cool place down by the lake. It was a huge three bedroom cabin.

After dumping our stuff we headed into town. At first it was weird because as we neared the
town we saw all sorts of new things, a Sonic Burger, a tanning salon, a big grocery store, but as we got closer to the town it all looked exactly the same as it did 20 years ago. Our first stop was my grandparents old house

It looked exactly the same. It was really weird seeing it again. So many memories. We took a walk by the park at the base of the hill. The creek was a pretty good height. When we were kids it seemed like the only two seasons were flood or drought.

There were times when the water was so high that it came up to the walking bridge

We walked around the tiny town and went to visit the Library where my Grandma worked. The two people working there didn’t remember her, at first I was surprised because I was so used to everyone knowing them, and then I remembered how long it had been since she worked there. The rug my Grandpa made was still hanging in the library

as we were talking about the rug a woman walked by and said “Are you talking about Mollie and the Doctor?” She remembered them both, and it was so nice to talk to her about them. Everyone loved my Grandma, and we were so glad there were still people in town that remembered them.

It was 103 degrees out, and we’d been looking forward to swimming in the creek all day. It was one of our favorite things when we were a kid. My brother remembered exactly how to drive to our old swimming hole. It was like no time had passed at all. Over thirty years ago we built a dam out of rocks to make our area deeper. It was still there. Thirty years worth of kids must have kept adding rocks to it as it broke and got rebuilt, broke and got rebuilt. Crazy! We bought some cheap floats at Target and floated down the creek in search of deeper, cooler water. The top of the water had to be 80 degrees, but if you dig down we were able to find a little cool water. After a while it was time to sit on a rock and knit by the creek. What a life!

It was so lovely at the creek that we stayed until 7:30 or so. The only restaurant of the three in town that was there when we were kids was closed on Mondays, so we got a couple of frozen pizzas & some ice cream from the market and made dinner back at the cabin (it had a full kitchen).

The next day we went into a little town called Hollister. It’s this strange little fake English town. The main street is called Downing Street, and yes, there is a 10 Downing Street. After looking in the only open shop and buying the worlds cheapest homebaked cookies (everything was crazy cheap in the Ozarks), we headed off for the College of the Ozarks. It was called the School of the Ozarks when we were kids. It has a museum I used to love called the Ralph Foster Museum. They call is the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks”, and it kind of is. It has everything from the Ozarks (including the car from the “Beverly Hillbillies”). It had a great spinning wheel and hand carved loom.

My brother, sister and I all took pictures of ourselves by the tools from our chosen profession. My sister posed by a recreation of a country doctor’s office, my brother posed by a wood shop, and I . . .

After a terrific lunch at their brand new restaurant (it was a simple cafeteria when we were kids). It was time to head off to the main attraction . . . Silver Dollar City!!!

Silver Dollar City is hard to describe. It’s an amusement park that is designed to be a town from the late 1800s. They have glass blowers,

carpenters, carvers, metal workers, potters, candy makers, bakers, candle makers and on and on. We liked the rides as kids, but we loved watching all the artisans doing the craft demos. It had changed some. There were now roller coasters built on the outskirts of the park, but they still had some of the old rides. Didn’t matter to us, we had a ball. It was almost exactly as we remembered it.

We arrived at 3:00 pm which meant we got to stay until closing (7:00 pm) and come all day the next day for one days ticket price. On our way out we saw a humming bird that let us get really close to it. The wings beat so fast that they don’t even show up on the first photo

By the time we got back, stopped to check out the sunset, and changed into dry clothes (we were all wet from the raft ride) it was past 8:00 pm and the good old Longhorn restaurant closed at 8:00 pm.

So we went to a bar that served food and it was pretty darn good. We all got to bed early since we were going to head back to Silver Dollar City the next day.

Before we went back to the park we made a detour to Bonniebrook, the home and museum of Rose O’Neil, the creator of the Kewpie Doll. We went so my sister could buy a Kewpie doll for her daughter. It ended up being pretty cool. I can’t believe what a huge phenomenon this little doll was. It was on everything. Here’s just some of the TONS of merchandise that had Kewpie dolls on it

The big surprise was finding out she studied with Auguste Rodin, and was a celebrated serious artist in Europe. All while being the most commercially successful female artist in America. What a combo! Her serious art was kind of dark, lots of monsters. I suppose if you grind out Kewpie dolls all day that makes sense.

In her garden there were two of her sculptures. You can really see the Rodin influence in these:

Her house was in the middle of acres of forest that she owned. There was a little stream that ran beside the house, and she’s buried right on the grounds. My sister said she would love to live there.

We spent another great day at Silver Dollar City. Here’s some pictures to give you all an idea of what it looks like

We watched this amazing woodworker make rolling pins on a lathe. He had just finished one that was made from the most beautiful cherry. The wood grain was gorgeous. My brother admired it so much that I have a feeling that the ridiculous price of $20 was set just for him.

The artists set their own prices. They are all incredibly low. Handblown glass from $30 – $50 on average!! I was torn between thinking how wonderful it is that this way everyone can afford to buy something beautiful and thinking that artists are woefully undervaluing their own work.

I was surprised that with all the different crafts there was no textiles, no spinning, no weaving. Ah well. I knit enough on this trip to make up for it. (I’ll post finished pics of my two leftover cotton projects tomorrow).

We finished the trip with dinner at Lamberts. It’s this crazy place where they throw dinner rolls at you with amazing accuracy.

All in all it was an amazing trip. You really can go home again. . . and speaking of going home. I will be home a week from today, and a week from tomorrow I will start my new job at The Point Knitting Cafe.

Tonight I go say goodbye and thank you to those great folks at Chicks with Sticks. More knitting content and finished objects pictures tomorrow.

Knitting through Italy pt. 3 (Venice to finished object!)

When last we left our heroes. . . they were leaving Cinque Terre and taking the (maybe crazy) four different trains to get to Venice. That’s right folks, three different train transfers. We only have 10 minutes to make the first train transfer. Our first train is (ahem . . . ) 12 minutes late. We’re screwed. But wait, a clever couple (not us) asks the conductor to radio ahead to the next station to have the train (that we were trying to catch) held. YEAH, one mad dash and the next two train transfers went without a hitch. We arrived in Venice just in time to check into our hotel in the Lido, clean up and take the Vaparetto back to Venice to see the Grand Canal in some pretty dramatic light.

Here’s the famous San Marco from the Grand Canal.

We spent the evening wandering through the lovely streets, weaving around the tiny inner canals. We’ve been to Venice before and hit all the big tourist places, so this time around we were free to enjoy the city and just wander. After a nice dinner and a rainy Vaparetto ride back to the Lido it was time for sleep and 1 1/2 more fabulous days in Venice.

The next morning started overcast and chilly and then turned sunny and gorgeous.

Here’s David by the famous Bridge of Sighs. The city has to be one of the most photogenic in the world. We took about a hundred pictures in two days.

Wait, before you start reaching for the “quit” button on your browser . . . I’ve only selected a few.

After spending the morning strolling and eating. . . it was time for a knitting break. Sitting by the Grand Canal with San Marco in the background seemed like a good spot.

Followed by more strolling, eating, some art museum, eating, visiting gardens, eating . . . you get the point.

The next day there was more “knitting by landmarks”

If you haven’t been to Venice. Sign up for some fare watcher alert e-mails. Find and off season flight and GO. I love this city. It’s even more beautiful at night, but the camera could really capture how beautiful it was

The next morning we enjoyed our last 1/2 day in Venice doing what we do . . . walking, eating, taking photos. Before we took our plane back to London. We were only spending one night in London just to make our flight in the morning easier.

Because we were only sleeping in London, we booked a small hotel by a convenient rail station. London is crazy expensive, so we spent a whopping $100 for a room with no breakfast. This is what $100 can buy you in London:

Yes, that’s the whole room. What the hell it was clean. We ate at a pub, walked around Picadilly Circus, went to the river and went to sleep.

The next morning it was time to head to the Max Jet departure lounge to eat and eat and eat. I can’t believe how much food they set out for the business class traveler. We had another fantastic plane ride home filled with food, liquor and movies.

Unfortunately, on the coach plane ride back to San Francisco, American Airlines lost my luggage AGAIN. urggg.

Thus ends my tale of Italy. Now I’ve been back in San Fran for a week and a half, with rehearsals and shows nearly every day. I did finish Jenny Lee’s bikini. So without further ado . . . My first finished object for someone other than a family member.

She was kind enough to model for me before the show outside the Jersey Boys hair room. I’m pretty thrilled with the way it turned out, and she said it’s really comfy. I love that Cascade Fixation. It really hugs the curves and it doesn’t sag at all when it gets wet. Very cool.

Here’s my personal favorite shot. Both because you can see the detail of the pattern, and because her tattoo is priceless:

Knitting through Italy pt. 1 (Pisa – Monterosso)

I’ve been back in San Francisco for a week, but haven’t had a moment. We were putting a new Nick Massi into Jersey Boys. Members of the artistic staff were here, so we had rehearsal everyday. It’s a foggy Monday morning, so I thought I’d do a little blogging about Italy.

The trip got off to a bit of a rough start. First, my luggage was lost flying from San Francisco to New York. I was really worried I wouldn’t get it in time to go to Italy. We got my bags back the morning we left for Italy, so I had time repack the bags and head off to Kennedy. David booked us on a fancy airline called Max Jet. It’s an all business class airline. The plane looks really odd, because it’s an entire plane with seats that can fully recline. Our fun began in the departure lounge. We finally got to see what’s behind those glass doors. MUCH better than sitting at a gate. It’s full of comfy chairs and couches, computers w/internet, food and lots of liquor! Unfortunately our plane was three hours late. This meant we would miss our connection to Pisa. Fortunately because we were flying Max Jet they agreed to pay for a ticket to Pisa on another airline. This means we only ended up arriving in Pisa 1 hour later than planned. Not bad.

Flying business class is crazy. First of all, it’s non stop food and liquor, then there’s the entertainment system you’re given w/tons of movies, tv, music, etc, but best of all there’s getting a good nights sleep.

We really weren’t that jet lagged when we got to Pisa. First stop (after a fantastic dinner) was to take the nighttime snap of the leaning tower.

The next day we took a train to Siena and I cast on Jenny’s bikini top on the train. Then the knitting through Italy began.

First stop was the famous Campo and some lounging in the sun and knitting. David was my official knitting photographer.

Siena is a fabulous city. Little winding streets, great views everyplace you turn. The Duomo is amazing.

After walking our feet off it was time to relax in a square and knit (me)

or nap (David)

Before heading back to Pisa, it was time for Pizza and wine in the Campo. We liked the building reflected in the wine

The next morning we headed over to check out the tower, Cathedral and Baptistry. It was nice getting there early, very quiet. Here’s the first view as you come down the street.

Here are some morning pictures.

We bought a ticket to the Cathedral, but it wouldn’t open for an hour, so we walked around the University area, and of course, knit for a while

Since the first cup of bikini top was coming pretty far along, it was time for it to pose by its first landmark.

That morning also began what I called, “David’s job as official staff photographer of Italy”. He would never walk past any couple or family who was splitting up to take photos of each other without stopping to ask “Would you like me to take your photo”.

Speaking of photos . . .

We were cracking up at all the people posing holding up the tower. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but there were tons of people lined up having people take the same picture.

After marveling at the inside of the Cathedral…

it was time to take a lovely train ride to Cinque Terre. We were staying in the town of Monterosso. Cinque Terre is on the Italian Rivera, and it’s made up of five fishing villages connected by goat trails. It was a relaxing train ride with
plenty of time to knit, read and look out the window.

This was our very first view when we got off the train

We crossed under a tunnel to the old part of town where we were staying, and were greeted by views of fisherman and sparkling blue water

Our hotel had a tiered roof garden with fabulous views of the water. This was our first glimpse of the terraced gardens that are carved into every inch of the hills of Cinque Terre. We could not get over how much food this place grew. On our hotels little roof garden they grew lemons, grapes, plums, tomatoes, figs, squash, tons of herbs. Here’s our view

That evening we got dressed up and went out to a fantastic dinner. The fish was so amazingly fresh and the pesto (which they are known for) was to die for.

Here I am in my Honeymoon cami from

Next post Monterosso – Riomaggo

Cherry Blossoms & finished objects

FINALLY a spring day!! I leave for San Francisco in a week and this is the first gorgeous day since I got home. It’s been cold and rainy and then, boom, 76 degrees and bright blue sky. Yesterday David cleaned up the deck, cut down all the dead plants, swept up and made it livable again. Our pal Nell came over and we had our first brunch on our deck. Bagels & cream cheese on our deck on a perfect Sunday is my idea of heaven!

I finished two and a half of the sweater capelets for Melissa. Here’s the small one.

Not much is happening in our garden yet. All the perrenials are starting to peak out, there are a few little tulips poking their heads out.

The flowering quince is looking good

As great as hanging out on our deck was, we decided to head off to the Botanic Garden to check out the Cherry Blossoms. The festival is next week, but that’s my last day in town, and I must go to the fleece festival in the zoo!

The main esplanade was not in bloom yet, but there were many other trees in bloom

(Me modeling amongst the blossoms) (An actual model amongst the blossoms)

Being in the garden inspired us to do a little planting of our own. I’m usually the gardener, but since I’ll be gone most of the summer, David will be on his own. We decided to plant one box of lettuce for David to enjoy between now and the end of June.
Saturday is my last day off in New York, and then it’s back to San Fran. I’ve packed a bag full of cotton yarn, and last months Vogue Knitting. I plan on making a lot of the little lacy sweaters this summer.