Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Goonies Never Say Die!

Hey everyone!

So my last two posts were about heading back to Michigan and the things that I've crocheted so far this year, but in the midst of all that I forgot to post about the awesome mini-vacation that we took after I got back from The Mitten!

For Patrick's birthday this year we decided to head to someplace we'd never been before: Astoria, Oregon! I have to say, it was nothing short of incredible. I've only ever been to a couple of beach towns before (all of them in California) and it was awesome to go to someplace with beautiful weather and a really lax kind of living but still get to stay in Oregon. I just love this state, you guys.

Though it was only supposed to be a one night trip, Patrick's work schedule opened up and we were able to tack on a second night and leave for our getaway a little bit early!

On the first day we wandered around town, checking out the different shops and museums and whatnot that they have there. For those who don't know, Astoria is the town in which The Goonies plot is set. And again, for those who don't know, The Goonies is one of my top two favorite movies (which I can't choose between). The actual Goonie house is still in town! Although we weren't able to go right up to it because apparently some fans have recently ruined the experience for everyone by going up to the currently occupied home and bugging the current owners to look inside and take tours, which is completely inappropriate. The house is actually on very short dead end street and there were signs posted that the residents would call the police. It seems a bit of overkill, but we weren't going to take our chances or disrespect the owners' wishes.

The view from our hotel room

The coffee shop on the corner of the block that the Goonie House is on

A dog that apparently hangs out in the shop with its owner and decided to pose in the front window (and yes, he was a real, live, moving dog)

A big tree. I really didn't get the whole story behind it, it's just big.

We also went to see The Astoria Column, which I didn't quite understand until we came right up to it. I'll link a bit of info on it here so that I don't explain it incorrectly. We had a great time driving through the neighborhoods and seeing all of the pretty houses on the way there!

The view from where the Astoria Column stands

Before we turned in for the night we headed to the pier right outside of our hotel and had a snack and drinks at Rogue Brewery. I wasn't a fan of the "Fruit Salad Cider" that I ordered so I made Patrick finish it (it had a strong whiskey flavor that I couldn't get past, but I at least tried it... obviously still on the search for tolerable alcohol!), but I did really love the tater tots I had!

On the second day (Patrick's birthday) we went to The Seaside Aquarium. Seaside is another beach town just across the bridge from Astoria. We got to feed seals and check out a color-changing octopus, as well as a bunch of other sea life! For lunch we went to someplace that Patrick was really gunning to try called Pig 'N Pancake. They gave him a piggy ornament for our Christmas tree for his birthday!

We were also able to go check out the three museums in town, The Oregon Film Museum, The Flavel House Museum, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The OFM is actually set in the old county jail where the opening scene in The Goonies was filmed! Though it was quite small, we were able to walk through it and see the actual jail cells and buy a couple of souvenirs. Patrick even won us a couple of buttons by correctly naming ten movies from a bunch of quotes on the wall/ceiling from films done in Oregon!

The Flavel House Museum was one I didn't actually realize was a museum until Patrick pointed out the sign, all I knew was that there was a pretty house and I wanted it. Too bad it's in use! What really appealed to me was the tower room, which was of course off limits. I was pretty bummed about that, but the rest of the house was really neat!

The Flavel House garden

Finally we hit the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which would have probably been very interesting if I hadn't had the hiccups the whole time. The place really echoed and I was way too embarrassed to pay much attention! We went back to the hotel for a nap before dinner that night.

This is a house that was for sale right near the Maritime Museum. Its intended purpose is/was a bed and breakfast! Patrick and I snooped through it and just about died over the original 1888 decor. Anyone have $579,000?

On our last day we left the hotel and first drove through Cannon Beach, which is where yet another scene in The Goonies was filmed-- the Three Rocks scene and the diner scene. The diner has since been remodeled and the area around it has been built up (because who wouldn't want to rent an apartment on the Goonie beach??), but we had a fun time walking in the rain on the beach because I insisted I wanted some sea shells.

I bought a rain jacket when we got home.

Click to see a panoramic of Cannon Beach!

We also took a bit of a detour on the way back and stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for some lunch and a few grocery items to take back with us.

It was a short but totally enjoyable trip! In fact, now that we're both playing Pokemon GO, Patrick and I are probably going to drive back to Seaside this weekend for some more sight seeing and Pokemon hunting. I'm so grateful to live close to such beautiful places!

Some other general life updates are that thanks to Pokemon GO, we've been getting out way more (almost every single night you can find us at our local park where I'm actually talking to people, can you believe it?!), and that I'm currently recovering from a recently diagnosed but pretty old shoulder injury. I'm still waiting to get in to physical therapy but I am actually doing what my doctor told me to do (icing the heck out of it, taking the anti inflammatories that she prescribed, doing the PT moves I've been given so far, resting it as much as I can, etc.). I even got a body pillow to try to help me sleep so that I'm not rolling over to the injured side.

We're also going to have a busy-ish week next week since our friend Mike is coming to visit/run a Spartan race and my cousin and her fiance are moving here from Indiana! Her fiance is going to be finishing up school at a local college and I'm excited to have them both around! She and I didn't get to see each other much growing up because of the long distance and I find it funny that we have to move all the way across the country to be close to each other!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2016 Crochet Projects Thus Far!

Hey guys!

Here's a quick, mostly-photo filled post of most (if not all) of the crochet projects that I've completed so far this year. Like always, I will try to post the link for each pattern, however please keep in mind that I almost always tweak something in one way or another so you may not get the same result!

First up: An owl and some baby hats (pink and purple-- the green was a test hat that used different yarn and therefore didn't turn out as well) for the baby from my last post, Leia! As a teeny tiny baby, she's still growing into the hats, but that just means she'll be able to wear them for many months to come!

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy dolls! I actually don't have a pattern to give you because I came up with the pattern myself. I made these dolls down to the very last details, including their screen-accurate wands, their hand-painted ribbon scarves, and Harry's glasses, which I hand-shaped and painted! They're weighted down with pennies for stability. These were given to one of my lovely best friends, Ellie. She lives in Australia, so that's where they live now!

Along with the Draco and Harry dolls for Ellie, I made a Golden Snitch for her and myself! 

My cool ripple afghan! This took quite some time and quite a lot of yarn to complete. I believe there are 13 colors in total! Maybe one day I'll add a border, but I finished the main part of the blanket and then got tired of doing it! :P (In the photo, the blanket is upside-down. The top is actually at the bottom and vice versa)

Stego! This was for my friend Kerry, who loves stegosauruses. He is probably the most difficult project I've ever attempted, and because I hate sewing pieces together,  I put the project down for a few months, so he took quite some time to complete. His feet are weighted down with Canadian quarters!

This giraffe lovey is for a friend of mine who just found out that they're going to be a parent for the first time! The giraffe is, of course, a nod to my love of giraffes.

This bunny lovey is also for the baby Leia!

(of which I only used the bunny part-- for the blankie part, I used the same pattern from the giraffe lovey)

Here is Leia and her bunny lovey!
Photo courtesy of Karen Bova

Yet another project that I don't have a pattern to give you for is this Spongebob! A request from a friend for his nephew, Spongebob took a while to complete because I was making the pattern up as I went (when am I going to finally say "Yes, $4.99 for a pattern I'll get to keep forever is worth the time it will take to make up my own"?). I wanted something that I knew would keep its shape instead of bulging out through the stretch of the pieces, so I settled on 2" foam padding for his insides. His tie, shirt collar, the blue/white of his eyes, and teeth are all bits of felt that have been machine-stitched on, and his smile and eyelashes are hand embroidered.

That's it so far! I've got two other items in the works right now, both requests, but I'm having a hard time concentrating while crocheting lately so they may take some time. :)