A Good Yarn

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cruise, part I

First of all, I went out for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants last night, Fire Lake. I am sure I've posted about it before, but I wanted to give another kudos for an excellent meal. They feature a lot of locally grown and raised food, the atmosphere is lovely, the service is excellent, the food is delicious and the prices are really reasonable. If you are looking for a nice place to eat downtown, check out Fire Lake.

After dinner, we went to the Illusion Theater to see "Iron Kisses." The play is about family - your typical mom and dad with a son and a daughter, and the relationships in the family. The son is gay, so that adds a little extra wrinkle, and her "compensates" for being gay by trying to be the ideal son. The writing is a bit trite and nothing too surprising or interesting happens. However, the play is acted by just two actors: Dane Stauffer and Beth Gilleland. They first met in the mid-80s while at the Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, which is where I first saw them. In particular, I'm a HUGE fan of Dane Stauffer. 9 years ago he moved to San Diego, so he hasn't been around here lately and it was so awesome to see him on stage again, especially with his good friend Ms. Gilleland. They did bring life to the play and I really enjoyed watching them, even if the words they spoke were a bit banal. The play runs through April 21 if you want to check it out.

FINALLY, I want to talk about my cruise. It was my first cruise ever. I took my mom for her 60th birthday, as she's never been on a cruise, either. She's really never been on much of a vacation, as a matter of fact. I think she enjoyed it and I would definitely do the cruise thing again.

We went on the Celebrity Century. Here she is, docked in Key West:

I was very satisfied with this ship. It's an older ship, but they just remodeled it, so everything looked very nice. The beds and linens are comfortable and soft. The room was of course very small, but I didn't spend much time there except for sleeping anyway. The dining room was absolutely gorgeous and the different bars and theaters were very nice. The food was excellent - we ate in the main dining room every night because we didn't want to miss any of those wonderful meals. For breakfast and lunch we either got room service or ate in the more casual dining areas. The pizza and pasta bar was ok, as was the big buffet. The breads were really excellent. There's a sushi bar every evening, so I had sushi as an appetizer one night and it was pretty good. If it had been available for lunch, I probably would have had sushi for lunch every day I was on board. The shows were not outstanding, but they were entertaining enough. There was a movie theater on board, which was really a big screen with a DVD projector, but I watched a couple of movies in there and it was fun to see them on a big screen - I wouldn't mind having that set up at home. We spent some time in a couple of different lounges and the different music acts that played were all very enjoyable. I took a couple of wine classes on board that I really loved. I also visited the spa and got a mani/pedi, which was very relaxing and enjoyable. The prices weren't too bad, except she sold me on a few extra products to take home which I really didn't need. I spent a pretty good amount of time just reading in a lounge chair and I had lots and lots of these:

Prices for liquor and wine were typical of a restaurant, but since it was like living at a restaurant for a week, I spent way too much money on drinking. They were good, though, and it was enjoyable.

We had two ports of call on the trip. The first was Key West. Here's my mama on the dock, ready for a day on shore.

As you can see, we had a gorgeous, sunny day. Since we were only days away from one of the biggest snow storms in the last few years, it was awesome just to be among the palm trees, wearing short sleeves and sandals! We took a tour of Key West on the Conch Train:

It was a great way to learn about the history of "The Conch Republic" and learn about interesting plants and architecture, which I probably wouldn't really even notice if I was just walking around alone. To the right of the train in the background you can see the Shipwreck Museum, which we also toured. It was a really neat mix of actors bringing history to life, displays of interesting shipwreck items and films. We didn't climb to the top of the tower where shipwrecks were spotted, though. We also went to the Key West Aquarium, where we saw some pretty cool marine animals. The conch is pretty darn ugly:

But the nurse shark is pretty cute:

We also had lunch on Key West - most of the bars/restaurants were already full of spring break kids, so it was a bit loud and wild for our tastes. Of course I had to have Key Lime Pie, and it was SO GOOD! I really wish I could have brought one home. From the Conch Train, I spied this sign:

I managed to not jump off the train immediately, but of course I insisted that we go back there after lunch. I never expected to see a yarn shop in such a tropical location, but it was a perfect shop for vacationers. There was a good selection of needles just a few different lines of yarn in a wide variety of colors. Perfect for picking up a quick project for vacation knitting. I was actually really glad to go there because I had brought along my nephew's sweater to work on and the needles I brought were way too short and the stitches kept falling off. So, I was able to pick up some longer DPNs to work on, when I had the time to knit. I also picked up one skein of "souvenir" yarn:

This reminded me of a sunset we saw one night on board - the sky was a really pretty pink and the water was a lovely blue. So I'm calling this color Caribbean sunset.

My favorite thing on Key West, though, was the roosters:

They were everywhere! When we first spotted one, I was so excited! By the end of the day we'd seen dozens of them, so it wasn't so exciting, but I still loved them. I really wanted to take one home with me, but of course I didn't.