Thursday, July 30, 2009


Time sure does fly. It's been since February since I last blog, but that doesn't mean I haven't been on any adventures since then. Canada, Chicago, Northern Michigan...all sorts of great places. Sometimes I'll think about blogging and where I want to go with this blog, besides just notes about travel and such. I'll think of something random and have a whole blog post written in my head, but it never quite makes it in here. I'd like to become a little more disciplined for the three people who actually do read this.

I'm a little less than a week away from my next road trip, which will take me to Toronto, Barrie, Lake Placid and the finale of all finales, Montréal. It's a skating-centric trip, which will be made worthwhile by the awesome people I will be travelling with. Christina and I will be driving from Toronto to Lake Placid, where we will meet up with Mel, who will join us on our drive to Montréal. I have had some incredible adventures with those two ladies, and I have no doubt this trip will be any different. I mean...taking a photo in an Olympic Bobsled in Lake Placid? How could I possibly pass that up?!

It was strange having such a quiet July, since it felt like the first half of my year was constantly busy. Not that I'm complaining, it was kind of nice to have some downtime. At the end of June, my crazy group of road trip girls (Michele, Jen, Christina and Mel) and I planned a surprise visit for Mel, who just moved into a lovely new condo in Chicago. She had only been expecting me, but got three extra visitors as well! We packed as much as we could into the two days that we had, which included a trip to Molly's Cupcakes in Lincoln Park, a visit to the new Whole Foods Palace, a wine and cheese party hosted by Mel, a bike trip along the waterfront and through Navy Pier and lots of other good stuff. If you have a sweet tooth and ever find yourself in Lincoln Park, Molly's Cupcakes is a must. Every time I go there I try something new, and I have to say I loved the Cookies and Cream that I had last time. With cookies and cream mousse filling! Yum. Here's some photographic evidence:

Here's a partial shot of the skyline that I took while crossing the river. I like the bridge in the corner, I think it's an interesting contrast (then again, what the hell do I know, haha):

And here's the obligatory photo of us in 'The Bean':

Of course there's been lots of good times in Michigan too! Jason, one of my closest friends from high school, was up for a week from Texas visiting his parents. My best friend, Amber, and I went on a mini road trip up north to spend the 4th of July with he and his family. Then a few weeks ago, another friend from high school (who also lives in Texas now) got married. It's so surreal to see your high school friends get married! But I'm really happy for Lizz, and hope she and her husband have a great life together!

Here's a picture of Amber, Jason and I, along with his sister, Jessica and her boyfriend, Kevin on Lake Charlevoix:

So I should be back sooner rather than later, with all of the pictures I'll be taking on my next Great Canadian Adventure and all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stars in the Windy City

Last weekend I went to my first Stars on Ice show of the year, braving the potential winter weather onslaught with a road trip to Chicago. I checked the weather religiously all week, since driving through the southwest corner of Michigan in the middle of February can be pretty dicey at times. Things weren't looking good for my drive, but I never ended up hitting any snow, and I made it to Mel's in no time. Thank god for cruise control and my aversion to speed limits.

The show certainly didn't disappoint this year, and I'm happy to say that I see a few more shows in my future, thanks to two stops in Michigan, and of course the Canadian tour that stars in the spring. I'm not going to lie, I'm terrible at reviewing shows...I usually leave that up to Mel since she's the writer and we usually have the same opinion on all things skating, but I figured why not, since I have a blog now, I'll give it a shot.

I don't think I liked the group numbers this year as much as I did last year, but going up against "Hard Steele" and the Robert Palmer opening is a pretty tall order. I liked the guys number (a lot), and I really liked the transitions between the programs more this year as well. The "Don't Skate" PSA's are hilarious! They're a take on the "Don't Vote" videos that were out around election time last year, and I found myself wishing that they had them between every number. Of course there were some other great transitions too, so I suppose I should be happy with what we did get. So many great numbers this year, though...Yuka Sato's "1,2,3,4", Ilia Kulik's "Song for the King", Shen and Zhao's "Ramalama" and John Zimmerman's "I'm Gonna Crawl" were probably among my favorites.

The solo standouts for me were Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, one of my favorite dance teams and one of the main reasons why multiple SOI stops are in my future. Going into the show I thought their first act number to "Since I've Been Loving You" by Corinne Bailey Rae was going to be my favorite. The song is hot, M-F and Patch are hot together, and the program itself sets a really intimate mood. I loved it, to say the least, but their second act number was probably the highlight of the entire show for me. Skating to "Desire" by U2, they showed a ton of personality, and I don't think M-F stopped beaming the whole time. They've blossomed even more as show skaters since last year, and it's awesome to see them touring again.

One of the pics Mel took of "Since I've Been Loving you". Some of her other photos (along with Katie's, who also spent the weekend with us) are up at Hope it's ok that I advertise that here, but everyone should go look because they both took a ton of fab photos!

We ended up chatting with Marie and Patch for a bit after the show, but since the bus pulled out pretty soon after everything wrapped up, it was a pretty brief chat. I think Mel was a little taken aback when Patrice announced that they'd never actually gotten to Downtown Chicago, and had they not had to leave that night, she probably would have offered her tour guide services. Not that I could blame her...she is a great tour guide.

I think it's a rule that you can't leave Chicago without shopping, and I'm not going to be the one to be breaking that anytime soon. We lunched at the Frango Café in Marshall Field's-Macy's on Sunday (I refuse to just call it Macy's...I worked at Marshall Field's for 3.5 years, so maybe I'm still a little bitter), which is where I snapped this slightly blurry shot:

Awesome! A whole wall of President Obama! Is anyone else still really giddy about getting to call him that? I know I am.

So that's my Stars/Chicago weekend in a nutshell. Lots of skating, good food, and hilarity, which is pretty much the norm for whenever Mel and I are together.

Not sure what's going to be up next...if anyone has any suggestions of what I can blog about, they would be much appreciated!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I've been back from Vancouver for about a week now, and I wish my stay there would have been longer! Knowing I'll be back a year from now for the Olympics is pretty exciting, though. The city certainly has Olympic Fever, and being at the test event for figure skating only amplified that. Team Canada certainly showed they're a force to be reckoned with, winning three silvers and one gold medal. I've never been to an event quite like the ladies' long program, though. Yu Na Kim is like a rockstar in her native Korea, and there were so many people there cheering her on that it really electrified the atmosphere in the arena. My friends and I pride ourselves on our cheering skills, but even we haven't matched the volume of that crowd. Knowing what skating has gone through in North America, combined with the tough economic times everyone is going through, it was exciting to see so many people attending a skating event.

My friends and I did our fair share of sightseeing, in addition to spending hours on end roaming the PNE. I don't think I could ever get tired of being around mountains and water, and Vancouver seems to posess an open, laid back vibe that I think is missing in a lot of big cities. I am by no means a photographer, and my pictures are taken on a little Kodak digital point and shoot, but I did get some shots that I liked.

This is a shot from Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which was down the street from the friend's house where we stayed for a few days. Thanks again, Meg and Augie!

View from the back parking lot of the PNE

From the Seawall around Stanley Park

A shot from Granville Island, where I wish I had and endless supply of money and luggage room to bring home the goodies from the Public Market.

So that's Vancouver in a pretty tiny nutshell. Great city and great skating, to say the least. I can't wait to go back next year for the Games!

Also I'm hoping I won't go as long between posts next time, as I'm going to my first stop of Stars on Ice next weekend, so I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First post!

I signed up for this blog forever and a day ago, I think, but this is the first I've gotten around to posting. Not that I have anything particularly thrilling to share with the world, but maybe someone will find my ramblings interesting!

The name of this blog (and yes I realize that knitten' should be spelled with an 'i' in place of the 'e', but I thought it looked more symmetrical with the e) stems from the title of a musical I dreamed up during a long shift back in my days of retail. The musical, 'Knitten the Mitten' was to be Michigan themed, and each song would have a Michigan place name incorporated. "Dancing in Lansing", "I've Got a Thing for Ishpeming", and my personal favorite, "I'm Blue for Au Gres". Mind you, I have no musical back round at all, so mostly we just came up with place names and other words that would rhyme and went from there. Hey, I never said I wasn't a nerd.

The subject of this blog was originally going to be Michigan-centric, but I figured I'd expand and make it about anything and everything. I spend a lot of time in Canada and a lot of time attending various figure skating events (usually the reason why I'm going to Canada), so I'm sure you'll see a lot of mention of those two things. In fact, in two weeks I will be heading west to Vancouver for the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, which will serve at the test event for the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2010. I can't wait! I went to Vancouver last January and loved it, so I'm looking forward to going back, getting some good sushi, seeing some good skating, and taking a ton of pictures.

If you've stumbled across this little corner of the Internets, I hope you'll come back. I hope to be posting a little more frequently, especially once I have something besides a giant car repair bill on my mind. Don't you love when reality just sneaks up on you?