Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happiness Is...

Getting to talk to your mom when she's so far away.

Mom called! She bought an international calling card and called me a few hours ago. I was so excited even though I knew the call was coming (she emailed me she was going to call). I MISS MY MOM!

We squealed and talked for a bit though I didn't want to keep her up too late as it was 11PM her time. She was wide awake though since they'd just come back from the Eiffel Tower!

I'm so happy she's having a wonderful time and look forward to spending lots of time with her hearing about her adventures.


I'm The Queen Bee

Over the holiday weekend I finished my second pair of socks, this time using a kitchener stitch toe. I'm not 100% sure I did it right but it looks good. I LOVE MY SOCKS!!!

The pattern is the "Seduction Socks" from Interweave Knits. The absolutely gorgeous yarn came from a wonderful seller I found originally on eBay, Susan Sarabasha. Her website is: The colorway is called Golden Sunset. I've named my socks "Queen Bee Socks" because they just remind me of bees and beehives and it just screamed "Look at me!" I am definitely getting more of her yarn, and once I get better control of my spinning, her roving too!

And as an extra reason to smile, my mail carrier delivered the following a little while ago!

Ordered from Phoenix Fiberworks on The colorway is called "Bittersweet" and is a lovely shades of burnt orange and maroon. It's 440 yards of DK goodness. Nice warm socks or something will be made out of this.

These two yarns are from the Destash blog. I picked up these from Valerie who happens to be one of the owners of Yarn4Socks. The one on the left is called "Run Like Hell" and is from an older Scout Swag yarn. The two balls on the right (the left came off of the larger ball on the right) is by Twisted Fiber Art and is called "Lizardman". Yummy yarns aren't they!

These two balls of Regia Jacquard are also from Destash that I got from Adelle. These will get turned into socks for the hubby.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Goodness! I've been tagged all over the place. Ok, ok! I'm playing already. ;-)

Here's how it goes. . .each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others & list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you tag a note in their comments letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog. So here it goes!

7. Up until my adulthood, I'd never owned a store bought costume (bought a costume. My mother always made them for me. We would spend months researching and preparing, seriously! I was a Spanish dancer one time with layers upon layers of taffeta. I was a geisha and the local Chinese restaurant retied my obi and re-did my hair (using nice lacquer chopsticks!) for me when I went in to visit. It's one of the many reasons why it's my favorite holiday.

6. One of my favorite hobbies, though I haven't had a chance to do it in a long while, is figure sculpting. On a whim, I took a figure sculpting class over a Summer at the Torpedo Factory and absolutely loved it! Mom of course has my little naked bodies all over her apartment. Sadly I never got around to getting them fired so they'll slowly disintegrating.

5. Hmm... that leads me into another one. My mom and I use to make porcelain dolls a few years back. One time we had so many body parts for dolls in the trunk we just knew a police officer was going to pull us over one day and arrest us! A little after that I moved into sculpting dolls from Cernit, Fimo and Sculpy. Once I find some more time, I'll get back into it.

4. I am a big fan of old radio dramas (yay XM Radio!). I've got "X Minus One" on right now in the background. Back with the Disney Institute was in full swing, I took a class on radio dramas and got to record a small part (I'd come down with a cold right before class) as Bunny Fryer, you know, daughter of the hot dog king Oscar Fryer. LOL!!! I broke into a Southern accent out of know where and just went with it.

3. I have a fairly decent size collection of action figures and fast food premiums currently sitting in boxes, waiting for the day I can take them out and display them again. When I was living at home, I had decorated my room in them, pinning the action figure packages to the wall. One day the neighbor's child came over to sell something for school and while standing in the doorway looked over into my room. My mom said his eyes got huge and he asked if she had a toy store in there. *giggle*

2. I've never learned to swim, even after numerous attempts at lessons. Part of it was because I could never figure out how to turn my head to get a breath while swimming. The main part was because I could see where I was going and would panic. It wasn't until last year that by listening to someone else mention the same thing that the solution was communicated to me! Prescription swim goggles! Though I hope to get Lasik surgery so I don't have to worry about glasses at all, if I don't get it done, I'm getting prescription swim goggles!

1. Some years ago I had a fairly successful cookbook review e-newsletter that I started purely by accident. I was testing out online services for my company and on a whim created a e-newsletter on reviewing cookbooks. I love to cook so this was an easy subject to play around with for a short time. In a fairly short time I had 500 subscribers and growing at a nice rate. After 2 years, my life got a bit... out of control, and I had to let it go.

I think I'm one of the last to people to play so I'm tagging anyone who wants to play along.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No Sheep For You Questionnaire

To my swap partner, here you go!

No Sheep For You Questionnaire

1. Are you vegan?
- No but I enjoy vegetarian and vegan food. I cook that way several times a week.

2. Look at your yarn stash. What colors do you see?
- The amount of blue doesn’t surprise me but the greens and magentas (that I bought) do. I'm in a few yarn/sock clubs so I have yarns I don't think I'd have bought on my own but really like!

3. What sizes of needles do you own, or do you pretty much have a full range of sizes?
- I have that Denise circular set so I have most of the major sizes there. I have a bunch of size 10.5 straights because I either forgot and bought another set or received them as gifts. I have a few sets of DPNs now that I’m sock knitting but not a wide collection. I need to sit down and actually make a list of what I have so I can just knit as necessary.

4. Out of the following, do you prefer:
- softness or durability: Softness. I know I should pick durability but durable yarn wont get worn if doesn’t feel good.
- generous yardage or quality of fiber content: I struggled with this one but I’m picking quality of fiber content. A lot of crappy yarn is just that, crappy.
- knitting or crocheting: Knitting. I don’t know how to crochet yet.
- making bags or small wearable accessories like hats, socks, etc: Technically both but small wearable accessories are what I prefer to make.

5. What are your favorite non-animal fibers (include silk as a non-animal fiber, if you are not Vegan, since everyone else seems to do so)?
- I haven’t tried a large range of non-animal fibers yet so I don’t have a favorite at the moment.

6. Is there a specific non-animal fiber, or family of fibers, that you have not yet tried but really want to try?
- Ceramic, Seacell, or corn.

7. What non-animal fibers do you absolutely hate, if any?
- Still experimenting so I don’t know yet.

8. Are there some qualities of certain yarns that you especially like or dislike (by this I mean things like: prestrung beads, metallic threads, thick/thin texture, nubby texture, slipperiness, etc.)
- Excessive slipperiness. I have done beading crochet with nylon which looks gorgeous but trying to wind that stuff up is a pain in the butt! I have a couple of skeins that sit in a bag, waiting to be untangled. A few others are in bags until I can figure out how to safely ball them up.

9. Anything else you want to add?
- I’m a kid at heart. I’m easily amused by cloud formations, Cheshire Cat moons, and pretty colors. I love to travel, read, and just enjoy life as much as possible. Ask me questions and I’ll do the best I can to answer them.

Knitflix Summer Blockbuster Swap Questionnaire

To my patient partner La Verna, here is my questionnaire finally filled out:

1. Since this is a summer blockbuster swap, would you rather receive a summer action/adventure movie, a light romantic comedy, or a suspense/thriller?
- Hmm… of those three I’m leaning towards the action/adventure movie but that’s because I’m waiting patiently for Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End to come out! Most light romantic comedies these days are the same tired old formulas so I tend to avoid them. Suspense/thrillers can be enjoyable but I’m not into the espionage/government spy kind. Unless it’s James Bond of course, then all bets are off!

2. What is your favorite film genre or type?
- I’m all over the place but generally fantasy, intellectual/clever comedies, and period pieces are what I enjoy most.

3. List 3-5 of your favorite films and why you like them.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I remember clearly the first time I saw this on TV as a child. The whole family made a big production of getting ready to watch it (popcorn, candy, etc…) and we ooh’d and aah’d through every scene. Totally entrancing I had to watch it every time it came on after that and this brother surprised me with my own copy on DVD. I have the Johnny Depp version as well which I enjoy for different reasons.

- My Fair Lady: The movie that made me want to be Audrey Hepburn growing up. Her transformation from flower girl on the street to lady at the ball, while still being herself is something that caught my attention. It’s something that Audrey Hepburn embodied in many of her movies as well as in real life.

- Alice in Wonderland: First of all it's Disney! Beyond that, it’s one of my favorite children stories that makes me smile every time I watch it. I've collected many things from this movie including the autograph of the lady who did the voice for Alice (she did Wendy Darling too!)

- A Christmas Story: Ok, I know that “It's a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” are suppose to be the Christmas classics but you have to have this one too! It’s funny, it’s sweet, and it reminds so many people of their own lives. I was that kid with too many layers on in the Winter!

- French Kiss: An emotional movie for me. Though a comedy that makes me laugh out loud, my mood deeply influences how this movie affects me. Good mood and I’m quoting all the lines and laughing myself silly “People make my ass twitch.” Sad mood and I’m balling for no reason. Bad mood and I’m thinking cynically how that just doesn't happen to real people. Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan have such chemistry in that movie!

4. Do you like foreign films? Would it annoy you to watch a film with subtitles if you are knitting/crafting?
- I do enjoy foreign films (especially the period martial arts ones) but don’t do any sort of crafting that requires heavy concentration while watching them. Stockinette stitch or stringing beads for a project is about as much as I want to handle while reading the screen. I want to rent 'Amelie' but never seem to have a good time to do it for that reason.

5. Is there a movie that you've always wanted to see but haven’t?
- I’m working my way through the classics at the moment. Still to go are such movies as: African Queen, Funny Face, Roman Holiday, The Sound of Music, Vertigo, and Rear Window.

6. Do you have any favorite actors?
- I live in two worlds when it comes to movies:
Old movies: Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Rex Harrison, Errol Flynn
New movies: Emma Thompson, Minnie Driver, Johnny Depp, Will Smith

7. What kind of movie night treats do you like? Type of Candy? Popcorn?
- Popcorn, cheese doodles, pretzels, and potato chips. For sweets I like Raisinettes.

8. Are you a sock knitter, lace knitter, or hat/mitten/scarf knitter?
- All of the above.

9. What are your favorite fibers?
- Haven’t met one I haven’t liked yet except for those listed below. There are plenty of fibers I’d love to try that I haven’t played with yet such as soy silk, corn, ceramic, cotton, bamboo.

10. What fibers do you dislike or are allergic?
- 100% acrylic and any other fibers that just feels horrid to touch. No allergies to fiber that I know of.

11. What are your favorite colors?
- Any color that reminds me of the beach, sea, ocean, and the islands. Colors that say “Travel” like magentas, mustards, Spanish tile orange, and indigos. Warm, relaxing colors like lime greens, orange sherbet, washed pinks. But I’m willing to try all sorts of colors.

12. What colors do you not like?
- Bad combinations and extremely bright colors (e.g. 80’s neon). I have however been surprised by colors I would never thought to put together working because of the tones used.

13. Is there anything else that your partner should know that will help her spoil you?
- Let’s see. Keeping on movies for a moment longer, there are movies I love to pull out or rent because they are guilty pleasures such as Joe vs. the Volcano, The Pirate Movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Popeye (with Robin Williams).

I don’t drink coffee. I’m a hot chocolate and tea drinker.

I don’t have pets at the moment but I hope to have cats once we get a house.

I’m a HUGE Disney fan. I was married at Walt Disney World, member of the Disney Vacation Club, pin collector, etc…

Beyond knitting, I’m an avid beadworker; predominately beadweaving techniques. I've just started playing with altered art such as altered books, artist trading cards, and such.

I love to read, travel, and if it’s not listed here, but you’re curious, just ask. =)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

La Dolce Vita

Quick update on mom's adventures through Europe:

She's in Italy and I think if she had her way, she'd move there permanently. Two days in Venice and she was totally taken with the city. I had to laugh because I'd already warned her that in reading Rick Steve's book Postcards from Europe, one of the ladies on a tour fell so head over heals in love with the city, she tossed her medication (she was on sort of depression pills) into the Canal and swore she was home!

Right now she's in Florence and as it's a hot bed for fashion, I wonder if she'll find any good yarn or fabric stores? LOL!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Summer Knitting Goals

While reading Jennifer's blog I found out about a contest that Ali is running on her blog. It's a Summer Goals Contest and it's truly easy to play along.

What's the contest for? A copy of her Fitted Tank pattern that she did for Blue Sky Alpacas and 4 hanks of the appropriate yarn in your color choice.

Go to her blog for all the details and then mention who referred you to her blog and the contest. That would be me if you're hearing about this for the first time. =)

Get a move on though as the contest will run through the end of the month (May).

At first I wasn't going to enter this contest but I realized that since I'm setting the goals, why the heck not!

My Summer knitting goals are short, actually only 2 but for me they're HUGE goals. Especially with me also particpating in the 2007 Bead Journal project. Anyway, they are:

#1 Complete the wrap sweater from Kiparoo Farms all the way down to the finishing!

#2 Be caught up on all the socks I need to either to be on track for the 52 Pair Plunge project or my own personal modified goal of 12 socks in that same time period.

That's it. I know it's not much compared to others but it's realistic for me.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lots of Pretty New Yarn

I didn't get the chance to post the pictures of the yarn I received from the Socks that Rock Club or Scout's Indie Swag Club before the Maryland Sheep and Wool and now I've received 2 more skein of yarn. One is from the Y4S Sock Club and the other is my reward/trade for completing the Yarn Focus Challenge '07 last month. Here are the goods:

First let's start with Scout's Indie Club goodness:

This gorgeous skein is called Lavender Mint and the shot simply does not do it justice. It's a a subtle colorway that is just luscious in person. I'm slowly going through all of my sock patterns trying to find just the right one for this. I may have to just go "ennie meanie minie moe".

I didn't take a picture of the swag that came with but I also received:

  • A container of "Heal My Hands" hand balm in a Lavender Mint scent. I wonder where the colorway got it's name from? =)

  • A tube of "Heal My Lips" lip protectant in a Madagascar Vanilla scent. Smells lovely!

  • A sample of "Heal My Heels", notice a theme here?

  • A sample of "Heal My Face" 3 grain scrub and mask.

I'm going to test the products when I will be at home all day. The "Hands" and "Lips" products both contain avocado butter and I'm apparently allergic to avocados. Nothing dangerous but eating avocados makes my mouth tingly in disturbing kinda way. The "Heels" contains tea tree oil which I tried once as part of a mouthwash and broke out into hives. Quickly went away as fast as it came on but still... The "Face" seems to be the only one I dont' see anything in it that might be a problem. Now mind you, all of this is purely unscientific. I tried an avocado once and asked my husband if my mouth was suppose to tingle while eating those things. He quickly had me wash my mouth out. The tea tree oil mouthwash was by process of elimination after the hive attack a few days in a row but it could very well have been something else in the product. Anyway... back to the good stuff!

This exotic colorway is called "Walking on the Wild Tide" from the Socks that Rock yarn club. It undulates and is surprising and oh so stunning up close.

The accompanying pattern is called "Grasshopper" and it's a lacey kind of sock that has a neat seam up the back. I'm debating order the second skein to make the tall version (the seam is more pronounced in that one) or just do the shorter one pictured with this skein and do the taller in something else. Hmm...

Next we have the skein of sock yarn I received for completing the Yarn Focus Challenge '07. Thanks Rebekah for hosting this. It was truly an eye opener. I think the hubby is eyeballing this one for socks of his own. =)

The last pretty little number is from the Y4S Sock Club by Yarn 4 Socks. This is the June package that they decided to send early. The yarn is by Seacoast Handpainted Yarn in their Melonballs colorway. It's 60% merino, 30% bamboo, and 10% nylon.

The accompanying pattern is called Giotto and is a hot little lacy number created by Anna Bell of My Fashionable Life. I definitely want to make this one exactly as is.
I've been in ball winding heaven these past few weeks along with knitting away among other projects and am trying to find every spare minute I can to create something. I simply must have more free time! *petulant foot stomp*

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mom's In Europe!

Mom and I had always dreamed of one day taking a Rick Steves Europe through the Backdoor vacation. Well, at least one of us finally did it. =)
Mom left last Friday, May 11th, for the Netherlands to begin her 21 day tour (that officially started Mother's Day) of Europe.

She's been able to send me emails and a couple of video postcards so far to let me know what she's been up to. I got the "brilliant" idea last night to start posting some of those things to her blog, partially to keep her friends up to date and as a surprise keepsake for her for when she gets home in June. She'll probably kill me for doing it but hey, she should never have given me the password to her account. >=)

Anyway... the first post is up and I'll post more tonight. If you want to follow along too, just head on over to her blog.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I'm taking on a project that I have mixed feelings about. Not bad mixed feelings, just nervous feelings. I want to participate because I want to open up my horizons, let out all those ideas bouncing around in my head, let my beads sing out. But then there are the feelings of "can I really do this" that peek around the corner of my mind. I've quickly squashed that. I know I can do this and I'm going to definitely try my darnedest to do this. What am I rambling about? It's the 2007 Bead Journal Project that artist Robin Atkins has just started up.

What is this project I've put myself in? Here's the basics:

I'm making a 1-year beading commitment to create 12 "journal" pages (one a month) with bead embroidery. If you've seen or heard anything about the various quilt journal pages going on, you know what I'm talking about. Page size is my own choice though each month should be about the same size. Other than that, it's up to me how to proceed. Flat or 3D, bound or not, mixed media or only beads.

This madness starts June, 2007 and apparently there is a possible exhibition opportunity at end of year. The journaling aspect of beadwork is exciting me. The challenge makes me vibrate with ideas. I'll officially start June 1st; from idea to completion. The only thing I want to decide on now is the format of my pages. Hmm...

How will this affect other projects I'm working on? I don't know yet. I'm definitely not trying to overload myself. I will definitely make sure that all commitments get made in some fashion or another.

If you want to experience this as well, check out Robin's blog from the link above and if you're game, email her and get ready to PLAY!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Recap

I had a plan. Really I did. Then I actually walked onto the fairgrounds and that wonderful plan went out the window. Honestly though, I did pretty good compared to past years of random buying with no thought in mind as to what I would do with everything. This year all the yarn was bought for a purpose, and of course plenty of patterns for future use (but patterns don't really count anyway.)

So let's get to the yarn porn!

First up is this gorgeous yarn and pattern from Kiparoo Farm Studio. I love their stuff and the people of Kiparoo. If you're out this way, they have a cute little studio/shop you can visit too! All of this is going to be the VERY FIRST SWEATER I've ever knit! What's not shown are 3 skeins of a solid green that they are dying for me and should be here in another week.

A close-up of the pattern. It's a wrap-around sweater/pullover. It's so very beautiful! I'm a little nervous since the trim around the neckline and the end of the sleeves is crochet but mom said she'd help and the people at Kiparoo said to come by on a Saturday and they'd assist too. There are several buttons on it that I think I may bead but we'll see when the time comes. First things first, I've got to actually do a gauge swatch (EEK!) and get the right needles out.

What's this? Could it actually be? Yes, I'm going to finally break down and make a Clapotis! I hope it comes out as nice as the colors look like in those skeins.

I wanted to know what the big deal is with Koigu so I picked up some yarn to make the Traveler's Stockings from Interweave Knits. I had planned on doing the entralac one's from a different issue first but I think this is as good a place as any to start.

There was a lady at the show selling among other goodies, skeins upon skeins of recycled sari silk yarn! She runs a shop that helps support women in other countries by having them help themselves through craft and this yarn is one of those products. The large skein and skein to the left are for the Unbiased purse. If I run out, I have the extra skein for that. If I don't need it, I want to make a cute little cap out of it.

These two skeins of tropically yarn almost became socks but instead they will be turned into the Morning Glory caplet from Interweave Knits. I had a lot of colors to choose from but this colorway caught my eye.

SOCK YARN! No more need be said.

Mom and I chatted with Anne at the show and she was a pure delight. I picked up this kit to felt onto a felted purse later on. I have a good idea which pattern it will be but I think I have plenty of projects to work on right now at the moment. Don't you agree?

When mom and I came upon Elaine Eskesen's booth, it was pretty well wiped out and it was still the first day. We saw samples of the work in this book, Silk Knits, that she had out but when we went to buy the book from her, she was sold out! We walked a few booths down and found 2 copies sitting there just waiting for us to buy them. SNATCH! Trotting back down to Elaine's booth she laughed and happily autographed them for us. Such pretty patterns!

Two gorgeous shawl patterns by Hand Jive Knits. When I first saw the Criss Cross Poncho (Clapotis-like with all the dropped stitches) on the left, it was in a booth that would only sell the pattern along with their yarn. My problem with buying kits of any sort is that I don't always like the colors being offered and sometimes I'm not ready to buy everything at that moment. I do however want the pattern so I can remember to work on it later. I was in luck this time because a booth several barns away had plenty of the Hand Jive Knits patterns for sale so I grabbed a couple.

An elegant fingerless glove pattern and an interesting spiral sock pattern also by Hand Jive.

A lovely sideways knitted shrug and a gorgeous shawl by Maggie's Rags. I'm new to these patterns but I was impressed with how they looked knit up. I'll report later how it went.

I plan on making the cropped version of Amanda's Romance by Green Mountain Spinnery. The people are Green Mountain Spinnery are just so pleasant and they have a nice selection of products. I have their Slouch Hat pattern already and I really need to make it soon.

Another stunner from Kiparoo Farm. Just gorgeous!!! I just can't resist their stuff. =)

And as for bead stuff, though I had all the books I wanted that were offered at the festival (there were several "coming soons" I was drooling over however), this year offered several glass button makers so I picked up these gorgeous buttons to turn into a necklace and possible earrings.

Yeah, I know. I can get all this stuff from stores and online but nothing beats the excitement of a fair, festival or convention. =)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hilton Head Island... Disney Style

I don't play golf, I don't play tennis, and I don't own a yacht. So why did Bryan and I go to Hilton Head Island for a long weekend vacation? I have a membership in the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), they have a resort on Hilton Head Island, it's only a 10 hour drive away, and it was a belated birthday adventure that's why.

I love road trips so if nothing else, I hoped to have a fun drive and spend some relaxing time just laying around doing not much of anything. Little did we know what awaited us.

We left Thursday after work, drove until about 30 minutes from South of the Border and found a hotel to crash before finishing the last 3 hours to Hilton Head. Friday was an easy drive to the island though the first impression was of Bluffton (or Bluff-ghanistan as Hilton Head Island folk like to call it), the town that used to be 1 square mile and has mushroomed to 55 square miles of outlets, luxury car dealerships, restaurants, and private golf communities. We were not impressed.

Crossing over the bridge however was another thing all together. At first glance, it felt like a scene out of "The Stepford Wives" but quickly calmed down to just being pretty and green and manicured. Lots of gated communities, all signage has to be small and unobtrusive, and plenty of old trees covered in Spanish moss. And yes, lots of golf courses.

Arriving at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort was entertaining as it's on a little island of it's own adjacent to a marina and shopping area. We thought we were in the wrong place at first but no, there was the signs directing us to keep going, we were almost there. Check in was easy and of course we were greeted with the lovely, "Welcome home!" from the cast members.

Wanna see where we stayed?

Our building.

Our door, #1614.

Home (aka our room). The balloons were attached to a card from the check-in cast members wishing me a happy birthday! And my name was on TV, listed among the other DVC resort celebrations going on during my stay!

Looking out into the courtyard from our balcony. From here I can see two horseshoe pits, a grill and picnic bench and paths leading off to all sorts of different places on the property.

Part of our balcony. The balcony across has a picnic bench on it because it's a larger room.

The boardwalk in the back of the resort. The tide is out so there's no water to see. This place gets 8 foot tides! When the water goes out, it goes out.

The campfire pit is shaped like a Mickey. How could it not?

Cute signpost showing where all the DVC properties are in reference to where we stood.

The slide into the pool. There's also a kiddie pool and a Jacuzzi.

My most favorite tree. As a little girl I was a notorious tree climber. The resort was full of old trees just begging to be scrambled up but this one, my tree, I wanted to figure out how to take home with me. It's just stunning!

Remember I said I don't play golf? Well I played a round of golf each day to be official. Mind you it was miniature golf but I think that counts. Don't you? We ate at some fabulous restaurants but how could we not. This island has over 150+ restaurants to chose from.

Two highlights from the trip were getting to bicycle on the beach. Yes folks, the way the tides work and the composition of the sand, you can bicycle on the actual beach and we did. It was a blast! You can get from one end of the island to the other that way. Just watch out for little kids who are so tickled with the shell they're running to show mom and dad that they don't notice you pedaling right at them. The whole island is set up for bicycling and with it predominately flat, it's an easy and enjoyable time.

The other was typical Disney magic. On the way back from our island bicycling we stopped off at the DVC beach house to check it out and relax a bit. Sitting at the pool bar we struck up a conversation with Carol, an outstanding cast member who had us laughing as well as learning about all sorts of interesting island facts. She asked us if we had any plans the following day and we told her that other than our nature excursion to Pinckney Island refuge in the morning, we were basically just winging it. She told us about her favorite jazz club, The Jazz Corner, that on the last Sunday of the month has a 3-6pm Dixieland Jazz happy hour that wasn't to be missed. Nor were the excellent desserts. So we figured why not and while walking to the little club the next day, who should we spy but Carol heading there too. She invited us to sit with her and her husband and they'd show us a great time. Boy did they!

The place was jumping as we walked in but we were able to get a good table in the middle of it all. The music was outstanding, the company was hilarious, the drinks were stiff (Phew!) and the raisin maple carrot cake Bryan and I shared was sinfully good. If you get to Hilton Head Island and it's the last Sunday of the month, don't walk, run to this amazing place. I don't know what it's like in season, but we had to laugh when we realized we were the youngest people in the club. No one seemed to care. Actually it seemed to give everyone an excuse to show off. The end the time with a rollicking' rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In" that turned into a second line, dancing around and between tables. With colorful umbrellas and all! And of course one of the ladies dancing handed me an umbrella and had me up there dancing away. I looked around on my second or third pass when I realized they'd gotten Bryan up there too and he was hamming it up for the crowd, flipping around and balancing his umbrella on his finger tip. I think the second drink might have helped too. LOL!

Will we be back? You betcha! And for a week next time with our own bikes in tow and our dancing shoes on. Anybody wanna come along?