Thursday, October 18, 2007

Natchez, Knitting and Nightlife

I know, it's been quiet here.

After we recovered from PeeWee's birthday weekend, I had our pediatric fundraiser to work, which turned out to be a huge success. Glad it is wrapped up for another year and now that I am almost a week out, I am feeling the love again and I'd be glad to do it again next year.

We earned a break, our first vacation since PeeWee was born. We needed it after the last several years! We decided to take up my brother in law's generous offer to use his house in Natchez, Mississippi. It's not a bad drive, and we got to see some great stuff on the way. One of my favorite places is Afton Villa, the burned ruins of a plantation with incredible gardens:

Natchez is such a pretty town. I haven't been here in about 6 years or so and it seems to have been well maintained and improved in that time quite a bit. A lot of the downtown looks like it's been and being rebuilt and renovated and there are a bunch of cute restaurants and shops I don't remember. Maybe they were there, but I don't remember!

Partly because I grew up in New Orleans and partly because I am married to a history nut we always go to cemetaries when we travel. I've always appreciated the old tombs and graves and enjoyed the quiet beauty of them. I was blown away by the Natchez cemetary, it's HUGE. Giant. Sprawling. Everywhere you look you see these beautiful iron fences around little families who are together in their beautiful white marble homes. The hillside is covered with them. It was an amazing site. (Click on the picture for a better idea of how vast it is.)

All of the gates seemed to be open. Can anyone tell me if there's a reason for that? We couldn't figure out if we'd seen that before. We also couldn't figure out if it was just because they were old and had just swung open. Any guesses?

My brother in law spends a lot of his free time eating out and he gave us a list of places to try. My favorite so far?

I mean, how could you NOT stop and check it out? I wish there were more places like this left on the by-ways. It must have been fun to drive them back in the 40's and 50's and stop in places like that. Plus the pie was just too good.

I brought along a sweater for me that I am working on. I've been knitting away on it the last few days. The preemie knitting was left at home with the kids. Since this vacation is just us, I gave myself permission to be selfish and knit something for just me. It's a little cabled number, pictures will come later when there's something to actually show. I tweaked the pattern a little and am hoping I have enough yarn. It's looking good so far. Another question... when you fiddle with a pattern how do you determine the amount of extra yarn you will need? This one I have about 200 yards more, but I lengthened the torso several inches, it was cropped, not a good look for me. I am almost finished with the back and about to start my fourth ball of 100 yards. Can I safely guess it will take four balls for the front? It's a cardigan, but v-neck. I decided to start a sleeve next to see how much yarn I use for that. Plus, it will keep me off of sleeve island! I was thinking of lengthing those a little too, but I am going to see about the yarn and how they look as 3/4 length. Suggestions? Ideas? Am I the only one who just wings these things?

Nightlife? Next post. We're off to go get some breakfast right now...