Chatty Crochet With Me #18: Ol’ Vacation Talk


Hello all my buddies, this is Carmen, and welcome to another Chatty Crochet With Me!

In this video series, I crochet something while talking about a subject to you, a friend who may or may not also be crocheting. This is not a tutorial video.

Let me update you on my last blanket. On the screen is April’s Blanket! It was a Corner-To-Corner Moss Stitch, and I think it would’ve gone faster if I crocheted more, but my fingers kept cramping up so I had to take a lot of breaks. Anyway, I finished it in about three weeks, including the breaks.

Here’s May’s blanket, I literally just started it, so it’s a bit of a nothing at the moment. It’s going to be a gingham plaid afghan off of Yarnspirations. Right now it’s about 4, 4.5ft long. I’m using Bernat Sheepy yarn in Cotton Tail and Vapor Grey. And you guys, I had heard about this type of yarn, but I hadn’t used it before, and I didn’t know that this is what I bought, it’s very fluffy, and you can’t see the stitches! The only reason you can see these stitches is because these are holes in the pattern. It’s really hard to deal with and I don’t know how people deal with it. I have this little green yarn here at the bottom, it tells me how many stitches is my first row (and where the bottom is). I also have crochet markers every 10 stitches. That will come off at end. Thankfully, this pattern has built in holes that I will not be crocheting in, so that’s definitely helpful. I hope this blanket goes by quickly, I just started this yesterday. I think I’m going to end up with a lot of leftover yarn, I bought too much yarn for this blanket and I overcompensated, which is great, I’d rather buy too much yarn at the beginning than end up having to buy more at the end. I’ll have to use this yarn for something else, it’s really fluffy, but I hate crocheting with it!

Anyway, today, I want to talk about vacations, specifically in the year before the pandemic, I actually went on a lot of vacations. Ugh, I can’t wait to go on vacation again! Just a side note, I just got my second shot and everyone I normally interacted with before the pandemic are all vaccinated now! So, two more weeks until I can be unmasked inside and outside with other people who are fully vaccinated! Can’t wait!

Two of my most recent vacations were both in Portland, Oregon! I really love it there, it’s one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to. I don’t know why, I guess the vibe just meshes well with my personality. Both of these vacations were in 2019, obviously, before the pandemic. The first time I went in 2019 was with my now-future-husband/fiance, and that is when he proposed! I was not expecting it, and obviously I said yes 🙂 He proposed in the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and it was really sweet, basically he said he wanted to get a picture of us in the garden, gave his phone for someone to take the picture and once I finished putting my things down, he was on one knee! It was super sweet. And obviously I said yes 🙂 On that trip, we went to the McMenamins Kennedy School for an amazing outdoor hot tub experience, played at the Glowing Greens, and watched Spiderman Homecoming at the McMenamins Bagdad Theatre. This trip is also where I became obsessed with McMenamins! I want to go to all of them! McMenamins is a line of breweries and pubs and hotels that are all super cool! The Kennedy School is actually an old highschool that they made into a hotel, bar, restaurant, and obviously outdoor pool.

My second time in Portland was with one of my best friends, Julie! Julie and I went on a girls trip in November 2019! It was supposed to be three of us, but one of our friends couldn’t make it, but that’s okay! We had a lot of good food, like Pok Pok Wing (which unfortunately, are all gone now, so sad!), and good drinks, like the unforgettable night in Bible Club PDX, I finally got to go to the Portland Art Museum (last time I was in a museum, thanks pandemic), and just some general good times. God, I love Portland.

I had a trip in-between those two trips, actually, and that was my trip to see family in Yunnan Province, China with my mom! I had never met this side of my family before, I think this grandma is my mom’s aunt, one of my grandma’s (my mom’s mother) sisters? Anyway, the area is very close to Sichuan, where the Sichuan or Szechuan peppers got their name, so a lot of the food was very spicy! We also went to some amazing natural sites, like the Shilin Stone Forest, which was truly beautiful, and had some cool cultural dances when I went, and the Jiuxiang Cave System, which was also beautiful, but no one told me it would be so physically demanding! You really gotta warn people before submitting them to difficult hikes like this; at the end we were all so exhausted, and we ended up taking a chairlift from where you finish the hike to where the parking lot is, and man, you really understand why you are so exhausted, it was a huge area we covered! You just can’t tell because you’re underground.

I would like to pause here and say that the Chinese government treatment of the Uyghur people is disgusting and needs to be stopped.

The first vacation of the year was actually to Las Vegas with Taylor — this was our first time in Vegas together! We played all the slots we thought looked interesting, and went to the First Friday Fair(?) in Vegas, it was like a really cool outdoor art festival with vendors and food trucks. We went to Fremont Street, did some ziplining and had White Castle for the first time. And of course, had some of the good food: we did the Cosmopolitan The Wicked Spoon Buffet – a HIGH recommendation We saw this place on Worth It (by Buzzfeed with Steven, Andrew, and Adam, I’ll put a card in the description), and it really was Worth It you guys! We actually slept in and got to the buffet for breakfast, but ended up being seated around end of breakfast, so we got some breakfast and stayed long enough for the lunch turnover. We also really want to try the Feast Buffet in the Red Rock Casino, but it was a little out of our walking range or public transportation range, so definitely next time!

And I wanted to sneak in an end of the year vacation I went to with my mom that prompted me and Taylor’s trip to Vegas: My mom and I went to Vegas! Kind of, we went on a bus tour on Christmas of 2018. It was only for 4 or 5 days so we were back before the new year. We went to see amazing state parks: Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada which was beautiful! We saw a big horned sheep! And, most life-changing for me, we went to Death Valley in Southern California. It was so beautiful there, and I would love to hike it during the winter, when it isn’t heat stroke to be outside for more than five minutes.

Lastly, I wanted to add some smaller day trips in 2019: I went to Paso Robles in April to see my friend and get my license renewed, I went to Oakland for Julie’s birthday and spent the night, had brunch and partied, and Taylor and I went up to San Francisco to see a show (that particular one was Welcome to Night Vale). The last time we went out of the area was also to the same theatre (Palace of Fine Arts) and saw The Dollop podcast, highly recommend that as well!

God, I miss vacations. I miss traveling. I miss art and wine festivals and county fairs and hanging out with friends and eating at restaurants. I can’t wait til we can do all that again without being nervous and anxious about COVID-19.

Anyway! Here’s what I have so far on this blanket, I accidentally did one extra row, so I’ll have to frog that one, but you do six rows and then change colors. Let me know where you went on vacation that you miss very much (for me, it’s Portland), let me know the simple things that you miss while being in the pandemic (for me, I miss being outside and NOT worrying about my health), let me know what you thought of my April blanket, and let me know if you hate this fluffy yarn as much as I do!

Thanks for watching everyone, bye!

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