One of the crazy ideas that hit me while reading Stephanie’s list of cities was that I could go see her at least two times in April — the sure fire ones were at NYC and WEBS. The other do-able cities were Atlanta (oh to be having an ice cold sweet tea in Hotlanta!), Baltimore, and Charlotte. During the early part of the trip I was able to contact Debbie of “Gotta Knit!” and came to the decision that if she did not hear from me Sunday morning, I was not going to make the Atlanta trip.
Towards the end of Saturday’s long day, I realized that Sunday was going to be my day to relax. I made plans to meet up with Nikki and Stephanie at Mosaic Yarn Shop, the LYS of Gina from the “Skein Cocaine: Misadventures of a Yarn Shop Owner” blog. Little did I know what I was in for! Let us start with Nikki and a little something she is shielding from the camera. Go ahead — click on Nikki’s photo and the knit-in-the-chairs photo to see. 🙂
Wait! Is that who I think it is? It is the star of the shop, PURL!! She can be found hanging out at Mosaic and checking out everyone’s projects. Her sweet face is a great complement to the shop, and I had a huge kick out of finally meeting her. Of course I have loads of photos of this visit. I love the bright and sunny main room, and instantly felt happy when I walked into this LYS.
The shop has a very handy neighbor, Starbucks! The cool part of that neighborship? Being able to get online and that means being able to be on Ravelry. Yes, my addiction is strong. I was able to answer a few items in my messages and on the forums. The pressure of not catching up now released, I was able to start shopping.
I discovered quite a number of yarns that I wanted, but in the end, there was this one section in the 50%-off room that caught my eye. Click on that photo of those 50%-off shelves yet? 😉 That little section may not look it, but there are over 35 (40 maybe?) skeins of Classic Elite Posh and Lavish. Not able to resist a bargain, I snagged 12 (or was it 15?) of the Posh to make a striped sweater of green, tan, and brown. With our goodies purchased, we headed across to Kobe for lunch. There we had a fast food version of teppanyaki that was still quite yummy. Tummies filled, we decided to head back to Mosaic for more. It was as if I had this insatiable thirst that required attention!
Admittedly, I wanted the hours at the shop to continue, maybe closing at dawn. Not sure if it was the yarn fumes that tickled my brain, but I recalled Marni‘s (from Yarni by Marni) fabulous Bias Fair Isle Pullover. Grabbing a copy of the Loop-d-Loops book, I checked the pattern and discovered that the rest of the Posh would fulfill the yardage requirements. I had to stop and think because though I have had made large purchases before, never had I ever hit over the mark I was aiming at now. While I was standing and debating, Nikki and Stephanie sat and waited for my decision. My breathing became shallow, and I stammered repeatedly, “I must be in shock. I don’t think I can breathe. This is the biggest daily-overall purchase I have ever done for yarn. I keep holding my breath!” Nikki laughed and said, “I think we are holding our breaths FOR you. We’re about as in shock as you are.” All in all, the 31 skeins of the Posh, a Fiber Trends’ Huggable Hedgehog pattern, a skein of CHP Fingering in the Hokies 001 dyelot, a skein of Misty Mountain sock, and a couple of “Knitting for Healing” tee-shirts went home with me that day. I think we exhausted little Purl with all the shopping!
Saying our good-byes, we parted ways. To tally up the weekend’s purchases, I brought all the yarny items into the suite. I felt restless and was itching to go out, but had no idea where. My friend Eric and his girlfriend Michelle were caught up in their studying and med-school activities, so I was a bit on my own. I debated between ordering room service and eating in the hotel’s restaurant. Neither option seemed to interest me. I decided to drive into downtown to see what had changed in Blacksburg.
With some crazy luck, I found a parking spot on Main Street where I used to work during my last year at school. Slowly looking around, I saw the college students that were making the most of their weekend. Smiling at my own memories of doing the same, I popped into Sharkey’s and had to stop in my tracks. The sandwich line that I worked during the day was replaced by a seating area. Granted when I worked there, the place was called “Arnold’s” and was a dual-faced place — a sub shop during the day, a sports bar at night. Pool tables were in the back, no dance floor space, and a picnic-table filled patio were in the back. Lots of big televisions were everywhere for lots of sports-watching.
A young girl greeted me when I came in, and I simply said that I used to work at Arnold’s, have not been in town for over 9 years, and wanted to look around. She looked at the direction of the main bar and said I probably would want to chat with her brother because he might remember Arnold’s. I gave my thanks and took a “watcher’s seat” in a quiet corner of the bar. Dave (I think that was his name) came to take my order. I repeated what I told his sister and he exclaimed, “Wow! That was before I worked here. But I remember the history.” It turned out I was 7 years older than he was, and the folks that we knew had gone on to other areas in their life. He brought me the Killian’s I ordered and updated me on the gossip of what was still open, what changed, and what stayed the same. I took in the details and walked to the patio to check it out.
Looking outside across the parking lot, I saw that the “Greeks Restaurant” had changed to some type of formal Southern dining. Greeks was one of the places to go for that “dinner before a formal” event. It was a fabulous place where one’s parents can have a nice meal yet students can be spotted in jeans. Back at the bar, I listened to more gossip and watched the hullabaloo over the NFL Draft. Finishing my beer, I thanked Dave for the update and paid my tab.
Walking around town, I spotted many of the building fronts and stores that changed. The “Big Al’s Looking Glass” hair salon that I used was now a seafood restaurant. The dart alley “Ton 80” was gone with nothing in its place. The Subway that opened during my last month at school was something else. I did spy a couple of places that were as strong as ever. Gillie’s, The Cellar, The Underground, and my old favorite — Souvlaki’s.
By now everyone must be wondering where the photos are. I did not take any and that was intentional. Blacksburg is never-ending in always changing. For this one night to myself I wanted to keep the images inside my head. Yes I am being selfish, but for those who are curious, there is a nicely written blog on a Blacksburg restaurant crawl back in 2005. Some of the places were around when I was in school (oh those wonderful
margaritas meals at El Rodeo!) and the 2 entries on Souvlaki’s contains descriptive photos.
I stepped into Souvlaki’s and ordered a tiropita, gyro, and root beer. I figured that if I were going to wander around the campus at night, it is not a bright idea to be even slightly buzzed. I may have gall and dare to do things, but I will not go into them stupidly. Unfortunately they were out of the tiropitas, so I had a spanakopita instead. My meal was quiet — not a bit of conversation from the girl behind the counter. I found the silence peaceful, and caught bits and pieces of the other folks behind me at their tables, but let none of it stay in my head. The meal was as awesome as I had remembered, and bought a piece of baklava to go for munching later.
Stepping back out into the street, I started toward my car because rain was predicted for the night. I drove around campus, and stopped a couple of times to take in the Drillfield. I was able to snap a photo of Burruss Hall and Wall in their quietness. My attempts to photograph the War Memorial were null. The darkness was not kind to my little camera. I thought to myself, “Oh if these structures could talk. What stories could they tell!” The Wall is where I used to sit and watch the peacefulness of the Drillfield in the middle of the night. I did the same and took in the silent scenery around me. Tomorrow during Monday’s craziness of classes, students and faculty will be walking around with potential students, families and visitors like myself. I then walked around the solemn 04-16th-2007 Memorial, and photographed each stone dedicated to each victim. Each name whispered in my head with the words, “Remember, and do not forget. We are Hokies. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.” Slowly and quietly I took each photo. The night’s events were a wonderful counter-balance to the day’s. I finally was back home, and finally finding some peace. =:8