Hey Hey... I'm back! So I took a whirlwind tour to the U.S. for work and had a whole lot of fun as well. I wrote the following write up on www.ravelry.com and I'm copying it here with pics for everyone :)
Tuesday - We went up Jefferson Expansion Memorial first thing, it was awesome! and scary! It's really high and you ride this teeny tiny boxcar thing to the top there were a few decent sized females and this guy who was riding his motorcycle along the blues highway (he was English and played harmonica). I travelled with Jenny from my work :) see picture below and met the very charming Alonzo outside the memorial who
Then I took the light rail out to Shrewsbury which was too far and went back two stations and talked to a bus driver and caught a bus to the Kirkwood Knittery. Susie and Brooke were funny and friendly and helped me pick some lovely yarn for my FLS which I plan to cast on after I finish my first jumper for Matt. I went over to Hampton Park Village and brought some obscenely sexy and beautiful coloured underwear and then went back to my hotel and rushed over to the ball game, we saw the Cardinals play the Phillies.
It was faster than I expected and had that live event ambience that makes going to any sporting event really fun. We don’t do baseball in Australia except at an amateur level but I think Australians could really get into it if they gave it a go. We’re so passionate about footy (AFL look it up, kinda like rugby but different) and cricket that there isn’t much room for other sports (although Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer and Basketball are all up there as well).
I didn’t see any squirrels on Tuesday.
Wednesday - We had a little sleep in until 9 because the shops don’t open early which I really needed because the Jet lag was killing by then :) and then went back to Hampton Village because I wanted to show the lady that I was traveling with the great clothes, we shopped at JC Pennys, Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant and then we went to the St Louis Galleria and brought some more AMAZING clothes in Macys and Torrid :), the shops for chunky monkeys are BRILLIANT in the U.S.
Then I wasn’t sure if I would get a chance but I caught a cab out to the knit night at Knitorious which was absolutely fabulous. Everyone was really nice and welcoming and although I was a world away I felt right at home because knitting gave us a common language (well that and English :). Thanks to the lovely Sandy who drove me to Ted Drewes to try the St Louis famed frozen custard concretes and sundaes. We brought back take out the for group and there was much deliciousness. It was great to meet you all, Deborah (and Larry), Chris, Fi, Becky, Kara, Mindy, Rach, Jenn and to anyone that I forgot your name I’m sorry. Then some of us went out to a diner and everyone was awesome enough to order all the specialties of the US that I had never tried before waffles, grits, toasted ravioli, I had the biscuits with gravy and lets not forget the novelty burgers on mini pretzels :) So much fun!
I saw rabbits outside knitorious but no squirrels booo.
Thursday - was conference day. It started at 7 with a keynote speech from the CEO of Harley Davidson who rode in on his bike, very cool. Then different speakers, some were very inspiring I particularly loved Ari Weinzweig who was one of the founders of the Zingerman Community of Companies, his open and honest delivery and his obvious commitment to the people who work for him and the community that supports him moved me to tears.
We met up with Steve who used to be the CEO of Stellar in Australia but for the last two years he's been over in the U.S. heading up the Stellar Global. He took Jenny and I out to dinner so we drove around for awhile and finally we went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or is that Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse, food was fab and conversation was sparkling so it was nice.
Checked at lunch for squirrels in the park but no luck.
Friday - First up 7am conference breakfast and then we were inaugurated into the hall of fame for The Great Game of Business and that was pretty cool. I went up on stage with the Steve and Jenny and his speech was great, it made me cry. More conference sessions including one led by a couple who invent toys on creativity and that was really fun. Then a keynote speech by a guy called Joseph Michelli who was really very funny and a consummate speaking professional. He talked about key learnings from his three main published books and had this great way of communicating by using analogies from his family life. Then I headed off to the plane.
I watched out for squirrels on the way to the airport on the sides of the roads but again no luck.
I brought so much delicious yarn and I've uploaded the photos to www.flickr.com/yarnpawn
Thanks once again to all the nice people that I met and to all the great knitters for your help and hospitality during my first short visit to the US. To those of you I met and those I didn’t please know you’re always welcome to sleep on my couch and I would be honoured to have you come to visit Australia and show you the knitting world over here but I'll be back some day I hope because I want to see those damn squirrels in real life :)