Monday, November 10, 2008


This weekend we went to Charlottesvillle. We thought it was high time Sr. Jr. started thinking about college and we wanted to indoctrinate him show him the University of Virginia. No, we're really not putting college pressure on him this early. Honestly. Mr. T and Sr. Jr. had a bike race in Charlottesville, and we thought it would be fun to make a weekend out of it.

The drive itself was very pretty, even though the foliage was just past its peak. We saw some pretty old barns in Madison County:

We stopped and had lunch near campus, and then walked over to look around. I'd never been down there, and it really made me want to go back to school. Sr. Jr. was impressed, too. UVA is now his first choice school. Here's a pretty shot of some gnarled trees near a wavy brick wall:

A view down a walkway:

One of the main buildings on the green:

Another side of the green:

Jr. Jr. acting goofy in front of Thomas Jefferson:

A pretty view of some Holly berries:

After we toured the campus, we drove over to Monticello. Unfortunately, Saturday was the grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony for Monticello's brand spanking new Visitor's Center, so the place was packed. We tried to get tickets for a tour, but there was a two hour wait, which would have made dinner time too late for us. Instead, we drove a short way up the street to Ash Lawn Highland Park, home of President James Monroe. ALHP is much smaller and more intimate than Monticello. There was no wait for the tour. It's a lovely little home that gives you a sense of how more "normal" people lived at the time than you could get from someplace grand like Monticello. The house itself was small, but interesting. We all got a kick out of the idea of the Jeffersons and the Monroes playing cards in the master bedroom. Plus, there are peacocks on the grounds!

On Sunday, we all got up early to go over to the grounds where the Urban Cross at IX race was being held. The race was in Charlottesville proper, on what looked to be the grounds of an abandoned school, near a little office park that had a bike store and an Italian Restaurant. The visual centerpiece of the day was this lovely dilapidated building:

Here's Mr. T, riding the course:

Cyclocross is an interesting beast. Yes, you ride your bike up and down hills, but you can also do one or more of the following in any particular race: 1) Run, while hauling your bike, up one or more flights of stairs:

2) Jump over barriers, also while carrying your bike:

3) Ride over gravel; and 4) Ride through a sand pit (or as yesterday's announcer called it, the big kitty litter box):

I've come to the conclusion that cyclocross is bicycling's version of Calvinball.

All in all, it was a successful day for the T racers. Mr. T came in 8th in his category, which was a nice, solid finish. He's pleased. Sr. Jr. came in 4th in his race, which was actually 2nd in the 14 and under group. He's really powerful going up the hills, and has great technique over the barriers. If he keeps this up, he's going to be a very strong racer.

The non-racers among us hung out on the sidelines, freezing our butts off. The only food vendor around sold donuts and nothing else. The high quality facilities always include porta-potties. We arrived there around 8:30 in the morning and didn't leave until after 2:30. I was cold. It was too cold to knit. I was cranky. So there was only one thing to do to add a little something to the day for me: go yarn shopping.

The evening before, we wandered around the pedestrian Main Street area of Charlottesville, checking out the shops and eating dinner. It did not escape my attention that there was a yarn store right there, although it was closed by the time we got there. Nor did it escape my attention that this yarn store, The Needle Lady, had Sunday hours. So, when the race was over and Mr. T asked what was next, I knew exactly where we were stopping before we hit the road for home. The store is lovely. It was very busy for a Sunday afternoon. Everyone was very friendly, too. I picked up some sort of local yarns, too. The skein on the left is Blue Ridge Yarns (Misty Mountain Farms) Kaleidoscope, a superwash sock yarn, in the Mossy Hollow colorway (I think my picture shows the colors better than the picture on the website). Also from Blue Ridge Yarns is the Alpaca Delight in the middle, a lace weight alpaca in the Secret Garden color.

The last skein is not local, but beautiful. It's a silk and mohair yarn from ArtYarns in a combination of ice blue and light grey.

So, we ate a lot, we froze our butts off, we cheered our racers on to good finishes, and yarn came home with me. All in all, not bad.

I have another busy week on tap, so there won't be huge amounts of knitting progress to show. I'm almost done with sleeve 1 of the Simple Knitted Bodice. I need to get one of my little helpers to get shots of the Plum Lotus scarf. I've decided that I'm going to give it to my father-in-law's wife for Christmas this year. I think she'd like it.


Scott T. said...

From what I read, the venue is an abandoned silk factory.
Sorry you were cold, but really, that was very temperate and warm by comparison to what it could have been like.

kippi said...

What a nice weekend! Charlottesville is beautiful. Sorry you missed Monticello as it is one of my favorite places on Earth. Was not aware of Monroe's house and am sorry I missed it as it sounds delightful.

Cyclocross is one crazy sport. Congratulations to all for their wins and medals. You are a good wife/mom. :-)

The yarn is gorgeous. Love that icy blue color. What are you going to do with the gorgeous lace yarn?

I finished my SKB and it is in the wash. We'll see. ha.

Jeanne said...

Gorgeous pictures! Sounds like a fun weekend - congrats to the winners! Very pretty yarn - I have bought some of that yarn at Maryland S&W and really like it...

Fatguy Racer said...

You shoulda skipped it and came to where my wife dragged me on Sunday. Stitches East 2008 at the Balto Convention Center. It was a big yarn and knitting expo. More yarn and knitting stuff than you can shake a flock of sheep at. My sister spins her own (the reason we were there, she wanted unspun sock wool) and my wife knits too.

Sharon said...

The race looks and sounds very cool. We're all very athletic (mostly running, and bi- and triathlons, though), but still, I've never seen one of those races. It's great that your son is so involved too. When does Liam start?

We were in Roanoke, Virginia last weekend for a quick visit with my parents (who live in SW Virginia). We all stayed at the grand Hotel Roanoke and attended an arts festival of sorts downtown. Much fun and beautiful, albeit cold, weather.

Life is busy, the waning light is right on schedule in affecting my moods, but crocheting and knitting continue. Almost ready to post final shots of the Arrows shawl.

Love that yarn you purchased. Any trip can be enhanced (or redeemed) by a trip to the LYS.

Loren T said...


Mr. T lived in Roanoke for a while as a young child. I've never been but it sounds lovely. I'm always up for an arts festival. The races are pretty cool, and all the people involved seem very nice, too.

Sorry to hear about your weather-induced moods. There's been very little actual knitting here... just wait for tomorrow's post :)

Can't wait to see the Arrows pics.