Friday, April 29, 2005

Kite Day

We awoke this morning to another chilly morning. It was still dark at 5, when we got up, but I could already tell it was going to be grey. I got J's coffee & Walker's all ready. She put them in her car, along with wallet & keys. She headed back in to get something else & we heard the sickening sound of her car door locking itself! The beast locked her keys in itself! I headed straight for my purse, where I always keep a spare, but it was not in its customary place. J was freaking out, needing to be at her meeting on time & muttering dire imprecations. I was frantically rooting around in drawers & tins for the key. Finally, I told her to take my car. She did, swearing that we'd never find the key & would have to call a locksmith &&&. The day was going to be horrible, she would get pulled over & not have her wallet...I assured her that everything would be alright & that I would find the key & spent the next half hour hunting further. I finally did find it, with a little help from St. Anthony. Whew!

So, after the boys got off to school, I headed out to take her car & wallet to her. I stopped at Dino's for a couple of his marvelous coffees. It is always best when he is in & he was this morning. I love how he reaches for the praline automatically when I tell him I'm getting coffee for J. He told me that my cousins are headed for a wedding in Mexico next week. Why don't my friends get married in places like Mexico & Puerto Rico??? I tried a vanilla mocha & found it much to my liking. I also picked up some McDonald's because J informed me that she was starving. So, I got to eat breakfast with her in her office, a nice treat.

On the way back from seeing J, I began the Great Kite Search. I think I found the last 2 kites in town, at Rite Aid, 2 plastic eagles. I had meant to have the boys choose kites while we were out & about, but all 3 of us forgot.

I walked into the school at about the same time as B & we all sat together for lunch. The boys are all such good friends, so it's fun. Her daughter sat with us, as did Mrs. P, while the boys took their own table. The hot dogs were fine, the apples actually crisp, and they had more crunchy snacks than just Cool Ranch Doritos. A relief! I chose Cheetos, real health food.

Since it wasn't raining, we all went out after lunch & made the annual attempt to fly kites with no expertise & little wind. We didn't have much success, but what fun we had! It was neat to see the sky filled with eagles, ladybugs, Spongebobs, biplanes, Barbies, monster trucks, box kites and everything else imaginable! Also, a flock of birds that were shaped rather like kites came around, swooping low like they were showing off how well they were able to fly. We ran into G, with her 1st grader, and chatted with her for a bit, too. The boys begged to be allowed to go over to J&M's. Since it was fine with B, I let them go with her clan. I am sure they'll have a blast. She is going to bring them to the movie with her tonight.

Kidless, I walked home & am procrastinating about writing my piece for next week's issue. I should start, though.

Indian Food Between Errands

With only a few minutes until Kite Day festivities start, I am typing a quick account of yesterday. Of course, with the chilly weather & rain, I highly doubt any kite flying will be done. But, I can at least go & eat crappy hot dogs & mushy apples & hang out with my dear boys. I think the Kite Day tradition is a lovely one & I am sad that next year, Boot will not be part of it. They're getting older. What a great elementary school they landed in, even if they don't fully appreciate it...what kid ever fully appreciates their school? Well, what Middle American kid, I should say! I bet kids in places where school is a luxury feel quite differently about it.

Yesterday, there was no school, so I took the opportunity to crawl back under the covers after seeing J off. Once up, I rallied the kids. Pie had my granddad's leftover pancake for breakfast & was in ecstasy. We took J's forgotten meds to her, then I took them to lunch at Ajanta India. They are not too fond of Indian food yet, but they are tolerant & we had a good time. I ordered chicken tikka for Boot, whose tastes are a little more cosmopolitan than his brother's. Pie had chicken pakora with plenty of rice & bhatura. I ordered an appetizer of tawa tikki, served with good yogurt sauce, then lamb biryani for my main course. I tried the khulfi for dessert...odd texture, but tasty. Boot discovered that he likes the candied fennel seeds that come with the check...he & I kept eating more of them.

I let them go to the trading card store afterward, but they felt the prices were too high...Boot was checking out the Ben Rothlisberger cards. Then, more errands. Groceries, pediatrician for a prescription, dry cleaner, pharmacy, gas. Once home, I typed up Boot's report on Mars, then did some research on Indian food. Then, it was time to start dinner. I made a Weight Watchers recipe for snapper oreganata (but used mahi mahi since they only had frozen snapper at the grocery), baked potatoes, pea salad (L's with the peanut butter is superior...must get her recipe), and blackberry bread. The fish was terrific. The children had Van De Kamps fish stick/nugget things instead. I hope someday they will appreciate the wonder of good fresh fish, but for now, it's the breaded stuff.

We popped out to the grocery to get doughnuts for the morning, both for work & home, and then spent the evening watching CSI. I wanted to watch an Indian movie, but no luck. We will get to them one of these years.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Lunch with the Granddaddy

Yesterday after a long Bible study, I discovered that it was Retired Teachers' luncheon day. So, it was just me & my granddad for lunch. It reminded me of all the Wednesdays he spent with me when I was a kid, trips to the lake, to his table tennis games, to the airport to see the planes. We had lunch at Clifton Mill yesterday, a turkey sandwich & some bean soup for me, 3 gollywhoppers of pancakes for him. He couldn't eat all those, so Pie had one for breakfast this morning. They were plate-size, just enormous. They smelt of graham crackers...mmm. We maintained an easy chat the whole time. I just really enjoy his company. On the way back to my house, we saw some freshly-shorn sheep, white & gorgeous...and probably freezing!

Once home, I did some writing & some laundry & spent some time out on the ocean with Pi. J didn't know what she wanted for dinner, so we went up to the little grocery nearby. She decided to make cube steak sandwiches with cheese, onions, peppers, & mushrooms. We had tater tots (her suggestion, oddly) & corn with them, a good Middle American dinner. The sandwiches were terrific. The rest of the evening was spent watching CSI: New York, with J falling asleep on my lap a quarter of the way into it. Uneventful, but good.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Uneventful Day

I will probably have more than one entry with this title! Yesterday's uneventfulness was pleasant. I got the wife & kids off, then spent a little time reading Life of Pi on the couch. It's funny how much I am enjoying it, for the amount of reluctance I felt when the book group decided to read it! It's terrific, really. I must remember to recommend it to my mom...and to thank her for recommending The Time Traveler's Wife so enthusiastically. I loved that one, too. But, who would have thought that a book about a guy trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger could be so interesting? Not I!

I picked Pie up for his check-up, which took very little time but was in depth. I am glad they have a pediatrician who is so thorough & treats the whole person. After I returned him to school, I came home & did some writing & some cleaning & worked on May menus. Once the kids returned, we ran errands. I got a birthday gift for S at Hallmark, a dear little Boyd's bear with a bee body, wings, and a sunflower-bedecked hat. To that, I added a small Yankee candle, vanilla-scented, that matches the yellow on the hat. I hope she loves it. I love shopping for her because all I have to do is find something I would love. JH is different...I am really looking forward to his party, and to meeting his baby & his goats & his ducks, but what to get him?

Pie has been through another rough spot with getting his work done, so I pointed out all my areas of responsibility & how I don't always like doing those things. Then, we talked about what might happen if I didn't do each thing. I think he is starting to get it.

After errands, I quick threw together the meat & marinade for the kebabs. It was apple juice & vinegar with onions, garlic, a touch of sugar, some cumin, and citrus zest. I love my zester. Once that was tucked in the fridge, I tidied the kitchen & dashed off to the Mother's Day banquet meeting, leaving J with the menu. The meeting was productive. We segued right into committee night, starting with picture-taking for the directory...they oughta warn us! It was a long one and I ended up leaving before it was over.

When I got home, J had the kebabs all made, along with some pecan rice, and had fed the kids & put them to bed. I poured some olive oil for bread dipping & we watched a PBS show (Frontline, I think) on Wal-Mart. Those guys are dark. I'm glad we don't shop there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Jungle Jim's Excursion & Trillium Walk

Yesterday, I took a trip to Jungle Jim's with a fellow church member. She picked me up shortly after the boys left for school. The drive down, which I had feared would be full of awkward silences, was a nice getting-to-know-you chat the whole way. She went the back way, through Waynesville, on the way down & the trees are just blooming everywhere! I love this time of year.

Once at the store, we stopped for a Chantico at the Starbucks. P had never tried it...and loved it. She is a chocolate fan, too. I picked up all kinds of treats for J, the boys, and myself. I even got some bottles of Thums Up from India for when our book group discusses Life of Pi. That will be fun to serve!

After shopping, we stopped for lunch at Bahama Breeze. I love the colorful island ambiance there. We chit-chatted our way through lunch, too. She had a chicken kebab with tamarind glaze on saffron rice while I munched half of a Cuban. I also tried their Lemon Breeze...who needs alcohol when you have sweet-tart lemonade like that? It was fun to chew on the sugarcane garnish, too. It brought to mind trips to the IGA with my mom when I was young, and how she would let me get pieces of sugarcane to suck on. It also reminded me of ordering guarapos in the Cafeteria Latino-Americana in my father's Miami.

Once home, I worked on laundry & housecleaning. Picked up some groceries & made a couple of chicken pies to take out to the grands' for dinner. We arrived there right at the appointed hour, hot pies, salad, and peaches ready to serve. We had a little time before the pie would be too cool to eat, so my grandmom took me, J, and Pie on a walk around the yard. The dogwoods, apple tree, and huge lilac bush are in full flower right now & the yard feels full of fairy energy. There are drifts of dogwood branches in vases in her kitchen, too. It reminds me of going over there when I was little to make May baskets with her & my mom. We may go out there Sunday to do that again. I had J smell the lilacs & she said, "I'm 10 years old again & I am cutting lilacs for Granny on the creek bank". I love how smell can evoke memories so strongly.

On our wildflower walk, my grandmom showed us the nodding trillium, other trillium, violets, bloodroot (J tried a little of the sap on her hand & it matched her sweater perfectly). She explained that the dogwood "bloom" is actually leaves, while the center part is the flower. J & Pie went down into the woods proper, to check out the creek, looking for critters and other plants. I hoped they might spot a morel or thirty, but no such luck.

Dinner was a pleasant affair. I delight in feeding these two people who have always meant so much to me, who are among my best friends, who have done so much for me, and have given me so much by their very being. Everyone liked the pie, but I managed to forget that my granddad doesn't eat peaches. Oh, well, no harm done. He is certainly not the sort to holler about being served something he won't eat. He simply asks for more pie & leaves his fruit untouched.

The boys hung out in the living room after dinner, Pie looking at Far Side comics & working a very difficult puzzle, while we adults chatted at the table. Once home, we all got to bed rapidly.

The Name Change

The morning of the name change, we ran late, but not as late as the judge. We met our attorney in the lobby of the courthouse ten minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin. I was nervous, expecting a courtroom like you see in the movies. Instead, when the judge ushered us in, it was to his chambers. He is a golf buddy of our attorney, but also happens to be the judge we talked to the day we went in to try to procure a marriage license.

The name change felt much less like a legal proceeding than a casual chat with a new acquaintance. We talked more about food & restaurants than about J's name. We also were treated to the judge telling us the story of the 2 women who came to get a marriage license a couple of years ago & who then wrote about what a nice guy he is in the gay paper. Alarmed, we sheepishly admitted that was us. We thought he might have been displeased at having been outed, but he actually was quite puffed up about it ("I am a nice guy!") & introduced us to his office staff as "the women who got us in the newspaper".

Once we had paid our attorney his due portion, we went to a celebratory lunch at C'est Tout. It was lovely and there was a table open on the patio, which we happily took. The food was delicious, aside from the lamb meatloaf the waiter assured me was "much-better than it sounds" and "definitely worth a try". The escargot were tender, the champagne sweetly fizzy, the soup laden with forest mushrooms, the tenderloin flavorful & juicy. My favorite part, aside from being with J, was the arrival of the sorbet sampler, a dazzlingly colored array of small scoops on a clear plate garnished with strawberries. My favorite was the passionfruit, a rich yellow that was tangy-sweet in my mouth. J liked the peach best, proclaiming most of the others too sour for her palate.

After lunch, we picked up the Bug & wrote out our second ungodly-large check of the day. J sped off to work while I took Jasper to the vet. He had a urinary blockage & required a 3 day stay and a third vast sum of money. I spent the afternoon writing & hanging out with the kids.

In the evening, we went to The Winds with a vendor (who treated us...he's a very nice guy & we'd go to dinner with him even if he wasn't paying, but it was nice to be taken out) & one of J's co-workers. We had the cheese service for our appetizer, along with their superb olives and the bread basket. J & I both had the hazelnut-crusted chicken, which came with carrot mashed potatoes & asparagus. Divine!

So, we have had our private celebrations for the name change, and my grands have welcomed her into the clan. Now, all that remains is to have a big party!

Migraines & Indian Food...No Connection

Man, oh, man do I suffer from J's migraines! There's not a damn thing I can do for her, aside from warming up the chamomile-lavender pillow & letting her sleep. I feel bad for feeling good, for not being able to help, for not being able to go out and do with her.

At least we were able to have some fun over the weekend before the dread migraine made its appearance. Friday night, we went out for Indian with B&L. So much talking, we almost didn't order. So much food, we almost couldn't fit it on the table. L gave us a copy of a book on feminist theology called The Power of Naming, as a "congratulations on having the same last name" gift. We ordered an appetizer sampler & some extra pappadams, naan and bhatura, chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, chicken rogan josh, chicken vindaloo, special tea, Kingfishers...needless to say, we were stuffed as we ventured out into the rain-soaked parking lot. Lightning flashed as L & I went to fetch the cars & then our waiting spouses.

We met back at their place, spent time poring over their bookcases, & then settled in to watch Eddie Izzard's riff on religious history...very funny stuff. B made us all mugs of rooiboos tea & brought out cookies (windmills, lemon coolers, hazelnut cookies). I was interested in the South African biscuits L brought back with her, but B had such disdain for them that I didn't even ask for one. I may pick some up next time I'm at Jungle Jim's.

In the morning, we awoke to cold wind and snow! Snow on April 23rd just seems downright unjust. But, snow we had, so we dealt with it. We had to go in to J's work for awhile. I worked on the cookbook while J put in her time. Afterward, we had bad Chinese food at Hunan East (which was once good, years ago), then poked around the craft store. We stopped by home & the church, where I showed J my latest bulletin boards. The grands were there making soup for coffee hour the next day & we volunteered to put it in the fridge after it had time to cool down.

Then, we hit Barnes & Noble for coffee and browsing. I could cheerfully have bought $600 worth of books, but limited myself to Holy Cow, which fits right in with reading Life of Pi, and 2 magazines, Bitch and Bust. Ran into some people I went to school with. It turns out they are living in the same town we are. Their kids are really cute & their son wants to be a chef. He found my job thrilling. I was hoping to get a piece of chocolate mousse cheesecake, but when I found J, her head was in her hands & she looked miserable. She had developed a migraine, so we went right home. I warmed her head wrap, tucked her in, & went, with no small amount of trepidation, to the church. Entering by the office, I forgot where the light switch was & had a moment of panic. Then, I remembered, flicked the lights on, & hurried to the elevator. My grands had left the kitchen light on, but there is nothing like being inside a dark church all by yourself at 11 at night. I am not normally afraid of the dark or of being alone, but my psyche was twanging this time. I was alarmed enough by my experience that the fluorescent brilliance of the grocery looked glorious to me! I picked up the salad dressing for the morning, along with a pint of Ben & Jerry's chocolate fudge brownie...nirvana in a tub.

Once home, I shared my treasure with a very interested wife before we went to sleep. Her comment on the ice cream: "Oh, you gotta be kidding me!" (We are hiding it from the children...she sneaked bites behind the freezer door yesterday after work). She still felt atrocious in the morning, so I donned my gold jacket, grabbed the salad & dressing, & went on to church. After I had helped enough with coffee hour clean-up, I returned home to find a very out-of-sorts (read "grumpy") wife still in bed. We went to visit her mother, a very unpleasant experience because it involved 3 hours in the car with a growling bear. Her mom was fine & when we got home, I made her eat some cheese & bread (Cabot chipotle cheddar, halloumi, and havarti...along with olive oil for bread-dipping). Her mood improved a tad & we managed to have dinner at The Bob without biting each other's heads off, even finding some laughter hiding where we least expected it. She still felt dreadful yesterday morning...and feels off-kilter today. I worry that the new migraine meds might be a bad idea.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Out in the Fresh Air

My weekend started early, with J's arrival home from work at 9:30 Friday morning. I went with her to her first neurologist appointment. Then, we took her Bug in for a brake job & grabbed some Starbucks. We got home just in time for the kids' honor roll assembly. After that, we took them to spend the night with friends. The mom is a friend of ours, so we hung out & visited for awhile.

After a 2 hour bike ride, on which we met a kitten & smelled wonderful chive smells & fed ducks/geese/swans, I fixed dinner, pork with a soy-peanut sauce, steamed broccoli, and orange biscuits. We went to bed pretty early, although I was up until about 11 reading a mystery & talking to my grandmom on the phone.

J left for work about 5:30 Saturday morning. After seeing her off, I went back to sleep for awhile. When I got up, I wrote the food review & the column that were both due & checked some e-mails.

When J got home about 4, we had an early dinner. J broke out the grill for the first time this season & made hot dogs & brats. I had made potato salad with avocados, dressed with olive oil & lime juice, earlier & we had that, too.

We had planned to attend a high school play in my home town, but J had to go in early again Sunday & was just bushed. So, we went to bed at 8 o'clock. She went to work about 6. The boys & I went to Sunday school (our class watched a video about whether religion has any place in politics & discussed it) & church (I was the lector).

After church, I had a Christian Education team meeting. J arrived home shortly after we did, so we went & had lunch on the patio at Peach's Grill. Then, we went for an almost 3 hour walk in the woods, to a wonderful pine forest that feels like a cathedral. Once we got home, we went for a bike ride down to the park & back, about 3 miles. I was astonished that it didn't completely wear me out! On our woods walk, we ran into an old housemate of mine & his new wife. They are planning a Bunco party for next month & we are invited. That should be a blast! Once home,
I fixed cheeseburger pasta for dinner & we all went to bed not too long after dinner, another fairly early bedtime.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Seminary Interview

Yesterday morning was my interview, finally, for seminary admission. I got dressed in my vintage-y black & tan dress with the Bjorn Mary Janes. I got the bitties off to school, then hightailed it over to the seminary. The interview turned out to be more of a chance for me to ask questions than anything. We had fun talking about the new building, the classes, the community work, West Virginia...

I am in!!! Hurrah!!! J is thrilled & is thinking about taking one class per semester with me. I would love that...any extra time with her is a blessing.

I spent the afternoon immersed in financial aid paperwork & planning the classes I'd like to take. I am not sure if I should go for the regular M.Div. program with no specialization or for the specialization in care-giving. I think I'll just do the electives...there is so much I want to learn! Apparently, Greek & Hebrew are not required. I think B's recommendation that I take them anyway is a good one & I plan on doing that. Hebrew this coming year, Greek the year after that.
I am hoping to take the first Hebrew class this fall, along with Intro to the Old Testament, a class on the very early church, and the class that goes along with the community work. I wonder what kind of placement I'll get & if that's decided at orientation, as well. I worry about having enough time, but I know I can do it.

I hadn't made it to the grocery by the time J got home. She wanted to take me out to a celebration dinner, anyway, so we went to Garstka's. The kids were pretty atrocious...rude & loud & wiggly all through dinner. But, the food was great! Pie ordered a BLT & wished he had his brother's cheeseburger. Boot told us that he's learned that it's best never to try anything new...of course, we deplore that attitude, but he is 12 & will grow out of it, with any luck. My Grecian pasta & spanakopita were fabulous. The Greek salad could have used a tad less dressing & the baklava was mediocre, but the rest of the food made up for it. J had steak, of course...she loves steak! (I hope she'll like the taco burgers I make tonight...they're kind of "kid food" & the kids won't even be home. She is having such a very bad day at work today that I really want her to have a nice night tonight.) After dinner, Pie begged to go visit my grandparents, but we didn't want to keep the boys out any later. They both were very sleepy. They seemed refreshed this morning.

Zoo Babies & Anniversary Dinner

Friday night, we went to dinner at The Winds, an anniversary celebration a few days late. We ordered 2 appetizers & 1 entree. The appetizers were pork meatballs (delicious, with pine nuts embedded in them) with romesco sauce and fried baby artichokes with creamy watercress sauce. We had cups of their superb cream of mushroom soup & then split the lamp chops with carrot mashed potatoes.
Dessert was malted milk balls & chocolate-covered raisins (both homemade & luscious) at the local indie movie theater. We finally got to see Finding Neverland. J thought it was boring in the middle, but I liked it. We also saw a preview for Bride & Prejudice, a new film, by the director of Bend It Like Beckham, that looks great.
Saturday morning, we stopped for cappuccinos at Dino's, then headed to the Columbus Zoo. We spent all day looking at the bonobos, mandrills, otters, elephants, wolves, gorillas, lions, & such. It was a perfect zoo day! Then, we went out for Indian food.
Sunday, we missed Sunday school, but went to church. After running home to change, we spent the rest of the day at church making sauce & brownies for the spaghetti dinner fundraiser. The boys came to the church when their dad dropped them off. We were so busy cooking & serving that we didn't get much to eat so, after a bike ride & some basketball playing, we had carry-out from the local Mexican place.

Our Disney Vacation

Yes, finally, an update!
J took the Friday before we left off, so we spent the day shopping for summer clothes at the outlet mall. Then, we went home & finished packing so we could go to bed at a reasonable hour.
We were up before 5 on Saturday & got to the airport early, only to find we had an hour delay. The flight went smoothly (aside from one of my bags...and the clothes in it...coming out smelling like fuel) & we had some time to play once at Disney. We had lunch at the Coronado Springs food court, then went & hung out in the pool.
In the evening, we headed over to MGM & poked around a bit before our dinner reservation. We rode Star Tours & Pie spent some of his souvenir money right away on a stuffed Ewok. Dinner was at the Science Fiction Dine In Theater. We sat in a little car, looking at a big screen showing clips from all kinds of campy old sci fi movies. The kids got burgers & J & I had soup.
Sunday morning, the kids did the Easter candy scramble at our hotel. We spent the bulk of the day at Typhoon Lagoon water park. It was kind of odd to be sunning & swimming on Easter...but, we had a blast. We had only been to Blizzard Beach the last time & we liked Typhoon Lagoon a lot better. I found a great spot at the edge of the wave pool where I could read AND enjoy the water. The kids & J rode water rides & swam with sharks. The kids also got deeply involved in sand-castle building....much to J's relief because it gave her a chance to just flop!
Our Easter dinner was at Boatwright's, which is located at the Port Orleans resort. The kids had burgers (if you think you are detecting a trend here, you are oh, so right!), J had a steak, & I got a spicy dish of jambalaya. After dinner, we took the boat to the French Quarter area of the resort. The night water was so lovely.
The French Quarter area was neat & we got to see the pool there...we think we might stay there next time. We picked up beignets in the food court, then took another boat to Downtown Disney to catch a bus to our hotel. I LOVE the boats!!!
We spent Monday at Magic Kingdom...the kids discovered the joy of autographs & were thrilled with all the characters. When they were younger, they were totally uninterested. This time, Boot developed an almost alarming obsession (he cried when Goofy left before he got his signature)with getting to meet them.
The boys were exhausted at the end of the day, so we let them order room service pizza while we had dinner at The Maya Grill. We had wonderful seafood dishes there...and the chimichurri sauce for the bread-dipping was phenomenal. Walking back along the lake to the room in the cool of the evening was so romantic & lovely.
Tuesday, we headed back to MGM to do the rest of the things there. We grabbed lunch at the ABC Commissary...a not-that-great Cuban sandwich for me (I need to go to Miami!). After some time in the hotel pool & hot tub, we took the kids to Downtown Disney. They loved Disney Quest (of course, with all those video games!) & Boot spent some of his souvenir money on a print of the landscape he created. We had dinner at Planet Hollywood...burgers for the kids, steaks for us.
We spent Wednesday at Blizzard Beach. Pie was having a ball finding lizards & calls it "Lizard Beach". I think that was his very favorite thing from all of Disney last time. I broke down & got a Tinkerbell beach towel for my souvenir. The sand castle building became even more intensive. It's so much fun to watch them just be much of the time at home, Boot is trying so hard to be cool & grown-up.
Dinner Wednesday night was the Spirit of Aloha show & luau over at The Polynesian. We took the monorail from Magic Kingdom...I wish the buses ran from resort to resort, but it IS fun getting to try the different forms of transportation. We liked the Polynesian & may stay there in the future, too.
We had wondered if the luau would really be worth all the money we paid for it, but the food was good (J loved the pineapple-coconut bread & I can't even tell you how many ribs Boot devoured) & the show was great fun. Our favorite part was the fire dancer...amazing stuff!
Thursday, we took advantage of the early opening hour for resort guests at Magic Kingdom & were able to ride everything we wanted before it got crowded. After more autograph-seeking, we had a yummy lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Yes, burgers for the kids. J had a great roast beef sandwich & I had pot roast.
After lunch, we spent the afternoon at Typhoon Lagoon. It was marred only by a rude group of teen & preteen boys on the lazy river, whacking each other with rafts & using foul language around little kids...I ended up calling security after they started verbally taunting us when I asked them to stop & after they elbowed Pie in the face. THREE different lifeguards did nothing about it when we...and other adults...pointed them out, so I got out of the river & called security...I hope they were able to do something. Boot also encountered them. He asked them to get out of his way & they called him a motherf***er. He shoved them & they moved for him. Now, we don't advocate physicality like that, but I don't blame him. He said they left the park not too long after that...I don't know if they were asked to leave or if their folks were just ready to go.
Dinner that night was at Bongo's Cuban Café in Downtown Disney. We left the boys safely stashed at the hotel with chicken wings & pizza (gotta love resort babysitters) & had a nice solo dinner. It rained heavily while we were sitting out on the patio...very romantic to be safely dry while the rain poured down beyond the patio. Found out my Cuban cooking (and my mojito making) is as good as theirs...I had no idea I'd gotten that good.
We spent much of Friday at Animal Kingdom. J loved the animals, Pie loved the lizards, Boot liked the rides. I was most impressed by 2 things we saw in the street. The first was a contortionist family. They did some amazing things...huge stacks of glasses held on a knife held in the mouth as they went under a LOW limbo stick, juggling while balanced on rolling cans while spinning a hoop with the butt, just very impressive!
The second was really neat. Pie was on the lookout for lizards & noticed some ivy on a tree rustling. As we watched for lizards, the ivy revealed itself to be attached to a woman! She was on big leaf-covered stilts, with matching arm attachments, and had her face painted a magical blue-green. She slooooowly unfurled herself from the tree & walked through the crowd to another tree, where she attached herself. It was so well done that I almost felt I'd seen an actual dryad.
We took the kids back to Disney Quest for the afternoon...I was wishing I had a book with me...then had dinner at Boma, at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food was a buffet of African foods...tasty & fun to try new things. I was really impressed with Boot for trying new things, too. Pie stuck to the prime rib, fruit, & desserts. I liked the food, but wished they had some Ethiopian foods. I am hungry for injera & doro wat.
Once back at our rooms, we packed up & went to bed. After breakfast at the food court, the bus picked us up for the airport at 10. The flight home was rough...turbulent from Florida to Knoxville & again to Cincinnati. Once in Cincinnati, our flight was delayed & then cancelled. We ended up taking a taxi from Cincinnati...I am trying to convince J to drive down next time! With all-day flights (and no food service or time for food at the airport) becoming increasingly frequent, driving seems to make more sense to me. We got dinner...after having no Ruby Tuesday on the way home & finally arrived home at almost midnight. Our flight was supposed to get in at 6:30 in the evening!
Needless to say, we slept in Sunday morning! Then, we got ready for book group. We had read Pride & Prescience, a take-off on Jane Austen, so we prepared an English tea with orange-cranberry mini-scones, lemon raspberry mini-tarts, cucumber sandwiches, Walker's shortbread, & lemon ginger cookies.