Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gommie's Weekend: Bunnies, Burgers, and Butterflies

It's been busy since Gommie arrived on Friday.

Zoar the bunny
She actually got to the northeast on Thursday--during that crazy thunderstorm, which delayed her flight for hours--and went straight to see Fun Home on Broadway, which she loved.  She stayed in the hotel that now occupies the building where I lived in graduate housing--it's much swankier now.  And then came to see us Friday midday.

We actually picked her up on the way to the open house at Sis's animal camp, where she and her fellow campers were providing information on a variety of animals, mainly small and wild.  Sis's group was in charge of the African pygmy hedgehog, named Biscuit, which could fit in her gloved hands.  Cute, spikey, and blonder than I think of hedgehogs being, we  learned that they can eat scorpions with no problems.  Sis was particularly good with holding and caring for Biscuit, who seemed a bit concerned with the noise as the exhibition continued.  She's the "hedgehog whisperer."  

After we had visited the ferrets, chinchillas, red-footed tortoise, corn snake, guinea pig and such and after her duties were over, she took us to see her all-time favorite, the bunnies.  (They weren't one of the animals the groups presented.)  Her favorite was the gray one named Zoar (I liked the big one named Winston, I think, a Flemish big one or something; he reminded me of our cat Mr. P.)  She had visited the bunnies and the otters, too, everyday on her way into camp.  Mama would send me a morning photo of the animals, especially because I'm partial to otters.  Sis loved this camp and asked if she could volunteer at the nature center--I know she'd love it.  And I didn't even mention that they have horses and sheep!

We got Greek food on the way home.  Saganaki (burning cheese!), patates (french fries), Bud's sauteed octupus, my tiganica chicken (lemon, onions, oregano), orzo, Sis's souvlaki, Mama's gyro, and Gommie's three dips (tzatziki, skardalia, and eggplant.)  Plus rice pudding!  We ate on it for two more days.

On Saturday, we had our usual ice skating and kung fu morning, followed by lunch at a burger joint.  A kinda fancy burger joint with truffle oil fries, lobster macaroni and cheese, Wisconsin cheese curds (but not really), and even duck burgers!  My burger had a fried egg, avocado, and kalamata mayo on a wedge of lettuce.  Sis had a humongous shepherd's pie.  And Gommie got a "flight" of burgers so she could have three different tastes.  She also taught the waiter how to make a milk punch!  Dessert was this pseudo-Ding Dong with flourless chocolate cake and a white chocolate mousse that was more like a cream-cheese filling.  Sis got the pineapple upside-down cake.  All pretty good.  We recuperated by watching Brave together.  Toward dinner time, we were invited to our neighbors to sample his latest brisket, which we all indulged in.  Gommie also got to meet their chickens.

Today, we went to the aquarium, so Bud could show us where he'd been to Oceanography camp.  We couldn't go out on the research vessel, but we could visit the touch tanks, sharks, sea turtles, jelly fish, otters, and, most importantly, the seal feeding that he'd wanted to see (though, we've seen that a dozen times over the years, but I'm not sure he really remembers.)  He knows each seal by name.  My favorite part this time was the butterfly exhibit.  Colorful insects made the flower bushes shimmer; butterfly shadows danced on the floor.  Several even landed on us--some on Gommie's hair, some on my bright skirt--we were told that some butterflies are attracted to white.  The kids were kinda disappointed not to attract any, though one brushed against Bud a few times.  I took lots of pictures and some even came out.  The one of the Monarch is actually from outside the butterfly tent; he's just a local!  I liked how the Blue Morpho-like ones seemed to flutter and dance in pairs.  There was also a small purple, black, and white couple near the exit.

For lunch, we headed across the street for Southern food.  Bud continued his seafood hat trick with PEI mussels in a saffron sauce--twice the manager commented on how amazing it is to see an adventurous kid.  They almost never even look at a children's menu now.  Sis had chicken fried bacon over hashbrowns with scrambled eggs, Gommie and Mama had a Low Country Eggs Benedict on grits, and I had shirred eggs and some biscuits.  Plus a mini-skillet of peach cobbler and a very moist and delicious tiered lemon cake.  We sure do know how to eat well.  Like yesterday, we came home and rested to a Disney film, this time Tangled.

And both nights were capped with a visit to the legion of fireflies in the yard, dozens of them, in our yard and in surrounding yards.  It's fun to see them at dusk because you can actually see the beetles flying between flares.  Several times tonight, there be a group practically blinking in unison.  Last night, we saw two bats (not coming out of our house!)  There are some mosquitos, too, so we don't stay out long.  Mama learned at the bird festival last week that there are actually as many barred and barn owls in CT as red-tailed and shouldered hawks, only you rarely see them because of the darkness and trees.  Haven't seen an owl yet here.  But we did see the mama raccoon cross the road by the stream.

And the week has only just begun . . . .

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