Thursday evening I was going to meet with Light Bright for dinner, but she had to cancel for an evening work function, so I worked out with Rich, Luxuli, and Prairie Man. Rich and I did “wind sprints” in the pool, where I lagged even further behind him than on land. Afterwards we had a very late dinner at Jerkins. Friday evening Travalon and I went to check out a place called Wiggies not far from our condo; we thought it was a supper club because the sign says “Food and Spirits” (note that food is listed first), but in fact it was just a bar, so we had one beer and went to the Northside Restaurant. An older woman played the piano there who sounded as though she were practicing, not performing. I had the catfish and it was delicious. We will be back!
Saturday was Prairie Man’s retirement party at the Pleasant Valley Nature Conservancy. There were a lot of people there, but I was unadventurous and mostly talked to people I already knew. It rained on and off, so when the rain had subsided for a few minutes, we went to hike on one of the trails, but it was very steep and slippery. It went right along the side of a hill, so I got kind of scared (I don’t love heights) and couldn’t keep going, and Travalon and Jilly Moose turned around with me. Prairie Man did get all sorts of presents, including Legos (who knows why), a T-shirt of Smokey Bear saying “Fire Warning High Today” and a golf book from Travalon and me, a pull-up bar for the home from Rich, and an entire set of golf clubs from one of his former employees. After Travalon and I left the party, we took Rodney for a walk in Governor Nelson State Park, then we stopped for a quick beer at a new brewpub called Parched Eagle not far from our house. The owner looked just like one of my uncles, who also happens to love beer. The beer was really good, and we didn’t linger too long, but Rodney let us know he was not happy with us when we returned to the car. He has also figured out how to roll down his window. That is one clever dog.
Yesterday Mr. and Mrs. “Smith” were visiting from Texas with their three young children, so a ton of people came to brunch to see them. Afterwards Travalon and I went to the zoo, and eventually OK Cap met up with us. Travalon had wanted to see the Arctic Passage, which included polar bears, grizzly bears, and seals, but he was most delighted by the red pandas. They are very cute creatures that sort of look like auburn-furred raccoons. We also spent a lot of time watching the baby prairie dogs play. We went to the café across the street, and Travalon got a pineapple cider, which was delicious, although Cecil Markovitch wouldn’t think so. He hates anything to do with pineapples.
Yuri the Hibiscus is blooming again in Rich’s atrium. Remember how last year it bloomed while I was in Ireland and Kathbert said it was a sort of piss yellow? Now it is blooming a lovely apricot color. Here is a photo Rich took and sent to me of a double bloom it had. Unfortunately, I missed it. Note the old poinsettias blooming behind it too - Rich does nothing, and they bloom for him every year. When I tried to get poinsettias to rebloom, I had zero luck. Ignoring them must be the key.