Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Take 2

Time for some actual writing instead of just some putzing around posting chat logs. It's just that I've been so busy, I've had VERY little time to sit down and actually do the blag thing.
A few weeks ago we finally managed to go see Shofuso in Philly. It's a beautiful Japanese house in Fairmont Park not too far from the conservatory and a lovely section of arboretum. We spent the better part of 3 hours walking around touring, reading books, marveling at the Bonsai displays, and enjoying the layout of the house. I loved the smell of the tatami mats most especially. They reminded me of the mats we'd sat on when I went to Hawaii and Kauai with my family. And the house just smelled...weighty? Can that be said of a scent? It had gravity just in the age it told to my nose. I'm still not sure how, as the doors were open and a fairly constant breeze was blowing through. There was no smell of dust or staleness. But the tatami mat-scent was everywhere, as was the smell of something else I can't put my finger on. It just says "age" when it hits you.
After seeing this place I have vowed that my lottery winnings will go towards a vacation house built in the similar style, right down to the mulberry-papered doors.
We whirled around the conservatory and Ooohed over what is the largest succulent I have ever seen. It was taller than I was, and each leaf of it strung out, tentacle-like, across the display at the length of at least 5 feet if not more. I grumbled repeatedly for not thinking to at least bring the digital. We followed that up with a whirl around the gazing pool, a bit of the arboretum, and staring at the biggest bumble bees I have ever seen in the butterfly garden. They were mining the flowers with a vengeance, fat little black abdomens wiggling around as they tried to get everything they could from the orange flowers. Plenty of butterflies, as well. I got to see a spicebush swallowtail, one of my faves.
We followed this up with a trip in to Philly to eat at Monk's Belgian Cafe. And let me tell you, if I EVER get back to this place in my life to have some of their mussels and Pommes frites, I will die one very happy girl. It was the sort of immensely fun meal I think most people really don't get to do more than a handful of times in their life. I think that one rounds me out to a baker's dozen and it was great! The building was ancient, not too far from downtown historic Philly, and done in the style of old pubs everywhere. There were advertisements for European Ales everywhere. In light of these obvious proponents of good beer, I had myself a Chimay white and loved every sip of it.
The meal was so good I find myself thinking about our lunch there and sighing, wondering if we'll get to go back. I know for certain we're going to try, probably in the middle of the day on the weekend so we aren't battling the crowds that are warned about. It was a great place. Some day I hope to have friends I can take there that will get home safely after having fun. As it was, I could barely walk straight.
We've been reaping the benefits of our garden, although we never got more than one tiny watermelon off the promising looking water-melon vine. Oh well, next year we know what to do different! And we still have quite a few peppers and eggplants, not to mention tomatoes, on their way.

~~you know, originally I wanted to go indepth about a bunch of things but I've forgotten them and I'm returning to this entry on the 27th...having completely forgotten what I was going to say initially. I wish I had more time to write down full thoughts. For now, this'll do.

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