Got a call from a friend we hadn't seen in awhile ("awhile" meaning 17 years, since she left Tallahassee). As it's starting to happen at our age, an old friend of her had passed away and she was coming into town for the funeral, as was another friend (and we hadn't seen her for 20 years). Sad reason for flying in, but it gave us a chance to get together.
As I usually do when people come to town, we went to the Museum. We were fortunate--there were some wicked storms in the area, but they circled around us and we just had a bit of a drizzle. I love taking people out there because we can do the behind-the-scenes, like getting within a couple of feet of the panthers. Wandering around also avoids those gaps that can happen in any conversation--when one topic peters out and you haven't quite hit the next one yet and you sit there and smile and go "uh . . ." We also got to go visit the new guest animals, short clawed Asian otters, which are so stinkin' cute that they ought to be outlawed. They're little, they look and sound like furry wind-up toys, and they have articulate little hands that will grab anything in sight. Alas--cameras aren't allowed behind scenes, but there is an official video.
Then we headed down to the coast for some seafood. Outz's is a bit of a biker dive, but the food is so good. As was the conversation. Sometimes when you get together with friends you haven't seen for a long time, you go over the "good old days" and then you sort of don't know where to go from there. Other times you just feel like no time at all has passed (except when they show you pictures of grown-up adult people that you remember as toddlers). You find out where they've been, and where they're going. And we even got the prize--it turns out that Diane has taken up making pottery.
After we parted we were going to run the week's errands, but the storm was moving in and we opted to keep out of traffic. That meant that Monday was the runaround day (when you work you can run an errand or two after work. Post retirement, you tend to do 6-8 in a day. That's a lot of running around). We got home, put stuff away, put up our feet and had a cup of coffee, when the phone rang. Diane had misread the time of her flight and was stuck in town for another day. So we got a bonus visit)
Tuesday it was down to the coast again. We had a date with our friend Kim to go kayaking on the Wakulla river.
After the storms of Saturday, Tuesday was almost surrealistically beautiful. Look at that sky!
That's Kim in her red kayak.
Possibly because of the rain, the current was *really* strong and paddling upstream was rather like swimming in a lap pool. The reward came after a couple of hours (with sightings of a couple of alligators, lots of birds, and one manatee nose sticking out of the water) when it was time to turn around and we just gathered together, hung onto each other's boats, and drifted back to the landing site.
Off for more seafood, this time as Posey's (another dive). I was thrilled to see that they had a Jenny Haniver on the wall. A Jenny Haniver is made by taking a skate (similar to a stingray), making some cuts in it (after it has met it's demise--or at least I really hope so) and drying it to make a sea monster. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture, but here's one from the web.
I've wanted one of these things for a very long time (though not enough to buy one sight unseen off the internet) and I've never seen one in real life. Alas--the owners were not interested in selling.
Kim had brought some yard-sale treasures with her for us--a large (fake) jack-o-lantern for me, and an army helmet for Bob. She had to pose with the latter in a group selfie (which I believe is called an "usie")
As the saying goes, one picture = one thousand words. She's just fun to be around.
I'd like to say that we just cocooned after that, but in the middle of all this Bob cracked a tooth and we had to go into town *yet again* to get started on the crown. And all the cats needed their annual trip to the vet. Much time in the car this week.
Reading: Still on "Prehistoric Textiles." It's a 600 page dissertation so it will take awhile
"Quite a Year for Plums" by Bailey White, loaned to me by a co-worker. It's of the Southern Gothic genre (once an English major, always an English major) which is characterized by having eccentric characters. This one had, among others, a man specializing in peanut diseases, an artist who tended to take things from her house to the dumpster (leaving them beside the dumpster with notes on them) when she got stuck on her work, and a women who thought the space aliens would come if she could lay out junk and random stuff in the right positions. Really a fun read.