There are a number of ingredients that go into the making of a truly great day. I realized that one factor can be the weather. Ted and I were blessed, we had been planning on spending today outside and as it turns out God decided to plant the nicest day of 2011 right in our laps for the occasion.
We drove up to Longwood Gardens:
Most of the flowers are not yet in bloom this early in the year, although the crocuses and snowdrops are already making valiant appearances around the park. Still, just the opportunity to be outside without freezing or getting wet and feeling the warm sun on our faces was a welcome change. Plus they have the huge indoor conservatory and are right now featuring about a zillion breeds of amazing orchids to stare at.
|My favorite were these smurf-blue ones.|
Ted and I happily wandered through the various habitats. I was savoring the warmth and even the humidity. We smelled the roses, we admired the huge cacti and the strange plantain plant, and we marveled over the age of the bonsai trees. Although it occurred to me that most of the trees I know are probably older than I am, they’re just not entertainingly tiny and equipped with little signs to state what year they began “training”.
|Me, waiting to be impressed by nature.|
|Ted meets plant.|
Afterward we simply sat on the terrace and enjoyed the unaccustomed feeling of sweet spring breezes and the warmth of sunlight on our chilled skin. As I’ve pointed out to many people I am to some degree or another, cold, from about November until March each year.
|Enjoying a moment of photosynthesis.|
Ted had told me he wanted to take me somewhere special for lunch, which turned out to be a restaurant called the Half Moon Saloon which specializes in wild game. The menu varies from day to day depending I suppose on what they can get. Today they had a bear / elk burger which Ted ordered with a side of gator. I tried both, the gator tastes like fishy chicken with a grainy consistency. It’s not as bad as that sounds, it’s just a bit odd. Bear is… earthy. I don’t want to say gamey because it has a bad connotation, earthy and strong is a better description.
I had the most delicious wild mushroom bisque soup I’ve ever tried. I intend to attempt to reverse engineer the recipe so I can make it at home. Kennet Square is apparently the “mushroom capital of the world”. I never would have guessed.
The bear burger made me wonder… is there a bear farm out there somewhere where people are raising these creatures just for food? Strange thought.
When we left my eye caught a sign on the street corner advertizing a tea shop nearby called Mrs. Robinsons, so Ted and I walked over to check it out. Not since my beloved Spice Smuggler here in Lansdale closed down have I seen such a wondrous variety of fun teas. I’m sitting here right now savoring my second cup of coconut-chocolate. I also picked up pina colada and my favorite cream earl grey, which I haven’t been able to find anywhere else in years. Discovering that shop and chatting with the nice folks who work in it was the sweet cherry on top of my wonderful day.