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Archive for February 25th, 2004

An Adventure & a Thunderstorm

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

Eric and I took it easy Tuesday. He slept in when I went out with Mom, and then we decided to go to Bok Gardens, about an hour from here in Lake Wales. I had checked the phone book, and the only yarn store was Yarn Basket in Winter Haven, which happened to be on the way. I also found in the phone book, a restaurant called Blue Nile. In Michigan we have a restaurant with that name that is Ethiopian, so we figured we would check it out.

First we went to lunch and we had no trouble finding the restaurant (3133 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland FL). It turns out the restaurant is open 11-2 most days but also open a few nights a week. It is a restaurant and wine bar… and not Ethiopian. It is run by a Scottish couple (he is also a professor at Florida Southern College) and the food is mostly inspired by the foods of India (Mulligitawny soup, Chicken Satay, Pappadams). We were intrigued. Eric got a Chicken Satay sandwich on a beautiful bun, and I got a salad with spiced shrimp and mango/papaya salsa (sort of a spiced chutney but fresh, not cooked down at all).

The food was absolutely superb. It was beautiful to look at and wonderful to eat. The woman who waited on us was very interesting and courteous. It was a small place and there were only 6 customers during the time we were there, so we got some excellent attention. She said they have been there for about 6 months and the word is getting out fairly well, she is encouraged. If you get to Lakeland, I recommend you check it out.

After that, we headed out for Yarn Basket. We found it with only one wrong turn. It was a large place, just packed with all sorts of yarns and threads for all sorts of needlecrafts. There was a lot of needlepoint there, as well as tatting and knitting. And then they also had a machine to make large photocopies… so when we were there, someone from the hospital came down to get copies made of some blueprints. Very interesting.

There were two ladies working. Apparently one of them was on the cover of a needlepoint magazine this issue and the phone has been ringing off the hook! They had a lot of cotton and acrylic yarns, but also a nice handful of froofy scarf-type yarns (I got a ball of turquoise eyelash yarn and nearly went home with some railroad type ribbon), and there were a decent number of colorways of sockyarn, mostly Regia. I got two balls of a mostly-white Regia with color flecks in it, which looks like random spots. I had never seen that colorway before, so I decided to grab it while I could.

While we were at the Yarn Basket, it started raining so hard we could not see out the windows for a while. We hung out inside to avoid the dounpour. Unfortunately, that made us delayed for the 3pm Carillion concert we had hoped to see at Bok Gardens. When we got to the gardens, it was really raining still and we had missed some of the concert already. We decided to forego getting wet and paying the parking fee when we would miss most of what we wanted to go there for.

So… we found a place called Spook Hill. When you park your car on a line marked on the road, and put your car in neutral, the car rolls backward and it appears as though you are going backward up a hill. It’s an optical illusion but it was fun to try.

After that we tried to find the Lake Wales Art Center. However, the person labeling the signs saying how far this or that place was, labeled things very much closer than they were. It said the Center was .9 miles or something, and then we drove about 2 miles and did not find the center. We found ourselves by a large strip mall and so we stopped at the Big Lots store for some computer supplies for Eric (and a hairbrush for me). Then we found a cord for my camera to connect to my laptop (I forgot the one I use at home), at the Radio Shack. We had fun even though these are places we have at home… and that cord means you can see these pictures today.

Oh, I did enjoy checking out the neon signs we found on the way down. I just love the artform that can be found in these signs, and when I travel I try to get as many pictures of them as I can. We took side roads so we could get to the yarn store, and that took us through older areas with great signs. I don’t know what town this sign was in. Eric was able to take the picture through an open window as we sat at a stoplight.

We went back to Mom’s and she and Fred took us out to dinner for Mongolian barbecue at China Pearl in the next town. It was really tasty, and the people who run the place are very friendly.

We got home just in time for another downpour! It is supposed to rain until about noon on Thursday, just about when I leave. Hopefully, Eric will get some sun while I’m flying home. He comes home Friday.