Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fall in Pennsylvania, Warm in Florida

After about a week in New York, I turned my attentions towards neighboring Pennsylvania and a number of faces and places that I wanted to see. My first stop was in Bucks County, to visit with Mr. Ass. We went to an arts and crafts fair, where I managed to restrain myself from buying as much jewelry as I wanted to.

The family dog, Pipo, has 'hot spots' and other surgical scars that needed to be left alone and not licked or picked at by the dog...and so she got her own weird Halloween face mask.
Almost the entirety of my time on the east coast was quite temperate. I could be wrong, but it really seemed like almost all the days were a bit warmer than any of us expected. But on this morning there was a touch of frost on the ground.
I did my weird drive-by lurking thing at my old high school. Took a photo and then left. Teenagers terrify me.
Some really great fall colors at Tyler State Park.

With the weather being so generally lovely, I went out to the family field and set myself up for a bit of reading. It was lovely. Made even more so when I heard a sound behind and to my right and found...
A rafter of wild turkeys! I don't know if they saw me initially and didn't care, or were slightly surprised when I moved a bit to try and take a slightly better photo.
Neat to see them walk by.
I look strangely sleepy here, which is crazy given how much sleep I got overall on this time away from the farm. I was very glad to catch up with Mr. Ass.
Then I went a little farther into Bucks County for another round of country sojourn wonder time. Complete with fire, of course.
I also hung out with M&A's dogs Ella and Panda.
And spent more time reading in the sun. On this particular day it was so warm you can see I was rocking a tank top.
And re-reading a little Vonnegut.
And seeing some geese.
Then it was on to Philly.

I first spent a few nights with C. and R. and Brutus. That first night we went and got tacos at a new spot that opened in...I forget which neighborhood, whichever one Johnny Brenda's is in.
And perhaps the next evening we walked to Modo Mio to meet up with a solid crew and get ourselves a delightful meal. It did not disappoint.
Afterwards we went to Druid's Keep for copious beers and darts.
Thug life.
It was good to see everyone, including A. with whom I lived for my last two years in Philly. He's a solid funny dude.
It might seem as if LW, C. and I actually know that guy behind us...but we do not.
And no late beer/dart night would be complete without a drive to southernmost Philly for pho.
I've been slightly obsessed with the music of Brick+Mortar for about two years or so. My first year on the farm, I listened to their first full album many, many, many times. And their songs - old and newer - are still featured heavily in many of my playlists. They played in Seattle last summer/fall, but I was too busy at the time to see them. So when I saw that they'd be in Philly at the same time that I would be in Philly, I was determined not to miss the chance to see them live. They played at Milkboy, which is a nice and very small venue. They opened for a South African musician (who reminded me as some sort of cross of Hozier and some other man-bun wearing musician) and the majority of the crowd seemed to be there for the main act. But there was a solid group of us up at the front, singing along with all the songs and doing any sort of jumping or hand clapping that was asked of us.

I built up my courage to go tell them how cool I think they are and to tell them that many of the sheep would be quite familiar with some of their songs, due to how often I played them while milking. Then I asked if we could get a photo or two. And LW was kind enough to take them. And, ha ha, they didn't turn out so well.

The day after the show, I flew to Florida. This was a relatively impromptu/spontaneous turn of events, which initially came into being due to an invitation being extended to me. But, as with many things in my life, what actually happened was I went to Florida by myself after the invitation extender had last minute unavoidable work problems and commitments that made it impossible for him to actually go.
I could have just canceled, and really I probably should have, but I didn't, so Florida. The first day I got there was muggy but very rainy. I went to a place that advertised stone crabs, and went to sit outside at the bar even with the rain.
Crabs were pretty good...though I have had better....more tender? Maybe less cooked just by a few minutes?
I think this was my dinner that first night....SHRAMP.
The sun did come out just in time to come down that first day.
The next day was far sunnier and nicer. Bathing suit/swimming/sunning/walking and picking up shell weather.
All these shells had weird snail like things inside. Later in my trip I'd land my foot wrong on one of these shells while swimming, and it would dig a huge gash deep into my heel, which did not heal for weeks after my time in Florida came to a close.

I basically just sunned, ate and drank for four days. Often when I'm traveling I make temporary friends whilst completing these activities, but on this trip I really didn't. I think that may have been one of the reasons that I didn't totally love this trip. It just didn't really give me any interesting stories to tell past 'it was sunny and warm and that made me happy I guess.' Negative nelly over here.

But really it wasn't bad. On my way to the airport on my departure day, I went to a sunken garden in Tampa (I think it was Tampa) and saw some birds and some tortoises and some old trees and some pretty flowers.

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