Took the folks (it's a bit strange typing that still) to the Botanical Gardens yesterday. It's a good place to bring parental entities. Pretty trees and flowers, leisurely strolling, the occasional frog, goldfish, bird, and/or butterfly, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. My step-dad is diabetic, only slightly so, but my mom has apparently banned ice cream in their home in Beijing, so he was delighted to be able to have an ice cream cone at the gardens. (He reassured Matthew and I that he's allowed to have such things as long as it's only in moderation.)
The gardens were also having a glass sculpture exhibit featuring the works of Dale Chihuly. The glasswork was lovely all intermingled with the existing garden flora, fauna, and sculptures. The hand blown glass came in a myriad of bright colors. There were red and orange static flames coming out of the fountains, otherworldly floating colored globes in the ponds, Cthulu-esque tentacles with the orchids, and fiery glass stems rising out of the cacti and succulents. Pretty pretty.
Mom and Step-dad in front of red flamey Chihuly sculpture.
Water blue sculpture.
The gardens also had their featured "Scarecrows in the garden" exhibit that they have every October, featuring different styles of scarecrows arrayed in the children's area, including one the staff had made, comprised of stuff that had been turned in and never claimed in their lost & found, a Peter Rabbit homage, and a really impressive Green Man.
Step-dad and frogs.
Mom and frothy pink flowers.
Matthew and assorted greenery.
I adore orchids.
Afterward, my mom wanted to shop for shoes (it's both amusing and unsettling the similarities I saw this weekend between my mother and I), so we went to Lenox mall. Then had dinner at P.F. Changs as the folks wanted Chinese food. P.F. Changs came highly recommended as offering some of the best Chinese cuisine in the area from various visitors magazines, etc. I think my mom and my step-dad were expecting to be able to talk in Chinese with the wait staff and that the menu would have Chinese in it. Nope. Didn't see a single Asian staff person there. The food was excellent. Although apparently the Ma Po Tofu wasn't authentic. Authentic or no, it was delicious.
My step-dad is a really, really good influence on my mom, as well as simply an interesting person. Matthew commented that he can see a lot more similarity between my mother and I, personality-wise, now that she's not angry, bitter, and lonely anymore. Aside from the aforementioned interest in acquiring new shoes, I also noticed her checks have a Winnie-the-Pooh theme--the old, classic illustrations, not the Disney ones--which is something I'd do. And she really likes Hobkin and animals in general. She did what I sometimes do when I feed Hobkin. She stood quietly and just watched him eat with fascination and amusement. And Hobkin again responded favorably to her, despite her thumping him repeatedly on the back when she went to pet him. Although I did get her NOT to poke him in the face again like she did last time.
Woke up at an ungodly hour this morning to drive the folks to the MARTA station so they could get to the airport in plenty of time for their flight. Sleepy now.
I think, even with SPF 30 sunscreen on, that I had too much UV at the gardens. Today I'm a bit sore and achy. Still, I think this weekend counts as an unqualified success.
Wasn't a big weekend for writing, obviously.
The Sci-Fiction story from the previous week wasn't replaced this week, so I got a week off from writing a review. Timely that.
And my copy of Incubus Dreams (pre-ordered from Amazon.com) arrived in the mail! Booyeah! Ye verily, I shall be engrossed in the adventures of Anita Blake for the next few days . . .
Hmmm...I can see the family resemblance with your mother (she looks very different from the way she looked when we went to get the piano in Champaign, for some reason). Maybe it was just the light hitting both your faces from above.
Let me know how Icubus Dreams is...I was rather disappointed in Cerulian Sins.
Interestingly, all the P. F. Changs in LA suck...Decidedly poor places to eat.
Of course, I've been eating sushi of late...If I could just get it without the seaweed...
"I can see the family resemblance with your mother (she looks very different from the way she looked when we went to get the piano in Champaign, for some reason)"
I know, scary. Matthew and I think the change is that she's smiling. I see the resemblance between her and me, especially in that picture, a lot more now. Weird.
I haven't kept up on Anita Blake and I used to love her novels. After she got away from the actual mystery sleuthing it sort of lost it's appeal (although I adore Jean-Claude).
I love orchids too. I used to have a whole bunch of them, and then I lost them when I moved. :-(
For authentic Chinese food, try Buford Highway, just north and south of I-285. Chamblee/Doraville area. Also, Peachtree Industrial Blvd. inside I-285 is a good bet. For next time, since I know your mom & stepdad have already left the area.