Saturday, December 18, 2010

Es Ist Morgen

It's 8 a.m., and instead of being snuggled down, sleep-in style, I'm sitting in the living room...Young Man and Girlfriend snoozing downstairs, Steinvic slumbering upstairs. The Christmas tree lights are on, all of my favorite candles are glowing and I've got a batch of lemon-poppyseed muffins in the oven. I've got a small pan of water and mulling spices simmering on the stove to make the whole house smell heavenly. Except for the furnace kicking on ever so often, it's completely quiet.

This is a feeling that is, on one hand - foreign to me, and on the other - something I've embraced so naturally, you'd think I always had a family like this.

Yesterday afternoon, Young Man and Girlfriend arrived. We left early to go to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo. It officially doesn't start until 5 p.m., but the traffic to get there from here - way north of the city - is horrible. So, we left just after 3 p.m. and they let us in...we almost had the entire place to ourselves for the first hour. We bought hot chocolates with Baileys and a winter beer for Steinvic and made our way through the paths, lights already twinkling, feet freezing, but also ducking into any of the animal houses that were open to warm up and to see the beings inside.

You know, I just finished and posted this entire, beautiful post, complete with a photo and links and blogger kicked me off and deleted everything I wrote!! ARGH!

So, let's try again! Festival of Lights was fun and Young Man and I got to pet pygmy goats, and one had a tickle spot that I accidentally found, and it made us giggle to see him bobbing his head with glee. We encountered peacocks, and one of us - Steinvic, I think - noticed them up in the trees:

Because of Steinvic's smart planning, we left the Festival just as the temperature was dropping and everyone else was clamoring to get in.

We took the kids to Melt for dinner, which was very different from what Steinvic and I had pictured in our minds. It was not a sit down restaurant exactly...more you go in and order, they give you a funky table card (ours was Betty White, and I saw Nancy McKeon and Lavar Burton on the way back to our table) and bring your order out to you. We picked it because it had vegan and vegetarian options and Girlfriend is now a vegan. And while we were a little apprehensive, it turned out to be really good.

Steinvic had a barbeque chicken sandwich, Young Man had a three cheese melt, Girlfriend had a vegan melt...and while I'd never have imagined tofu and peanut butter on a sandwich together, I had the award winning Rothko Tofu sandwich which featured those two items plus ginger hoisin sauce, greens and red peppers on multigrain bread. It was great! In fact, Young Man finished mine, because it was extremely filling, and then proceeded to finish Steinvic's sandwich, too. (He is a growing boy.)

We left there, pleasantly surprised and headed to Shake It Records - perfect spot if you like an intellectual, hipster, alterna-post punk environment. Young Man found a few jazz records to take home and we all enjoyed looking at the hard-to-find records and magazines lining the walls and shelves.

Then home for drinks and comfy pants and vegan soup making (I whipped up a GREAT pot of vegan potato soup that I'd been mathing out in my head all week and Holy is good!) and television watching and visiting.

It was a great night. And Steinvic is up now, so I'm off to make tea and coffee for us...

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