Ah, summer, the time of much visiting. Aral swung by for a few days, and we gabbed and ate and drove around the old 'hood and discovered a small antique mall, which was an interesting field trip, as well as a pleasant blast from the past for TLP. Dddragon had one of her hyperventilating, incapacitating giggle fits, and we had coffee. A well-rounded weekend.
Then, a couple days later, an old friend of the family stopped by, and once again, there was much eating and talking, a good time had by all.
Saturday, August 2: I had to work. It was a short, odd day. We had a shindig which was sort of an anniversary, but mostly much ado to drum up business, so there were all kinds of big shots in suits, lots of customer service reps, and almost every single teller worked either the lobby or the drive-through. Some of the elderly, Saturday regulars who came in wearing their usual scuzzy gardening attire looked absolutely stricken, as they entered the branch. There was a photographer, for heaven sakes. And a mascot, and a clown, face painter, balloon contorter, hot dog stand, and a bunch of people with not much to do but stand there, nicely coiffed and smiling at the customers. To be honest, I would have been mighty intimidated.
August 4: Our Minnesota nieces just returned from a trip to Sea Isle City with their grandparents, and reported that business was way down. There are only two hotels in town, and they ran vacancies every day! That is not right. They had a great time, despite the extremely cold water this year (!), and are as happy and delightful as always.
August 5: I worked on my birthday, but it wasn't a difficult day, and then we went out for dinner to a place called The Firehouse, where I had a unique dish of salt-encrusted trout over a bed of creamy orzo and served with a side of fried spinach. The fried spinach is actually quite good, and adds a crunchy texture to the rest of the plate. The trout is not at all salty, by the way. Cooking it in the salt crust makes it more tender. I don't understand these things at all, but if you're ever in Harrisburg, I recommend The Firehouse.
Speaking of eating establishments, one local dishy story is how two people, a bartender and a waiter at a place called Spice (located on the same street as The Firehouse), got fired for talking to a reporter who wanted to know if the recent economic situation was making their lives harder. The answer was a resounding YES, and the owner of Spice didn't much like how they came across, and that was that. Reactions to that story were all over the place.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! I had a good day.
Our annual picnic this year will be tiny, as in not many people there, but we did get in wonderful visits with important people this summer, so it's not a tragedy. Oh, and this will be the first picnic for which a certain friend's offspring will be 21. We all remember him from his Christopher Robinish days, how time flies.
And now, the countdown 'til vacation....