Aquatica Portlandicus Obnoxiiosi
There's a reason Molly Brown was unsinkable. Got myself out to the pool today, and had a blast doing laps and watching the anoles on the fence. I found my back uncomfortably arched during my breast stroke because my ass is, well, extremely buoyant. I haven't done any actual swimming in decades. Once I got going, I enjoyed it. And I certainly have no fear of drowning. Ever.
Besides the swimsuit, my Florida wardrobe is laid in. It is full of skirts, shorts, and bright colors. I haven't felt pretty in my clothes for a while, and I'm enjoying the girly turn. The Spousal Unit even shopped today, getting some shorts and a gorgeous Guayabera that looks so good on him.
Thing I learned today: when you are on the freeway, and must slow down because the monsoon has reduced visibility, you engage your emergency flashers. It's apparently a tropics thing, as the Spousal Unit had seen it before.
Before we moved here, we kept hearing from the locals how frustrating the elderly drivers were. I am actually finding the mature, experienced drivers a damn sight safer than the young, uptight jerks that dominate the roads in Portland. Yes, people occasionally drift over to your lane without signaling. But they don't swoop over and cut you off.
Something we've done twice already is stop to help a turtle cross the street.
Florida Soft Shell Turtle, hitchin' a ride.
Today this fella was crossing just a few yards from the condo. We set him down in the grass, and another couple stopped to see if help was needed, and ask about turtles in general. They were always afraid to pick them up because they didn't know which ones would bite. The Soft Shell sat docilely in the grass while Bill petted it and explained that this one wasn't all that bitey, and how they could recognize the snapping variety. After a few minutes, the turtle made his way to the pond and splashed on in.
On to the restaurants...
Lunch was Bangkok Tokyo, which, as the name suggests, has a pan-Asian menu. Chinese, Thai, and Japanese. I ordered my standard Chinese test of sweet and sour pork, and Bill ordered his Thai test of massaman curry. I was promptly served sweet and sour chicken, but didn't fuss. The portions were good, and the sauce standard. The white rice was nice and sticky, which I love. The plating was very pretty: I got a carrot bird, he got a carrot goldfish. The massaman was coconut-heavy, lacking the other spices that usually balance that out. The spice was quite nice; he ordered medium and got it. They had some intriguing desserts, so we both had a go. I had Thai donuts, which was a puff of fried pastry with little sweetness, and a dipping sauce of sweetened condensed milk and crushed peanuts. It was very yummy. He ordered the honey banana, which was vanilla ice cream (usually coconut, but they were out), and bananas fried in tiny dough packets. The bananas on their own weren't sweet enough, but taken with a little ice cream, they were just right.
All in all, well, I might go back just for dessert.
The Spousal Unit at the Stonewood Grill.
We went to see a second house for the day (it was meh), and had dinner at the Stonewood Grill & Tavern. I was thrilled to find that one of their steak treatments was "Oscar style," as I hadn't had that in many years. I ordered a small filet Oscar style, which means it's topped with asparagus, crab meat, and Bearnaise. It came with veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. Bill had to work a bit, as the place isn't built for vegetarians, but he had a bowtie pasta sans grilled chicken. They went over and above for him, adding extra veggies and some of their bruschetta sauce to the dish, which added tons of flavor. The cream sauce was very light, and didn't interfere with the wonderful mix of vegetables with the pasta. A superior veg dish.
Mini Filet Stonewood Oscar Style.
My steak was a little dry on the edges, but perfect once you got a bite into it. Nearly fork tender. The asparagus was perfect, the Bearnaise tasty and not overdone, but the crab meat was fishy, and I skipped most of it. The garlic mash was the star, and I had to protect my plate from Bill. Light, fluffy, not too much garlic, with a wonderful herb infusion. The veggies were the only sour note on my plate. The zucchini and yellow squash were badly overdone. I think they meant to have mushy roasted peppers, but crisp would have been so much better. The carrots were pretty good, but none of the other vegetables survived the addition of too much thyme. Thyme is a strong flavor, and it absolutely didn't work here.
Florida Orange Cake
Dessert was joy in my mouth, and even if the rest of the meal had been mediocre, the Florida Orange Cake would probably lure us back. A rich pound cake with mild orange filling was topped with Dreamsicle frosting. The frosting was overpowering, but so, so good it was hard to stay away from. The whipped cream and the white chocolate chips on the side were superfluous. The trick with this cake was to take a bite, then afterward, a nip of orange. Absolutely fantastic.
And now it's time to get the remote away from The Mad Clicker.