The past week has been busy!
To begin with, Porkchop and I celebrated “Six Days of Carrie’s Birthday,” which became kind of exhausting. It started with dinner and a movie (Toy Story 3, which I actually really enjoyed) on July 1 and progressed to a Cardinals game (which we left early because I sincerely detest baseball) and Ted Drewes on Friday.
However, things really got started last Saturday. The day began perfectly with a bike ride to the Botanical Gardens. Saturday mornings before noon, City and County residents have free admission to the gardens; I think it’s one of the best free deals in town. We poked around the Climatron and Henry Shaw’s house, where we gazed upon his mausoleum statue.
Nice digs for a dead man.
Climatron with glass Chihuly sculptures in the foreground.
Yay, Botanical Gardens!
After our visit, we stopped by the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market for grilled cheeses, tomatoes, peaches, pasta, and mocha macaroons. The Big Cheese is soooooo good! We had grilled cheese made with Companion bread, local mozzarella, fig tapenade (figs from Ivan the Fig Farmer), and some sort of meat from Salume Beddu. Two thumbs up.
I could eat these grilled cheeses every day.
It seems like it would be hard to top the morning, but we succeeded by buying a new bike! Yes, I could not not buy a new bike this summer. It’s a Trek 7.3 and is shiny blue.
Me and my new bike (as yet nameless).
We bought it at a shop where it is apparently customary to haggle over the price. This came as a surprise to me, but I aced it by unintentionally lying about a price I thought I had seen elsewhere. This move made the sales guy reveal the shop’s lowest price, which pissed off the owner to no end. But, you know, if you make haggling a standard practice at your shop, then it’s your own fault for letting a bike go at a price lower than what you expected. Also, if I hadn’t accidentally lied, we probably would have paid full price and felt angry.
The Saturday fun continued into the evening, with going to the Arch for fireworks. We returned to the Arch grounds on Day Four of my birthday to watch the air show with Suzi and Dale. Unfortunately, I became overheated and survived only because Suzi bought me cold waters and visited the EMS tent for chemical ice packs. I slept the rest of Sunday and was dehydrated and groggy for the rest of the day. But the Harrier jet was neat.
I don't remember much from the air show, but I remember this jet hovering over the Mississippi.
Birthday celebrations continued on Monday with lunch with Suzi and Dale at Pi in Kirkwood. Porkchop and I wrapped up a lunch of Margherita pizza with a tiramisu milkshake. YUM! After that, we went to a couple of shops, and Suzi and Dale purchased a few presents for me: the green and white jersey I’m wearing in the picture with my bike, a bike tool (technical name – I don’t know? it does 18 things, though), and special air canister thingies for emergency tire airings while out riding.
Tuesday – the last day of my birthday celebration – was a bit of a letdown because Porkchop and I had to work. However, Porkchop surprised me with cupcakes from the Cupcakery.
Finally, my birthday proper. Yay, 32!
Porkshop also gave me terrific presents throughout my celebration: chocolate bars (Askinosie, Patric, and caramel Five Star bars from Lake Champlain chocolates), a gift certificate to Kaldi’s, and a gift certificate to Knitty Couture. Also, part of my bike!
We’ve hit some rough spots in gardening. Squash vine borers destroyed all of the kabocha squash plants in the community garden. Devastation!! Tomatoes are also slow to ripen. Oh well, maybe we’ll have tomatoes in August. Here’s what’s going in the community garden:
Roasting peppers growing.
Okra flower - pretty!
After working in the garden a bit, Porkchop and I left for a chicken coop tour! We rode our bikes to Tower Grove park, and then proceeded to see eight coops in the Tower Grove, Fox Park, Gravois Park, Benton Park, Marine Villa, and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods. In all, we rode about 12 miles and saw some great coops and chickens. Here are some of our favorites:
Porkchop's favorite chick.
More pretties! These live in our neighborhood.
The most exciting outcome of the tour is that we might get chicks this week! A guy on the tour ordered 25 from a place in Iowa and was looking to unload about 20 of them. So, we’ll see if the deal goes through. I hope it does, but it also feels kind of sudden!
Lastly, we had a super awesome dinner tonight of marinated steak and roasted potatoes. And I made olive bread, which is my very favorite:
Olive bread goodness!
Have a great week!