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Alethea & Athena
Christmas adventures part 1 
29th-Dec-2016 05:54 pm
Well, we still have a ways to go before we can be confident that we'll finish the last thing on our 2016 work to-do list by the time we want to finish it, but at least it still seems doable at this point. We'll probably work a little bit more today before we call it quits. I am starting to wonder if I'll be able to make the type of end-of-the-year post I like to make before the year ends, but since I'm taking the time for LJ today, I think I'll have the time to do it on Saturday, too. We'll see.

But anyway, we had Christmas adventures, and I guess I may as well tell everybody about it. They started almost a week ago, when we took the train up to meet people. There's a bit of a tradition in Fresno where you take the kids on a lovely outing by train to a certain city where there's a somewhat famous ice cream shop. Since our sister and her kids now live a bit closer to that city then where we usually deboard the train, the idea was to get off there, meet her and the kids, and have ice cream. It was a brilliant plan (although if you ask Gaston, the ice cream at that place is far from superior), thwarted only by the sudden illness of our favorite nephew. So instead of getting ice cream, Mom and Steve came to pick us up, and we went straight to Sarah's house to visit and have pizza.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Logan, who was permitted to stand up just long enough to deliver a Christmas present. Our family does the thing where each of the siblings gets gifts for one other sibling and their family, and Sarah had Athena this year. And so she suggested to Logan that he should write Athena a story for a Christmas present. It wasn't even Christmas Eve yet, but I guess Logan was eager, so the story was presented early. It was written thus: "To Aunt Athena. Once upon a time, one cow ate hay and milk. Cows live at the farm. From Logan."

There was a lot more space on the page, so he also drew a bunch of hearts, a cow with heart-shaped markings, and a cat with the word "cat" written across it (and a heart on its tail). He also made sure to show Athena the back of the page, which had six concentric hearts drawn on it (insofar as an untrained five-year-old can draw concentric hearts), and since the hearts got bigger as they went, there wasn't room to draw more, so he drew an arrow pointing at them and wrote "100", which we assume means hearts times a hundred. And it was just the sweetest thing, and we love that kid so much. That was one of the best Christmas presents ever.

The rest of the evening consisted mostly of watching TV, since Logan was under strict orders not to play around, because with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day coming up, his parents wanted to give him as much energy and chance of recovery as they could. As a result, we watched an episode of Pokemon X&Y (we may have influenced that decision slightly (Logan had the remote)), and were kind of disappointed in its lack of awesomeness. We're willing to admit that that may just be from watching it out of context, or the change in voice actors, but the special effects were needlessly spectacular. I think we'll still give it a chance when we make it through the old Indigo League episodes.

Meanwhile, Logan's little brother and sister were being very friendly and snuggly, and I wanted to mention that because I didn't want them to go unappreciated, but it reminds me of a very sad episode in which Michael got especially snuggly, and Logan, who was banished to the recliner, started to cry. We would have been happy to let him sit with us even if he was sick, but for some reason that was verboten. But then Sarah sat with him, and then all of the kids ended up sitting with her on the recliner, and it was super adorable. Unfortunately, my only picture-taking device currently is my iPad, and iPads were even more verboten than Logan sitting with people.

Anyway, it was a nice evening with the nephews and niece. Afterward we went back to Mom's house and waited to hear from Gaston, who was bound and determined to take us to his friend's ice cream shop (the one we mentioned in yesterday's Fire Force review that we didn't get to go to in July). He called us about half an hour before the place closed, and fortunately it hadn't closed by the time we got to it. (For those of you wondering, "But didn't you have plans for ice cream with your family? I'm confused." the answer is we had two ice cream plans. We figured we could handle it if there were french fries or something inbetween, but then the first plan fell through so it wasn't an issue.)

So Gaston's friend's ice cream shop. It's like...super hipster. For example, Gaston will always tell us how his friend didn't want to give in to trendy flavors like maple bacon, so instead Gaston recommended candy cap mushroom ice cream, which tastes like maple ice cream (according to Gaston) but now with the benefit of being made from a fungus instead of beautiful maple (I know, I know, two can play at the spin game; maple syrup is tree blood, blah, blah, blah). But I will admit their honey ice cream is very good. Gaston has been telling us about their dark chocolate ice cream for probably over a year now, so of course we tried that, too...and it wasn't that great. It tasted watery. We're wondering if they make the ice cream with low fat milk or something. Of course, we would have to have more than just the free sample if we want to analyze it properly, but that night we just wanted more honey ice cream. It has bits of honeycomb candy in it, too, which makes it extra delicious!

Gaston also gave us a jar of the ice cream shop's signature hot fudge as a Christmas gift! And a couple of really pretty Mardi Gras mask magnets that he and Alice bought in New Orleans a few weeks ago. Then we went to Target to buy some last minute gifts, because our pre-holiday schedule was so hectic we didn't manage to get some gifts before we left, and Gaston was kind enough to help us save Christmas.

Then we went back to Mom's house and to bed, and that's all for now because it's time for dinner.

Today I'm thankful for finishing that movie script, getting to eat a box of snowball cookies for a snack today, finally getting to go to Gaston's friend's ice cream place, Gaston helping us save Christmas, and Logan writing and drawing the best Christmas present ever.
30th-Dec-2016 01:39 am (UTC)
Sweet Logan♥ I hope he felt better as the weekend went on! Handmade gifts are precious :)

Oh, hipster ice cream! My kinda place. I don't understand how mushroom ice cream turns out tasting like maple syrup, but okay. (for the record, I like maple syrup AND fungi.) (alright, and I just read about this particular fungus so now I understand why it tastes like maple. i do think it's silly to be too hipster for good ol' maple syrup, though.) Was the dark chocolate ice cream actual ice cream, or something like sorbet? (since I see the latter around here not infrequently.) Dark chocolate usually means less (or no) milk and sugar, and vegan options are totally hipster-approved, so... Either way, I'd probably like this flavour too, because I lead a deprived life and don't know what real ice cream tastes like anyway :D

Glad your Christmas weekend got off to a pleasant start, other than Logan's being sick!
30th-Dec-2016 09:10 pm (UTC)
He is sweet! Oh, he's just so adorable. If he ever grows up and finds this, he's going to be so embarrassed.

Ha ha! Now that you mention it, it does seem like just your kind of place. (Actually, I think you and Gaston have a lot in common when it comes to food, except that even after being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, he decided he was just going to eat it anyway (he reports feeling pretty much the same with or without it). But I do seem to remember you both telling us something about milk curdling in your stomach when you drink it with spicy food...) It's possible that the dark chocolate ice cream was some kind of sorbet, but we couldn't say for sure. It did have a slightly sorbet-ish texture, or like a hybrid sorbet/ice cream texture... And that's a good point about less-to-no milk. That probably had a lot to do with it.
30th-Dec-2016 09:30 pm (UTC)
Hee hee, yes, I have come to appreciate Gaston's taste in food, as reported through your journal :D I'm not sure if it was me talking about the milk + spicy food, though, because the way I react to milk is I get a runny nose for like a whole day, but my stomach is always fine. (also, i consider goat milk (which I can drink) the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods like curry.)

I'm hungry for like everything, now. Thanks :)
30th-Dec-2016 10:08 pm (UTC)
It must have been somebody else who said it then. But milk and spicy food really are good together! ...Or at least, I know that when spice has upset my tummy, milk helps it feel better (which may be due to curdling, apparently).

Ha ha! I'm hungry, too! ...But I think that's more because of not eating enough lately...
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