Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What have I been up to? Christmas at the zoo.

Well nothing real exciting. Sunday evening Arlene and I went to the local zoo. The zoo is located near a water reservoir so part of it is a wooded area and they set up Christmas lights and various displays. We pulled into the poorly lit parking lot with no signs or directional arrows on the pavement. There was a large crowd leading up to the still closed gate. We dodged people crossing the lot and cars heading directly at us. You never knew if you were on a one way going in the wrong direction.

We found a space. It was about 30 degrees as we walked towards the crowd. You could see what appeared to be the box office. We stood there for about 10 minutes. Did I mention it was cold? A woman standing next to us asked me if we had tickets? We said no  and she told us that we were in the wrong  line. Where's the other line?. It turns out the right side of the crowd is the "line" to buy tickets. The left side of the crowd already had tickets. Nary a sign or a zoo employee to keep things orderly.

Anyway Arlene kept our place in line while got into the other "line". As I got closer I noticed that though they three windows open they only had one of them staffed. The whole ticket buying routine took about 15 minutes and then another 10 minutes or so before they opened the door and started to let us in. Did I mention it was cold?

In all fairness the displays were very nice. All the little kids seemed to enjoy it. Of course I took pictures. not all came out great but there enough that at the very least are quite colorful. They also had 4 separate model train exhibits.

Leaving the zoo was even worse than arriving. All the traffic was snarled. People trying to enter or leave, going every which way. I won't go into detail. We went out for a bite to eat then back to Arlene's. We were talking to her daughter about how disorganized most of evening was to which she said, "Sounds like a zoo."

To which Arlene . replied, "It is a zoo." I know I known. It's a location joke. You had to be there.



Alright. The above was written on December 17th. We went to the zoo on the 14th. I basically worked a lot. Much more than I thought I would when I semi-retired, but they were in a jam at work and I decided I'd help out. It's a store I have worked at many times over the last 43 years. The last time was from 2000-2011. 11years in that one stretch alone. I know the customers and I know many of the people who still work there and from others stores in the chain. There was more going on besides work but most of it is 
pretty humdrum.  
This is a different time of the year now than it used to be. Both my parents passed in 2004. My father in July and my mother two days before Christmas. It was a tough year and a tough holiday, but we all still get together. We have eliminated all gifts between us and this stops me from buying something stupid for everybody. This year I volunteered to buy the Christmas eve dinner. I mean I work in a supermarket and the seafood department is right next to where I work. Though I am not particularly religious, my sister likes to do the meal of the seven fishes on Christmas eve. I am an old fish guy though I haven't worked the fish department in almost 20 years. I bought Captain's cut cod fillet, New Bedford sea scallops, and cooked shrimp. I am also going to make what are called pepper shooters. That's imported prosciutto wrapped around imported provolone and stuck in the middle of a vinegar cherry pepper. You can use hot or sweet peppers. Sweet in the sense that they are not hot. I chose sweet because my brother-in-law is Irish and though he is quite fond of Italian food, he's not so fond of spicy stuff. These peppers can be hot but nothing like a jalapeno pepper. Those are too hot for me. Christmas day will be, I think, lasagna and the usual meatballs and sausages. No ham this year. with broccoli rabe and several other things that I am not aware of at the moment.
So if I'm not back here in a day or two I hope everyone who reads this will have a wonderful and joyous Holiday season.
But for now...
I'm outta here.


  1. Wondered where you were and thought you were caught up in the holiday mob mentality! I'm thinking you were cold and shivering when you took your zoo pictures. Your dinner sounds like it will be very tasty, hot or not! Ho! Ho! Ho! Enjoy...enjoy!

  2. Nice photos. I didn't see any animals, awe. Your fishes dinner sounds good. I wish you and Arlene and families a wonderful Christmas.

  3. You still has wonderful time with lovely holiday Life is moving on at such a fast pace nowadays.
    Hugs and love to you as well.
    You have a lovely Christmas!

  4. The zoo visit sounds like fun. You got some great pictures!

  5. Boston Boy, Just got around to this post...sorry. I loved all the lights...a lot of work. I laughed about the Zoo thing. that was good. Your meals sound very good ...so different than the Midwest kind of thing. I hope you enjoyed it all. Bless you, xoxo,Susie

  6. Oh lovely pictures Paul looks very pretty. Sounds a full day and busy busy.
    The meal sounds great , what a change to Turkey.
    Best Wishes to you and Arlene , and New Year.