Hello, everyone! I hope you had a happy day. Mine was alright. I caught up on the warm-ups, read some manga, took care of the snails, was able to track my food and such today (which I’ve been struggling to get back on the wagon with) and went on a walk. I hadn’t tried to dress cute at home for a while, but today I did:
We had milanesas for dinner. My mom prepped them and gave them to me frozen, so I just had to fry them. They were great, but I think we’ve had enough milanesas for a while. I need to cook something I haven’t made in a bit.
I’m pretty excited because Christopher bought me an exercise bike. It’s not super fancy but it ought to do the trick now that the really intense heat and rainy season begins. It’ll be here on Sunday.
The deal is that I have to use it three times a week for a whole year or I have to return it/sell it/donate it. But I already exercise almost every day so, I think I can do it. 😁
In other news, in less than two hours we will have been married a whole five years. We already celebrated it so it really feels like a normal day which I do not mind. It was a wonderful early celebration. I really feel like the day already passed, so it’s a little odd, almost. 🤔
Anyway not much else to say… I have to get ready for bed. I am tired and still so busy. It’ll be a busy week. I hope everyone reading this has a great night!
Good morning guys! How are you today? I’m off to a very positive start and feeling very cheerful. I started my Fitness Log again, and did my first walk of the day. I’ll be Zooming with my mom soon, and hopefully I’ll get another walk in after the sun goes down.
Kotoko came to cuddle with me this morning. I’ve decided to allow her on my desk, which is by the window, and as a result she spends more and more time with me. I took so many cute photos and video of that, it’ll be for its own post, but here she is:
When she jumped on me, I had to snap a photo, even though my hair was still uncombed after my shower. 😅
I’m still doing lots of work to finish my site’s move. Most galleries need to be remade, but that’s basically all I have left to do at this point (well, that and the small changes that I’ll be using plug-ins for… I can’t do that until I get the Business plan.)
Everything is going pretty well. I’m continuing to catch up on chores and art and feeling less stressed. I have a bunch of new followers, I want to welcome all of you! This blog/site is pretty weird but I hope you have a good time here.
Oh, also, my collector’s edition of Märchen Forest: Mylne and the Forest Gift came in the mail. Christopher bought it for me as a reward for passing my naturalization interview and civics test (there may also have been some begging and cajoling involved.) It even comes with a figure! When I have time to open it I’ll be sure to share it with you all.
It’s bedtime! So, let me wrap up the day real quick… I’m heading to bed with a book but probably will be too tired to read.
Today I went grocery shopping. I dressed a bit crazier than usual –I’m accustomed to getting looks, but this getup generally gets me even surprised glances more than usual. 😅
I always get nice comments too, so honestly, if I made someone smile or amused them enough to distract them on a bad day, it’s a bonus. I had to laugh though, when an old Publix worker came up to me, excitedly asking if I was the lady who’d been giving out balloons on a different day. So basically I look like a clown. 🤡 I’d probably have done clown gigs if I had the charisma… I like clowns, I’m too shy for that though, and kids scare me. They’re all sticky and smelly. No thanks lol. 😑
But yeah I went and I also got a little trolley to push my groceries in, so I can save money on Ubers and don’t have to bother Christopher for rides –plus, more walking, more exercise! Happy about all those things. And it was kind of fun to push it around. 😁
Among many chores, I took care of my little snails, removed a couple that had passed, and fed and cleaned them all. The baby roman snails are thriving! Here’s a photo of one of my milk snails who was eating his lettuce with a lot of noise:
I think Kotoko missed me. She’s been spending lots of time in the studio with me. She seems to have recovered from her UTI, but it exhausted her. Here she is, snoring and dreaming…
For dinner, I made salmon, potatoes and salad. It was quite good and Christopher liked it too, which is the most important part:
I’m disappointed because I was unable to complete all my chores. I still have a lot to do. I guess I’ll have to finish tomorrow, it can’t be helped.
I mentioned this over on FA, but blog posts aside, PLEASE bear with me for the rest of April. I cannot talk on Telegram, I can’t respond quickly to anything that isn’t business related. If you have a commission inquiry, please don’t just say “hi”. Please send a message with what you want, all the info, etc. I don’t have time for long conversations this month because of a long queue and because I am studying for the citizenship test. If it’s commission related, I will respond, but otherwise you may not hear back from me for days, possible not until May. I do apologize. 🙇♀️
I’m going to try to get some rest. Goodnight, everyone! 🌙✨
Here’s the second day summary of our wonderful anniversary getaway! We were up pretty early. I was excited to wear the outfit I had planned for today.
It was my cheeky Thomas sweatshirt, a brand new blue plaid skirt, my black boots with new black rainbow socks, and my Thomas backpack. Oh, and my Doctor Who scarf. I wished I could get a full OOTT photo but there was no full-body mirror in the room, so I got a regular selfie.
And a photo of the rest of the outfit, like this:
Then I got Coffee Cake out of his little sleeping bag and had breakfast while I waited for Christopher to be ready.
Soon we were on our way. We stopped to get breakfast first, but due to COVID (understandably… I guess? this really could have been done better while still keeping things safe) the “free, all inclusive” breakfast buffet was, err, interesting:
Leaving the “buffet”, we went to the train show. Coffee Cake continued to enjoy the views afforded to him:
The train show was a collection of extremely elderly people selling extremely old trains in a packed, very rickety church room. I didn’t get any video or photos here, but they had a cute little display with a train running and the guy controlling it would make chocolate eggs jump up into the air with a loud POP! that really startled me and made me yell “what the hell” inside a church, but I’m a heathen now so that’s okay. The train popped three eggs. 🐣
After that, we went what was supposed to be the highlight of this trip, HR Trains & Toys, Inc:
This was followed by Zitnik Trains. Both were a letdown, for a few reasons. We’d been to HR Trains’ original location on our second anniversary trip, and while we didn’t buy anything, it was a huge highlight of our trip, and the seed for my interest in wooden track trains was planted then and there. But it seemed too silly, I suppose; I thought Christopher’s main interest were the HO scale and such. I had no idea then how much the liked the wooden ones.
By the time we visited again, HR Trains had been sold and moved to a new, smaller location, that did not have the magic or size of the original. In particular, the wooden track area was sad and minuscule, most its space taken by an old guy in an office chair, making it difficult and embarrassing for me to peruse anything without being in extremely close quarters with him. I saw some items I liked, but was so annoyed and generally let down, that we didn’t buy anything here either.
Other than that though, we enjoyed looking around the store, in particular I had fun looking at the G scale trains. Zitnik trains was smaller and less interesting, so I don’t have much else to say about that. We found no wooden track stuff at all there.
💂 Jack’s London Grill 💂
Then it was lunch time. I’d picked a place called Jack’s London Grill for our itinerary, and here was another highlight. This was an AMAZING place, the chef was from Surrey in England and the food was genuine and superior in taste, texture and presentation.
I had a pear cider, bangers and mash (well, one banger and mash –I asked for the lunch-sized portion) and a puff pastry stuffed with hot melted brie. For dessert, we ordered bread pudding.
Everything I ate was incredible. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I guess I’d pick the bread pudding because it was so different. Christopher had Shepherd’s Pie:
I took this next photo after asking him to smile properly. In his defense, I think his mouth was full. 😅
The order of things escapes me slightly here –we went to record stores, to bookstores, and to game stores. We also went to a vintage toy store that really stood out! That’s what I’ll be talking about next.
🌈 Bear Haven Land Company Vintage Toys 🌈
This store was called Bear Haven Land Company Vintage Toys. It was much bigger than it looked on the outside and an absolute delight. They graciously let me take a bunch of photos. I’m sure you’ll recognize many toys you’d like to get your hands on, as I did! It was a real treat.
Here, I found a wonderful little Raikes bear! He was affordable, small and charming, so I brought him home with me. I decided to call him Raisin, because his color was just like that of the raisin-filled bread pudding we had earlier.
His face and paw pads are made of carved wood. Isn’t that cool? I’d seen bears like him before but none were cute enough for me to want to buy.
After that, we went back to the hotel and napped/watched TV. For dinner we went to a Phở place. The food was good, but the place was dingy, the lights flickered, and the service was so-so. 🤷♀️
After dinner we went back to the hotel for the final time, to toast our anniversary!
We cuddled and watched the last episode of Horimiya afterwards, which was very fitting to end the weekend… 🥰
We were tired, but happy. It was a wonderful way to wrap up our anniversary getaway.
💕🏡 Home Again 🏡💕
And that brings us to today! We left quite early in the morning, after grabbing one final McDonald’s breakfast. And, yeah, Friday-Saturday-Sunday I am not doing fitness logs. I ate like a beast, though we also walked a lot. It was a time to enjoy to the fullest, so I have no regrets. ✌
When we got home, I found that that my Brown and Cony keycaps had finally arrived, after a million years delay. They’re very cute!
I spent the day taking care of the cats and snails, blogging, unpacking, doing laundry, and resting. We ordered Bento for dinner and I had some coffee and a Vauquita from Argentina, another sweet treat I hadn’t had in years. Vauquitas ( a play on the word vaquita, which means “little cow”) are “dulce de leche” bars covered in powdered sugar. They have a harder shell with a soft and crumbly inside. It’s very sweet and delicious but you can’t eat more than one at a time. It’s too sweet like that.
Tomorrow I have to shop for groceries and finish my chores 100% because Tuesday begins my 100 Daily Warm-Ups project and I have to study for my citizenship test all the harder! So I will end this post here. Also, tomorrow I’ll share all the treasures I found with you. I hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip!
I’m so happy, I’m so happy, I’m so happy…! 😭✨ I don’t even know how many times I’ve said this over and over during the last 48 or so hours.
Not everything in our getaway anniversary weekend went as expected. Some things were way more amazing than planned, others were kind of disappointing, and others were unexpected surprises that we enjoyed a lot. I took lots of pictures and I can’t wait to tell you about it all. I’ll be dividing my weekend summary in two posts, plus a third one for all the goodies I got. This is day one —the best day, really!
(I should add, our anniversary is actually on May 11th. But the timing worked best for this weekend, so we celebrated it early.)
We left a little after 7:00am and had McDonald’s for breakfast. It was unusually good, we enjoyed it a lot. As a side note, I was really excited for my outfit for this day! I’d never worn my Lazy Oaf overalls until this day. They are my only “designer” overalls:
They also marked the beginning of the pandemic for me: the last thing I did before serious lockdown began, was go to the tailor’s to pick them up after adding some extra buttonholes. It was my last day out without a mask. The world changed a lot right after that.
My companion for this weekend was Coffee Cake:
Coffee Cake was pretty excited for his first-ever road trip:
Our first stop after driving a few hours was lunch at the Whistle Stop cafe (the name appears differently on the menu for some reason). This is one of the places that was a bit of a mixed bag. 🤔 The restaurant felt like much of this little town: run down and with caked-on dirt in places. But it was also so old, established in the late 1800s as a drugstore! A lot of its original appearance was still in place, which I found fascinating.
The food was okay, but because the place was fairly dirty, I didn’t have much of an appetite. I had tuna salad, potato salad and a root beer float:
The root beer float didn’t look pretty or appetizing so I didn’t photograph it. I did enjoy the train theme of the place. It was perfect for our train-focused trip! And the staff was very nice, and there was an old man playing an old, slightly out of tune piano. Honestly if the place had been cleaner I would have liked it a lot more. 🤷♀️
Almost across the street was our next stop, the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum:
Compared to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, there wasn’t much to see here (again, comparatively). But they had a lovely model train display:
I got some video of it as well:
Here’s a couple more pics I took from this area:
Then, it was on to a stop that I was very excited about, but I didn’t really understand how awesome it would actually be. That was…
🌴 🦖 Dinosaur World 🦖🌴
I’m making a separate section in this post to further emphasize how utterly incomparable, amazing, highlight-of-the-weekend this place was. I spent hours since then, thinking how to best describe its magic to accompany the 150-odd photos as well as videos that I took to share with you. I hope I can do my experience justice with words.
Imagine a literal Jurassic Park frozen still. Just as larger than life, just as mouth-gaping incredible. Craning up your neck to look at these massive dinosaurs that look like they could begin moving again any moment. I was LOSING MY FREAKING MIND (and wishing Nate was there to enjoy it with me because he would have lost it just as much). I was grateful for my mask that hid my face because for the first twenty minutes I was so overcome with happiness, surprise and excitement that I was trying not to cry.
For a bit of context… dinosaurs are my oddest special interest because it hasn’t been a special interest that ever had a period of intense obsession, yet it’s always been there, probably since I saw The Land Before Time as a very little girl (to this day, this is still my favorite movie of all time.)
The original Jurassic Park movie would later intensify this tremendously, but when I was younger, dinosaurs were a very boy-centered thing as far as toys, and I never ran into any very interesting scientific books about them growing up.
Later, as an adult, I discovered very charming dinosaur things such as the Gon manga, and the Umasou movies, and realistic toys such as Schleich dinosaurs replicas, which furthered my interest in an intense but quiet way.
So, it’s always been this thing in the back of my mind, I’ve collected a lot of dinosaur things, toys, clothes and books over many, many years, but without it ever being an all-absorbing focused obsession. Even recently, when I got into trains, I looked for dinosaur themed train sets. So it’s always just there, but it’s never been set afire like this weekend.
This is the first entrance you see when you approach Dinosaur World:
It’s followed by a long, tree lined road. The trees are super tall, with hanging vines and moss. Already, things feel larger than life –you really feel like you’re driving into Jurassic Park! Then there is the main entrance:
From the moment you park, there are cute dinosaur friends to see!
This one stands right by the entrance to the gift shop, which then leads into the park:
It was all I could do not to buy everything I saw before going to the park. The gift shop was incredible, absolutely MASSIVE. I wish I’d taken more photos of it. We even came back a second time, on Saturday, so I could go through it one final time.
This is what you first see as you walk into the actual park itself:
I can’t emphasize enough how small you feel next to these things. They’re so big!
A few more dinos from this area:
Right behind them, there was a museum. I liked the museum areas a lot, but my favorite part were the life-size models.
In the museum there were animatronics, though. I loved those! Here’s a still photo of one of them:
And here is video of them all!
Now I’m just going to add a whole bunch of photos. I took too many to add commentary to everything, but I do feel all are worth sharing here.
The dinosaur you see in the last photo above was to the right of this arch. It went into a different area of the park:
See the “river” down there, near number 5? Those arches are what you see above.
The boardwalk it goes into was beautiful, kinda rickety in a good, fun way. All around you found yourself surrounded in this scenery:
To the right of the boardwalk bridge, there was this:
Some more dinos to see as you continued to walk…
Then it was time to visit the mammoths!
The covered picnic areas were cute:
Nearby, I saw a squirrel friend in their tree-stump home:
Here’s all that was to be enjoyed as you made your way to the Skeleton Garden:
Here are some photos of the Skeleton Garden:
The moss hanging everywhere really added to the atmosphere for me…
After saying goodbye to one more friendly dino, we enter the Carnivore Boardwalk…
This area was interesting. It had a sign warning that it could be too graphic for younger children. In fairness, it WAS kinda graphic, but also dynamic, detailed and extremely interesting. Some dinos were well-camouflaged, and it was fun finding them.
As you will see in the photos below, the dinosaurs were depicted hunting, fighting, and defending their nests. I’d “content warn” this, but… there were several toddlers looking at this without batting an eye, so I assume my followers can handle some dino-on-dino “gore”.
Every once in a while Christopher would take a photo of me with the models. 😊
Another photo batch…
To give you an idea of how tall some of these guys were, here I am next to one of them:
Another big batch of pics…
I even saw an Argentinean dinosaur! Given the name, I guess remains were originally found in Salta? But this wasn’t specifically clarified.
Last batch of random pictures…
And a couple more “just for fun” ones:
That was it! After this, I went absolutely bonkers in the gift shop, and I can’t wait to share what I got with you, but I’ll leave all my treasures for a separate post. This post is so, SO long already, definitely the longest ever on my blog, and it’s not even done! So… let’s move on to the next topic!
After Dinosaur World we went to a few hobby stores. One of them, Toys+, was in University Mall, and next door to the hobby store area (by the same owners) was a normal toy store. This toy store had a lot of wonderful toys, including a respectable Thomas Wooden Railway section! Unbeknownst to us this would be the best selection we would find in the entire trip. We bought two battery-operated engines here —Percy and Diesel. We didn’t buy anything else (yet) because we expected to find so much more at the train stores.
We also went to a record store, where we got a few Laserdiscs, a vinyl record of the Tales From the Crypt soundtrack, and I got a vintage kid’s magazine.
Shortly afterwards we arrived at the hotel. The town wasn’t too promising. The hotel, called The West Wing and described as a “boutique” hotel, wasn’t like, dirt cheap, but it wasn’t expensive… it seemed like a good middle-of-the-road hotel though. Despite the area it was in, from the outside it didn’t look too bad…
Later, after seeing ants all over the place, a roach, and noticing the general layout of the hotel, we noticed the old sign, which they’ve yet not managed (or bothered to) take down. 😐
So I guess this used to be a cheaper motel, with a poorly slapped-on coat of paint. 😫 I cannot recognize the shape of the logo. The top makes me think Super 8, but it’s wider? I don’t know. Anyway this kinda sucked. Because it showed, too. It doesn’t feel great to stay in a hotel where you saw a roach, and piss ants all over the tables. Plus our bed smelled like the sheets had been left sitting while damp a long time. Overall it wasn’t great, but we were happy together, and we made do.
The hallway was… creepily long.
After some rest, we changed and went to Terra Gaucha, a Brazilian steakhouse. This would be another highlight of our trip! ✨
In spite of what I read in reviews, and in spite of mask wearing, this place didn’t exactly take COVID seriously. 😅 To my horror AND delight, the buffet/salad bar was open normally! The tables were all very close together and the place was PACKED. So basically if I’m destined to get COVID I got it here, for sure. I guess time will tell.
We were already there, so I decided to just enjoy what (other than masks) really felt like a normal, pre-COVID experience. I knew that wasn’t great to encounter at this time of our country’s struggle with this disease, but I decided to let myself enjoy it and had my most enjoyable meal in probably a year or more. Definitely made up for that awful experience at Gulfstream’s Texas De Brazil.
Everything was amazing. Everything. I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore. I drank too much. I was in a stuffed, half-drunk haze of the most utter, intense bliss.
Even writing it I go back to it and I’m so glad it happened. It was an expensive meal, but it’s a memory I’ll hold very dear.
As you can see in the photo above, for dessert we had a Crème Brûlée, the most perfect one I’ve ever tasted. They knew it was our anniversary and decorated it very beautifully. It was a very nice touch:
Then we went back to the hotel and, after such a long day, finally rested, relaxed, and watched TV together on Christopher’s laptop. It was a lovely end to our tiring day. I’ll share the next one in an upcoming post!
Hello, friends, foes and strangers! Today was a good day too. Worked on art (even streamed!) exercised, did a heckton of chores and studied for the citizenship test for hours, and I also completed another route (the normal ending) for Nicola in Piofiore.
I’ve got an ✨ outfit of the day ✨ for today too:
I came across some cute chalk scribbles during my morning walk… 🌈✨💕
I also snapped photos of these pretty flowers around the neighborhood:
Over the last few days I’ve paid several more hundred worth of my debt! ✊ The lightbox has seen an update:
Tonight I’m visiting my mom. It’s her 67th birthday this week, and we celebrated tonight by going to Oggi’s, a very fancy local Italian restaurant that we had a coupon for. The entire meal was free, sans the tip. I had crab ravioli with lobster sauce. It was exquisite!
We also polished off a wine bottle between the two of us. 😅 The restaurant wasn’t very far, and we walked both ways. It brought a lot of memories. I know my mom will miss these views when she moves in with us…
Today I was able to get a hold of some Argentinian candies I have not eaten in like 10 years (some of them 20 years) so I want to talk about them in more detail in a future post. Right now I’m falling asleep so I’ll end this post here. Goodnight, everyone!
Hi everyone! 👋 It’s a brand new week. I feel like I’ve started it on the right foot –I got up really early today, at 6:00am, and went on my morning walk. I’m starting to feel in the mood to take outfit-of-the-day selfies again it seems…
As part of my morning walk I went grocery shopping. Today’s interesting find was a brand new burrowing owl nesting site. I didn’t get too close, as it’s not allowed to disturb the owls.
I had a nice snack after I got home! I was quite worn out. My bags were very heavy.
After that I worked on my “100 Days Of Warm-Ups” stuff, on housework, and I studied for the citizenship test. Then I went on another walk.
On my second walk I saw a beautiful drop of sap dripping off a tree.
I don’t know why, but I thought it was lovely, like a precious jewel…
I also saw a monarch butterfly. It was massive! But I was unable to take a photo, it was too fast, had things to do and places to be. 🦋💨
I’m sorry to make today’s post so short. It’s such a busy week and going to get busier, but I’m going to try to post every day (or just about.)
Hello everyone! My determination to get back on the healthy (er) wagon is holding up. I’m doing better. Drinking water was easier today, and I went on two walks for a total of a little under four miles. I think I’m going to stick to this “early morning and sunset” daily walks for a while. They burn a decent amount of calories when they start to stack up, and they are relaxing and not too hard to do.
This was my outfit today when I went out in the morning:
It was a little hot but just lovely outside. There were many butterflies about:
I came home to find Kotoko as I left her –slightly less paranoid but only just, and still tripping balls. Her eyes wouldn’t go back to normal:
She began to act more normal around 3pm, and now at 10pm she’s pretty close to her regular self. I’m giving her the antibiotics and tomorrow I’ll give her more painkillers.
Because she pooped all over herself at the vet’s, we decided it was cat bath weekend. I trimmed everyone’s nails, managed to get my legs shredded by Tomoyo in the process, and then we got down to business. The cats were a lot angrier than usual, probably because of the nail trimming. Rosie was so upset…
Elliot came out trembling a little, but soon recovered.
In the afternoon I finished a commission for Nero (posted earlier) began work on a commission for Koneko, took care of the snails, did the laundry, dishes, and vacuumed the upstairs, among other odds-and-ends. Then I went out on my second walk. I was almost home when I met this very friendly cat:
Then I made dinner for Christopher and myself. Breaded chicken breast and salad. It was good. Had a little coffee for dessert.
Right as I was writing this post I took this photo of two of my snails. A little milk snail was quite horny (penis out and all) and fervently harassing a poor roman snail for sexytime.
Sometimes my roman snails will humor the milk snails in these endeavors (they can’t really copulate, not usually, anyway) but this time the poor pom looked so harassed. He kept trying to get away, but the milk snail was always partially on him, so it wasn’t happening. It’s hard to ever tell what snails are thinking, but it was so clear that this guy wanted nothing with this situation, that I separated them to different corners. ^_^;
And, well! Now it’s time to get ready for bed. This week promises to be busy and exciting. So I’m going to get a good night’s sleep.
Hi all. It’s been a hot minute since I posted an outfit of the day! I felt very colorful, but walking over a mile in this got hot fast…
Anyway, today I went on a long (ish?) walk. I went to Walmart, mostly hoping to get out of a deep funk. I’m very stressed about the citizenship test. Everyone is being very encouraging, and I appreciate it. I’m having trouble with just 15 out of 100 questions (meaning, I don’t remember those 15 well enough yet.) So every day, I study them.
The problem is that even those I remember easily, I worry I’ll forget during the interview. I tend to crack under pressure. They might ask me something stupid like, “Who is the president of the United States right now?” and my brain might just decide to do this:
So, I’m doing everything in an uncomfortable fog, a daze, wanting April 21st to be here, and also to not be here. It’s stressful.
To relax, I continue playing otome games. I just finished Café Enchanté as I mentioned in an earlier post, I loved it… I’m already missing the characters. Hope a fandisc is released! And now I’m playing Piofiore: Fated Memories. I also watch old, early episodes of Thomas The Tank Engine while working, to relax. But mostly, I watch citizenship test videos on repeat while working on commissions. I don’t sleep well at night, and I’m snacking too much. Basically, I’m a hot mess. Can this be over already? 😅
Moving on… a new dinosaur train set arrived. Like usual, I’m saving it as a date night treat. The box art for this one is delightful, though!
Oh yeah. At Walmart, I got new shoos!
And! And! They light up!
In another bit of news… Our long-dreamed (and paid off) Alaskan cruise got canceled/postponed for the second time. Ah well.
It’s definitely for the best. I heard that AC got canceled too… I wonder what will happen to Megaplex.
It really seems like we are just losing another year. But we will have our little Tampa trip in ten days, at least, and if only Ragtime doesn’t get canceled again, I’ll be so happy. It’s now been moved to June, I think. Fingers crossed.
Right now we have our friend Bert staying with us. He’s staying for three nights, so for the first time, I am making regular dinners for three people. Even though I cook every night, I was really nervous about it. I want Christopher to be proud of me. I think Bert is kind of easy to impress with my low-level skills… ^_^; I can never reach my own standards, really. But if Christopher looks satisfied, then I feel very pleased.
Tonight I screwed up the sauce. Christopher had to run out to get more. I was doing well until the last minute, and felt ready to tear up as they walked through the door. But Christopher saved the day. I wish I could be a little more dependable, at least more consistently. I’m trying my best, though.
I’ve been moving the snails around again. With some of the babies a little bigger, I’m back to two tanks. The usual, big tank, and the medium tank (which had sat unused). The medium tank is in a brand new place in the house:
Tomorrow I’ll Zoom with my mom as usual. Lately it just feels like I’m getting through the days. I have a lot of head pressure, too… I’m drinking way too much coffee. I hope I’ll be feeling better in about a month’s time!
Now I’m off to get ready for bed. Tomorrow I also hope to finish a couple of commissions, finally!
Yesterday was a huge, HUGE treat of a day! Christopher took me to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, and he bought me a little train there, and a whistle, and then he took me to The Falls for a walk and lunch, and then we went to a Learning Express toy store, and to Target (where we got more trains) and to IKEA, where we got more track, and a turntable and two bridges.
The weather was cool but sunny and windy, just wonderfully pleasant. I wore Lolita, and just felt so happy, like all my bad mood of the past week melted away. It was a proper, day-long date, and I was in heaven.
🚂 The Museum 🚂
First let me tell you about the train museum. I got way too many photos:
After the area you see above, was the gift shop. They had a whole bunch of Thomas stuff! As I mentioned above, Christopher got me a little engine (James) and a whistle. I was completely shocked that he said yes to James, he was very pricey, but I was so happy and couldn’t stop looking at him the rest of the day:
What I didn’t realize is that the wrinkles weren’t only on the packaging but also on the sticker on the whistle, which is peeling right off! However, that is okay. I’m going to remove the sticker, and decorate the whistle with a Thomas-themed transfer I’ll customize myself. The whistle sounds AMAZING, better than other whistles of the same price on Amazon, and it’s still special because we got it at the museum, so I still love it. Besides, customizing it will be fun!
We also got tickets for a little train ride that I really enjoyed (this gif is from the museum’s site, but this was the train we rode):
I have to be honest, the state of the museum itself is a bit… well… there is a lot of decay and you can tell they are probably doing their best with their limited resources, but there is an abandoned feeling to some parts of it. Nevertheless, being able to step inside these pieces of history is incredible to me:
This was one of my favorites because it was so bright. It’s the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) Caboose #0322:
That one in which I am sitting, you had to climb on, and it was pretty steep!
The Caboose was built in 1923 at the ACL Shops in Waycross, Georgia. It weighs 5 tons, and carried a pot-bellied stove, kerosene lamps, and leather cushions for seating. The Caboose was used on the rear of freight trains throughout ACL’s System.
This is the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Passenger Coach #136:
Built in the 1920s, the FEC #136 played a role in the evacuation of a portion of the Florida Keys as part of preparations for the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.
The FEC #136 is an open air coach, that was typically used during the winter months. It was in passenger service between Jacksonville, KeyWest, and Havana. The FEC #136 was built in 1925 and retired in 1958.
These photos are just random ones that I couldn’t fit anywhere else:
One of my favorites was the U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436:
The U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436 operated as a hospital car, or ‘moving hospital,’ during World War II. The car was to carry one doctor, two nurses, four service personnel, and could carry up to 33 patients. It was majorly used to move military patients between medical facilities.
It was originally built in 1945 by the American Car & Foundry Co.
This is the only car we couldn’t see the inside of, unfortunately. It is the Presidential Pullman Passenger Car “Ferdinand Magellan” U.S. Car #1:
The Ferdinand Magellan is unique among Pullman railroad cars in that it is the only car ever custom built for the President of the United States.
Originally built in 1928, the Ferdinand Magellan was one of the last cars ever built as a private car and was one of a group of six cars named after famous explorers.These cars were all placed in the Pullman general service pool at about the same time and were operated by the Pullman Company over many of the nation’s railroads.
I really wish we could have seen the very fancy inside, but I guess in order to protect the historic artifacts/car, you had to go back inside and ask for a special tour of $5.00 per person. I think Christopher would have said yes if I asked, and I did want to see it, but felt too lazy to go back for that –I guess I didn’t want to see badly enough. 😅
Nothing of what we saw beat the steam locomotives. That was UNREAL. These are the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Steam Locomotive #153 AND #113:
FEC 153 was one of a group of 7 pacifics (151-157) built by ALCO in 1922. The FEC Locomotive #153 served on the Florida East Coast Railway from 1922 to 1938. It even pulled a train carrying president Calvin Coolidge to Miami in 1928!
FEC #113 was one of a group of 60 pacifics (77-136) built by ALCO between 1910 and 1917. It was used in regular revenue service over the entire Florida East Coast Railroad.
The couple of photos below are from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259:
The SAL Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259 was called the “combine”, because the car is part baggage cart and part passenger coach. The car is Also known as a “Jim Crow” car because of its segregated seating areas. 18 seats in the front section and 24 in the rear section.
It was rather jarring to bump into someone wearing a Trump/MAGA facemask as we stepped out of this train and they stepped in. Through the window, I saw the woman taking a photo of the man in this mask seemingly by the area where the “white” sign was. It was just kinda sobering.
Here are a few more photos that I didn’t know where else to fit:
And that was that for the train museum. Afterwards, we went to The Falls!
A full year of Covid has had an effect on The Falls. Much was closed or under construction, and due to the latter, my two favorite areas of the mall were destroyed, basically. Everything felt just a little bit more in decay. But there were still cats. This one was very friendly:
We ate at BJ’s. Food options were reduced, on the whole. BJ’s is just “ok”. We enjoyed our meal.
I ordered a sandwich and fries, it was okay, I didn’t eat much of it. It ended up being too heavy/rich.
After that we went to Learning Express (didn’t find anything too interesting) and to Target, where we got a bunch of Battat trains (I don’t think Christopher knew the brand; it was Battat) and I got these little food trucks which don’t fit on the rails obviously but that’s fine, trucks don’t go on rails:
They will be a fine addition to my “towns”. 😁
Target did have a lot of Thomas but it was the plastic motorized garbage. 😞
After that we went to IKEA for more track, and then home. And that was the end of our outing. It really was wonderful, though I am still tired, even today! That’s probably due to my period, too, though. Now I have to start my day properly, and get housework, art, and exercise done.
Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!