Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Picnic in the Park

Wednesday, September 03, 2014
In the beginning of summer, we found this Significant Trees Map of Orlando. We've been waiting for cooler weather to explore the different parks in our city. With the onset of cool breezes after sunset and the smell of autumn at 7 am, we couldn't wait too much longer and had to start. One is two blocks from our house, the other is across from my museum (we do weddings there!), and one hosts Orlando's oldest tree that is almost 400 years old!

We took a cool Sunday morning as an opportunity to visit a quiet park on a lake with Mordechai bringing along a picnic. We woke up early and after a morning walk with sleepy eyes, I made a quiche, sauteeing shallots and mushrooms, and even cooking with romanesco for the first time. S made a strawberry basil soda for us, and I warmed some almond waffles that I made earlier in the week. We brought water for Mordechai and a typical mornings earl grey tea for me. With all of the commotion of having an anniversary party in May, moving house in July, and adopting a dog in August, cooking brings back a sense of routine, somewhat therapeutic and certainly calming. I love entertaining guests for that reason: bringing loved ones into your home for what would have been a routine dinner without their company. One of my favorite bloggers, cookbook authors, and mother of seven, Mimi Thorisson says it wonderfully in a recent post of hers:
So we had this idea to throw one final glorious feast the Sunday before, cook everything that was missing from the book and have a blast of a time. And we did. We invited some of our favorite people and I started at the stove. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful feast. Of course it wasn’t seamless, we had a few mini-crisis. There were no cèpes to be found, the weather was fickle at best, Oddur forgot to buy gambas. In the end it all worked out, our friends unexpectedly brought the gambas, our other friends, the snail farmers sorted out the cèpes. Even the weather showed a kind side. If there was ever a “Manger event”, this was it. Oddur jumping on tables to photograph, dogs stealing food, more wine than perhaps was necessary and so much food that everyone left happy and heavy. - Mimi Thorisson, Manger blog
Mordechai, having never been exposed to a park or wildlife in his life, saw a bird up close for the first time, and heard the lake water lapping up on the shore. With every splash, he turned his head to see who was there. On the dock, he curiously stared at the water below. When we got home, he slept for hours, perhaps dreaming about his morning of firsts. When he finally got up, he stretched for miles from his tail to his toes.

After years of visiting parks and having picnics with S as just us two, this time we're visiting parks and having picnics as a few. Having Mordechai gives us an excuse to explore our city and re-visit our favorite areas with a new mindset. Having Morty has definitely been eye-opening and refreshing. The tail-wagging when we come home is pretty great too.  

17 comments :

  1. I love all these stories about showing Mordechai the world! When my husband and I had our first-born pup, I remember taking her down to the river by our apartment and just watching her head turn back and forth, back and forth taking it all in. Dogs are the best, aren't they?

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    1. thanks lauren! even though he's three, so much is still new to him! dogs really are so great, i love being the one to show him how great retirement can be.

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  2. Look at your cuties! So sweet and touching to hear Mordechai's reaction to the water and the outdoors. It reminds me of that video of the Beagles feeling grass for the first time after being rescued from a testing facility. Tears! AND I HAVE THE SAME BLANKET!! Old school Harry Potter merchandise for the win!! xoxo

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    1. omg i have never seen that video before but i just looked it up and oh boy did it bring tears to my eyes. those beagles are so cute! and that is too funny about the blanket! it's awesome for picnics xo

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  3. oh that is so sweet. i love that you also get to see the world with new eyes through mordechai. i am so glad you rescued him! he just looks like he belongs with you two. xo

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    1. i'm so glad we rescued him too! he's so friendly he belongs in a word full of people he can be loved by.

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  4. Who knew about that map!!! Wish I had a chance to check that out while I was home. :)

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    1. it's so great! next time you come home you'll have to check some of the trees out!

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  5. I really enjoy reading your posts about Mordechai <3 I am so glad you rescued him & he's able to experience all these new adventures. :)

    oh and I couldn't help but notice your harry potter blanket! Love it!

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    1. thanks melissa! he seems like he gets bored easily (still getting to know him) so i'm happy that he's up for a good adventure!

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  6. I love these photos, so gorgeous. And how cute is Mordechai? Besides having the coolest name, of course. x

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    1. thanks joana! i think he's totally cute too, but i am bias! and his name came from a movie! glad you like it as much as we do!

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  7. What gorgeous photographs! Did you use the 50mm lens for this? I'm so very bad with my 50mm (and have gotten really, really bad at taking my camera out at all)

    Reading your words about Mordechai make my toes curl up in happy. <3

    Also: vintage HP blanket! Props.

    x

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    1. thanks risha! i actually used my stock lens for this. i love my 50mm lens but because it's prime, i find it's not as flexible with photos and composition.

      i love that the harry potter blanket is getting so much love!

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  8. That first picture is just awesome. You should put it in a frame!

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    1. thanks megan! i definitely want that one as a keepsake!

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  9. I totally agree, cooking brings peace and comfort to the daily craziness :-) Love Mimi's blog and can't wait to get her new book!

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