Monday, August 13, 2007
It was a lovely (muggy) beautiful (crowded) entertaining (bug infested) evening. My Guy was so impressed with the place that he wanted to come back, but only when half of South Florida decided to leave the fair grounds. Who knew that so many Floridians were interested in Japanese culture? Other than the sushi place in Pineapple Grove, it's pretty much ignored here.
So we entered, armed with Skin So Soft. (That was the best idea of the night. Thank you Ray's pants for having pockets big enough to stash the bottle) (Thank you bottle for not leaking on Ray's new cargos) (No thanks to knit halter top for jumping out at me in my closet earlier that day. What in the Hot as Helios was I thinking?)
The Taiko drums were blaring, but we didn't panic, there was another showing at 8:30. We immediately went to buy the lanterns that were placed on the water at dusk and floated out onto the lake, honoring the dead. They were sold out, but very thoughtfully offered pieces of paper to write a name and message on that we could then fold up and place in the community boat that was to be floated out with the lit singletons. We bought one for Michael and Mom did one for her parents and aunt and uncle.
Drink and food was next on the priority list - in that order. It was so hot out (heat index of 106 degrees) that we decided not to drink alcohol as dehydration probably would have killed us inside of three minutes in the crowded oven we were calling the Food Fair. We stood in line for two minutes (I know it doesn't sound long but it is...remember...106 degrees - no breeze) and found out at the front that we needed tickets. Grr. Off to the equally long line for tix. Back to the Lemonade Stand. Freshly squeezed, yes. Full of ice and not much liquid, yes. Asked for light ice and immediately regretted drinking warmade for the next five minutes, yes. Came with a decorative half squeezed lemon, yes. Removed when found circle of mold on said half rind, yes. Immediately saw that lemon was taking up half the volume of the drink, yes. Felt cheated for a half glass of three dollar lemon water, check.
No worries! On to the food!
Oh, look. Another long line.
Teriyaki, Yakitori, Soba Noodles. Hot food, hot food, aaaannnnndddd hot food. Hmm, no light and delightful sushi. In retrospect, a brilliant idea not to tempt fate by poisoning half of Florida with heated, ptomaine-laced, raw fish. Those poor bastards behind the woks were sweating like whores in church. So we had the beef teriyaki, not bad at all. And a pant-load of food for six bucks...err, I mean, tickets.
Off to the dance pavilion to watch the traditional gardening dance and fisherman dance (the only difference between the two line dances was the "hoeing" action and the "reeling in the net" action. That held our attention for all of seven minutes. We needed a break from the heat and went inside the awesome museum section. Coolth (Mom's word) and art. Those two things go together very nicely, indeed. Loved the stuff we saw in there, however, no cameras allowed. Not good for the 700 hundred year old scrolls and such.
Back outside to see the last Taiko drum performance. So. Amazing. The sound really does just jump from organ to organ in your chest. I didn't even mind the toad that jumped in my purse - big loves to My Guy for removing that warty creature.
It was dark by then and the lanterns were launched. It was really tranquil; there was quiet, Zen-like music in the background and everyone had a reverent feeling about them. It was crowded, but space was respected. I wish the pictures could have done the moment more justice, but you all have imaginations.
The fireworks show was going to start in ten minutes and My Guy, looking only slightly sheepish, said to us, "Fireworks next, huh? Ummm....we've all seen fireworks before right? Flashes in the sky, the oohs, the ahhs. Yeah. Do, umm, we need to, you know, see them again?" Both Mom and I fought to say it first.
HAHAHA! It was nice, but clearly, we'd all had enough. That, and we were parked at the waaaaayback of the lot. We darted out of there, dropped off Mom at home and headed to Sushi Jo for cold sake, the sashimi appetizer and air-conditioning, blessed air-conditioning. The evening ended perfectly.