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While everyone else is playing games back at the house, I’ve come out with the human female, the Blue-haired Godddaughter, and her mother. We’re having a little shopping expedition, and it’s such fun!
We’re in this beautiful, fancy shop. I was here before, once, but I didn’t take any pictures then. I didn’t think the shopkeepers would like it. This location is going out of business soon, though, and the clerks all seem more open and talkative today, as if they don’t have to be so fancy anymore. I’m sad the shop is closing, but not sad that all the deliciousness is on closeout sale.
This store reminds me of Aladdin’s cave–if the cave were full of oil and vinegar! Really! That’s almost all they sell!
The fun part is that you can take tastes of all the different things! Look! They have toothpicks and little bread cubes you can dip.
I didn’t know there were so many different kinds of oil. And not just plain oil, either–they have different flavors!
And look at all the different kinds of vinegar! How fun is this?
I want to try the elderflower apple lime. (dip, nibble, nibble…) Hmm. The elderflower part is nice, and the apple is nice, but I’m not sure about the lime… The strawberry-rhubarb is terrific, though!
Isn’t this pretty? A lot of the oils and vinegars are in big cruets on the wall and you buy a bottle and fill it up. If you bring back an empty bottle, you can fill it for less than buying a new one. Very clever!
Oooh! What’s over here?
Different kinds of maple syrple! (dip, nibble, nibble…) Oh, the Festivus one is good–it has cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg! Oh, shoot! now I’m craving pancakes!
What’s over on this shelf? Mmm. All kinds of toppings and spreads…
Everywhere I look, there’s something I want to try! (See for yourself!)
Ooh! Pretty rainbow box!
It’s a whole selection of chocolate! I can see they have the individual bars for sale, too. What a neat idea!
Double shoot! Now I want chocolate pancakes!
The humans are off to the Big City to the North, having plans to meet up with some of their friends. I know, I know–it always surprises me that they have friends all over the state. I suppose spreading them around means that none of them has to put up with the pair of them for very long at a time. But I digress.
At any rate, the plan proposes games, eating, more games, more eating, some shopping, a moderate amount of alcohol, quite a bit of laughing, and a bit more eating to round out the visit. The car is loaded with games and a bag of two of comestibles to contribute to the gastronomic excesses.
The Big City to the North is considerably farther away from the Big City to the South. Sigyn and the human female, being of limited bladdular capacity, have requested what the humans crudely term a “pit stop” to interrupt the journey.
I’m not enthusiastic. Not only do I have a godly capacity when it comes to holding my beverages, I know from previous cross-country expeditions with the humans that roadside rest stops tend to be exactly as named—little better than actual pits.
Sweet glittering Bifrost! This is a far, far cry from most of the ugly concrete bungalows that dot the rest of the state!
This looks more like a destination than a waystation! The sprawling complex houses historical displays and in addition to some truly palatial toiletting facilities.
Outside, overlooks, bird-watching spots, walking trails, and greenery cover the grounds. There is even some theme-y art.
Sigyn says she didn’t know that bison were so tall.
She’s also exited to see that, despite the excellent state of repair of this whole place, the grounds-keeping staff have not been too punctilious in their duties.
There are some very cheerful and sit-able dandelions in the flower beds.
I, on the other hand, have great hopes for some of the wetter, wilder bits of this place…
The humans can continue on. I think Sigyn and I are biding here for a while!
The humans have discovered that the Big City to the South now has one of the markets that is a Purveyor of All Things Cute and Japanese. Sigyn and I liked the one we went to in the Big City to the West.
Sigyn is beyond delighted! This little puzzle has two of her favorite things–
Totoros and poofy dandelions. Not to mention Soot Sprites!
And this one has Totoros and strawberries. Definitiely “squee-worthy!”
The store is not all cutesy-wootsey, though. In the back there appears to be a congregation of spikey monsters.
“Don’t touch the display?” I don’t think there’s any danger of our wanting to do that!
Sigyn, I know you like to make friends, but I think this is one critter you don’t want to try to hug…
Munch, chat, munch, chat, make kitchen mess, munch, clean up kitchen mess, chat. The humans have been snacking all day. They never got around to playing games, or inking up all the fountain pens, or watching a movie, or reading a book to the littles. Nope, nope, nope.
Aha! This is more like it! After so much inactivity, they have energized themselves to go DO something! What will it be? A walk in the neighborhood? Gaming with friends. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But, no!
They are going out to eat.
There is a Greek Restaurant that the Knittery Friend’s family says is pretty good. The human female, having once dated someone of an Attic persuasion, knows a thing or two about Greek cuisine, and I, being a god, have been invited to more than one banquet on Olympus, so let’s just say that judgment is being reserved…
Here’s the menu.
I find the quotes worrisome…
There appears to be a selection of appetizers.
Sigyn is not a fan of eating octopi (except the candy sort), because they are smart, so we may have to try something else.
Hmm. What to choose, what to choose? Pastitsio is nice, if done well.
I am considering ordering the Spinach, Walnut, and Raspberry salad for the human female, just so I can see her swell up and wheeze.
There’s a separate menu of specials.
I sincerely hope that “Half-baked Lemon Chicken” is a typo, or Salmonella, here we come.
The human male has ordered some fried calamari for the table.
Sigyn adores calamari. I’ve convinced her that calamari is a type of squash so she won’t feel bad about enjoying it. No one clue her in, all right?
Here is the human female’s chicken gyro. She is deducting five points for the onions being raw, rather than grilled, as advertised.
I am adding five points for the fun of watching the human female deconstruct her meal to pick them out.
The “rice casserole” side dish is simply rice and spinach with a little onion. I’m not sure I trust it.
Fortunately, it tastes better than it looks.
The Knittery Friend has ordered the stuffed grape leaves. Usually, these are dainty little morsels.
The human female has hoovered all of hers, but the Knittery Friend is going home with round, green leftovers.
It’s been foggy a lot in this part of Midgard lately. The humans have ventured out on a rare sunny day to see what’s going on in the local woods.
By Idunn’s little apples! There is a ubiquitous abundance of holly berries this year!
It’s not just hollies that can be dangled in.
Camphorweed does just as well. Sigyn is beyond excited–we’ve been here scarcely a quarter of an hour and she’s had the chance to dangle in plants with both her favorite colors!
(poke, poke, poke.) Not all plants are large enough to climb in, though. This one is growing right in the middle of the trail, and it’s very, very teeny.
Sigyn has fallen in love with it. Don’t hug it, Sweetie. The human female says it can have spiny fruit.
Oooo! We have found A Mysterious Hole in this creek bank!
I wouldn’t go in, if I were you… But, human female–you feel free to stick a finger in and tell us if there’s a snake or sharp-toothed rodent or something in there, all right?
We’ve been walking and poking at things for a while now. Time for a rest.
My sleep number is “moss.”
Clever Sigyn has found a different moss.
Sigyn doesn’t know if this one’s a moss or a liverwort.
All this green stuff looks alike to me. Possibly one of the human female’s plant-nerd friends could sort them out, but I really don’t care.
We’re headed to the Sedge Meadow. I like the Sedge Meadow. It’s all green and dapply.
Sweet Glittering Bifrost! What’s this?
I had heard the City was Doing Something, but I wasn’t sure what…
But, since I’m a god, barricades and notices don’t apply to me. Come along, Sigyn. Leave the puny mortals here obeying all the signs like good little sheep and let’s you and I keep going.
Have fun staring at the signage! We’re going to go pet sedges.
It’s our last day, so to help distract us from the giant elephant in the room of having to return home tomorrow, we have scheduled one last big adventure.
Sigyn has never flown in a hot-air balloon, and neither have I.
It will be a good way to survey the surrounding countryside, and with my magic, there’s no danger that we will crash or drift out to see or some such foolishness . See if you can find us one whose gondola is not already full of Victorian cosplayers.
(later) That was quite fun! We shall have to do it again sometime soon.
We do not have time for a visit to the botanical garden, but we can certainly spend some pleasant moments strolling in this grove of glitter pines.
Sigyn really likes them, because they are *SpArkLy* and essentially red and yellow. Ehehehe–think how awful one would look in the human female’s yard… It just might be time to do a little guerilla gardening…
Uh, oh. Sigyn, I think we may have strayed into a part of town that is not so nice… There’s no need to fear, since I have my magic and my dagger (and many other weapons secreted about my person), but let us pay attention and remain aware of our surroundings as we work our way back to the camper.
Norns’ nighties! I think this poor fellow has been the victim of a mugging!
Run and fetch help whilst I try to stop his hemorrhage.
Ugh. This is not how I wanted to end our trip. Hang on, fellow. Help is coming.
(a bit later)
Yes, officer, I “just happened” to come upon the poor, late Mister Frosty.
Yes, I had a dagger, but it was out because this is a shady part of town and I surmised—correctly, I might add— that you boys in blue have not been diligent in keeping up patrols in the area. If anyone’s to blame, it’s you.
Yes, officer, there is blood on my cloak, but only because I stopped to render aid. Is that not the correct thing to do in these parts?
Look, I know that I do have a bit of a reputation for mayhem and violence, but ask anyone: I only visit such upon those who have wronged me, and I’ve never
tasted seen the poor fellow before.
No, I would not like to accompany you down to any station to answer any more questions. I am a god, you dull creature, and I am done with answering questions. I have NOT stabbed anyone today, but if you annoy me further, that might change. Cease casting your aspersions upon my honor or I shall leave you with a wound which you can compare to the deceased’s.
Come, Sigyn, we are teleporting home. I’m sorry that our vacation has had to end upon such a sad and sour note. Think of hot air balloons, sparkly trees, cat-shaped mugs, cozy campers, furry deer, and strolls along the canal.
Next year, we are definitely going back to doing the glass museum instead.
I am SO glad we decided to go on vacation this year. It is six kinds of restful, this being away from the humans and the felines! We are enjoying our cozy camper (last night I magicked up a ball pit and Sigyn had the best time, swimming around and giggling.)
Still, it wouldn’t be Yule if my beloved didn’t get a dose of glass somewhere, so today we have arranged to tour a glass factory. I’m not quite sure what sort of glass objects they make. Sigyn is hoping it’s glass paperweights, since those are her favorites. I just hope it is not something yawn-inducing, like peteri dishes or those razor-edged rectangles of death that come in dollar store picture frames.
Great Frigga’s corset! This bodes ill. This is a candleholder factory, and Sigyn has a bad, bad record with these…
Well, this is not too bad.
Ehehehe. Peekaboo, indeed. You cutie, you.
Uh, oh. I knew it.
Sigyn, my love, come out of there! I’m sure the nice factory workers would really rather you not put nose smudgies on their wares.
Even if it is a very cute nose.
Aaargh! Right from one predicament to another.
I swear to Gungnir, I turn my back for one minute…
This hangy-dangle globe is going to take more than a little work to get you out of. I’ve got to figure out what needs to happen first. Does the globe lift off or twist? Is there a way out of the bottom, or have we got to get you out of the top? And how did you get in there in the first place?
Hang on, sweetie. Loki’s coming.
We slept very well in our cozy little camper last night. Of course, the fact that I conjured up a very soft and downy featherbed, a two-person bathtub, and a breakfast of crepes and fresh fruit just added to its charm.
So now we sally forth to see what delights this charming town has to offer. It’s supposed to have a famous open-air market in the square, so that’s where we are headed first.
Sigyn is beside herself! This farmer breeds an extraordinary sort of reindeer, one with a long and silky coat that he sells as fleeces or which his wife spins into yarn.
They have brought one of the beasts with them and Sigyn is losing no time making friends. I suspect we will be tarrying here for a while…
Look, Sigyn! This next stall seems to carry a lot of merchandise that looks like your friend Muffy.
Pick her out a nice souvenir and I will magically post it back to her. (I’m not trusting anything to Fed Up and Exhausted!)
Ehehehe! I should have known!
We may have been deprived of seeing glass in the museum, but if there are glass paperweights or snowglobes anywhere, you can be sure my beloved will find them! That gingerbread fellow is almost as tall as you!
Oh, now isn’t that cute?
Sigyn says this mug reminds her of the Terror Twins back home. She wants to know if I miss them. Sweetie, last night’s dinner was the first I’ve had without cat hair in months. No, I don’t miss them. But I do wonder if Taffy is still sleeping on the human female’s head, the way I’ve been teaching her? (I don’t have to actually be present to annoy the human female!)
Longtime readers will recall that, in lieu of exchanging gifts, Sigyn and I often do something particularly fun for Yule. Typically, we sneak into one of the museums on campus and look at all the lovely glass.
This year, we found the museum minus any exhibits–I think they must be changing things around. Sigyn was crestfallen for a moment, until I suggested something completely different. A Yule/New Year vacation!
So we have left the humans and the Terror Twins behind, and we have struck out on our own. I have transported us to a lovely little village where we will sleep in and eat fun things and look at pretty scenery and not be bothered with the mortals at all.
Sigyn is very excited. She can’t decide what she wants to do first–take a cruise on the canal, go for a bike ride, or poke about in shops.
First, though, we should secure lodgings. I didn’t wish to book online, as I wanted to have a look first. My love, let us take a stroll and see what our options are.
Sigyn thinks this rustic little cabin is “quaint.”
Dearest, I think we can do better than “quaint.” Besides, those windows look a bit charred. I suspect the snow is hiding some recent fire damage…
This place looks to be in better repair. See? That red-suited fellow is washing the windows and repointing the brickwork.
But it’s tiny, and who knows what else need fixing in there?
Oh, this looks like a well-kept establishment!
Smart paintwork and nice decorations, if a trifle overdone. Looks like it’s composed of several adjoining town homes, like the hotel we stayed at in London. Do you want to book a room now, my petal, or keep looking?
Sigyn wishes to keep looking. She says she’ll know it when she sees it. She wants something “cozy and unusual and festive.” Very well, my love, onward!
She’s found it!
It’s perfect, dearest! I shall magic up our luggage forthwith!