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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. My son, who is usually such a picky eater that he won't even take condiments -- not even catsup! -- on his hamburgers surprised me the other day. I'd made tandoori chicken for dinner and, ahead of serving dinner, had him try it.

I fully expected him to spit it out and ask for a sandwich. Instead, he gave it two thumbs up and wanted that for dinner.

So yes, Mr. plain hamburger went for chicken that requires an overnight yogurt marinade with eleven spices.

Whatever. I'll take the win.

2. Should you ever find yourself in the First Coast region of Florida, as the area around Jacksonville and St. Augustine is known, let me recommend spending some time at the Alligator Farm near St. Augustine.

This private zoo, which is also an over century-old historic site, has something for everyone, from live feedings every few hours to a wide variety of other animals. The small beer garden there is quite pleasant, too.

Our modern oracle, Wikipedia, elaborates:
As of 2012, this was the only place where one can see every species of alligator, crocodile, caiman and gharial. Over the years, the zoo has expanded to include exotic monkeys, birds, and other reptiles. The bird collection alone boasts some species not often seen in other zoos, including hornbills, cassowary, marabou, Cape griffon vultures and Pesquet's parrots. In 2008, the zoo opened a new Komodo dragon facility that also exhibits lizards and snakes found within the range of the saltwater crocodile. [links omitted]
We took the kids there for the second time a couple of weeks ago, and finally got to see the cassowary, which I'd wanted to since hearing the species described as "the world's most dangerous bird."

It was an overcast day and it rained, but we had umbrellas. And I'd say such a day might be the best time to visit during the summer, as it gets quite hot and humid in this part of Florida on the sunny days. My kids begged to leave after barely an hour there on our first visit, which was on a sunny, humid day.

This time was much, much better.

3. Hooray! Both of my kids enjoyed the first Harry Potter movie, which we watched as a family one weekend evening. My daughter had seen the first four already, so the real occasion was that my son had now also reached what I'd regard as a minor milestone of intellectual and emotional sophistication.

Early childhood has its moments, but I have been looking forward for some time to being able to share things like this with both of my kids.

4. I'll sign off with another recommendation for a First Coast gem, Sweet Pete's candy store, in downtown Jacksonville. We heard that the place gave a good tour of their kitchen and had a good on-site restaurant, making it a good day trip. The following comes from their web site:
Sweet Pete's is the largest candy store in the southeast. Located in an historic 22,000 square foot mansion in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, Sweet Pete's not only offers thousands of varieties of candy and hand crafted chocolates, but we bring guests into the candy making experience. Each day, Sweet Pete's hosts candy classes, parties and field trips where candy lovers from all over learn about candy. Families and friends come to Sweet Pete's to taste great candy and share a unique experience.
Before it relocated to its current facilities, the company was experiencing difficulties, which appear to have been largely resolved following a feature on the series The Profit. The embedded video above is a ten-minute summary of that episode produced by CNBC.

-- CAV

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