I find myself at City Centre Mall walking every level to see what catches my eye — a lot of little Daiso-inspired shops, Lush outlet with naked (plastic-free) products, Cioccolat Italiani where they put melted chocolate in the cone before topping with gelato, other body outlets with soaps and lotions (that I have plenty of) but not the shampoo I like, and a bookstore where I can add books to my to-read list and soon my to-read-on-kindle list so that all the horizontal surfaces in the house aren’t covered with books.
Lunch with Said will be at Ric’s Kountry Kitchen and we are one of four customers in the place sans bunnies and chickens that used to roam the front yard. We talk about work and the hassle of being an entrepreneur, the lessons learned in marriage, thoughts about having kids, spending time with family, and knowing when to stay in or where to travel to next. I didn’t go to my high school reunion but it’s an experiment in nature vs nurture in seeing how kids that spent so much time together adult differently. Even though I’ve been gone three years it seems a lot has changed (relationships and jobs) while everything has stayed the same (constant moving and remodeling).
I’m not home long before Ozzy messages me to join him on a trip to Avenues Mall. We park by the long entrance to the Four Seasons and walk around the canal that still has bridges and buildings under construction so that we can see the purple, blue, and yellow lights from the walkway, cranes, and lampposts reflect off the water as the sun sets. Once darkness arrives we meander up to the 5-star hotel to enjoy the greenery lining the way amongst their three outdoor pools — all with a guy on watch to make sure we don’t do anything silly (which happened at the Ritz).
I’m usually up for trying new things — except a hotdog at Ric’s and a meal at Raising Cane’s that consists mostly of fried chicken. We opt for Blaze Pizza instead and the lady preparing my half pizza and side salad asks if I’m “veagen” as I order cheese with both so I tell her, “mostly”. We had plans to walk off our meal and actually look around inside this time, but Ozzy’s work called so that just gives us a reason to go back.