Here we are still at my mom's on day twelve, taking in the many sights of Venice, FLA. Yesterday's as-yet-unrecorded event was our first meal at Sonny's, a Florida barbecue chain that my mom and her husband frequent and my boys LOVE. No small part of the appeal of Sonny's is the seizing of many packets of crackers from the salad bar and subsequent crafting of makeshift appetizers using said crackers and the multiple flavors of BBQ sauce available on the tables chez Sonny. Ike can be shown fashioning one of these humble amuses-bouche in the top photo above. I like to get a pulled-pork sandwich on garlic toast, which Sonny's offers with a side dish and drink for an insanely low price. This meal is delicious but makes one want to eat raw kale salad for several meals afterwards in penance.
Today, we went down to Manasota Beach in the morning; the trip was a bust. One of the kids had open cuts on her body, which were aggravated by the salt water. Another of the kids (Oscar) was more interested in the outdoor sand-removal showers than in the ocean itself. Only Ike saw the charm in the particular surf offered by Manasota, which I found just dandy: gentle swells, which could be floated in to replicate the sensation of being rocked like a little baby. *sigh* But insufficient to propel a boogie-board, so sub-par for the little-boy set.
Our afternoon outing was to the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, which was just grand. Above, Ike is displaying the seahorse tank. He is, in fact, attempting to pose in such a way that the seahorses appear to be resting in the palm of his hand, which has become a photographic meme on this trip. We have taken numerous pictures in which one or both of the kids appears to be presenting some interesting sight like one of the ladies on The Price Is Right. They never get the hand positioning quite right. We saw, among other things, convict fish, sharks, cephalopods, pompano, a preserved giant squid that should be nicknamed Dirk Diggler if it isn't already, dolphins and two manatees, which are my favorites. They look so blobby and unformed, like a rough draft for some more articulated sea mammal. Oscar looks miserable in front of the manatees because a thunderstorm began mid-visit, and he spent half of the visit covering his ears and fretting about being hit by lightning. His spirits were lifted by his post-aquarium haircut: a long-desired mohawk, crafted by the fine people at SuperCuts. He now looks just as though his mother secretly thinks she lives in Brooklyn and pops next door to borrow a cup of sugar from Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Also, today we saw baby seahorses the size of fingernail clippings. AMAZING.