I was less sad than I anticipated to check out of Star Island this morning, probably because I knew we’d be visiting with Octavia later that afternoon. I’m so glad that she lives so close to our route home from Orlando!
After Chooch said goodbye to all of his duck-friends (one of which he inexplicably named Tampon), we stopped at Market on South to pick up some doughnuts to take with us to Octavia’s. It’s a shared space for Valhalla Bakery and Dixie Dharma, both vegan, and I’ve been wanting to stop there ever since I stumbled across them on Instagram. Not a big doughnut connoisseur but these ones looked like something I needed to try.
We were all in the mood for savory breakfast fare so after we scooped up a half dozen doughnuts, we went a few blocks down the street to Se7en Bites, which proved to be something like the 3rd time in 5 years that Yelp actually helped us without either leading us astray or causing us to breakup, but mostly both.
It was pretty crowded but we only had to stand in line for about 5 minutes before it was our turn to order, and the girl at the counter was extremely helpful and guided me through the unlisted vegetarian options, so I got to save that anxiety attack for another day.
I went with the vegetarian savory m bread pudding, which was lodes with fresh veggies and drenched under a poncho of hollandaise. It was so much better than what I would normally get stuck with at a basic diner or chain restaurant….
….which meant that Chooch hated his breakfast sandwich. Oh my god you guys, it had a huge sausage frisbee, a thick square of fresh egg, PIMENTO CHEESE, all on one mother-whompin’ homemade biscuit. OH THE HORROR. He sullenly moved it around on his plate with his fork while reading off his list of complaints for each component.
Boy’s palate is basic AF.
(Octavia’s daughter rotates between calling him “Chooch” and “Boy” so now I can’t stop calling him Boy.)
But I didn’t care because birthday’s over, sonny boy. So stoked to have a breakfast that wasn’t soaked in grease, a bowl of cereal, or a piece of toast.
Also? NUTELLA COFFEE.
Fuck IHOP, go to Se7en Bites. It’s worth it just to ogle their pastry counter, holy shit.
If anyone is wondering what Henry had, assuming he has any fans after he pooped on the Publix parade, it was something I didn’t pay attention to plus Chooch’s untouched breakfast sandwich.
Nothing too exciting happened on our drive except that Henry refused to take a detour through St. Augustine. OH WE CAN STOP SO HENRY CAN GET PECANS BUT WE CANT STOP TO SEE THE WORLDS OLDEST RUG MADE FROM CAT HAIR AND OH YEAH ITS ALSO CURSED?!
Whatever Henry wants.
After about four hours, we made it to Octavia’s house in Georgia and Chooch left us in the dust—we were still getting out of the car and he was already in the house!
Man, was it good to be there again. It’s hard to find the right words to explain Octavia and Tallulah; it’s like they were plucked right out of a Hans Christian Anderson-imagined glowing forest of paper lanterns and fireflies. Being around them makes me want to eat sugar cookies on a toadstool. It’s so easy and delightful, plus Octavia had a buffet of sandwiches (pimento cheese, OH NOES Chooch; and PB&J), crudités, grape leaves, caprese, and tabouli — she spoils us!
Chooch learning how to play Octavia’s jam–Fallout. I’m not one for video games but she got me excited about it too! Then we went outside and Henry sat alone in her living room, quietly playing Fallout. I bet this was probably the most relaxing time head all week.
Meanwhile, Octavia was excitedly explaining her vegetable garden plans (PURPLE CARROTS?!) and teaching us about black widows. I always learn stuff from her! She’s a great conversationalist. When people come to my house, I’m usually all “LISTEN TO THIS BAND. I HAVE CATS. HERE ARE MY CATS. LOOK AT MY CATS. I LIKE CLOWNS.”
They played the most adorable game of hide n seek with Chooch’s Thing 1 plush. I think Chooch secretly liked the attention Tallulah give him.
HENRY, THE RELAXED MODEL. COMES WITH A VIDEO GAME CONTROLLER AND WHITE NOISE.
Oh and those donuts were goddamn amazing. JUST LIKE THE WHOLE AFTERNOON. Henry cut them all up so we could have a donut sampling party, and Octavia poured us all frosty glasses of milk. So perfect! But then after a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star jam session and one last puppet show, it was time for us to leave.
Saying goodbye was really dumb and stupid. :(
But in non-goodbye news, we listened to the Pens-Caps Stanley Cup playoff game in the car and checked into a hotel in Columbia, SC in just enough time to watch the last 5 minutes. PENS WON!
I just realized that we didn’t fight at all today. NONE OF US! Except for when I told Chooch he ruined my life by not being more adventurous with food and he was like I TRIED IT BUT I DIDNT LIKE IT and Henry was like STOP IT BOTH OF YOU and then I was like, to Henry, MAYBE IF YOU HADNT BOUGHT HIM M&Ms BEFORE BREAKFAST…
Oh wait, hahaha, it’s all coming back to me now. We fought the entire time we were loading up the car before checking out of the resort, and then Chooch and I were fighting while I was taking that first picture up there. So yeah, from 1030am on, I’d go ahead and say we experienced low volumes of hatred and disgust toward one another. Getting better at this BEING A FAMILY thing with each and every new day!
Might write a book about it.
An e-book, probably.
The free download kind.