We had a busy day Saturday – lots of errands and chores done, but also got to do a few fun things as well!
DH and I went to a special Chinese New Year tea at the Indigo Tea Lounge here in town. The place was all decorated with red for good luck, and since it is the year of the pig, there were pig statues and images all over as well. As we were seated, we each got to choose a tea to drink, and the hostess let us each pick a red envelope with a fortune. We picked a green tea – jasmine pearl – and a black tea – golden yunan – to have some variety.
This place is always a little slow with service, because they one or two people in the kitchen and a pretty small space, but it’s always worth the wait. Also, it is a nice relaxing place to just sort of hang around and drink tea in. One of the interesting things about this place is that it was originally a furniture store that sold modern and post-modern style furniture. Then they started a tea room as a sort of side line so the furniture shoppers could have some refreshments, then the furniture store part closed, and now they are a tea lounge. All of their furniture and art are still from the furniture store, so it has a very modern style. Anyway, eventually our food arrived.
We got spring rolls, dumplings, bao buns with pork and picked veggies, luo bo gao (diakon radish cakes), stir fried noodles, tang yuan (rice balls with black sesame filling), egg tarts, lychee cups, and a little dish of fruit. The red takeout containers you see on the table were our take home gifts, which each had a little mandarin orange and some Chinese candies. I only know what all of these things were because we also got nifty programs with the menu and how each of those things were lucky or important as a New Year celebration food. It was all delicious, and yes, we did not eat anything else for the rest of the day. Or indeed, until around noon today.
Then after we laid around the house for a while, we went back out to go to the zoo lights! There’s not a lot to tell about this one. We have a smallish zoo here in Anchorage, and every winter they put a lot of lights around and let people in later than their normal hours to see the lights and the animals. One of the neat things about it is our zoo has some animals that are mostly nocturnal – snow leopards and lynxes and so on – and they are often more active for zoo lights than they are in daytime hours. Plus what’s not to love about pretty light displays!
One thing that was new was we have a new polar bear, and she was out and active when we were there! Her name is Cranbeary (!) and she is a transfer from another zoo. We also have a male polar bear, and he was there too, but was napping when we were by.
All in all, it was a good visit! On our way out, we stopped at the gift shop, and I picked up – yes! – some yarn. Our zoo has several animals that are fiber producers, and since they have to be trimmed or combed out at certain points of the year anyway, they have started having the fleece spun into small amounts of yarn. Zoo yarn! Anyway, I got a couple skeins of alpaca.
They are small skeins, only 50 yards or so, but enough for a headband or similar. A bit later in the year they will also have camel and quiviet – the zoo has several musk oxen – but right now they just had the alpaca in stock.
So all in all, a good day. And it even ended with yarn!