We attended a fun concert of Cole Porter songs, explored new dining options locally, and I’ve been sampling a number of different television series.
MOTHER’S DAY FUN
We four were sans our mothers, but we enjoyed very much the Hot ‘n’ Cole concert at the Sarasota Opera House that afternoon. Featuring six undergraduate musical theater majors from Penn State and two pianists, this was a lively celebration of Cole Porter’s songs. It was nicely choreographed and the singers were both exuberant and talented. An audience favorite was Sarasota hometown star, Maria Wirries. To cap off the day, we had dinner across the street at Bijou Café. Elegant and gracious, this restaurant always pleases.
I’m guessing that the image most of us have of Albert Einstein is of an older man with a frizz of wild white hair shooting out in all directions. This is not what you see in Genius, a new TV series from National Geographic based on Walter Isaacson’s biography. In Genius, we get Einstein as a young man, brilliant, but frustrated by his inability to get any scientific notice for his work. And as a harried husband and father who depends upon his wife, Mileva, for her scientific knowledge and insights, but fails to credit her publicly. It’s an extremely well done, fascinating series!
I’ve also been sampling a variety of Netflix and Amazon offerings during my treadmill time. Nothing has truly captivated me and earned an A. Mostly they are B’s. They run the gamut from Z: The Beginning of Everything about Zelda Fitzgerald’s coming of age and her tumultuous marriage to hard-drinking novelist Scott, to Longmire, to When Calls the Heart. Z is an Amazon production which I found slow going initially. It picked up a bit and I did watch the entire first season.
Based on a recommendation, I watched the first season and a bit more of Longmire. Set in remote Wyoming, it’s a modern day western crime series. Sheriff Walt Longmire and his two deputies deal with murders and runaways all the while doing a delicate dance in their relations with the nearby Indian reservation. I was engaged for quite a while, but then decided I’d had enough of the west–at least for now.
Lastly, I’ve gone back and forth between a very wholesome drama set in the Canadian Northwest about a Mountie and a school teacher. I thought it should be a Hallmark offering which it didn’t seem to be at first, but the second season opening shot credits the Hallmark Channel. Set in the mining town of Coal Valley, When Calls the Heart brings together wealthy Elizabeth Thatcher, who leaves her upper class city life for adventure in a rustic town, and Jack Thornton, a handsome Mountie, son of a Mountie, who isn’t sure marriage fits in with his life plan. Add in a host of townspeople (mainly women) and the “bad guy” mine owner and troubles and conflict ensue. I’m now well into season 2 and I find that the narrative has gained in complexity over the first season. It’s diverting entertainment.
In our dining around, we lunched twice at Chicken Salad Chick and once at Judy’s Restaurant. Chicken Salad Chick is a chain (headquartered in Alabama) new to this area and very pleasant and attractive. We’d had one of their many varieties of chicken salad as takeout, but these times we ate in their dining room. And calling it a dining room is not a stretch. The front area, in particular, with big windows is light and bright. We tried the jalapeno chicken salad, the barbecue chicken salad, and the lemon basil version. We had them over a green salad with a choice of dressings and several packets of wheat crackers. Each bowl came with a dill pickle and a frosted sugar cookie on the side. Good value and quite tasty! My favorite salads thus far are classic and jalapeno.
Judy’s Restaurant, in a small strip mall in Cortez, is run by locals and popular locally. Lunch here offers up all those good things you aren’t supposed to eat along with some healthier salad options. Our waitress stated that they had the best Reuben around which the Chief Penguin promptly ordered (with fries) and devoured. I had a yen for a burger, something I don’t indulge in too often, and found it hit the spot. Overall, Judy’s was more appealing both in terms of décor and menu than I anticipated. I’m told they serve a mean breakfast!
Credits: Header photo (jacaranda blooms) and Chicken Salad Chick ©JWFarrington; Einstein photo from web via Daily Mirror.