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31 Jan. 2007
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Mt. Dora

If I were to tell you that I had lunch at an Icelandic restaurant in Mt. Dora and challenged you to guess where Mt. Dora is, you would most likely need a hint.

Hint:  Pick a state whose name begins with "FLat."

I found myself in Mt. Dora, FLorida, a few days ago.  It's a charming town, along the lines of Carmel, California or Bisbee, Arizona.  It has stores, restaurants, arts, and aging hippies.  What it doesn't have, apparently, is elevation.  Bump Dora, or even Zit Dora would be a better moniker, although it isn't totally flat.  If it were, there wouldn't be any difference between the land and the lake, at which point it would be Swamp Dora.  Anyway, for reasons various, I found myself in Mt. Dora with my art advisor and another friend, slowly walking along the streets and gazing in the windows, with them thinking souvenir thoughts and me hoping that the next shop we attended would have a boy section, i.e., a comfortable chair in which to relax while they committed acts of shoppage.  

Some shops did and some didn't.  But, as you can divine from yesterday's horse picture, I am reasonably robust and can cope with the rigors of souvenir hunting.  I even enjoyed some of the T-shirt slogans, and the visit to the special pet supply store was memorable.  I got to tell my bunny jokes along with my new one about what the cat says on the radio.  ("Wee paws for station identification.")  (Nobody has offered me work yet.)  We left with a laser pointer and some special biscuits.

There were a number of highlights in Mt. Dora, although "high" is a figurative term in FL.  Entering and leaving town we passed a Masonic temple of astonishing spectral reflectivity.  I commented that it looked very much like a lemon meringue pie without the pie or the meringue.  My art advisor, who has much finer discernment than I, did not offer a contradiction.

She did, however, make a suggestion.  She is a good friend of my housemate and suggested that she (the housemate) would definitely appreciate a particular art, which I should therefore purchase and fetch home.  I did and did, and she did, too.  (I therefore did not have to invoke the special repurchase agreement I had insisted on formulating.)  You only need look at the art for a moment.  I shall be enjoying it for many years to come, as it is now mounted on the wall just above and to the left of the refrigerator.

I was especially enthusiastic about one particular shop.  Amidst its welter of things and stuff, there was a small refreshment area sporting a fine selection of gourmet fudges.  At least I assumed they were gourmet, since they were multilevular with flavor swirls.  Enticed by a free sample, I selected a chunk of amaretto and another of mint to accompany me (and my art advisor) on the airplane trip home.  I've found that fudge has a calming influence on travel-related inconvenience and stress.

We decided to take our lunch at the Icelandic restaurant.  You might wonder as we did why Mt. Dora needs an Icelandic restaurant.  No answer accompanied the gravlax, although there were more than enough capers.  While waiting to be served, we noted a certain dissonance in the restaurant theme.  For example, although there were a handful of well-worn books with Icelandic themes strategically located in view, the wall of the restaurant seemed to be painted adobe, and the windows had rounded edges unlikely to be found in a country where energy conservation is more than just a slogan.  In keeping with the igneous nature of the restaurant theme country, we were offered lava cake for dessert, only to be told minutes later that there was none.  The waitron gamely offered a substitute, but by then it was lava or leave, which is what we decided to do.  It was my turn to pay, and I did so with my trusty credit card (whose sponsor, of course, is an evil monopolist).

Our observation, refined to the theory that the restaurant had undergone a Mexico-Icelandic transformation in a recent era, appears to have been correct.  When I had the opportunity to look at the credit card receipt, I noted that they had not yet gotten a new printer.  It seems that we had eaten at "Eduardo's Station." 


NP:  "Berlin" - Marillion

2007
Richard Factor

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