Friday, July 1, 2016

Swan Dive

       I received a pleasant surprise today. In the late morning, my friend Christie—Christie of Christmas cheer, not of occupational therapy—contacted me. She had her grandchildren for the day and wanted to know if I would like to join them for lunch and a trip to Swan Lake Iris Gardens. I did indeed want to partake in the adventure, so within thirty minutes, we were all on the road.
       The first order of business was to agree upon a lunch destination. Placing a high priority of kid friendliness, I suggested Pizza Land. Pizza Land is a Sumter landmark featuring a pizza buffet and wide screen televisions always airing cartoons. I frequently allow my inner child frolic on a long leash. Pizza and Loony Tunes sounded great to me. Alas, I have been slow to earn my Sumter street cred. Although I had eaten at Pizza Land before, I could not recall its exact location or, as my bad luck would have it, the proper name. Oops.
       As I turned out, mistaking the correct name for a pizza place wreaks havoc on a GPS system. I felt guilty over messing things nd apologized profusely as a wandered the cityscape. I found solace with the realization none of the locals asked offered correct directions, either. Surely Pizza Land was not a mythical Shangri La of nigh unlimited pepperoni and cheese for a reasonable buffet price?
       Pizza Land did exist. I had not imagined it. But we did have to confirm its existence from the waitress at East of Chicago Pizza, a competing eatery with buffet and cartoons on wide screen televisions. So our failure to find Pizza Land ended happily. Mistakes rarely turn out so well. One must take a moment to appreciate the blessing when visited upon you.
     We made it to Swan Lake Iris Garden with little difficulty, presumably because I offered up no insight on how to get there. I had been once before in December to view the two million Christmas lights on display, but I left the driving to the GPS. While this was my second trip to Swan Lake, it was the first time I walked around. I spent most of my time lounging in the shaded picnic area people watching while the kids played on the playground. Quietly watching people puts me in my element as far as the great outdoors goes. I do plan to return in the near future for the butterfly garden which was way too much of a hike for our current location and in dire need of naps kids. So an excursion exists for another day.
       So I have now eaten at Pizza Land and visited Swan lake both at Christmas to see the lights and summer to see the garden bloom. Thee are the rites of passage for Sumter residents, so I appear to have long last made it official with the help of Christy, Morgan, and Ray!

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