St. Petersburg Garden

St. Petersburg Garden

Thursday, July 21, 2011

House of Suds

Ah, the laundromat. It's been years since I've seen you. I've had nothing but fond memories of you. Strolling down Harvard Avenue in Boston with my little laundry cart, suds in one hand, reading material in the other. Lets not forget the quarters, pocket full of those. Call me crazy, I know, many have, many will, but I enjoyed my days in the laundromat. Why? I have absolutely no clue. I still don't. Really, I don't. It's not like I was a laundry pro from the start. You can ask my college roommates if you can find them.

Me and laundry - we had a rocky relationship from day one. I'll admit, I was a late bloomer. I didn't start doing my own laundry until I was in my late teens. Wait, that's a lie. Maybe it was more like my early twenties. Yes, that seems a bit more accurate. That's when I went away to college. There. The truth is out. Sure, I may have "helped" when I was little but really, what's throwing a shirt in the machine really teaching me when it comes time to choosing what soap to put in? I recall my first load. I was so proud. I pulled it out of the dryer and couldn't understand why it didn't smell fresh and clean and some items were still dirty. My roommate approached and read my detergent. I used Clorox color safe bleach. Trial and error my friends, trial and error.

I've come a long way since those college days. I can now admit that I actually like doing laundry. Again, I have no explanation for this. Now I'm not as big a fan of folding but cleaning those clothes is always a task I'm up for. I'm sure you're wondering what the deal is with the laundromat. Taking a trip down memory lane? Just bored and looking for a new place to hang out? Well, I am up for anything and I do like to amuse myself with interesting places to go but no, not this time. We have been taken over by the Stinky Towel Phenomenon.

What the hell is this you ask? It's nasty, it's stinky, it's something that just won't go away. It started off feint. We would wash our towels and everything was fine. And then, once water hit them it was like they were reactivated. BAM. A funk would waft off our towels and permeate the air. I didn't know what it could be. I read about a solution called sudsy ammonia that was supposed to take care of issues like this. We tried it for a while and it worked. Until it got worse. We were so confused. This was only happening to the towels.

We couldn't take it any more. We were running out of options. Actually, I mean towels. We only had two more left. We were getting desperate. We had to do something. Buy new towels? While this sounded like a really nice option we knew it wouldn't solve the problem. To the laundromat we went. We drove around for a while until we found one that looked suitable for a photo session. Er, I mean, nice enough to wash our clothes. We hopped out and set up shop. Things sure have changed since those college days. I think they shrunk the machines.

If you want the machine to fit all your towels you have to go to the deluxe machine and we all know what deluxe means. Deluxe prices. And the dryer! Sure, I'll admit, the prices had us in shock but I can't lie. I was enjoying myself. Where else can you sit in a basket, stick your head in a washer and try to make an emergency phone call with no phone all while getting your clothes nice and clean? Why, at the House of Suds of course. Ah, the joys in life can be found almost anywhere my friends, all you have to do is look. But just make sure you have your cell phone. In case of emergency.

*For the record, my towels are snifferiffic. Looks like I'll be at the laundromat more often.

For an alternate ending and for different pictures, go to my other blog at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Butterfly House

For those of you that don't know me and for those of you that are just starting to get to know me there are obviously many things about me that you don't know. That's what I'm here for - to help fill in the gaps. Open my world up a little bit to you. In case you haven't guessed it already I'm a pretty adventurous person. I like to explore, do new things, see the world. I like to think of myself as the event coordinator. There are so many different activities to discover and I want to be able to take advantage of them and I want to share it in the process.

Too often we just sit around doing nothing or just complaining that there is nothing to do when all you have to do is look around and see how much is going on around you. I'm not alone in my quest. I have some research tools to guide me. Each month I receive Sunset & Westways Magazines that highlight all the festivals and fairs that will be going on up and down the coast. I know, I know - a whole month? Who wants to wait that long? Not me. That's just my back up. Thankfully I have discovered another handy little gem called "365 things to do in San Diego, CA". This is one of the places I use that have allowed me to discover amazing hidden treasures. The most recent one was The Butterfly House.

I was so excited when I read that we could go see the butterflies. Who doesn't love butterflies? When I first moved to San Diego I remember coming back from a job interview and as I was driving down the street I saw thousand of butterflies headed straight towards me. I was amazed. I had never seen anything like it before. I had to pull over so I could watch. They just kept coming, like a cloud of color, fluttering over my car.

I later found out they were migrating from Mexico. It was absolutely beautiful. I've never seen it again and I've heard that it's a rare sight to see. I told Mike about my new adventure and he was in. We were off. From the moment we arrived at the Butterfly House the butterflies were all over Mike. We were told they were attracted to his white shirt but Mike was pretty sure it was him. I won't lie. I was jealous. Those little beauties were even on his arm so this white shirt thing was wearing thin. I had to resort to holding a piece of watermelon to get a nice photo op. Hey, sometimes you do what you have to do. Butterflies taste with their feet. I guess Mike is just a sweet guy.

It was really quiet and peaceful. The house is not too big, not too small - 1200 square feet - and there are benches set up where you can relax and enjoy yourself for as long as you'd like. We were getting ready to leave when Mike saw the perfect butterfly and couldn't let this little beauty get away. I waited patiently. Very unlike me. No, really. It must have been the atmosphere. The butterflies, the serenity, the....ok, I'm done. What's next on the agenda?

To learn more about the Butterfly House and the Monarch Program, visit their website at

For an alternate ending and for different pictures, go to my other blog at