Today was extremely warm, with very blue skies. We headed over to Spring Creek Trail, in Richardson. Spring Creek Trail is very nice, because the walking trail runs right through a woodland along a creek. We stopped to talk to a young boxer dog and his owner, a blonde woman who was taking him skating (actually, she was skating, he was walking) for the first time. I love the way that Valley Girl is an international language. Most of the time,though, we were able to walk alone along the trails. We saw three butterflies. I love that here even in the dead of winter, two straight warm days causes all Nature to declare Spring. Robins sing, butterflies fly, and little violet-type flowers sprout.
Richardson has a sector of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants, all located in two shopping centers. We drove to Caravelle, which serves Chinese and Vietnamese food. Today they had a vegetarian special for the New Year, which my wife ordered. The spice was really intriguing, and the tofu was really good. I had a simple rice plate of charbroiled chicken. The spring rolls were soft, and the vegetables fresh. When we finished lunch, we explored the other stores in the strip mall. The ABC tropical fish store featured exotic discus, cichlids and goldfish, well kept specimens at rather material but not unreasonable prices. As my aquarium ambitions run more to 12 feeder guppies for a dollar (sadly, Texas seems much more oriented to feeder goldfish), I was not interested in making a purchase. But I like to see a hobbyist store run with healthy fish. It gives me faith that quality pet stores, like barber shops, are still possible in this crazy world.
We went to an Asian market, because my wife wanted to get some red bean pastries for dessert, and the bakery had sold out. A man had a huge griddle, with little round holes cut into it. He placed some dough into the bottom half of a round hole, let it bake, then added a filling and put dough on the bottom half. The result was that he could make "to order" little cakes with a filling. My wife ordered seven red bean cakes, which we were promised within ten minutes. We wandered the store, looking at vegetables and fruits we don't buy that often, and a fish market with fresh pomfret, mackerel, squid and butter fish. I resolved to get some squid for the next time I go fishing, but we limited our additional purchases to a package of small rice cakes. After fifteen minutes, the red bean cakes were finished, and the man loaded them into a little sack, still warm. The entire afternoon could have been a Los Angeles January afternoon, except that in Los Angeles, there would be fewer pick up trucks on the freeway.