Jan 24

Have another slice

We are spending the day in the Nutmeg state. The cats have been here for several weeks, enjoying extra attention during the holidays while we did extra traveling. We are now also enjoying our time with the in-laws. They took us out for pizza for lunch.

This is the story of apizza.

New Haven is renowned for its pie. We’ve been to a few of the places. Sally’s Apizza, after a long wait and intolerable staff, came out as a disc of charcoal. Pepe’s has become the pie standard. Tomato pies so good you can taste the calories in the air.

Or, as The Yankee’s diving coach said last night, “As you get older, fewer things seem worth standing in line for, including pizza.” It was hard to argue against the point. But, I thought, Pepe’s might be.

Recently, my father-in-law visited Pepe’s and wrote about it on social media. On of our colleagues said, “Yeah, that’s good. But it’s no Zuppardi’s.”

Sometime after that, he went to Zuppardi’s, and found himself agreeing. Found himself raving. Insisting that he take us. Now, the man knows pizza. And so it was that on our next trip, we were to visit Zuppardi’s.

And so here we are.

My father-in-law said it was a pizzeria like the old days. Small booths. Wood paneling on the walls. Unassuming. Just good pie. And he was correct. Because the man knows his pizza.

I don’t know if it is better than Pepe’s, but that made-in-store sausage was exceptional.

Back to being underwater, since I don’t have to worry about post-pizza buoyancy. Here’s my favorite fish, and her rare bubbles.

A coral formation bursting with orange elephant ear sponges.

And this is a beautiful encounter with another of the shy, scrawled filefish.

This one is definitely going on the front page when I update that in the next week or so.

And on this formation, some nice examples of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) This is a fast growing coral, perhaps the fastest in the western Atlantic region, making it an important Caribbean coral.

You don’t see as much of it as you once did.

But you will see much more underwater life in this same space next week. Have a great weekend!

Jan 24

A happy cat reunion

Three weeks or so ago we took the cats with us to The Yankee’s parents. They celebrated the holidays with us there, and stayed on as we continued our many travels. Today, though, was the day that we set out to go pick them up.

We went over the river.

We went through the woods.

And so on.

This visit also allowed us to attend Special Church services, which is a program my lovely mother-in-law runs. We saw friends, we made crafts, we sang songs. I found myself in a thoughtful conversation about the meanings of the word shalom. I’ve always heard that it means peace. But, it turns out, it also means wholeness. So there was this conversation that led me to ponder the idea that maybe they’re not separate meanings, but perhaps they could be, should be, interrelated. Maybe you can’t be whole until you have peace. So I learned something, and sang Beatles songs. It’s a great hour.

And, of course, we got our happy reunion with the kitties. I was sure they would shun us for a while, but they both came around before the night was over. I don’t know why. I kept telling them, they never had it so good as they do in Connecticut. There are people who play with them and pet them and basically let them rule the place. Plus, there are cozy spots and fuzzy blankets everywhere.

They made it clear, pretty quickly, that they hadn’t forgotten us. We got good pets and good purrs.

And then we left them again. Because they never had it so good.

We had dinner with The Yankee’s college diving coach. When she retired as a gymnast she decided to do the springboard for fun. And they’ve kept a lasting friendship with her coach for all the years hence. We had burgers at a little dive where she waited tables in college. You can drive there, or sail your boat up to the back door. A few years ago they worried the place would fall into the river. It’s a place where the floor slants, even after they reinforced everything.

A local band was playing Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire tunes. A woman was dancing, by herself, for most of the night. Her gentleman friend danced one song, and we saw why she was dancing alone. (He could not dance.) She wasn’t dancing as well as she thought, but the libations were telling her otherwise. She was just far enough away that the three of us couldn’t decide how old she was. Turns out I was wrong, she was a bit older. And it’s funny how that works. I figured she was a certain age, which just made the whole thing a bit sad. But, as we left, I could finally see she was much older than I thought, which allowed me to think Good for you, lady. Now be sure to call an Uber.

Today’s SCUBA contribution is a couple of quick fish clips from somewhere along the Palancar reef off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico. Beautiful fish here, and all you have to do is hold your breath for 41 seconds.

More photos from under the sea tomorrow. And we’ll enjoy some legendary Connecticut pizza. It’ll be a great Friday.