Fernando the Persian fights honey-loving ants with real Aunt

This week, Nazy’s sister, Shahrzad, came from Washington DC to California to visit. Nazy and I wanted to drive to LAX to pick her up. But..

“… the traffic is unpredictable,” Nazy began.

“Actually, it is completely predictable. It will be bumper to bumper, in gridlock, stopped, stalled, a parking lot, bottlenecked,..”

“What I mean is..”

“You want to rent a helicopter and..”

“No! Since we don’t know how long it will take to get there, we should leave a little early, plan to stop at the (Premium) Outlet malls in Camarillo (if there’s time) and in Thousand Oaks at Sadaf Persian Restaurant.”

“If we have time?” I asked.

“We’ll leave early.” Nazy, who clearly wanted to stop at both places, concluded.

Nazy found some bargains at Saks’ “Off-Fifth” store and we had time for an early dinner before continuing to LAX.

Sadaf is a really great Persian restaurant that we’ve visited several times — but never quite so early. And, since we were early, the normal crew, i.e. the ones that know Nazy, weren’t working. And, although the food was, as always, great, the waiters (Frenando and Li Xiu) spoke Persian with, at best, disconcerting accents.
Mitra and Stefan in Bellingham, August 7 2023

“I don’t think they’re Persian,” I whispered to Nazy after paying the bill.

Shahrzad’s (thankfully neither American nor United) flight was on time. And, we drove home in record time. It was, in fact, the fastest trip we’ve ever taken from LAX to Santa Barbara .. one hour and ten minutes.

Many family members are in ‘non-standard’ locations this week. Darius, Christiane and the little girls are in Lebanon visiting family and friends. Similarly, Mitra and Stefan are in Bellingham, Washington watching Darius’s and Christiane’s house — and, of course, enjoying the area.

Dairus and Eli and Aline in Lebanon and family August 2021

While Nazy and Shahrzad, with a bit of help from Azelle, were cooking dinner, I took the boys to Rocky Nook Park.
Tiger and Arrow had a great time climbing on the rocks at Rocky Nook. They also remembered…

“… the river, Dan!” Tiger exclaimed. “Let’s go look at the river.”

“It’s a creek, Tiger. Not a river.”


“ … creek. And it probably doesn’t have any water. It hasn’t rained in months.”

“Let’s go and see.” Tiger replied optimistically. (And inaccurately.)

The creek was …

“ … a pile of rocks, Dan.” Tiger observed after we had climbed down to the ‘creek bed’.

We marked Shahrzad’s visit with a trips to Miramar (to enjoy the beach and the pool), walks along the ocean in both Montecito and Santa Barbara, excursions to the local farmer’s market…

“Can we eat those wildflowers?” I asked Nazy.
“Of course not,” Nazy replied.

“Thanks,” I said. “
Then who cares whether they’re organic,” I thought.

Arrow and tiger August 7 TWL photo

And, at The Adams Family estate on Nirvana Road, an inter-species war began when ants discovered the beehive and…

“Ants like honey,” I explained to Arrow. “So your Daddy has asked the bee keeper to install an oil-filled ant blocker.”

hive full with ant trip

“How does it work?” Arrow asked.

“Good question,” I replied, deciding to take him outside to see what the beekeeper had done to discourage the ants.

“Do the ants take more honey than we do?” Arrow asked.

“Ummm…” I replied. “
Maybe the bees would be happier if we let the ants in and we stayed away,” I thought.

Note: The ant trap, pictured to the right, is filled with oil.

For last week's letter, please click here

Nazy and Shahrzad

Nazy and Shahrzad at market

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