After a long time on the road, any sort of recovery time is always appreciated. And when I got home to Port Angeles, I was able to fulfill a promise I made to Joy. We went to the fair.
And not just any old fair, mind you. The Western Washington State Fair, a/k/a "The Puyallup" after the city where the fairgrounds are located (pronounced 'pYOO-all-up' for those of that didn't know) is the largest fair on the West Coast, a two-and-a-half-week-long extravaganza of all things both urban and rural. Rides, food, rodeos, concerts, farm animals, firefighters and State Patrolmen (who demonstrate field-sobriety tests at their booth), all the things that make fairs what they are. Not to mention lots of infomercial-grade crapola being sold. There are probably a dozen or so tents at the fair solely dedicated to selling 'waterless cookware'. Okay stuff, but my All-Clad Emerilware is better quality, not to mention a whole fuck of a lot cheaper. My only problem with The Puyallup is that almost nobody takes plastic there.
Not that I had that much of a problem with that. Y'see, I'd pretty much ruled out eating overpriced fair grub from the jump-off. Here's how the day went for us:
Joy and I left PA about 9:30 or so that morning. I'd also invited my mother and little brother to come along, but Mom backed out at the last minute, which is pretty much what she always does. I guess I only invite her along for trips like this as a pro forma gesture. But little brother Mac was more than happy to get out of Dodge for the day. We hopped the Bainbridge Island ferry over to Seattle, and did some grocery shopping at Uwajimaya, arguably the best Asian market in the Northwest. And we're talking all of Asia here nowadays, instead of when it was more just for the Japanese immigrants that started the place. There's even an apartment complex directly above the store. I'd love to live there. It also doesn't hurt that it's walking distance from Pioneer Square and the stadia that host Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders FC games. Uwajimaya also sells sundries, has a wonderful bookstore, and a food court that we all took great advantage of. Joy and Mac had udon and tempura, while I satisfied myself with some lovely Korean barbecue.
With a few bags of groceries in tow, we headed east over Lake Washington to go to the local branch of Fry's Electronics. We needed ink for our printers, but after we got what we needed, we came to quite a dilemma - the ink was going to cost over $120! For that much money, we wound up buying a brand new printer that will go a little easier on the ink, and a new Bluetooth for my cellphone, with the money we saved going towards dinner afterwards......
.....only that it wasn't at our final stop on the trip, a wonderful little bar in Tacoma called The Red Hot. After leaving the Puyallup, we went over to visit with Joy's mother in Parkland (Mac wasn't thrilled with that, and just stayed in the truck), then we headed over to The Red Hot. But as we loaded out of the truck, we found that Joy had misplaced the little clutch purse that contained her ID! And even though Joy is approaching........ well, let's just say she's approaching 'a certain age', she refused to go in to the bar because she wouldn't be able to produce ID if asked for it. And they check ID's pretty rigorously there. So I made a command decision and called it a night for all of us. We hit a Jack In The Box on our way out of Tacoma, but I was so looking forward to The Red Hot's totally awesome hot dogs, and washing them down with a Mexican Coke (made with real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup) while Joy and Mac knocked back some of the area's best microbrews. Honestly, I can't recommend the place enough to you. If you've got any reason to go to Tacoma, check out The Red Hot. A disappointing finish to the evening, but the time spent with Joy (and with my little bro) was well worth the time and money spent.
And now I'm just resting up, healing psychological wounds, and this time physical ones as well. The dog-bite marks are healing, fading away. To be totally honest with you, I don't think I'll ever be able to really enjoy playing in Shreveport again, no matter how well the gigs themselves go. Psychological trauma caused by physical trauma, y'know? But we won't be going back there any time all that soon. Next up for me is a weekender at the Nugget in Sparks at the end of the month. I'll be back on the road in less than two weeks, and even though it's for only a weekend, I'll be looking forward to going to a place I know, where things are familiar to me. And then a few weeks after that, it's back to home base in Carson City for two weeks. That one I'll really be looking forward to.
Talk to y'all later!