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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Road Trip Redux

So we spent the last 3 days of the road trip with Dirk and Tracey. We went to the Northwest Folklife Festival with them on Saturday, having no idea what we were in for. NWFolklife is HUGE. 19 stages, encompassing the entire Seattle Center, and so completely flooded with people that it felt more like a super busy day at Disneyland than a folk festival. Every spare corner was full of someone starting an impromptu jam session. Every walkway was lined with vendors, food booths, and buskers. The enormous dance floors were elbow to elbow with people doing all sorts of dancing. The floor of contra dancing was fascinating to watch from above. The floor was probably 40 feet by 80 feet, and jammed full of long lines of people moving in unison. I was completely amazed. I watched the Morris dancers, then ate lunch, then did a little contra dancing, then went to see some French street music (Rouge), the went to see The Paperboys, then went off to the waltz session. We headed home just as they were starting to teach the cross step waltz. I think Richard has officially started a phenomenon.

The next day I watched a bunch of celtic bands, then went to a swing session with Hot Club Sandwich. They were a sort of Django style swing band. Very cool. We called it a day early, and met Tracey and Camryn on the bus home.

On Monday morning we started driving home. We read the first Lemony Snicket book earlier in the trip, and actually it was kind of disappointing. The author spent a lot of time explaining the meaning of various words, and the story itself was not fully satisfying. So, at Powells, I picked up a copy of "Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident" not realizing it was the second in a series. We galloped through that on our way home, just finishing it as we left Sacramento. That was a good, Harry Potter level romp, but with fairies instead of witches and wizards.

The van had several issues during the trip, but it still was awfully nice to be able to pull over and sleep with limited fuss. As we came into Sacramento, the van started making a bad grindy noise. Ten miles from home, and it wanted to get grumpy. This was after the issues with the electrical (never resolved), and that was followed by the battery draining enough to turn off the refrigerator in Portland, followed by the windshield leaking in the rainstorms the next day. We didn't have complete faith that it would get home. We stopped at Suzi and Sandy's place to have mechanic Sandy check it out to see if driving it the last five miles would do permanent damage. She think a bearing broke in the A/C. The A/C had only been working intermittently for most of the day, so this wasn't a big shock. So, we turned off the A/C and limped in. Grandma and Grandpa fed us soup, and sent us home with more fresh cherries picked from the tree, and we headed home.

Oh, and Camryn and Ella are cute as ever. Camryn has entered the "Why?" stage, and she's smart. If you answer a "Why?" with something less than honest, it will come back to haunt you. She remembers everything you say. She's also a really picky eater, which led to a bit of comedy the night of the cupcakes. She was told she had to eat all her stuffing and green beans in order to have a cupcake. This led to an hour long process of her saying, "But I want a cupcake." and not wanting to finish her food, and not quite accepting the cause and effect relationship involved there. Finally, after the last bite was swallowed, I said, "Now that wasn't so awful was it?" and she said, "Yeah it was. Cupcake! Cupcake!" Meanwhile, Ella is just getting into her first solid foods, and she loves Cherios. She does the Happy Cherio Dance every time you feed her one. It's the cutest thing ever. I don't know how Dirk and Tracey keep up with the two of them on their own though. They seem to be holding up fine though, and Tracey has lost a ton of weight since we were last there. She's a normal person in normal clothes these days, and I think she's really enjoying it.

And one other thing - Fred Meyer is cool. It's like a grocery store that decided it also wanted to be a department store and shoe store and an electronics store and a garden center. First and foremost, it's a really big grocery store. But I found the cutest pair of Mary Janes in the shoe section. They only had my size in Ruby, not black, so I settled for Ruby, and stoppped at another Fred Meyer down the road. Never found them in black 8 1/2s in 3 stores, but did get some other cool things, like a new bag to store my dance shoes and cd player in for the ceili on Tuesdays. And there's no sales tax in Oregon, so the price marked is the price you pay. It was nicer than I expected really. Too bad there's no Fred Meyers (or Skippers) in California.

All in all, I still think Seattle is the best. It has what I like most about the bay area, but actually seems to do it better than we do these days. If an opportunity arose, I wouldn't have to be talked into moving there.


  • We were at FolkLife Sunday.....doodee dooodo, dooo dee doooodo.......wish we would've run into you guys! We were hangin' at the Utilikilt tent for a while, then checked out some nifty crafts.

    By Blogger BlackSheep, at 6:12 PM  

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