Wow, where do I start. This Saturday is one for the record books and memory banks. Truly. There are pics below but I gotta wax long-windedly a bit first to make sure this gem of a day sticks around for a while.
I met up first thing with my good friend Michaela for our semi-regular breakfast at the Old Milwaukee Cafe. As always we had some great conversation over great eats cooked up by co-owner Chat and served up by wife and co-owner Pat. With a little time to spare before what came next on my agenda Michael and I wandered up 6th Ave. a bit to find a graffiti art mural she'd seen. We happened upon a charming couple who pulled up to the walk-up/bike thru window at the nearby Satellite Coffee satellite on their scooter. We also spied a crazy roadster most of the panels of which were old metal Coca Cola signs and a nice looking modern small condo building going in.
As 10 o'clock neared I headed over to pick up another friend Melissa to take her for her first skimboarding experience out at Dash Point State Park. After some confusion at the front gate over new day use park fees (that story for another time) we made it down to the wide expanse of sandy tide flat/stream delta for my lesson to begin. She picked things up well and we both had a blast. I gave pointers to some other kids trying their hand at the sport only to take a few pointers myself later as some of the local pros emerged to enjoy their day out there. The only shame during our time out there (aside from Melissa sun burning the whites of her eyes??!?) was how it appeared most people didn't notice a falcon plunge into the waters of Puget Sound only to emerge with a fish in its talons. #PNWFTW indeed!
We motored back toward Tacoma and to our separate domiciles to change (and me shake the sand off) before cruising around town a bit. I hopped on my Vespa and picked Melissa up for our first stop (and her first time) at The Red Hot for a beer. Jeff and owner Chris treated us well and we enjoyed chatting it up with one another over some killer dark brews. From there we motored to Wright Park to check out Ethnic Fest. My tiny scooter helped us squeeze our way in between a couple cars on the edge of the park itself where we immediately set out the find food. And find we did -- rows of it! Gateway to India called to us so we got a combo plate of all kinds of deliciousness and enjoyed it together in the shade on the grass while listening to a classic Mexican band (Banda Vagos) of a singer or two, two trombones, a tuba, three trumpets, a couple clarinets, bass drummer, and someone on timbales. Melissa could barely sit still to the upbeat songs so we got up and joined the fun near the stage for a little hula hooping to the music. Wright park was alive and vibrant with families enjoying every inch of the place.
I dropped Melissa off after that then headed downtown to check out the Twilight Criterium cycling race that had 8 square blocks of downtown Tacoma shut down for the occasion. I knew nothing of the teams and little of the quality of racers in the heats but loved seeing a pack of a few dozen riders whiz by on their bikes. The timing worked out great too because my buddy Stowe's son was competing in a kids pinball tourney over at Dorky's so I got to see the fam there supporting the little guy. I then found my friend Dawn in a nearby beer garden setup out into a lane of Pacific Ave. and had a great time talking with her and some people there while the race continued on around us.
Next stop home to change them met back up again with Melissa to join her for food, drink and music at TwoKoi downtown. Her friend Paige Hanson (and a beloved on-air personality of KPLU I used to enjoy listening to when I used to drive out to my former job at PLU) was singing with her trio tonight and she wanted me to come along. Paige, her husband and a few other people I met we all great and we found all our local circles of people, interests, etc. overlapped in many different ways. Many of them knew a lot of the guys I played with in jazz band back at PLU like Cliff, Aaron, and even virtuoso guitar man Andy who's life was cut short years ago in an accident in New York City but who continued to amaze me tonight by seeing others he'd touched with his music while still with us. They all somehow found out I can sing so slyly cued up a chart for me to sing. And I say "slyly" because it flowed as though it was just my turn to sit in on Paige's set so my nerves somehow were muted before I happily sang through Nat King Cole's classic (and fun) "Straighten Up and Fly Right". Yeah, that felt good.
After we closed the TwoKoi down I headed home and, despite some miscommunication with our earlier plans (stupid email/text gremlins!) hopped online for some late night Red Dead Redemption co-op with my best buddy Matt to wind this spectacular Saturday to a close.
Wow. I couldn't maintain this sort of "busy" all the time but everything flowed together so well today that I truly enjoyed every minute of it. Now, on to the pictures... ;)