Friday, July 31, 2009

Grease is the word

Yes, just when we thought we'd entertained ourselves to death, here comes our annual trek and anniversary celebration in Walla Walla, the home of the coolest outdoor musical theater in the state. Our dear friends, Bill and Laurie Pofahl get the tickets every year (reserved seats $20 each--a deal after the AI concert) and we go out to the finest restaurants available in Eastern Washington that night. On this night we chose to go to a gourmet restaurant in Waitsburg, a mere pimple on the nose of progress here. Oh yum, as the women munched down on lobster ravioli, I had a wonderful Jambalaya and Bill had a seafood etouffe. Not to be found anywhere else this side of the Cascades. Then off we headed for the production of "Grease" on the outdoor stage you see in the photo above. The production did not have the quality of voices one could expect in a Phoenix or Los Angeles venue, but the enthusiasm was there and the orchestra was a rockin' 50's band, so as the subtle burps of Andouille sausage and smoked venison rose to the surface we settled in to the fun of Southeastern Washington, where everyone talks to the people in the rows in front of you and at intermission you buy popcorn you know came from one of those industrial bags cooked somewhere in Stockton, CA about 2 months ago. Oh well, something about "les bon temps rollez!!!" What's next in this whirlwind summer?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yes we did, we really did

Acting like teenagers Carol and I drove over to Tacoma on Tuesday night to catch the American Idols 2009 road tour at the Tacoma Dome. Actually, it was the Adam Lambert show and that's the reason we went. Amazingly, everyone around us also indicated that's who they were here to see. Left me wondering who the heck made all of those darn phone calls for Kris? Due to that miserable traffic around Seattle we got to the Dome only 12 minutes before showtime. Fortunately, we had anteed up the $25 for premium parking so were within quick walking distance to the right door right outside our section. Anoop was smooth and sexy, Allison rocked the house, and Matt was a fantastic performer (how did we not like him?). After six performers, they even had a 20 minute intermission. Yeah, Allison, then Gokey did well. Everyone then knew the next performer and when the lights went out, they started stomping on the floors until there was quite a rumble. Then, the stage lights started going crazy and everyone got on their feet and screamed their heads off before we even saw anyone! Sure enough, next comes the main riff for Whole Lotta Love and whatever energy we had left was directed to the stage as the most impressive rock star in the last 15 years walks out and starts jamming. It became exhausting for us 60 year olds to pour this all out. When Allison ran out to sing Slow Ride with Adam, I nearly fainted. Okay, so anyway, we all sat down about 8 bars into the follow-up act--oh yeah, that Kris Allen guy. Turns out he was good, too, but the audience declared the real champion. I think Kris can handle that--just two different but both excellent styles. We got up the next morning and drove back to Kennewick, and I was at work around 1 p.m. My office mate says I'm acting like either a 14 year old girl or a 21 year old gay guy. Whatever.....Adam rocks!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

McCain Reunion 2009

Every evening, the kids would gather around Carol for "Red Purse" night. This is based on the tradition she has when visiting grandkids--she always has something special in her big red purse. For this vacation she had a bag of treats each of four nights. First night--books for all. Second night--toys for all. Third night--crafts for all. Last night--treats for all. We are convinced we are not buying our grandkids' love--simply giving them cause to express it. Carol is a wise and beloved grandmother.

Okay, here we are in Yellowstone--our first attempt at a Dennis and down McCain family reunion. Pushed and organized by Aaron and Candace, it was a huge hit. We stayed in a large home in Island Park. One person (Candace) bought all the food based on menu suggestions from all four couples (Carol and I, Aaron and Candace, Laurel and Tom, Carl and Devin). Using precise engineering datasheets, the costs of room and board were equitably determined. We hit Yellowstone for two full days, starting with Old Faithful first and the second day the kids focused on Yellowstone Falls walks, while Carol and I drove the big loop from Madison up to Mammoth east to Tower, south to Yellowstone falls, back to Madison.
We saw this buffalo peacefully grazing alongside the road. Sort of a token expression, but kind of endearing