Done gone up to Flag

Posted: September 29, 2008 in Arizona, Bring the funny, Calvin, drrrrrunk, Food, Journal, photography, weekend, WTF

I started the weekend off right by cutting the fuck out of my thumb. Friday when I got home from work I was kind of rushing to get through a couple of chores – including tossing some greens to the lizards – so I could lay down and take a brief nap before Calvin got home. I ended up slicing a good little chunk off the tip of my thumb and then got to lie down sooner than expected because it made me light-headed. Normally I’m not woozy about blood or injuries or anything like that but I’ll tell you what, I saw pretty sparkles at the edges of my vision.

Fortunately that was NOT a harbinger of things to come.

Friday evening Calvin and I went to the San Tan brewery for dinner – he had a philly cheesesteak and I had a portabella and squash wrap. Then we went to the Darkhorse for a pint. THEN we stopped at a store for a few things, and went home and put everything away. THEN we decided we didn’t feel like being at home, so we went driving around listening to music. By the time the sun went down it was ALMOST (but not quite) cool enough to ride around with the sunroof open.

THEN we got back home and watched the Phil Collins DVD. THEN it was pretty damned late and we went to bed and what happened THEN is none of your concern.

The alarm went off at 7:50 Saturday morning, causing a momentary thought of, “What the fuck is the alarm going off for on a Saturday morning?” Followed by, “Oh yeah.” Still, it was Calvin who hauled himself out of bed first, got the coffee going, got the shower going, then harassed me until I got out of bed.

I was not coherent until about 8:30.

In order to leave the house before 10:00 we had to clean the kitchen, pack clothes and toiletries, feed the dogs, feed the cats, feed the lizards, clean out the litter boxes, take out the trash, run the humidifier and the fountain in the snake’s tank and top off her pond, top off the dog’s water, top off the cat’s water, and re-set the a/c.

We left at 10:00 on the DOT.

The drive up to Sedona was as it always is: Calvin drives and we chat and gab and giggle, rotate through CD’s and the radio and XM, complain about traffic in general, and address the route as one would a video game – gauge traffic, get around this guy, pass that guy, haul ass up the hills where slower traffic is instructed to shift to the right, complain mightily when slower traffic does NOT shift to the right, and try to anticipate speed traps.

We were in Sedona at 12:00 on the DOT.

By this time we were starving, so we drove directly to The Cowboy Club. We were fortunate in our parking and were presently and comfortably perched at the bar with a couple of beers. Calvin ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with bacon and ranch, and I ordered their infamous Buffalo Burger with sweet potato fries.

I have to pause a moment in memory of that FABULOUS burger.

After dispatching our lunches, we decided against trying to elbow our way into the jazz festival. We’ve been in Sedona so many times that, though we love it and think it’s a beautiful environment, it’s also very touristy and kitschy and we weren’t in the mood for that. So we drove up to Flagstaff via route 89A – “the scenic route”.

We were at our hotel at 2:30 on the DOT. (Okay, that’s the last time I’m going to do that.)

The room was nice (Hampton Inn Suites), with a full kitchen and living room, and separate bathroom and bedroom with a king sized bed. We paused long enough to freshen up, then got back in the truck and drove over to the downtown area. We parked, we wandered (I made us pause at the Seasoned Kitchen so I could buy one of the cute little aprons I saw hanging in the window), and we wondered at the sheer amount of HEMP and HEMP-WEARERS in the area. We settled at an outside table with a couple of beers (gasp!) at Maloney’s, where we proceeded to sit and sip and watch the world go by, and to judge.

What? Like YOU don’t. Don’t give me that. You have an opinion about everything and everyone, just like we do. A college town, especially THIS northern college town, provides a veritable PARADE of interesting characters. We were very entertained.

I took a picture of Calvin:


And he took a picture of me:


I took a picture of myself:


And took a picture of Calvin from across the street:


He took a picture of the nearby hotel:


And the quintessential beer shot:


The undecided sky:


Cuz it was sunny over the other way:


As an aside, I just realized that we didn’t take all that many pictures. I think because we’ve been in Flag and Sedona so much we’re not as inspired to photograph it – God knows we have enough pictures of both areas kicking around in various physical and on-line forms.

(The whole set is here.)

Also, Flagstaff is very VERY dog friendly. There were dogs EVERYWHERE – along the sidewalks, outside the shops, panting and waiting very patiently at the feet of their owners who were sitting and sipping beers on the various patios. Gadget would have had a ball, what with all the butts available for sniffing.

The weather was a very delightful 74 degrees. Thank GOD for mountain elevations in this state, is all I can say.

We sat and breathed and purged our lungs of the Valley air for a couple of hours, then wrapped up and went back to the hotel. Calvin undressed at the SPEED OF LIGHT, so eager was he to flop down on the bed and take a nap. “No more than an hour,” he mumbled, muffled, into the pillow. So I dutifully figured out the alarm clock and set the time, then curled up next to him and passed the hell out.

After slapping the alarm silent an hour later, I left Calvin to sleep a bit longer while I got myself ready. I tried to put some curl into the back of my hair (grab a hank, twist it up in the curling iron, count to 45, un-twist, grab another hank, lather-rinse-repeat twenty times) but in the end the curl just fell out again anyway (it was now sprinkling and very humid outside), so I just stuck my hair back into a couple of clips and called it done. I levered Calvin out of bed and left him to get ready, and watched re-runs of House in the living room until he was done (enduring periodic snark coming from Calvin’s direction – he thinks House is the stupidest show currently on television).

At this point the TV ticker announced that Paul Newman had passed away, so I dispatched this news to Calvin and we both had a, “Well, dammit,” moment. He was such a cool guy.

We left the hotel at about 7:30 and went to Buster’s for dinner. Calvin had the fillet and I had the crab cakes. I drank about fifteen (well, four) cups of water, as I had that post-nap dehydration thing going on. We endured the nearby LOUD and INANE conversation coming from a nearby table, and then got the heck outta there.

The air was misty and the temperature was in the 50’s and I WAS LOVING IT.

We drove back downtown and went to Charly’s, where The Knockabouts were playing. In the spirit of the occasion, I got a coffee and Baileys, and Calvin had one of his tried-and-true Fat Tires. We sat and sipped and tapped our feet for an hour or so, but then we began to get restless so we left to look for something else to do.

We headed down Route 66 and pulled in at The Museum Club. We’d been there during a previous Flagstaff visit, when we were there for the beer festival back in ’06 (and we learned this weekend that they’re not holding the festival in Flagstaff anymore, which is the STUPIDEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD – I’d MUCH rather go to the one in Flag than the one they hold in Tempe).

The LARGEST COWBOY EVER met us at the door (hi, you’re tall) and we paid our cover and then tried in vain to find a place to land. The place was absolutely jam-packed, and SouthBound was playing live. There was no place to sit, so we just kind of hovered around the bar area and watched the dancing. I checked the guest book and saw that folks from as far away as Belgium and France and Sweden had signed.

The dance floor was full of very enthusiastic dancers of varying skill levels. One couple, though, was FANTASTIC – he was throwing her around and she was flipping over his shoulder and I wondered more than once how they managed to NOT pull their arms out of their sockets with the sheer force of their whirling.

An older man with a WICKED buzz stood, sat, or leaned near us most of the evening. He’d shout-slur some random “HEYHOWYADOINGOODMUSICWHYDON’TYADANCEURPBEGYERPARDON” at us from time to time, at which we smiled and nodded and shot wide-eyed looks at one another. Then, suddenly, RIGHT in my ear, he’s all, “Hey! You’re wearin’ barrettes! I like barrettes! Bet yer husband is all, ‘She’s wearing them damn barrettes again’. Is he? Huh? Is he?” I had no idea how to respond to this. Calvin rescued me with, “I always think her hair is pretty.” And the guy was all, “That’s right! That’s right! I like barrettes!” And Calvin says, aside to me, “I like pickles!

Yeeeeahhhh… time to go.

Being the designated driver for the night, I drove us back to the hotel and we watched about fifteen seconds of a Dirty Harry movie before falling asleep at a bit after one in the morning.

We got up at 8:00 on Sunday morning and we were out the door by 9:30. Our first order of business was to procure some breakfast at The Place. It was okay… not the best food I’ve ever had, and they REALLY need to invest in some new chairs. We then wandered around until we found the Community Market. We only stayed for a few minutes since things were rather sparse by that time (near 11:00). I was strangely attracted to the brandied canned peaches. If we’d had cash on us I would have hooked us up.

We decided to head back “down the hill”, and once again took 89A back down to Sedona. Another Movie Star Parking Opportunity presented itself, and we parked to grab a couple of beers and assess the status of Sunday Afternoon Football at the Open Range Grille. When we walked in the Cardinals were down 34 to zip against the Jets at half-time. We groaned and rolled our eyes at the predictable nature of our non-winning team. By the time we left in the fourth quarter the Cards had managed to acquire twenty-something points, but we knew in the end they’d lose anyway (and not only did they lose, but the Jets set a record against us. Typical Cards.).

We left before the end of the game, and made it as far as Black Canyon City before we had to pee. We stopped at the Javelina Crossing Saloon. Now, I have to say, this place is in the middle of NOWHERE and I was a little trepidatious about entering. I said to Calvin as we drove into the mostly-deserted town, “Isn’t this just like the beginning of, like, fifteen different horror movies?” We pulled into the saloon parking lot and I told him, “If anyone says, “How much for yer wimmin,” I’m outta here.”

Now, I should know better than to judge the surface like that, shouldn’t I? The saloon was quiet – it being a Sunday afternoon – but the bartendress was very nice and the folks were pleasant and happily watching NASCAR. I had a soda and Calvin had a beer, and we spent a very pleasant half-hour chatting with the nice lady behind the bar and stretching our legs.

When it was time to leave, Calvin hit the can one last time and I lingered over the last of my soda. Since there were only a half-dozen or so folks in the place, it was hard NOT to hear conversation when it occurred. So I tuned into this little gem of an exchange.

(Man) “Hey, tell me sumthin.”
(Woman) “Yeah?”
(Man) “What’s it mean to “pledge your TROUGH?””
(Me) ::boggle – he said it like “troff”, like what a horse eats from::
(Woman) “To pledge yer WHUT?”
(Man) “Trough. When a man wants to marry a woman, he pledges his trough.”
(Me) ::boggle some more – surely he means “troth”::
(Woman) “You mean, like, betrothed?”
(Man) “Yeah, but to betroth your trough.”
(Woman) “I think it means that when a man marries a woman, he eats what she feeds him, or else he don’t eat.”
(Me) ::practically falling off bar stool, trying not to laugh::
(Man) “Like, a man has to eat from a woman’s trough, and then they’re married?”
(Woman) “Sumthin’ like that.”
(Man) “Huh. Well, I guess that makes sense.”

Oh man, I could not WAIT for Calvin to get out of the bathroom so we could get to the car and I could bust a gut.

It seemed like every highway we wanted to take (I-17, 202) was closed for construction, and then every main street we tried to take as a detour was ALSO clogged with construction and redirects. We made one last stop at a McDonalds in Scottsdale for a chocolate shake before finally making it the rest of the way home and offloading the truck (“Don’t you walk inside without something in your hands.”).

At which point Calvin undressed at the SPEED OF LIGHT, so eager was he to flop down on the bed and take a nap. “No more than an hour,” he mumbled, muffled, into the pillow. So I dutifully set the alarm, fussed with feeding and watering the lizards for a few minutes, then curled up next to him and passed the hell out.

  1. iamheatherjo says:

    That’s funny! Who are you kidding, though? Gadget would have to activate those springs in his paws to reach up to sniff anyone’s butt! Heehee 😉

  2. Calvin says:

    Yeah most of the dogs were much bigger than him and he would have just spent his day marking EVERYTHING he’s a gross little boy.
    I have noticed lately that in a lot of places people are bringing dogs inside or around the seating area where food and drinks are served.
    I think its rude and disgusting to assume I give shit about your animal at all let alone enough to want to have dinner or drinks with it. But I have to say in most cases the dogs were better behaved than the screaming kids being ignored by Mom & Dad or the guy sitting behind us shitting his pants every few seconds.

  3. Kim says:

    What a great weekend! The weather alone probably made it worth it, let alone all the great things you all did.
    But I’m confused about one thing. I thought conversations like that only happened in South Carolina.

  4. Taoist Biker says:

    Pledge your trough?


    Damn that’s good.

    That said, quit posting this stuff, because Dys is gonna get ideas that we should do relaxing, sitting-around-people-watching stuff for our next vacation instead of me shoving a camera into her hand dragging her around by the wrist all over a huge-ass racetrack.

  5. suzy2110 says:

    I’m home alone today and am surfing some blogs, I came over from TB’s blog, and hope you don’t mind me commenting! 🙂

    Love the “pledging your trough” conversation!

    Sounds like a LOVELY break…I am envious!

  6. Jen says:

    What a downer you are Calvin. :p

    Seriosuly, don’t like the dogs? Eat inside.

    I love places that let you sit outside with your dogs.

  7. Laura says:

    Heather – Yeah, the poor little broken old man doesn’t have as much hop as he used to. He’s coming up on eleven!!!

    Calvin – Now, dear, the dogs we saw in Flag were well behaved. You’re just pissed because Lisa keeps bringing her “piece of shit yap dog” into the bar in a baby-friggin-carrier and taking it behind the bar where drinks and food are prepared and served. That’s a violation of health code, I’m sure.


    TB – Well, you COULD do a day or two of sitting around, and the rest of the time dragging around…

    Suzy – Not at all, I’m glad you’re here! And thanks, we had a great time.

    Jen – See my comment to him, above. Plus, he HAS turned into more of a cat guy. Though he’d probably not like it if someone brought their cat behind the bar, either. Ew. I eat enough cat hair at home, don’t want it when I go out.

  8. Jen says:

    Dogs INSIDE THE BAR? That’s not so good. I’d call the health people.

  9. Calvin says:

    Sorry but if I was at a park and was complaining that’s one thing but no animal (except working dogs) should ever be brought to a public place like a mall, restaurant, bar, grocery store or work.
    IMHO I find it very odd if you feel the need to cart your animal around with you everywhere.

  10. angelcel says:

    Hehe…I’m laughing at Calvin’s tell-it-how-it-is comments! I couldn’t agree more but I would be too chicken to say so publicly. 😀

  11. Laura says:

    Jen – Yeah, it’s totally inappropriate.

    Calvin – You never see a guy doing that, do ya?

    Jayne – You have NO IDEA.

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