We spent the afternoon today at the Sakura Festival (Hana Matsuri) at Sakura Square downtown. Dave Verdun organized, and we met him and Gene and Jonathan there, plus Steve A. who showed up later. It's just a little one-block street fair, but we had fun and spent longer than I expected there. We got to see taiko drumming this year. The weather was hot, but not too hot, and it was partly cloudy much of the day, so it was actually very nice considering that it was wandering around on a city street downtown in the summer. After collecting the whole group and seeing ikebana and bonsai at the Buddhist temple, we picked up a number of things at the grocery store. I ran into Icarus, there with his brother's kids, and introduced him to the awesome chili-garlic oil they sell (we bought two jars).
The ATM was out, so rather than eat vendor food, we all went and had a very late lunch at a ramen place around the corner -- Sakura House, I think. We got there just before they closed at 3, and we were the last group they served. We had to wait a while, but it was, frankly, an amazingly good meal. I forget the name of what I had, but it was cold soba with egg, cucumber, and beef, and it made my mouth quite happy. (Usually I would have been ravenous by 3:30 with no lunch, but I had an avocado along with my usual eggs and noodles for breakfast, and even though I was actually getting a little brain-fuzzy, I didn't feel particularly hungry before we sat down to eat. So that's an interesting data point.)
What else. Bear D&D yesterday. I am continuing to enjoy playing my
Last weekend, Jerry flew off to Oregon for some Father's Day memorial stuff for his step-dad. After dropping him off at the airport on Saturday morning, I noticed on the drive home that it was getting harder and harder to shift gears on the Jetta. (It turns out, the clutch went out -- some piece in the middle of it actually broke off. $1200 to fix, but no transmission damage, so not as dire as it could have been.)
So, a bit reluctantly, I drove the minivan up to Grand Lake to visit my parents. It did fine with the driving (and I think probably got better gas mileage than it usually does by a fair chunk), but it has no A/C, so the drive up was kinda gross. Also, there was construction traffic (for no apparent reason, argh) on the way up to Idaho Springs that added an hour to the drive, so it took three hours to get up there.
But it was very nice to be up there once I got there. It was pretty crowded at the campground, but then I realized that it was not only summer, but a holiday weekend, and Father's Day no less, and that when we lived up in the mountains, we never went anywhere popular when it was going to be busy. Grand Lake is really full -- the overflow out the dam you drive over was pretty spectacular. (The amount of standing deadwood from beetle kill is a bit alarming, though.)
I visited with Mom & Larry and the dogs, and with my brother Dave and his family, and we grilled stuff for dinner, and then we took the boats out on the lake until sunset. The drive home was better than the drive up, though still kinda stressful. Still, I'm glad I went. (We visited with my parents again this Friday over at Dave's place; they're on their way back to Nebrasker today.)
And I think that catches me up. *whew!*