My bowling shoes are another year older (if you have read this blog for several years, this will make sense – if not, feel free to click here for the story). My birthday was last Thursday, but since I was going to spend the whole day loading the truck and driving to York, PA (and since my brother had an all-day meeting on Thursday) Mom, Dad, Blake and I celebrated a day early.
Dad called me a few days early and asked if Marion’s Pizza sounded good – for someone who lives around Dayton, Marion’s Pizza always sounds good. Then they surprised me with Graeter’s ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert. It was a Southwest Ohio birthday – Graeter’s is ice cream in the Cincinnati area. Then I spent the afternoon and early evening playing golf with my friend, Tom – he and I have played together regularly for more than 40 years.
I knew I was going to be dependent on others for much of the weekend. The hotel rates in York are quite high, and the Holiday Inn where I have stayed for years had enough issues last year that I decided to look elsewhere. I finally Pricelined last week and got a better rate at the historic Yorktowne Hotel.
The Yorktowne Hotel was built in 1925 and has welcomed lots of dignitaries over the years – one elevator has a list of celebrities, and the other has a list of politicians who have stayed there. It also has a working letter chute – I haven’t seen one of these in years unless the slots near the elevator on each floor were filled in. And I also had an actual key for my room – it has been so long since I’ve had one of those that I almost forgot to turn it in when I left.
This was very cool – in the lobby, they had a laminated copy of the local newspaper from the day the hotel opened – every story on the front page was about the new hotel in town.
Since the Yorktowne Hotel is downtown, it has a parking garage next door – which is fine for most, but not for a vendor with a big truck. So Pat and Nikki from Heirloom ferried me back and forth from the fairgrounds for a couple of days and my friend Melinda did the honors the last day.
Pat and Nikki decided to take me out to dinner for my birthday after setup on Friday – a barbeque joint had caught Pat’s eye the day before and he wanted to try it. I would recommend it highly – Mission BBQ is a small chain that is spreading down the east coast. Great barbeque and a military theme paying tribute to the troops everywhere, including the mobile smoker in the parking lot.
Inside was more of the same – give it a try if you come across one.
I got a kick out of this because the front wheels were up in the air once the jacks had leveled the living quarters – couldn’t resist shooting a couple of pics. This rig is the “home away from home” of Rick and Kelley from Our Daily Bread Designs – if you can swing it, it beats a hotel room anytime.
Treats for Zoe from her “aunt” Bev Parnell greeted me on Saturday. I greeted Bev with a big hug that I have been saving for two months – she lost her husband to cancer back in August. She and I have shared prayers and cancer stories for quite a while now.
I showed this view to a lot of customers over the weekend – this was the live cam shot down Main Street of my hometown during the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival. Imagine more than 350,000 people on Main Street of a town of 3,000 – it is quite a sight, and the food from the local booths is out of this world – sauerkraut in everything you could think of (and a lot of things you couldn’t). Modern technology is amazing – I could see what was going on at home in real time from 475 miles away.
Saturday evening, I treated myself to dinner at Smokey Bones (yes, more barbeque) – they had sent me an e-mail with a coupon for a free dessert. This picture from their website doesn’t do justice to what I got – the Leaning Tower of Chocolate Cake was big enough for two (or three) and came with two scoops of ice cream. I moaned when it came out – fought my way through half of it and then surrendered. The rest went into a takeout box and I finished it on Sunday at the show.
My favorite apparel view of the weekend was this little one wearing socks that looked like ballet slippers . . .
And we have a new item called “Papertyger Durable Paper” – you literally can’t tear it and it was fun to watch this girl try.
Ah, the sleepy late afternoons at a show – my good friend Cal has done this many times while his wife Dee was shopping or working at a show. If the image on the right looks familiar, it’s because I caught the same guy doing the same thing in Fort Wayne the weekend before!
And for no reason other than “I wanted to share it with you” – here’s a rainbow that I saw while sitting at a stoplight last Tuesday. It was one of the most vivid I have ever seen.
For the locals – my next post will include images of the winning projects from a couple of contests held during the Fall Fest at our store in Dayton last week, along with an intriguing piece of Thanksgiving headgear. Look for that in the next day or two.