Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer 2009 Plans

So...I deleted the home renovation blog. I just didn't feel compelled to write about footers, framing, choosing windows, negotiating the price of carpeting...kind of funny, because I assumed when I started that sub-blog that I would of course keep up with it because I like to write. WRONG. I like to write about traveling!

A year ago today we were still adjusting to the time in Antwerpen on our Antwerpen II excursion. This summer, our home renovation project has zeroed out the travel budget, though we have friends from Antwerpen coming here instead, which is almost as fun. I love seeing my home town through others' eyes (and it's pretty here in the summer). And we will be seeing the grandparents later this summer as well, so we won't be completely Valley-bound all summer.

Yesterday I needed a cheap lunch on the run, but my aversion to franchise fast food led me to a local option that you have to have lived here for a while to know about. Readers of the blog will recognize that sentiment...I love being a local at home, and when I travel I like to find the markets, restaurants and events that have a local feel. So anyway, 'burgers know about the Red Front Hot Dog Stand, which Red Front Supermarket insists upon calling the West End Cafe...c'mon people, it's a hot dog stand. You go to Red Front on Chicago Avenue, grab a buck fifty, plop it on the counter, and you get a hot dog and a drink. That's it! You can have chili on the dog, and all the standard condiments are there, but if you're looking for selection, keep driving. If you want a really good hot dog, a nice cold drink, and a little neighborly conversation though, you've found your spot. I ate my hot dog and chatted with an 82-year-old gentleman who was seated comfortably on a pile of bags of mlch, enjoying his hot dog. He said he grew up on a farm on the east side of the county ("What did you farm?" "Everything"), was a WW2 veteran ("got in just before the war ended") and feels lucky to be alive after a brain aneurysm sent him into a 2-week coma not long ago. My own grandfather, WW2 veteran, aortal aneurysm, grew up farming "everything"...not that this other man reminded me in appearance or personality of my grandfather, but...

let's just say this kind of interaction is well-nigh impossible at the Chik-Fil-A drive thru...and, for that matter, at the sober, pharmacy-like eatery tucked in the back of Kate's Natural Products (though I enjoyed my celeberry smoothie the other day, don't get me wrong).

Wanna eat a quick lunch like a Harrisonburg local? Scratch together six quarters and head for the hot dog stand.


You can search FTJ for past posts, e.g. China info...