Friday, May 4, 2018

Northern Exposure

We spent a long weekend at Suncadia with friends at the tail end of Spring Break. One of those friends put the wrong kind of soap in the dishwasher, squirted liquid dish soap into it instead of the stuff made for machines. Our friends are a smart and savvy group of people but when we all get together, it gets kind of chaotic and we're often just trying to get through the day without somebody ending up in the ER. "Details" often become "details schmetails."

Here come the happy little bubbles
escaping out the bottom
while we all stand around staring at it.

The adults said "shit" but the kids said "cool."

My search history for our time in Suncadia reads as follows on my iPhone: "wrong soap in dishwasher" followed by "squawking sound coming from refrigerator" followed by "what is Supertramp's greatest hit" and that is a surprisingly good summary of the weekend.

Suncadia is a resort community outside Roslyn, Washington. Roslyn is a textbook "sleepy town" whose claim to fame is being the filming location for the '90s TV show Northern Exposure. The show is supposed to take place in Alaska but that was a TV falsehood, it is downright Washington around here.

There are no moose in Roslyn. The famous shot of the moose in the Northern Exposure opening credits was created, so we're told, by "borrowing" a moose, building a fence around the entire town, and letting the moose wander around. And wander he did, straight past The Roslyn Cafe at one point, a business that still exists, which straight up told the audience they weren't looking at Alaska.

Our group took a few hikes together during our days in Suncadia/Roslyn, including this one where we went offroad and walked 'round and 'round in the forest somewhat disoriented, joking nervously about how no one had come prepared with backpacks, bottles of water, food, that kind of basic hiking survival stuff --

What are we even doing? 
Buncha city people
 wandering around with no trail and no water.

Again, details schmetails. We had been grateful just to get everyone out the door and into cars and accounted for at the trailhead.

It's no joking matter with these people, really, we should have been better prepared. These are the same people with whom we have weathered intense windstorms, terrible injuries and disgusting hot tub rashes. We should be careful when we're together. There is something about the energy we put out into the universe that makes the universe want to do things to us.

Looking at this pic, who can blame it?
We're just begging to be taken down a peg.

It's like The Beatles crossing Abbey Road but more Twilight-y.

Since our older kids are capable babysitters now, we left the mess of kids (or is it a tangle of kids?) at the house with some mac-n-cheese and went out for grown-up dinner in Roslyn.

We went to the town tavern, The Brick, after dinner to play some shuffleboard. The Brick is rumored to be the oldest operating tavern in our state, established in 1889, but we were more impressed with the unabashedly phallic sign out front.

well hello there, fella.

The Brick has a "running water spittoon" still operating in front of the bar stools --

These water-filled floor troughs were originally installed for tobacco spit but soon enough men began using them to relieve themselves pee-wise so they didn't have to get up from their stools. I think it was a wise decision the TV people focused on the moose and left out the piss trough for the Northern Exposure opening credits.

I wonder what gross secondary use they devised for the shuffleboard.
Likely butt exfoliation.

Alex went back to Mexico City for work soon after our Suncadia trip. I took the kids to another area of Washington while he was away, the northern part, where tulip fields bloom like Holland in the Spring. It's quite a draw for the people of our state -- such a draw, in fact, the kids and I had to wait in a car line for over an hour just to pull into the parking lot from the main road We all agreed it was good Alex wasn't with us at that point; he would have lost his damn mind because the man has no patience for sitting still.

The tulip fields are gorgeous, like paintings come to life plus hundreds of tourists. I tried to take nice pictures of my children but they soon made it clear I'm never going to have a normal picture of them ever again.

...for the love of god, children.

Sometimes I would think I had a good one of both of them smiling at the camera only to zoom in and realize Lucien was giving me the middle finger. I am really enjoying the age of 12.

whoomp, there it is.

Unabashedly Phallic would be a good name for a band.
Seems fitting for heavy metal,
but would be funnier for a classical string quartet.


  1. Northern Exposure is probably my all-time favorite series, so this post is super exciting, pee troughs and all! OMG, 12. Tell me about it. Kids at that age can be real d*cks. God love ‘em! I know from the older one that it does pass, but it’s a long haul. The eldest at 21 finally made nice and is as wonderful as he was when he was smaller and younger. There are those beautiful moments when 12 regresses momentarily to about four, with a hug and an “I love you!” Those moments fuel me for the next bout of his being a d*ck. Lol.

    1. I loved it too! I totally thought of you when I wrote this, as if I knew you’d be excited about it. Did I know about your Northern Exposure fan status before? Or just felt it in the cosmos?

    2. ...we won’t even get into 12-year-old boys, though thanks for the positive words about the future!

    3. I’ve posted about NoEx on Facebook before, so you may have seen those and know about my love for the crew from Cicely, Alaska! Oh so good! Twelve is interesting, lol. One thing I also like is seeing him transitioning into his about-to-be-teen self, and teens are special. Like an acquired taste for something like liverwurst. Or coffee, when you’re young and it smells good, but your taste buds are not yet dead and so it tastes to bitter and gross, but as you get older, it’s necessary and delicious. It’s fun to watch them grow, I can say that, for sure! :) xo MJ — love you!

  2. Bloody Well Right

    Some might argue it's something from "Breakfast in America" but that would be crap.

    "Unknown" remains in the wings ready to tackle the heavy questions, no need to thank me.