Seven

Days to the Wolves according to my current favorite band, Nightwish.  Seven days to the poison.  Or at least according to my mom.  Like all mothers, she worries.  It’s a long trip; I will be traveling alone at the beginning and the end.  Personally, I’m more nervous about coming down mountains, as I’ve never done that towing.  But I have faith in Rory.

So, while under different circumstances I might have a whole post about what I don’t yet have prepared, I’m going to skip all that.  It’s hard to think about when I’m nowhere near my trailer.

the-famous-lamberts-cafe
Sikeston, Missouri is home to the flying dough restaurant, Lambert’s.

However, I did spend yesterday driving about 550 miles in order to see my parents and brother’s family.  We met in Sikeston, MO.  The home of Lambert’s Cafe, which is famous for throwing hot rolls at you.  I’d never actually been there, though everyone else in my family has been.  I pictured a waiter/waitress standing near the table and gently tossing a small piece of bread at me.

This is NOT what happens.

We were seated at a giant booth in a rather large restaurant.  After some time deciding what to get, the waitress arrived to take our orders.  I’d told her mine and she was around to the other side of the table when my second oldest niece, Maggie, raised her hand.  Maggie was seated to my right and had already ordered, so I thought she wanted to change something.

Wrong.

Suddenly a piping hot giant roll flew over my head and right into Maggie’s waiting hands.  She would repeat this feat about 5 more times over the course of the meal.  I was concerned for my drink and my personal safety, at times, as Maggie was really enthusiastic about catching flying dough.

Did I mention how hot it was?

Anyway, the reality is they pull them out of the oven(s) (which must be huge), wheel the pan out into the dining area and start chucking them all over the place.  These guys think nothing of firing rolls thirty feet.

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Look out for flying bread!

I will say that, risk of burns and Maggie’s elbow hitting my head aside, the food was really good.  And people must like this place, as it was packed at 3:30pm on a Saturday.  I can’t imagine what the wait is like at normal dinner times.  It was great being able to see my family before I take off into the great unknown (and certain death, per my mother).

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Married for 50 years, my parents Ron and Neva.
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My baby brother, MIke.
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Oldest niece, Emma
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The roll catcher extraordinaire, and second oldest niece, Maggie.
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Third niece, Abigail.
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And my sister in law, Melissa, and the youngest niece, Samantha

The girls presented me with a set of tiki torch lamps and oil, which will come in very handy on my trip, and two squirrel figurines.  They’re hoping that the presence of several squirrels in my trailer will repel any invading rodents; I sure hope they’re right!

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Mom and Emma
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The Weist family

Today is the day I’m going to work as much as possible on our schedule, trying to finish out to January 1, 2020.  And despite eating a great meal at Lambert’s yesterday, I was hungry again at lunchtime.  Luckily, I had a great place to eat already lined up.

First, I need to explain a few things.  I was born in Yakima, WA and, until I was 10, lived in the Yakima valley.  As of the 2010 census, there were almost 250,000 people living there.  45% are Hispanic.  Now, both numbers would have been lower in the ’70’s when I lived there, but there was a HUGE Mexican population and influence.  My elementary school was taught in both English and Spanish.  My teachers had last names like Garcia, Gutierrez, and Martinez.  My friends had names like Juan, Lupe, and Maria.  I thought this was normal, having never lived anywhere else.

And there were tacos.  I have no idea how old I was when I first ate a taco, but they were a staple both at home and at school. Living in the Pacific Northwest, fish was also a common and wonderful food.  I love seafood of all kinds, but especially salmon.

And then some genius, somewhere, combined the two.

Again, I have no idea where or when I had my first fish taco, but let me tell you it’s like a slice of heaven when a restaurant does them right.

This brings me to San Diego.  A place that the American Thoracic Society chooses frequently to host the big conference, as it has a huge convention center and plenty of hotels to accommodate the 15-20,000 attendees.  The San Diego convention center sits on the coast, right at one end of the Gas Lamp District, where there are a ton of restaurants.  And right in between the two sits the Tin Fish.  This nirvana serves a dizzying array of fish in all kinds of forms, but for me there is no need to look further than their salmon tacos.  Every time I go to San Diego I make it a point to eat there at least once.

Tin Fish
Yummy
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Most of the seating is outside; it’s San Diego, after all. The glass building in the background is part of the convention center.
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My salmon tacos from my last trip to San Diego, May of 2018.

The ATS conference was last there in 2018, so of course I had several tacos.  One day, while waiting for my order, I decided to google their company.  I’d assumed it was an independent restaurant as no one I knew had ever heard of it before, but it turns out there are eight Tin Fish in the world.

Their corporate headquarters are in Sunrise, Florida.  Definitely makes sense, as fish and Florida go together for sure!  But it’s not the only Florida location.  There’s also one in Okeechobee and one in Port St. Lucie.  So, three in Florida all together.

And the San Diego location isn’t the sole California representative.  There’s a Tin Fish at Pier 39 in San Francisco, one Under the Pier in Oceanside (which sure sounds cool), and one at the Imperial Fishing Pier in Imperial Beach.  So, a total of 4 Tin Fish in California.

But, there are actually eight Tin Fish restaurants in existence.  Can anyone guess where the eighth is located?  Because I pretty much fell over in shock.

Newburgh.

Wait, what?

Newburgh, INDIANA.

Which is where Deaconess is located.  You know, the Deaconess that I travel to work at every other month.  HOW DID I NOT DISCOVER THIS SOONER?????????

So, my lunch today was salmon tacos, of course.  My little way of channeling ATS, as the conference kicks off today.  Shout out to my peeps in Dallas, hope you’re enjoying it–though it must be hard without me there.  LOL.

Now, back to the schedule and pointedly not thinking about the number seven.  Let me know if you need directions to the Tin Fish, cause I’ve got them memorized.

 

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