Event #2: Omaha, NE
June 3rd - June 8th, 2009. The Taste of Omaha.
Day 1 - The Drive, Wednesday June 3rd.
Left the compound at 5pm with a few new faces. 5 of us this time. Beautiful new rig as well - a 7.3 liter diesel Ford F-350. Money. Well, actually used, but its a lot safer and nicer. The engine and exhaust aren't crying for mercy when I step on the gas.
So Iowa smells like shit. Surprise, surprise. And its not even hot at this point. The roads are long, and the roads are boring. 80W is terrible. One of the roads was titled 'Tait Cummins' somethin. That's one N and one G away from awesomeness. Think about it. Also passed a town called 'What Cheer'. Seriously - that's the name of the town. Residents of What Cheer - where is the punctuation? Another thing - there is a shit-ton of windmills. Lotta power windin thru that countryside. The green revolution is heeeeere!
What I wrote down for my next point was 'Check engine light on? Push through!' Unbeknownst to us, there was something seriously wrong with our new truck. We were about 250+ miles outside of Omaha, and something just . . . didn't feel right with the vehicle. I couldn't quite figure it out, but I literally said out loud to Kevin, who was sitting shotgun, "Something's wrong here". After doing....well, nothing about it for a minute or two, I said "guess not then" and continued going 75 miles per hour down the road. Literally 3 hours later, as we slowed down off the exit ramp to our hotel - it was painfully clear. As I turned the wheel, I found it increasingly difficult to make said turn.
There was ZERO power steering fluid.
Yeah. For more than 250 miles, I was captaining a 7000+ pound mechanical bull 75 miles an hour down the highway. Through construction, at 2 in the morning. I was so pissed. Pissed doesn't even describe my frustration, but as it was 2:30 in the am, I slept it off and just thanked god that we were all still alive.
Thurs. June 3rd, 2009
8am came early. That'll happen when you go to bed at 2:30. Kevin went to an auto parts store while I was slumbering to grab some brake fluid. Swell guy. Too bad it leaked all over the Riverfront walkway where we were situated for the Taste of Omaha. And I mean ALL over. Someone is gonna be piiiiiiiissed. View of the Missouri river is awesome. Location couldn't be better. Waited till 2pm for the electricians to flip a damn switch so we could get outta there. 4 hours of nothing. We seriously waited for 4 hours. We could have gotten the truck fixed, but...naaah.
We DID stop at the Crescent Moon pub in downtown Omaha after we got a shuttle back to our hotel. We had to drive our broken ass truck 10 miles to the Iowa Nebraska border to a 'certified' Ford dealership to repair it. Anyways - the Crescent Moon. Again, I consulted my favorite issue of Draft Magazine which features the best beer bars in America. Thus, a stop at this amazing drinking establishment was in order. We had eaten nothing all day, so we were very hungry and of course parched. Great place with terrible service. Had an Old Stock Rasputin Stout (8.7 rating). Followed close behind by a Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Colorado (9.1) Finished with the always smooth, slightly hoppy Goose Island Matilda.
Now let me tell you a little story about a guy named Rich. Rich is a retired car salesman who works at McMullen Ford in Council Bluffs, Iowa as a shuttle driver. Since Ford is in the shitter, they no longer offer loaner vehicles. So Rich ended up being our chauffeur twice on this fateful day. Rich first dropped us off at our hotel when we decided not to wait for the truck to get fixed. He said he would call us when the truck was finished. That's when we decided to head to the Crescent Moon. An hour later - they called to confirm that the truck was done. We told Rich to meet us at our hotel. Yeah...so we didn't go there. We continued to drink, which was a slight asshole move. Then, Rich did something I never thought possible. He sent Kevin a message that he was at our hotel waiting for us. VIA TEXT MESSAGE. Rich, a 70 year old leathery individual, TEXTED us. I dont know - if you don't think that's amazing - go visit another blog. Rich then took us on a tour of the 'happenin' spots downtown' where all the 'young college girls hang out'. Much appreciated Rich. Also - he told us stories about how he met Carrol Shelby - a badass car manufacturer, racer, and enthusiast. He was an awesome guy - one that you'd have to meet in real life to grasp his coolness.
We still had plenty of daylight to spare when we left for Seymour Park around 5:30. After an entire day of waiting for other people, it was time to do a little disc golfing. We bought our case of high life and headed to the park, where unfortunately, it was league night. Pulled up to a full (and I mean FULL) parking lot of eager frolfers. We didn't really get to play the whole course, as there were up to 20 people waiting to tee off at some holes. During our play though, we had the pleasure of meeting Daisy the Duck. A domesticated duck that was the pet for a happy couple in their 30's. It followed them around and quacked. Seriously. It's wings were clipped so it couldn't fly away. I'm not sure what the point of having a duck for a pet is, but they had one. It was very, very wierd to see. After frolfin around, we headed back to the hotel to shower. Took a trip to 'Old Market Town' (where Rich had taken us) to Upstream Brewery. (Yeah, I AM obsessed with breweries, and i'm OK with that). I had a lemon ginger saison and a Hawaiian blue something or other saison as well. They were both mediocre.
Fri. June 4th, 2009
So perhaps I had too much to drink last night. Throughout the day yesterday, Twilight was the topic. Dana, a nice young lady of 22 years who was with us for the event, had brought the dvd with her. It was, for some reason, a hot topic. I felt it necessary to watch it after we got home for the night. It was terrible. Sorry, I just don't get the hype. The main actor looks like he auditioned for the 2nd (or 3rd?) Powder movie, and the girl - although strangely sexy - could be the worst actress in history. And what an anti-climactic ending? My god.
So - Palermo's - our first day of the event. We were up & running by 11am. Which was very interesting because they didnt SELL TICKETS FOR THE EVENT UNTIL 5PM. You read right. All vendors had to be set up and in operation at 11 am. The ticket booth for the event didnt open on the grounds until 5. What another complete waste of time. Amateurs. And it wasn't a 'cash' event. Fairgoers bought 'tickets' to get whatever they wanted from vendors at pre-determined 'prices'. Highlights included a sweet pedestrian bridge to the south...McKennas Blues, Brews, and BBQ of Omaha, and the guy with the coolest Star Wars tattoos EVER. After a very long 11 hour day, we made a Wal-Mart run to get necessary things. Fun fact of Omaha: Liquor & Beer sales extend until 1am. Super. We grabbed a 6'er of Boulevard Brewery (from KC, MO) & indulged. Can't get it in WI, so it tasted even better for that reason alone. Boulevard Wheat - cloudy goodness. Beeroseur rating of 8.7.
Sat. June 5th, 2009
Busy day. Walked around the fairgrounds - it was very large. Got a mullet at Ashley Lynns Barber 10 blocks away. Really! The Asian hairstylist, who owned the place, was not very ecstatic about doing the cut. 'ohhhh riry? i haven done that in 20 year!' Yes, I am being slightly racist here, but how else am I supposed to convey her broken English? Exactly. I went with a 3 guard on the sides, so it's not truly visibly obvious. But dammit, it's a mullet. So through my years, I've had a rat tail, bowl cut, shaved my head, and gone with the shag. I'm wondering when I'll sport the actual mohawk. Other than the mullet today, the day was pretty standard. Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions are proving to be popular. Nate and I do pretty well with them. We are next to the main stage on the riverfront walkway, which is good and bad. The main music stage is no more than two hundred feet away from our pizza capsule. "The Diamonds", tonights main performance, sucked balls. Thank the lord we have the iPod player in the trailer. The Diamonds looked like cheap assholes playing 50's music around a game of Poker. No thanks. Highlight of the day was this absolutely hammered chick who approached us. Quite inchorent, but hilarious. Continually asked us to go down her shirt to clean up some pizza, which was hilarious. Said that 'hitting on boys was gay', and that 'her boyfriend doesn't care that she flirts with guys, because she gets free shit and gives it to him'. We then went to the Dundee Dell, a downtown Omaha bar after we got ready for a nite on the town. So remember how I said that it was cool that Omaha had beer & liquor sales until 1? Yeah, bar time is 1am too. So when we got to the bar, and 12:30 rolled around and some gibberish was yelled into the mic, we thought nothing of it. Of course they were saying that it was last call. I oredered a St. Bernadus Triple at 12:50am. This asshole of a bartender literally STOOD OVER our table and WAITED for us to 'drink' our beers. By drink, he basically said chug. Keep in mind that this bar has a collection of gorgeous, somewhat expensive imported beers. YOU DONT CHUG THEM. What an asshole of a staff. Takes a lot for me to say that as well, especially since I'm in the service industry. Unbelievable.
Sun. June 6th, 2009
Pretty boring day. Bob Seger tribute band was rockin from 6-8pm though. Clutch. Since it was Sunday, Taste only lasted from 11am-8pm, so it was a slightly easier day. Nebraska observation: eeeeeeveryone here is pregnant. everyone. So many preggos. One of them wore a tshirt that read 'I'm not fat, I'm knocked up!' I laughed. Huge shoutout to McKennas of Omaha. Absolutely amazing BBQ chicken & pork sandwhiches. Also amazing garlic American potato salad. And I don't even LIKE potato salad. Bartering is good. Free pizza for free bbq. Any day. Today as marked the 3rd impression of the weekend. Boris Milosch. Right now its a perfect Czech/Slovack/Kazakh mesh. I highly doubt I'll be able to replicate this perfection again. "Eastern European Jizzzzzz". LOL. Had Red Lobster for dinner, which was a first. Blackened Tilapia & 2 margaritas. Becky was our server. It's currently midnight here and the 5 are playing asshole. Drinking Milwaukee made Miller Lite and non Milwaukee made Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat. 2 radio remotes tomorrow followed by a round of disc golf.
Mon. June 8th, 2009
The big black lady who calls everyone 'sweetheart' that works at the Best Western made us waffles in the morning. 2 radio remotes today, 94.1 & 104.5. Local grocery stores known as Hy-Vee carried the stuff. Girl who worked 94.1 was smoking hot. Left at 4:30pm with 9 slices in my belly. The fire roasted ham & pineapple primo thin and grilled chicken caesar pizza are my kryptonite. My god.
Next post = wrapup & pictures.