The 2013 Silicon Valley BBQ Championships were coming to Santa Clara. It sounded entertaining. It also sounded tasty.
More importantly, the city was putting it on within walking distance of our house. So when the boys announced they wanted to go to the park at 10 a.m., I decided we were going on an adventure.
Smoked meat for lunch! (As sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society – which is apparently a big deal.)
We headed out, dodging parking signs that blocked the entire sidewalk and cars that refused to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk with the green walking man. (I now know where Stephen King came up with the idea for Running Man.)
We wandered past the playground toward the pop-up booths. My plan was to get us some lunch, enjoy an afternoon picnic and perhaps head over to the KidZone carnival (there was even a mechanical bull, but since I had the kids there was no way I’d be consuming nearly enough wine for that ride).
We passed the burgers and tri-tip sandwiches. We saw the masterminds firing up their grills. And via majority-rule muppet demand, selected some award-winning hotdogs in Costco buns. And potato chips in the *yellow* bag. Don’t be jealous.
We found a shady spot beneath a tree – the neon colors of the mountain high carnival bounce-house slides contrasting the natural hues of the local mallard ducks patrolling their pond. The NASCAR “train” car lapped the perimeter with the youngest portion of the Bay Area redneck-enthusiast contingency. (I kid.)
Country music boomed behind us from the KRTY local radio station concert soundtracking the barbequing goodness.
“I hear music, mommy,” Destroy shared. “You come with me to see the music?”
“Is it special music?” asked Search.
Of course it is sweetie. Because you like what you like, and you seem to be enjoying this. But maybe it was just the scent of wisteria on the breeze on a sweet summer day.
I figured it couldn’t hurt to wander through the pavilion on our tour. It was quickly approaching 90 degrees and the pavilion was shaded, albeit crowded as the masses had descended upon the concrete tables to eat and enjoy the music as well.
Several women were in their own little world the sunny center grass of the area, swaying back and forth to the young country crooner rocking his gig at the city shindig. They had big bottle blond hair and very tight sherbet-color pants. (I assumed these were the traveling state fair musician groupies (who go on to have daughters who throw themselves at Single A ballplayers batting .146).
So we stayed back with the rest of the locals, and I meandered slowly through the crowds, headed toward the foam-matted remove-all-the-fun-for-child-safety preschool play yard. I heard the singer mumble something about the single off his upcoming album.
It took a few notes, but I realized I knew the song. Our little city event singer was Grammy nominated country artist Eric Paslay. Granted, he’s still small fries in Nashville and he didn’t *win* any awards. Maybe that explained the groupies?
Both boys hopped out of their stroller and began boogying down slightly to the beat in their own heads, while grinning mischievously at the music they could see, and the music I could hear played along.
Now, if I remember correctly, somewhere in the parenting handbook it says summers are the time to make memories with your children. So to add to the experience of their first live concert, we sampled sno-cones (blue raspberry and watermelon flavor).
Tangent: Who came up with the “blue raspberry” flavor idea. It’s clearly just “generic fruity flavor that turns your mouth blue” STOP LICKING YOUR BROTHER. But I digress…
You may hate hotdogs, you may cringe at the thought of country music. But even you heat-hating summer grinches would have smiled warmly at the two twin boys getting their groove thang on as syrup-y ice dribbled down their faces and arms before congealing into a sticky substance even NASA can’t figure out how to remove.
Enjoy your Fourth of July tomorrow. May your holiday be filled with the enthusiasm of a 3-year-old with a red watermelon, white ice, and blue raspberry melting mess.