But for those of you who don’t know where WSU is, its in a tiny town in eastern Washington called Pullman, 8 miles from the Idaho border. This means, from the west side of the state where we live, it is a 5 hour (at least) one way drive with half of it being on a 2 lane highway. As much as I love visiting the town, it is a 2 day event to get there and enjoy it.
However, when planning this trip to Walla Walla, Michelle said, “You know, we are pretty close to Pullman….”
Close is a relative term, it is still a 2 hour trip! But that is doable!
We decided to make the trip on Saturday. Being Labor Day weekend, we learned last time we were here that downtown is taken over by a parade on Saturday.
I think I have said in the past, but I will say for sure now, I really dislike parades! They are great for kids, but honestly, they are pretty damn boring. The last one I went to was a Daffodil Parade in Tacoma when I was fresh out of college. My at the time girlfriends dad was a Daffodilian (the honchos who are in charge of the daffiness) and he was marching in the parade. Of course at the END of the parade!!
I suggested we watch from the start of the route, so we would be done early, but NOPE. We had to sit with the VIPs at the end of the route… It drug on forever!!! I was scarred for life…
But I digress…
So, we decided getting out-of-town was the best bet to avoid the parade, Pullman it was! This turned out to be the first football game of the season, which normally would be a BAD time for quick trip. However, with a 730 kickoff, we could be there and gone LONG before the crowds!
We had Breakfast at Bacon and Eggs (DAMN good apple scones!!!) and watched as people started setting up their chairs for the start. we finished, walked to the car, and had to take a bit of the circuitous route out of town, but soon we were on the way!
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the area around Walla Walla and Pullman,it is known as the Palouse (pronounced PA-loose) Rolling hills of wheat fields.
There are some who consider this desolate and ugly, but if you take the time to look, it is truly spectacular. There are dust devils, tumble weeds, cows and horses, the occasional coyotes and pheasants, plus the waves of color. Honestly enjoy driving through fields like this. It is part of the magic that makes us Cougs!
And, this is indicative of the traffic
Long stretches of road with VERY few other vehicles. DAMN it was hot though!! This is unseasonably warm even for Eastern Washington. Our jeep showed it was 102 at one point UGH!!!
Now a few things I did NOT consider with this trip. The first was parking. The game wasn’t till 730, and we were there at 1130, 8 hours till kick off! However, the parking lots were already being blocked off for football attendees with parking passes! UGH!! But, with a little eagle eyeness, dumb luck and knowledge of campus, I got us a decent spot near my old dorm!
The second was the heat – uphill combination! For those who have never been to WSU, its built on a hill! That means there is no way to get anywhere without going uphill somehow! It was a long hot slog up to the Bookie (our book store and treasure trove of all things Cougness)
Finally, I SWEAR I checked, but Ferdinand’s, our creamery and home of Cougar Cold Cheese
Didn’t open till 1 PM! (I thought it was 11!) OK to the bookie first!
We walked around, and I must say my wife is a BAD influence! I walked out with sweats, a t-shirt a hat, a shirt for her and Cougar cookbook! Hell, it was the most I had spent at the Bookie since my days of buying textbooks!
On the way up to the Bookie we passed bookman outside of Holland Library.
He wasn’t there in my day, but I REALLY like him, He’d go well next to our little free library at home. Michelle said I could bring him with us though!
Now, when you have gone to Pullman, you learn to plan your routes. With the Bookie being at the highest point on campus, it made the rest of the trip downhill! We walked to Ferdinand’s and joined the rest of us cheese nuts standing in line waiting for them to open. (Luckily it was in the shade!) Then we walked downhill to the car!
By then, it was lunch time! Now back in my day, our hang outs involved beer, lots of it, and as inexpensive as possible! Better yet, within walking distance. (Even then we were responsible enough NOT to drive! (Our overall responsibility I will NOT attest to! )
I tell you this, as it meant I did NOT get to the downtown establishments all that often, One that I did, though, was Rico’s Pub. It has NOT changed at all.
It was a quiet bookish place that didn’t appeal that much to 21 year old Tony. But to Old Fart Tony it was the perfect place for a beer and lunch!
It honestly a REALLY good thing Rico’s is not near my house. I really like the atmosphere in there now. It quiet, the food is good, and even though I read a Kindle now, I love being surrounded by books!
Plus, as I went upstairs to use the restroom, caught something out of the corner of my eye! Under the stairs was this dude!
He was easy to miss! I have to wonder 1) did I not see him back in the day? and 2) how many people go up and down these stairs without ever noticing him?
The food was great, but it was time to get the hell outta Dodge before the crowds arrived. The ride home was fast and easy, though we saw plenty of people coming the other way. When we got back, we took a walk into town, and found a new winery, Kontos.
Where we could sit in a room with A/C, sip a glass and unwind a bit after a whirlwind drive!
Thanks babe! I really enjoyed my trip to Pullman!