Spokane’s Food Truck Scene

On May 17, 2015 my husband and I attended the 1st Annual Greater Spokane Food Truck Association’s Maytoberfest. This collection of 11 food trucks and carts gathered in the Lilac Lanes parking lot offering a flavor of Spokane’s up and coming food truck scene.

Advance tickets sold for $15, day of purchase was $20 which included a sample from every truck. We started with street tacos covered in a habanero salsa from King of Tacos.

King of Tacos

King of Tacos

Having eaten at King of Tacos before I expected a lot of flavor and was a little disappointed at the blandness of their sample. Of course that is just my opinion and we did overhear others saying it was their favorite offering of the day which just goes to show how awesome this event is, allowing people to try so many different types of foods.

Taco Sample

Taco Sample

A Couple of Chefs was our next stop where we sampled a Cuban crostini which was a smaller version of their brick pressed Cuban with River City root beer braised pulled pork. This was one of my favorite samples of the day.

Couple of Chefs

Couple of Chefs

Hawaiian dogs were next at Nick’s Shameless Sausages. The combination of the sweet pineapple with the sausage spices was fantastic. I can only imagine how much better it would be with a bun soaking up the wonderful sauce.

Hawaiian Dog

Hawaiian Dog

The Bistro Box offered an OMG Kobe Beef Slider with peanut butter and homemade pepper jelly. What a combo! The sweetness of the peanut butter mixing with the spicy sweetness of the pepper jelly was one of the best combos that I’ve ever had. If only the kobe was a little less well done it would have been the #1 winner of the night.

The Bistro Box

The Bistro Box

OMG Slider

OMG Slider

The smell of wood smoke drew us to Toby’s BBQ next. There is nothing better on a warm spring day than the smell of BBQ.

Toby's BBQ

Toby’s BBQ

Toby offered up a sample of tender smoked pork with your choice of bbq sauce.

Smoked Pork

Smoked Pork

The Jamaican Jerk Pan, much loved food truck located in Browne’s Addition, called to us next. We have shared a few meals from this food truck in the past and have never been disappointed. The food is always flavorful, fresh and well seasoned. Today was no different. The Jamaican Jerk Pan’s jerk chicken is my husband’s favorite while I am crazy about his curry. Today we were able to sample Jamaican style pork over black beans and coconut rice. The pork was tender and the beans and rice creamy and delicious.

The Jamaican Jerk Pan

The Jamaican Jerk Pan

We will be spending many a date night this summer at this food truck.

Peanut noodles with fresh veggies was served up at 3 Ninjas. This sample was big compared to some of the others and contained soba noodles, homemade peanut dressing and julienned fresh veggies. I felt that it could have used a little something else, maybe cilantro, soy sauce or red pepper flakes? It was a refreshing dish but when we have places like Rock City serving up an amazing peanut sauce, 3 Ninjas needed just a little something more out of the sauce.

Peanut Noodle Bowl

Peanut Noodle Bowl

I cannot say how good the next food truck, Shameless Sausages.com, was since they served a hot dog and that is a food I just cannot stand. My husband was more than happy to eat both samples which consisted of a hot dog and bun smothered in a cheese sauce and topped with thick slabs of pepper bacon.

Kevin Enjoying the Bacon Cheese Dog

Kevin Enjoying the Bacon Cheese Dog

I can say that both containers were completely empty and he had a smile on his face.

The Pizza Truck served a bacon alfredo pizza which tasted great. It was more of a cheese bread than a pizza but it was delicious nonetheless.

The last two trucks were dedicated to dessert. We started with Kona Ice, which had the longest line all evening.

Kona Ice

Kona Ice

Kona Ice served up refreshing, decadent adult style snow cone concoctions made with shaved ice and sweet cream and then smothered in a flavor.

Ordering

Ordering

I chose Tiger’s Blood (cherry, raspberry and coconut), while Kevin decided on creamsicle.

Shaved Ice

Shaved Ice

I could eat this all day long.

The Scoop was the final food truck of our day.

The Scoop

The Scoop

We each enjoyed a 4 oz scoop of Banoffee Pie with cookie butter ice cream. What a way to end the 1st Annual Maytoberfest.

 

The Time I Fell Down Blarney Castle

For anyone who has ever embarrassed themselves in a foreign country or on vacation – this is for you. I am sharing my experience of falling down one of the most famous castles in the world.

http://makemehappynow.net/2015/05/time-fell-blarney-castle/

Lining Up To Kiss The Stone

Lining Up To Kiss The Stone

 

Bloomsday 2015

Bloomsday 2015

Bloomsday 2015

For fans of famed Irish writer James Joyce, this is not a post about Bloom’s Day. Instead I am talking about the annual road race founded on May 1, 1977 by former Olympic athlete, Don Kardong, in Spokane, Washington. That first year brought just over a thousand participants. This year’s 7.4 mile race occurred on May 3rd under a clear blue sky with over 42,000 participants.

This year’s male winner was Kenya’s Lani Kiplagat Ruggo who ran the race in 34 minutes and 22 seconds.

Kenya's Lani Rutto Wins Men's Heat

Kenya’s Lani Rutto Wins Men’s Heat

The ladies’ race was also won by a Kenyan, Cynthia Limo who ran it in 39 minutes and 27 seconds.

Elite Female Runners

Elite Female Runners

As inspiring as the elite runners are, nothing touches the soul as much as the perseverance of the wheelchair racers, especially as they hit the 6.5% uphill grade of Doomsday Hill.

Young Wheelchair Racer

Young Wheelchair Racer

Bloomsday brings millions in revenue to the Lilac City and is embraced as a fun time with many runners showing their personalities.

Runners Having a Good Time

Runners Having a Good Time

Bloomsday Superheroes?

Bloomsday Superheroes?

I participated in 1986, 1989, 1990, 1997 and 2008. I just might have to add 2016 for the race’s 40th anniversary.

Road Trip to Bend, Oregon

There is something about a road trip that takes me back to childhood. The anticipation of a journey, the smell of adventure (which more often than not is the smell of dairy-air). My husband and I woke up at 3 am, packed the car, and arranged our road trip snacks and beverages so that they were within easy reach. We hit the road at 4:30 am while the city still slept, the early morning air crisp. It wasn’t long before we hit patches of fog which soon turned into long stretches of pea soup. Adventure turned to worry, hoping that we didn’t hit anything. As we headed further west, things became clearer with the sun making an appearance around 5:45 am. Pine trees gave way to scrub brush and tumbleweeds which eventually gave way to farmland made possible through irrigation.

We reached the Tri-Cities around 6:30 am where we stopped at a gas station that had a Carl’s Jr where we enjoyed a quick breakfast and a potty break. After our breakfast, we got back on the road heading down to Oregon. We turned up the tunes while I sang along with every song. That was my strategy for keeping my husband awake. No one could sleep through my car concert. The landscape switched from farmland to huge industrial windmills the closer we got to the mighty Columbia River.

Windmills

Windmills

After several breaks to stretch our legs, we entered the high desert of Central Oregon. We were getting closer to our final destination of Sunriver Resort just south of Bend. Scrub made way for trees while the elevation climbed. After passing by Bend a large lava bed appeared on the right. It was 15 miles further south to Sunriver which we pulled into at 12:30 pm, just a half hour before the Travel & Words conference was set to begin at 1 pm. We checked into the resort and then I got checked into the conference.

Sunriver Lodge

Sunriver Resort

We spent two days at Sunriver Resort where I had the opportunity to learn a ton at the conference and my husband and I were able to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend.

McMinniman's

McMenamins

The day after the conference and our anniversary, we took one last look from the deck of our room before packing up the car.

View from our deck

View from our deck

We made a breakfast stop at Chow before hitting the road for home. It was in the 70’s so we sat out on the patio and enjoyed chicken fried steak covered in onions, mushrooms, blue cheese and country gravy and corned beef hash.

Breakfast at Chow's

Breakfast at Chow

Chow's

Chow

After our hearty breakfast we made the long trek back home. Why is it that the return trip seems so much longer than the beginning journey?

Return journey

Return journey