i woke at 1 p.m. to find chuck sitting on the deck reading, and groaned. the only thing worse than waking up is waking up to sunlight. i stevie wonder'd myself to the chaise. chuck placed sunglasses on my face and fed me blueberries and coaxed me toward acceptance that yes, that is natural light and yes the heat is oppressive, but this is how people live in the summer.
we learned via twitter that the "tall ships" had arrived. the "tall ships" is the dumbest name for these huge, old-school, multisailed boats. it would be like changing my name to "red-haired girl sunburns easily." regardless, we wandered down to canal park, joining 50,000 tall ship fans from white bear lake who all looked a little bit like elderly twice-removed relatives you see at a family reunion.
"we are the only people here older than 12 and younger than 60," chuck observed.
the line at crabby bill's, creators of the best horseradish to ever singe a tongue, was thick with tourists craving walleye fingers. crabby bill's understood the limitations of its customers.
my jumbo dog made for a perfect horseradish vessel.
we crossed to the other side of the lift bridge to watch the tall ships come in. stuck in a mess of strollers, wheelchairs and general gape-mouthed gawkers, chuck said: "i'm going to get a t'shirt that says 'local going apeshit.' a woman pushing a stroller turned around to glare at him, and in the process accidentally rammed her kid into the guard rail. we snickered.
the old lady standing next to me kept calling the boats "pirate ships." "pirate ships," she'd say, puckering her cracked red-painted lips. these "pirate ships" wowed the crowd by firing off canon-less canons. i found this to be an unnecessary use of noise.
soon, everyone in the world with a floatation device collapsed onto the lake.
our next stop was a parade in west duluth. we got there just in time to see a bunch of floats celebrating jesus and politicians. i dove for a handful of tootsie rolls and sweet tarts that had been tossed into the crowd and almost took out a little girl's tooth.
"CANDY!" she screamed in my ear.
i handed her the piece that i had won, fair and square. what a baby.
then came the fire trucks and their fire truck noises. i developed a bad case of sensory overload and almost collapsed into the fetal position on the curb.
cheese curds made it all better.
i almost stole a cute little dog that i was going to rename jake. he was wearing a blue collar and was asleep in a wagon with his little dog brothers.
then we played with purple.
we ended up at the fair in proctor. chuck saved a runaway baby llama by jamming it back into its little pen.
meanwhile, these frisky little beasts were going crazy.
for five dollars, i spent five minutes doing back flips while strapped into this harness. i was trying pretty hard for the double back, but couldn't get it. nor could i achieve the front flip. this made me dizzy and frustrated. i may have to return.
the night ended playing hacky sack with a baggie bulging with salt packets found in a dumpster behind quinlan's.