Back to the USA

Oh, to be in the Sacramento valley in August, the scent of eggs frying on sidewalks…

Despite the baking heat and the fact that I don’t have a car, I am going back for a visit to my old stomping grounds in the middle of August. The occasion is a reunion of a band I was in called the Bop-a-Dips. The band has a long history that goes back to the high school days of some of the guys, though I joined late in the story, on a couple of the late tours through the Pacific Northwest and Canada (in the winter… nothing like Northern Saskatchewan in winter!)

We will be doing three shows, one in Santa Cruz, one in Walnut Creek, and one in Chico. Before and after the performances I’ll revisit my old hometown, which is a suburb of Sacramento. Once in a while we’ll get a cool streak in August (only 80s) but I’m not counting on it. Still, there are things I’m looking forward to, things that you just can’t get in Costa Rica.

There are certain types of food that you just can’t get here of any quality, without paying an arm and a leg at least. Near the top of my list is ‘In and Out Burger.’ If you have eaten there, you know what I mean. If not, I won’t bother trying to describe the burgers. They are rather basic, but they are what a hamburger should be. Number two on my food agenda is good Mexican food. The uninformed up north assume that Costa Rican food is like Mexican food. HOW WRONG THEY ARE! I remember going to a place down in the Paseo Colon area and ordering two tacos. What I got were two uncooked cold tortillas filled with some cold chicken, topped with cabbage and ketchup. Need I say ‘Ugh!’?

Apart from food, another thing I’m looking forward to is rummaging through the thrift shops for used paperbacks. We do have a used bookstore here in San Jose, Mora Books, but it’s horribly disorganized and they want 4$ up for books that sell for a $.50 in St. Vincent de Paul, not to mention their selection is heavily weighted to bestsellers, which don’t interest me 99% of the time. Their shelves are loaded with copies of the Da Vinci Code, and even if I wanted to read it, one copy is sufficient.

Another thing I look forward to is finding clothes that fit me. I am cursed with big, wide feet. I believe I could probably special order shoes here but I’m a cheapskate and don’t like paying 3x what I paid back in the States. Likewise, being a large person, I can get XXL shirts and pants that fit, along with all the other stuff a big guy needs.

Another bit of shopping I’ll do is for some computer and related gear, which are very overpriced in Costa Rica. Being a musician, there are also some small musical items that are a lot cheaper in the States. And I should mention that I LOVE going to the dollar store and stocking up on over the counter medicines and vitamins which are very overpriced here and you have to ask the pharmacist to get them for you instead of just putting them in your shopping basket.

I look forward to hanging out with old friends, of course. I’m also interested to see just how bad it is in Sacramento with all the foreclosures and unemployment. I plan to take lots of pictures and video on my trip, so you can look forward to a report after I get back.

I’m not leaving until the 7th of August so I’ll undoubtedly post a few more items before I go. And once again, welcome to the new blog, I hope you’ll keep reading.

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  1. Can't wait to see you and give you a big hug!

  2. Have a good time Dan.

  3. You had to go there, didn't you (In 'n Out)? What I wouldn't do for one trip to an In 'n Out…….
    enjoy your trip.