We last left our fearless, highly unathletic heroes in the middle of Fitnesstown, USA, also known as Lake Placid. How will they embarrass themselves next?
Did you know that ski jumping competitions still happen in the summer? Apparently all you have to do is slap down this special plastic and off the jumpers go, flinging themselves OFF THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN for tourists’ entertainment and a small cash prize.
Now, at the bottom right corner of that photo, you’ll notice a charming British man in a hat. He was emceeing the event, and before we could find a seat in the bleachers, this happened:
Charming British Man in a Hat: We’ve got a nice little setup here, front row seats, all set up for the family that can answer me this question: How many days until the Summer Olympics?
My brain: The Olympics start on July 27th. Today is July 7th. MATH MATH MATH MATH–
My mouth: 20 days!
Charming British Man in a Hat: You win!
So we were escorted past the big fence and given some cushy seats in the Budweiser Super Fan Zone (that’s what I called it, anyway), plus cold drinks and a free lunch, all while a whole bunch of miserable families with their thirsty, hungry, tired kids looked on. It was wonderful.
The competition itself was great – I’d never seen ski jumpers in real life before, and man, that is one terrifying sport. In between rotations the Charming British Man in a Hat also ran some contests and a water balloon toss, but of course the real perk was the nudity. The ski jumpers have to wear these really thick jumpsuits because they’re normally doing this stuff in Arctic conditions, so as soon as they landed back on earth they would strip and walk right past us to get back to the chair lift, resulting in a veritable Parade of Hotness for the occupants of the Budweiser Fan Zone:
Once the Future Olympians/Chippendales were gone, we headed up the chair lift ourselves to check out the ski jump towers, and unsurprisingly, they were also terrifying. And steep as hell.
I’m just saying, if you soil yourself up there–and there’s a good chance you might–your leavings have got a long way to go.
The whole point of this Lake Placid trip was to visit the very lovely Bookstore Plus, who kindly invited me to come do a signing since Croak takes place in the Adirondacks. So me and four other authors hung out on the sidewalk in front of the store, signed books, chatted with readers, and watched as approximately eight million people walked by with gigantic ice cream cones.
Like that lady down on the end talking to me, telling me my book looks interesting and also had I consumed my three square ice cream cones today?
Special thanks to Sarah, Mark, Cherise, and the whole Bookstore Plus staff for being so nice and supportive, and for keeping us supplied with both coffee AND ice water served in happy little glasses with flowers on them. That, my friends, is service.
Adirondack Wine Tasting Train
We’d done this sort of thing before, so we thought it might be fun to do it again. And we would have been wrong.
I mean, the wine was great. The scenery was nice, flying by the window as we sipped. There was an especially lovely woman named Ruth who walked around with a giant platter of cheese and crackers. But we weren’t five minutes into the trip when the DJ–because clearly, no wine tasting train is complete without someone spinning some bitchin’ tunes–said the dreaded words that would result in two hours of solid headaches:
“Hey folks, we’ve never done this before, but what the heck, we’re going to try it out tonight. Karaoke!”
Now, I am no party pooper. I enjoy fun and frivolity and a “Come On Ride the Train” human conga line as much as the next guy (in fact, I’m fairly certain that at least 75% of my sister’s wedding reception photos can prove this exact point). But holy hell. The screeching. The screaming. The obnoxious. Add seven glasses of wine to the mix and I wanted to throw myself from the train, and I very nearly would have were it not for Ruth and her rotating cheeses. I would like to nominate this woman for sainthood.
After that it’s all a bit hazy, as we were both drunk and full of headaches and had murder on the brain, but we ended up at a crappy restaurant where I ended up hating what I ordered and resorted to stealing a man’s doggy bag that he had forgotten to take with him. If you think this is gross, let me just reiterate: drunk and murdery.
We did one more thing on our trip, but it was so very cool (yes, even cooler than naked Olympians) so I think it deserves its own post. Next week!