Seattle takes its summer solstice seriously. It really is a glorious day — light around 5am, just getting dark by 10pm. And since the rest of the year can be such a Gloomy Gus, you get into the mindset that you need to do ALL THE THINGS! Have ALL THE ADVENTURES! Grab those long summer days by the balls and just run with it.
Enter the Fremont Solstice Parade. The annual event is a celebration of… you know, honestly, I’m not sure. I’m gonna guess the sun? The only reason I’ve ever heard of people going is to see the naked, painted bicycle riders. That’s it in a nutshell (PUNS! I got ’em!). I had never been to the parade, so when some friends asked if we wanted to meet up for brunch then watch, we said, “Sure!” Adventure, commence!
Now, 2013 is my year of saying yes. But there are several things I know about myself. One of these being I don’t really do large crowds. They make me claustrophobic. But I conveniently ignored this fact, and we — Byron, Byron’s sister and myself — set off for adventure.
Half an hour into our drive, we got a text: “Abort the plan. Everyone just get to Fremont.” Traffic, all across the city, was…well, let’s just say, from our house it should take 20 minutes to get to Fremont. Maybe 30, tops.
2 HOURS. That was one long, hot cranky car ride.
Here’s another thing I know about myself: when I get hungry, I get HUNGRY. Or, as we call it, hangry (a combination of hunger and anger that is fearsome to behold). By the time we finally arrived in Fremont, found parking, got down to the festival, it was about an hour and a half past when we were supposed to be eating brunch. I had pretty much bypassed hanger and was in shutting-down mode. Everyone’s immediate mission became to find Laura food… which I’m sure was so much fun for everyone involved.
(It should be noted at this point that we DID see some naked painted cyclists, but I was too far gone into my hunger misery to do much more than think, “Huh. That guy’s butt is orange.”)
After wandering through the dense, dense crowd, we did finally inhale overpriced hot dogs and lemonades. And now the mission was back on: find our friends. But as they were at one side of the dense sea of festival-goers, and we were at the other — problematic. We thought we’d be smart and go AROUND the festival. Nope. That just led to hills. Hills upon hills, in the hot solstice sun.
We were fed, but still cranky. Still slogging towards the destination of FUN, DAMMIT. And finally I said,
“Team meeting. Do we want to keep going, or do we want to quit?” The vote was unanimous.
Fortunately the car ride home wasn’t too bad. I felt kind of bad abandoning the solstice parade, but you know? There’s saying “yes”, and then there’s being stubborn. Sometimes you gotta know when to fold.