Sunday, May 1, 2011

Booze Day Marathon

First things first -- it's not a marathon at all. It's a pub crawl.

Wil and I are in Spokane to run Bloomsday -- one of the great northwest races. I've been wanting to run it for a few years, but we always seemed to have something else going on the first Sunday in May. We got into town early on Saturday, checked in to the fabulous Hotel Lusso, went to the "trade show" (not an expo....) to get our bibs, and then spent the day enjoying Riverfront Park, riding the skyride, and having pizza at the same place we stopped on our first cross-country road trip.

We had been upgraded to a gorgeous suite at the Lusso, so pretty much just planned to get some takeout and hang out in our room for the evening -- resting up for the 12K the next day.

Our suite at the Lusso

But while flipping through the pages of the Inlander, I came across this: "BOOZE DAY MARATHON, a pub crawl that spans six different bars between 5pm and 1:30 am. The premise is simple. Pick up a race packet at the Baby Bar, down a drink and run, stumble, skip or walk -- whatever you're capable of - to the next place."
Booze Day Marathon poster (in the dark...)

Oooooohhhh.

Sure we didn't have absurd costumes to wear, but it seemed too GMP to resist.

So we presented ourselves at the Baby Bar (essentially the back room of Neato Burrito), registered, picked up our numbers (157 and 158), and had our first drink of the evening.

The "special cocktail" at the Baby Bar is a greyhound -- but a greyhound like no other. (At least like none I've ever had!). The slice up a couple of pink grapefruit, squeeze them into your glass, and add a splash of vodka and some ice. Amazing.

Greyhound in the dark at the Baby Bar
Dempsey's was a lot bigger, a lot quieter, and a lot friendlier. Their signature drink was a Jell-O shooter. In a syringe. For a dollar. Really hard to say no to that. I mean, when was the last time you had a Jell-O shot? Lots of chatter there about coming back for the drag show at 10. But I was pretty sure we would be in our jimjams by then. After all, it was only about 6:30 by this point.

Jello-O shooter. In a syringe. For a buck.
Next stop: Far West Billiards. A very cool hangout, with a bunch of pool tables, good range of beers, and interesting cocktails. We had the daily featured drink, something called a Ginza Strip. Maybe. It was a sake cosmopolitan, I'm told. It tasted pretty strong... but I always think sake does. The sun had come out and was pouring in through the windows so we lingered there a little bit.

Ginza Strip at Far West Billiards
But not too long, as we had to walk the longest stretch of the night -- 6 blocks, I think! -- to Irv's. Officially the 6th spot on the tour (not that you had to go in order, mind you, as it was only our 4th), the crowd was pretty boisterous, loudly cheering everyone who came in with their numbers on. We had screwdrivers, played pinball, and admired the "hook-up cards" -- aka, Irv's business cards with space for a name, a phone number, and a note on the back. I mean, in the post-smoking world, it's not like they're gonna have matchbooks, right? Clever.

Screwdrivers and flirt cards at Irv's
Then across the street to the A-Club. Up a skinny and very long flight of stairs into... well, a completely unexpected space. It seemed to be broken up into a couple of different rooms. One big room had a band playing. (At 7:30. On a Sunday. Awesome!). Another room had another stage and two bars. The place was full of 20-something metalheads, some lounging on couches. It was also really, really noisy. Which, of course, is exactly how you want a rock club to be. Full disclosure here: we didn't have a drink here. It wasn't really our scene last night. Oh, and the line at the bar was insane.

Then back downstairs and a few doors down to Mootsy's, which felt a bit like home. Friendly, casual, perfect. Their special was a Jack and Coke, so we got a pair of those, took some stools by the windows, and watched others come and go.

Jack and Coke's at Mootsy's
As we were getting ready to leave, we bumped in to the guys we chatted with at Baby Bar and ended up talking about politics and the royal wedding. It brought the drinking to a nice end. And it was only 8:15...

We then headed to Neato Burrito, where we turned in our cards, collected our very stylish t-shirts (again, nice to have finisher shirts!), and bought two absolutely amazing Thai tofu burritos to go. A few minutes later we were seated in front of our fireplace watching Mythbusters and eating burritos. A fantastic Saturday night.

the making of an AWESOME burrito!

Booze Day Marathon finisher's shirt

Now... on to Bloomsday!

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