November 26th, 2009

buzzed, B&W

It's a small town . . .

Being in Helena is fun . . . and yesterday definitely reminded me of why I have such fond memories of my time here. 

While the plane is landing, the flight attendant is reading the standard spiel, talking about how how you can look at the boards to find your connecting flight.  I start laughing at this remark, as does the guy next to me - Helena's airport is tiny.  We're talking 4 terminals, you have to walk out to your plane on the tarmac, and it's the airport that I once showed up for my flight, was walking up to the desk to check in, and the guy behind the counter is like "Morning Mr. Chang", hands me my ticket, and sends me to security (which is all of 50 feet from the counter).  Doesn't ask for my ID, just sees the Asian guy, and connects the dots.

I walk out, looking for Lisa who said she'd pick me up, and she's standing there, looking bored as hell with sunglasses on, and holding a sign that says "Chang".  Silly, but fun.  We walk out to her car (short term parking at the airport is free, and it's right next to the building), and it's covered in shoe polish sayings like "Welcome Ernie Chang!" and other such sentiments.  Again, absurd but still fun.

I check in with my old supervisor and have lunch with her at the Staggering Ox (which is sort of famous for having patented bread and Maxim rating one of their sandwiches second best in the world).  I'm surprised to note that they have a People Love Us On Yelp sticker.  I tend to be a dissenting opinion, having only given two stars when I reviewed the place last year.

I then walk downtown from there, loving how warm it is, and lamenting the fact about how small town / walkable the place is.

I go to the Fire Tower, my favorite coffee place, thinking I'm going to do a little bit of writing before the ridiculousness starts.  Sarah stops by and we chat for 45 minutes or so, and then I end up running into one of my friend's exes, and we chat for 30 minutes, catching up. 

I write a quick post, and then start walking over to Sarah's.  Walking down the street, I hear someone yell my name, and I look around confused.  It happens to be Matt (who is now a city commissioner) hanging out of a second story window and yelling at me, and we end up walking together for a bit and chatting.

We have a birthday dinner for Steph at Benny's (fantastic meal - $20 for a 4 course "locavore" special -I had pan fried oysters, a Caesar,  beef stroganoff, and chocolate cake with a raspberry glaze) and then head to Miller's, which is packed, and the bar is slammer.  Painful waits, but I end up ordering a round of 7 Washington Apples (the birthday girl's request) and a Tanqueray and tonic, which is all of $32 dollars.  Ridiculous.

Run into Greg and Trever there, Erik the bartender, and another one of my friend's exes, shot some pool, and just felt like it was old times. Also reminded of how small a town Helena is (as well as how much my friend got around). Sarah and I then make a quick driveby of the 'Toe, and then I head "home" to Lisa's.

Definitely looking forward to seeing Mel, Kelly, and Nick today, as well as having the holiday meal . . .