America 2023 – Day Four

Nashville country nights, Detroit rock city lights
Arizona, California,
Texas desert, a Green Bay blizzard, Indiana, Louisiana

On the road lotta miles just to feel your smile
Girl I wanna touch you while I kiss your lipstick
Around the bend down the road, hop in out of the cold
Itchin’ to get my fix and kiss your lipstick

– Kip Moore

Sunday May 21 2023

I’m going to start at the end of the day and work my way forward because we had Olive Garden tonight. For the uninitiated, OG is an Italian restaurant chain that is by no means fine dining but it’s okay, middle-of-the-road Italian – there is better Italian out there, especially in Boise, where there’s a place called Luciano’s – that is relatively cheap.

But the restaurant’s main claim to fame (at least as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, anyway) is the breadsticks. They are loaded with salt, butter and probably a dozen other things that are incredibly bad for you, but they smell and taste absolutely amazing, and are just about irresistible.

Therein lies the problem: they are basically unlimited once you buy one serve, and they keep coming out. (In fact, I’m pretty sure you can just get unlimited bread sticks and maybe salad as a main course option?) It’s a constant battle to not eat too many – tough, when they are so good! – that you’re full before your main course arrives. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt, as they say. I was a little more judicious in my consumption this time around, which meant I wasn’t labouring through my spaghetti and meatballs. No dessert, though. That was a bridge too far.

Rewinding to the morning, I went out for a walk again, this time for nearly 8km. It’s hard to stop when it’s so nice. I walked along the Greenbelt, then through the quiet campus of Boise State University, whose blue football field is iconic.  Although it’s been warm in the day – though not as warm as the 100+ degree temps I experienced here last summer – the mornings are still cool, which makes it perfect for exercising.

It got hot later, and we went to the Old Boise Penitentiary, where I admittedly spent most of my time watching a dramatic Indy 500 qualifying. The pole speed, average over 4 laps of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was nearly 400kmh – the fastest pole qualifying run in the history of the race. Absolutely insane speeds. I really wish I’d gone to qualifying. I say it every time, but it’s true. Major regret yesterday! But contrastingly, I’m having the time of my life here, again.

Ticked another American chain off the list, too: lunch at Chilli’s Texas Grill opposite Albertsons Stadium. I had a salad, because it was late, but it was actually bigger than the other meals, so that plan backfired.

Also ticked another American supermarket off the list: went to Fred Meyers up the road to grab some beer because the Southorn’s came around for a little while in the early evening, and I owed Dave a six pack of the beer of his choice after losing a bet on the recent Swans/Collingwood game and it was time to pay up. Fun to see Dave and Lisa’s girl, Kennedy, who enjoyed her Australian gifts (including two Bluey books!) but was far more interested in our staircase. I mean, it is a pretty nice staircase!

OG’s for dinner afterward, as mentioned above, and we got home just before a storm rolled through Treasure Valley. Only overnight rain forecast, but it’s going to be much cooler tomorrow. We’re either going to stay local and visit the Boise Zoo or out to scenic McCall, Idaho (just under two hours’ drive from Boise), depending on what the weather is doing.

Man, I love this town.

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