It could have been worse; I keep reminding myself when I think back to the banquet.
We could have been at the Bates Hotel and Norman could have been in the kitchen with a butcher knife when Mary and I finally went in search of the food.
|The hotel lobby sign should have been a tip-off|
The Scout and I are back in the Pacific Northwest. As I've written in earlier posts, the trip was prompted by my 51st Class Reunion, a three-day event being co-chaired by me and my long-time friend, Mary, in our hometown, Yakima, Washington.
|"Doin' Downtown Yakima' is a blast!|
Events included a Friday evening (hugely popular) no-host Meet and Greet event at Second Street Grill, a local restaurant/bar followed by 'Doin' the Downtown' at local restaurants, tasting rooms and ale house. That evening another gathering of classmates attended our alma mater's Homecoming football game. Saturday morning's highlight was a well-attended tour of the modern complex that has replaced our high school, led by the school principal who had her hair dyed the school colors (times have changed - our principal was bald). The weekend ended with a sendoff gathering at a long-time favorite hamburger joint, Miner's Drive-in, a local icon, that's been around since 1948.
The Marquee Event, however, was the Reunion Banquet. It drew 128 attendees of them, 81 classmates. Many had traveled from far distant points in the United States to be at this Saturday night affair.
The Reunion Realities
|Once 'the' place to go in Yakima|
|Norman Bates - the Bates Hotel|
Showcasing our 'roots'
Way back in the planning stages we'd decided to showcase this land of our roots by offering a selection of ales and wines produced in our Yakima Valley wine AVA/hop growing region at our no-host bar for alcoholic beverages.
|Wines on display Prosser's Viticulture Center|
One of the distinctions of the Yakima Valley is that it is home to more than 17,000 acres of vineyards and growers produce more than half the state's wine grapes. There are more than 90 wineries and tasting rooms scattered about the valley. The reunion seemed a perfect place to drink a glass of local wine.
|Yakima produces 75% of the nation's hops|
Not only famous for its wine grapes, but the Yakima Valley is also known for its hop production. Growers here produce 75 percent of the United States hop crop. That has led to the establishment of numerous breweries, ale houses and tap rooms scattered about the city and surrounding areas.
|Ale production for the Bale Breaker label|
Despite numerous requests to showcase the local brews and wines, the hotel was unable to provide them. Disappointing, but certainly not the end of the world. The hotel representative agreed to offer a selection of wines albeit, mass-produced: a couple of red wines and three whites, Chardonnay, a Pinot Gris, and a Sauvignon Blanc.
If the misspelled and hastily drawn welcome sign hadn't given us a hint of the way the night would go, the malfunctioning cooling system in the banquet room should have; but no, it was checking the no-host bar that we first got a foreshadowing of the direction this banquet would go.
When I asked to see the white 'Sauvignon Blanc', they'd managed to get for us, the bar manager grabbed from the shelf behind her, a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, a deep dark red, and proudly showed it to me. Then she said she had added a sweet Moscato to the white wines instead of the dry, crisp wine we'd requested.
Finally, we understood why we had been advised during that planning meeting that attendees could not bring in a beverage. . .and we also understood why attendees would want to bring their own beverage.
|Buffet selections were hearty choices|
So, we through the service door to the kitchen. . .
|Not a tuber to be found -|
The Grand Finale
|Davis High Pirates|
|Decades of friendship filled this reunion weekend|