Friday, August 12, 2011

24 Things to Do in Chico

24. Haul a herd of kids to Caper Acres and make them pose for the traditional Humpty Dumpty Wall Picture. Then decide to publish ONLY the most ridiculous one. (Is he an egg or a 1970's used car salesman? It's really hard to tell.)

23. Take a leisurely jog through Bidwell Park with your two kids packed into a single stroller and a bike across the top. Ha.

22. Loosen up on the rules and let your kids play video games (!! I know!!) with the big kids.

21. Visit the Chico Farmers' Market. Marvel at the low prices and the long growing season. Buy a bag of peaches and some tamales for lunch. Pick up a half flat of organic strawberries for only $12 to make freezer jam with your cousin. Kick yourself the entire drive home to Oregon for not buying a flat of those incredibly juicy organic peaches that could have been yours for $2 a pound.

20. Teach your cousin how to make freezer jam. Maybe this will make up for the fact that YOU FORGOT THE WEDDING PRESENT. Maybe.

19. Drive by Bidwell Mansion. Fondly recall the time you got dragged along on the tour as a child. Lament California's economic woes when you hear it is closing for good.

18. Get a "triple thick" milkshake from Big Al's. If you really want to sound like a tourist, accidentally call it Crazy Dan's. I recommend the chocolate.

17. Go to the local Winco Foods and become enthralled by the cleanliness and friendly people who work there. Eat free samples of a granola bar. Ogle the bulk foods. Admire the bakery. Cringe when you think of your own ghetto Winco back home.

(It should be noted that while visiting a grocery store as a tourist destination might seem strange to some, it is a known practice in my family. My uncle Bill always visits the local Costco when he travels. So there. Totally normal.)

16. Listen to classic rock. Why? Because in Chico you listen to classic rock. That's just the way it is.

15. Drink a vodka Crystal Light juice cocktail at five o'clock, following a longstanding Deinema tradition that I'm quite certain will endure. Why Crystal Light? Again, that's just how it is.

14. Eat shredded chicken tacos made by my uncle Jeff. Or if you are Brent, eat six tacos and then become self conscious about eating so many tacos that you then consider stealing a bowl of shredded chicken from the refrigerator and hiding out in the garage.

13. Drink the local beer.

12. Stock up on pistachios. In Chico the pistachios are BIGGER and EASIER TO OPEN!

11. Visit the brewery!

10. Oregon! REPRESENT!

9. But when you sign up for the tour, make sure you read the fine print. If you are not there ten minutes early, you lose your spot. We learned this the hard way and some members of our party had to stay behind and wait for us in the bar. Poor things.

8. Also, take them seriously when they warn you over and over again that there will be NO RESTROOMS AVAILABLE while on the tour. The 90 minute tour. That's a lot of minutes when you really have to pee.

(You might be able to sweet talk the tour guide into letting you through the secret restroom access passageway. Then it's on to the tasting room!)

7. Drink many, many little beers and enjoy the company of cousins you don't see often enough.

6. Bask in the sunshine, dive into the pool, appreciate the novelty of 90 degree days knowing full well that it's cold and raining back home in Eugene.

5. Pick up some mafiosos to take along to your cousin's wedding reception.

4. Watch them broker some shady deals with a crime boss. Note the cigar.

3. Eat, drink, and be merry.

2. Pose in your party dress.

(You see that invisible zipper? Oh no you don't. 'Cause it's invisible! Can I get a booyah?)

1. And then sit back and watch as your favorite cousin finds happily ever after.

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