Would you drive 497 miles round trip for a taco and a hockey game? We would. We did.
Friends invited us to join them. I gotta tell ya, after months and months of “stay at home” working to get well, being invited & getting out to have some fun was just the ticket. After all those months of eating well and drinking gallons of fresh green juice and breathing fresh air and biking and rebounding…………the draw of a really authentic, greasy fried taco was just too big of a carrot dangling in front of us. We had to go. My first long road trip. The build up, the drum roll. Not really a drum roll (more like singing old television theme songs as we drove along.) It was like a pilgrimage. Yes, I turned it into some type of religious journey, I HAD to go.
We drove to Junior’s Tacos located in Pasco, Washington and the anticipation was almost more than I could take. Oh, then I thought, what if this “authentic” taco isn’t really that good? How am I going to fake my compliments? How am I going to choke down a not so tasty taco? This is the religious part: heavenly music started playing, sure it sounded a lot like a Mariachi band, but oh so sweet. No need to worry. The sun streamed down from above and it was 70 degrees! We came from wet, soggy, gray and 43 degrees. It was the best, greasiest, BIGGEST taco I had ever in my life seen. It was served on an oval plate and was wider than my head! It was heaven-sent (or from a cook behind the counter).
I know you think I am going to say, we paused and said a meaningful Grace then politely took a small bite. We thanked God we arrived safe before we even tumbled out of the car. We were so giddy and chatty to see our friends, that by the time those bigger than life meals were placed in front of us, we all dug in like truckers at a truck stop with meatloaf on the blue plate special! God was there, with the four of us. He was smiling. He sat back and smiled. He was thinking, these grateful people “get it”.
Pick up the taco, elbows out, Tauc-Angle….. (words that should be in the dictionary and are not are called Snigglets. Tauc-Angle: (pronounced talk-angle), verb: The way you tilt your head just before you take a bite of a taco.) Ah, that first amazing, drippy, delightful crunch was so worth it. The spicy kick, the fresh ingredients, the grease, the crunch. Did I mention the crunch?
Oh yeah, and the friends. Good friends. You know the kind? The kind that stick with you through the rough, awkward times and giggle with you like fools when the fights start at a hockey game. Okay, so maybe the pilgrimage wasn’t for the taco or the game? Maybe it was to hang out with people who you feel comfortable with? The kind of people who “get” you. They don’t make fun of you or your ways, they are just decent, kind, loving, smartie pants, funny folks who have amazing knowledge of where to find the best tacos across the land? Maybe the journey wasn’t to show off my amazing tauc-angle skills after all?
Maybe the journey was all that and more? In a world where oodles of people think they are social by the number of “friends” they collect on face book, being social in real life is a real mystery to them. Being social is visiting with Mr. Right for 4.5 hours in a car (both ways) with a destination in mind. Being social is embarking on a journey to meet up with really good people who will take you to a taco joint and make you feel like you are the luckiest people dining there.
I hope every single one of you reading this has somebody who will show you they love you by treating you to the best taco in the land and a Hockey game.