Very little happened on day 5 of this adventure. As always, I woke up early and had another bowl of oatmeal. During my breakfast, Arizona Mat walked into the dining area and gave me a hard glare as he noticed me deftly shuffling a deck of cards with one hand. I mustered up my most innocent expression, but failed to completely hide the smug grin on my face.
Tall Square needed to lay in some supplies, so Arizona Mat drove him to a nearby gas station, while I went to the clubhouse to work on my laptop for a little while. A few hours later, we had thrown our gear into Arizona Mat’s car, said our goodbyes to Barry, and began our trek back to Phoenix. I kept myself occupied with a mystery game on Arizona Mat’s 3DS, while Tall Square and Arizona Mat sniped at each other with alphabetical insults.
We decided to have a late lunch when we reached Phoenix and Arizona Mat decided we would eat at Alice Cooperstown, owned partially by rock legend, Alice Cooper. It is an interesting meld of music and sports (Cooper co-owns the restaurant with a professional athlete and is a sports buff, himself). I marveled at the rock memorabilia, but was disappointed when a bass guitar signed by Paul McCartney was not on display in its case.
The food was terrific. The portion sizes are normal sized and not the inflated portions one tends to see nowadays. So it’s filling, but not bloating. Tall Square and I enjoyed Kate Upton Burning Love burgers while Arizona Mat indulged in a sampler platter that had BBQ brisket, port, sausage, and turkey. After a satisfying meal, we returned to Arizona Mat’s home and spent a quiet evening doing our own things.
On day 6, Arizona Mat told me it was time for the Icy Plunge he had alluded to on day 1. Since a picture paints 1,000 words, I present the following video to explain it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUopbhlvHLc
Fortunately, Arizona Mat had hot towels ready for us after that experiment in idiocy and I wondered how I let myself be talked into it.
After drying off, Arizona Mat took us to Republic Ramen for some lunch. This place comes as close as one can get to enjoying authentic Japanese style ramen in America. The servings are ginormous as Tall Square’s bowl shows you.
He had opted for the original Republic Ramen, loaded with vegetables and pork, but he requested an additional serving of noodles, eggs, and beef to be added to it. For myself, I ordered the original Chili Pepper Ramen with chicken as my main course. Needless to say, I couldn’t come close to finishing off the bowl, but stopped at that perfect level of full. Arizona Mat chose the traditional Miso Ramen. The difference between the traditional and the original is that the traditional ramen is prepared Japanese style with traditional Japanese fixings, while the original is Americanized ramen with vegetables like spinach, shallots, etc.
After lunch, Arizona Mat challenged us to a battle of precision and skill: miniature golf. He took us to Golfland, a three course park in Mesa, Arizona. This is actually a good place to while away the afternoon. Being winter, the water park and one of the courses were closed, but I gladly dueled these two on the remaining courses. I won the contest by over ten strokes.
And, no, to answer your unspoken question, I did not cheat. Not that I wouldn’t have, but their aim stank so much, I could have putted blindfolded and done a better job.
Mysteriously, we did manage to unearth some artifacts while we were there. Whilst golfing, we began to discover clues referring to the Glowing Grails of Golfland. It was said that he who could prove himself with intelligence and dexterity would be deemed worthy of the treasure. I handled the solving of riddles and trusted my almost magical luck in a game of chance to discover one grail. Arizona Mat’s steady eye and reflexes resulted in the netting of the remaining grails. Tall Square. . .well, he was there.
To celebrate our discovery, we ended the night, eating a meal at In and Out Burger. This fast food chain is located pretty much in this region of the country and has a simple menu (and a secret one, as well). I ordered a cheeseburger, animal style, as suggested by Arizona Mat. Animal style is a fancy way of saying the works which makes it a bit messy. Arizona Mat and Tall Square devoured triple cheeseburgers done animal style from the secret menu. Their eating of those burgers was nothing short of miraculous as I’m still working out the physics of how they fit their mouths around them.
Tomorrow, my chronicles come to an end, but I still feel one more adventure may get squeezed out of this.