Monday, December 3, 2007

Bellingham Speedy and Boomers

Bellingham is quite well known for reasons unknown - unless you call a "good place for seniors to live" and a rather unremarkable college when compared to remarkable colleges, a quaint district called Fairhaven with stupidly high real estate prices as reasonable reasons for being well known. Though part of the city is on a remarkably beautiful road called Chuckanut Drive - the road is as lovely as parts of PCH or 101 along the Pacific in Oregon - I maybe getting sentimentally overboard here, but in all cases Chuckanut Drive is beautiful with Redwoods towering over it as it plunges into the Pacific dotted with little islands.

Couple days after a massive snow storm had us interned indoors, today dawned with roaring winds and waves lashing at our deck. The normally placid bay was foaming and churning with waves wearing whitecaps, the gulls blew and glided on the currents and the rain fell hard. And we took off for Bellingham to buy onions (onion is needed when onion is needed).

The rock hit the windshield loudly almost as soon as I got on the freeway, and I saw it (windshield, not rock) crack. Bummer I thought - another expense. Actually I said more than Bummer, but Nidhi thinks I say fuck to elicit humor so I'm refraining from using it though nothing is more succinct than fuck - as a term of speech.

Since it was Bellingham we were in we were not sure what would our lunch choices be. We went to buy onions at lunch time, you see. So we drove around without seeing anything remarkable, or interesting. Sure there was a Wendy's and a IHOP but nothing seemed to catch Nidhi or Mama's fancy, and then we saw "Boomers".

It looked like an old A&W or an old American Diner with Car Service - and despite the rain a young blond was serving a car - even the sign said "flash your lights for service". I did no such thing as we wanted to eat inside the restaurant, not in the car - and since that was a possibility we went into Boomer's. The dining room has a round fireplace in the center of the room with a wrap around counter so one can eat facing the fire, which was very cool (warm actually) - of course we sat at a table. The food was great - the Cajun Inferno Garden Burger and the Honey Dijon Chicken Sandwich were perfect with perfectly cooked patties and just the right (amount of) condiments, the waffle fries were crisp and hot, I liked the deep fried mushrooms, Nidhi and Mama found them below par, we all liked the Butterscotch shake and a very warm service on a very wet day. I'd love to own Boomers.

Happy, satisfied and full we went to buy onions. And like always it upset me to pay $1.49 per pound when at a produce stand or an Indian Grocery Store the same red onions cost $0.79. And it upsets me even more to pay $2.99 for tomatoes when at other places the same looking tomatoes are $1.99 - anyways tomatoes, onions etc in the car, we went looking for a place to fix the windshield - remember, loud noise, rock?

And we found Speedy Glass not far from the freeway exit. The good looking blond - Bellingham is beginning to sound like a blond city - young woman at the front counter was so nice that it instantly felt I'd been here before, many times, which was only an impression since I'd never been there before. So with that fuzzy warm feeling made fuzzier by Mugz the Pekingese who came up to me, looked up, sniffed my jeans and shoes and without getting too emotional about it gave his tail a wag, I waited in a room of warm colors for our turn. Mugs(z) is Joseph's dog, and Joseph owns Speedy Glass. As an attentive reader might ask, "where were Nidhi and Mama". They were in the car, and when I backed into the shop (Joseph's workshop) they alighted and Mugz(s) promptly ended up in Nidhi's lap - lapping up affection and basically melting into her arms. Joseph told us more about M - including his shower and blow drying routines and basically that this dog was cat's meow, and Joseph's colleague in the meantime went to work on the windshield, and I have to say I was impressed. I've never had a windshield repaired so wasn't sure what to expect, but there was hardly any evidence of the crack when they finished, and even more fantastic was their, courtesy and amazingly kind fair pricing.

Joseph and his place and people are made of American warmth. I hope all of you looking for someone in a strange town to fix your car find some place like Joseph's Speedy. And I also hope in that same strange town you also find your money's tasty worth like we did at Boomers.

Now, now Bellingham don't get cheeky.

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