Food Show

A few weeks ado, I was able to attend the FSA food show in Nampa, Idaho. Our rep set us up with a hotel room for the night before so that we could get an early start on the day. The first 100 people who showed up were going to be given a pass to go in the Cash Machine, and we weren’t going to slack on that. 🙂

Whitey stayed behind to run the restaurant, and JC and I got in his truck and headed towards I-84.

As we neared the on-ramp, we noticed dozens and dozens of semi-trucks lining the side of the roads, so we pulled into a gas station to find out what was going on.

Corn. A semi pulling a huge trailer of corn cobs had tipped over, and so all lanes headed east-bound were closed. They were predicting a 4-hour delay.

Four hours? Heck no. We whipped out my laptop, pulled up trip-check, and saw that they were pin-pointing the accident somewhere else on the freeway. We then did a Google Satellite search to find another road around the freeway. After talking it over, we decided What The Heck? Let’s go for it!

We made our way to the other side of town and jumped on a rural road through farms, strange bridge overpasses, and absolute pitch darkness.

Our motto became, “We’re either geniuses, or absolute idiots.”

We were driving 50-miles out of the way to (hopefully) get around the accident, pop out onto the freeway, and be on our way.

We finally arrived at the end of the road, some 48-miles away from Baker City, and waited to see if any cars were on the freeway. It was so silent. We noticed a sign slightly behind us on the freeway that said WRECK, but it didn’t say ROAD CLOSED. JC didn’t want to get in trouble, and so we started to turn around. That’s when we saw another car barreling down the freeway, so it gave us a bit more gumption to go for it.

We came upon the accident just moments later. 

We were so busted.

Corn everywhere, flashing lights, and heavy equipment racing to clean up the mess.

We pulled up to the road block, and were approached immediately by Dude In Fluorescent Vest. He began chastising us for trying to cut around the freeway closure, and we shook our heads, explaining how we had been at “uncle Jerry’s” off the rural highway, and that we had no idea that the freeway was closed.

🙂 We certainly didn’t need a traffic citation at that point.

We sat for about 15-minutes (including a minor “girly” break by yours truly right there on I-84 in front of JC’s truck) until they let us through.

Woo HOO! We found out later that the rest of the minions weren’t allowed on the freeway until four hours later. We were Geniuses, I tell yah.

We arrived at our hotel around midnight, and after convincing the front desk clerk that No, I hadn’t already checked in, we both went to our respective rooms and crashed.

We woke up bright and early the next morning. We weren’t going to take the chance that we wouldn’t get there in time to get the free pass for the cash machine. After hastily inhaling our continental breakfast we took off for the show…

and we were the first ones there.

We wasted some time driving around the car lots nearby, checking out the new Dodge Challengers and Chargers (WOW!) and finally just sat outside the entrance of the show. We watched as dozens of vendors parked their cars and hauled merchandise up the walkway. JC convinced me to check the other side of the building, and sure enough, there was a line forming for entry.

We raced up to the line and guaranteed a spot for the cash machine.

I convinced JC to do the cash machine, telling him that he could keep every dollar he shoved in his pockets.

What they didn’t tell us was that the US Currency was going to be mingled with Monopoly money, and JC walked with all of….

Nine Bucks Richer
Nine Bucks Richer

Nine dollars.

Nine dollars? We woke up early for nine bucks?!? I would’ve paid fifty to have slept in!
Anyway, we got out our maps and started casing the show. We had a list of things that we were after, and began sampling everything in sight.
Well, almost everything…
Calamari
Calamari

The raw squid didn’t look too appetizing. How strange to have it displayed like this.

 

Those slushie machines were awesome!
We ate our way through each booth, sampling the choice items twice. JC has a bit of a sweet tooth and steered us towards the dessert vendors more than once. I was the one, however, that told the ice cream vendor that I loved him after sampling the Maui Wowie sherbet. They also had a black licorice ice cream that was kind of strange.
I met a cheese vendor who told me that he had been planning on flying out to see us. He was really anxious to show me his different cheeses. (About a week later, he did show up at Paizano’s to have us sample his mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheeses. They were very good, but not at almost a $1 more a pound! We go through 500 to 750 pounds of cheese a week, and we’re trying to cut costs, not spend more.)
After making a final lap through the arena, we gathered up our bags of shwag and took off for our shopping expedition. Costco, Cash n’ Carry, and of course, the Olive Garden. Have you had their shrimp bruschetta? It’s on the appetizer menu – really, really good.
All in all it was a great trip. I ended up making some money on pre-buying cases of product, and on a few of the rebates that were offered through the show.
I’m trying to convince Whitey to let me go to the Pizza Expo in March which is held in Las Vegas.
Now THAT would be fun!
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2 Responses to Food Show

  1. Tom says:

    Last winter I took a “detour” around a winter freeway closure. Once I was back on the freeway, I had it all to myself for about 30 miles. It was kinda eerie, almost post-apocalyptic, seeing NO cars or anything, on that big empty freeway. Fun though!

    I love food shows, used to go to the “Fancy Food Show” in San Francisco a couple of times.

  2. Lyle says:

    there is a trick to those cash machines. Wear a ball cap and lean towards the wind side of the machine. Place the bill of the cap against that corner and kick up the money with your feet. Grab with one hand and shove into the other.

    I remember once at the end of my session, a hundred dollar bill drifting down right in front of my hand. I quickly snagged it between my two clenched fists and came out with over $130. Judy and I used the money to go to the beach.

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