Tag Archives: limoncino

CFP3: The Birthdaying of Alcalde

Alcalde’s final birthday weekend before succumbing to venomous snakes and parasites and various tropical diseases seemed to demand another visit to CFP. He locked the door this time, but I got in anyway.

Birthday Eve got the party rolling as we drove thither and yon without any clear destination. Alcalde failed at finding Duncan, but we found Mt. Hope, which I’m willing to bet was just as good.

Back in Spokane, we stopped in the newly opened Lumberbeard brewery for lunch, and I presented Alcalde with his birthday gift: an officially licensed pair of Donkey Kong socks, direct from the Nintendo store in Redmond! He was pretty overwhelmed, I think.

Lumberbeard’s lack of food made for a pretty limited lunch, so we went to Iron Goat brewpub and got food and more beer. We bought shirts in both places.

Back at CFP, we had limoncello shots, and then everything went black.

But I got better, and the next day, after breakfast and second breakfast, we went for a grand tour of Post Falls, Idaho. We wandered around in the cold and looked at hydroelectic things dating to 1906, but also there was beer.

The only black mark on the day was Alcalde’s failure to arrange delivery for his Tres Comas tequila, which he’ll have to pick up tomorrow, thus denying him the pleasure of sharing it with me on his birthday. That and the Duncan fiasco kept the weekend from being the Platonic ideal of a Birthday Weekend.

On the plus side, some random guy at the Selkirk Abbey brewery gave us these Idaho Spud candy bars, and Alcalde didn’t want his, so I got two. It’s the candy bar that makes Idaho famous.

CFP Mash #1

The inaugural visitation of Alcalde’s new mansion-chateau (aka Casa Fancy Pants) was a smashing success, as measured by total calorie count and whatever the opposite of cinematic artistry is.

Al, of course, had failed to show up, and sent a hogshead of popcorn as penance. The ricin made the flavor a little odd, but we got used to it.

Sitting Around

Lobo arrived Thursday, and he and Alcalde sat around all day. But when I got there on Friday the party really got rolling as Lobo and Alcalde shoved me into the back seat of the Taco and we crossed the state line into exotic Idaho. We had lunch at the Daft Badger in Coeur d’Alene, where Lobo got a half order of pulled-pork nachos which seemed to constitute at least 20% of world nacho output and allowed Lobo to eat increasingly congealed breakfasts for the rest of the weekend.

Nachos, Day Two

Nachos, Day Three

While in the Coeur d’Alene area, we investigated the mysterious happenings in the erstwhile town of Dudley. Alcalde claims that there was no collusion regarding either Dudley or nearby Cataldo, but we haven’t been watching him the whole time, so who knows what he gets up to. And we didn’t find Dudley, exactly, but we did find Dudley Heights, which is either a real place or a sign that someone put up as a joke.

As a housewarming gift, I brought a package of brightly colored cocktail monkeys, a beloved memory for anyone who had anything approaching a normal childhood in the ’60s or ’70s. They were put to good use as bunting, as well as flair for what were apparently pharmaceutical-grade mojitos. Memories of the rest of that evening are a little fuzzy.

Monkey Bunting

A Minimum Amount of Cocktail Flair

But up and at ’em the next day! Alcalde made us some excellent frittatas, although Lobo just chipped away at his nacho clump. After that, a little “hair of the limón” by way of limoncino shots, followed by panther cookie chasers, and we were off to get a mediocre lunch at the English Setter Brewery.

Limoncino and Panther Cookies

A drive up Mt. Spokane got us not quite to the top, as the road was closed due to inclement weather. We stopped in a nearby parking area to walk around and saw a group of people training rescue dogs. One of the trainers would hide under some camouflage netting, sitting out in an open area and looking absurdly obvious. Then one of the dogs would run around while some of the other trainers would shout encouragement. If the dog found the camouflaged lump that was right in front of it, everyone would cheer and congratulate the dog. If the dog appeared to be having trouble, an arm would reach out from under the netting and squeeze a squeaky toy. Sometimes the dog would still have trouble. The dogs all appeared to be having a good time, but I don’t like the chances of anyone who needs to be rescued by one.

Rescue Dogs

That evening Alcalde provided some excellent steak, grilled to perfection by Lobo on the ostensibly indoor grill. However, we had to open the door to let the smoke out, which really makes it sort of an indoor/outdoor grill.

Things were a bit touch-and-go, moviewise, as Alcalde couldn’t figure out his own audio/video equipment. Luckily, he was able to kludge together a workaround that allowed us to continue with what after all is the central feature of any mash.

Over the course of three evenings we watched Birdemic, Zoltan: Hound of Dracula, Wild Guitar, and The Choppers, the last two featuring Arch Hall Jr. Alcalde fell asleep for all four of them.


On the last full day, after Lobo finally finished his nachos, we went patrolling on Alcalde’s estate grounds. Much of it consists of scrub and deer doots, but it’s still well worth visiting, especially after the taxidermy animatronic show and boat ride goes in.

On Patrol

After a warm-up like that, there was only one thing left to do: Visit downtown Spokane. This centered around the Riverfront, which is, it turns out, along the river. We saw a tower, and a big wagon, and a trash-eating goat, and–as the pièce de résistance–the Riverfront SkyRide, which is like the Disneyland Skyway except that it doesn’t go to Tomorrowland. (Technically, neither does the Skyway, because Disneyland removed it years ago. The SkyRide has the advantage of still existing.)

Then we had a quick lunch at a downtown brewpub that had TVs on every available surface, all showing football games. There were even three TVs in the restroom.

Spokane Falls

Trash-Eating Goat

For reasons that are not clear, Lobo scheduled his return flight for 6:30 in the morning, so he got up before 5:00 and spent some time stumbling around and singing songs from Wild Guitar. Then Alcalde and I dumped him at the airport and had a leisurely coffee and pastry at Rocket Bakery on the way back.

On the drive over on Friday I had hit a pothole on the 90 and damaged my tire, so driving back was a little iffy. My sport jalopy has run-flat tires, which means that it can run for about 50 miles at 0 psi, but also has no spare. That’s probably useful if I’m fleeing foreign agents or random ladrones who have shot my tires out, but the trip from Spokane Valley to Redmond would be a little far in the event of a blowout. Fortunately, I made it back without incident and I can get the tire replaced for only $362.

Sport Jalopy in Front of CFP

The one disappointment of the weekend was the lack of fossils in the floor slate. They’re supposed to be there, but Lobo and I did a thorough investigation of the slate and found no fossils at all. That’s undoubtedly going to reduce CFP’s Zestimate.

R4TS4&T2Mash and TWH Recap and Riviera Notes

The Mash (and Mash it clearly was, despite some peevish braying from the less adventurous) has concluded, and the Mash attendees have gone their separate ways, better for the experience, except possibly for the experience of watching Dondi, which was even worse than expected.

Seborga is beautiful and charming and slightly odd, and almost exactly as I remembered, except that the weather was much nicer this time around. Lobo’s choice of a house was perfect, even to the point of accidentally renting from someone I had met and talked to 16 years ago.

We rented the top two stories of the house in the center of this photo.


It has beautiful terraced grounds.


We parked the car at the upper corner of the steep driveway. (Note the Seborga flag.)


Further notes:

  • Motorcycles and motor scooters in both Italy and France pass on both sides wherever and whenever they feel like it. Almost nothing they do would be legal in the US, but here you can just ignore them and it seems to work out.
  • The toll roads are pretty darned expensive.
  • Limoncino is tasty, but very strong. I was going to get a bottle, but thought better of it. I’d probably drink the whole bottle and have to be treated for alcohol poisoning. Besides, who wants to carry a glass bottle through the Alps?
  • Nice is nicer than Cannes.
  • The most useful languages to know in this area are French, Italian, and Donkey.
  • That song from Birdemic is always funny, and it always will be.


See also: The R4TS4&T2TWH Mash in Review.

Final Afternoon in Seborga

The Quest for Al really took it out of us, so we drove along the coast one last time, ending up at the same Doner Kebab place in San Remo for lunch. After lunch we bought some gelato and walked down to the harbor. It was a beautiful sunny day, as it has been almost the entire week.


In the afternoon we did laundry and hung around the house. Lobo cracked a cascarón that he’d been saving for 35 years on Alcalde’s head, as one does.


We had our final dinner at Marcellino’s, with a final round of limoncino shots, although we had to buy them ourselves this time.

Seborga Circumperambulation

In the afternoon we ambled down the road to Seborga.


There was a dog.


And narrow passageways.


Lobo tried to hide behind a pillar near the church, but he wasn’t fast enough.


We discovered that the previous prince’s house is for sale, and Lobo went to the real estate office to find out the details. Because Lobo does things like that. It’s €1,500,000, so if we save out of the housekeeping money…


Then we bought some souvenirs, but nothing for Al. Maybe tomorrow.

We had dinner at Marcellino’s, which Sabina had recommended to us. There we met Carly, from Santa Rosa, whose mother is an artist who lives in Seborga. Sabina was also there, and comped us to limoncino shots. On the walk back to the house, we talked to a German couple who had been in the restaurant. They asked, “So do you prefer Clinton or Tr…” and we all went, “Aaauugh! No! Aaargh!” by way of expressing our subtle and nuanced thoughts on the election. So we talked about the weather in Germany instead.

See also: Strolling Through Seborga and Seborga Day 4: San Remo and Return.

Cena a Seborga

We walked down to the village for a late dinner. Il Principe, the restaurant Lobo and I remember from previous visits, has closed down for some reason. Sabina recommended Marcellino’s, but it wasn’t open. There was an incomprehensible sign purporting to give the hours, but that was unhelpful, and the place was clearly closed, so we went to the one remaining restaurant, which didn’t appear to have a name.

The waitress/owner/dueña spoke no English, and none of us speak Italian, so we communicated using mangled French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, English, and arm-flailing. We all got ravioli, but Lobo and Alcalde got salads, whereas I got rabbit and french fries. So apparently that’s what we ordered. There was also wine, Wasser mit und ohne gas, and some limoncino* shots.


*Or limoncello, if you prefer.