Just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world

As we enter the restaurant, I fear I’ve made a grievous error. It’s over 90 degrees outside. This place is locally famous and includes the word “Barn” in its name. Little did I realize that it was an actual barn, converted to an eatery 40 years ago. It’s dark and rustic, with tiny windows and no air conditioning.

Still it’s dinner time, we’re hungry, and the pizza is locally famous. It’s worth a try, but I worry The Princess will balk.

The seating consists of picnic tables of a dark brown copied from the nearby National Forest. These versions can seat at least 12 people and are varnished to a mirror gloss. We choose one near a window in hopes of a breeze, and The Princess decides she wants to sit next to me. She cuddles in under my left arm.

The menu fills a 5×8 card: Pizza, three sizes, a dozen or so toppings. If you insist, they will make pasta or garlic bread for you. Beer and soda.

We order an old standby and settle in to wait. The Princess monopolizes my phone, playing Angry Birds. As I scan the crowd, I begin to notice the jukebox in the corner behind me. I don’t know if someone has pumped it full of quarters, or if it has a very good random program, but it’s replaying my childhood. I begin to sing along, and she joins me. We belt out off-key renditions of “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Margaritaville,” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

And she smiles.

(I’m mildly surprised that she knows the Meatloaf lyrics. I blame Mrs. Mack505, but then she blames me for the fact that the Kiddo can sing “Crazy Train” with the best of them.)

The pizza was pretty good, too.

Weekend worth of Diesel fuel: $120
One night on a deluxe campsite: $46
Pizza and four drinks (hey, it was hot): $18.21 with tip
Having your seven year old make a fool of herself in public with you and smile about it: PRICELESS.