In the evening, I headed over to jbadger's place, where I would spend the night. We went out for a hibachi dinner at Hotoke in Smithtown. Sometimes I think that living on my own for so long has made my tastes rather out of sync with everyone else's. Hibachi is a good example of that. I do not regret going to Hotoke because that's the only way I could find out that the hibachi experience isn't for me. It's just a bit disappointing when I'm the only one at the table not having a good time. Anyway, here's what I thought. The place is noisy and the locals are loud. A hibachi table seats about two dozen people so unless your group is that big, you'll have to share it with other groups and some people, well many people, don't watch their language and don't use their indoor voices. Also, I wasn't terribly amused by the chef's antics. He dropped a utensil while trying to juggle and some of the food he flung ended up on the floor. I didn't like the prices either. $20 for portions that aren't filling? $2.75 extra charge for fried rice? I didn't order the fried rice but I noticed that charge on other receipts. The only difference between steamed rice (no extra chargee) and fried rice ($2.75) is the chef stirred the latter around on the hibachi for a minute or two. Maybe it picked up $2.75 worth of magic hibachi dust. :) As I mentioned above, I don't regret going the first time but I'm not going again.
The next day, JBadger and I got up early and went to the Wantagh LIRR station to pick up freakylynx and rapidtrabbit for the mascot gig at Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Jones Beach. This was a big event with a crowd of 27,000. We entertained the crowd in the field area and also took a short walk out on the boardwalk and back. Got stopped for hugs and photo-ops probably hundreds of times and I never saw the same family twice. I thought the (still unnamed!) otter fursuit would be appropriate for a beach event. Most people guessed he was some kind of big cat or cougar. A few people did know he's an otter right away. Other guesses I heard were chipmunk, squirrel, and muskrat. I got lots of compliments on the fursuit sandals that I made because those looked like beach flip-flops. One nice thing about this fursuit is the head is large enough for me to wear glasses inside. I had some homemade anti-fog solution. (1% dish detergent solution) There was still some fogging but I only had to wait a bit for the temperature to equalize and then I had crystal-clear vision.
After the mascot gig, we went to East Bay Diner in Seaford. Rather confusingly, there's another East Bay Diner on the same road, two miles to the west in Bellmore. I had bison burger deluxe. Before ordering, I wanted to know whether the bison burger was good. I didn't realize until I checked my online photos later that I'd already tried it myself a year ago! Yes, it's really that unmemorable. :) After lunch, JBadger and I did a little geocaching. Then we went back to his place to hang out a bit and pick up my stuff. And finally, I took the long drive home, bagging one last geocache on the way at a NJ Turnpike rest area.