I grew up in Wisconsin, not far from the legendary Frozen Tundra of my beloved Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field. Until I moved to western Washington with my family just over four years ago I thought winter meant snow, sub-zero temperatures, ice, biting wind and all that goes with those nasty elements. Growing up in the Midwest created a certain toughness in me that I brought with me when we moved to Washington state just over four years ago. Winter here in the Pacific Northwest is vastly different than the icy, snowy and freezing-cold that I grew up with in the Midwest. One of the biggest differences is that the snow rarely comes to my doorstep in Western Washington, but rather to the mountains two hours away. In the four winters we’ve lived here, it’s snowed maybe three times, with a total accumlation of maybe 12 inches. Probably less. Despite the lack of snow and really cold temperatures, winter still presents its challenges. Instead of flakes that need shoveling we’re showered with rain. Lots of rain, which, when combined with the cooler temperatures, can make even the toughest person beg for some sunshine and warmer temps.
With that in mind, I was approached a few months ago by my friends at Life of Dad to partner with Fisherman’s Friend to promote Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges. My first reaction was along the lines of Me? I don’t live in a cold-weather state? How could I contribute to this campaign? Yet, I was told that they had chosen me and my blog, so, could I please try their product and take an epic photograph with the product, pretty please? Okay, they didn’t beg, but the rest is true. I had grand plans to head up to Mount Rainier with my kids and take an epic picture up there with the package of lozenges. That almost happened. We made it to the mountain, but my 16 year old daughter bruised her ankle on a snow-covered rock and we had to leave before I had a chance to get my pic. Interestingly enough, though, my throat stayed nice and healthy while breathing the cool and dry mountain air thanks to the soothing cherry flavored lozenge. But, alas, no picture. In the following weeks the weather here didn’t cooperate with our schedule as the only days available for us to return to Mt. Rainier were rainy or too snowy in the mountains (meaning high avalanche danger).
A couple of weeks ago my 16 year old daughter and I made our way to Madison, Wisconsin, for her official college visit and tour of UW-Madison. During the 90 minute walking tour I managed to experience a coughing fit while our tour guide was telling the group about the Business School.
Thankfully I was prepared with a handy resealable pouch of Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges in my sweatshirt pocket and popped one in my mouth. Within seconds my throat was soothed and my cough disappeared. Later on that day we met up with Bucky Badger, the Wisconsin mascot, who was out on State Street. We posed for a picture on a bench at Library Mall, and I managed to casually slip the package of Fisherman’s Friend lozenges out of my pocket in the hopes of capturing an epic photo for this blog. While I think the photo is nice, it falls short of being epic. You can judge for yourself.
Then, just last week, a couple of days before Valentine’s Day, some of my kids wanted to head up to Pike Place Market in Seattle. My 14 year old brought her friend and my 5 and 2 year old daughters also made the trip.
We were hoping to find it less crowded than usual since it was a weekday afternoon (yay for early release days!). What made the trip slightly uncomfortable was the dozens of glittery heart-shaped stickers that my little girls had happily put on my freshly-shaved bald head only hours before, thanks to the brilliant suggestion of their older sister and her equally brilliant friend. My little girls were excited that I was going to wear their decorations out in public at the market. My older daughter was slightly amused and mostly mortified, I think, at the notion of being seen in public with a giant (I’m 6’8″ tall) walking, talking, goofy, glitter-headed guy. That’s probably why she and her friend split off just after we arrived.
Well, I’m happy to say that I rocked that look. My girls and I received many compliments and even more strange looks. Several tourists tried to take my picture without me noticing. It was fun. My girls loved it. They were proud of their artwork and I will admit that it actually kept my noggin a little bit warmer than if it hadn’t been decorated. Sure, the 50 degree temps were not exactly extreme winter weather conditions, but it was raining! I’d like to think that I proved my Midwestern toughness by only wearing my Dads Don’t Babysit t-shirt and cargo shorts (of course!) with sandals (no socks) while most of the native Washingtonians were bundled in their fleece-lined jackets and long pants and Uggs boots. And, once again, my throat stayed soothed as I had popped a couple of lozenges in my mouth while we were walking. As my girls were sitting atop the brass pig that graces an entrance to the market, the epic picture that I had been searching for seemingly came to me in that moment. Fisherman’s Friend, after all, was invented in England in 1865 for, get this, fishermen! And, what is Pike Place Market most famous for? The Pike Place Fish Company and their fishermen who toss the fish! Guess what was in the background of the picture of my girls on the pig? You guessed it.
Thanks to it being a slow day (remember, it was a weekday in winter) I was able to casually engage one of the guys working there in conversation. Okay, he talked to me first about my awesomely decorated dome, but I steered the conversation to my need for an epic photo and wondered if he would be willing to help me out. Well, Nick, they guy’s name, was more than willing to help me. He suggested that I hold one of the King Salmon up as if I were preparing to throw it and he would stand next to me prominently holding the package of Fisherman’s Friend lozenges while one of his co-workers snapped a few pictures. Just before he handed me the large fish he casually mentioned that I had better not drop it as it would sell for about $300…yikes! At any rate, Nick was awesome and I think we got the epic shot that I had been looking for all along. After all, what else could show the tough relief of a throat lozenge invented over 150 years ago for fishermen better than an actual fisherman and a giant fish fresh from the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean from Pike Place Fish Company in the iconic Pike Place Market?
You can purchase Fisherman’s Friend lozenges in pretty much any store that sells cough drops or sore-throat lozenges. I’ve found it at grocery stores and drug stores alike. There are several flavors although I only tried cherry and menthol. You can check out their website: http://www.fishermansfriend.com/en-us/ or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FishermansFriendUSA for more information.
Obviously this needs to be stated clearly. Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Fisherman’s Friend for this promotion. The thoughts expressed above and pictures shown are mine, except the Fisherman’s Friend pouch picture, which came from their website.
Here are some additional photos from our fun time at Pike Place Market that afternoon.