Ok, listen listen listen, things finally started to get fun at the midway point of my week off. Henry GRACIOUSLY let me have the car on Wednesday (even though it’s MY car, but we are a one-car family and god forbid he should take the bus to work) so Chooch and I went hogwild.
We went to Round Hill Game Preserve!
Actually, and this is so very sad, we planned our entire day around Taco Bell. We’re an American anomaly in that we rarely eat fast food, but Taco Bell has always been my fave ever since high school when I realized, “Yo, I can actually order things that don’t automatically come stuffed with meat!” (You might know that I have been a vegetarian since I was 16.) Anyway, my go-to item at Taco Bell for like the past 20 years has been the 7-later burrito and when I found out last month that they were REMOVING IT FROM THE MENU in order to make room for “new items,” I literally thought I was going to set fire to the nearest church. (There are three right across the street from me so I wouldn’t even have had to go very far, I’m so…blessed.) Right around that time, the director of my department emailed me my choices for my annual birthday gift card and when I saw that Taco Bell was an option, I pounced on it, because now more than ever did I have incentive to pump my body full of faux-Mexican cuisine. Seven layers worth, as it were.
But then I kept putting it off and putting it off and saying things like, “I already made too many poor food choices this weekend, we’ll do it next weekend” until finally, it was too late. I missed the bus to the 7 layer send off party, you guys. I AM SUCH A FUCKING ASSHOLE. I feel like I have been pretty adult-ish lately, what with all the dumpster fires smoldering across the world, but this was the catalyst that made me go off and post a whiny tweet because I LEARNED IT FROM THE “PRESIDENT” ok??
This brought back massive memories of 1999 when those corporate Taco Bell assholes took the veggie fajita wrap away from me and social media wasn’t around then but I HAD A WEBSITE (Ruby Red’s Sporkworld!) and I wrote this whole SAVE THE FAJITA WRAP mission statement, urging people to call and write to Taco Bell. Lotta good that did. Anyway, I looked it up (my old website) and was pleased to see that it’s still partially intact, including the fajita wrap stuff! I showed Chooch and he was like, “wow. I am. so proud. of you.”
Well, enough about that for now. First, we went to Round Hill! I mean, after dropping dumb Henry off at his dumb job, ugh.
We got there early enough that it wasn’t too crowded, but I definitely did not feel comfortable not wearing a mask. Especially when we had to walk past some man sitting on bench, no mask, coughing and sneezing aggressively while chowing down on Cheetos. AMERICA, YOU GUYS. GOD BLESS IT.
It’s been a minute since I ventured out to Round Hill and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they added some new exhibits since I have last been there. For instance, I do not remember there being goats or llamas, but suddenly here they are.
Another thing I for sure don’t remember is the sunflower field?! It was practically a corn maze! We had the most fun! I pretended like it was senior portrait time, and I mean, I’m pretty much halfway in between high school senior and senior citizen, so…
(Also, I hated my senior portraits. The photographer was such a fucking creep.)
Chooch always takes the best pictures of me because he makes me laugh so I actually look natural and not like I’m smiling through a kidney stone like when anyone else takes my picture. Don’t get me wrong though, I still had plenty of “EW DELETE IT” moments which make Chooch groan. Sorry I’m not as fucking photogenic as his perfect self, ugh.
There were a lot of people there who totally made us roll our eyes, but this section of the park was completely empty and we loved it.
Before we left, we sat at the duck pond and instead of it being a place of serenity and cute duck sounds like we had hoped, the area was polluted by this shitty family who stayed way longer than necessary. It was a pregnant mom, four kids under the age of 7, and Grandma. They let all 4 kids throw pebbles at the ducks (the oldest boy kept wandering off to throw bigger rocks in the pond and luckily it was always in an area of the water not populated by ducks but Chooch recorded him anyway “for my lawyer,” he said, in case we witnessed any animal abuse. I fucking HATE when grown ass adults stand there and let children do stupid shit like this. OK, the tiny gravel/pebble pieces they were throwing in probably weren’t hurting anything but at the bare minimum, it was teasing the ducks into thinking that food was being thrown to them. But then, the youngest kid, who was definitely a toddler, had drifted off several feet from his family and fell headfirst down the hill, in slo-mo, nearly ending up in the very pond of ducks he had just been drizzling with pebbles. IT WAS SO FUCKING HILARIOUS. I mean, the incline of the hill was such that when he fell, he actually landed on his head and we were laughing so hard we had to turn around on the bench so that they the dumb adults didn’t see us, like when you get the giggles in the church and have to bury your face in the missalette, not that I know anything about that at all.
We tried telling Henry about it later and he just looked at us with that disappointed smirk he gets, so we were like “guess you had to be there” and now I will say it to you, too:
Guess you had to be there.
We left shortly after that, driving through rural PA to the nearest Taco Bell. Chooch was pointing out houses that he liked, until he realized that nearly every house we drove past had TRUMP signs in their yards, one was like a fucking Trump carnival with a giant banner slung across their house and at least 30 signs of varying shapes and sizes (way more inclusive than any Trump supporter is toward actual human beings) posted throughout their yard. This house made Chooch violently dry-heave, which turned into almost-vomit.
Honestly, it makes us so sick to see people blatantly supporting that racist piece of bigot-shit.
Anyway! We made it to Taco Bell in White Oak and then laughed our asses off when we realized that there was a post office in the shopping center right next to us because Henry wanted me to go and mail something for him that morning since I had the car and I was like, “No. I will not be anywhere near a post office. Figure it out yourself” and then Chooch and I peeled out of the FAYGO parking lot, leaving Henry standing there to eat our dust, item-to-be-mailed clutched uselessly in one hand.
We’re the biggest dicks ever to that man, haha.
So we got our Taco Bell and then Chooch looked on A MAP and found a RIVER PARK in McKeesport where we could park and eat our lunch. If you’re not from around here, you might not know that McKeesport isn’t the greatest, most scenic area, but there is a river that people like, take their boats on. When I was little, my pappap used to take us to this place called Paulie’s Lookout for my birthday dinners because I liked that it was on a hill and it overlooked the river so I thought it was fancy, and also I would get lobster because I was That Little Rich Bitch.
That place sadly closed down a long time ago and has since been completely torn down. :(
Our lunchtime view. Chooch was dying because I made such a mess eating my (vegetarian) chalupa which is so delicious but so unsatisfying and he didn’t drop even a single bean while eating his but in my defense, he had a goddamn crunchwrap and those things are so secure!
I made him pose with this random lighthouse in the parking lot.
Afterward, I was like, “I’M ON VACATION AND I WANT ICE CREAM” and Chooch was like, “OK you don’t have to scream it” so we went to The Scoop in, I dunno, West Mifflin or Munhall or something and we were the only people there and had the entire patio are to ourselves and it almost felt like it wasn’t a pandemic anymore until we got back to the car and bathed in hand sanitizer.
Chooch was really dying at this place though because my cone cracked in my hand and I had ice cream all over my arm and wrist and face. He shook his head and said, “Wow, you’re so messy. The tables have really turned” as he Vanna’d his hands over himself to illustrate how clear of ice cream he was. Fuck you, Chooch.
Man, we usually would have had like 8459 soft serves by this point of the summer but alas, it was not to be. So eating this bad boy gave us some semblance of normalcy. And the actual cone was matcha flavored! It was so good. Sometimes you just gotta get down with some sprinkle-capped soft serve, son.
Then later I had to go and pick up Henry’s sorry ass from work, so that was annoying. And then we had to go to the post office, lol. Basically, once Henry was done with work, the rest of the day was lame and boring. Sorry Henry, you know it’s true. BIG SHRUGS.