Apr 212022
 

Hello, I am here to tell you about one of my favorite moments of our vacation. To some people, it might sound like a horrible drag, but…just stick with me.

We got to Busch Gardens Williamsburg early enough that we were one of the first cars in line for parking. The lot wasn’t open yet so we had to wait for about 15 minutes. The thing about amusement parks is that there is so much waiting involved. I guess that can be said with travel in general. So much of our lives is spent…just waiting.

I actually cannot stand the anxiety that builds up like plaque in my heart while waiting for parks to open. Especially Cedar Point. And I even said that I didn’t want to do this shit on this trip, yet here we were. Not so much by choice but because we just left too early from wherever it was that we stayed the night before – I honestly can’t even remember now aside from the fact that it was one of the worst beds I have ever slept on in my life and I threw a big fit. The mattress was like a waterbed without the water! I felt like I was going to flop right out of it!

But I digress.

Of course, when the gates opened and the cars started making their way through, our line came to a standstill because as usual Henry chose the WRONG LINE. He always goes right to the one where someone in front of us doesn’t understand how to pay for parking or starts asking the attendant for, I dunno, Netflix recs. It never fucking fails. So Chooch and I were screaming at him and Henry was shouting, “IT DOESN’T MATTER! IT DOES NOT MATTER!” and some lady in the car next to us called out, “Oh, it matters!” sarcastically because her kid was doing the same shit to her and it was the funniest, heartwarming moment of Coaster Parent solidarity. I loved it.

So then we finally got through and parked the closest to the entrance we have EVER been. Like a row away, ISTFG. But as we’re walking to the entrance, Henry realized he forgot his man-purse or something and WENT BACK TO THE CAR. Chooch and I had our tickets so we were like, “Fuck him” and continued on in. It ended up not being his man-purse and now I can’t remember what it actually was. His eyeglass rollercoaster strap I think. Actually, who cares.

We were behind only ONE PERSON!!  And then somehow, even though there were 5 or 6 gates, we managed to be the FIRST PEOPLE IN THE PARK?? Yo. This day was off to a sweet start.

FIRST!

So, since it wasn’t 10am yet, we could only make it through this first area until we reached the “crossroads” where a park employee was standing sentry. We were still first in the now-larger group of people gathering at this point but weren’t allowed to go any further until the park officially opened. We knew that Pantheon, our most coveted ride du jour, was off to the left somewhere, so we scooted over to that side and stood along the wall.

HOWEVER!!! Some bitchass older man inched his way over so that he was on the other side of us. I was so pissed. Like, how are you just going to pull a bitch move like that when we were clearly at the head of the pack and did the work to get there first??

THEN!!! Two dumb teen boys casually did the “do-doo-doooo” whistle walk right past and got even further than the man did! I was outraged and started to stare them down and they knew it so they wouldn’t look at me. Chooch was like, “Please stop trying to fight with minors” and I was like, “FUCKING RUDE AMERICANS” like I’m not from here.

Because I’m not.

I’m from a beautiful country in my mind where I’m fluent in Korean, the sky is purple, the temps range from 55 to 85, and Josta is the national bev.

(Seriously, long live Josta.)

There was two younger people (like early 20s?) behind me talking about how they didn’t want to run, but they also didn’t want to get mauled over, and I started to really panic now because I didn’t want to run either and I hadn’t planned on it and had hoped that Busch Gardens was not a running of the bulls / rope-dropping type of park but then the clock struck 10 and it was MAYHEM, MARY. Everyone started running. Chooch was at the head of the pack and people behind me started to pass me up so my fight or flight response kicked in as a combination of both I guess and off I went too.

OK, I GUESS I’M RUNNING, I thought grudgingly.

The girl that was behind me talking with the other person about not wanting to run was also running but she FELL on the train tracks and her glasses flew off and I felt so bad but don’t bad enough to stop and help because I had about 15 kids and frat boys that I needed to gain on, and also I had no idea where I was running because this was only my third time at this park and I am awful with directions and also part 2,  I was wearing newish Vans and even oldish Vans aren’t great to run in so you can imagine my misery as my feet slapped the pavement with NO ARCH SUPPORT.

Eventually, I started passing people. Kids were dropping left and right. The two stupid asshole teen boys COULD NOT HANG with this 42-year-old track star, Lucy, and they too eventually dropped out of the race.

Turns out, it was actually kind of far to where the new coaster was, and I almost gave up because my vision was going gray and my lungs were SCREAMING, like they were trying so hard to assist with my breathing but also they’re like, “WE ARE 42 YEARS OLD, HON, CAN YA SLOW IT DOWN TO A JOG MAYBE?”

I vaguely remember sprinting (I can only imagine how I must have looked) over a bridge and as my vision was graying out and the cymbals were crashing in my ears, I looked up just as I was passing the last kid and now the only person in front of me was…

CHOOCH.

And right up past him?

PANTHEON.

We made it. We motherfucking made it.

FIRST! FIRST FIRST FIRST!!!

Well OK, I was second, but still Chooch and I were a team so I’m co-opting his win.

But, LOL, instead of the sweet horns of victory we were instead met with SAD TUBA as we saw a park employee standing at the entrance to the ROPED OFF PANTHEON AREA.

“Is it….closed?” I huffed, bent over with my hands on my aching knees.

“Unfortunately, we’re having some maintenance issues and Pantheon will be having a delayed opening today,” the young guy named EVAN said calmly. “You’re welcome to enjoy the many other rides the park has to offer, such as Tempesto and Apollo’s Chariot which are directly behind you.”

“Can we stay in line?” I wheezed, and Evan was just like, “I mean…” You know these people are instructed by the park to try to deter lines forming in front of closed rides in any way possible and some parks are actually SUPER FORCEFUL about this (COUGH*KINGS ISLAND*COUGH). But I was like, “No, I ran here. I am 42-years-old and blew past all those bitch ass kids, did you see me? Shout out to me, right? Also I  came here from *wheeze* Pittsburgh specifically to ride this *pant* so please don’t make me leave.”

Now some little kid had also made it over to us and his family caught up with him around the same Henry meandered over like fucking Huckleberry Finn strutted through a meadow I have no idea where I’m going with this but I was still bent over, huffing painful breaths of what sounded like PLEURISY* into my knees, and he started cracking up because it wasn’t even open.

*(I have been obsessed with pleurisy ever since I got my grubby little hypochondriac child hands on a copy of the Merck Medical Journal and then kept it on my nightstand for some light bedtime reading. I always think that I have this anytime I have even the slightest twinge in my chest!)

Sandals Guy was behind us from the beginning with his son and wife. I heard him talking to the parents of the small kid who made it to Pantheon after us, and he was saying that his family were big coaster enthusiasts but then said that King’s Island was owned by Paramount and that Carowinds was a “world class park” like OOOOOH-kay buddy boy. He eventually turned his attention to us and I told him we came from Pittsburgh so he started trying to get me to care about some cavern that his family had just went to and made me look at pictures of it on his phone and it just made me real uncomfy, swiping through a  stranger’s phone, you know?

Then I didn’t like him anymore because he was saying to the other family, “Wow and your boy here was the first one in line for this too! I saw him running the whole way here, like lightning!”

LIES.

EGREGIOUS LIES.

THIS IS ERRONEOUS.

MORE SYNONYMS FOR BULLSHIT.

Chooch and I locked eyes and telepathically exchanged hexes. Like hell that bitch kid was first! If he was first then why were Chooch and I at the front of the damn line? BECAUSE WE WERE THE CHAMPIONS.

WE RAN LIKE THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL MOTHERFUCKING OLYMPICS AND THE GODS WERE DOING THEIR ANCIENT-ASS VERSIONS OF TIKTOK DANCES IN THE CHEERING SECTION.

WE DID IT ALL FOR YOU, PANTHEON.

Meet Benjamin and Zach. Poor Zach was tasked with continuously walking the line to inform everyone that the ride was down and there was so estimated time frame. Benjamin was the more-senior ride op, from what I could tell, and he would periodically come down from the ride’s station, where maintenance was doing the damn thing, and get on the little microphone thing to implore us to move on with our lives and ride other things.

Every time he came down the sidewalk, the mom of the non-first kid would scoff in disgust, “Oh here he is again” and her husband yelled, “SAVE YOUR BREATH!” So after Benajmin gave his canned spiel for the 3rd time, an hour into our wait (oh, yes we had crossed the 60 minute threshold by now), he walked all the way down to us and said to me and Chooch, “You guys are die hards, I love it” and fist-bumped us (I felt SO SEEN) and then he goes, “Which one of you said ‘save your breath’?” and shook the dude’s hand! It was so funny, but I actually had really started to despise both families behind us after a point because while their little barbs were funny at first, it was starting to wear on me. Look, none of us woke up that morning wanting this to happen!

The one lady kept saying in her annoying South Carolina drawl that they were there yesterday and the same thing happened but it was because of a staffing issue, so every time one of these poor employees would try to say that maintenance was working on it, she would call out, “Yeah, OK we know you’re just waiting for more employees to get here!” so Benajmin was like, “Look, between just the three of us standing right here, we have enough people to run this ride right now, but we literally can’t until maintenance gives us the all-clear.”

She was such a fucking know-it-all! If any of these assholes were actually “thoosies” like they were pretending to be, then they would know that the manufacturer of this coaster is notoriously unreliable. (But fuck, Intamin makes some world class coasters though so I can’t hate them.)

This is my boy Evan, who was stuck having to look at us all morning and as if that wasn’t bad enough had to deal with people CONSTANTLY coming up to him and asking, “Is this not running or something? When will it open?” POOR FUCKING EVAN. We were like, “You should just start making things up like, ‘it ran out of gas.'”

I sincerely liked this kid and I hope that he liked us too because we were literally the only ones at the front of the line not being entitled dicks. I also appreciated that he was ONLY divulging behind-the-scenes info with me and Chooch. It made me feel like a VIP.

Like here in this picture, you can see the guy who told Benjamin to “Save his breath” BERATING THE MARKETING DIRECTOR. What the fuck is she going to do to solve this problem?? She is in marketing not maintenance!

Furthermore, I don’t know why this guy even gave a shit because he was barely in line. He left his wife and who I assumed was the older daughter to be placeholders while and his kid WHO WAS NOT FIRST kept running off to ride other rides!!

Eventually, the Know-It-All It’s-A-Staffing-Issue family of Karens called it and left the line after about an hour or so. Good riddance! Go find the nearest restroom to lodge your complaints up your asses. About 30 minutes later, the Sandal Dad family also called. The dad wished us luck and honestly I should clarify that none of these people were *that* bad. They were just middle-aged and grouchy, and I don’t care how many parks they allegedly attend, if this was true, then they would have more patience. Once we started really getting into park-hopping, we learned super quickly that you gotta walk into these parks with low expectations. If you go in thinking that lines will be short, rides won’t break down while you’re in line, and that you’re gonna collect every single coaster cred…

….don’t go to Cedar Point, lol.

We learned the hard way.

Now that the old asses were gone, we had young people behind us! I was so happy to have refreshing convo happening behind us. We now had the girl who fell and her brother, and a group of 3 young people: I think two of them may have been a couple, and then their third-wheel friend who was SO COOL. All of these people were in their early 20s I would and I was trying to breathe in their youth.

The third wheel girl cried out at one point, “OMG I love your nails! Did you do that yourself??” and I realized she was talking to ME, an OLD?! Then she told her friend to look at them.

“Yeah!” I said, fluttering my fingers. “Thanks!”

“And they match your shoes too! I love it!”

“I like to coordinate,” I blurted out because I couldn’t think of anything cool to say and couldn’t catch any of the current slang swirling around in my mouth fast enough to put sound behind it.

Chooch straight scowled at me and turned his back in embarrassment. I think his favorite part was when I thrust my hand toward the guy in their group (who earlier mentioned that he had waited 4 hours for VelociCoaster and it was worth it), and said, “Do you want to look, too?” and he goes, “Oh. Yeah, OK sure.” We were going on 2 hours at a standstill, you guys. Your girl was getting slap-happy.

Suddenly, a voice called out from the nearby Tea Cups, “Why are you guys in line for a ride that’s not even running?” Turns out it was a group of middle school boys. The guy who I forced to look at my nails fired back, “Why are YOU in line for the TEA CUPS?”

“Because it’s the best ride here!” one of them shouted back and they all cheered like dumbos.

“What a lame response,” the guy who looked at my nails said. “If they had said, ‘because at least it’s running’, that would have been a sick burn. But…best ride here?”

“We’ve now reached the point of this endless wait where we’re having battles with kids over which ride is the best,” someone said, and I deliriously cracked up.

Then!! Evan got some intel in his headset and came over to tell me that the issue was that one of the trains was not connecting to the WIFI. I….didn’t know what that meant but I made an appropriate-sounding, “Ah,” to fool him.

Then I heard the Girl Who Fell and her brother (the things you learn in line: family trees) say something about how she was going to punch someone in the face if it was really a staffing thing so I passed on the WIFI message and it turns out that the brother used to work at Carowinds and he said that this was a legit thing! Apparently newer coasters have control panels that use WIFI…OK I can’t remember. But this was something that genuinely happens, I guess.

And then, at exactly the TWO HOUR mark, Evan quietly turned around and unchained the entrance to the steps. No loud announcement, just a quiet, “Go head, guys, have fun” and Chooch and I took off. We still had to walk (run) up a small set of steps, over a bridge, down the steps, across the Pantheon courtyard, and FINALLY through the ride entrance, where a Pantheon worker was standing and nodded at us. Chooch and I ran all the way through the empty line, up the steps to the station, and straight to the front row. I like front row on launch-coasters, OK?!

Apparently no one else ran because it took a bit for all our friends (and Henry ugh) to catch up and fill the inaugural train.

The energy in the station was palpable! It was like we all had BEEN THROUGH something. Also, it was so crazy to now see Evan and Zach in the station and not standing in front of the closed-off line delivering “no news” to all of the people who were demanding ETAs! They had joined Benjamin and some other crew and it was exciting to see them doing their thing. Then one of the ride operators was like YOU GUYS READY FOR THE FIRST RIDE OF THE DAY?? and we were SCREAMING. Oh, the vibes, you guys. I’m getting all teary as I write this.

I’m shit at reviewing coasters. I have a hard time remembering various element names, etc., but this ride exceeded expectations. I had watched so many videos on it and it is so hard to imagine how great it actually is. I was low-key worried that it was going to be over-hyped and that I would regret waiting 2 hours. But yo. This fucker is fucking satanic I swear to god. That backward launch over the hump and up into the spike is BONKERS.

When we returned to the station, the whole train exploded in uproarious cheers and applause (Henry probably didn’t join in though – FYI he ended up sitting near the back with the DAD OF THOSE DICKHEAD TEENAGE BOYS WHO TRIED TO CUT! The boys didn’t make it on the first train with us though because they opted to wait for the back row).

Our young people friends!! A memorable moment was when the girl on the left was inexplicably bleeding from her elbow in line and the friend who liked my nails sprung into action by asking Evan if there was first aid anywhere.

“Dammit,” Henry mumbled. “I had band-aids – from Korea! – in my bag—”

“–purse,” Chooch and I corrected in unison.

“—but I left it in the car.”

Don’t worry! She procured a band-aid for her elbow-dripping friend from “some mom back there in line.”

See?? I don’t carry band-aids on my person so I’m still cool and not entirely mom-ish.

Even if you have eyeglass straps, they still make you put your glasses in the bin so Henry looked like this on the ride ^^^ lol.

I really wish that anyone reading this could just jump into my blog and have a virtual ride on Pantheon because it is so hard to put in words how outstanding this coaster is.

Our friends behind us!

WE EARNED THIS! When we got off the ride, Evan was like, “Well, was it worth it?” and I gushed, “YES IT WAS AWESOME!!” and Chooch gave me the “stop talking” eyeball warning.

Stand back a little bit farther, Henry. People can still see us.

I had so much love in my heart for the Pantheon crew that I made a point of stopping by customer service before we left that night. I was so excited to give them the names of each employee and gush about how awesome they were in light of all the bullshit vitriol they had to catch from a lot of the park-goers. We have never had a bad experience at Busch Gardens and the ride operators have always been so awesome, but these customer service hags were AWFUL. First of all, there were three of them there behind the counter, chatting away as I walked up. They looked at me and then continued their conversation. Finally, the youngest broad asked if she could help me, like yeah duh that’s why I’m not here and certainly not to eavesdrop on your lame-ass chit chat.

Anyway, I told the bitch that I wanted to give props to the Pantheon ride crew and I had to wait for her to pull out a binder for comments while pausing to talk more to her co-workers. I was so excited to tell her how awesome these guys were and she never once smiled, said “That’s so great to hear,” nothing. She just went through the motions of writing down what I was telling her and then said, “Anything else? OK, thanks.”

I should have said, “Yeah, there’s something else. I’d like to also put on record an account of a shitty experience I had with a park employee” and then this would be the part where I menacingly read her name off her name tag. But in reality, I just walked away. I was shivering from Pantheon night rides and I wanted to eat some of the delicious cookie that Henry had just purchased.

Additional things that happened on additional rides later that day:

  • Zach remembering us and exclaiming, “You’re back!” and me saying, “The wait was a LITTLE shorter this time, ha ha.” (We only waited about 25 minutes for the back row!)
  • We got back in line toward the end of the night and there were verbal fisticuffs when two meatheads cut the line and another meathead called them out and it was super passive aggressive and then the guy who called them out yelled, “let’s all cheer for the line jumpers!” and it was tense but also kind of exciting?!
  • On our last ride of the night, there were two guys in front of us. Their friends were on the train right before, so when that train came back, one of them ran over and took the one guy’s hat and the other guy’s glasses for them so that they wouldn’t have to put it in the loose article bin. But then THE RIDE BROKE DOWN. So the one guy goes, “Awesome, now I can’t see” and his friend said, “And now my hair looks like this” and made an annoyed gesture toward his head. WHY WAS THIS SO FUNNY TO ME, I ACTUALLY LAUGHED OUT LOUD AND CHOOCH WAS SO EMBARRASSED. Anyway, the ride was only down for 10 minutes and then Chooch and I got the nightride of our lives (well, after Hat Hair and Bad Eyesight Guy).
  • There was a guy in line front of us on one of our rides and he had these interesting lines of symbol tattoos. I asked Chooch if he knew what he was and he said no. But then a few minutes, Chooch said, “Oh, it has something to do with Naruto.” I was like, “Wow Chooch really has his finger on the pulse of…whatever Naruto is.” Then we were in line for the next ride and I saw someone with a shirt with the same symbol shit on it! “Did you watch Naruto or something?” I asked Chooch, and he admitted that he only knew it was Naruto because in the Pantheon line, there was some young girl in line behind us acting like an idiot and she bumped into the tattoo guy. He turned around and said, “I like your shirt” and then pointed to his tattoo. She was wearing a Naruto shirt. After this, I couldn’t stop seeing Naruto shirts at every turn. It was weird.

We were recapping our Pantheon experience for days and days afterward, and I mentioned that I thought the 2-hour wait actually made it more memorable. 100% worth the wait.

“Yeah,” Chooch agreed. “It’s about the memories you make along the way.”

Chooch should get that tattooed on his neck. And I want “That Time I Ran to Pantheon” on my tombstone.

Here is a video of Pantheon. Because, Pantheon.

And here’s my FAVORITE coaster vlogger’s experience:

P.S. The formatting of this post is trash and the font mysteriously shrunk near the end. I cannot spend any more time trying to fix this so apologies for causing you to squint.

Apr 202022
 

I’m going to insert some filler on here because I have a sneaking suspicion that no one really gives a shit about roller coasters and people I want to kill while standing in line. So today, instead of PART 2 OF BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG OMG, let’s look at 30ish pictures from the first part of our day in St. Augustine, Florida.

If you don’t know, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the United States and it was founded in 1565! You bet your sweetly-spanked ass that I googled that fact. I did know about St. Augustine, generally, though, all the way back to fifth grade when we did a chapter on SETTLERS in history class or whatever. For some reason, and this REALLY is singed into my fossilized brain, I was completely panicked about the upcoming test so my Aunt Sharon helped me study. She made me index cards and helped me come up with mnemonic devices, and because of this, Ponce de Leon is like a legend in my mind. I can’t remember exactly what we came up with for him other than associating him with the Fountain of Youth, but for Jacques Cartier, she was like “THINK OF MY CARTIER WATCH” and I was like “OH YEAH GOOD ONE” and  even though this was just some dumb fifth grade test, it is literally something that I think about every now and then because it’s one of the best memories I have of Sharon. She was a LOT of conflicting emotions toward the end of her life, and caused me lots of grief and stress, but she was also a fucking awesome aunt for ALL of my childhood, when it mattered most.

Um OK wow, I didn’t intend for this to be all that, but cook on, Erincheffer.

The last time we drove through Florida, I desperately wanted to step but Henry was all, “Ew barf history gross gag.” This time, I got my way. The older Henry gets, the easier he is to wear down.

Plus, we had a full day on Friday of nothingness, since all of our Florida parks had been satisfied, and we wanted to eventually start our drive home that day. And St. Augustine is on the way!!

We got there bright and early, right before the rush of tour groups and school field trips, and traipsed around Castillo de San Marcos. I like historical shit as much as the next bitch, but I opted to not pay to tour the innards of the fort and chose instead to just enjoy the scenery on the outside. We had plans to go to the Fountain of Youth later anyway, and I knew Henry would go, “PICK ONE, WE ARE NOT DOING EVERYTHING. THIS STUFF COSTS $$$$. ROAR.”

It made me feel like we were on a movie set or something I don’t know how to explain it LEAVE ME ALONE.

I’ll tell you, it felt strange not running from one attraction to the next but instead, walking leisurely like regular people on vacation. Well, at least for the morning….

HI. IT ME. My feet were so broke-down by this day. It was nice to lean against something, briefly.

This one’s best because you can’t see my idiot face lol JUST KIDDING I AM TRYING TO LIKE MYSELF BUT REWIRING ONES THINKING TAKES TIME. Ask me in a few months (years lol) how it’s going.

I love this picture of me and Chooch so much because he 100% did not wish to pose next to a palm tree even though I did because I had suddenly realized that SHIT it was our last day in Florida and we had not taken advantage of any palmy photo props.

“It’s not even a good palm tree!” Chooch scoffed in disgust. Just for that I made him pose with other palm trees on his own lol.

Smile, fucker!!

Why is this actually an OK picture of Henry? What is he thinking here?

I’ll go first: Remembering the time he visited a record store with his SERVICE buddies and slowly flipped through all the Pia Zadora albums. Obviously this was before he went AWOL.

Then I got bored of that area so we went to the quaint little shopping/historical district and saw THE OLDEST WOODEN SCHOOLHOUSE IN THE USA OMG WHOA YOU DON’T SAY.

The first place we went to was Auggie’s Donuts but they weren’t open yet so we explored the candy shop that shared the space with them. I bought two packages of licorice: one Dutch, one Finnish, because ever since I became An Old, I have a newly acquired taste for licorice. SPECIFICALLY Finnish and Dutch licorice, and I think also Swedish? There was some DIVINE and STRONG stuff I bought several years ago at Jungle Jim’s. I took it to work thinking it would be a big hit with the rest of my International Candies but NO ONE THERE LIKED IT. Not even Glenn, oddly. So I ate it all and now that I’m typing away about this, I want very badly to go back to Jungle Jim’s and stock up on some more.

Anyway, this Tid Bitz one was SO FUCKING GOOD I WANTED TO DUMP THE WHOLE BAG INTO MY MOUTH IN ONE SITTING which wouldn’t have been that much of a feat considering “one sitting” was basically a 5 hour car ride later that day.

See the source image

Finland knows what’s up.

While we were in there, the neighboring HOT SAUCE store opened and Chooch was like “FIRST” as he ran across the threshold but then wailed, “YOU HAVE TO BE 18 TO TASTE TEST.” The lady behind the counter laughed and said, “Oh you’re ok, hon, go for it.” And he basically tasted as much hot sauce as he could before he got sick.

Don’t worry, we bought a bottle of BBQ sauce and a jar of hot pepper flakes for pizza since we were close to overstaying our welcome.

Then the donut guy told Henry it would be about 10 minutes for his fryer to heat up or something, I wasn’t caring much at that point, and for some reason the desire for donuts had shifted from me to Henry, who was like, “WE CANNOT LEAVE NOW, IT WILL BE CROWDED ONCE HE OPENS” and I was like, “Dude, I’m not standing here watching oil heat up, I want to go look at stuff” so Henry stayed back at the donut place (I think he was still in that GET TO THE COASTER BEFORE THE LINE GETS LONG mentality) while Chooch and I went off on our own.

LOL, Chooch and I off on our own!

First, we went to the PUBLIC RESTROOMS! It was uneventful although Chooch felt that the mens room was haunted. I can’t remember why now but it was probably a dumb reason.

We had to walk past some stupid shops selling PRO TRUMP novelty shirts and hats because FLORIDA, but then we stumbled upon this gem: St. Photios National Shrine!! RELIEGIOUS SHIT!! The reason why I noticed it was because there was HARMONIOUS MONK CHANTS wafting out of the entryway!

It was basically calling to me.

The whole little garden area was filled with the mournful music.

MY.

FUCKING.

JAM.

Since it was still so early, we were the only people there!

THE ONLY GREEK NATIONAL SHRINE IN THE COUNTRY. If you are Greek and religioso, you probably already know this.

There was recently some sort of drawing contest for kids and the entries were displayed in one of the rooms. Not gonna lie, it was the room we spent the most time in.

A NINE YEAR OLD MADE THIS.

Amazing. I would proudly display this on my wall if it was for sale.

I only took a picture of this because some old guy in front of me did lol.

Then we walked through the gift shop and I wanted everything. But then I didn’t have my credit card and stupid HENRY was still waiting for donuts so we had to leave the gift shop. The lady was so nice too and told Chooch to go right ahead and handle the nesting dolls at his leisure and I always have to pause and regroup when this happens because to me, he is still that 6-year-old bull in a china shop and not an almost-16-year-old who can handle himself appropriately around delicate items.

I swear it was just yesterday when we walked into an antique shop in Philly and the old man proprietor locked his attention on Chooch immediately and was SO CLENCHED, just waiting for him to break something so he could force to pay for it.

I’ve definitely referenced this before but every time we made it out of shops like with nothing being broken, I always think of the time when I was a kid in Italy (Assisi I think?) and we went to some Delicate Items shop. My grandma was like TOUCH NOTHING and then continued to convey this order to me numerous times thereafter with nothing more than her lips pulled into a taut line.

Yo, I made it out of that shop with nary a casualty under my belt.

But you know who didn’t?

GRANDMA.

Oh it was delicious. The sweetest irony. She ended up knocking several glass things off of a shelf with her gigantic purse as she turned around.

GRANDMA BROKE IT AND BOUGHT IT.

Well, Grandma broke it and PAPPAP bought it, to be clear.

Then we walked off the main road onto a path that led us to some old timey textile shop run by a man WHO NEVER BROKE CHARACTER even when we were talking about Apple Pay. At first, Chooch goes, “I’m not going in there, there’s nothing—-oooh, a sword I want a sword!” so inside we want. He did not get a sword (it was actually a dagger anyway, nice try) but he did get a “booty box” and a compass necklace thingie.

We were able to handle this without Henry’s aid because, as previously mentioned, Chooch asked if he took Apple Pay and he was like, “AYE MATEY” or something, he wasn’t a pirate so I don’t know why I defaulted to arrrr speak but he was something….old timey. Anyway, Chooch had to help me use it because I never do it right and he gets soooo frustrated and then it turns into a big deal where the cashier wants to insert themselves into our bickering and it’s a hassle, which is why I always just use a physical card when possible.

Technology. Pfft.

Don’t even get me started on NFPs!

No really, you can’t get me started even if you wanted to because I don’t understand them and have nothing to say about that.

Meanwhile, Henry started texting Chooch threats about how if we didn’t start walking back to the donut place, he was going to eat them and Chooch didn’t answer fast enough so then Henry posted a picture of the donuts on Instagram and tagged us and we died of second-hand embarrassment. Why is he like this. Suddenly my inability to use Apple Pay wasn’t so cringey because now OLD ASS HENRY was clobbering around on Instagram, and that was way worse. So now Chooch and I were back to being on the same age-level and making fun of Papa H together.

The dynamics change super fast with us. Try to keep up.

The donuts were OK. Not really worth waiting for like Michael Myers in a bush. But OK Henry.

I wish this place was open because I would have taken a crepe over those donuts! The donuts were good, don’t get me wrong, but not like, “OMG IF YOU GO TO ST AUGUSTINE, GET THESE DONUTS.” I mean, if you like donuts in general, then Homer it up, friendos. Don’t let my blasé review sway your doughy decisions.

Anyway, after we inhaled our donut kebabs (they were actually awkward to eat, all impaled on a wooden stake like so), we excitedly lured Henry back to the SHRINE PLACE and he was like, “I’m not going in there” even though it was free to enter, so Chooch, currently on Team Erin, hissed, “MOM WANTS SOMETHING IN THE GIFT SHOP AND YOU HAVE TO BUY IT.” I’m sure Henry was nervous, thinking it was something extravagant and exorbitant, but it was just a $5 cross magnet made from sand and ocean water from the St. Augustine beach!

Also, Chooch got some religious medallion to put in his BOOTY BOX, which is also filled with all of the pressed pennies he collected on this trip.

But just as Henry was thinking he was free to leave after this transaction, we remembered that we needed cash money in order to light a candle. “Jesus Christ,” he muttered, fishing for two dollar bills which he then angrily thrust at us like we were going to run off to 1982 and buy a pack of cigarettes instead of lighting prayer candles.

“I lit mine for Ukraine, what did you light yours for?” I asked Chooch after SHOWING HIM HOW TO GET HIS CANDLE TO BURN SINCE HE “COULDN’T FIND THE MATCHES.” Seriously.

4.0 GPA.

0.0 Common Sense.

“Oh, I didn’t know we were supposed to light it for something. I just wanted to light a candle for fun…”

Oh don’t worry, there was much more St. Augustine action. Fountain of Youth, coming soon!

Apr 192022
 

Being back from vacation hurts. In so many ways, lol. I still haven’t gone through all of my pictures, but I do have the ones from our first park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, all sorted so I will share those today. That’s what we’re doing. I will save my BIG PANTHEON STORY for a separate post because I will probably have way more to say about it than is necessary. You know, the usual.

Super awkward shot but I just love this section of the park so much!

We were waiting for Henry to find out if there was any place in the entire land that served veggie burgers because the last time we ate pizza at FEST HAUS, we all got sick (not like, food poisoned, but more like THAT WAS A LOT OF CHEESE). We were going to eat in the Italian section of the park but the line was extremely long even though the park wasn’t very crowded, so….Fest Haus it is, I guess.

Chooch pointed out the strawberry cake and then I couldn’t not see it so guess who got the strawberry cake? It was Henry. But only because he knew I wouldn’t get it for myself so he got a slice to share. Henry doesn’t care about his gut health so he always takes one for the team.

Dude it was actually quite good.

This time I split one personal pizza with Henry and it was the perfect amount. It did not bind me, nor did I find myself doubled over in extreme intestinal strife for the rest of the afternoon. Guys, we do not come to parks to eat. We come to ride.

Bro.

I actually felt uncomfortable with them performing so close while I was trying to eat and by eat I mean shovel cake into my gnashing maw. Especially when they were trying to shame people for not participating in the Chicken Dance. LOOK LUCY, I like to cluck around with the energy of your average kindergarten birthday party attendee, but not while I’m trying to mow down a thick wedge of strawberry cake. Thanks, and kindly piss off with your lederhosen, Tuba Terry.

Meanwhile, Chooch had raspberry cheesecake which he somehow stuck his elbow in, as evidenced by the schmear of raspberry glaze I spotted on his sleeve shortly thereafter.

Henry told him to go to the bathroom and use cold water, and he proceeded to return to us with half of his sleeve drenched in water, because instead of just spot-cleaning, he stuck his entire forearm under the faucet.

That’s my brilliant son, people. Gifted status. Don’t be fooled.

It was in the 50s on this day which was fine at first but as the day went on, I started shivering and then couldn’t stop and then eventually I was practically convulsing and Chooch was yelling IT IS NOT THAT COLD, STOP IT but I could barely hear him because my ear canals were frosted over.

We were really concerned about the potential crowds on this trip, being spring break and all, but it seems that our school district’s spring break falls later in the season than most so we pleasantly surprised at the crowd levels for Park #1! Granted, this was still a Saturday and the weather wasn’t TOO bad, but we were still enjoying station waits and/or walk-ins for some rides, although the “crowds” did seem to come in waves. For instance, we walked onto Apollo’s Chariot earlier in the day, came back in the afternoon and walked away after seeing a – gasp – line, but then got a station wait a bit later. It was almost as if the crowds were moving in a clump. And that was fine with me!

Griffon is so photogenic! We didn’t ride it on this visit though. Dive coasters just aren’t our favorites. We did ride Alpengeist though (pictured in the shot above this one) and it was the first time we actually had to “wait” in a line, and it was only about 25 minutes but spoiled Chooch was not having any of it. He gets so surly sometimes.

Even when the sky is gloomy, this park is still so lovely. Now that I think about it, I don’t even think any of us fought the whole time we were there?!

YOU GUYS. Remember last summer when I was so sad that I didn’t get to ride LochNess because of dumb stupid idiotic lightning?? Well, I got my redemption ride.

It wasn’t as great as I remembered it to be, aside from the EPIC TUNNEL/CAVE THING. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with the fact that some asshole in front of us had his phone out the whole time, so then I spent the second half of the ride in fear of needing plastic surgery once my face is done being a Samsung billboard.

My favorite part of Busch Gardens is the walkway down by the water! There are steps next to the entrance of Lochness and it always feels like a secret.

Mr. McDonald’s pays for his own stupid fucking games now!

F R E E D O M.

Here are the Robbins Males, in line for Verbolten, which they both thought was WAY TOO LONG yet only  took about 20 minutes and everyone knows that Verbolten is the best ride in the whole damn park and 100% worth the wait, so can it.

(OK, Pantheon is the new Daddy of this joint, but Verbolten is still a solid coaster. I always my laugh my fucking face off on it.)

I have no idea which ride line we were in for this. Everything is a blur.

Seriously though this park is gorgeous.

Oh! Here’s a great story. I had been craving ice cream ever since earlier that morning when I saw one of my ENEMIES (we will talk more about this in a separate post) indulging in a cone while waiting in line for Pantheon. The last time we were at Busch Gardens, we couldn’t find any ice cream places that were open because even then, a lot of (if not most) parks were understaffed due to Covid. But I figured out that he procured this icy delight at Roman Frieze. This also worked out well because it happened to be the same place that was selling the pineapple Dole Whip served in a pineapple that kept taunting Chooch throughout the day. (“I REALLY HAVE TO HAVE ONE OF THOSE,” he kept announcing, and I don’t know why but the image of Chooch walking around spooning himself ice cream from a pineapple while wearing a hoodie just made me LOL.)

So we get in line for the damn ice cream and it’s all confusing because some worker tried to get us to leave the line and go to a new line that he had just started but we were already nearly to the counter and other people were already getting into the new line so I politely declined his offer. But he kept pushing for us to go to the new line and I said, “But I don’t want to lose our spot?” and he gave me this shit-eating OK HAVE IT YOUR WAY look, like I’m some big stoop passing up his once in a lifetime offer.

I guess you had to be there but he was for real stressing me out and then Henry didn’t want him waiting on us because he was touching door knobs and people’s backs with his gloves on and then didn’t change them when he got back behind the counter.

But then he did change his gloves so Henry unclenched.

I wanted the KIDS SUNDAE because sprinkles and whipped cream seemed like a delectable choice at the moment, but when I ordered it, the LINE MISMANAGER instantly grabbed a waffle cone and started filling it up with softserve. I thought that maybe he was doing someone else’s order first because now that there were two lines, it was chaos in there. But then he squirted it with whipped cream and did all the other FIXINS and as it dawned on me that this my KIDS SUNDAE, I said to Henry, “You can just have that and I’ll order it again but specify that I want it in a cup.”

BECAUSE I ASSUMED THAT A SUNDAE WOULD AUTOMATICALLY BE SERVED IN A CUP IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Henry started to protest but I swiftly took the waffle cone, passed it off to him like a frozen Olympic torch, and then placed my do-over order.

Oh meanwhile, Mr. Economics blanched at the price of the Dole Whip in the pineapple (it was like $12 I think) and opted for just the Dole Whip in a cone. His McDonald’s paychecks are really teaching him the value of a dollar, for sure lol. Everything is SO ASTRONOMICAL to him now.

As we sat down on a wall to eat our icy snacks, I peeped Henry’s pout. “What’s your problem?” I asked.

“I didn’t want this!” he cried, chopping a hand toward his KIDS SUNDAE cone. “I wanted DOLE WHIP!”

Chooch and I promptly cracked up.

I forgot that this happened or else I would have included it in some of the postcards I sent, lol.

Later, we had a weird experience in line for Invadr because the family in front of us were annoying but in a strange way. It was three young kids (an older girl and her two little brothers) and they all had SUPER BIZARRE cartoon voices and the mom looked like Biggest Loser: Little House on the Prairie edition, I’m sorry, that was mean but this was the thought that passed through my asshole brain as we stood in line behind her.

The kids weren’t bad by any means, but it was their voices, man. Their voices, especially the girl’s, were like Rugrats IRL. Like an adult doing theatrically fake child voices. Like Elmira on Tiny Toons. Just really strange. And then they were playing this weird game about how many cookies something would cost and I swear I saw Chooch’s ghost leave his body. He was like, “I’m outta here-yaaaaaaaa.”

Anyway, while we were standing in line, Chooch was watching the train go past and suggested that we ride it when we were done on Invadr (really great wooden coaster, btw). So when we got off Invadr, Chooch and I ran straight to the train platform and made it JUST IN TIME. We scrambled into a row and then saw Henry calmly walking up the ramp. He saw us and shook his head.

“Thanks for telling me where you were going,” he huffed, having JUST made it before the train departed. LOLOLOL.

Chooch said I looked possessed here. Thank you! How sweet.

This is Chooch turning around to see what was screaming behind us and why its keeper wasn’t doing anything about it. I really hate screaming children.

Chooch took this right before we left – Henry and I doing our best “couple pose.”

I left out all of the PANTHEON stuff because it deserves its own post. But I will tell you that after eating that ice cream, my body temperature plummeted, combined with being whipped into oblivion on coasters on a 50ish degree night, and I was shivering so hard by the end of the night that my body was straight WRACKING. Chooch was appalled by this and at one point yelled, “IT IS NOT EVEN THAT COLD!” and was even inspired to look up the weather when someone in line was also saying how cold they were.

“OK, you’re over here shivering, that person over there is whining about being cold, IS IT ACTUALLY COLD? I’m looking it up,” he said, because this kid is hot-blooded. Of course once he saw the temperature, he gave me the ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS look because it really wasn’t THAT COLD but somehow IT WAS? Then I lost my voice at one point too and panicked because what if I had gotten Covid, but then I woke up the next morning and felt 100%, so I guess it was just all the screaming and being cold. I do get cold extremely easily.

/abrupt ending.

Apr 162022
 

This morning was very boring so I didn’t LiveBlog, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that we stopped at QuikTrip and got REALLY GREAT lemon bar lattes. Holy shit yo that shit was hot, sweet, elixir from the heavens.

We made it to Carowinds, park number 7, around noon-thirty. It looked like it wasn’t crowded and Fury was nearly a walk-on. What sorcery is this?!

Sadly, I was unable to enjoy my ride because the asshole in front of me was blatantly holding his phone above his head the whole time so I was trying not to get smashed in the face.

Also? Does Fury feel slow AF now because we have been spoiled this past week by so many amazing coasters?! I was actually disappointed.

Then we rode Copperhead Strike which I will admit to liking better this time around, maybe because we were in the back.

So that was ok and the line was only about 25 minutes.

Chooch still needed to get some credits that we missed the last time but one of them – the Vekoma boomerang, had a long-ass line for absolutely no reason other than that GP love boomerangs because they have no taste.

So we skipped that and went to Kitty Hawk which is a family Vekoma suspended and has the slowest ops ever, omfg.

Growing old in line so chooch can get a dumb credit.

Another one that he needed wasn’t running, so we settled for Ricochet which ended up breaking down while we were in the long-ass line but that was a BLESSING because there was a mass exodus so we were able to move up almost to the front. Maintenance arrived quickly, fixed the issue within 5 minutes, plus another 5 minutes of test-cycling the cars and we were back in business.

We actually got Henry to ride with us. This was then before the ride broke down when the line was still long, looking up food options for when we leave. For as shitty as Carowinds is, we at least all got along for the few short hours we were there.

Is it tho?

Anyway, Chooch got 2 credits, still needs 2 (3? I think there might be another kiddie one) more so I guess eventually we have to go back again ughhhh. This is just not an enjoyable park.

Then we had to walk through the parking lot looking for the car amidst a sea of other white cars while Henry’s shoe squeaked miserably and Chooch and I were losing our minds. Then we got in the car and made Chooch share his gummy turtles with us, which are shockingly good.

“Where did you get these again?” I asked.

“I dunno. Orange Land. Orange World,” he answered casually and it made me crack up because the fact that he has a job and buys his own shit now is endlessly humorous to me because it always ends up being dumb shit.

Anyway, I figured I’d start a live blog now because today’s Carowinds sojourn isn’t worth its own post.

YO. We just ate at Bean Vegan Cuisine and I was in food lust, bigly. Thank god I found this joint because we almost ate at some basic diner that basic Henry found.

Dude I knew as soon as we walked in that this was the spot. The options were overwhelming!

BATHROOM GLAMOR.

So one of the few things I crave sometimes that I can’t eat is seafood. I mean, I physically can eat it, but morally I won’t. You know how it is. So when I saw that they had vegan crab dip on the menu, I urged henry to order it for the table.

IT WAS HEAVENLY. Made from jackfruit and definitely had a crab dip texture and flavor. I was hooked.

I got the CHIKN PARM SANDWICH. Fun fact about this bitch, when I was in elementary school I would get so excited when Burger King’s chicken parm sandwich would return. That was my JAM. I can still remember how it tasted.

This was so good, I was screaming inside my head.

Henry got a side of vegan Mac n cheese with his cheese steak and it was everything. Chooch didn’t like it but he is extremely picky with vegan cheese.

Speaking of, he got some cowboy burger and was a big bitch baby because he didn’t like the bbq sauce on it. He did eat most of it but not without whining about it.

Wahhh.

He kept telling us we’re so annoying and I dunno why but this was making me crack up so bad and now I’m slaphappy.

6:55: At a really nice rest area in Virginia that has a little trail behind it which was wonderful!

I asked Henry if he thinks truckers bring broads up there at night and he distractedly said, “Yeah…I mean, no! There are lights back here.”

Mmmm ok.

Then I made a huge production out of getting Chooch to pose for this picture while people of his same age were walking by and watching lololol.

I guess you had to be there.

At least the scenery is better in Virginia.

8:25: Every time we call Henry out for breathing heavy, he goes, “Just be happy I’m breathing.” What a cocky response.

9:00pm: Arrived at the so-so Microtel in Beckley WV and Henry immediately dropped and shattered Chooch’s coveted jar of Georgia peaches from Peach World so that was a whole thing. Good one, Hank.

Well, I guess we’re in for the night because wtf is there to do in BECKLEY at 9:18 but ice my METATARSAL injury thing and read?

PS this piece of shit hotel has EWTN on their cable guide but then it doesn’t come in. I’m so pissed because we’re missing the EASTER MASS VIGIL.

10:20: UPDATE: the power just went out!!! I’m scared – it’s so dark and this is awful. Henry is like OH WELL and got back into bed but Chooch the Sleuth went out to the lobby to get the scoop. He just came back and said that literally no one in the lobby is fazed.

Man, we were watching a really great LIFETIME movie too.

10:23 – ITS BACK!! I said THANK GOD and Henry mumbled “yeah thank god the world almost ended.” It was actually terrifying!!!

Apr 152022
 

Hello from Savannah, Georgia, where we are crashing for the night. We left Orlando early this morning and spent the day in St. Augustine. Much fun was had, at the expense of our feet as usual, and I will relay all of the details at a later date. But for the purpose of this post, I want to talk about the place we ate lunch.

Sarbez.

I may have planned the entire day around this place because hello: a grilled cheese arcade with tons of dive bar aesthetic? Oh yeah, I will make my travel companions go out of their way for this experience.

“Is this it?” Henry the Stoop asked. No, it’s the grilled cheese arcade across the street, Henry.

God.

First of all, THE CHOICES. I almost made a custom g.cheese but then I saw the VEGAN GRILLER which has TEMPEH and I am an avid tempeh eater. Sometimes I like to cut some up and mix it into my morning scrambled eggs. I’m getting very fancy in the kitchen these days.

Chooch got the Hashton Kutcher, sans sausage, and I don’t know what Henry the Meathead got. Who cares.

Wishing I had purchased a chocolate tape for five dollaz.

Alas.

We were assisted at the bar by a really awesome guy named DALE who held our hands through the ordering process. Then he noticed Henry’s VelociCoaster hat and asked, “Were you guys at Universal?” and then we started gushing together over the perfection that is VELOCICOASTER and how it is quite possibly the best in the world and I was like, “FRONT ROW AT NIGHT” and he was like “OH MAN I DIDN’T GET TO RIDE IT AT NIGHT” but at least he lives in the same state as Universal and can hopefully return soon for a night ride.

I legit cannot stop thinking about it.

We also got a pickle dog to share and it was SO GOOD. A pickle deepfried in cheese, on a bun, with some type of amazing sauce. Yeah BOY-O.

Hallelujah! Cheesus has risen.

(Vegan Cheesus, that is.)

Not sure what type of vegan cheese they use there but it was delicious and had a decent melt to it.

The bathroom was playing Elvis which normally would have been MEH but in this case, it really added to the ambiance.

(Hold on. I’m remembering my sandwich and missing it.)

SING IT SISTER.

Part of the arcade was decorated with a VHS tape wall and it made me laugh because I have tons of these, similarly-labeled, in our dumpster of an attic. I was SUPER into renting movies when I was in high school and then copying them using my fancy-pants dual tape VCR. I miss renting movies from Blockbuster, Hollywood, and our local supermarket’s Iggle Video section, but I *really* miss all of the independent places that were super small with porn in the back. :(

Henry knows all about those types of places. The one I remember the most (aside from Incredibly Strange Video which was my SPOT) was this place in Baldwin called Firehouse Videos. I used to rent horror movies there to watch in my basement with dumb Psycho Mike after eating next door at HOME COOKIN’ where my fave waitress used to make me incredible grilled blueberry muffins, which I would also eat with a side of cole slaw and everyone there was convinced I was pregnant.

Holy shit, thank god that psychopath never actually got me pregnant!!

Back to Sarbez and all of its glorious mirror selfie opportunities.

Henry Wah Wah I Lost My Ball had to call DALE over to help him and Dale was like, “Your ball’s right there, dude” and I wanted to die because Henry is so embarrassing everywhere we go.

Chooch made me play Pong with him and I proceeded to win 7-0 BUT!! I think that I actually wasn’t playing and that it was the computer, because at first I thought I was controlling it but then there were several times when it felt weird so…

Don’t tell Chooch.

He mumbled, “I hate you. I hate this game,” and stalked off to play something else lol.

What a great effing experience. I mean, it made my stomach hurt bigly because I just can’t eat heavy stuff anymore, but it was worth it even though we proceeded to spend the next 2 hours in the car driving to Savannah and bickering, ugh.

Oh well. More travel lies ahead so I guess I should say goodbye and goodnight.

Apr 142022
 

Hello from our dumb hotel in Orlando. Today is a slower day (park we’re going to today doesn’t open until 2pm, blessed be) so I’m just chilling here post-Valhalla donut feast (I split Ube and Berry Berry with Henry, and Chooch had Churro) and I happened to see that the full trailer for the Heartstopper Netflix adaptation has dropped on YouTube so I watched it while Chooch was yelling at me to use my headphones and now I am sobbing because I love this graphic novel series so much. I finished #4 in the car on Sunday so I am even more ready for this.

I highly recommend these books. Highly highly highly. They are everything.

Also, here’s my ube donut:

We actually had a shitty experience there because the people working (not Valhalla employees – they were for the other place in the shared space) had no personality nor the desire to assist us. Then they forgot two things in our order so Henry to go back in twice to get it taken care of. I mean we were the only customers there HOW HARD IS IT.

Still, those donuts are so good that it was worth it.

But yeah, sometimes vegan places can have the shittiest customer service just sayin’.

Then we went to Craft & Common to get coffee to bring back and the experience there was so much better. The girl who waited on us was super friendly and helpful and it made the coffee taste even better to me, TBH.

I would highly recommend this place. Don’t listen to Henry and Chooch – they didn’t like theirs but they also don’t like coffee they just think that they do.

Now we’re going to ORANGE WORLD for souvenirs and then lunch at some point. I will check back! (LUNCH IN AN ACTUAL RESTAURANT AND NOT IN A THEME PARK I AM SO FUCKING STOKED!)

Orange World! Had a much better experience this time – I feel like we got yelled at here by some old lady cashier in 2016 but I can’t remember. I just know that we were extremely unwelcome.

They had barely any postcards though so we went to another gift shop and now chooch is pouting because some lady and all her kids cut in front of him when he was trying to check out and then his dumb Marvel toy thing wouldn’t scan and the cashier made him walk “all the way across the store” to get a new one instead of taking the plastic off.

So he came outside to sulk on a bench.

Just left the hotel again to get lunch. This trash has been sitting on the steps since we got here Sunday night and it’s become A THING. I am simultaneously angry and curious. Every time we come back from somewhere, I shout IT’S STILL THERE WHAT A SHOCKER.

Today, I said, “I wonder how much longer it will stay–” and Henry cut me off to yell, “The whole time! It will stay there the whole time just pick it up and throw it away” but now I literally can’t because I genuinely need to know. If it’s still there tomorrow morning when we’re leaving, I will throw it away then.

There are literally garbage cans at the bottom of every stairwell, I just don’t understand why someone would feel the need to drop whatever that even is right there.

WE JUST ORDERED I AM SO EXCITED IT WAS SUCH A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE SO FAR I AM HUNGRY THOUGH.

Ok. This was the BEST meal I had all damn week, I love faux chix sandwiches soooo much and will choose them over veggie burgers every time.

Chooch got a chicken sub:

Look how enthused he is! We are tired!

I got a kale side salad and my body was rejoicing – “Vegetables! Greens! Bring it!”

Winter Park Biscuit Co, you get an A+.

Ok dudes (in a gender neutral sense), we are headed to Fun Stop Orlando now so I am signing off. Poof.

Apr 122022
 

Hello from the road. Today we are driving to Tampa so I have a moment for a Story Time.

We spent Monday at SeaWorld Orlando and it was AN AMAZING DAY. I will get to all the good stuff in the future but today I want to talk about the only low points, both of which happened in the same ride line, but at different times.

1. Adventures in Babysitting

Chooch and I had been wanting to ride Infinity Falls all damn day because it was hot hot hot and also because we had never been on a rapids ride that has an elevator?! That seemed interesting so even though I don’t often run to get in line for water rides, I was down for this.

However, because it was hot hot hot, this ride was also a HOT commodity, you could say. Oh ho ho.

We walked by at one point in the afternoon and saw that the wait time was allegedly 45 minutes so we ditched Henry and dipped in line. However!! As soon as we got through the entrance, some man ran up to us (literally bypassed the British family behind us) and asked, “Excuse me!! Could my girls ride with you two? They want to ride and—”

I will be honest here and tell you that these events were such a blur that I can’t even remember if I even heard his reason. I am presuming it was that the parents didn’t want to ride. I was so flustered that I just blurted out “ok sure” and that is how Chooch and I ended up with two little girls in our care?! And have you ever seen me trying to talk to young kids? Whooo boy. It ain’t pretty. Chooch was giving me the U SO CRINGE side eye and I returned it with the WHAT DO U WANT ME TO DO head shake.

To their credit, they were extremely well-behaved and not like, running amok through the queue landscaping like some other children were.

We were about 15 minutes from the front of the line when the dreaded ATTN RIDERS announcement came on BECAUSE THE DAMN RIDE WAS DOWN. People started to get out of line and Chooch and I are looking at each other and then looking down at our wards, who were quietly sitting on the ground playing with a rock or something, talking about Jojo Siwa, I don’t know what little girls these days do.

I personally would have kept standing in line without giving it a second thought let me tell you this pertinent piece of the story: About halfway into the wait, I looked down and realized that one of the kids was NOT WEARING SHOES. I remember now that she had ran back to her dad real quick when we were still near the entrance and now it was dawning on me that it was probably because she was GIVING HIM HER SHOES to hold.

You cannot ride these things without shoes!! I remember one time at Kennywood, Chooch and I were on Raging Rapids with strangers and one was a teen girl who took her shoes off before our raft thing even departed and the ride operator was like “put your shoes on” and she was like “no” and the ride op was like “I will not send this raft until you put your shoes back on.” It was a whole thing, ok. Trust me. I was there. You weren’t.

So now I’m fixated on this, of course, because I know my luck and I was certain we’d get up there and the ride op would be like “this bitch needs shoes” and I’d be like “this bitch isn’t with me” and then the people behind us would be like “sir, this bitch lying. The bitch is with this bitch. We saw this bitch’s dad ask the bitch if his bitch could ride with her and this bitch said yes. This bitch is with that bitch.”

And then I’d have to do the walk of shame down the exit ramp with my not-kids while my actual kid likely wouldn’t stay on the ride because that’s just the kind of kid this bitch produced.

So now I’m thinking that maybe this was a blessing. This is my out. I squatted down to tell the girls what the sitch was because they hadn’t heard the announcement. They originally said they wanted to stay and my head filled with comic strip swears so we continued to stand in line but then as more people in front of us left, I was like “OK I’m calling it, I don’t want your parents to be worried” and they agreed.

Of course, the MOMENT we got out of line, an announcement came on that said, “ATTN RIDERS, INFINITY FALLS IS….BACK OPEN!”

Apparently the nice British family behind us had motioned to Chooch that they saved our spot and I initially was like YEAH BOI until I remembered the SHOES so I was like “no we are too far back now and it would be cutting” only because I knew that if we got back in our spot, it would be moot because we still wouldnt have been able to ride because I might be a semi-sociopath when it comes to kids but I’m not so far gone that I would allow two small kids to walk down an exit ramp by themselves and then look for their parents, of course I would go with them.

Chooch was BIGLY MAD at me but whatever, get over it. He could have stayed but the reality of the sitch was that I was not riding this ride in either scenario.

The girls’ mom was waiting at the entrance and I explained the situation about how we weren’t sure how long the ride was going to be down and didn’t want them to be worried and she was like, “No I totally understand thank you for trying!” She was really nice and her kids were really cute and I know it was like tres weird that the dad even pawned them off on us in the first place (Henry was like “little did he know, he gave his kids to the person who hates kids”) but I actually would have had no problem with them accompanying us if it hadn’t been for THE SHOES. Ugh.

It was literally an entire day later when Chooch blurted out 갑자기, “I can’t believe you asked them if their daddy was too scared to ride Infinity Falls–”

“I was trying to make conversation!” I cried in defense of my poor peopling skills.

“—and she was like ‘actually my daddy is very brave.”

Shut up, Chooch Who Spoke No Words At All To These Rando Childs.

2. Piss-Head Aussies

Later on in the day, Chooch attempted again to ride Infinity Falls. The line was a tad bit shorter so we were hopeful.

Right off the bat, I was pissed when an Australian family waved over more family members into their group, requiring them to line-jump about 20 people. I really fucking hate that shit. Do you know how many times Henry gets into line much later than us because he either didn’t run or stopped to get a locker? Do we encourage him to line jump and expect people to step aside for King Henry? NO! WE DON’T! Because line jumping is cause for removal from the park!

Even though I have never seen this happen.

Now I was fixated on these wankers. It was four adults – two couples – and a teenage girl, a boy about 8, and a girl who was maybe 4 or 5. One of the guys and one of the women were both wearing GUCCI tennis shoes.

At a theme park.

In line for a water ride.

Cool!

They were so loud and obnoxious the whole time with their big toothy smiles and hya hya hya laughs, and I know this is awful but I have developed a prejudice toward our friends from down under because of numerous shitty experiences at work (we have four Aussie offices) and this family did not help the cause.

Especially when we were almost to the front of the line and I noticed that the two men walked out of the queue and into a small grassy area. I thought that they were looking through a fence at the rapids ride, because the little boy was also with them, but the women in the group were hooting and hollering yes I said hooting and hollering because they were fucking assholes and that is what fucking assholes do, so this is when I really started to pay attention to what was going on, just in time for the boy to go back to the line and the little girl to join the men.

Who proceeded to PULL DOWN HER UNDERWEAR.

AND THEN TAKE THEM ALL THE WAY OFF.

AND THEN CREATE A POTTY SEAT WITH HIS ARMS, SO THAT BOTH OF HER KNEES WERE HOOKED ON HIS ARMS, AND THEN HE AIMED HER BODY SLIGHTLY UPWARD SO THAT SHE WAS BASICALLY A URINATING FOUNTAIN.

Chooch and I looked at each other, totally aghast. Like is this happening. Is this small child being assisted in public urination by this man??

We quickly averted our eyes because neither of us were trying to look at the bare ass of a CHILD?! While both moms and teenage girl were straight cackling back in line.

Chooch said that there were other people who were also watching with stunned looks on their faces but no one said anything because god forbid anyone try to be the voice of reason while standing in line but honestly, I came close. I stood there and GLARED at them and loudly said shit like I CANT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAS SO TRASHY and I REALLLLY wanted to be like EXCUSE ME I DUNNO IF THIS IS COOL IN YOUR COUNTRY…but I’m not gonna like, the one dude looked like a big, slobby bear who wasn’t above hitting a woman and I wasn’t trying to poke that nasty thing. Both women were much much larger than me too and Chooch and I were just out-numbered anyway.

In hindsight, I wish I had said something because they were such white trash motherfuckers the entire time we were in that line, oh well.

Then I had to watch the one mom vigorously pick out a wedgie through her ugly dress. It was so much. Just…so much.

Anyway, I made Chooch take this picture and send it to Henry so he would have somewhat of a visual for when we told him the story, and thanks to this picture he was able to identify them later when the pissing girl through a major tantrum in the middle of the park when they were sitting near him and none of the adults even bothered to stop it. He attempted to record it but Henry sucks at Spy Mode. He’s not like me.

We eventually did get to ride the stupid ride and thankfully didn’t have to ride with the Aussie Pissers especially knowing that the rapids were essentially going to be bathing that little bitch after she pissed without wiping in line.

Well, that’s my story. Goodbye.

Apr 122022
 

Hello I have had no time to pop in here because we have been busy running from coaster to coaster but I’d be remiss if I didn’t update to say that a few minutes ago, Henry was eating his gross Dunkin’ breakfast sandwich and got a stain on his shirt so he was like WHERE IS THE TIDE STICK and I knew where it was because somehow it’s been in one of my travel toiletry cases for like years even though I would never know how to use a TIDE STICK so he did his business, changed shirts, and then IMMEDIATELY got another stain. Chooch and I are SO DISGUSTED and I screamed IF YOU WOULD JUST SIT DOWN AND EAT LIKE A CIVILIZED PERSON and now he’s pouting.

Anyway, we spent all day yesterday at SeaWorld and it was ultra successful (a few low points but nothing that ruined the day, we will discuss at a later date, I’ll set up a symposium) (what even is a symposium) and today is the day we have been the most stressed about – Universal Islands of Adventure. I am bracing myself for massive crowds since it’s still spring break but if I have to wait 3 hours for Velocicoaster, so be it. Still better than sitting at home, logged on to work.

#mantra

#thatsalongmantra

Tomorrow we are driving to Tampa for the day so I should be able to blast out an update then too.

Meanwhile:

Henry: “oh good it only takes 11 minutes to get to Universal” *goes right into the bathroom* lololol

UPDATE FROM UNIVERSAL: Eating lunch. Henry got another stain.

Apr 102022
 

Good morning I guess this will be sort of a live blog as we have a good 11 hour trek to make today and I am sure I will be bored AF. It is currently 8:34 and we just left, WAIT FOR IT, Mama Steve’s!! I’m not gonna lie, when we tacked on Williamsburg to our poorly planned spring break road trip, I cried, “OMG THAT MEANS WE CAN GO TO MAMA STEVES!” Of course chooch and Henry were like, “Where now?” because they don’t get obsessed with things for no reason like I do.

We asked for a booth and even though we were the only people there besides one old guy eating forlornly alone, we were placed at a table because our waitress JANICE who hated us apparently only had one booth in her section but there were ANTS on it.

(Henry just turned up FOREIGNER’S JUKE BOX HERO super loud in the car, for anyone who was wondering what songs would make Henry reach over to give the volume knob a good twist.)

Anyway I know our waitress’s name was Janice because she told us and for a minute I forgot restaurant etiquette and almost introduced myself back to her but after pausing with my mouth agape for entirely too long, I recovered long enough to blurt out, “oh ok nice to meet you.”

I honestly forgot how to human for a hot sec.

At first I was disappointed and was considering not loving Mama Steve’s anymore but then I was consoled by that awesome Blue Flame-esque instrumental covers of pop classics wafting from the ceiling and all the BLUE ACCENTS.

Henry and Chooch just think it’s “ok.” They both ordered omelettes. I noticed Chooch had a pile of tomatoes, peppers, and onions on the side of his plate.

“Why would you get a veggie omelette if you’re just going to pick everything out?” I asked.

“I didn’t pick them out!” he cried defensively. “They fell out! And once they’re by themselves, I don’t eat them.”

The eating intricacies of Chooch.

I ordered whole grain pancakes and then made Henry take two. Janice came over later to take away my cleared off plate and said, “You did good!!” But then saw the reminder of my pancakes on Henry’s plate so I had to fess up. They were good! I just know my limit!!

I made Chooch take a picture of me with Mama Steve’s in the background because I love it here! I want to roll around on the floor and absorb all the 1960s vibes.

(Ok, maybe I’ll put on some coveralls before I do that.)

I didn’t check out the bathroom last time and henry said it was “nothing special” but I said, “I WILL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT.”

Seemed pretty special to me!!

Then we were rung up at the register by a super-mysterious old lady, reminiscent of Katherine Helmand, in a mink stole and she HAD to be Mama Steve, she HAD TO BE. She kept locking eyes with me so I had no good opportunity to take a picture. She even spoke in an accented whisper!!!

She walked past us while we were eating, in all of her strange vintage European elegance, and I said, “That’s my STYLE ICON right there” and Henry said he imagined that being me walking into The Law Firm as an old lady to get my last paycheck, so I guess in Henry’s mind, we’ll be going back to paper paychecks that need to be manually deposited at some point in the future.

Ugh WTF is this shit?? “Bridge Lift In Progress”?!! Ugh.

“It’s not even for a ship. That’s just a tug pulling a barge,” Henry mansplained, causing Chooch to pipe up from the backseat, “whoa ho ho.”

Now Chooch the Engineer is pointing out all the different ways they could have built this bridge to avoid this.

THAT MOTHERFUCKER.

9:23am: Some podunk cop just pulled us over because dumbass Henry was speeding because he “didn’t realize” the speed limit changed. I have no idea where we are, some dumbass hick town in Virginia.

OMG HE JUST GAVE HENRY HIS DUMB TICKET AND AS HE WALKED AWAY HE TURNED AND LOOKED AT ME WITH A FUCKING GROSS LOOK ON HIS FACE AND I FLIPPED OUT AND YELLED EW DONT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT YOU DUMB COP and henry was like “OK OK” and quickly put up the window and now I am fucking popping off because I hate cops so much HOPE U MET YOUR QUOTA, PIG OINK OINK.

If I had been the one driving, we’d probably be at the police station right now.

#mouth

Time for some Heartstopper 4 action!

A self-serve Dunkin’?? We had to buy a mini-Silk because they didn’t have DAIRY ALTS and it was a huge controversy. (It was my solution BTW) and I didn’t even require the need for DAIRY ALTS because I can drink iced coffee for the coffee flavor unlike Henry & Chooch, the coffee posers.

We are somewhere in North Carolina, btw.

A very pretty rest area in Fayetteville or something. There was drama in the restroom though because only ONE FAUCET worked and some lady was standing there waiting for her mom to finish up so she became the official spokesperson, telling everyone who came out of a stall that “only the one at the end works.” She told the custodian but as I was washing my hands, she left so I felt responsible for telling the people who came out of the stalls after me and then panicked because what if they didn’t pass it on and then the news died out?!

I guess newcomers would have to find out for themselves…

Our first Bojangles! The door was locked but some old man was coming out and let us slip inside. It wasn’t crowded in here at all but APPARENTLY they are short-staffed and locked the doors so they could try to keep up with the drive-thru rush but people inside keep letting in the outsiders like us and now people are getting angry. We had a convo about it with a LOCAL GENTLEMAN and he and Henry bonded over the shared knowledge of how UNDERSTAFFED it is everywhere and then the dude said “HAVE YOU A GOOD DAY” when he left and I so excited to hear it.

HAVE. YOU. A. GOOD. DAY.

I just randomly said something to Chooch in the tune of the Skate or Die Nintendo game song, so then I explained to him what that was and sang it (Skate. Or. Die. Skate or die. Die die die die die) and he got REALLY annoyed and said I’ve told him this numerous times over the years lol. I guess that game really made an impact on me??

This is all I wanted!! A biscuit! And the salad was actually decent.

Anyway, the locked door controversy went on the entire time we were there. It was insane. I admitted that I originally thought the door was locked because the staff was planning a mass suicide.

“Wow,” Henry muttered.

Later on, Henry came back to our booth after getting butter & honey because I started acting like I was insulted that my biscuit didn’t just come with it, right as Chooch and I were fighting because he said only the door on one side of the building was locked and I said they both were. Henry goes, “No they’re both locked—someone was standing outside the other door trying to get in when I walked by.”

“Did you let them in?” I asked.

“Nope,” Henry said, taking a big manly man-man bite of his food. Chooch and I lost it in tandem. The way he’s so ruthless sometimes!

I drizzled honey on my biscuit while Chooch cringed in the background. “You ruined that,” he said.

You ruined me,” I retorted.

Back in the car, 1:42pm.

Calm down, Henry! Thirst much??

2:24: Pit stop at South of the Border! Chooch was being soooo snotty because he “just wants to get to Orlando” but we’re not doing anything there tonight anyway so what’s the rush?? Little bitch.

I made him pose for this picture and he was soooo bent out of shape about it:

I like this picture of me because my hair is covering my stupid face.

Chooch was mad because I wanted my picture taken on this mule. Then henry rejoined us after getting gas in the car and we went into one of the gift shops but didn’t see anything we wanted.

On the way back to the car, I wanted Chooch to take my picture with Henry this time too on the mules. I was going to ask this guy standing nearby if he’d take a picture of all of us but he was on the phone and his wife was holding a dog. But luckily he got off the phone just in time and said, “You guys want a picture of all of you?” which made Chooch’s whole body contort into a visual groan. I said YES and now we have a FAMILY PICTURE from this racist tourist trap, lucky us!

I told the guy, “you made my day, and ruined his!” pointing to Chooch. Dude was happy to assist!

It’s 3:19 but I forgot to mention that about 30 minutes ago, we stopped at a Pilot and my TREY SONGZ jam was playing – I haven’t heard it in like 10 years but went on auto-pilot mode and dramatically began lip-synching it in Henry’s face at the beverage cooler but he said HE DID NOT REMEMBER IT?! It was on a mixed cd that played for a solid year on repeat in our bedroom?! (This is not an exaggeration?!)

NO WAIT I WAS WRONG AND BECAUSE I AM HONEST I WILL ADMIT IT. It was a different Trey Songz track that was on the mixed CD also I did really like the one playing in Pilot too – it was the first Trey Songz I ever heard!

5:39pm I guess we’re in Georgia now? All I know is that we’ve been in stop-n-go traffic for the last hour and my calf is cramping from slamming on the invisible passenger-side brake. I swear to god Henry speeds up every time the brake lights come on on the cars in front of us. He’s giving me such anxiety.

DUDE. We just stopped at a rest area (and the doors were locked just like Bojangles!! but there was also a sign that said to use the doors in the rear of the building) and each faucet had a Dyson hand dryer attached to it!!! I had to side-eye the little girl at the sink next to me to figure out how to use it.

7:34. We just grabbed some Subway for a quick dinner in the car. We still don’t know if we’re in Florida or Georgia for some reason, but I feel like Henry should know??

Anyway before Subway we went to Race Trac and I got coffee but I can’t drink it because every time I bring the cup to my lips, all I can smell is cigarette for some reason and then I feel like I have an ashtray in my mouth??

Two bikers just passed us wearing WARLOCKS OF FLORIDA vests. Assholes.

7:58pm ok NOW we’re in Florida!

Also? I cannot stop thinking about the nice day we had at Busch Gardens yesterday. It started out as a series of QUESTION MARKS but ended up being just a very enjoyable day and we all got along until we got back to the hotel that night! A-ma–ZING.

We have 2.5 hours left of this never ending drive. I shall hit PUBLISH on this rat’s nest of words now and edit with any updates if anything noteworthy happens. Who can be sure?!

9:18pm You haven’t missed anything other than me quizzing Henry on NCT members’ voices and talking about TOP from BIGBANG doing wine labels as a new venture.

And then totally 갑자기, i said that I missed Wildwood. “It’s so magical there don’t you think?”

Henry, considering this. “Yeah, I mean, it was nice.”

“Oh, ‘it was nice.’ So you won’t commit to ‘magical’?” I cried.

“I mean, nowhere is really magical in my opinion,” was Henry’s defense.

“Ok not even Korea? REALLY?”

“No, not even Korea. Because magical is something that’s not believable and Korea is real…”

“OK WELL ITS MAGICAL TO ME IN THAT I COULDNT BELIEVE I WAS THERE,” I huffed, but COOK ON HENRY.

10:45pm: Checking into our hotel which is directly across from the street from The Drop Tower. Ugh.

Hi technically it’s the next day (12:14am) but I wanted to jump on here before I go to bed to say that I made Henry walk around the area by our hotel with me so that I could acquire my daily step goal (I aim low – 12,000 – which I generally hit by the afternoon except for when we’re literally in the car all day ugh) before midnight. I made it by 11:45! Woo!

Also, we ended walking past the drop tower and it was so unbelievably depressing. I said I wished we had a flower to put down and henry was like “well we don’t, so…” He has no feelings.

Then I took a picture of him next to the Hooters sign across from our hotel so I could send it to Chooch back in the room, because we love to insinuate that Henry has a VIP frequent customer card and has wet dreams about it (Hooters, not the card).

(Maybe the card, too.)

(Maybe also the fire hydrant.)

We’re also across from this bitch. Chooch had a mental breakdown at the one in Pigeon Forge several years ago lol:

Ok good night! SeaWorld tomorrow! Chooch should get his 200th credit!

Apr 082022
 

Hello from somewhere in Maryland I think. We left shortly after I logged off from work at 5:30 to start our first leg of this season’s poorly-planned road trip. I’m not even giving our final destination on here for fear of jinxing it, as it’s been jinxed numerous times already and it’s actually amazing we even left Pgh at this point.

Anyway, it’s 8:40pm and I talked Henry’s ear off for the last three hours (he looooves when I tell him stories from when I was in high school, just fucking SAVORS that shit like it’s a piece of fresh jerky) so I thought I’d hope on this trash pile and type some things, post some pics, you know, things us BLOGGERS do.

I dunno why I screamed that bit.


Relevant to this drive, and I’ll tell you why in a minute calm down, here is a picture of Chooch from the weekend when he was trying to watch The Adam Project which made scoff dramatically, “Ugh, Ryan Reynolds” and Chooch asked, “Why do you hate him again?” prompting Henry to answer from the dining room, “Because he hurt someone or something…”

Ok first of all? STFU don’t answer for me.

Second of all, he hurt ALANIS MORISSETTE (and also Scarlett Johansson but I was focused on Alanis at the mo’) so I started screaming about this and Chooch was like “ok well I don’t know who that is so…”

And also, he just seems like an asshole. Like the type of guy in high school who you never wanted to have to sit near because you knew at some point he was going to openly make fun of you for having braces or something.

That kind of guy.

Also, BLAKE LIVELY?? Ugh.

I mean she literally was the worst part of Gossip Girl but cool. Marry her & then expect us to care?!

This morning, I woke up to an Alanis song on the radio and then felt inspired in the car to play some of my faves and then from there somehow I got on a Paula Cole / Shawn Colvin / Jewel kick so Henry was really loving life, especially when I put on Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album in its entirety and proceeded to dredge up the Psycho Mike years which is another topic henry loves because now not only is he my chef, caretaker, and chauffeur but crisis counselor too.

“Man, I really had no idea who I was back then,” I murmured, lost in 1997/1998 for a minute.

“And you do now?” Henry sneered.

“Uh yeah. I’m born-again Korean?!”

I miss the cats so much already this is the worst part of vacation. :( My mom will be staying with them but I swear Drew knew since last night that we were leaving. She saw the suitcases in my room and just knew. Then when Henry was packing up the car today, she ran onto the back porch and sulked, ughhhh my heart.

Still thinking about this s’mores sundae Henry & I shared from Sugar Spell on Sunday. Usually we’d partake in the pint preorder but figured we’d switch it up and just get a sundae. It was decadent! Of course henry cried because I allegedly ate “all the good parts.” He also tried to criticize me for choosing banana as one of the scoop flavors but it ended up tasting sooooo good with the s’mores accoutrements – waiting for my apology.

Oh man, now .38 Special’s Caught Up In You is on the radio as if I needed more reasons to revisit the past. Goddamn, this song.

HOLD THE PHONE, I just got a story from Henry regarding his middle school days! I mentioned that MOLLY HATCHET opened for .38 Special when I saw them in 1997 with Lisa and Henry said that he will always remember middle school dances (“Not ‘dances’! One dance!” Henry just yelled as I’m reading aloud what I’m typing) where JOCKOS requested Molly Hatchet’s “Green Grass & High Tides” and I fixated on the JOCKOS part because I didn’t understand what he meant so I kept repeating, “JOCKOS?”

And he’d be like “YEAH JOCK. Os.”

So then I would say, “JACQUE O’S?”

And he’d be like “yeah.”

And I’d be like “Who the fuck is Jacque O?”

Like he said it with such certainty that I’d understand.

And then he’d say “NO. JOCKOS. YOU KNOW. JOCKS.”

Oh. Jocks. Sorry. In my school day we just called them “jocks.” That was good enough. No need for the extra syllable.

Apropos of nothing, this oatmeal is FUCKING BONKERS. 100% recommend this. Gimme a sponsorship deal because I would do dumb blog ad spots for this shit WEEKLY without giving a single fuck about selling out. It’s so good that I brought it on vacation with me!!

Henry didn’t dance with anyone at the middle school dance, btw. I just remembered to ask him now. He said, “It was 8th grade. No one danced.” Things were different in the 90s I guess because I remember being in 6th or 7th grade and having my HEART BROKEN because Chris L. danced with Monica L. to VANESSA WILLIAMS’ SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST and if I told you I didn’t think about that more than once when Desperate Housewives was on TV, I’m sure you’d know I was lying.

Pfft. Chris L. What a Ryan Reynolds-type he was though. Literally always braced myself for him to say something brutal all through elementary school but still had the dumbest crush on him SIGH.

</3

“There’s a 24-hours Dunkin Donuts,” Henry pointed out.

“Oh my god” I yelled in my high-pitched mocking voice, so now he’s back to stewing in the drivers seat.

Michael Jackson’s THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL just came on and it will never not sound like he’s saying “high giggles” instead of “high heels.” My mom and I used to argue about it when I was little because I insisted it was GIGGLES and she’d be all BUT THAT DOESNT MAKE SENSE.

“What did you wear to the dance?” I just asked Henry, because I’m still thinking about this.

“I don’t know! It was 40 years ago!”

“Was it polyester?” I probed. (Ah, classic polyester probe.)

“Maybe?! I mean it was the 70s…”

(Gentle reader, it is at this point that I’d like to point out that my middle school dance was in the NINETIES.)

“Do you have pictures?!”

“No! IT WAS THE 70s! Kids didn’t walk around with cameras!”

God ok Hemorrhaging Hank, calm down.

Ok I’m signing off now. I might not stop back tomorrow but possibly will return on Sunday which is going to be A Big Driving Day.

Tata.

UPDATE: I am now BLASTING Alanis’ “Uninvited” so I eagerly woke Chooch up in the backseat to manically shout DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?

“NO!” he hissed around his FORKED TONGUE OF TEENAGER.

“It’s Alanis Morissette!” I cried giddily.

“WHO CARES!” he cried back.

“Not Ryan Reynolds,” I mumbled.

Mar 032022
 

Today’s post is going to be mostly a photo dump, but I need to preface it with a disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: If you are ever planning on going to Otherworld in Columbus, Ohio and want to experience it with your own eyes, click away now lest ye be spoiled. 

Otherworld is an immersive art installation in a decrepit, run-down shopping center on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. It opened to the public in 2019 and I was supposed to meet my friend Michelle there that summer. But then plans fell through (I’m pretty sure it was my fault – I think Cedar Point happened instead!) and then COVID happened and even though they eventually did reopen during the height of the pandemic, I wasn’t in a rush to be indoors with a bunch of people immersing themselves in touchable art installations, you know what I’m saying, chingu?

I was really nervous though because this place was originally billed as TEMPORARY so I thought for sure I’d miss the chance. But when Henry and I had decided to do a Columbus daytrip for  a vegan luncheon, I looked it up and saw that it was still open!! Henry mumbled, “Whatever you want to do,” and I made reservations for 11AM that Saturday. Woo!

(I still feel bad that I didn’t get to go with Michelle, but she did eventually go so I’m glad about that!)

Henry hates art, culture, fun, aestheticism, so he was REALLY looking forward to this!

We got there about 20 minutes before our time slot (actually even earlier than that but we sat in the car for a bit). Luckily, the front desk dude was like THAT IS OK and didn’t put us in a TOO EARLY triage cage or anything. He was like “ENJOY!” and let us loose. I am really glad we didn’t wait until exactly 11 because the crowd levels were perfect at this time, and after about an hour it really started to get congested. If it had been like the whole time, we would not have been able to enjoy ourselves at all because this place really is a STOP AND DO SHIT kind of joint.

First of all, regardless of the blacklights making it difficult, there were so many excellent photo ops! And things to sit on, crawl through, step on, etc.! Once Henry realized that this place was more of a sensory playground then a stuffy art shack, he relaxed and started pushing buttons. “IF YOU PRESS THIS, IT SHOOTS AIR DOWN AT THE PEOPLE IN THAT OTHER ROOM” he explained as he pushed a button and pointed to a surveillance screen. Henry likes having opportunities to fuck with people so he now he didn’t mind being in an art place.

I loved this hallway!!

This was on the ceiling of one of the rooms and there were plastic arcade guns  that you could use to shoot at them. Henry liked this room I think – OMG I wonder if he was picturing  my faces on the ceiling?!?!

DUDE THE LIGHTING IN THIS ROOM MADE EVERYTHING LOOK SEPIA AND I WAS OBSESSED.

We found out later on when we were revisiting this room that if you opened the coffin behind me, it would slowly turn the room back into color and there were inflatable flowers along the windows of the room  that would re-inflate – it was so cool. Hat tip to that lady who was  totally telling her family the secret and not us. Glad we were there for it!

“Henry! We shoul—–”

“NO,” he cut me off before I could say that we should have this neon shit hanging from the attic ceiling. I think he was mildly panicked the whole time we were there because he could see the wheels turning in my dumb design head.

P.S. I appreciated that masks were still mandatory and that everyone was obeying the policy. I also appreciated the copious amounts of hand sanitizer stations considering how much forbidden touching was going on.

Wow. Now it just sounds like we were at a 1970s key party.

I just realized that there was no one there that I hated. Probably because we got there early enough. The assholes probably come later.

Literally the bedroom of my dreams.

There were little children watching Henry take this picture like “mom why is that child so big, I don’t understand.” I found out by accident that there was a secret passage under the bed! I found out by crawling through an opening in another room only to be spilled out into a mass of stuffed animals. Henry, who had actually followed me, said, “We’re under the bed,” and I was like “OH SHIT YOU’RE RIGHT. TAKE A PICTURE OF ME.”

I was really just living my best life here, you guys. It felt so good to just run from room to room and the best part is that there was no hard and fast rule with which to explore so you could loop around as much as you wanted, cut through different ways, etc. We kept returning to our favorite spots and I really feel that we got our money’s worth even though we only stayed for a little over an hour because the crowds started to pick up exponentially and it suddenly felt very stifling.

I feel like I really chose the correct mask to bring with me.

We actually got along pretty well the whole time! Except for when I was trying to take this picture and he got moving out of frame because he’s a Big Dumb.

When we first got there and entered the first hallway, I jokingly said, “Let’s start here” and pretended to walk into an open storage closet that was clearly not part of things. But then an hour later, we pushed our way through those magazine clippings up there and walked out of a locker right INTO THE STORAGE ROOM!!! Mind blown. Otherworld, you cray.

I look sad in all of my pictures because smiling feels weird under a mask. I never did get used to that part of it over these last two years.

This was another secret room!! I was kneeling in it because it was basically just a little crawl space.

Well, you can believe that after gallivanting around this outer space mind fuck, we were definitely ready to pig-out at Seitan’s Realm. We both hit the restrooms before leaving and on my way out, I passed a girl who gushed, “Cute purse!” and I was like “THANK YOU” and was going to ask her if she likes NCT127 because it’s a CHERRY BOMB purse specifically made to display NCT enamel pins, but I had no energy and probably she didn’t. It just really is a cute-looking purse regardless of Kpop stanning.

So, that’s Otherworld in a little over 1,000 words and way too many pictures  (this wasn’t even all of them! I went easy on you guys). I do really want to go back again sometime while it still exists, maybe wrangle Corey and Janna to go with me?! AND THEN WE CAN EAT AT SEITAN’S REALM??

*is planning*

Feb 262022
 

Oh ho ho, 좋은 아침 여러분. Henry and I are currently en route to Columbus, Ohio to have lunch at Seitan’s Realm. Here is how that happened:

Every time we pass through Columbus, we want to eat there but it always happens to be on Sunday and they are closed! Finally, I couldn’t take anymore taunting via their Instagram feed so I yelled at Chooch to request off on some upcoming Saturday so that we can feast. Then a few weeks later he was like “I’m off on the 26th” and I rejoiced! But then I found out that he called off for a Pokemon “event” so this is why it is just Henry and me in the car and Chooch is still at home sleeping :(

Anyway it’s 7:19 and we just plied ourselves with coffee, NCT Dream is blaring, and I’m already about to start complaining about contacts. Woo road trip!!

8:55am: what a boring drive, as expected. We stopped at Sheetz for breakfast as per road trip protocol. Nothing interesting happened there at all. Then I listened to a few chapters of an audiobook but it was making me fall asleep (I mean the book is good but combined with being in the car, I was so drowsy).

9:12am time for a Renjun appreciation shout out, best NCT vocalist.

10:26am: Just arrived at Otherworld but our reservation isn’t until 11 so we’re just sitting in the car, you know, same as we’ve been doing for the last three hours.

OMG Henry’s memory of the day is from 2006 when I was pregnant and we were also in Columbus that weekend! The picture is my puke on the bathroom floor of the science center. IMAX & Slurpee was not a great combo for my mucho-prego self lol.

11:28 I live here now.

11:56am: Spent an hour at Otherworld and it was really fun but toward the end, it started to get really crowded so we were glad we left as early as we did and got there before our 11am reservation because this is not the type of place you can enjoy yourself with a crowd.

Henry: Really? Renjun’s Voice?

Yeah, so??

Now we’re on our way to Seitan’s Realm, finally!

12:30pm: finally at Seitan’s Realm!!

THIS IS ABOVE OUR BOOTH!!!

1:06pm: you guys wow. We just left and I will definitely need to write a separate review post thingy but it was so satisfying and I am wrecked that we live 3 hours away.

1:33pm: stopped at Topiary Park. We weee here years ago with Christina but it was rainy that day so I wanted to come back. It was smaller than I remembered and also super cold so we left after five minutes lol.

3:07pm: just peed in the nicest park bathroom ngl.

Some place called Blacklick Park I guess. I needed to go for a walk to digest and henry took forever finding a place and we had many fights.

Artec! Nooooo!

3:26pm this just in: I knew something moss-adjacent that Henry did not: that British Soldier lichen stuff!

That is not my picture but I have vivid memories of this shit being all over the fences along the side of my childhood street – Gillcrest – and I have never seen it since then. :(

3:36: Just stopped at 5 Bean Coffee and got a maple butterscotch latte which is quite delectable but I’m having ordering regertz because they had red velvet on the special menu that I didn’t see at first so I pointed it out to henry but he blew me off and just got something basic like his personality. Ugh.

3:44: we just drove past the gas station where we had to pull over one time on the way home from who knows where when Chooch was laughing so hard he peed his pants and henry was soooooo angry lol.

Meanwhile henry just called the car in front of us a COCKBITE.

4:47: just spent a cool $100 on Kpop pins in one of the pin maker’s shop updates. I also bought a keychain meant to be used as a frame for Kpop photo cards – so if you’re new here, that means that anytime you buy a Kpop album, one of the fun parts of it is finding out whose photocard you got because it’s totally random. Some of the super manic Stans will buy dozens of the albums in an effort to collect all of the photocards. It’s nuts!

But it got me thinking about how everyone was so shocked when I got into Kpop and admittedly I was too but it actually makes so much sense because I am a very obsessive and fanatical personality type. For instance, when I was in middle school, I had it SO BAD for Pgh Penguin Paul Coffey and used to carry his hockey card around with me everywhere like it was actually him. I can remember even taking him to the movies with my friends and giving him his own seat next to mine.

“So really I haven’t outgrown that part of myself at all,” I said to Henry just now, to which he mumbled, “You haven’t outgrown much of anything.

Wwwwwwwwwow.

5:52pm: Made the mistake of telling Henry I don’t really understand sanctions and he stepped into his MANSPLAININ’ trousers and gave me a Lesson.

Also fuck Putin. What a miserable pathetic gremlin shadow of a man. Go drown in quicksand with Trump please, while grasping onto your tiny peepees.

6:33pm: Now we’re about 15 minutes from home but Son of the Year texted me and demanded an iced coffee so now we’re at Dunkin’ in Bridgeville and I just want to go hoooooommmmmeeee.

Posting this now I guess. What a lame live blog. Ciao ciao for now now.

Feb 032022
 

When I referenced Morocco in my book post yesterday, it made me remember that I recently found some panoramic photos that I took in Tangier in the 90s. I took some GOD AWFUL pictures as a 13-year-old, and I was actually shocked that this one looked so decent! Maybe my aunt Sharon took this one, actually.

Morocco has always had a special slot in my heart, but when we first arrived there, I actually hated it. I think I was just being a bitchy, not-yet-diagnosed bipolar brat, if we’re being frank with each other here. I was an asshole pretty much during the entirety of that summer’s vacation because, and this is going to make me sound soooo Silver Spoon, but I didn’t want to go on vacation that summer because I had a crush on my MOTHERFUCKING TENNIS COACH.

I was 13! He was like 35! (I had to wait until I was 21 to finally snag my 35-year-old, LOLOL ugh wtf is wrong with me.)

So I remember being such a cunt and writing shit like I DO NOT LIKE HOW IT SMELLS HERE in my vacation journal and whining and screaming OMG WTF KIND OF BUG IS THAT and just making myself be as miserable as possible.

But then there was a cute guy working at the gift/convenience store thing attached to our hotel and he smiled at me once so then I was IN LOVE and suddenly OMG MOROCCO, I LOVE YOU! I vividly remember the song that was playing too, something reggae-ish and all I knew was that they were saying “a lalala la la” so I called it the “la la” song forever and you have to remember, this was like 1993 or 1994 and my carrier pigeon didn’t have Shazam capabilities, so I was left to hum this unknown song to myself for the rest of the trip. I’m pretty sure I even wrote about it in the postcards I was sending home to my friends, because I have always tried to drag my loved ones down into my pit of obsession.

Anyway, at some point, the details of which elude me 30 years later, I somehow learned that it was INNER CIRCLE – SWEAT and literally it’s known in parentheses as A LA LA SONG. I recently made Henry listen  to it with me and nope, does not hold up.

Inner Circle – Sweat (A La La La La Long) – YouTube

Back  to the picture though. I remember, as a 13-year-old girl, being really scared of the Casbah because the tour guide was like EVERYONE MUST HOLD ON TO EACH OTHER AS WE WALK THROUGH HERE BECAUSE SOMETIMES AMERICAN WOMEN ARE TAKEN.

But then somehow my aunt Sharon and I were chilling with a rug merchant, drinking mint tea (that’s one of the things I will never forget about Morocco – the wonderful taste of that mint tea) and bartering for a rug. I imagine we must have stopped there as an entire group because I 100% cannot imagine Globus or whoever we were traveling with being like, “Ok I know we just told you that American women are a hot commodity up in here, but please now enjoy an hour to wander unsupervised around the labyrinthian passages of the Casbah.”

I definitely posted this on here before, but here’s an AWESOME picture that Sharon took of me riding a camel. To this day, I fully believe that she cut my head off intentionally and I honestly probably deserved it. I can tell from here that those were my CHAMBRAY Keds. I was a KedHead 100% in middle school. I used to buy my Keds at Kaufmann’s! What a 1990s sentence!

You know, I was going to end this here but then I felt a surge of ambition and decided to dust off the vacation journal from 1993 and treat you with a passage. (OMG you guys will love this: In order to get my vacation journal from 1993, I had to ask Henry to open his BIG SHOT SERVICE GUY TRUNK that he gave to me to store all my diaries in (I have A LOT) and the lid thing came down and hit him in the head and knocked his glasses off and he is so mad now!! Then a few minutes later, I heard him spit into the sink and I screamed, “OMG did you just spit out a tooth??” and he barked, “NO, IT HIT ME IN THE HEAD WHERE THE MARK IS, NOT IN MY MOUTH” and it turns out he was only just brushing his teeth as he just woken up from a nap. Yes, all of this happened RIGHT WHEN HE WOKE UP FROM A NAP, RISE AND SHINE, MOTHERFUCKER.)

(Wouldn’t it be really funny if, right now, I was like, “Sorry blog friends, but on second thought, I have nothing to add from the journal after all”???)

Well, I had to skim through a lot of fatalistic woe is me nonsense, bitching about people complimenting Sharon on her “fake, decrepit tan,” and an incessant use of the word “gay” that I thankfully grew out of! And this was back when I wrote “Ha³” instead of ha ha ha because I WAS WAY TOO COOL FOR YOUR SCHOOL. Anyway, here’s a sample of a journal entry written by an entitled white 13-yo American asshole, yikes.

July 24, 1993 – Tangier

Today, we went to Malcolm Forbes’ house and toward the end of that tour, Sharon started to get to me. Then we went to the Casbah and the people there really scared me! I was gonna get my picture taken with a cobra around my neck but Sharon spoiled that. The Casbah is like a Labyrinth*. Our guide, Ishum, told us that if a man got lost, he’d be out in two days, but if a woman got lost, she’d be in there forever because a man would take her! These very persistent people were shoving merchandise in our faces. This one little boy asked me if I speak English, and then said, “Welcome to Tangier!” – how sweet! Then we went to a nice store & sat ↓, had some mint tea (umm- Morocco’s main drink) & watched a rug presentation. After about a 1/2 hour of “bartering,” we finally bought the rug for my room. The price was $650 and we got it for $320! Our guide kept whispering prices in our ears (well, Sharon’s). We were in the Casbah for God knows how long. Pappap & Grandma would NOT like it.

Sharon’s been nice to me ever since she bought my rug**. When she wasn’t gonna buy it, she said, “Do you really want it?” and I said, “No. It’s too much money. Maybe someday Pappap will come here and buy me it.” I think  that’s what did it.*** I <3 it!


* I knew how to spell this with no hesitation back then because that was one of my favorite movies

**Shouldn’t that be the other way around lol

***This tactic no longer works on Henry. I pull that shit now and he’s like “OK cool” and moves on with his day.


UPDATE: Henry has a blood blister forming on his TRUNK TRAUMA.

Jan 032022
 

Hello Internet. It is 7:24am and Henry and I are departing our house for Cleveland. We both have the day off work but Chooch went back to school today so I thought, “What could we do that’s fun but doesn’t take us too far away” and then through the power of YouTube I accidentally stumbled across a vlog where some vegan went to a cafe and got pink vegan cinnamon rolls AND A PINK LATTE. Come on, we all know I’m not above novelties foods and bevs, so I was all over this like a Jersey Shore girl and a Plan B pill.

Unfortunately, upon more research I learned that this joint – the 27 Club – is owned by Machine Gun Kelly which is v. cringe but I want the latte so am choosing to ignore this gross fact. Shh.

Besides, we’re listening to Taemin in the car to ward off the sleazy MGK vibes.

Gee wiz guys it’s 11:05 and I forgot I started a LiveBlog lol. But we’re done with 27 Club and I am here to say it was…worth it ugh. Lol. I will post more about it on the way home because now we’re going to West Side Market, supposedly. Henry went rogue and made the unilateral decision.

12:16pm: We just left a pointless stop downtown CLE and are en route to Otani Sushi and Henry is stressing me out because he has to USE A BATHROOM like ASAP and I’m over here like plz stop talking about this.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the cafe, which was actually a pleasant experience as I said above.

Henry enters the building.

Little known fact about me: I never was a fan of Biggie. Tupac or GTFO.

Barely anyone reads this so I’m confident that it shall remain a little known fact!

I got my pink latte with almond milk and salted maple syrup and it was actually VERY nice. I know it’s all about the beans but also the type of syrups a cafe uses can make or break the place you know? This maple flavoring was very mellow and not cloying at all. So even apart from the fact that it’s adorably pink, this shit tasted great too.

I guess henry liked his cold brew. Who cares. (I just asked him and he said yeah and also it made him remember the LIQUIDITY of it which exacerbated his need for A BATHROOM lol).

I’m really glad that we went there before they took down their Christmas decor because yes.

All of the stools had various dead singers on them. Ours had Amy Winehouse on one side and whoever was on the other side looked like Jonny Craig at first and I could tell Henry was trying not to make any OFF COLOR jokes about how too bad Jonny made it past 27 wow did I really just do that for him? Oh well. I forgot to look at the picture more closely before we left so I never did actually see who it was.

Was Henry enjoying where he was right then, Y or N.

You guys – these vegan cinnamon rolls were made fresh upon ordering, came out piping hot, with this banging pitaya icing. I LOVED THEM. Of course I shared with Henry, who only expressed mediocre feelings toward them. I think he was in pink shock though.

Um I also bought a hoodie because my eyesight might be fledgling but it’s still 20/20 when it comes to design. This hoodie is THE LIMIT. I’m also obsessed with the 27 Club’s logo. Ugh.

12:30pm: NEWS ALERT – Henry just RELIEVED himself at a REBEL gas station. He is so happy now.

Also our Waze is still set to Korean so Henry nearly missed a hidden cop up ahead lol.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my experience at 27 Club even though it had the equivalent cringe factor of, say, visiting a vape shop owned by Jonny Craig.

Ugh I bought a bottle of Voss water earlier at Sheetz and I will never buy it again. It tastes awful and I think it’s the AQUAMIN that’s in it whatever that is?? It reminds me of, and this will mean nothing to you, the water fountain in the office of Dr. Lewis, the “fat doctor” my mom used to go to in the 80s to get probably unsafe “diet pills” and my brother Ryan and I would always have to sit in the waiting room with all the other “it’s this or Jazzercize” desperate broads. Ugh the water fountain there had the grossest vitamin infused flavor.

1:22pm: just had an underwhelming visit to my fave vintage joint, Flower Child. I mean it was still fun to walk around but there was nothing that really caught my eye and felt worth arguing with Henry over until he acquiesces and agrees that, yes Erin, we really do need yet another swag lamp in the house even though there is literally nowhere else to put one.

I cried IS THIS FOR COCAINE and Henry was like, “um I don’t see how, but ok.” Then he just strolled off into the sunset next room, leaving me to wonder.

There weren’t even really any JESUS pictures that I needed. Oh well. Next time maybe.

Here are pictures from when we went to the Arcade which was completely empty and the restrooms were locked, causing Henry to cry because this was at the height of his bathroom urgency and even Starbucks down the street was closed lol.

As of 1:31 I hate Henry because he SNEEZED with no warning and now he’s sniffling ughhhhhh.

Meanwhile we’ve been to Cleveland approx. 50x and I still never know where anything is.

2:09: Hi. We’re at Otani Japanese because they have veg/vegan sushi options and henry is being a big cry baby because he wanted WONTON SOUP and i allegedly shamed him somehow? But then he had a big RISE-UP moment and called the waiter over to add it to his order, like ok cool Henry, snap those big boy pants suspenders.

LOLOLOL it’s WONTON SOUP time:

Oh shit hello vegan sushi:

Hey wanna know something hilarious? After we devoured this, our waiter came over and asked, “are you guys vegan?”

“I’m vegetarian,” I said, scared that he was going to say, “ok because actually that one roll has actual tuna in it” but apparently they have an entirely separate vegan menu with EVEN MORE OPTIONS than what’s on the regular menu and it would have been nice if the host had given us that with the other menus. I just really thought the menu looked odd because I had sworn when I looked at the website a few weeks ago, I had seen a shit ton of vegan sushi rolls that had me gurgling my saliva but then I just assumed that maybe I had gotten restaurants mixed up in my head because that’s definitely an Erin Thing to do.

LOOK AT THIS SHIT. I’ll be coming back to Cleveland sooner rather than later, I guess.

4:16lm: at a rest stop outside of PA, henry decided to treat himself to a Blizzard. Of course I chose for him (snickerdoodle) and then spent a solid minute having an internal convo with my alter egos about how ridiculous of a word “snickerdoodle” is. Then I started imagining Chooch working at DQ and instead of just handing Blizzards upside down to customers, throwing it in the air and then drop-kicking it over the counter because that would be a very Chooch Thing to do.

Anyway, this Blizzard was not snickerdoodle? It had chocolate slivers in it? What the hell?

I mean it was still good because Blizzards gon’ Blizz (…what?) but that was no snickerdoodle I’ve ever tasted.

Ok well we should be home in about a half hour so goodbye.

Dec 112021
 

You might be wondering what’s so great about Six Flags Over Georgia that would have driving like 10 hours to attend their “Holiday in the Park” event. I’m going to be real honest here: unless you’re a coaster enthusiast, I would not recommend going out of your way for this park because at the end of the day, it really is just a standard Six Flags joint. So like, DC Comic bullshit coming out of its asshole. And if you’re going SPECIFICALLY for Christmas festivities, you’d be better off just walking down the Christmas aisle at your local craft store because they don’t really bend over backward in this regard. Yeah, they have some lights, a Christmas tree, some cute Santa bullshit. But this ain’t Dollywood.

And their holiday snacks was basically three S’mores stations.

That being said, with low holiday expectations and knowing that Six Flags in general was not going to be wow’ing us with an array of seasonal amenities, we had a wonderful time here! Specifically, I should note, we went solely for the coasters. For me, it was because I wanted to get another RMC under my belt and they have one called Twisted Cyclone that I had been eying up for some time now!

And boy, Brenda, it did NOT disappoint. We got in line for it as soon as Six Flags opened the gates and I was shocked that this bad boy actually opened on time with the park. RMCs are notorious for opening late, having maintenance issues, issues. But nope, we only stood in line for about 20 minutes until the park officially opened at noon and then the station opened to us riffraff! Just wanted to note that while we were in line, Chooch was trolling people on Facebook marketplace selling Pokemon cards and golf carts (this was his latest obsession that day, buying a golf cart and reading laws to see if he could drive it to work, omg) by suggesting ridiculously low counter-offers along with sob stories about how he’s such a good boy but his dad won’t spend any money on him. So, that was fun.

The coaster manufacturing company of my dreams, RMC, revamped the original Georgia Cyclone back in 2018, added their signature bangin’ tracks, threw in some inversions, and that’s basically the BIRTH STORY of Twisted Cyclone. Yooooo, I really liked it! Usually, when you ride an RMC first thing during the day, it could be a bit sluggish but this bad boy was HAULING. Chooch rode in the back with some old dude who was like, “IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME ON THIS” and Chooch probably just grunted in response, but if I were him, I’d have said, “YES BUT THIS IS MY SEVENTH RMC OVERALL” but that’s just me, I guess!

Speaking of Chooch, here he is later on in the day when he was like, “I am not waiting for you guys” and grabbed an empty seat on the train before ours. MR. INDEPENDENT. BYE, BITCH.

We rode this several more times at night and WOO BOY was it running like a fucking bull. This isn’t the longest or the best RMC but it’s definitely AN RMC: if you know, you know! Relentless, forceful, maniacal, it takes you for a RIDE. I never rode Georgia Cyclone but I can’t imagine that it was better than Twisted Cyclone. I honestly had no complaints.

Look at it back there!

I bet Henry was staring dreamily at that plane in the sky while I was taking this picture.

And you’d think, all that being said, that it would have been my favorite ride in the park….but….

…they have a B&M hyper.

…it’s called Goliath.

…but after one ride, I was calling it Daddy.

First of all, all of our rides on this were either a walk-on or a station wait. The ops were incredible and the Goliath crew was very on top of things when it came to scoping out cell phones in the hands of the riders. One time when we were in line for the front row (with the two most hilarious and TV-ready 3rd grade boys behind us), we watched two back-to-back trains get stopped on the lift hill because of cell phones.

PEOPLE: DO NOT TAKE YOUR FUCKING PHONES ON ROLLER COASTERS.

Also big shout to the Georgia Scorcher crew who were fucking hilarious and entertaining. Especially on our second ride that night when we FINALLY talked Henry into riding it. It’s a stand-up coaster and he was not too interested in having his balls crushed, but he did it for us lol. Anyway, it broke down right as it was starting to go up the lift hill. Luckily, we were in the back row so our end of the train had just barely left the station. The two young ride ops did a really great job walking up the tracks to ensure everyone that it was fine and to doublecheck all of the restraints. There were three teen boys in front of us and one of them was wigging the fuck out and then I was starting to feed off his anxiety so it helped when one of the ride ops stood next to Henry and said, “You did this. You made it break” and I was like, “OMG DID HE REALLY??”, distracted by my sudden glee that Henry did a bad, but he was just joking. :( Anyway, I wish I had gotten that guy’s name because he was definitely my favorite ride op of the whole damn day.  I EVEN MENTIONED HIM WHEN I TOOK THE SIX FLAGS LATER THAT WEEK.

The Riddler’s Mindbender was retracked and painted for 2021 and I will admit, it looked bangin’. I LOVE green and purple as a color scheme. The coaster itself was OK. It’s a good family coaster, and a perfect introduction to LOOPS for little kids. I was mad because some twat mom in a Gatlinburg zip-up hoodie CUT IN LINE with her children. Aside from that and some young kids beating the system by waiting for their friends to get to the front of the line and then running up the Fast Lane entrance and begging the ride ops to let them join their group, line jumping wasn’t too bad that day. It also was hardly crowded either so there was really no point in even bothering to cut. But you know, some cunts in Gatlinburg gear just gotta cheat the system.

OMG Monster Mansion was SO CUTE. But it was also the longest line we stood in (nearly an hour!) because the ops were slow as fuck, but also because some douchebag white dad decided to be cute and rock the boat as soon as he and his family got on the ride. I missed this whole part, but Henry said the ride op was yelling at him to stop and he was still doing it as the boat entered the mansion. Fast forward a few minutes later and the RIDE WAS SHUT DOWN. We opted to stay in line because we were nearly to the front, and Henry was like, “I bet it was because that asshole tipped his boat.” After about 15 minutes, the boats started to come back out and SURE ENOUGH that guy was looking RULL SHEEPISH as his boat crept out of the tunnel.

By now, a bunch of other Six Flags employees had congregated down on the platform, including a supervisor named JASMINE who was so nice (I’m basing this on the fact that I was spying on her talking to the young guys running the ride and she just seemed like a fucking joy if I’m being honest, OK? Jasmine for president). It sounded like the one ride op was telling her that the guy made his boat tip but they ended up just letting him go!?!? I would have totally flexed my power had I been in a sitch like that as a supervisor. Like, excuse me, Papa Red Neck, allow me to escort you back to your pickup truck with the glove compartment full of Beer Nuts and Slim-Jims.

I’m just saying, when presented with a power play, I’m taking it.

But yeah, this ride was adorbs and also kind of dark?? I mean, yeah, it’s a dark ride after all, but I mean, it was all bubbly and goofy and then took a dark turn.

I really loved it – it was way better and more themed than I anticipated for Six Flags!

We rode a mine train. It was your typical mine train.

But gotta get that credit.

OMG OK I don’t typically care much for flying coasters (Carowinds has a particularly nasty one that I was not fond of at all during my birthday coaster trip last summer) but this one was fantastico! The only downside was that we were in line for the back row and when we went to get on it with the two people in front of us, I had nowhere to sit because that particular train had a broken seat and Chooch, who was already strapped into his seat, just casually shrugged at me like OH WELL YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE. The young couple who were also in our row looked so sorry for me, but the WORST PART was when the gates reopened so I could do the walk of shame and get back into the queue.

It was FINE. I ended up riding with three women family members and sure, they spoke to each other in Spanish the whole time we waited to leave the station, but I still felt more included by them than my rude-ass child.

This Gerstlauer was just alright. Thank god it was practically a walk-on because I truly did not want to be waiting any longer than 8 minutes for it.

I loved this wooded area by the carousel!

Not pictured, but we also rode Batman, which is a clone but still one of the better B&M inverts and it was also A WALK-ON ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I didn’t realize it until we left but we dumbly only rode it once and now I wish I could go back in time and ride it at least once more at night. But it was in an area that I honestly forgot all about.

Georgia Scorcher was a really fun stand-up coaster! I honestly never thought I would like these types until Chooch and I rode Green Lantern at Great Adventure (after standing in line for at least 90 minutes, ugh) but turns out, I think they’re really fun! This one was great because of the aforementioned crew and also because it was practically a walk-on  both times we rode it (once in the front, once in the back with lame-o Henry).

The park has three other coasters but they weren’t running for the Holiday in the Park event, which I knew going into this so I wasn’t devastated or anything. The main point was to secure that seventh RMC credit and ride Goliath multiple times!

Another positive I want to point out: we were in one of the gift shops near the front of the park, looking Six Flags Over Georgia-specific magnets. All I kept seeing were dumb DC super hero ones which I’m sure is shocking to know that I have no interest in those. So Henry asked one of the employees which turned into two employees going out of their way to help. The one lady called over to one of the other gift shops, while another lady was like, “I WILL GO CHECK THE ONE OVER THERE” and Henry was all, “Oh no, that’s OK! I can go over and look” but turns out she was offering because the shop was actually CLOSED so we wouldn’t be able to go over there ourselves. Meanwhile, the first lady confirmed that they had some at another shop and then gave us super detailed directions to get there.

Once we got to that gift shop, the young guy working the register was also so friendly and helpful! I was not expecting such superior customer service from Six Flags gift shop people, and you can bet I included this in my feedback survey too! People are so quick to leave bad feedback when something goes wrong and I get that, but I also think it’s so important to highlight the positives too. Working out in public during a pandemic has got to be terrifying at times and I can imagine that it must be exhausting to have to be nice to people all the livelong day. But these people seemed like they truly took pride in their jobs and that just made our experience even better. So props to the gift shop people at Six Flags Over Georgia!

The only downside I will point out, and this is basically for Six Flags and other theme parks in general, is that the food is soooo $$$$. For Chooch and me  to get one slice of cheese pizza and garlic knots (two of them, if I remember correctly), it came to something like $25. Like bro, you can get an entire large pizza with at least one topping for that price. The service was very slow, but the pizza WAS good, I can’t lie about that. I wish it wasn’t so gucci because I’d have actually liked to get another slice. But at least we had Slutty Vegan to look forward to post-park gallivanting!

All in all, I have no REGERTZ about forcing Henry to drive us 11 hours to Atlanta-ish because we had a grand ol’ time and even mostly got along! I will now leave you with some various photos of the holiday lights from around the park.

The shop on the right is where the nice ladies who were v. concerned about finding us a Six Flags magnet worked. (I did get a nice one, too, btw!)

 

This  tree was not very spectacular, but it was still festive and made me smile, because ooooh lights.

Oh! Apparently, they do have holiday shows here but we don’t care about that nonsense so I cannot tell you either way if they were bad or good.

BABY.

And that’s all I have to say about Six Flags Over Georgia. Final review: PLEASANTLY SURPRISED.