The fam and I were away for a good part of last week. My oldest was off school the entire week for Spring Break, so the hubs and I likewise decided to take the week off and go somewhere with the kiddies. Well, most of the week. My job is so hateful that I had not accrued enough days to take off a full week. I could only take 4.67 days, and since I can’t round up, that translates to 4 days. Which meant I had to come in for 1 day . . . Friday. Gah.
Anyway, so we vacillated back and forth between going up to New York City for a couple of days, or going down ‘e ocean, hon. Our initial plan was to go to the mountains and take the kids skiing for the first time, but when we were planning our trip, it was around the time when it was in the 70′s and 80′s for many weeks and it just felt really wrong to go skiing. Plus, we didn’t even know if they would have snow with the type of weather we had been having. (Yes, I know they make snow, but if it’s 80* how long will that snow last, hmmm?). So, our first plan was a non-starter, hence back-up plans B & C. We were leaning towards NYC because the hubs had points to burn, both for the train up and the hotel, so we figured we could do it on the cheap. That is until the hotel decided to be a big huge asshole about using the points and there was no way we could afford 3 nights at a midtown (I think?) hotel in NYC. So, we ended up going with option C . . . going to Ocean City, MD.
Now, this was also going to be very affordable, since it was off-season and we were only planning on doing a Sunday – Thursday stay. The only problem was that being off-season, a lot of the normal summer time fun kid themed activities were closed. There are two parks there with rides. One does not open until Memorial Day (it is also a water park), and the other is open, but only on weekends. I called to confirm this when I was planning the trip to see what would be open. I was told by an actual person on the phone that the rides on the boardwalk would be open on the weekends only, beginning at noon (this will be important later). So, I figured we could at least have one day of rides when we arrived on Sunday, which would hopefully appease the kiddies. In my planning, I also ensured that the place we were staying had an indoor pool, and not only that, but an indoor skating rink. Yep. How cool is that? Not only that, but I saw that there were mini-golf places open and I knew there were also movie theaters and bowling alleys for those days it would be too cold to do outdoor activities. So, I figured there was plenty to do with the kids down there, even in the off-season and expecting the possibility of chilly non-beach type weather. So, off we went . . .
When we arrived on Sunday afternoon, we settled in, unpacked, gave the kids lunch, and got my youngest down for a short nap, expecting to go down to the boardwalk later in the day and do rides and then dinner. So, of course, we tell the kids that we are going to go on rides later and they get all excited. (Anyone see where this is going?). So, the little one gets up from his nap, we pack up the kids in the car and head on down to the boards for some fun. When we get there, around 4:45, we notice that the rides, which have an indoor and outdoor part, are all closed up. There are metal garage doors down over all the would be entrances. So we walk all around thinking there is some sort of doorway somewhere that we are missing. But we can not find any way to enter. When we press our ears against the garage doors, we can actually hear the rides inside, with the carnival type music they play when they are in action (mocking us, no doubt). But we cannot, for the life of us, find a way in. We actually overheard a family in the parking lot talking about being glad they came down to get on the rides that day, so we knew that they had been open at some point. That family was leaving however. So, basically, it looked as if the information conveyed to me on the phone was incomplete. While the lady told me the rides opened at noon, what she neglected to inform me was that apparently they were only open until around 4:00 (I’m guessing). Well, you can guess the disappointment that was emanating off of the kids at this point. NO RIDES? BUT YOU PROMISED US RIDES!!
But, in order to quickly prevent a massive breakdown, we immediately ran over to the huge arcade in close proximity to the (closed) rides, that was thankfully open, and proceeded to
warp our kids brains entertain our children with mindless arcade games and skeeball/air hockey for the next 2 hours. They were appeased. And they got prizes, so that was a bonus. Don’t think they forgot about the rides. Nor that they weren’t going to completely hold that against us and spend the entire week asking, “when do we get to go on the rides?” (The answer to that question by the way . . . Friday with their dad once they got home).
So that started the week off on a pretty disappointing note as you might imagine. But! We still had an indoor pool and indoor skating rink to entertain the kids. Plus, we were hoping that at least one of the days it was sort of nice (and not cold and rainy and windy like the first 2 days) so we could at least go out and play on the beach a bit, and hopefully do a bike riding morning on the boards. Their dad did take them swimming but was less than impressed with the size of the pool and the eventual massive amount of kids filling said pool. I took them ice skating, but that lasted about 20 minutes before they were completely and utterly done with all that nonsense. So, we had to try to figure out some activities out and about that got my oldest away from his Wii, was not another arcade, and was entertaining and open during the off-season.
The first activity we picked was indoor mini-golf. That was a whole load of fun. The little one walked around in some sort of daze and could care less about the whole thing (until the end when we let him play games in the arcade part . . . are you sensing a theme to the vacation here?), my oldest enjoyed it, the hubs did pretty well, but I was sucking up the joint. I felt like that Bubba and the Ooofenshmirtz guy on the last day of the Masters where they would have their balls just eek past the hole on what should have been a fairly easy shot. Plus, we had the added bonus of this obnoxious family right behind us that kept trying to hit their balls when we were still playing down by the hole. So many times I had to yell back to these teenaged boys that we weren’t finished yet. The whole experience was just a bit too frustrating.
The next day I found one other thing that was open, inside and that we could do as a family. Bowling. Curiously, the bowling alley was directly beside a law office, which just made me think maybe I was entering Stuckeybowl and I would be greeted by a quirky lawyer/bowling alley owner. No such luck, unfortunately. But, at least when we got there it was open bowl for the next hour until they shut down for league play. So, not what we were hoping for, but it worked out fine because the little one probably wouldn’t have wanted to stay for much longer anyway. Although, he did have more fun with bowling than mini golf. Did I mention there was a dragon? Yeah, he named him Bruce. So that gave him something to play with/climb on. For a 3 year old boy . . . that’s really all you need for entertainment.
And this is what I discovered about bowling . . . I am pretty damn good at it. Bowling is one of those things that I rarely do. In fact, it’s probably been about 2 years since I last bowled. I was never a great bowler even on the few occasions that I would go with friends to rock and bowls as a teen or the occasional bowling outing with the family. I have never been on a league. But apparently, it is something like bike riding . . . you just never really forget how to do it. And, the added bonus was this . . . the hubs sucks at bowling. Na-na! :p (Did I mention he kicked my ass at mini-golf? Yeah, we aren’t competitive at all!).
Here’s the thing . . . my mom used to bowl all the time. For many years in my youth, she was on a league. Every Thursday morning she would go to the bowling alley and bowl with her league. As a kid, I spent many a Thursday in the alleys, watching her bowl, playing the arcade games, sometimes spending time in the kids’ playroom area. My formative years pretty much revolve around hanging out in a bowling alley. Plus, my mom actually signed me up for a kid’s league when I was maybe 5 or 6. I remember it being fun, but short lived. I must not have been the next prodigy or anything. Either that or it was too expensive and my parents couldn’t afford to pay for me to do it anymore. There was a lot of that in my youth. Horseback riding was one of those too expensive to continue things, and I am sorely regretful of that. But, anyway . . . back to bowling.
I feel like I missed my calling and blame my mother for not recognizing my bowling aptitude at a young age so that I could have had all these years to form my bowling skills into a fine tuned sword with which I would wield down those lanes and across my competitors throats. I could have been a rich and famous bowler at this point in my life. You know like . . . who’s that famous bowler? You know the one . . . whatshisfacenamehere? Yeah, whatever. Instead, I am an unfamous and woefully broke lawyer. This does not seem at all fair. If I had a therapist, I would now have discovered one more thing to tell him/her about how my mom ruined my life. Damn her.
So, basically what I’m saying is that I’m gonna finally live my dream. I’ve found my calling, damnit, and that calling is to be . . . A PROFESSIONAL BOWLER!! I mean, how can I deny this feeling deep within me that I really am a bowling savant and have never had the opportunity to prove myself? I’m just like Beethoven . . . but older and with bowling shoes. Ooh, I forgot about the shoes! I love me some bowling shoes. That is just the bonus, though.
Wish me luck. I am off to find fame and fortune. But first . . . I guess I should probably find the nearest bowling alley or something. I’m sure there’s one around here somewhere, right? I’m pretty confident that all those other bowlers will be mad impressed with my skills. Especially when I tell them the score I got when I was merely bowling with my family, and frankly not even trying all that hard. Seriously, who wouldn’t be impressed with a . . . 125!! See? Told ya. Look out, bowling world. I’m coming for you!
On a completely unrelated note . . . I have just been informed that this is my 100th post! Woo-hoo!! Can’t believe I’ve kept up with this that long. Yay, me!!