Bowling for Dollars

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.

My son and "Bruce."

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!!


30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. red
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 12:33:32

    That’s funny. I totally suck at bowling. I think the two games I bowled (I once worked for a non-profit, and we had a bowlathon fundraiser, so I had to bowl) – I bowled a 57 and a 58. Or a 56 and a 57.

    Yeah, I happy to hang out with friends bowling, and I’ll keep score, but the best thing about the bowling alley of my youth was the crinkle-cut fries. Yum. Hey – I’ll have to remember that, since I’m moving away from boardwalk fries!


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:14:48

      Oh yeah. I have many memories of the food at the bowling alleys. There is something very specific about bowling alley pizza. I don’t know what it is, but it even has a very specific aroma. Yummy! And yes, please do experience Boardwalk Fries again before you leave.


  2. Jana
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 12:46:01

    Every time that we go bowling or someone talks about bowling, I CAN NOT help but think of Woody H. in Kingpin. Wrong…so wrong.


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:15:43

      Ok, confession . . . I almost morphed off into a discussion of that movie and had to stop myself from searching for pics of him, because that is what I started thinking about as well. You are not alone!!


  3. Leauxra
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 12:50:17

    I have to have two beers to bowl well. One and I suck, three and I am a danger. You have an AMAZING skill, and it’s a shame you are wasting it by working in a law office.


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:16:37

      Wow, that is very specific and scientific. Lots of research went into that, I’m sure.

      Alas, my talents are wasting away whilst I practice law. Oh the humanity!!


  4. jen
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 13:12:38

    Happy 100th blogday! \(._.\) “Wave your hands in the aaaaaiiir!” (/._.)/ “And wave ’em like you just don’t caaaaaaare!”


  5. thoughtsappear
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 13:14:23

    Apparently, I bowl wrong. My hand is turned the wrong way or something.

    What hotel has an indoor rink? I want to stay there!


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:19:32

      Well, I guess that rules out bowling as one of our upcoming dates . . . 😦

      The Carousel. It is famous for it’s indoor ice rink. I remember staying there as a kid and skating. Lots of fun!


  6. gojulesgo
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 13:14:43

    Congrats on your 100th post AND uncovering your true calling all at once! That is very impressive.

    In the ice skating picture – I’m assuming they give kids those walkers so they don’t fall? I’ve never seen those before!

    Oh and that vacation day accrual business is shameful! Give the lady .33 days, please!


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:21:27

      I know! It was a pretty monumental day. 🙂

      Yeah, I had never seen them, either. They are like metal walkers or something. And they are for the kids to move around the ice without falling. Theoretically. My kids both fell. I mean, it was ice and their first time. There is only so much a moving metal walker can do for you.

      I know, right? I was so disappointed. Thus is the stupidity of my job, though. Boo. :p


  7. Jayne
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 13:30:14

    I miss those days when I had to find stuff to entertain the kids on vacation.
    Wait. Nope. I was wrong. It was just gas.


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:22:19

      I was gonna say . . . I am so looking forward to the days when the kids can go off and entertain themselves. Well, not really . . . I’m sure I’ll miss this somewhat, right? Maybe?


  8. lazysubculturalgirl
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 16:17:34

    I still have no idea how to entertain my kids on vacation. Which is why we don’t take them on vacation (that, and we only ever go on quick weekend trips).

    I bowl badly, because if I bowl the right way then it hurts my elbow. So I bowl with my hand sideways, which makes me drop the ball instead of releasing it. I am capable of scoring over 100 that way, but I’m not very consistent. However, I applaud your decision to become a professional bowler because in my next life, I want to come back as a professional pool hustler. I think this would be a great way to pick up guys.


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:24:00

      You and Thoughtsy with the sideways hand. What’s up with that?

      Oooh, a pool hustler. Valid goal. And it does seem very guy heavy as a profession/hobby, so I’m sure you would have your pick! (By the way, I’m pretty darn good at pool as well. Shhh, don’t tell anyone!).


  9. weezafish
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 17:15:24

    Yay to 100 posts! Will you get a bowling shirt also? And a ‘special’ ball? Good luck with your dream, we should all follow our dreams. But then, they’d be nobody working ….


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:25:26

      Ohh, a bowling shirt and special ball!! Yes yes yes yes!!

      Yeah, why isn’t anyone’s dream ever to work at the Walmart, huh? It’s always something fun and usually flighty.


  10. cornfedgirl
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 18:08:55

    I HATE disappointing the children. That is the worst feeling ever. Sorry that the amusement park didn’t work out, but you are definitely working out that bowling shoe/ striped sock combo. Ka-CHOW! 🙂


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:27:42

      Yeah. I hate it as well. I hate it so much that I have started to NOT tell them when we have fun plans until we are either in the car on our way, or actually arriving at the scene. We messed this one up by telling them and getting their hopes up. But I had phone confirmation, damnit!! Oops.

      Why thank you!! I rock my socks and bowling shoes (if only that was me, but I’ll take the credit anyway!).


  11. Brett Minor (@brettminor)
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 04:54:44

    Kids can be the easiest to entertain sometimes and the most difficult at other times. It’s a total crapshoot.


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:29:14

      I find this to be accurate. Sometimes just a box will entertain my kids, and other times they will have a million toys/games/videos at their disposal and they still are not happily entertained. Crapshoot, indeed.


  12. hoodyhoo
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 07:56:19

    Yay for 100 posts! And yay for bowling, although the last time I went I finally realized my back is too old for bowling… it is also too old for skee-ball, but I am NOT giving up tickets!


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:30:01

      Thanks! And hell no to giving up Skee-ball!! That is one of my favorites. They will have to drag me out of that arcade in my wheel chair before I stop.


  13. wcdameron
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 16:26:09

    Congratulations on becoming a professional bowler and for your 100th post. Both fantastic things to be proud of!


  14. Mayor Gia
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 17:33:32

    Hahaha I used to be decent at bowling as a kid. But wow– Bruce is AWESOME. I want.


  15. bschooled
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 02:09:33

    My mom used to bowl, too! I totally forgot about that until now…

    I blame my parents for taking me out of accordion lessons and squashing my dreams of ever becoming a professional. Granted, I did threaten to run away and become a prostitute if they made me go back, but still. You’d think they would have been more insistent…


    • mistyslaws
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:32:30

      A little thing like THAT dissuaded them? Pfft. They obviously didn’t want you to be successful enough. I don’t think they ever really loved you either. Do you wanna sue them?


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