The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight (maeincarnate) wrote,
The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight
maeincarnate

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Duff...Gardens...Hur-rah!, or, Weekend in Review Pt. 3

Saturday night it was back to Ybor for a new wave/britpop/Mousetrap/Panic kinda club night at a place called Orpheum, which reminded me a lot of the Metro Cafe, if only the sound system at Metro didn't resemble someone screaming in a bathtub. Like the bootyclubs down the street, Orpheum was offering a $7 cover and free rail drinks and High Life all night. I couldn't have been happier, but someone at the bar was complaining about how they had to spend an extra $4 on their Corona because they "don't drink shit beer". I had to point out that she *was* drinking shit beer, except hers had a fancy label. We met up with HM's Tampa crew, who were all very fun and I had a great time chatting it up with them about everything from pop art to shows and stuff. They all dwindled out of the club by around one, around which time I noticed a guy behind us dancing like a fool, and yet, somehow still being really good at it. I pointed him out to Helen Marie, and he and his friend came over to our table. His friend introduced the dancer as "The Genius", and after I asked to make sure, he reassured me that he's not in the Wu-Tang Clan. The rest of their friends came over and talked with us for the rest of the night while HM danced with the Genius, who despite our combined efforts, would not speak. A word. Truly a genius.

Sunday was Duff Gardens day. It was a touch warmer on Sunday than Saturday, so the windbreaker I had brought was just enough. There must have been about 150 people in the entire park all day, all of which of course were on line to buy tickets at the same time as us, but after that, the day was line-free. We sat on the rollercoasters upwards of four times in a row without getting off. There were about seven roller coasters in the park, and besides the swinging ship and the elevated Scrambler, we really didn't go on anything else.

As we were boarding the second roller coaster of the day, we overheard some 15-or-so year old boys who were getting off complaining about how that was the shortest ride ever and what a ripoff it was. HM and I bitchily called him out (to each other, mind you) about what an ungrateful bastard he was and how he should love any ride that he didn't have to wait on line for. We got strapped into the coaster, took off, and were just getting into the ride when it stopped and let us out. So the kids were right. It was the shortest line ever. I'd have felt totally ripped of if I had to wait for it. Needless to say, we didn't ride that one again.

We rode rollercocasters for a few hours, then hit the swinging ship thing, which they called the Phoenix. One of the guys on the boatload before us suffered a pocket unload on one of the flips, sparking the German father and son behind us to comment (in an ever so Lebowski accent) "It's raining lighters". We bantered back and forth with these two as we boarded the ride, and while the safety checks were going on, noticed a girl of about nine standing at the exit pointing to someone else on the ship sing-songing "you're gonna cry-y!" Sure enough, a few swings into the ride, a blood curdling wail rose from the boat. HM wondered if the girl was proud that she was right or felt bad for the kid who cried. I chose the first.

We went to Das Festhaus for dinner, but since the Tampa Duff Gardens is more of an African theme than Williamsburg's European theme, it was silly in and of itself that Das Festhaus was in a Morroccan-style pyramid type building. As we entered and got our food, the performance wasn't playing, so they had the Buccaneer's game on two large-screen TV's. The game was still 10-17 at the time, and one of the restaurant attendants kept coming on the intercom and repeating in a slow deadpan, "Go Bucks...Go...Bucks."

Sadly, the show started again, and we were treated to some of the most canned saccharine choreography and singing as the Festhaus players took us on a tour of the diversity of the world. We went to France where they did the Can-Can, Ireland where we sang that Harrigan song, and then got a touch of some of the vast musical history that is Italy with That's Amore. HM and I took our cue to exit when we were whisked away to exotic Cuba to the tunes of the Miami Sound Machine. It was getting dark and cold and we had more rides to ride.

On one of our last trips of the day on the suspended coaster, the Montu, we were clicking up the first hill and suddenly, fireworks burst up from the grounds outside the park. One of the guys on the coaster shouted "WE WON!" and thus, the news of the Buccaneer's victory was spread across greater Tampa.

Sunday night was a lazy evening of half-watched movies and room service Pizza Hut. My flight left Monday at 8am with no fanfare. I slept like the dead on the plane, landed in Baltimore to be welcomed with a snowshower, had a hassle-free trip from the airport to MARC, a smooth ride to Union Station, arrived at the Metro to find a train waiting for me at both of my transfers, and a waiting bus to take me the last leg home. Thanks to Final Fantasy Legend and Tetris on my Gameboy Oldskool, it was all in all a pleasant trip home. I got in and turned right back around to go to my brother's house to spend the day working on the Alone in the Dark game for Dreamcast, we hit Whitey's for a burger at dinner, and then capped the night with another stellar episode of Battle of The Sexes.
Tags: travel tales
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