With three days and hundreds of dollars behind us, we finally left Orlando.  By this time, Mike had already grown a strong addiction to Robitussin, or when times got tight…Wal-Tussin.  I’m not sure why that’s relevant, but it was amusing to see him drinking about a bottle a day of the stuff.




We headed back to Coral Springs, which would take some getting used to, because there you couldn’t randomly happen upon a roller coaster.  I think.




Obviously, suburbia isn’t nearly as noteworthy as a giant carnival posing as a city.  However, we did manage to make this day the best out of the entire trip, due to a magical place.


Yeah that’s right suckers, Orange Julius.  I used to enjoy this beverage on a routine basis, until the stand got shut down.  Now there are no Orange Juliuses near me, because the Massapequa Mall is a giant dump, and can’t bring in enough customers to keep a splendid business thriving. 


Not only did this stand contain Orange Julius, but also a Dairy Queen.  I didn’t get anything there, but I enjoy a bit of the DQ once in a while.  “Once in a while” being approximately every five or six years, which was probably the last time I was there.  I have nothing against the place, except maybe their choice of Dennis the Menace as a spokesperson.  I figure my biggest problem with that is their budgeting.  Dennis the Menace, for some very unknown reason, is a classic character.  He’s been in movies, TV, the works.  This is all very puzzling, because the strip is not funny, save for maybe good old “close to death” Mr. Wilson.  Point is, since Dennis the Menace is a “classic,” licensing him must cost a lot of money.  They could have done a lot of better things with that amount of money. 

For my money, I would have gone with Plus and Minus from “Pinwheel.”  Or maybe the snail guy, Silas.  That wouldn’t run them more than about $3, and the rest they could use for opening shops that smell less like urine.  Or more, depending on whatever weird kink the surrounding neighborhood has. 

The malls in Florida are insane.  One of them has this huge outdoor area, which really looks like some sort of Universal back lot.  Only not raining.  Actually, they’re not ridiculous, I’m just jealous of not being able to go to my mall and get Orange Julius, Subway, and churros all within a 20 foot radius.  Although that was two years ago.  Since then, the churros stand has closed down.  Yet another example of people not knowing what is good for them, and what they need. 


We decided that the area surrounding Adam’s house was too nice, and we needed to get in touch with our urban roots.  I don’t remember what the place was called; it was some terrible amusement park.  We went there because it had been too long since we had been severely under whelmed by one.


They had a “special,” where you paid like $15, and were privileged to go on all the rides, and play all the video games.  Apparently I missed the fine print, where it said “All the rides that aren’t good, and all the games that actually work.”



The best part of the park was the Go Karts.  I don’t know if the people in this area couldn’t afford cars or what, but there were a lot of people here; only the elite members of society, it seemed.  Although we were there right along with them so I guess I have no room for mocking. 


Just like in real cars, annoying people on the Go Kart track is astoundingly fun.  Only much less dangerous.  People ride go there to zoom through the open air, rocketing towards the finish line at about 20 MPH.  I prefer to drive about 2 MPH, confusing and aggravating those passing me.  Hey, there is never an excuse for sacrificing safety for speed.


From there, we went to the main part of the amusement park.  The last time I was here, I went on one of those things where they attach you to a thick strand of yarn, bring you up about 150 feet, and let you go.  I enjoyed that.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t included in the wonderful $15 package.  I don’t think there were any rides open we actually could go on, except for one.  Another driving ride. 


In this ride, you drove in ridiculously small cars or trucks.  The tiny size wouldn’t be too much of a problem, if the actual car wasn’t enclosed.  Instead, you drive around in a pimped out clown car, trying not to cramp up.  This was the last ride we went on; although that shouldn’t reflect too badly on the clown cars, there just wasn’t anything else to go on.


Inside was a huge room filled with hundreds of games, and I’m willing to bet at least twenty of them worked.   


All good things must come to an end, but this trip had to as well.  Although for once, something was in the air besides rain… 



That’s right; you could feel the love in the air as we drove by Vows Wedding Chapel.  Scratch that, not a wedding chapel, a “wedding establishment.”  Ordinarily, things like this aren’t too strange.  Sure, they’re odd, but Las Vegas has hundreds of these.  However this is in the middle of semi-normal Florida, weird stuff like that is expected in Vegas.



The big draw of Vows is its drive thru.  Or as they like to call it, “The Tunnel of Love.”  Wow.  Call me an idealist, but I just can’t imagine a scenario where I would be in that much of a hurry that I couldn’t take the twenty minutes to have the wedding inside the building.  Although I’ve never been inside, so I can’t say what’s in there.  If the drive thru is the main attraction, what could there possibly be inside?  I’m assuming some vending machines and a hell of a lot of brochures for lawyers, which will come in handy about a week down the line.

Vows is even smart enough to put a sign right next to the Tunnel of Love, because they are right to assume anyone going there is most likely drunk out of their mind and could easily miss it.

And why?  Why is a limo waiting outside?  That just does not go together, quickie drive thru weddings and luxurious limousines.  Taking a limo to the prom is overkill.  This… I just don’t know what this would be considered. 

We shook the stars out of our eyes, and left Vows.  Next stop: the airport.  This should be a fairly easy last step, because even though airports can contain some annoyances, there’s usually not too much out of the ordinary going on.

 Wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong!


The day before the flight, Josh couldn’t find his wallet.  After about two minutes of looking for it, he decided it was gone for good.  He had to call the airport, because you can’t get on a flight without a picture ID.  The representative on the line told him he would need to go to the police station and get some forms and reports and all that.  About five minutes later, the wallet was found.  In a sock.  Whatever.


So going into the airport, we had to have been red flagged like crazy, due to our attempts to get onto the flight without ID.  Surprisingly, the baggage check wasn’t a huge hassle.  Then came the metal detectors.


For some reason, I was chosen for the ultra probing check.  First they went through my bag, which I’m sure was pleasing for all involved.  I got to stand there, with my belongings being rooted through.  The security got to look at my Game Boy and candy.  They even dusted my bag to make sure it wasn’t lined with gunpowder.  I’m surprised nothing showed up, because this backpack came with me on a lot of bus trips on the Long Island Metro Transit Bus Driving Authority.  Or something like that.


Then came the shoe fiasco.  For some reason, they decided that I was one of the most suspicious people in the airport.  Apparently there were memos going around warning security to be on the lookout for awkward, effeminate looking people with bad haircuts, and camera bags that looked like a purse.  So they asked for me to remove my shoes.  There I was, standing in my socks, as people snickered, happy with the fact that it wasn’t them.  This whole scenario wouldn’t have been too bad, if Josh wasn’t dead set on not letting us get on the plane.


He already tried to have us kicked off by alarming security because of his ID.  He figured if that wasn’t enough, he would do the next best thing:  take a flash picture of them examining my shoes


I have never seen such a swarm of people move into immediate reaction.  Within about half a second of the flash, Josh was completely surrounded by security, and other related people.  I was still standing there in my socks, at an utter loss for words.  All I remember was seeing Josh take out his camera, saying “I don’t think you can do that,” then the flash.  At this point Mike had walked approximately eleven miles away from us, doing his best to get away from this scene. 


Finally, after security deduced that Josh was just stupid, and not a terrorist, he let him go.  The best part of this?  The picture didn’t even come out.  The flash reflected off all the metal, and completely ruined it.  If he took the picture with no flash, it would have come out, and this scene would have been avoided.  Bah.


We then waited about four hours for the flight, because everyone always insists on being perversely early for plane trips.  I passed the time by drinking probably the worst Chai tea that has ever existed.   


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