Travel Log 2009: Day 5

June 29, 2009

Today was the day the boys had decided they wanted to go to Busch Gardens, especially since they’d had such a horrible day at the outlets.

Tammy and I knew they’d sleep until around noon, or later, which was fine with us because it gave us some time to hang out at the pool. We’d take a break when the boys woke up and drive them to Busch Gardens and come back to lounge by the pool until time for dinner.

I Love NY
We found two chairs by the adult pool, which was smaller and quieter than the “family” pool. We looked around the pool to see what type of crowd we had around us. There was Ponytail and his wife, the Floatie girls and their male friends and a grandmother sitting under an umbrella writing in a notebook.

After we had settled in, an older couple walked and sat down a few chairs to our right. The wife sat in her chair and started reading a book while the husband stripped down to his bathing suit and started to get into the water. At this point, I was sitting on the edge of the pool with my legs in the water.

He looked over, said hello and started talking about the weather. We told him we were waiting on our boys to wake up because they wanted to go to Busch Gardens. He said they had gone to Busch Gardens the day before and loved it. They were there all day because there was so much to see and do. They went to so many shows and were there until the park closed for the night.

He asked how old the boys were and told us they’d have so much fun because there were so many rides for teenagers. He told us they’d be there all day and would love it.

He asked if I was in the military because they give discounts for that. We kept talking and he told us he was from New York, not that we hadn’t already figured that one out. He told us about how he and his wife often go down to Florida for vacation (and maybe some mob business??) but didn’t want to drive that far this time.

His wife kept to herself and didn’t say much, except when he’d ask her about Busch Gardens or need verification on his stories. She just sat there reading her book and enjoying the sun while Mr. New York, as we called him, kept talking to us.

Mr. New York swam around in the pool for a while, telling us how he like the adult pool better because it wasn’t as busy as the other pool and a lot quieter.

Around 11:30, we looked up and saw Jake, shirtless, and Kevyn walking toward us. Luckily no one tackled them for being in the adult pool. Because we hadn’t heard from them yet, they were sposed to text us when they got up so we’d know to be ready, I had just gotten out of the water and was soaking wet. Figures…

Into the Busch
I dry off and we head back to the room to change. Tammy asked the boys how long they had been up. When she heard “about an hour and half” she calmly said, that’s why we told you to text us when you woke up so we’d be ready to leave. Of course I nearly blew a casket because I had told Jake twice the night before to text us when they woke up.

I told them I had texted Kevyn, since he can be a little more responsible than Jake at times, saying that we were at the pool and to text us when they got up and were getting ready to go to Busch Gardens.

Kevyn never got the text because I had entered him as “Ben” in my phone’s contacts. So the Kevin in my phonebook got a random text message. As we were on our way to Busch Gardens, the mysterious Kevin responded, “Who is this?” I didn’t write back.

On the way to dropping the boys off, we were telling them about what Mr. New York said about how there was so much to do there and how there were so many rides that they wouldn’t be bored.

We gave each of them money and a $50 Visa gift card so they could buy their tickets and be able to eat. Tammy was worried they would buy the wrong tickets so she got out and went to buy their tickets and release them into “the Busch.”

Circling Vultures
Tammy and I decided we’d just eat the leftover ribs and BBQ for lunch instead of stopping somewhere then head back out to the pool until dinner. We sat in the room and watched the news as we leisurely ate lunch then got our bathing suits back on.

We were walking back to the pool when we saw Mr. New York walking away from the pool, apparently heading back to his room. He smiled and waved. We told him we dropped the boys off at Busch Gardens and were heading back to the pool. He told us we made a smart move but there aren’t any chairs left at the pool and he’s not able to sit next to his wife.

We felt dejected but figured we didn’t have anything else to do so walked into the pool area and began looking for a chair.

The adult side was full. The Floatie Girls were still there and so were Ponytail and his wife but a new crew had filled in the rest of the spots.

We found an open chair and I asked the lady sitting closest if the chair was open. She said she thought so and I turned to walk toward it. As I was doing that, I saw a mother, followed by her two kids, eyeballing the chair and briskly walking toward it.

I told Tammy, “Go, go, go!” but she didn’t know why I was saying it and was walking slowly to the chair. All the while, the mother was getting closer. Tammy was standing next to the chair and I was behind it when the mother plopped her bag down. I just looked at her and told her we had just asked that lady about the chair and the mother picked up her bags and walked away without saying a word.

We moved the chair to a less shaded spot to get more sun. The guy next to us got up and went to the chair next to the one we had just gotten, picked up his towel and walked back to the seat by our chair. I quickly jumped up and grabbed the chair he had just left open and moved it so we could be next to each other.

I couldn’t believe the guy had been lying in one chair reading a book but had left a towel in another chair. As I looked around the pool I saw countless chairs with one towel and no one sitting. There weren’t enough people in the pool to account for all of the open seats and people were circling for a spot. Why people with kids get four chairs when they know their two kids aren’t going to use them is beyond me, same thing with people leaving their towels in a chair but sitting somewhere else. Of course me not letting a mother have a chair could be viewed in the same light, but we had gone through the proper channels to obtain the chair. hahaha…

It was just one of the many things we observed while on vacation that shocked me. I don’t really consider Virginia part of The South, but I figured people would have been much more polite. I think Tammy got it right when she said there was definitely an East Coast attitude to the place.

What a Difference a Few Feet Makes
So there we are, lying just a few feet away from the family pool where the sounds of screaming, splashing and running are constant.

Tammy and I turned our chairs to face away from the pool, not to be away from the sound, but to face the sun. I pulled out the Fantasy Football magazine I had bought for the trip and began quizzing Tammy on the top 15 QBs, RBs and WRs.

She did pretty good, much better than most women (and some men). There were times she’d know the players and other times she’d need hints, but she eventually got them all.

Around 3 pm, the complex began setting up for the “Pool Party” that was set to start at 4. The problem was they were setting up less than 10 feet from us. We thought about it for a few minutes and decided to check the adult pool because we didn’t want to be near the big speakers they were setting up. I think that officially makes us old.

We found a chair in the adult pool and were once again challenged by a vulture, but she knew we had the seats first and backed down. Unlike the rest of the people around there, I began looking for a chair to bring over to the lady. I eventually found an open on in the adult area and moved it over so she’d have a spot to sit.

It was MUCH quieter behind the speakers. They were playing music that I didn’t know and couldn’t understand (old sign number 2) and announced they had karaoke and would be starting some pool games.

It Just Says No Diving
A couple of people attempted to belt out a few songs on karaoke with one woman trying to get the crowd involved and a little girl singing a Hannah Montana song. Then came the pool games, the first of which was a cannonball contest for kids 13 and under.

We thought that might be fun to watch so we moved to the top of the adult pool where water overflowed down a waterfall and into the main pool. There were also three PVC pipes that shot water through the surface of the water.

We slipped in and began watched the kids cannon-balling for the crowd. It wasn’t until after the contest was over that someone approached us saying we couldn’t sit in the “fountain.” Never mind the fact that the water we were in was about seven feet wide, three feet deep AND there wasn’t anything posted about not entering.

As the second person approached us saying we weren’t supposed to be in there, I told him we didn’t know because the only sign says, “No Diving.” I’m sure he prolly thought I was just as bad as the rude people I had encountered. hahaha…

“The Best Laid Plans…”
Despite the shame of being scolded out of the fountain, we stuck around a little longer before heading back to get ready for dinner.

Since we figured the boys would be at Busch Gardens until it closed at 9, we had decided to go to Captain George’s Seafood Buffet for dinner. We would be able to get our seafood on without having to worry about the boys finding something they’d like to eat.

That’s what we thought anyway.

Before we even left the room, we got a text from the boys saying they were ready to be picked up. We were shocked but figured we’d get them instead of making them stay there while we ate.

Once we picked them up they told us how they had ridden everything and how it had way less rides than the Six Flags they normally go to. They said there were a lot of rides for younger kids, but not very many for teenagers. Guess Mr. New York’s definition of teenaged rides was a little off.

Jake said he didn’t want to eat and was fine going back to the complex, but Ben said he didn’t mind eating so away we went to Captain George’s. I was worried we would have to wait in line, but Tammy said the place was huge and could seat 1200 people. She was right.

We were seated right away and Jake checked out the buffet to see if there was anything he liked. He’s not a seafood fan so he ordered the kids chicken tenders meal while we went up and filled multiple plates of food.

Table Games and Big Heads
About halfway through the meal the boys decided we should play the “One Word Game.” The objective was to say one word that would make people at the table laugh. Words like kumquat, scrotum, flatulence, Cialis and others were spoken. But the one that was remembered the most was “elephaniasis.” Not elephantiasis, with a “t” but elephaniasis. For some reason the boys thought Tammy leaving out the “t” was hilarious.

As we were laughing and cutting up at the table, a little boy sitting at the table just behind Jake starting watching us. I noticed him earlier but didn’t say anything because I didn’t want the boys to make fun of him.

He was maybe five or six years old and had an abnormally large head. Which, coming from me and the Wommack-melon I’ve got is saying a lot. To make matters worse, they gave his hair the “Sunday Part.” In case you don’t know what that is, it’s when the parents brush their kids hair completely different than they do the rest of the week, often for church or a fancy event, by parting the kids hair so much you can see their scalp.

Anyway, the little boy kept watching Jake’s antics, which at this point would make people think he rode the short bus to school, so much that his parents had to make grab him to make him walk out with them.

Did You Say Cash?
When we had stuffed ourselves as much as we could, we started waddling away from the table. Before we even made the exit, a lady standing at a podium near the door asked us if we enjoyed our dinner.

I innocently told her that it was great and she asked if we’d like to come back for a free breakfast at 8 am. I think she said some other stuff after that, but when I heard 8 am I stopped listening. I had no intentions of being up at 8 am, much less being up, ready and at a place to eat by 8 am.

I guess Tammy continued to talk with her as we kept walking toward the door because what I heard next caused me to stop in my tracks and wonder what I had missed.

“I’ll give you $200 cash.”


The boys missed it since they were outside already so we told them that Tammy had just been propositioned. Ben asked if it was the “hot lady at the door.” I told him yes and that I think she was a prostitute. Of course Tammy set the record straight, but it was still pretty funny.

Poor lady. I know it’s her job to try and get tourists to come back for breakfast so she can give them coupons to attractions while pitching time-shares or other touristy places but I felt sorry for her when she desperately screamed out that she’d give us cash to get us to come back. While the $200 was tempting, and the boys would have enjoyed staring at the “hot lady,” it wasn’t enough to get me out of bed. Sorry lady.

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