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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 01:07 PM
Ocean City Daytrip
 by Fëanor

Poppy had the excellent idea that we take a half day off and drive down to Ocean City on Monday. So we did! We hit a little traffic on the way down, but nothing too horrible. The beach and boardwalk were both packed, but it was after lunch and before dinner, so we were able to get a booth at Mack and Manco's immediately. I'm still pretty certain it's the best pizza anywhere. Afterwards we strolled the boards and poppy even talked me into riding some rides with her. I don't think I'd ever been on a log flume before. This was a pretty simple one, with just one big drop. I did not scream as we tipped over the edge and hurtled toward the Earth at a ridiculous speed, but I definitely said, "Oh, shit." I felt very strongly that I was going to be thrown out of the ride, so I held on perhaps a little tighter than was strictly necessary. Needless to say, we both survived. Next we went on the Tilt-A-Whirl. I thought I'd been on one of these before, but perhaps not, as the experience was not familiar to me. Also, poppy revealed to me that there's an art to getting the most out of the Tilt-A-Whirl - it involves knowing when and which way to lean to get your pod to spin as fast and as many times as possible. I didn't get the hang of it, but it was fun. We also rode this thing which is hard to explain. It was like a train that went around in circles really fast over a bumpy track. It went around a bunch of times backwards, then stopped and went forwards a bunch of times. I think it was called the Music Express. Also pretty fun. Lastly we rode the ferris wheel. The rides were universally operated by teens who looked like - and in some cases actually talked about how - they'd rather be anywhere else. The guy running the log flume just stared at me blankly when poppy and I walked up to him. I thought perhaps he would ask for tickets, or tear them off for me, but he just waited silently while I counted them out and tore them off. I'm pretty sure he never said a word or attempted to assist us in any way.

After the rides, we walked some more, then sat and watched the ocean and the people for a while. Bikinis are very popular this year. Poppy and I agreed that not everyone should wear bikinis, although I'm not sure we agreed exactly on who should and who shouldn't.

One thing we really had to watch out for while walking the boardwalk were the seagulls. They kept swooping down dangerously close to people, swarming near anyone who had food, and dropping the occasional messy surprise on the unwary. I wasn't sure at first about poppy's plan to get French fries because I was afraid we'd end up reenacting The Birds, but she snagged us a fry-eating area that was safe from gull attacks: a table under a large umbrella.

Another necessary boardwalk activity for me was visiting an arcade. We ended up hitting my favorite arcade from my childhood, Jilly's. An arcade we'd visited earlier in the day had been offering Ski Ball at the ridiculous price of $1 per game, but Jilly's had a far more sane 10 cent per game price, plus tons of other pinball games and video game machines at reasonable prices. I played the Guitar Hero arcade game just to see what it was like (turns out it's a lot like the console version), did pretty well on a Jurassic Park III light gun game, got totally slammed by an X-Men 2D scrolling fighter (even though I was Wolverine, and Wolverine shouldn't even be able to die!) and an Addams Family pinball machine (I think I lasted about 30 seconds), and then went really old school with a quick round of Centipede (with trackball, natch).

In short, it was a good day.
Tagged (?): Beach (Not), Food (Not), Ocean City (Not), Personal (Not), Video games (Not), Wolverine (Not)
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