Today it's time for the WATERPARK. We pile into cars and arrive at SPLASH MOUNTAIN. A name that is not plagiarized at all. We have to drive to the extreme back for parking. The queue to get in accumulates people about five times faster that the line is moving. It was startling to look back and see how many people had gotten behind us in such a short time.
At one point we got a lot of funny looks when our group started cheering for water slides like idiots. LET THEM STARE.
We get in eventually, purchase a locker and stuff our wallets and purses in there. We locate a unoccupied beach chair and dump our shirts and shoes there. We smear another helping of thick sunscreen on. It didn't help THAT much at the beach as I still got sunburns there, but I certainly don't want worse sunburns. (I will get them anyway)
No pictures of the water park, I'm sorry. Can't get my camera wet. If you want more pasty gamer flab, you'll have to close your eyes and imagine it. Go on. There you go. Oh yeah. That's the stuff.
Now, I communicated pretty early that I really didn't care to go on waterslides. So, what winds up happening is that we split up. The others go to have fun, and I wander off looking for something to do.
I meander, getting my bearings of the place. It's mostly water slide style rides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and kiddie stuff. I decide to try for the lazy river, but finding an unoccupied intertube is difficult. Many of the slides require the use of a tube, so people hang on to them. There are designated spots to return intertubes, but they are consistently empty. Eventually I find one abandoned in the water and seize it. Even if it seems to have lost some air, it's better than nothing.
I like lazy rivers. They're relaxing. This place is so busy that the water is congested with people though and I have to spend a fair amount of energy to prevent collisions. I do two full circuits before I decide that I've had enough. I try hanging out at the wave pool but apparently there is a fifteen minute wait before any waves happen. Screw that. I return to our beach chair HQ.
The others return not long after, saying they've been looking for me. We talk about other water slides they want to go on and how the ones that require even number of people will probably need me. I decide to go on one of the water slides for Sarah's sake. We do one slide that uses four person inter-tubes and it goes faster than I expected, but it is not fun for me. It is nice, though, having so many dorps sharing a giant inter-tube together.
We wait by the lazy river and try and get some double-person tubes. This is a bit of a wait, as people keep exiting the river and taking theirs with them. I decree doom, claiming we will find nothing, but we actually get everything we need in quick succession before too long.
On the line up to the top for the two-person slide, ProZD interrogates me. He has this scientiffic interest in how a person can not enjoy a water slide like me. He asks what I don't like exactly or what I experience. Am I afraid? Are you just scowling all the way down? What the hell is your problem?
I try and explain that I just don't enjoy them. I don't like the visceral sensation of moving fast or getting thrown around. It isn't really a problem of being afraid, just that I get nothing enjoyable out of the experience. On this slide, I ride down in stony silence, apart from saying 'OW' because my butt scrapes against the bottom of the slide.
So yes, I scowl all the way down water slides in an eerie silence.
The two-person slide dumps us all out into the lazy river. I've already had my fill of this but we ride it for a while anyway. Nice to have the dorps there. We purposefully collide into each other and cause huge traffic jams. It's just nice.
After this, the others get in line for this big orange slide that sends people down a huge V shape. I am done with slides and opt out. I try and watch to see them come down, though, but the line gets held up and takes so long that the wait becomes rather tedious and I just go to HQ and sit for the duration.
We get food after this. Wilco HAS to be subjected to Funnel Cake as part of his American indoctrination. I feel kind of lousy, though, and looking at all the greasy food stands I don't know what I want. The stands advertising that they have way more variety of food than they actually do. It's obscenely over priced and basic. The others get chips and funnel cakes and sodas. Wiggy points out there was a pizza stand across the way. I go there for want of a better option. I order a personal cheese pizza and it takes way too long for them to make it (All they are doing is slapping sauce and cheese on a pre-made crust and putting it on a oven conveyer belt), it tastes terrible, and it is way too expensive.
The group buys entirely too many funnel cakes. It is so unhealthy. It is fried fried. I pick at it a bit but wish for real food. The promise of sushi later will make it all better, though.
We split up again. Wilco, ProZD, Blue, Siro and Wiggy go on the Tube Drop. A ride that goes way up and dumps human beings down a pressurized tube that shoots them upside down. The girls go on a separate ride that I know nothing apart, but Sarah ultimately wishes she'd gone on the tube drop. The anticipation of the ride is apparently the worst part. You wait forever, go way high up, the tube opens slowly, they put you in, and then the theatrical attendants count down to when the floor beneath you is going to open up and send you plummeting straight down.
Apparently ProZD let out a manly viking scream as he dropped. Wiggy, apparently, gasped out a OH NOOOOO that was cut off abruptly. It was apparently an experience.
I was advised to maybe check out the arcade. I try this. It's complete rubbish though. One machine eats my money. They have basically nothing and I waste a few dollars unsatisfied. I go back to HQ and contemplate my obvious sunburns until they others return.
We regroup and head out. In my car, Blue starts a conversation about weight loss (and how he's not bothering to count calories on vacation) and the discussion basically turns my car into a Weight Watchers meeting.
We take some showers back at the condo and then it's time for SUSHI
Blue Fish is one of those exceptional places that Wiggy wanted to go to in Ocean City. It's pretty classy, but they don't have a table big enough for us yet.
We sit outside and read paper menus to decide what we want ahead of time. Wilco has waited to try sushi for the first time on this trip, and ProZD gives him a crash course in the terms and what to look for.
Blue and ProZD could totally be these models.
We get inside and Sarah and Wilco order sake to start them off.
MMM! WATER WITH LEMON!
Why yes, I am the sake king.
Blue orders an Asashi beer to go with his dinner. It is the same beer they drink in Kaiji, basically. It is a pretty swank bottle, too. (Siro will be shown holding everyone's drink from here on out.)
ProZD and Wilco both order a bunch of sushi Ala carte, getting the fancy stuff. Like Eel with quail egg on top of it? Geez.
Most of the group got these big deluxe combo sushi platters that have lots of meet on them. Nigiri sushi isn't really my thing, it's too meaty. What I like about sushi is the gummy rice and the seaweed and the sauces.
I got the spicy sushi combo, which was fairly popular with people who tried it. It's not even remotely about the meat.
Wilco and ProZD with their super expensive sushi special pieces. Hope it was good?
We stuff ourselves silly before waddling back to our cars, but then deciding we need to go to THE GROCERY STORE
Super EH! groceries are pretty adequate.
People needed to use the ATM here, primarily. But Blue used it as an excuse to pick up some Potato Chip ice cream, because we haven't had enough fattening oddities yet.
We return to the condo victorious.
The first thing that Wilco does when we get back is chug Hawaiian Punch like a fruity frat boy.
LOOK AT THAT BOY GO. THIS IS AMAZING.
The rest of my notes for this evening are damaged, and I can't recall everything that happened. I'm certain that there was no dorp orgy, of course. There was probably Mario Party, though. Which is sort of like an orgy. I remember there being one memory memory game where everyone just pressed B over and over again and broke down laughing.
I do remember that Sarah joined in for poker tonight. She got wiped out of her buy in of 5 dollars, I spotted her another five and she paid off her dead. Walked away a free woman. I, on the other hand, pushed my luck too far and lost my buy-in to ProZD and Wilco. Had I walked out when I should've (which would've kept me from playing alongside Sarah) I would've done fantastically. I even managed to fit in an evil laugh. Still, not a bad price for a evening's entertainment, though.
We turn in for the night. Tomorrow, we face the long drive back.
We wake up a sorry lot. I busy myself trying to help clean up. Anne Marie has stressed that we need to make this place clean before we go. Her family will be critical if she leaves a mess, and we don't want evidence of how many people were actually staying here. The others pack but aren't quite as aggressive.
These last days of any given visit always have a sobering vibe. Like we're hung over, sans alcohol. The reality that the ride is finite sets in. The others get to go to Otakon and spend a while longer together, but Sarah and I are going home tomorrow.
Slinky Sheriff says happy trails, you crazy kids.
While waiting to leave, ProZD starts up a clapping game to fill time. It's actually a pretty nice impromptu time killer. I sit out, though.
We also tried to sing rounds of disney songs, which was difficult. Be Prepared is hilarious because everyone periodically shouts PAY ATTENTION and it is so disconcerting. We had little luck with other songs.
A few last minute photo ops before we lose our time together.
Slinky Sheriff sure is a stud.
ProZD takes my camera to make sure I'm in a few pictures before we go.
This was a terrible idea.
This is downright uncomfortable for Blue.
Just imagine a pterodactyl scream here.
Stop. Just, stop.
Hey there, stranger.
ProZD takes a fantastic couple picture of us.
The moment we relax.
Pope Jackson blesses The Cowboy.
Sarah and I's plan for this leg of the trip is a bit nebulous. We had planned to try and get a hotel from the airport, but the harshness of leaving our friends causes us to consider going to Baltimore, spend the night there before Otakon and THEN go home.
We cave, and decide to go with them.
The checkpoint on the ride back is Sonic this time. Wilco orders TOO MUCH FOOD, which will soon become a running theme. Wiggy sits in the back, away from the plebeians. Sarah contemplates a Tater tot, and its fate.
Blue and Wilco are in my car this time. We fill time with actual conversation, until Blue composes a new song to embarrass me. Inspired by the melody of I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay:
I'm Mewd the slowest driver,
I don't speed up on the road,
I don't like to go real fast,
I like to go real slow.
(Wiggy) Speed up Mewd!
(ProZD) Speed up Mewd!
(Wilco) Speed up Mewd!
(All) Catch up to your friends!
(second verse, composed on Chesapeake bridge)
I'm Mewd the slowest Driver
No I'm on a bridge
I can't go as slow as I'd like to
Ain't that a bitch
(Sarah)Speed up Mewd!
(Siro) Speed up Mewd!
(Blue) Speed up Mewd!
(All) Catch up to your friends!
While we're on the topic, let's talk about the Dorp Family Vacation Album 2012
Side A (Cleveland)
East Bound and Down
Wilco Fought the Gish
Songs from Abbey Road
Ashes to Ashes
Side B (Ocean City)
Part of Your World (DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO!!)
Mario Party Item Theme. (We sang and hummed this in public to obnoxious levels.
Dice rolling sound effect (AHHH)
Anne Marie Doesn't Have the Key
Disney Sing Along Car
Be Prepared Round (Pay attention!!)
Mewd The Slowest Driver
727 727 727 727 727 727 727 727 727 727
B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B.
The ocean city songs are so much more irritating, whereas Cleveland's album is actual legit music.
Right before the major turn onto the next highway, I screw up and because I'm not an aggressive driver, more and more cars get between me and Cherri. I get distracted by Wilco and Blue's talking and don't cognize Sarah telling me I need to get off on the exit. We get turned around and seperated.
This ultimately wasn't a big deal, Sarah's iphone GPS took us parallel to the highway so we could regroup. But I still felt really lousy about it. I imagine it was on par with how ProZD felt about his phone. It didn't really matter but it still made us feel stupid.
(Though, knowing our group, I'm sure I got made fun of in the other car.)
We return the rental car and take the long shuttle back. The plan was to take the light rail into Boston but me and Wilco have had enough of delays. We pay for a taxi into the city. Our driver is kind of a badass and cheats his way through city traffic, faking getting onto an exit to pull ahead of another guy. Sort of driving stunts that I would never do on principle but I can appreciate in my time of exhaustion.
Wilco leaves a big tip for the driver, paying the lion's share of the fare. We unload, and find the others talking with some Otakon kid in the lobby. We're informed that we've met Ziggy.
The kid is very aggressively social, if very awkward. He chats us up, probably wanting to make friends at Otakon. We joke about him being Wiggy's dream guy but it really isn't the case. We part ways with him and hope to never see him again.
Wilco checks us in, we are cautioned that we need to be very quiet at this hotel. Which is something we haven't had to deal with at Otakon before and proves to be a problem. We fail at this almost instantly when we stampede to our room, chanting '727, 727, 727, 727' and making a racket. We joke that they'll at least know what room the problem people are in.
Ah man, we chill out here. Good to relax after a long drive.
First thing's first, though, gotta lick them bibles.
The main group goes off to get their per-registration for Otakon out of the way. Since Sarah and I have to wake up super early to leave, we try and nap. Blue did not per-register however, because Anne Marie ordered him not to because ProZD didn't. So the whole time Sarah and I are trying to nap, these bozos are joking and giggling and watching videos and conversing and ultimately we achieve no sleep as they predict initially.
We head out to join the others after they've registered, our plan is to go to Cheesecake factory for another attempt to fatten Wilco up.
Goodspeed, you magnificent boat.
Cheesecake factory is kind of a fiasco. They have a wait for like an hour for us to get a table large enough to accommodate all of us. In the mean time, we sit in the foyer of the building and everyone looks at the schedule for Otakon and discusses what they want to see. It is torturously humid both inside and outside. I lend my favorite pen to people to mark stuff they want to attend.
This time frame wound up being kind of alienating. It is kind of the last stretch of time we have with the group and it's spent discussing panels and events we won't be around to attend. It doesn't help that the environment is loud, and I'm exhausted from the trip. Noise and exhaustion tend to turn me into even more of a wall flower than I already am. Wiggy points out numerous panels that would probably interest me if I was actually going to Otakon. Probably to entice me to stay.
Sarah and I split off on our own for a while. Just to recover ourselves. We semi-regret not going with a hotel on our own after all. We love being with the group, but there's also this sensation that the group has already moved on and we're just tag alongs. Probably not entirely fair. We are cherishing these last few moments together, but
Sarah and I sit on a bench and talk about Otakon itself. How people spend enormous amounts of money and travel so far just to be around people that they can relate to. How that's effectively what WE'RE doing in this vacation. How this sort of arrangements are only possible through the Internet and what it's like being a weird human being that never quite clicks with normal social circles.
We get a call from the others. The table is ready. We rejoin the others for dinner.
First thing, Wilco orders a Flying Gorilla shake and it is downright ridiculous and he comes nowhere close to finishing it. Sarah calls sitting next to Wilco a jack pot as he orders way too much food and can't finish any of it.
I split an order of Fried macaroni with Sarah. She gives me a hard time for never splitting dishes with her because I always eat so much.
I order a spicy chicken sandwich, same as Wiggy, but for whatever reason it takes them a million years to bring it out. I'm offered some free soup as a peace offering but I refuse it, disliking soup. I am quickly berated by Sarah and ProZD who would've eaten the soup for me and tell me to NEVER TURN DOWN FREE FOOD.
The waiter tells me that the manager will come out and probably offer me some free cheesecake, but that never transpires. I do get my sandwich, it's good, but the wait was still ridiculous.
Suddenly, rain begins POURING DOWN in torrents outside, to an insane degree. We run through the rain, with some people scoffing at us. Why wouldn't anyone wait for the rain to pass? Maybe because getting rained on is awesome.
The rain is so heavy and ridiculous that it's like we're in a noir film. Everything we say sounds so much more dramatic shouted over the sound of pouring rain. The group lives out action movie scenarios, about things that happened an interminable number of years ago, about deaths and revenge.
Sarah is super scared about her Ipone. We hide it in Wiggy's bag. I'm worried about my camera and notebook.
We return to the hotel room, sopping wet. Half the group ventures out, sans phones, to locate a convenience store and look for coolers to preserve the restaurant leftover. There is a train of showers and we hang up sopping wet clothes. I spend some time trying to transcribe my notes into Wilco's computer, but it ultimately isn't necessary. The water damage isn't as bad as I feared, for the most part.
After their showers, Wiggy and Wilco climb into bed together. They look INCREDIBLY homosexual like this. Is this the OTP?
Siro nips this in the bud right away.
We get complaints about being too loud pretty quickly. There is a kid trying to sleep next door and we are keeping him up. This stifles any festivities we might've had otherwise, which is disappointing. Apparently over the next few days, the others would joke about how they can't be loud in the room because that stupid kid/stupid pig/Fat stupid sweaty pig/Rotundo is trying to sleep.
But with the need to be quiet with so many people, this basically means we turn in for the night. It's disappointing because we never managed the big group photo we aimed for. Sarah and I sleep on the floor, in a sleeping bag. This is incredibly uncomfortable for Sarah, and we have to wake up so soon. It's a rough night.
We wake up at 5AM. I look at everyone, sleeping so soundly, and decide I shouldn't wake them even though we really want to say goodbye.
Sarah and I pack up, we head down to the lobby and get a taxi. We have a bleary drive to the airport. Together, we hang out at Starbucks for a while. I tear up more than usual at our parting. I will see Sarah in a couple weeks, it's true, but I will miss her and everyone else dearly.
I hug her goodbye, get in line for security. Doze through waits and delays and flights and arrive home twenty minutes late, and get picked up by my folks an hour late. I drive home, wistful. I will always remember Dorp Trip 2012.
Thanks for the memories, you bozos.