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Dorp Travel Post Michigan Meet Up 2015


Earlier in 2015 around the time Sarah and I got married, our mutual friend Wilco took us aside to ask us an important question. At the time we were terrified. A year prior, a similar invitation to skype with such gravity had ultimately resulted in us losing some dear friends. Thankfully, Wilco wasn't interested in a fresh schism, but instead wanted to invite us on an expense-paid Caribbean cruise to act as a makeshift honeymoon for Sarah and I. Wilco hadn't been able to attend the wedding, due to being an ocean away in Australia, and had decided to make up for that with overwhelming extravagance.

Sarah accepted immediately, and I did as well with more trepidation. A gift of this magnitude is hard for me to accept without anxiety. However, Sarah's enthusiasm and spirit of adventure won out and we committed to Wilco's decadent gift. This also shaped the most recent Dorp meet up, as we only get Wilco stateside bi-annually at the best of times. Wilco planned out his adventure to start at Otakon where he'd meet up with Anne Marie and SungWon, then he would go to Ohio to see Reno with Alex in tow, and after that the whole group would meet up in Michigan at SungWon's home for a week, before Sarah and I would set sail with Wilco for a week long cruise.

Sarah accepted a new job at a state park under the express condition that she get those precious two weeks off, while I had to bargain with my existing co-workers for enough time to cover the period. There was a lot of financial stress of preparing for this trip, and Sarah made like three trip to Good Will in an effort to look Fabulous for the trip, but the trip was worth it.

Part of the plan was for Wilco's then significant to accompany Wilco from Otakon through to and beyond the cruise. That ultimately did not pan out, and I won't touch on the details here. It's worth noting that we had fewer people at every stage of this vacation than anticipated, and Wilco had to deal with a week of Sarah and I on the cruise without escape. Pity him.

Sarah and I also had a series of major living condition problems prior to the trip. Corpus Christi was put on a water boiling notice because of an outbreak of E. Coli. While living on bottled water, we discovered a bed bug infestation in our home, and spent a frantic day on the eve of vacation laundering everything we owned on high heat, spraying insecticide, and wrapping our pillows and mattress in bug-proof bags. THEN we discovered a mouse in the room.

Sarah gets anxious to the point of being unable to rest when there is any major vermin in the home. We made some futile efforts to corner the thing which failed. Her father, Stevie Jay, provided us with glue traps, which worked within minutes of setting them out. Sarah had protested using the traps due to them being inhumane, and the mouse agreed. The rodent screamed without ceasing and thrashed helplessly, with no hope of escape. Stevie Jay had me put it out by the dumpster, but Sarah started to feel the karmic weight of our actions weigh on her soul. She begged me to put the poor thing out of its misery before it starved or ripped its own legs off trying to get free. And thus I found myself in the surreal situation where I was carrying a paint scraper out into the apartment complex parking lot in the dead of night. Silent, apart from the mouse's desperate pleas. All I could do is sigh at the thing before lopping its head off. Not really how I envisioned the final hours at home before my fabulous vacation starting, but there we are.

Stevie Jay graciously dropped us off at the airport, and Sarah and I boarded a plane or two where Sarah had mixed feelings about me always surrendering the window seat to her. I brought games and comics for Sarah to fill the monotony, but she was content with playing Love Live on her phone. We arrived at Detroit airport, which was quite nice, and was eventually greeted by Wilco in a Bill Cipher shirt. We embraced the sight for sore eyes and piled into a rental car Alex had arranged with tremendous anxiety. They related a few inscrutable injokes about their time in Cleveland with my pal Reno. Reno had taken them to the traditional Cleveland ball game to watch the home team lose, as is customary. They allegedly played Bloodborne, imbibed spirits, played board games, and watched speed runs. Mostly they just made me jealous that I couldn't arrange enough time off to be there too.

My current and only impression of Detroit was that traffic is ridiculously congested. We ran into three separate massive traffic jams that delayed our arrival into East Lansing to stay at SungWon's. We got there eventually, engulfed Anne Marie and SungWon in awkward group hugs.

SungWon's apartment was cramped with six people plus luggage. When we were a party of seven, the plan was to get a motel room. This was an unpopular course of action due to expense and the need to drive people to and from the motel. It was tolerable with six, and Sarah and I had the foresight to have an inflatable mattress delivered to SungWon's prior. "Like sleeping on angels' wings," Sarah had insisted. Alex slept on the floor in a sleeping bag without complaint. After half a week of spinal torture the hard floor, Wilco begrudgingly joined us on the crowded air mattress.
When not sleeping, we spent our time at SungWon's lounging sexily.



This is about as presentable as photos of me will get.



Alex winks suggestively next to a (very seductive) pile of ethernet ports and routers.



Sarah contemplates how totally glam we all look.



Nothing compliments this delicate flower quite like being surrounded by nerd paraphernalia.

Fun fact: a significant number of those Amiibo figures obscuring most available surfaces in SungWon's apartment were smuggled into the states by Wilco for SungWon. Wilco brought the contraband stateside and passed them along to SungWon at Otakon in what I assume the same sort of grimy alley that local drug lords utilize for their transactions. The agreement was that SungWon would wipe away the debt by paying for Wilco's meals. I, similarly, got a King Dedede and Lucario out of the deal by agreeing to pay Wilco's share of the rental car.



Pictured here: SungWon's largest amiibo, Effie the cat, who sits on the hallowed shelf of SungWon's smash amiibos that have ascended to Valhalla after hitting level 50 in Smash Brothers. Also pictured, a piece of paper labeled "don't touch" taped to the wall that apparently acted as a kill switch for all of the electricity in SungWon's apartment. Effie, as cats are wont, wanted very much to paw at this switch.



Anne Marie stayed at SungWon's for the duration of our visit, so Effie was a non-negotiable bonus guest. Effie spent her time with us being skittish and terrified of us, and spent her remaining time knocking amiibos off of shelves. Sarah is very allergic to cats, so was on a constant dosage of Benadryl and Claritin to cope.



With six people, Anne Marie and SungWon ferried us between two vehicles. Anytime we went anywhere, SungWon would use a random number generator to decide who went with who. Sarah and I were only once in the same car together. My experience riding with Anne Marie generally involved talking about nerd media (Mass Effect, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles) and remarks about boys being smelly. Riding with SungWon involved SungWon constantly skipping between song's on his iPod in two second chunks until he stumbled upon something the group could sing together. I mostly mumbled through these musical sessions as I only knew the lyrics to a handful of songs well enough to truly participate. There was a solo car ride with me and SungWon though, where we discussed "Rayman 2: The Great Escape" as well as "Sonic Heroes for Gamecube" at great length. Otherwise, the most notable car trip event was SungWon’s improvised rapping set to Thomas the Tank Engine music.

After our first car ride, terminating with a McDonalds meal, there were two major revelations to share between the two car rides:

"Did you know Wilco hasn't seen a Goofy Movie?!"
"Did you know Mewd decapitated a mouse?!"
"WHAT?!"

The McDonalds meal was thus filled with needling questions about whether I got a rush from taking a life, if I'd gotten a taste for it, and if bloodshed had filled some vacant hole in my decrepit soul.

We also went to Meijer to stock up on groceries for the week, to avoid spending too much on restaurants. Wilco was totally unprepared for the question of what he might like to eat and wandered off aimless with a distant expression. It was some time before we located him again. Sarah and I loaded up with over a hundred dollars in foodstuffs with the intent of cooking both Jalapeno poppers and Chili for the group, both of which appeared to be well received. SungWon bought Pokemon cards, and tried to persuade me to do the same with the knowing smirk of a drug dealer. Ultimately, Wilco and Blue bought a few odd snacks and breakfast items while Sarah and I comparatively prepared for the end times.



The most notorious place we ate out during the trip was B and D's Mongolian Grill. We agreed on it very democratically, but the restaurant was a harsh disappointment.



Basically it is an expensive stir-fry establishment. You pick out your meats, vegetables and seasonings all yourself, and watch the very gregarious and cooks cooke and chop the ingredients up. Similiar to Hibachi. You also got soup and salad, all of which was bereft of any salt.



All of these smiles are (visibly) false.



I should also mention that these photos were taken with Sarah's professional DSLR camera, so every unflattering pore can be captured in detail.



Every, single, pore.



This photo of evidence of the confusion and hostility of being haunted by my increasingly candid photos. Although I rarely used the camera while we were lounging for the majority of the trip, and I disliked bringing it into retail centers. Sorry that photos are pretty sparse.

It’s important to note that we DID force Wilco to sit through a Goofy Movie. He had seen it in chunks and spurts over time, but it was important for him to experience the masterpiece in its entirety. We collectively love the movie for being an awesome father and son story, and making GOOFY of all people into a soulful character. We speculated that during the events of the film, Mickey and Donald were in some hotel room laughing insipidly on a cocaine binge while discussing the need to acquire prostitutes.
We also discussed re-framing a Goofy Movie as a Shonen anime, complete with an opening with Pete rising from the hot tub as a map fills the background. “What does that mean…?” And the crescendo of the theme ending with Max doing the Perfect Cast.

On one of the earlier days, we made a trip to the mall, where we rather quickly separated into Team Boy and Team Girl. Team Girl (GROSS!) went about its prerogative of shopping for clothes and bras, (YUCK!) while Team Boy (YEAH!) almost immediately went to go buy board games from Barnes and Noble (RADICAL!).



Alex tried to win a plastic dinosaur from a crane game, but fate conspired against him. We as friends provided him with little comfort.



Without Team Girl (BARF!) around to cramp our style, Team Boy (WHOA!) set to work pooling money on one of the more expensive board games we could find called Betrayal at the House on the Hill. I'll go into more detail on that later. Wilco also bought a game called the Witness, after the rest of us failed to show enough excitement to pool for that one too. We then fled back to the apartment to spend hours pouring over rulebooks and popping out cardboard playing pieces. Now is as good a time as any for me to go over the games we played over the course of the trip, whether analog or digital.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill


Our major investments for the trip. Investment is a horror game where you and your Scooby doo gang explore a spooky randomly designed mansion until enough Goosebumps caliber chills and scares happen to trigger "The Haunting." The Haunting is one of fifty scenarios where someone in the party is revealed to be the eponymous traitor. The games could be exhausting, lasting upwards of three hours but generally being very satisfying for the biggest nerds in the group. At the game's best, you have Forbidden Desert levels of tension and suspense as you try to plan around the competing traitor. At the game's worst, the randomness of the game can make the game very one sided. In the first game, I was the traitor. I played an eight year old girl who got snubbed by the other party members, made friends with a evil Mummy, and proceeded to tidily win the game since all of my quest objectives were conveniently in a very small basement.





Other notable moments include things such as Anne Marie finding a talking gun under the floor boards. In our second session, we faced off against identical doppelgangers which (due to some lucky rolls) turned into a horror movie for monsters. We demolished the doppelgangers in rapid succession with no causalities. Well, no causalities on a technicality. Zoe Ingstrom got down to critical mental health, and then got trapped in the center of a Pentagram room where she couldn't leave without taking another point of mental damage that would kill her. I desperately tried to get an item that negated mental damage to her, but failed a roll to leap over a chasm to reach her before the last doppelganger was destroyed with a stick of lobbed dynamite from a teleporting elevator. We later joked that Zoe was stuck there forever, calling out to her friends and requesting food. Mostly the singular of a cereal. "Hello? Professor Longfellow? Flash? I could really go for a Golden Graham. Or a cheerio. Maybe an M&M. Dear Ouija board. Today I ate a bug. I would not recommend it. I hope my friends rescue me so that I do not have to eat another one. ...Professor Longfellow?" In the following game, the player who stumbled upon the Pentagram room drew "the Girl" card, so we joked we had found Zoe. Then the player who found Zoe was immediately murdered horribly and Zoe was left in the room alone again.




Professor Longfellow was repeatedly the traitor, to the point that we began to question the group of plucky urban explorers kept bringing him along. In another round, we were up against a legion of demons and juggled items and stats expertly to beat them, only to lose really badly because of a series of incredibly bad dice rolls. While trying to conceal our plans from a traitor SungWon, we kept loudly suggesting that WE HAVE to STOP him from getting to THE CONSERATORY at ALL COSTS. He proceeded to help a ghostly bride in butchering one of our own to produce a ghostly groom. We scrambled for like 20 minutes arguing about how to stop him, and then he won on the next turn because we failed to stall the ghosts from hanging out in the chapel together for three turns.


Sarah was secret traitor in a round where we were in a SAW/999 scenario where we had collars that would chop our heads off if we didn't secure some keys before various time limits elapsed. Story was our characters apparently didn't save her mom from a fiery car crash. She took no measure to actively kill us, but instead just trying to open a vault to get at some goodies. We wound up getting ourselves killed by virtue of wasting too much time. My character, a 9 year old kid, nobly offered our keys to save Wilco, who was playing a 70 year old adult. Still, my character DID get traumatized by being a 9 year old kid who failed twice to surgically remove a key from his body. Everyone but Wilco and Sarah wound up dead! All in all, Betrayal was fantastic and created lots of interesting situations, but we could only play it once a day due to it taking like three hours to finish.


Resistance


Consistently referred to as "spies" even though it was NOT the name of the game. Wilco brought the game and had run several games with Blue at Reno's. Basically it is a game where you play a rebellion trying to overthrow the government by going on missions. Y'know, bombing the southern district, assassinating the president, heroic stuff. Problem is, the revolution has been infiltrated by filthy spies who can sabotage the mission. Who game is about trying to determine who the spies are so they can't sabotage the mission based on player interaction and discussion. It was a lot of fun and we played the game to the point of getting completely burnt out on it.





Trying to persuade people you aren't a spy regardless of whether you are or not is frenetic because failing to inspire confidence (deserved or not) is the difference between victory and defeat. "Listen, you CAN'T bring him on the mission because he has to be the spy because I'M NOT A SPY!!" It's mind games and paranoia, and we broke it down into makeshift raps about spooky, spooky spies several times. Asserting loudly that you aren't the spy is a completely empty argument, but it's often the go to one. I was a weaker player, in part because I decided to abandon the futile argument of asserting I wasn't a spy. This seemed to hurt my cause though as neglecting to aggressively deny things seem to read as guilt. Blue was a statistical anomaly and was a spy virtually every single round. Meanwhile, SungWon was spy like once or twice. The rest of were well within the bell curve. I had a few triumphs, and spy victories always escalated into people doing stupid dances, wearing shit-eating grins, and rolling around exchanging sloppy high fives.





The Witness

Wilco bought blew forty bucks on this and it got delayed playtime until one of the last days of the visit. Sarah watched Blue, SungWon, Wilco and I play, and described it as being "as boring as I thought it'd be." It's a detective game where you cooperate with other detectives to solve logic puzzles in the most indirect and inefficient way possible. You each get a clue, lean over and whisper details into each other’s ears. You accumulate information and have to repeat as much as you can remember to players on the left and right of you. You aren't allowed to write anything down until after three rounds of whispering. This turns the game into a convoluted game of telephone where we are trying not to conflate and confuse the information well enough to collectively solve the riddle. Why these expert detectives need to whisper and decidedly not write anything down was beyond our reasoning.





Apparently the game is based on a comic series. We had no context for the characters, but they ARE colorful. The villain is named “The Yellow M,” however we named him “Cases” because that’s the name on the booklet that depicts him. Cases somehow benefits random crimes and mysteries which he has no direct involvement in. We catch him by getting a high enough group score. If we fail to score more than six points, Cases cackles manically and then ascends to heaven.





It’s an interesting game, and we sadly didn’t get much of any mileage out of it. It just couldn’t compete with the other more engaging games we had at our finger tips.


Smash Brothers

This was a pre-requisite for us as a gaggle of Nintendo nerds. Sarah wasn’t very into it, in part because she hadn’t trained for it and she was up against experienced veterans. However her attitude completely reversed when she was reminded she could use the C-stick to do smash attacks on the Gamecube remotes. Wilco settled into King Dedede as a powerful main in serious matches, and the in-game crowd favored him in chants EVERY SINGLE ROUND. Alex and SungWon dominated competitively with Zelda and Dr. Mario respectively. My Ness game was a consistent enough nuisance to be a major target for retribution. Anne Marie played the most aggressive defensive game ever by hurling herself at enemies and throwing up a counter.


Mario Kart


Sarah’s game of choice if we weren’t playing spies. I SUCK at Mario Kart, and play to be with friends. Friends who are several laps ahead of me. I was happy that Alex and I came to a consensus about how great the Wind Wiggler is. We also discussed at length how all of the central Mario characters have these ridiculous, massive race tracks, giant statues, companies and infrastructure built in their image and name. Meanwhile, random Shy Guy or Koopa Troopa is racing in hopes of winning enough money to feed their family this year. (Spoiler: They do not win.) Also, there is always universal anger when a stupid baby character NPC takes the lead.


Super Mario 3D World


Four player Champion’s Road is a hilarious train wreck and we blew 400+ lives failing at it. I loved it, but it left too many emotional scars for the group to pick up against after the initial trauma.


Mario Party 2

After the disgrace that was my defeat in Ocean City, I managed to narrowly steal the title of Spook King from Wilco by defeating him in Horror Land. I actually did surprisingly well in both the games we did, but ultimately lost in Western land by a single coin. I suppose I deserved it karmically since I stole Wilco’s star out of pettiness when he wasn’t even in the lead.

Love Live

Okay. Sarah, Alex, and SungWon basically started playing Love Live on their phones IMMEDIATELY whenever we had downtime. Often simultaneously. So it basically escalated into three different Jpop songs playing over each other with increasing frequency. One time they all tried playing the same song staggered a big, which was about as bad of a disaster as you’d expect. I almost prefer it when I was lying awake at night surrounded by others snoring.


Gambling

SungWon’s clutter of amiibos were put to work in cockfights. We’d place quarter bets, be assigned a random amiibo fighter, and then watch them flail around at each other until someone emerged the victor. The characters who were higher level (Sonic, Bowser) tended to dominate, though absurd stage hazards prevented things from being too one sided. Anne Marie and I bailed after accumulating enough funds to do laundry. Amiibos who leveled up to 50 were granted a place in Valhalla on the top shelf.

After Alex had left later in the trick, Wilco, SungWon and I had a poker match. I basically lost my shirt. I did well enough early on, until my aggressive bluffing established that SungWon and Wilco did not have to take me seriously. To be fair, I don’t have half the experience of either of them. They took the opportunity to lecture me on proper poker technique. Wilco took home a few bucks, while SungWon took the lion’s share of the profits.



Okay, I’m done talking about household games we played. NOW to talk about our visit to Zap Zone to play GLOW GOLF. Wilco’s favorite.



WAIT. We did play Nintendo Land, but only briefly. Only long enough for it to break down into a discussion of whether each of us would prefer to have sex with Monita, or EVIL Monita. Okay. Proceed.



We opted out of Zap Zone’s laser tag and the arcade in favor of GLOW IN THE DARK MINI GOLF which inspired mild enthusiasm from the lot of us. That is, until the point that we were faced with the need to putt up any steep incline, and most of us got stuck on triple bogeys. My strategy was to loudly announce I would get a hole in one and then place last.



The star attraction is the goofy décor. Which we in turn either kissed or were terrified of.



Sarah befriends the majesty of the sea.



Some of the wall illustrations are just uncanny.



Alright creepazoid.



SungWon studiously kept score and was unflappable in spite of the presence of fierce dinosaurs. He won by a wide margin, followed by Anne Marie. I… did not do very well.

Following Glow Golf, we went to a Middle Eastern restaurant that was quite good, and required us to take a crash course in Middle Eastern cuisine. That included a lot of interesting information that I completely failed to retain.

During another instance of Team Girl (BUUUWAAHGH) shopping for clothes, SungWon took Team Boy (AFFIRMITIVE) to some collectibles stores. The Collectibles store was quaint, sort of like a flea market stall as an entire outlet. There was little of consequence for the most part. I bought some Beanie Babies to amuse Sarah, but the super hero comics and sports memorabilia were of no interest to me.

An important ulterior motive was to tempt me again with Pokemon cards. This is in part because it’s my fault I got him back into Pokemon games again, chaining him to a system of compulsive collecting. I was generally very leery of getting into the cards, though. I would never be able to play the game, and it was potentially a money sink. His plan worked, however. We spent long enough in the store that I idly started looking through binders of holofoils, and started picking out ones I liked. It was the beginning of the end.

There were rows and rows of cardboard boxes of common cards on folding tables, with chairs to sit in as you sift through them. They were seductively cheap, ten cents a card. Looking through the cards was like panning for gold, a protracted and meditative process of searching through muck (and Muks) to get a rush of excitement of finding a rare or favorite Pokemon. I lied to myself, saying I would only get a handful of cards of my personal favorites.

“Do you feel it?” SungWon asked, as he worked his way through stacks and stacks of cards. He did not have to specify what. I did not at first, but it came soon piece by piece. The serpentine need to Catch Them All bore its way through my being, emptying the light from my eyes and filling the void with unquenchable need and desire.

Meanwhile, Alex found a few plastic dinosaurs to make up for the ones he failed to get at the crane game back at the mall. He also found a comic of Deathstroke, the comic that Deadpool was oriignally inspired to parody. The comic opened with Deathstroke killing waves of barely dressed women with machine guns with absurd hyper violence. Apart from this, though, Alex got to be bored while SungWon and I gorged ourselves on our obsession. He posed action figures in bins in wacky poses in a desperate attempt to entertain himself. Wilco and I shared some snide remarks about Star Wars M&M cross over merchandise, and he leafed through some World of Warcraft Trading Cards, but similiarly had little to do.

Late in the trip, SungWon would take me to ANOTHER card shop to seal the blood magic ritual on my new addiction. I came away with the trip with more than a hundred cards to tuck into my luggage. Too bad Alex had left by that point and missed out on this extra opportunity to watch us sort through cards!



At the second card shop, Wilco decided to blow FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS on box sets of WOW cards the shop owner cut him a deal on. It was absurd. He spent the tail end of the visiting opening booster packs for hours on end. He found a loot card that was worth fifty dollars, which was remarkable.




One of the major items on the agenda was for Anne Marie and SungWon to take us to Uncle John’s Cider Mill. It was a big commute and hyped up. Though it wasn’t until we got there that we realized it was off season and most of the attractions (corn mazes!) were not available.



One thing we DID do was go to the wine tasting. Not much I can do to remark on this! I don’t drink, and just watched everyone us sample wine, hard ciders, etc. The Pear liquor appeared to be very popular!






Lacking major attractions, we engaged in whatever debauchery occurred to us in the pakring lot.



This was primarily us putting on a performance of the rap hit “Spooky, Spooky Spies.”



Notable lyrics include “Spooky, Spooky Spies, open your eyes, you realize it, it’s a disguise.”






Video of an earlier performance.




Exhausted by our performance art, we herded into the establishment to acquire saturated fats in the form of meats and cheeses. We pooled funds for apple cider, and ate doughnuts and pastries. Wilco was astonished that there was such a thing as non-alcoholic apple cider.

Also of note was a sign advertising “Uncle John’s Dirty Ride.” We did not acquire additional information, as the truth could only dampen the horror of the ad in isolation. We returned to home base after stocking up on treats.



A Dorp trip tradition was upheld. The Penis Whistle, previously last bequeathed to Reno, had been passed to Alex, and who in turn surrendered it to SungWon. Alex’s stay as keeper of the Penis Whistle was perhaps the shortest, but he fulfilled his duty admirably. SungWon took the burden solemnly, though the event was somewhat soured by the knowledge that it all had originated from Jackson. Still, I was happy to see the sacred transfer of the Penis Whistle had been upheld to this point.




We got to visit Anne Marie’s apartment. Sarah loved it and sort of wished we’d stayed at her place instead. She asserted that we MUST have a comparable kitchen when we get our own place.



As the week wound down, Alex had to head back to Kentucky in preparation for his brother’s wedding. We made constant allusion to how this was actually Alex’s Final Night of his life, as his flight was approaching. He was dropped off at the airport with hugs and farewells (to die.)




Sarah had been cooped up with playing games and media for so much of the week that it had become a point of stress. She tends to need her walksies, even though the rest of us would likely be content in a dungeon playing board games. The zoo was selected as an outdoor activity over swimming, and Sarah was very excited.



Wilco, owing no loyalty to Great County America, fails to salute to the bald eagle, America’s bravest, most patriotic, and powerful bird.



This sort of nonsense was inevitable.


SungWon takes pictures of multiple goats for his Goat tumblr.



The gang discovers the Secret Goat hidden for intrepid explorers.



SungWon contemplates whether or not we, the zoo patrons, are the ones truly trapped in cages in the form of society.




The anxiety is palpable. That tiger may burst through the glass and kill us all at any moment.



Tyrone the Tiger was very active. He was being harassed by bugs incessantly. He was downright pitiable in that he paced and splashed in water and yet the bugs would not give the big guy a break.



So many of the animals were out of site or barely moved, we decided it was plausible that the majority were just animatronic dummies used to placate patrons.



Wink enhanced by peacock. All according to plan.



The penguins were one of the best exhibits, given that there was a line of penguins waiting to dive in and the one in front just WOULDN NOT commit to entering the water. It’s not until one of them entered that they all were relieved enough to enter, given the evidence that the pool was not acid.



Wilco tries to WILL the penguin at the front to make up its mind.



Another favorite part of the zoo visit was the Wings of Australia exhibit, where we all paid to feed birds.



These little parakeets are greedy, rough little squirts who would not hesitate to knock each other off or steal food.



Bird King SungWon.





Basically you are paying for a temporary bird friend. Sarah vouched for this being well worth it. The enclosure was packed with birds and the attendants had to sweep them off the ground to prevent guests from squishing them underfoot.



I’ll close out Potter Zoo with tiger car. Presented without further comment.



We’re drawing to a close on the important details I can remember about the trip. SungWon took us to a Burmese restaurant called Naing Myanmar, which was an excellent hole in the wall place. Sarah and I picked up a rental car to get Wilco, myself and her back to the Detroit airport. We wound down playing games and hanging out. I picked up a Pokemon booster pack from Meijer with a five dollar coupon (the chains tighten) and we debated the best time for us to leave to catch our early flight. We decided it was best to pack our things and head towards the airport once Anne Marie and SungWon began to wilt from want of sleep. Our most important as a family for Dorp Meet-Up Michigan 2015 was SungWon having us decide the top three figures on each of SungWon’s many shelves of figures we were each willing to have sex with. Because of course we did.

We gave our hosts some bear hugs and departed into the night. It was bittersweet. We’d had lots of fun, and it was sad to part ways, yet we were also excited for the cruise ahead. I’ll report on that in my next travel post here in the near future.

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