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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. ^^^Yeah, the fire was pretty bad and happened just a few weeks before the season started. The day after it happened, on the website for one of the local TV stations, they had a picture of a bulldozer pushing down the last of the charred remains with a headline that read "Historic Boradwalk Businesses May Not Open for 2008 Season." You think? For the record, The Dough Roller at that location may have been quasi-historic. The other burned business was a T-shirt shop identical to the other 500 or so on the boards. The apartments at Marty's Playland and the skee-ball machines suffered some smoke damage, but nothing too serious. The skee-ball machines were cleaned and placed back in action a couple weeks ago. I stopped in and played them Monday night. Great avatar, by the way! That was probably the first sign I learned to read when I was a kid. Well... either that or "McDonald's." ^^I was having trouble figuring out a way to explain the Inverter, so I did a web search. I think this blurb from Knight-Ridder News Service says it best: "The 24-passenger Inverter, which lifts riders 50 feet into the air before flipping them 360 degrees -- is one of four products being introduced this year by Wichita-based Chance Rides Inc., the nation's largest manufacturer of amusement park rides." Obviously the article was a couple years old. And no, no Looping Star for me. Got that credit some time ago.
  2. Great interior shots of the dark rides! The Haunted House is one of my favorites of all time.
  3. Playland opened in 1965, the same year as Jolly Roger, and closed in 1987. It opened as Ocean Playland and for awhile was called 65th Street Playland before it became just Playland (I have postcards and newspaper clippings with all three names from various years). It was on 65th Street where Slide 'n' Ride is now. In fact, somewhere I have a photo of one of the old Playland signs that was converted into a Slide 'n' Ride sign. I'm not sure if that particular sign is still there or not; it wasn't looking so hot when I got my photo about five years ago, and I've never thought to check in the summers since.
  4. Thanks, brilinjo! TPR was especially great for this trip because it allowed me to use some of the photos I couldn't post on our chapter's website for insurance reasons. Our insurance policy has a clause that states none of the photos on our website can show any of our members holding or consuming alcoholic beverages unless it's for an event that falls under another organization's insurance coverage (like when the local county tourism office or chamber of commerce hires us to staff the beer wagons at their events). It's a little strange, but that's the extra "price" for low-cost non-profit insurance. Needless to say, if the carefully cropped photos on our website are to be believed, we took a brewery tour and attended the free sampling session without ever touching or consuming a single drop of beer. Don't believe those pictures!
  5. The Jaycees' 2008 day trip series continued today with a tour of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, are a fan of micro-brews or have ever seen the movie version of "Reno 911," you've heard of Dogfish Head. Basically, if Ben and Jerry had opened a brewery instead of an ice creamery, this would have been it. The entire business seems laid-back and quirky--and extraordinarily friendly. We were late for the tour (MapQuest sucks--'nuff said), which left 20 minutes before we arrived. We explained our situation to the guy behind the counter who said we wouldn't be able to see the bottling area, but otherwise, he would be happy to take us on our own private tour! Apparently the guys on "Orange County Choppers" are fans, as well. When one of our party told the tour guide she thought she recognized him from a Discovery Channel show on the history of beer, he told us that he'd actually been filmed a number of times not only for that, but for a pilot that would be a reality show about working in a brewery. The production company found out about Dogfish Head through the Orange County guys. Anyway, enough idle words. On to the photos! Of course, my Dogfish Head-battered fish and chips turned some heads, as well. You can't tell here, but that's three HUGE fish fillets on the plate! I still have one in my refrigerator. Thanks for reading! We were all envious of Brian's bacon cheeseburger. The calamari with Old Bay seasoning and jalapenos was out of this world! That would be soy sauce on the left, cocktail sauce on the right. After the tour we headed down the road to Rehoboth Beach for some tax-free dinner at the brew pub where Dogfish Head got its start. A few for the road.... Apparently our good friends with the Delmarva Shorebirds Class A baseball team (Baltimore Orioles affiliate) were at the brewery, as well, though we didn't see any of them there. Dogfish Head had a number of random signs scattered throughout its tasting area/gift shop. If you've never been to Punkin' Chunkin', you don't know what you're missing! Basically, the weekend after Halloween each year people gather in a big field in Delaware to see who can shoot pumpkins the farthest from cannons and throw them the farthest from catapults. Honest! Even Paul Bunyan likes Dogfish Head! We got to sample four different products. And me! Cheers! As are Mike and Shannon! Angela and Brian are happy! At the end of our private tour, we met up with the people from the real tour. Time for beer tasting! This is where the magic happens! If by "magic" you mean "hops and yeast storage." These huge wooden vats were the first ones constructed for beer aging since the 1920s, our tour guide told us. Dogfish Head ages its beers anywhere from one to three months each. A small (really small) "museum" shows off some of the early equipment from the company's opening in 1995. I suspect it's only there because someone decided making signs was a lot easier than hauling it upstairs into the attic. And this is a truck for... some random reason. But it looks cool sitting in front of the tour entrance. These are some of the old vats. Pay no mind to them. They're tiny compared to what we're about to see. Welcome to Dogfish Head!
  6. Great photos! These remind me a lot of pictures I've seen of the Riverwalk in San Antonio.
  7. ^^^Thanks, Nat! You should read it again when you get your new laptop. The photos look a lot better when they're not bisected.
  8. ^^Fixed! By the way, one rant I forgot: Do parents know their teenage daughters are running around Kings Dominion with little to no clothes on? I saw enough 14- to 16-year-old boobs at this park to last a lifetime. Where were these girls when I was in high school? Seriously, 80 percent of all teenage girls at the park walked around in shorts and bikini tops. The other 20 percent didn't even bother with the shorts. I can't even imagine how it would be comfortable to ride a roller coaster in nothing but a bikini. It sounds more like a Playboy Junior photo shoot... but honest, I saw it with my own eyes! And I saw it more than once. The best part was when I was taking cover from the storm in the Emporium and there was a man inside without a shirt on. A security guard came up and asked why he wasn't wearing a shirt. The man and (presumably) his wife said they had just come from the water park when the storm hit. The security guard asked him to put his shirt on, which he did, but asked the guard, jokingly, why there was a double standard that men had to wear shirts when the teenage girls could walk around the park in nothing but skimpy bathing suits. The security guard assured him that the only place swimsuits of any kind were allowed was the water park, and any females in the theme park wearing only swimsuits or bikini tops were asked to cover up as well--the rules were strictly enforced. All of us within earshot, including the man who had just put his shirt on, started laughing because we honestly thought the officer was joking back. The security officer assured us he was NOT trying to be funny. At which time the guy who had just put his shirt on looked him straight in the eye and said, "Well then someone is seriously asleep at that wheel!"
  9. The Jaycees and I made the four-hour drive to Kings Dominion on Saturday (including an hour-long backup on the Capital Beltway), and I must say... I was less than impressed. Rides broke down all day long. We got to witness an evac on the Shockwave and a kid get evicted from a restaurant (if not the park) after trying to pocket some $3.59 bottled sodas (I opted to save nine cents and buy my bottled water from a vending machine--the first I've ever seen that accepted credit cards). The park was clearly short-staffed, and to say the food service operations were poor is a vast understatement. At two restaurants I attempted to get food from, the SOP seemed to be for the lone person on duty to take the order, go back in the kitchen and cook the order, return to the cash register and serve the order, then take the customer's money and attempt to give correct change (this last step is apparently is a LOT harder than one would think). Twice I walked away when my wait time, with only two people in line in front of me, topped 25 minutes. When I did finally get food in under a half hour at the third counter-service restaurant I tried, it took the girl working the cash register three tries before being able to correctly ring up my chicken sandwich, fries, water and cake (for a grand total of $17--and I thought Disney was overpriced). Beyond this, when the coasters weren't broken down, many only had one train running. The crowds were moderate and lines (except for Dominator) were minimal, but the shortest wait time I experienced was 45 minutes, and that was for Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion. And then the hailstorm came. The entire area was under a tornado watch and thunderstorm warning all day, and by mid-afternoon, they made a park-wide announcement that all the rides would be closing due to a National Weather Service advisory. The storm was still a good 45 minutes away, but they took full advantage of the opportunity to encourage the thousands of admission-paying patrons with nothing to do until the first raindrop fell to patronize the gift shops. Once the 20-minute storm passed, it took a full hour and 15 minutes for the rides to reopen (and Scooby Doo--one of the only indoor rides in the park--never reopened for some strange reason). We were third in line for Dominator during that 75-minute wait. In all, between the 20-minute hailstorm that closed down the entire park (except the gift shops!) for two hours and the below-standard operations that caused lines to back up exponentially, we got to ride five rides the entire day. The one good thing was, thanks to a Google discount code search and the good people at the Virginia Commonwealth Tourism Office (use VAFUN in the "Corporate Code" box on the KD website), we had to pay only $35 for tickets in advance instead of $52 at the gate. As one of my fellow travelers put it, "As it was, not counting gas, food and parking, we paid $7 per ride today. If we'd had to pay full price, it would have been more than $10 per ride. Next time, I think I'll just stay home and pretend I rode five rides." I concur. Fortunately, all the down time did give me a chance to take lots of photos--including some scavenger hunt pictures! I've posted them toward the end of this photo TR. I'll post the locations in a few days, if anyone is interested. If my experience on Saturday is any indication of the way Cedar Fair plans to run this park, you'll have plenty of time to scout out the answers for yourself on your next visit. And now for the scavenger hunt! Where in Kings Dominion can you find the following scenes? Answer to follow in a few days. Travis stuck to more traditional fare. Being the cheapskate that he is, however, he mixed ketchup and picante sauce to create his own hash brown "chunking" instead of shelling out the extra 40 cents for real diced tomatoes. Joanne made history, becoming the first person in the history of Waffle House to order a salad. Which, coincidentally, consisted of a shredded head of lettuce and several Kraft Singles split in half and thrown on top (really). You should have seen the waitress' face when Joanne asked, in all seriousness, if they had oil and vinaigrette! ...we have one last stop to make! Thanks, Kings Dominion! We will! But first... You know, maybe they should have put some of those trash cans in the parking lot instead.... The second oldest ride at the park. Travis, Joanne, Angela and a member of the Cedar Fair Trash Can Army. We tried to kill it, but two more took its place. My 45-minute wait for the one-train Avalanche pays off. Travis! Do not eat Joanne! Sadly, I'm old enough to remember when these games cost only $1 to play (and my dad always said they were a rip-off then). Now it costs almost as much as a 20-ounce bottle of water. Almost. They didn't reopen Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion after the storm, so this was as close as Joanne and Travis could get. Joanne and Travis waited patiently for an hour and 15 minutes for Dominator to reopen. And then the hail came. I holed up here in the Emporium with about 500 of my closest friends. Everyone else in my group made it to the photo shack outside Dominator, where the kid behind the register threatened to call security and throw everyone out of the park who was sitting on the floor or leaning against the counter. You know, maybe they should have taken some of that trash can money and diverted it to customer service training. Just a thought. ...and especially this. ...and this... Like this... I was fortunate enough to get to ride Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion before it went down for the day (I was the only person in my group to have this foresight--everyone else went on White Water Canyon instead). The theming at this ride was about all that really impressed me about Kings Dominion. Now this would make a cool TPR slogan. I'm ready for some shrimp. Let's go to Bubba--er, the Outer HANKS Shrimp Shack! Get it? HA HA! Ha. Um, ha. Hey ladies! Lindsey and Bethany are ready for some White Water Canyon. Oh yeah, like you thought you were going to read a KD TR without seeing this! Slither, my pretty! The Anaconda in all its snakey goodness. A gratuitous shot of Scooby Doo since it's right next to Dominator. Dominator by the numbers... for those who are interested (you know who you are). View from the rear. But this is what you all came here to see anyway. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Dominator! Plastic signs on a construction fence count as "theming" in Cedar Fair Land! The only attractions in the park that didn't have ridiculous wait times were SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D and this sign in front of the fountains. We want Paramount back!
  10. ^The slingshot ride is still there. I didn't get any photos of it in flight, but you can see the support cables that steady the towers at the right and in front of the Ferris wheel in the panarama. I haven't been to Knobels, but I've seen pictures of their haunted house, and it looks awesome. I'm planning to bridge my one-day gap between the Ravine Flyer/Behemoth Mini-Trip in Philadelphia and my state Jaycees convention that weekend in Baltimore with a side trip to Elysburg, so hopefully soon I'll be able to compare for myself. In the meantime, I just got a text from a friend inviting me to Kennywood next month, and I leave for Kings Dominion in eight hours, so it's shaping up to be an eventful summer. Bring on the rides!
  11. ^^That's really interesting. I've never heard of "Melvin's Amusement Rides" before. I do know the Trimpers owned most of the property in that area at least by the early 1960s. However, I do see at least one incorrect thing in the RCDB listing on Trimper's in that they did have outdoor rides prior to the '60s. I have a 1920s postcard showing the Ferris wheel, and newspaper accounts of a 1930s storm (can't remember if it was '33 or '36) talk about a couple of the Windsor Resort rides toppling over. ^I think Jolly Roger has just been trying to keep up. I never did like it as much as Trimper's, and nowadays they seem to be angling for the kiddie and family crowd more so than the thrill seekers. Of course, that may change with the acquisition of Pier Rides. That park has a good mix of spinners, thrill rides and kiddie rides in an extremely tight space, not to mention the most midway games I've ever seen bundled together in a permanent setting (it's part of the "charm").
  12. It very well may have, though I'm not aware of it, and I didn't come across any photos of it when I was researching my book. I know Playland, down the road, had a Wild Mouse, and when that park closed in 1987, Trimper's and Jolly Roger bought some of its assets (Ghost Ship props for Trimper's and the pirate mascot for Jolly Roger). I wonder if it may have come from there. Thanks for the photo. I had never seen one of those before.
  13. Nope, the only park in Ocean City that charges an admission fee is Frontier Town, and there are no credits to be had there. Thanks for all the positive feedback, everyone. It's always nice to hear people say good things about my home park(s). Though I gotta tell you, growing up riding Trimper's carousel has ruined all other carousels for me. When I was writing my book on historic Maryland amusement parks a few years ago, I called Trimper's and asked if they had any photos of old rides I could borrow. Their PR/accounting person told me all they had were some scans of old postcards one of the Trimper children had put together for a school project (all of which ended up in the finished product). And then she gave me the best quote ever: "When we want to see what our old rides looked like, we just walk out front and look at them!"
  14. As part of my Memorial Day weekend celebration, I took a trip to Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday. The place was bustling, but not as busy as normal on Memorial Day (there was plenty of parking to be had). I blame gas prices. I posted the rest of my Memorial Day weekend adventures on the "Random" board, but since there seems to be a serious lack of OC representation on TPR (none of its parks are represented in the Park Index, though three out of five of them have credits), I thought I'd snap a few shots today at Trimper's Rides and Jolly Roger at the Pier to add to the collection. Enjoy! Last time I was at Jolly Roger (in 2003), it contained just one credit, and this kiddie circus train obviously wasn't it (it was an off-the-shelf Wild Mouse). But when the park is still a few weeks away from opening for the season and you're limited to sidewalk access, you take what you can get. Thanks for reading! Bonus park! Though I didn't visit Jolly Roger's flagship park on Memorial Day, I did pass by there a few weeks ago while on assignment for an online publication based out of Baltimore, so I snapped a couple shots from the sidewalk while I was in the neighborhood. Behold: Jolly Roger himself (a converted Muffler Man, for those of you who follow such things). Here's more of the track, recently repainted to match Jolly Roger's clashing neon purple and green signature paint scheme. Speaking of the Looping Star.... And this is the pier's famous giant Ferris wheel, as seen from the boardwalk, along with a few of the park's other rides, including the Looping Star coaster. And what's that I see on the right? A credit AND a bikini in the same photo? Take that, Big Mike! Of course, some of the theming left over from the previous park owner still leaves a little to be desired.... This was the neatest thing. As you walked by, this skeleton on top of the fun house just looked like a pile of bones-or-something. But then an air horn sounded, and the "pile" jumped up, turning into a full skeleton and lurching forward as if ready to jump off the building and attack anyone who happened to be standing below. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture it on, er, pixels; I assume it's set for specific intervals, as this was the only time I saw this gag go off during my short stay on the pier. As tough as it is to get good pictures of the rides at Trimper's, it's even harder at Jolly Roger at the Pier. The rides are so packed together, it's impossible to back up more than three or four feet. Plus I wasn't really thinking "TPR photos" when I breezed through this section, so most of what I have I took for myself. Having said that, here's a detail shot from the haunted house, Morbid Manor. I'm very impressed with the "plussing" Jolly Roger has done to this attraction since purchasing the park last year. ...and--wait a minute, this isn't a copyrighted character! I wish it was, though, because I would SO watch a cartoon called "Bug-Eyed 1950s Disco Police Mouse!" ...and Shrek... ...and Scooby... ...and Popeye again... ...and Snoopy (these were Air Force jets when my dad was a kid)... ...and Wile E. Coyote... ...and Goofy... ...and Spike (Pluto is riding a bumper car next to Spike, but thanks to a "new" awning installed sometime in the past 30 years, he's hard to see/photograph anymore)... ...and Practical Pig... ...and Dumbo (trust me, that's supposed to be Dumbo)... ...and Tom... ...and the Big Bad Wolf (though for YEARS--in fact, right up until reviewing the photos for this TR--I thought this was supposed to be Mighty Mouse's archenemy, Oil Can Harry)... ...and Bugs... ...and Mickey... For instance, there's Donald... These boats used to be battleships in the '50s. Now they're Popeye ships. Actually, there's a LOT of copyright infringement at this park, much (but not all) of it dating back to the '50s. This boat ride has been here since the '50s. It and the adjacent Fairy Whip used to be my favorites as a kid. No pictures of the Fairy Whip, unfortunately; it was full of kids all day. The 1950s firetrucks feature the names of local volunteer fire companies on their backs. As is this 1930s-era ticket booth. I remember watching this crumble for years when I was a kid. It's been restored now for a decade or more. I'd say the results were worth the wait. This 1930s kiddie Ferris wheel is another classic. This 1930s mechanical band machine fills the indoor section of the park with music. Inside are a lot of classic and antique rides, including bumper cars that feature a median to further reduce head-on collisions (and increase wall bumping). Supports for the Tidal Wave surround Wipeout. The Zipper and the Avalanche share space with the Tilt-A-Whirl and Inverter (not pictured) in this corner of the park. The Matterhorn is fun, but the 1970s go-go dancer plywood cutouts on top are looking a lot worse for wear. Fortunately, Trimper's usually doesn't let stuff like that linger too long, which means they'll probably be repainted in the very near future. Of course, the 1970s imagery inside does get a little PG 13.... Love the Himalaya. Each ride takes you forward, then backward, then forward again. For the little ones, there's also an antique mini-carousel. ...and even a dragon! Not to mention a camel, a zebra, a giraffe, a frog and a very unique rocking chariot. Of course, this carousel isn't limited to horses. There's also a tiger... You can't really say you've been to Trimper's until you ride the carousel. Originally powered by steam, it was the second one made by the Herschell-Spillman Co., and the first one, operated at Coney Island, burned. So what does that make this? Yep, the oldest Herschell-Spillman carousel in existence. It's operated continuously since 1902. Know what makes me cooler than you? I actually have this credit! The Sooper Jet has been the park's kiddie coaster since I was young enough to ride it. No adults on board, though, so don't even bother asking. Followed by one of Trimper's more recent additions, the Wacky Worm. Next credit: The Toboggan! The boomerang-style coaster made an appearance in the 1986 movie "Violets are Blue," starring Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline. But you'd better be quick if you want to grab the credit for yourself; Trimper's just narrowly missed being sold off for condos at the end of last season. Any year could be this park's last. But you didn't come here for dark rides, fun houses or mirror mazes, darn it! You came here for coasters! Here's the biggest name in town: the Tidal Wave. Again, getting a clean shot is pretty much impossible. And here's a close cousin of the fun house, the Mirror Maze. Trimper's added clowns to the entrance this year, making the attraction more "fun" (or scary, depending on your point of view). Trimper's has gotten more PC recently. All the Aladin's Lamp palace guards, like this fellow, sported more ethnic paint jobs until a couple years ago. One of the exterior obstacles. These gentlemen move the bridge back and forth. Ali Baba watches over the entrance. His hands and head usually move up and down, but they were stationary on this day. I hope it's only temporary. A close cousin of the dark ride, Aladin's Lamp is my favorite fun house of all time. It still has its human roulette wheel inside (though tamed down a bit from its early 20th century predecessors) and a spinning barrel at the end. Trimper's also features one of the last remaining Bill Tracy walk-through dark rides, Pirates Cove, added to the park in 1971. It's almost impossible to get a good, clean shot of the entrance anymore--or many of Trimper's other rides, for that matter--because the park has added so many new attractions in recent years. ...complete with "Rest in Peace" signs on the back. The cars are themed as coffins... Theming as seen from the outside. This Audio-Animatronic headless pitchman calls to patrons on the boardwalk, daring them to enter. This 1960s Bill Tracy Haunted House is one of my favorite rides ever. Operated by Trimper's (but not included in Trimper's POP plan), it opened in 1962 and was updated in 1988 when Trimper's purchased props from Tracy's Ghost Ship ride upon the closing of nearby competitor Playland, where the Ghost Ship was located.
  15. This looks like a really cool place! Thanks for posting it.
  16. While many of my fellow TPRers were living out theme park fantasies this weekend, I was busy bouncing from activity to activity with the Maryland Jaycees. And since all of them were "sort of" to "very" photogenic, I thought I'd share. Things started at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, as I prepared for a charity bike ride I chaired in my hometown of Crisfield, followed by a Memorial Day party that evening at a friend's campground in Nanticoke. Sunday I drove to the other side of the state, near the Washington, D.C., suburbs, to help the Gaithersburg-Germantown Jaycees with a fundraiser in Rockville. Then I rounded out Monday with a visit to the beach resort town of Ocean City. At any rate, pictures are much, much better than words, so on to the photos! You'll have to take my word for it, but the guy on stage is Rick Springfield. He still wishes he had Jessie's girl. Dude, it's been almost 30 years. You should be over her by now. Get some therapy. Best name for a port-a-potty company EVER! Statue credit! Right click. "Set as Desktop Background." Another "Big Mike" shot... this time with free pizza! Ladies, I'm still single.... This is where I spent most of my time--behind the beer tent, not in front of it. The Gaithersburg-Germantown Jaycees received a percentage of sales in exchange for staffing the booth. This is also where one of the other volunteers dropped a can of Dr Pepper that ended up exploding and drenching the back of my shirt. It was NOT a Dan-friendly moment. The carnival was Lame (note the capital "L") with three kiddie spinners and roughly seven billion bouncy things. One of those, however, was this cool "Cars" bouncy, so I guess it didn't suck completely. Just mostly. The food was REALLY good at the Taste of Rockville exhibit. I definitely could smell what the wok was cooking! This reminded me of one of the street scenes at Disney's MGM/Hollywood/Pixar/Not Universal Studios. Rockville itself, however, is a beautiful town--at least the parts of it I got to see while driving around for 20 minutes searching for parking. Three hours later, I finally made it to Rockville Hometown Holidays, a massive festival celebrating... well, Memorial Day, I guess. Though exactly how much face-painting, beer, greasy food, cheesy carnival rides and loud music have to do with honoring our veterans is debatable. So basically what this ad is telling me is, "If you use our credit card, we'll give you almost two-thirds of a tank of gas!" I had to stop for gas on my way out of town to Rockville. Funny, I seem to remember regular unleaded here having been just $3.64 a gallon when I filled up on Thursday. I'm sure there must have been a good reason for increasing the price 15 cents overnight.... The city flew flags from its lampposts this weekend, as well. They even decorated the lobby. Downtown Salisbury, Maryland, was decked out for Memorial Day when I drove through on Saturday morning to place our bike ride items back into storage. This is the front of the Chamber of Commerce building, where my office as Jaycees president is located (and currently filled with leftover doughnuts, granola bars and Gatorade). Jay hired a band to play for the evening. Apparently they were kind of a big deal. I think the lead singer appeared on "Hee Haw" once or something like that. Emulating my hero, Big Mike, I even decided to put myself in the TR. And ladies... I'm single! Of course we had to get a group shot with Jay, our host for the evening. He owns the campground, after all. Dave was already grilling hot dogs and burgers by the time I arrived. Sign credit No. 2! And this would be the ferry. After packing up the rest areas and picking up the route markers, I made my way to Nanticoke for the Memorial Day party hosted by another one of our members. Since I was running late (and gas is nearly $4 per gallon), I decided to take a shortcut aboard the Whitehaven Ferry. Sign credit No. 1! Dave, on the other hand, got the normal-sized calzone. Good job, Dave. Travis got the "man-sized" stromboli. The menu claimed it could feed one full-sized man, two ladies or three adults (as long as neither were full-sized men nor ladies, one would assume). Either way, we all agreed the stromboli was probably the only "man-sized" thing about Travis. Joanne REALLY likes pizza! Fortunately, she woke up in time for the after-party at The Pizza Shoppe, a local garage-turned-pizzeria. The excitement was just too much for Kristin. Someone made good use of one of our route markers! My dad suggested we knock on the door of the address listed on the yard sale sign and demand the owner pay "stick rent." ...and even trikes! We also had cyclists riding recumbent bikes... I work with two of these guys. They were among those riding traditional bikes at our event. The one in the middle is a nationally renowned beekeeper. Really. Actually, the outhouse was used at this workshop until the 1960s, when indoor plumbing came to this section of town. The workshop itself once belonged to famed 20th century decoy carvers Lem and Steve Ward (if you don't know who they are, Google them). It was restored in the 1990s and is now a small museum dedicated to their legacy. It was a hit with all the cyclists. We had only the finest restroom facilities for our cyclists! Kristin and Mary staffed the rest area at the Ward Brothers' Homeplace. Fun fact: the sign in the foreground was painted for us by inmates at the local state correctional facility as part of the prison's rehabilitation art program. But who am I kidding? The real draw here was the Accohannock Native American Tribe's famous fried oyster sandwiches, on sale across the street. Riders were especially happy with our rest area at the Marion Fire Hall. I mean, who wouldn't be? Not only did they get free doughnuts and water, but they were met by the smiling faces of Bethany and Angela. Travis and Joanne staffed the rest area at our local senator's office. The senator made it a point to personally stop by and thank them for our efforts in organizing this event. Unfortunately, we ran into some problems at the foot of the bridge that forced us to change the route just a bit.... The route we originally planned would have taken riders over the bridge. In fact, we even used it in our event logo, seen here. The view from the Jenkins Creek Bridge is breathtaking and includes some of the last working watermen's shanties in Maryland. And this one, which I'll probably use as a publicity shot for next year's ride, shows the wetlands near Jenkins Creek. The ride included many scenic views. This one was on the other side of the high school parking lot. Mary: "Geez, we haven't even gotten through the door yet and he's already taking pictures!" And it's definitely a Jaycees event. Registration was at my old high school. Yep, this is going to be one quality bike ride all right. Just look at the penmanship on that sign! We named it the Soft Shell Half Century, after the town's annual Soft Shell Spring Fair, held the next day (a "soft shell" is a type of crab). Cyclists had a choice of riding a 50- or 20-mile route. Don't worry; I also visited two of Ocean City's amusement parks, but I'll be posting those photos on the appropriate "Burlington Coat Factory" board. In the meantime, I rounded out Memorial Day weekend with a trip to the local cineplex to see "Indiana Jones." Now just nine hours before I have to go back to work.... Thanks for reading! One of the arcade walls was damaged last month when the restaurant next door burned down. Unfortunately, this was the wall containing the 1930s Skee-Ball machines. A sign said they would be back by next week. However, they still have these 1950s Fascination-like machines that award tickets based on poker hands rather than bingo. This year's crop of prizes includes Topps baseball cards from 1986! Marty's still has 10-cent claw machines from the '30s, which I loved as a kid. Every time I see them today, they remind me of that Donald Duck short, "Fun Time for a Dime." Say it with me: "This is NOT a credit!" Of course I had to play this one, Pat Sajak being a Maryland native and whatnot. Regardless, I sucked. The coolest thing about Marty's is that they still mix a lot of old games in with the state-of-the-art stuff. And the machines still work! I made my way to Marty's Playland, the largest arcade in Ocean City. Ever since I can remember, Marty's had two huge rows of pinball machines, which made it my favorite arcade ever. This year, however, they downgraded to one row, apparently in an effort to squeeze in more mindless ticket-dispensing "skill" games. This shark also can't think. Because it's been dead for 25 years. But when it could think, its last thought was probably, "Oh crap, I'm bleeding." It's the largest shark ever caught in Maryland. If this shark could think, it would wish it was as cool as Shark Tums. But it can't think. Because it's not real. This was bizarre. The prizes at one of the boardwalk games were life-sized Wizard of Oz plush. Because a stuffed Tin Man is something no home is complete without. OK, here's where I make a confession. I wanted to be like Big Mike and provide some bikini photos in this TR. But unlike Big Mike, I just didn't feel "right" about taking pictures of half-naked total strangers to post on the Internet without their knowledge. So here's the compromise: This is a crowd shot of the beach. The individuals in this photo are dressed in beach attire. If you feel like saving it, blowing it up, cropping it, etc., to find what you're looking for, that's on you. Otherwise, it's just a nice picture of the beach. Ocean City had its flags flying, as well. With the day off on Monday, I decided to pay a visit to Ocean City. with temperatures in the mid-70s and clear skies, it was one of those days that makes me glad I live 30 minutes from the beach!
  17. Yes! You know, I was sitting at a stop light at lunchtime today trying to remember what those things were called. How odd that they would pop up in a random TR less than 12 hours later. We had them in gym class, but I could never figure out how to work them correctly. I remember they used to advertise them incessantly on Saturday morning TV.
  18. Man, if the Behemoth/Flyer trip is one-tenth as fun as that video makes Indiana Beach look, I'm in for the summer of a lifetime!
  19. Oh no, nothing like that. Think the other 20 percent....
  20. After nearly 30 years, I think I've finally figured out all there is to know about women: 80 percent of them are psycho. The other 20 percent just want to be friends. Jason "Guess How My Date Ended Last Night" Rhodes
  21. Yeah, the aquarium can be a little pricey. We got our tickets through AAA and paid $19.95 each, but that was without the dolphin show or 4-D theater. With those add-ons and minus our AAA discount, the tickets would have been $29 per person. I miss the good ol' days when, as a student in that area, I could flash my college ID and get in for $5.
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