Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend in Review

I took the weekend off from blogging, as you may have noticed. In part because it was Mother's Day weekend, in part because I needed another break, in part because I was sick from the smoke in the area and chemical fumes at a skating rink.

This post is making up for lost time. It's long. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. You may want to go pee before you start reading, too. The next rest stop is a few hundred words away, and I'm not pulling over. And no, you can't use the empty Big Gulp cup. That's just gross.

Buckled in? Good. Here we go.

One of the nice things that came about this weekend (aside from my best friend, Tek, getting out of the hospital!) was the arrival of my Busch Gardens Fun Cards!

Busch Gardens, Tampa - SheiKraBasically, you purchase a single-day admission and get a card which allows you to go back all year for free!

It wasn't cheap. A single day admission is $61.95, plus tax. For the four of us it totalled $270.11. Steep, when funds are limited.

But, since we live in Tampa, and can be at Busch Gardens at any time, any day, for the next year, within 15 minutes of leaving the house, it was a deal we couldn't pass up.

We get bored, have nothing to do, pop on down to the theme park, and ride a few rides, or watch one of the many shows. The kid's summer camp (another hefty expense) also makes a trip to Busch Gardens, and we won't have to pay extra since they can take their Fun Cards. Their schools, too, sometimes have trips out there, and with the Fun Cards, we'll only have to pay for the bus ride for them.

In the end, we'll save money. Okay, we'll break even with the normal costs we would have paid, but we'll be visiting more often.

Matter of fact, depending on the smoke situation, my youngest's birthday is Sunday and we will be breaking in the Fun Cards on a trip out to Busch Gardens for the day. Or as much of the day as my Mother can handle. (She's disabled, plus heat and humidity wipe her out. We'll be renting a go-buggy for her, though ... $35! Yipes!)

It'll be fun, and I'll try to take some digital shots to post.

The other great thing this weekend was Mother's Day. The kids and I got my mom three round puzzles. She loves doing puzzles and shaped ones, especially round ones, are her favorite.

I got them through Amazon, and they came last week, so we gave them to her early. Technically she had them finished before yesterday, but she loved them anyhow.

I also ordered her the Roots DVD set coming out May 22nd. She's been wanting this movie for a long time. It's one of her favorites. And, she'll likely watch it all in one sitting some lazy weekend. She does that with The Thornbirds, too.

Let's Go Outback TonightWe also went to Outback Steakhouse for lunch. (We call it dinner, because we eat the big meal in the middle of the day on weekends). Other than it being very hot and stuffy inside, the meal was fantastic! And not a little expensive, too.

Most restaurants (and grocery stores) try to keep the temperature cool. Cool, or cold, air triggers a subconscious need to eat, or supply yourself with, more food. Thus when a store or restaurant is nice and chilly, you may buy more groceries, or order more food. Like those impulse purchases at the checkout, or those high-calorie, over-priced desserts. (Mmmmm ... Chocolate Thunder Down Under. Of course, after I eat that, I experience the namesake later. ~.^)

Anyhow, I think they left it warm inside so that people who were coming would eat faster, and get out, thus freeing tables for more customers. Volume of total customers over quantity per seems to have been the goal. Because any other time I've been in there, it was nice and cool.

Psychological warfare by the restaurant. I feel so used.

The third fun thing this weekend happened later on Mother's Day.

Forget the 2004 Version, THIS Is the One You WantWe had mini-pizzas for dinner (supper) and watched one of the best movies ever, and one of my favorites ... the original Flight of the Phoenix.

I'm a sucker for three types of movies: superhero, zombie, and survival. Zombie and survival movies often are the same thing, but you know what I mean.

I got "Phoenix" a week or so ago from the Cube-O'-DVDs at Wal-Mart. You've seen it. The huge 5'x5'x5' black cube near the electronics department. Filled with low-priced DVDs on all the vertical sides, likely covered in boxes of candy as if a movie theater concession threw up on top of it. I love the Cube-o'-DVDs because lots of movies I like end up in there for around $5 each.

Anyhow, don't waste your time on the 2004 remake of this movie, even if it does have Dennis Quaid in it. (Actually, it is a fun movie, too, but the original is vastly superior).

I mean, how can you go wrong with James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy, and Peter Finch? Drop them in a plane wreck in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you struck gold. Or, oil might be more appropriate.

I love the tension and drama in this film. The acting is great. You feel as if the desert is leaching your sanity away right along with the characters'. And, I love how you can visibly see them weaken, their skin dry and crack, their clothes weather as the long, hot days and freezing nights slowly roll by taking their devastating toll on the survivors.

It was the first time my kids had seen either version, and they liked it. Nothing blew up. No sexual innuendo involved. Very little cursing, and that was the 1965 kind of movie cursing. You get worse on Family-style comedy shows now-a-days. there are a few semi-graphic scenes ... blood dripping into a pool after one guy commits suicide, the slit throats of two characters after a failed attempt to deal with Arab raiders ... but even then you only see the aftermath, not the act.

All in all, a nice way to spend the day with the family.

Yet, I still found time to level my Shaman, Roflmoo, four levels in WoW! heh

Okay, here's the rest stop. You can get out, stretch your legs, take care of business, whatever.

Oh, and you're emptying that Big Gulp cup. I warned you.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 134 days is:


1 comment:

John said...

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is always great pleasure to read your posts.