“I can enjoy a vacation as well as the next person, as long as I know it’s a vacation and not a premature retirement.”~ Mary Crosby 

I just returned from vacation. Happy and sad, all at the same time. But I am glad that I went.

My brother from Germany came over to the  United States with his family. Along with my sister and her family, with a grand total of four adults and three children under the age of seven, we went to Piney Shores Resort for one week.

So then let me say this to get it off my chest: NON-ACCESSIBLE PLACES SUCK!!!

There, I feel better.

But I got to see my brother and his family. In the past five years, I’ve only seen him three times. So when I heard that he was coming here to be with my sister, I jumped in on this vacation. It actually worked out for everyone that I tagged along.

With many resorts like these, my siblings and I would spend a lot of time in their activity center. It was the central location for many of their “amenities”. A grill concession stand, an arcade for the little ones, and of course the standard availability of indoor/outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, boating, fishing, miniature golf and archery.

I thought that I had found myself a really nice piece of eye candy from a redheaded girl who was working in concessions. My eyes would gaze over and over and over again on her employee name tag to at least see who she was. And just to have an excuse to go and begin a conversation with her, I kept ordering nachos and Dr Pepper. And when I would respond to her, I would intentionally call her pet names such as “sweetheart” and “honey”. Talk about going over like a wet fart!

It just goes to show you that I don’t need to be stuffing dollar bills in the thong of a stripper to be losing money to a woman that honestly has no interest in me. And of course this way, its a lot more expensive.

But the eye candy would eventually grow sour and stale. And at the last time that I had seen her, I had given up and believed that she probably wasn’t even 21 years old and was there working as a summer job. After all, it was the beginning of June. School is out.

With having small children, the arcade was something of a paradise to them. My nephew went crazy, wanting to play everything. But these machines took tokens, instead of currency coins. So of course, he had to rely on the adults to give him tokens. And I don’t recall how many times that strange kids came up to me begging for tokens.

Kids will be kids. But at least my nephew was having fun.

He and I would end up doing battle on the air hockey table several times. That first time, I took the victory. However, my nephew would end up scoring on himself twice. But then again, I scored on myself twice as well. He would get frustrated that I would be leading by at least two goals and then he would just slap that puck around as it bounced all over the table until the right angle was achieved and he would score.

He and I had many bouts on that table. Until I told him NOT to use his hands to move the puck because it was cheating. When he didn’t listen, then that’s when I decided that I would stop playing. Many games were decided by not a very large margin of victory. But the more we played, the better my nephew got.

Right next to the air hockey table, was a game called TERMINATOR: SALVATION. A one person shooter game, complete with gun that you controlled by pulling a trigger. It came with that vibration when you would fire the gun. This game was a 4 token game to play.  One token = one quarter, so then…. a dollar to play.

I tried it for myself and the game would only go so far until it would just stop in the middle of everything and then begin a  15 second countdown for you to “Continue”, aka put more tokens into the game to play more.

I didn’t bother with it at first. And it was probably a good thing that I did, because the rest of the day I felt that vibration going all the way up and down my arm. I had this ever present sense that I was still holding that stupid gun and firing it.

But I would come back a few days later and attempt to conquer this beast.

I ended up with $5 worth of tokens and prepared for war.

In the middle of it all, this kid came up to me asking if I had tokens. I told him that the only tokens I had was in front of me and I had nothing to spare to give him. The thing about it was that I was in the middle of playing this game and I was beginning to get slaughtered due to the distraction.

My accuracy went from 46% down to 27% by the time I was finished.

And as I continued to play this game, these kids were SMART! They knew that I had to have both hands on the gun to control it and they kept coming over to me and then walking away. I have NO CLUE what came over me to think that they were giving me tokens. But no, instead they were stealing them from me.

Where the hell are the parents???

I can’t go and beat up a kid because he stole a token or two from me, you know?

So with it costing 4 tokens to continue, by the time I got to the fifth stage of that, I only had two tokens left and was two tokens short. Those bastards robbed me and I never was paying close attention. By the time I backed away from the game, I was the only one in the arcade. They were GONE!

And with that, I was practically finished with the whole arcade scene. I had no interest at all in playing any games for the rest of the time that we were there and I would grumble whenever I would see a token laying on the table, being reminded about how STUPID I was to think that I was actually receiving tokens rather than being robbed of them.

The girl behind the grill counter wasn’t as “pleasing to the eye” any more, and there was nothing much more for me to do as the rest of the family went and did other activities that I was not able to participate in.

The final day that we were there, we would go out to eat for breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel. But since I came along with my sister, I would go back to the resort to the activity center to allow the kids to play in the arcade with me while my sister checked messages online.

My nephew kept talking about how he wanted to play the “killer robot with red eyes” game WITH me. But I was unsure about it until I asked my sister if it was okay. She said that it was fine.

But I made him wait. The nephew and I would go to war one last time on that air hockey table and I took a quick 3-0 lead on him. He got frustrated and just swatted the puck and before I could blink it went in and HE scored.

Nice!!

So then the final score of the final battle was 7-3, and he never scored on himself. Neither did he use his hands to cheat. He felt better because he had been skunked 7-0 a couple of days prior.

Then we played TERMINATOR: SALVATION. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He knew exactly what to do, and he was doing it well. I looked up at the top of the screen and saw that he had 61 kills… compared to my 24.

How does that happen?

But he ran out of time for the first stage and I was the only one left playing. Again, he had 15 seconds to start pumping in tokens, but the more he slapped buttons and pulled the trigger, the faster the timer would go until it reached zero.

Then we moved on to another game where you had control of a gun. You shot at the bad guys on the screen and then to reload your weapon, you pulled the trigger while pointing the gun away from the screen. I’ve always had problems with that game in the past. But with my 7 year old nephew on my side. We turned everyone into Swiss cheese.

But you would have to be careful because not every person that would suddenly show up on the screen was a “bad guy” it was either a hostage or an innocent bystander. And of course they always had a person that was “close up” to the screen that you had to get rid of, otherwise the game would be over. But me and my trusty nephew would fill those people full of virtual lead.

And of course, I would get caught up in the moment for shooting a bad guy at least five times in a row and receiving “bonuses” for hit streaks. And because they had thrown in people that you were suppose to avoid, I ended up killing a construction worker and a sexy school girl. Oops!!

I wasn’t able to keep an eye on what my nephew was doing. He would end up dying in the game and then another countdown for him to put two more tokens in to play some more. But he kept pulling the trigger and before I knew it and he before he kept calling for me to give him more tokens, he only had 4 seconds left. There was not enough time to reach into my pocket and give him two tokens.  I had to let his game expire and carry on without him. But it wasn’t long enough before I made a head shot on the construction worker which ended my game, and I wasn’t going to play without him so I let the timer go out on me.

And then it was off to leave Piney Shores Resort for the last time. The three of us siblings would end up going in their own separate directions. My younger brother and his family would travel to go visit my parents, I would be dropped off in Houston because I was wanting to see SIX MINUTE CENTURY, and then after my sister dropped me off in Houston, she returned home.

Outside of all that activity center and arcade stuff, we mainly stayed indoors because of the weather being so hot and humid. We watched a lot of programs such as Storage War$ and Tosh.O and the like. And then I did go with my younger brother and his family to the Houston Zoo, on probably the worst days ever, weather wise. And then after that, to the Hard Rock Cafe. I just know that I am going to have to go back to the Houston Zoo because I was not able to see everything.

And unfortunately, I had heard about a woman who attempted suicide by taking prescription anti-depression pills and meth. This had happened prior to going out of town, and I inquired about it while gone. Only to find out that she had attempted suicide on the 29th of May, and had died on the 2nd of June. The second day of my vacation. I spoke of her in a previous blog post about narcissistic behavior a few months ago. I had walked away from her. But I was awfully saddened to hear that she had done something like that and eventually died. Her sunset vigil is today and I am unable to make it there.

But I will share this small story with you before I end this blog post.

The first official “morning” that we were there, I was outside on the patio when I saw a butterfly floating through the air. Now, I don’t know what in the world came over me but I started to yell out “PAPILLION! PAPILLION! PAPILLION!”… which is French for “butterfly”.

Why scream about a butterfly, and why scream about it in French- I have no clue. But it scared the crap out of everyone and they all came running outside to see what was going on.

The fact that my sister-in-law is German, I ended up speaking in four different languages, including sign language that entire week. A lot of it English and German. But I still am scratching my head on how in the world the French poured out of me because nobody in my family speaks French.

Yeah, major dork moment there.

 

 

 


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