To give you, my dear readers, something entertaining and different, as well as show Mark Halburn how it’s done, I am introducing Tyler’s Travels. Each time I travel for my consulting job, I am going to try and take a few snapshots and tell ya about the job I did and the town I was in. A real Travel Feature sort of idea.
Now, I was going to kick things off at the end of this week with a look at Holyoke, Massachusetts, where I am currently (06/09) but I have been working on something that was dropped on my desk Monday that is MUCH better to kick this series off with. Our first Tyler’s Travel features…
Recently I was given a small diary of sorts of a close friend that does a lot of traveling. This past Memorial Day week-end he took his family to Virginia Beach to get away for a few days. When he got back, he looked a little stressed out. Like he needed that proverbial vacation from his vacation. When I asked why he looked so worn out, he plopped this little diary of his vacation’s on my desk. All he said was;
“What ever happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas and in that little book. Otherwise, knock yourself out.”
He spun on a heel and departed without another word. Needless to say I leafed through the diary and instantly went to the Las Vegas vacation pages. Wow! I thought I got into enough trouble when I traveled! Still, true to my word, I can’t say anything about Scott’s Vegas trip. Not that I won’t press for details and permission for next time. Or, at least permission to go with him next time.
Now, knowing I could “knock myself out” with the rest, I leafed through some more. Problem was, there was only one other trip posted in those diary pages.
“Virginia Beach?” I mumbled to myself. I had been there several times and even with the late nights I spent there, it wasn’t anything to write home about, or much less in a diary.
“Virginia Beach? What could happen with family at Virginia Beach?” I posed silently.
Then I stumbled across it.
“Oh. My. God.” I thought to myself; “Poor Scott.”
Instead of trying to describe it, I’ll let Scott’s Travel Diary speak for itself. Trust me, it’ll be interesting reading.
VIRGINA BEACH GETAWAY
May 27th, 2010
The alarm went off at it’s usual time this morning. If it wasn’t for this economy I’d a killed that alarm clock with a swift downward arc of my work boot, letting the heel do the explosive damage, but even at $10.99 at the local Rite Aid, a new alarm clock is just an unnecessary expense.
After fisting the top of the alarm clock twice I sat up and rubbed my face. Once I was half awake I realized that this was no ordinary day. I had the day off. Scratch that…I had the next 5 days off! I quickly got out of bed, threw open the curtains of the bedroom windows and let the sunshine roll in. A groan from the bed clued me to the fact that Tammy wasn’t even out of bed yet. Her body was warm, the bed was warm, the kid was still asleep. Hell yeah, baby. Daddy’s gonna score with his morning Louisville Slugger. If Tyler were here, he’d play a bell.
And I shall, just for Scott. ::DING!::
Three hours later the car was packed, Tammy was sitting in the front seat, ignoring her cross word puzzle book and texting her sister. My daughter, Tara, was in the back seat, stretched out and texting her BFF Jody every 30 seconds. Thank God for unlimited texting or I’d have to eliminate one from the herd. However, it was a wonderful Thursday morning and it was the start of my vacation, so I let them settle in for the 12 hour ride to Virginia Beach!
Three pee stops, a lunch break and a dinner pit stop at a Shoney’s later and we pulled into the Founders Inn & Spa looking bleary eyed, car weary but none the worse for wear. The excitement of a Virginia Beach vacation was still flowing through the veins. We checked in, got to our room and then wandered about the place to check things out before bed. Tammy was tired and headed back to the room while Tara and I made a once through around the resort and spa. Tara clicked off the things she was going to do on Saturday (it was supposed to rain) besides the shopping she and Tammy would do. The pool was high on her list, as was the nail treatments. Tammy had already gotten herself set up with a hot stone spa treatment for that day and me? Well, I planned on finding a sports bar so I could watch some ballgames most of the afternoon.
Back in the room and with Saturday already planned, we realized we would have to make a plan for Friday. That was definitely going to be beach day. We planned a day of it there, a nature walk and then dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I made reservations for a little later in the evening. I’d love another swing of the Louisville Slugger but Tara is sharing our room and Tammy’s nowhere near quiet. So, it’s off to sleep and to hoping for some stolen moments in the shower in the morning.
May 28th, 2010
I’m awakened by the constant stabbing and incessant chiming of someone hitting keys on a cell phone.
“For God sake, Tara, we are on vacation! Can’t you shut that thing off for two minutes?”
I hadn’t even open my eyes yet but it was my wife that answered me.
“Tara’s already down at the pool, honey.” Tammy smacked my ass and continued. “Now get up and take a shower. I’m hungry and they have a continental breakfast.”
Needless to say I was famished as well. I rolled over and saw Tammy typing away and squinted.
“Seriously. I have no idea who is worse. You or Wonder Fingers down at the pool.” I laughed and threw the sheets off, wandering to the bathroom. Tammy wriggled from the bed and tossed the phone on the bed before following me in.
“I’ll show ya some Wonder Fingers, baby.” Tammy offered with a wide smile.
Oh yeah, two for two and it’s only Friday.
Beach was a hit! Lots of sun and plenty of honey’s in bikini’s. Tara sunned, dipped, rinsed and repeated all day, that phone stuck to her like the sand that is now in the crack of my ass. I love the beach, I really do and I love the activities that go with it, like the impromptu volleyball game I got asked to play in. Problem is, that sand is just everywhere! I’m going to have to shower twice before dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.
Oh, one minor issue. Tara was at the pool after we got back from the beach and she said she felt a little awkward while she lay in one of the chairs. Seems a portly gentlemen was there taking pictures of the kids in the pool. I reassured her he was probably taking pictures of his kids or something, you know, on vacation like us. She was certain that he had only one kid, who was yelling, screaming and causing a ruckus, but this guy didn’t seem to care. I was a bit concerned when Tara said she left because she felt he had taken a picture of her. I’m sure it’s because she isn’t in her element and was by herself.
Well, as much as I would like to say that dinner was perfecto (and don’t get me wrong, the food was fantastic) it wasn’t quite ‘perfecto.’ We were seated next to this family that was just unrulely! The little kid was just a snot. He didn’t want anything to eat on the menu and kept asking why he couldn’t have some KFC.
The kid is on vacation and he wants KFC. Apparently his dad feeds it to him all the time. Oh, and the dad. Jesus H Christ on a popsicle stick. This fat fuck was a complete imbecile. He complained about everything, berated his son and wife several times right at the table, went on and on and on about this Walmart he had stopped at that was soooo much better than the one at home. He even ate every scrap of food on his plate and then had the audacity to complain to the waitress that it “wasn’t to his liking”. He tried to bully the poor girl but she already seemed to have written off any tip she might be getting (quite frankly, the only thing this guy tips is the weight scales at a truck stop) and she quipped;
“By the looks, everything is to your liking.”
I guffawed at that one! She, of course, was pointing to his plate but obviously she meant his bulbous belly. And dude, buy a golf shirt that fits, would ya!
Anyway, fat boy ended up asking for the manager, he yelled and complained, got a free dinner, the waitress was yelled at by Mark and then admonished by the manager. Tammy and I felt so bad that we left her the tip she deserved for both us and Fatty Fat’s family.
I wanted to stab him in the lip with my fork by the time he got done slobbering over whatever he had to eat…as well as whatever his wife and kid ordered. He cleaned off everything they didn’t eat! It was disgusting. The wife was just blank wall by the end of the night, though she wasn’t much better. She chewed with her mouth open and was so apathetic to what this guy was complaining about, that she was just letting him go on and on. I wanted to get up and smack the life back into her but I think it would have been a lost cause.
To make matter worse, on our way back to the room Tara told me that fat boy was the guy taking pictures of her at the pool! I reassured her again that he was taking pictures of his little shit stain but now I was concerned. I just wanted her to relax.
You have got to be kidding me. Tara and I went to the pool while Tammy stayed in the room and did her crosswords. When I got back to the room she told me that fat boy and his family…were in the room next door! Oh for the love of God! How does this happen to me? You could hear him bitching about Walmart, his mayor and the town he lived in and it was just nerve grating. Where was that damn fork. I’m going to do it. Good thing he eventually went to get some soda and ice. Tara came back looking white and peaked a few minutes after I left her. Seems tubby had walked by the pool entrance seven times, looking in each time in the span of 2 minutes. Tara got out of dodge and is now in the bathroom showering. She says his look when he was peeking in at her made her feel dirty. I left the door cracked to see if I could catch the guy coming back to his room but eventually all was quiet and I never saw him. Little fucker. I think a good nights sleep and a refreshing morning dip in the pool will be just the thing I need to shake the ending of day 2 off. I hope.
May 29th, 2010
I fluttered my eyes open to see Tammy sittin on the bed watching TV. Tara was in a chair dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. Once I got my bearings I asked why she wasn’t going to the pool.
“Pedophile Pete is probably already down there. They got an early start.” Tara mumbled, before burying her nose in her cell phone text conversation with Jody. I sighed. I’m going to speak to that guy if I ever get the chance. I padded to the bathroom and threw on my shorts.
“Tara, honey? I’ll go with you if you want to swim.” I posed the question and there was a long hesitation.
“Nah, I’m changing plans and going with mom to shop and then the spa later.” She answered.
I mumbled an “ok”, tugged on my shorts, kissed my girls on the head and made a dash for the pool. I’d get in a swim, refresh and then shower. Then I’d get the gals started on their shopping trip then find me a sports bar to spend the afternoon in. It was already looking a little grey so I knew we had planned correctly.
I think I have rubbed the skin off my face. Seriously. It’s a habit when I am irritated. I rub my face in frustration and let me tell ya, the last 45 minutes have been pure hell! I get to the pool and there is fat boy in the pool with his kid. The kid is a screaming menace! He doesn’t like the water, let alone this pool full of it, but there is this guy, flinging his kid up and down thinking his kid is enjoying it. He’s clueless. I decided this was my chance to speak to the asshole but as I made my way to the pool a group of kids came in with 4 adults. There was like 12 or 15 of them! All between the ages of 7 and 11. I was distracted for only a few seconds but when I turned back, there was fat boy creating a wake to get out of the pool. He was as giddy as a wall flower being asked to dance for the first time! He was slobbering something to his kid about getting his camera as he literally dragged the poor menace in training behind him.
At this point, I figured I’d wait, hang around to see if this guy really was snapping pics of little kids and then confront him, not just speak to him. But after 20 minutes I realized he wasn’t coming back. A Krispee Kreame must be giving away donuts or something and the smell of a freshly baked donut is like shark bait to a guy like that. At any rate, I got a swim in, relaxed and then was pretty much forced out by 15 splashing kids. They were having fun and I had my swim, so I let them have the pool.
When I got back to my room, I got my answer on where this fat boy was. There he was, dragging along beach towels, inflatable’s and his kid as his wife begrudgingly led the way.
“Hurry up Mark. You are the one that planned beach day on the only day it’s going to rain. I want to get some time in, in the sun.” Her defeated voice rang through the hallway. I stayed, watching, mouth open, like an onlooker at a beached whale rescue. Amazed at what nature can produce visually.
“Oh, bah. It’s not going to rain, Dolores. And it will only take me a few minutes to snap some pictures at the pool for my travel feature.” Fat boy stammered on, his camera flinging back and forth as it hung off his neck.
“No, you can do that later! Can we at least try and enjoy this vacation and not turn it into some working travel feature for your stupid blog?!” She piped up
“It’s not a blog, damnit!” Defeated, Mark let the door close behind him as they headed to the beach. I stood there a moment, perplexed.
“What. The hell. Was that?” I asked myself as I slide my key card to open the door.
Holy crap, did it rain! I mean, we are talking storm, wind, hail, the whole nine years. I spent the day quaffing brews at Smoky Bones BBQ just a short drive away. I met up with the ladies of my life at 4:30 to see how their day went and to plan dinner. Seems Tammy went to the buffet in the morning and there wasn’t much left. She made mention of the fact that a place such as this should have enough buffet food for everyone if they were going to advertise how good it was. When told there should be more than enough to cover even the heartiest of eaters, my wife had to differ. I guess the shock on the Inn’s manager was classic. He had never seen such devastation of his continental breakfast. According to eye witnesses some heavy set man tore through free breakfast in the morning like the rain storm did in the afternoon. To say the least, the manager promised it would not happen again.
“I’ll post guards if I have to!” He said.
My wife and child were stuck with half a bagel and a pad of butter, between the two of them. I knew exactly who they were talking about. I was bound and determined to give this guy a piece of my mind for causing so much anguish in just 12 hours! Speaking of the dick bag, I heard him in the hallway when they got back to the room. Seems he got caught in the middle of the rainstorm when they got to the beach…a mere 15 minutes after he paid 15 bucks for parking! Ha! Some people never do their homework. We went yesterday and never paid a dime to park. A little walking doesn’t hurt. Well, in my case. This guy? He could have used it.
Speaking of the rain and the crazy hotel neighbor, when I ran out to the car to grab my wallet, I stumbled across this and had to take a picture.
Really, fat boy? You have nothing better to do than to parade your naked white ass and man tits around in a clear rain coat? I was so sick to my stomach I had to take this picture so others could feel my pain. What the hell is that?! A cloak on invisibility with dead batteries?
Anyway, we are off to the aquarium. My daughter is all excited to see dolphins and the orca they have there. Gonna grab hot dogs at a shack somewhere on the beach, now that it is clearing off.
Well, not a bad evening if I do say so myself. My daughter loved the aquarium despite the fact she could not see the orca perform. Seems an incident earlier in the day involving a screaming child and his obese father has depressed the whale and it’s just floating there in the whale pool. After the incident a few months ago, no trainer wants to take a chance being in the pool with it. I had to wonder if it was Mark Fatman that had been involved. Nah, no possible way. Tara did enjoy the dolphins, as did I. After grabbing dogs and soda’s on the beach, we made our way back to Founders and I talked Tara into going for a swim in the pool. Maybe we could have a few minutes to bond while Tammy did her hot stone massage.
I could not believe that this Mark guy was back in the pool with his screaming kid again! Does this guy let anyone else use the pool? By the looks, he had driven everyone else away. Tara took one look at the fat slob in the pool and stopped cold. I looked around and didn’t see his camera, I told Tara to relax. We got in the deep end and kept to ourselves as fat boy played in the water. He then started telling his kid, who was now sitting on the cement edge, shivering.
“How about that Walmart, kiddo? Looks like they know how to treat their neighbors.” He said, quite off hand.
Are you serious? The kid is like 5! He has no clue about any of that and here is this guy, talking to the kid like he knows all about it. I mean really, don’t you have something better to talk to your kid about?! I just want to face palm this guy because he won’t shut up about Walmart. It’s f’ing Walmart! Shut! Up!
Fat boy and his kid eventually left to see if anyone left some stray Oreo cookies on the roof of their car, or some shit like that. I didn’t care. I was able to swim for 40 minutes with my daughter in peace. As nervous as she was around him, she was just as opposite when he left. She even took a few cracks at his, well, er, crack, that was evident when he was launching himself from the pool.
“He should get swim shirts that fit.” Tara laughed.
“There’s no Big & Tall store big enough for that guy.” I added.
A little bit later we met up with Tammy. We had all decided on watching a late showing of Robin Hood. So we all got showered, changed and headed to the cinema. We could hear Mark in his room complaining about the cost of a package of cookies from the vending machine. In the car, Tammy made mention that Mark’s wife, or whoever that poor woman was, complained the entire time during the hot stone massage that the stones were…yeah, you guessed it. Too hot. No one in that family can be pleased.
The day ended on a good note. The movie was fun, we all had a good time and it was quiet when we got back. Tara is off talking to her boyfriend on the cell phone and won’t be back for at least 40 minutes. Just enough time to see if Tammy has energy to rub the ole Louisville Slugger.
May 30th, 2010
I really hope my day goes better than how it started. The fat guy next to us must have sleep apnea or something. That bastard snored all night long and at one point, I felt like it literally shook the walls. I mean it was so bad I had to check to make sure. I finally banged on the wall and screamed for some peace and quiet! Jesus Christ he should use a machine, either to help him sleep or put him our of his misery.
Oh, went to breakfast this morning and got some good chow, despite the fact that fat boy was raising a stink about being asked to take only what he can eat. Have you looked at this guy? He can eat whatever is put out! Anyway, the armed guards the manager promised the day before escorted him out and we all a peaceful breakfast.
Wow! Day has gone great. While Tammy and Tara got ready for the day, I took a drive up to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few items. I got the LAST two bottles of Cherry Cider! Score! They said they probably won’t have any more of that for a week, so I grabbed both. My wife loves the stuff.
We decided to the boardwalk and it was awesome. Tammy and Tara shopped for the souvenirs’ today and did a pretty good job. I love to people watch too and this was a perfect place. While they shopped, I found a place to sit and have a couple of brews and people watch. My oh my the ladies in bikini’s was just breath taking. Lunch was a pizza split with the three of us and it was very good. Right now we are all getting fancied up and headed to a cruise dinner on Virginia’s Jewel Charters Cruises! I heard about this idea from an older gentlemen and his wife at breakfast and it seems like a great idea!
Well, our time here is almost over. We had a great dinner on the cruise, better than Walt (the older gentlemen) had even described. Food was amazing. The sunset was even more amazing. Definitely a must do on any vacation at Virginia Beach. Oh, funny thing when we got back. While we were coming down the hallway, old fat boy was coming at us from the other direction, dripping wet. He was at the pool again! Good Christ!
I was going to finally have my chance to speak with him but he was on his cell phone complaining to someone about Trader Joe’s not having Cherry cider!
Now that was the best thing I heard all week. Twenty minutes later I ran into him (my life flashed before my eyes) in the hallways as I headed to the vending machine. He has his head buried in his cell phone, texting! Doesn’t anyone communicate face to face anymore? He was mumbling something about Mayor Edwards and Walmart again. What the hell? Is this all he does? I’m afraid it is by the sounds. The guy must have no life. I finally spoke up, on a whim.
“Hey douchebag. If everyone else is wrong and you are the only one right, who’s really wrong and who’s really right?” I shot him my best smile and padded off down the hallway, proud that I kept my calm and just got in a good poke. I’m heading to bed soon as it will be a long drive tomorrow!
May 31st, 2010
Well, I am tired. We had everything packed up so we could get an early start on the trip home last night, so I had packed away the Acer. But I could not end this travel feature without a check out story! Of course, it deals with this wretched fat boy soul by the name of Mark. As Tammy and Tara went to pack up the car, I went to check out and say thank you to the staff for an excellent week. Low and behold when I get to the front desk there is a huge line of people. There is fat boy, complaining to the manager! He doesn’t want to pay his bill because the week was “so horrible”. Here is a laundry list of this guys complaints, all so he could gegt out of this weeks bill he rang up;
The room was too cold.
The room was too hot.
It rained on Friday.
He didn’t like the breakfast buffet.
His kid hated the pool.
Dinner’s were not cooked to his liking.
Waitress was inexperienced.
The Aquarium charged too much.
The shower in he room wasn’t strong enough.
The stones for his wife’s massage were too hot.
The Oreo’s in the vending machine were too expensive.
The other guests were rude (that’s my fault!)
The list went on and on. Finally, the police were called and Mark was escorted out of the building and held in custody until the bill was paid. Mark complained abo9ut police brutality and said he was going to sue everyone within shouting distance for 10 million dollars. No! I am not making this up. He actually said that!
Long story short, I finally was able to get through the long check out line created by the human rain delay and when I walked out to the car, I ran into Mark trying to make some money to pay for his hotel bill. Warning, it isn’t pretty.
So there ya have it, diary. My week at Virginia Beach!