Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I love my weekends

So I just realized that I have not been keeping you apprised of my weekends. And they have been super fun. So let's get it started with my last two weekends in August. Which were awesome.

Saturday, August 22 - So the day after Krusty's, we went to breakfast. At breakfast we were lamenting that we would have to wait a full year until we got to go to Krusty's again. Then it came up that we could probably recreate the event in Diane and Drew's backyard. Thus, Krusty's Redo was born. In retrospect, we probably should have called it Honorary Krusty's or Krusty's Part 2 because Krusty's Redo implies something was wrong the first time which required it to be redone. That was obviously not the case as Krusty's is the greatest day ever. In all of history. Anyway, we had a big cookout, invited all our friends and drank all day long. Steph had cups made (!) that said "Summer's the season for brew so it's Krusty's re-do!" I was obviously in charge of bringing the girly drinks since I am the core audience for those. However, I caught many people partaking of the girly Mike's Hard Lemonade drinks, and I just want to say: Quit pretending they aren't completely delicious, everyone! Because they are. Steph also made us all wear wristbands. It was how we "registered" (you have to wear a wristband at real Krusty's). In fact one of my favorite things of the whole day was when Steph would see someone without a wristband and take their drink away until they put one on.

I got to the party about an hour late (at 1:30pm). My sister was already drunk. I followed suit soon after, and that is how it went all day long. For everyone. We had a big beer pong tournament which turned everyone into a giant ahole. So much so that Paul, who had left with his 11 year old son earlier in the day to go to a Browns game, came back later in the day, saw what state we were in and immediately took his son home. Probably a good idea. Good parenting, Paul!

One thing that was different than Krusty's is that it rained all day long. We all surmised that we probably pissed off the Krusty's gods by trying to recreate the event. But hey, Krusty's gods, we did manage to make a little money to donate to the Malachi House. You have to forgive us now, right?

One thing that was the same as Krusty's is that we went to the bar afterward. Like we really needed to. While at the bar, not only did I have a stimulating conversation with my friends Mike and Fats about infomercials, but then Diane and I put money in the jukebox to pick out some songs. We had 1 pick left and obviously went with "The Chipmunks Christmas Song". As soon as we picked it, we walked over to Woody and Matt,and Diane said, "Yeah...we should probably head out now."

All in all, nothing beats original Krusty's (first weekend in August 2010-mark your calendars now!), but our homage to Krusty's was pretty damn fun. Oh and a sidenote: Steph held two babies and cooked food at Krusty's Redo. For those of you that know her, this is a big deal. Babies freak her out, and as for cooking...well let's just say that last year for Girls' Christmas she brought Chicken McNuggets. I think you see where I'm going here. And it's that any mention of Krusty's brings out the best in people.

Saturday, August 29 - Most of our friends were going to a wedding so Steph and I were the ones left without plans. We both decided we hadn't done a Choose Your Own Adventure Cleveland Day in a while so Steph came up with CYOA Cleveland Day: Recession Edition. All of the activities would be ones that were cheap or free-but still fun-so that our total expenditure for the day would not exceed $40 a person. See how Steph is sensitive to the economic crisis even in her event planning?

The adventure started at 3pm and went in 2 hour intervals. Here were our choices for the 3-5 timeframe (verbatim from Steph's agenda that she typed out):

1. Dragonboat festival – As Styx says, Come sail away, come sail away. Come sail away with me. I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise…Instead I found out about an awesome dragonboat festival. No lie! Free

2. Come on, Ride the Train…and ride it…Choo-Choo…Peninsula Depot leaves the station at 3pm. Want to climb aboard and ride the Cuyahoga Valley train. $15.

3. Come on Get happy! The flying Fig can make this happen with their Saturday $5 Happy Hour special. We’ll also cruise the West Side Market.

Well I have wanted to go on the Cuyahoga Valley train for some time. I've never been on a real train ride before, and I thought it would be a super cool 45 minutes to an hour ride. Steph agreed because in her mind we were going out during the Great Depression, and she pictured us carrying knapsacks and "riding the rails" for free by hopping into a passing freight car like they did back in the day. Steph has an active imagination. So we got to the train station, and we bought our tickets. We said, "We would like 2 tickets for the 3:40pm train." The lady said, "Okay that's $30. It leaves at 4:05." Already I was like why the hell do they call it the 3:40 train if it doesn't leave till 4:05? The lady clearly sensed my confusion and said, "The train arrives here at 3:40." as if that makes it make sense. If a train leaves at 4:05 it should be called the 4:05 train! Period. Anyway, I decided to let this go. Steph handed over her credit card to pay for the tickets. As she was signing the credit card receipt she casually asked, "How long is the train ride?" The lady goes, "3 hours." Steph and I completely froze and looked at each other in horror. THREE HOURS!? I'm not joking when I said I thought it would be 45 minutes. After a few seconds, it became clear to me that Steph had been shocked into silence, and it was getting awkward because no one was talking, and Steph had stopped signing the receipt. "Oh okay cool," I finally said, and we walked out of the little ticket booth. Then we sat down on the bench and started laughing hysterically.

At this point, Steph and I were a little panicky about what we were going to do on a train for 3 hours. So she got up and went back to the ticket lady and said, "So what is there to do on the train? Is there food or anything?" And the lady looked up at her, paused for a moment then said, "There's beer and wine on the train." Because she knew, you guys. She knew. Steph ran back out to me, and we went through our wallets to see how much cash we had. $25 between the both of us. We quickly did some math and decided $25 would not be enough for the two of us on a 3 hour train ride. So what did we do? What any normal person would do. We left the train station, went to a movie theater across the street that had an ATM and took out more cash. A lot more cash. Before our recession adventure day had even begun, we had already blown the budget.

When we went to get on the train, we didn't know where to go so we saw a guy who was dressed up in the traditional train conductor gear and went up to him. He told us we were in the right place, and then Steph said, "Can you say 'All Aboard'?" And he TOTALLY DID! It was amazing! Then we walked up to two other train workers-a man and a woman-who were right by the door and said, "Are we in the right place?" The man, who I'll call Our Friend, took one look at us and said, "First time on a train?" Awesome. Once we were inside the car, Our Friend came over to show us how these little headphone things worked. If you wore them during the train ride, they recounted the area's history and fun facts and stuff. We immediately and excitedly put them on, and then he said, "Girls, it hasn't started yet."

A few minutes later, the ticket lady came up and we showed her our ticket. Steph said, "Is there where you need to punch our ticket?" And she said, "No we don't really do that. We just count heads." Simultaneously, I made a sad face and Steph said, "Can you please punch it?" The ticket lady laughed and then totally punched our ticket. Then she said, "Girls, there's beer and wine up in that next refreshment car." Is it that obvious that we need alcohol wherever we go? Yes. It is.

We wasted no time in going to the refreshment car. Then we wasted no time in getting drunk on the train. You had to drink the alcohol in the dining car so guess who spent the entire train ride in the dining car? It ended up being the best place anyway because that's where all the train workers hung out. And by train workers I mean they are all volunteers. Most of them are retired men. Retired men love us. Not in a creepy way. In a we remind them of their daughters so they want to talk to us and take care of us way. Our Friend was in there, and he really loved us. He was like, "So did you girls just wake up today and say, 'Let's go on a train ride.'?" And we were like, "Yeah pretty much." And he said, "Yeah I can tell that's the kind of girls you are. That's terrific." Then he proceeded to tell us about all the best train rides available to us in the US. Awesome. Eventually Our Friend had to leave because his work day was over so he came up, handed us each a Kleenex and said, "Ladies, I have some bad news. I'm getting off at this stop. The tissue is for when the tears come. And they will come." Dad, can you please be friends with this guy!? I want to hang out with him!! Oh another anecdote about this guy: Steph and I bought train whistles from the gift shop (I'll post a picture tomorrow). Our Friend saw us with them and said, "Aw-just like the little kids." By the way, I am obsessed with my train whistle. I literally blow it all the time (you guys are gross). Mostly when people call me to be funny and annoy them and ensure they don't call me ever again.

We also made friends with the young guy and girl who worked in the refreshment car. Obviously. Because we were buying drinks (and candy and toys) from them every 10 minutes. We told them they were our best friends, and when the girl had to leave she came up and said, "I have to get off at this stop. But it doesn't mean we aren't still friends." I am officially in love with everyone on that train.

After Our Friend and our beer girl friend left, we were sad. But then the train conductor showed up, and he loved us, too. He told us all these train stories and stories about the area and about his kids and his friends and how he met his wife. Steph and I were so happy. So happy that somehow we ended up volunteering to work on The Polar Express train they do during Christmastime. Look I don't know how it happened, but suddenly Steph was saying she wanted to be an elf on the train,and I said I was too tall to be an elf so maybe I could be something else then we were given volunteer forms. It was all very fast, and I looked at Steph and said, "Wait do we work here now? What just happened?"

When we got close to our last stop where we got off, the young guy who worked the register at the refreshment car just came and sat down with us. But not after giving us free popcorn. He is in a band, and we are going to keep an eye out for them. I just need to remember what they're called. When we got off the train everyone who worked there said, "Ladies, we really hope you'll come see us again." And Steph was like, "Well you'll see us in December when we are elves." Then we got off the train, and there was a person standing outside it dressed in a chicken suit holding a bunch of balloons. Talking to no one. He/she was just standing there.




that girl said...

train rides are great..always had my kids with so I never got to drink and ride the train. love your posts...thanks.

Fizzgig said...

Well you certainly lucked out on the train ride!

I took the cuyahoga train once. From peninsula, to hale farm and village. And it rained. And was totally lame.

Any time I try to get on a wine train, its sold out! Obviously this is a ploy to make more money and they just neglect to advertise that on any given train ride, you may enjoy spirits!

Thank you for bringing this to the worlds attention!

Anonymous said...

This was a great post.
God you make me laugh.
Please keep it up.

Idea #527 said...

I love your weekends too!!

Johnny Virgil said...

I love your steph stories.

butnoteveryday said...

so, where did you pick up this train?
i know there is a wine tasting one coming up in october (i think)

i know there is one on the towpath. is that the one you took?

great posts! keep it up!

Nessa, Nanook and Pooka said...

If you had this much fun on the train, imagine what could have happened to you at the dragon boat festival.

I'm picturing the chain of events which would lead to Steph dressed up in full geisha gear standing in the bow of the lead boat screaming encouragement to the boat's team, and you pouring booze into the team's mouths and telling them it is the elixir of life; the breakfast of champions; the thing and the whole of the thing.

You know I'm right.

Anonymous said...

I am in nyc on a layover from italy and checked your blog and I am causing a scene! Oh how I missed you! Wait until I tell you our oktoberfest stories...trains were involved...-steph

Anonymous said...

Can I spend a weekend with you? Seriously, it sounds awesome.