My Time in Florida part 2

This past weekend was my annual Florida weekend. I have a friend who lives down there who’s completely into sports (mostly football and hockey, but he likes just about any sport. Except soccer, which he says “is for the queer“). I have another friend who lives up here who is completely into money (mostly not spending it, but he likes investing and IRAs as well). I’m completely into creation (mostly comics and housing, but I like making – or watching someone make – just about anything). When the three of us get together, it’s pretty tough to figure out what we would all like to do.

When we first flew in, we had big plans. Because of the Cleveland debacle last year, we were able to go to Florida for $69.70, round-trip; the only catch was that we had to fly into Orlando and out of Tampa. This meant that we could see all the usual touristy things really cheaply. Our idea was to go to Universal Studios on Saturday – the day we arrived – to ride all the roller coasters that Disney doesn’t offer. On Sunday we were going to Disney because MI Friend’s cousin works there and could get us all in for free. We figured we’d head to Tampa on Sunday night, go bar-hopping, and spend Monday flying home / recovering.

What happened instead:

Florida: a tacky place where white people go to die.

MI Friend didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on Universal, since we’d only be there for a few hours. FL Friend thought maybe we could go to City Walk and go bar-hopping the first night. MI Friend didn’t want to spend the money on a hotel with a hot tub and not use the hot tub, so he decided to forgo any plans we may have had and take a dip. Around 8 o’clock we finally left for City Walk. Since he planned on drinking, FL Friend didn’t want to drive, so we rented a cab for $30.

When we got there, the bar that we figured we’d start at was closed for a private party. So instead we ate. A lot. MI Friend likes this because he’s able to accurately measure how much food he’s getting per dollar. I ate too much. So did FL Friend. Since our bellies were already overloaded, we though it unwise to fill it with booze. So we left after one six-dollar beer and called another $30 cab.

MI Friend’s cousin never called and he’ll be damned if he has to pay for Disney, so that was out. Since we had exhausted our two ideas in Orlando, we decided to head over toward Tampa. On the way, FL Friend though that maybe it’d be a good idea to check out a local NHL or NFL game. So I looked it up on my fancy phone and found that the Lightning had played the night before and that the Bucs were playing that very day. We also found out that a local radio station was having an all-day music festival featuring a dozen bands that I like (My Chemical Romance, Against Me!, Dirty Heads, The Black Keys, etc.). MI Friend said that he didn’t want to go to the concert (it’s difficult to measure how much fun you’re having vs. how much you paid to get in if you’re seeing a band that you don’t normally enjoy) and he said that he wouldn’t mind going to watch an NFL game if the Bucs were playing the Lions.

Being the sports fan he is, FL Friend met MI Friend half way and suggested we go to a bar and watch the Lions on TV. Being the money man he is, MI Friend ordered a water.

After watching the Lions maintain their “longest road game losing streak”, we decided to drive to a restaurant to finish out the weekend. FL Friend chose a sports bar; MI Friend chose unlimited soup and salad.

When we landed in Cleveland for our connecting flight, MI Friend was hungry, but he didn’t want to buy anything. Luckily for him, our plane was two hours late so the airline gave us vouchers for $8 at the in-terminal Sbarro’s; he spent every penny.

I texted FL Friend to tell him the tale, but he was too bus watching Monday Night Football.


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