So, normally, the Bear Squad is not a breakfast crowd, so we passed on breakfast, our plans for a lunch at Singo Sushi, which we had enjoyed immensely the year before.
Alas, the best laid plans of bears and mice...
We ended up gathering quite a large crowd to go for food. This is a somewhat natural thing, as furry cons tend to involve people you haven't seen for a while. So, our friends from New York wanted to get lunch, and a friend from New Jersey wanted to get lunch, and everyone invited friends, and...
Well, Singo Sushi wasn't able to accomodate our group of 11 immediately when we called them, but they promised us a spot about an hour later, at 2 PM. So we sort of dithered, then got there, slowly accumulated into a group, and...
And nothing. At 2 PM, Singo admitted that it would be another hour. Since none of us had eaten, we decided to forgo their sushi for the day, though we vowed to try and make it back later.
Instead, we ended up at the Manor Inn. This is a nice, somewhat divey little pub with a menu largely devoted to Italian food. The food was decent, not spectacular. A literal "nothing to write home about" sort of place, although I'll admit that the veal dish I had was pretty enjoyable. Even the odd little politcal conversation we had with our server was kind of interesting. Maybe I'm giving Manor Inn a bum rap...but, y'know, it was no Singo Sushi in terms of food quality.
After that, we cruised back to the hotel, butn ot before stopping at Rogers' Orchard. This place is really charming...they have cider served on a honro system...which I honorably paid to drink, while watching their huge rabbits cavort in their cage. They also had homemade fudge, awesome produce, and some of the tastiest cider donuts I've had in a long time. The Other Half was not impressed with their caramel apples, however, and this evolved into a coversation about the goodness, or lack thereof, of jimmies/sprinkles. Oh, well. Can't win 'em all.
Back at theh otel, we quickly changed and headed to the CoCoKey Water Park. The price for this attraction is a little steep...our con had whittled the price to $25.00 per person, and even that was pushing it. They do have 2 totally enclosed tube slides in the dark and a body slide...but that's about it for adult fare. There's also a large water playground for the kids, and there's a lazy river tube area. We ended up spending a large amount of time racing each other around this river. The other attraction we really wanted to use...an indoor/outdoor hot tub, was closed. We were promised it would be open later, so, after we had our fill, we decided to check back later as our tickets were for all day.
After drying off, we sort of flopped around the hotel room, eating the food we'd brought back from the Orchard. This more or less led to none of us wanting dinner, but it did ultimately make us want to swim more. We also snuck some Rock Band II in there, somewhere. Great game. I love wailing out some vocals while the others play the instruments, and I got several compliments on my singing, which was kind. Thank you, whoever you were.
We swam in the hotel pool, because we found out the hot tub was still closed, but I avoided the hotel hot tub, especially after several of our friends who didn't avoid it quickly ran off to take showers to wash off the protein foam that the previous guests had left in it. Very nasty. At the end of the day, we played a bit more Rock Band, then settled in to play a boardgame...the old Dungeon boardgame from the 80s.
The next morning, there was more Rock Band, and we introduced our New York friends to it. We soon realized that a lack of food the previous night had made us hungry. We decided to go out for an earlyish lunch, and the Other Half suggested we try to seek out the Turkish restaurant we had spotted from the highway on the way to the hotel on Friday. There ended up being only 7 of us, and the restaurant in question, Anatolia, was mostly empty.
Let me tell you friends, this was an excellent choice. Easily the best meal of the weekend, and maybe the best food I'd eaten in months.
For appetizers, we had hummus, baba ganoush, red lentil soup, and a host of other little salads and nibbles. We also had some hot appetizers, and we split them all up between the seven of us, so it wasn't *too* much food. Our main courses were various kebabs, from tradition lamb and chicken to swordfish! All of the meat I had was well-seasoned and tender, and it sat on a bed of well-seasoned rice pilaf.
For dessets, we said, what the heck, bring us one of each and plenty of Turkish coffee. The two standout desserts were definitely the baklava and the milk pudding. Both spectacular desserts.
Back at the con, we tried a board game with our friends called Touch of Evil. I highly recommend the game. We played the cooperative mode, which really helped us feel like we were banding together to fight a vampire. We were constantly aiding each other with cards and sort of "role playing" our way through the story. When we finally launched our climactic battle against the Vampire, it was gruelling, but we were victorious.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye. I left some business cards for the Happy Bear's Guide in a public spot, and the Bear Squad headed home, already looking forward to the following year.
Oh, yeah...and we stopped for McDonalds sweet teas on the way home. ;)
- The Happy Bear