Geeks plus booze: Food and Wine '06 with 12 of our closest friends....
What do you get when you cross 14 geeks, 29 booths of food and booze, and an hour-long wait in the Test Track line?
You get an entire park full of people wondering why they didn't just come to Epcot on Sunday instead.
The setting: Saturday October 28th, at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
The cast: Me (Erica), DH (Lionel) and 12 assorted geeks.
Some of these geeks were female, some of these geeks were male. One was pregnant. One was 7 feet tall. And ALL of them were drunk, shouting out the lyrics to "Rock the Boat" incessantly.
This is not only the start of a crazy/silly/funny/slightly critical trip report, but also an open apology to everyone else who happened to be in the park yesterday:
We're very sorry; we just couldn't help ourselves.
Coming soon: fast pass chaos, the centrifuge, and the Year of a Million Dreams! Stay tuned.
Looking forward to your report.
I'm ready! :woohoo:
Chapter Two: Electric Boogaloo.
If you’re geeky and you know it, clap your hands…..
Yes, Lionel and I really and truly are geeks. It’s not just for show. And to PROVE that it is not just for show, we are going to share something that will undoubtedly ostracize us from the rest of humanity: we hosted a gathering this past weekend of the local members (and some non-local who were willing to fly) of a guild we have in an online game.
That’s right – we play make believe. That’s right – we have known most of these people for the last two years in make believe. That’s right – we allowed them in our homes. For the WHOLE WEEKEND. And if at this very moment you are STILL questioning our status in the realm of geek, then you need to get your nerd-dar checked.
Ok, that aside, we thought how fun would it be to get all of these people we barely know stinking drunk and then go ride Soarin? Thus began the planning for Saturday October 28th, the day that will go down in history as the last day in which the managers at the Mission Space ride allowed a seven foot man into one of those little centrifuge chambers.
There were 14 of us in total, which means we took up approximately 4 cars. Give or take. I don’t really know how many cars we took up, I just know that there were 4 geeks in ours and 5 in the car behind us and that when we arrived the rest of our party was already on the tram, stuffed chicken in hand.
The chicken didn’t play nearly as big a role as you would like to think, so let me just get his contribution to this TR out of the way right now: the name of our online guild (nerd-dar check! ok, good) is Order of the Chicken. I didn’t name it, so I can’t take credit. While the intent was to put the chicken in several compromising photos, the motivation for this feat was quickly drowned in a barrel of booze. In fact, I’m pretty sure it fell by the wayside at the France pavilion. At any rate, the chicken ended up being passed around as the night went on as one would pass on a heavy sack of souvenirs – “will you hold this for a little while? Aaaahhhhh……”
So there we are, at the gate. Two Canadians and twelve Americans. Four women and ten men. One chicken and…..well, fourteen humans. We had tickets, we were in the gate, and we wanted a fastpass to Soarin.
Off we went.
Erica pipes up: can we get some booze now?
Erica is ovveruled: no, we’re going on Mission Space.
Erica squeaks: but I have a heart condition!!!
It’s true. I have a minor heart murmur. Now I know that all of the media hype about Mission Space relates to people with SERIOUS heart conditions, but the little wimp in me said that dying at Epcot would be a complete and total waste especially considering we had not even made it to the freaking France pavilion yet where the crème brulee was awaiting the crack of my plastic spoon. Therefore, I asked for the green ticket.***
Apparently a lot of geeks are wimps too. Only four of the fourteen opted for the centrifuge. Another of our party informed those brave riders that he had a whole bottle of Alleve waiting for them.
*** For those who don’t know, they now give you the option to ride with or without the “G’s” – in other words, would you like vomit or no vomit? Having never ridden the vomit portion, I can safely say this is a very fun ride unless you are the least bit claustrophobic. Those who went on the spinning portion all asked for Alleve, but they insisted that it was worth it.
No one died. It was a good day at Mission Space.
After the ride, we were all corralled into a little area for a mini-game. There were 24 little freestanding computer stations with problem-solving games that would cause colored dots to pop up on one of the two large screens at the front. Each screen at the front had an image of a large ship. These bigger stations were each manned by four kids, who would then move the colored dots to coded parts of the “ship” which in turn would make the ship move. The idea was to be the fastest ship.
So, given that we were solving puzzle games on a computer screen…..which team do you think won: the geeks, or the straights?
Yeah. That’s right, baby.
And then, the most wonderful thing happened. A man came up to the front area and took the microphone and uttered those words I had been longing to hear since the beginning of this month: “this is the year of a million dreams, and you folks are all in the right place at the right time!”
In my head I heard grand prize winner, station 24! Ding ding ding!
In the end, we did not win the bazillion catrillion dollar DVC membership, or any of the other mega uber prizes, but we did get some super groovy silver-tipped mouse ears that I wore proudly until we got in line at Test Track.
By then the elastic was bugging me.
But, I kept them at my side so that the whole park would see what my parents have been telling me for the last 31 years: that I am a WINNER.
0-60 with 14 geeks, and we finally get something to eat.
Loved your cruise report and now I'm hooked on this! Keep it coming!
So , I'm just going to take a stab in the Azeroth Dark and asume you're all playing WoW.
What server are you on?
Not that I, uh, know anything about something so geeky...
(and if you are look us up: Order of the Chicken :thumbsup2 )
I would like to know where you got the notion....
Next chapter: yay! More lines.
So there we were in our special mouse ears, a squad of geeks standing at the front of the park, with a choice to make:
Food and booze, or one more ride?
One of our party loudly asserted that she would like to get a blasted drink already, only I’m pretty sure she used a slightly different word. I’m not saying it was me. No wait, I am. However, a few others had a mathematical comeback.
The wait time for the line at Mission Space had read 20 minutes when in fact we had gotten through in 10. As the wait for Test Track read 40 minutes, one would logically conclude that we would be out and eating in 20.
And sure, that is great logic. Well, just as long as every other person from Mission Space had not just wandered over here right in front of us. Oh look. They did.
Unfortunately for us, my mouse ears did not bump us to the head of the line. And let me tell you this – Test Track has the most obscenely noisy waiting area of any ride I have been on in a Central Florida theme park. Clanking, whirring, pulsing beats……I didn’t need to remind anyone that I had not eaten. Not that they would have heard me anyway. Honestly, though, who thinks of urban beats when they think of performance testing?
The only thing that got me through that line, other than the million times we sang the chorus of “Rock the Boat”.
Did you know that any phrase sung to the chorus of “Rock the Boat” is automatically funny? Try it. We did. Over, and over, and over.
Test Track itself was not at all what I was expecting. Less like a test track and more like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (that’s right – I’m old school). Only instead of hitting a train and going to H-E-double hockey sticks at the end, you go from 0-60 in a few seconds. Fun, though. After the ride we went through the gift shop to look at our photo: where everyone else was making happy, shocked or squealy faces we stood out like sore thumbs with expressions that said “bring it”.
We didn’t buy the photo. We did, however, finally head towards the booze.
Next: I would like some spannocho….spannichi…..just give me that spinach pastry thing.
very cute so far! but I wan't more! :thumbsup2
Well I have this "friend" who just began playing WoW after much badgering from his other geeky friends.
He's only been playing since he got back from his WDW/Cruise vacation, but he's gotten his Night Elf Druid to Level 18 already.
I think he's a loser.
Get to the Booze Already!
But wait, there's more!
The walk to New Zealand is not a long one, and it is not a hard one. At least, not at Epcot. And especially not when you start at the wrong end of the park.
You see, I am a crème brulee junkie. France is closer to the right side of the World Showcase entrance. Ergo, that is the direction I pulled everyone in. Yes, I know it is about 10 booths away, but TO THE CRÈME BRULEE! March!
I have to interject here that they seemed to be trying out some new things at this year’s F&W that seemed to work very well, but for whatever reason they only did it at about 8 of the booths. I don’t know why. This year many of the booths were upgraded from tent status to little building somewhat reminiscent of the heritage of the country is represented. They also had a station for ordering at several of the booths where you would pay and get a ticket, and take that ticket to the counter where you would get your food and booze. I liked the system, and I wonder if they plan to do the entire festival like that in the future? Hmm. Food (and wine) for thought. And now, back to our regularly scheduled trip report.
Oh, look: booth 26! What do they have in New Zealand? Bay scallop salad, lamb slider, and a kiwi custard roll. Gross. Next!
(I have to say here that I am in general a fairly adventurous eater; however, I am also a vegetarian. And seriously: a slider? What is this, White Castle?)
Greece was next (booth 25….notice the downward trend?), and they offered up a Greek salad with flatbread (seriously, it was pita…..but it was very tasty), a spanakopita (which no one could pronounce, so I did the American thing and pointed), and walnut honey baklava. I skipped the baklava as I was saving myself for the crème brulee. We tried two of the white wines and they were very very nice. Sadly I don’t remember which ones they were. Where was my highlighter when I needed it?
Our two Canadian geeks took one look at their country’s representation and mocked it openly, and because geeks stick together, we boycotted the cheddar cheese soup, the maple glazed salmon and the maple custard. Maple, maple, maple. Would you like some maple with your maple? No thanks, I think I’ll have the maple instead.
You get the idea. Why don’t they just stick a giant maple leaf up on the booth and call it a day?
With all of the nationals’ mocking jeers, I totally missed my one opportunity for a taste of the ice wine. I do love me some ice wine. I did, however, more than make up for it.
Next! Booth 23, Poland! Oh, yeah, baby – pierogies!!! Have you ever tried to eat a chewy pierogie off of a tiny plate with a plastic knife while balancing your raspberry wine? Me either. I handed my wine to one of the Canadians. Poland was also offering up a scrumptious sounding beef cabbage roll (do you detect a hint of sarcasm? Because if not, it ain’t only your nerd-dar that’s broken) and something called a paczki. Frankly, I am not interested in any dessert with that many consonants, but one of our party gave it a rave review. The Poland booth had my two favorite wines of the evening as well: Nalewka Babuni Raspberry, and Kurpiowski Honey.
My favorite part of the Food and Wine fest is always the sharing. Somehow, we made it four booths in before it dawned on us that maybe the rest of the geeks might want a little bite or sip. So we looked around to offer, and discovered that approximately half of our geek squad had gone missing.
Lionel got on the communicator…..I mean, the phone.
Hey, we’re at England! Guess what they have here? FISH AND CHIPS!
Yeah, that’s great, you dingbats. THAT’S NOT A BOOTH.
But it’s really good!
It just goes to show: you can take a dorito away from a geek, but you can’t make him drink fine wine.
Next up: There is nothing I don’t like at Ireland.
Gratuitous Chicken Pic
I'm in, baby.
I loved your cruise trippie and now I'm loving this one. I am cruising the Magic, leaving 11/4, first cruise. Would someday love to do Food and Wine festival.
What got me to post (I am mainly a lurker) is WoW. My DS14 is a player, and he loves it. I'll have to ask him if he knows of the Chicken guild. Did I say that correctly? hehe
And :rotfl: about your son - tell him to look us up :thumbsup2
All you geeks are coming out of the woodworks now....I feel like the Pied Piper, only nerdier. :surfweb:
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