Rushville Republican

Columns

May 20, 2014

Bird on head worth beer in Busch

My family’s recent trip to Florida wasn’t all that tiring, and yet, we came back Busched.

As mentioned in the last couple columns, we stayed with my in-laws, which was vital to making the trip affordable. We also ate pretty much all of their food, which was equally vital to making the trip affordable. But, I’m proud to say, I never cabbaged a single one of their beers. That’s because their refrigerator broke down, largely because my kids ate entire meals standing in front of it while deciding if there was any food they liked. This, in turn, left their beer much too warm for my discerning palate.

My in-laws live in Port Richey, Florida, which isn’t far from the Busch Gardens amusement park, a destination we visited because my in-laws paid for our tickets, which was vital to, well, you know.

During our day at Busch Gardens, everyone found something to love. We all enjoyed the animal habitats, housing nearly 3,000 creatures from all over the world. In addition, for my wife and No. 4 (age 16), there were roller coasters! For my in-laws (ages undisclosed), there were shows and entertainment! For No. 5 son (age 13), there were burgers and fries, for lunch and dinner! And for me, there was – wait, WHAT? – no more free beer?!

You used to be able to score free brew at Busch Gardens. But alas no more. And believe me, I tried like heck to find some, asking for it from every beverage purveyor. Thwarted, I was reduced to telling complete strangers – while waiting in line for attractions – the story of how you used to be able to acquire free beer.

You’d simply stroll into a building called the “Hospitality House,” step up to one of two bartenders and request a sample from a selection of five or six beverages. You were allowed two visits per day, which was a lot of hospitality indeed. Although I personally felt that fathers of constantly bickering kids ought to have been allowed at least one more.

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