Sunday, February 10, 2008

A guys' weekend...

Kathy hopped on a train to Vienna on Friday morning to meet up with her two friends, Kim and Chris who had left Prague for Salzburg on Monday and then went on to Vienna on Thursday.

This is Kathy's thir trip to Vienna in less than a year. We went there early last June, and then she when with her family when they came for a visit last Fall. It's a very beautiful and very civilized city no matter how many times you visit.

With Kathy gone, though, it turned this weekend into a "guys only" affair. I left work early on Friday to pick up Noah from school. We didn't do anything special on Friday night, just spaghetti and TV, but Noah seemed to like "roughing it" without mom.

The plan for Saturday was to go to the mall at Cerny Most (literally "Black Bridge). There is a pseudo Check E. Cheese's there, called Miki Land (I wonder what other kids oriented brand they are trying to rip off?). Lots of old video games that give out tickets, which you then turn in for crappy prizes. The difference between Miki Land and an actual Chuck E. Cheese is that you can get a lot of crappy things with the tickets you win instead of just a few crappy things. We had gone there not long after we moved here (maybe October of 2006) and Noah has wanted to go back ever since.

A sign for Miki Land sign greeted us outside of the mall as we entered, and we stopped at a KFC for lunch to get our energy level up for all the gammes we would be playing. Unfortunately, when we got to where Miki Land was supposed to be we found a bowling & billard pub instead. Miki Land was gone - perhaps sued out of existence by Disney.

Noah was crushed, and his spirits weren't raised when the foosball game we tried to play in the new place wouldn't work. It had suddenly gone fron a "best weekend ever" to one of the worst.

We walked around to see if Miki Land might have just relocated to a different location within the mall, but that didn't appear to be the case. I was scrambling to salvage the day and so dragged him into a sporting goods store to look for a soccer jersey or ball. He found jerseys he liked, but they were over $100 and I didn't want to pay THAT much to cheer him up.

We were just about to head home, dejected and defeated, when I remembered that there were movie theatres on the top floor of the mall. And where there are movie theatres you often find video games. This time I had called it right - there was a decent sized arcade up there with a variety of shooting, racing and sports games. He immediately perked up.

The mall at Cerny Most

I gabbed $20 in change from change machine and gave him a handful of 10 crown coins. He gravitated to a soccer game and basically was rooted there for the next 90 minutes. This soccer game, like just about every other game in the arcade, was not new. To give you an idea of how old the socer game was, you could fight for the World Cup playing as Yugoslavia.

90 minutes and about 300 crowns later we headed home. It's not quite as easy as back home. First there was the 2 block walk from the mall to the metro station. We grabbed the metro (on the yellow line) to the Mustek station where we switched to the green line and on the end at Dejvicka. Then we hopped in our car parked on the street (to save the $2 cost of parking in a lot) and 15 minutes later we were home. All in all about a 50 minute trip from the mall that is probably less than ten miles away as the crow flies.

I'll finish the detail of the guys' weekend tomorrow.

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