THE FUZI REPORT©®:

FRIDAY

Well I give up. I keep saying “never again” when I have to get up at 4:30am to catch an early flight, but it keeps happening. Guess I need an intervention.

Anyways, up at the crack of way before dawn, I head to the airport. The curbside attendant makes an extra effort to point out that fine print under the “$2 PER BAG” there’s “not including gratuity”… with an evil “you DO want you luggage to wind up in Miami… don’t you??” look in his eye.

Christine fights with the chronically stunned shuttle van driver and almost misses the flight. The rest of us hit the McD’s for overpriced Egg [trans-fat, high sodium, loaded with nitrates] Mc Muffins... just like mama used to make.

I had to boot out the guy in my seat, who decided he’d rather sit by his honey-bunch than in the actual seat he was assigned. [Making friends everywhere I go.] The uneventful and packed flight landed on time. And 10 of us piled into a blue shuttle to the hotel. [Yes my “princess” bag did fit.] Singing along to Bon Jovi’s hit “Living on a Prairie”. You know the tune…
Pa used to work on the farm,
plowing in the fields
He's down on his luck...it's tough, so tough

Ma works the diner all day
Working for her man, she brings home her pay
For love - for love

Whoa oh
We're half way there
Whoa oh
Livin' on a prairie
Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear
Whoa oh
Livin' on a prairie


Anyways, after butchering the Bon Jovi song, we get to the hotel. We pile our stuff in Jeff’s room and head out for lunch. Wound up at the Las Vegas Cuban restaurant. Disappointed to find Wayne Newton and Elvis wasn’t there. My table, Fuz & his chicas (Marie, Sandra & Donna). The other Christine and her chikos (not really sure who all that was, just all the guys). Food was good, the sangria was great. The chicken introduced me to the Cuban cousin of Montezuma.

After that back to the hotel to check in and register and hit the beach and nap.

       

Geared up for the first skate, the Friday night skate. This is usually the smallest of the skates since most folk are still coming into Miami, but this was a pretty good sized group. Steve Kautz for a newbie did really good. We were impressed. Most of the roads seemed to be repaved and were smoooooooooooth, black ice baby!! That was 12.8 miles. Then back to the hotel for dinner.



Dinner consisted of several different kind of pastas, a prime rib carving station and two really scary drag queens for the floor show. I really want to meet the Einstein who sat at the planning meetings and said “Hey! After a hot and fast skate, nothing relaxes me more than lip synching drag queens. Let’s do that!!”

An unnamed person in our group said, referring to the elaborate costume... “you really got to admire her balls”, But it just came out wrong.


Lots of raffle tickets were bought and pasta eaten. From what I understand, the very first raffle was for a free Eddy Skate Farm registration, and won by Christine. That set the tone as the Pegasii did really well with the raffles. Once the evenings raffling were done, we scattered before the second half of the floor show.

The highlight of the evening was Sandra waking up and screaming something in Portuguese and looking around.
“You ok??”
“oh.. sorry Fuz, forgot where I was.”



SATURDAY

Headed down the street to the NY Bagel joint with Sandra and Donna. Bagel with a schmear usually does me pretty good. Then back to the hotel to gear up. Back in the room, I’m thinking… hmmm…. Something’s not right. [Did I mention the Cuban chicken]. After a few “you wuss” looks from the group I decided it be best for all concerned to skip the Saturday skate. And 10 minutes later, my fears were confirmed. And to quote Forest Gump, "that I have to say about that."

So after hating life for an hour or two, I packed up my beach stuff and hiked up to the beach party. I left at noon and got there half after. They were suppose to roll in at 1pm.

      

In the mean time, all the dealers decided to steal ALL the picnic tables to set up their swag. Them skaters can sit on the ground w/ the ants.

And hour later at 2pm the first skaters arrive. It seems there were more than necessary pit stops and probably more stopped time than moving time. Not an entirely happy crowd. But they were ready for the lunch catered by Pasha’s. Their tag line should be “If you want food for a picnic that isn't picnic food, come to Pasha's”. Instead of burgers and dogs, you got chicken meatball sandwiches, humus, lettuce and beans. Interesting…

At 3:30 was the rest of the raffling. And let me tell you what, the Pegasii cleaned up!! Every other winner was from our group. It was getting to the point we were probably gonna get beat up later. John Robbe was the biggest winner. He got a registration for A2A, new Rollerblades to skate A2A and $40 in gift certificates to gear up for A2A. Dan won some stuff too. Thanks to the mojo enhancement and good vibes from Christine and Shelley, I won a $20 gift certificate and a pair of skates.



Ok, actually they were Rollerblade Lightnings. I can’t remember who all won what, but I’d say over half the stuff given out went to the Pegasii. Woo hoo!!


I hiked back to the hotel and hit the hot tub while the others skated back. Lemme tell ya, hot tub in February in Miami with a cold Corona… yea baby!!

Then the debate to eat and come back to change for the night club or go in the clubbing clothes. It was finally decided to wear club clothes. Which really confused Amy. She was wondering why we were wearing Pegasus stuff.

So off to Maiko Sushi, an annual tradition for sushi boats. At our end of the table we put an order in for two "Sushi Boats for two" for a sushi competition. Yea John and Christine put me and MacDuff to shame. Not only did they eat all theirs, they started eating ours too.

               

The high point was trying to find out "what the one whale said to the other whale?" Maybe it was funnier after the 2nd bottle of sake. [I got video to show for the right price.]

Then a taxi to Tantra, the night club. Amy came down with Timo, since half our group ate up by the hotel. It was a little early, so up to Lincoln street (again) for some gelato. Mmmm.



You have to understand these skate trips are 30% about the skating and 70% about the food. So back to Tantra, a restaurant with grass for carpet. Couldn’t quite figure out what kinda place it was; too crowded to dance, too loud to chat, to busy to get more than 1 free drink. After an hour went back to the hotel to a joint across the street for mojitos. And thrilled to find they had Yuengling on tap. Great beer made in Pennsylvania. I was introduced to it during the last Philly skate.


So me, Amy, Christine and MacDuff spent an hour or two discussing various European skate marathons we need to hit. [Though I think that was tempered by reality the next morning, oof!] Then back to the hotel.

The highlight of the evening was Donna waking up when I came and interrogating me:
“what are you doing?”
“where are you going?”
“what are you doing?”
“why are you dressed like that?”
“what are you doing?”
“are you skating?”
“what are you doing?”.

None of this she remembers the next day.


SUNDAY

Up “early” at 8am and off to IHOP. Many of the semi-conscience Pegasii were there. Got to load up for the Sunday skates. As a group, all the skaters headed down Collins, then along the beach walk which is a mile or two of brick trail on the beach. Some idiots whizzing past me nailed an elderly couple walking. Nothing like that to get a great event like this cancelled. [I talked to Bones later, he said the couple was fine. Though those skaters ought to be beat.]


Once down to south beach, you had the option to hit Star Island or do the Art Deco tour. I opted for the later with Donna and Ken. Mike and Cheryl NSP’ed it. That was a bit rough. Lots of standing around. And get lectured to. Skate a block. Then more info. At one point they ask questions for prizes. I won a t-shirt. I handed it to Donna to hold. She immediate exchanges it for a shirt in her size. Who then gave it to Mike to hold. Not sure if he ever got it changed into his size. To which I could only say WTF.

So we hit Lincoln Street (yes again) and some folks wanted a potty and water break. So “meet here in 10 minutes and we’ll leave”. 20 minutes later we leave. Skated a mile or two to an impressive Holocaust memorial. Only to hear there’s some skaters still out on Lincoln Street…lost. We were told there’d be a bus at 11:45 to take us back. This was NOW 1pm. So me, Donna, Ken and a gal from Philly skated back up Collins to the hotel.



Got back to the hotel about 1:20 so missed saying good bye to Amy as she flies off to London. Bummer.

Caught up with Shelley, Duane, Dan, Richard, Paul and Melody at some pizza joint where they got a “meter” of pizza. Since the waitress didn’t speak English, I just pointed to a sign of a sandwich. Turns out this sandwich was sliced beef, sliced ham, mayo, lettuce, tomato and fried egg on it. VERY good and VERY likely the cause of my untimely demise due to a coronary.

               

Back to the hotel for more hot tub time, since I didn’t have the energy and I did have the blisters to skip to afternoon skate. Chatted with John and Bones.

Then around 4:30 back for another trip to Lincoln street for some shopping. [The strange thing, I still haven’t spent any money down there.] While there we (me, Steve, Danielle, Dave & Tonya) decided to eat at the other traditional place Carnevale, an Italian joint on the strip. Good food. The afternoon skaters went to an Argentinean Steakhouse up from the hotel. We caught up with them. I had flan for dessert. And helped Momo with her metal box of meat.

Then came the educational portion of the evening. At Long Beach [after some sake] Timo taught us this Finish phrase. “This will get you anything you want in Finland”.

It goes something like:
now-ten moo-ten pal-a-mon badamalta ALESTI!
Which means:
“by the way, I look much better nekkid”.


Donna, making friends everywhere she goes, tried to found out how you say that in Spanish from the owner of the Argentinean Steakhouse. He walked away, very fast, shaking his head. But he did bring back some crepe flambé on the house. So I guess it does work.

The highlight of the evening is the owner comes out with the bill. “Let’s see, the boss, the one in charge of the bill shall be...” and drops it in my lap. WFT. All I had was flan! And of course the first pass we were $40 short on a $505 bill.

So on the way back, stopped at Norman’s again for the Yuengling. Me, Momo, Christine, John and MacDuff had two pitchers there. Mmm mmm. And once again another late night is had.



MONDAY

At 1am I texted the group “9 in lobby for IHOP”. Mike, Cheryl, Steve and Danielle came down @ 8:30 but didn’t stop. Me, Christine, John and Uncle Phil caught up with them. While there Shelley & Duane come in. And she calls me to let me know breakfast is at IHOP. During the conversation she asks “where are you?” and I said “if you go 3 feet north and look left you’ll see”.

Back to the hotel started packing. Christine came in.
I said “What’s up?”
“I’m gonna help you pack.”
“How?”
“By sighing and telling you go pack faster.”

Or that was the gist. And it worked.

So checked the bags with the front desk. And guess where we went. Yup. Lincoln street. Me, Uncle Phil, Christine, John and MacDuff went shopping. But get this… this time I actually went into some shops and bought something. We stopped at Pizza Rustica on the way back for lunch. Another traditional site for the Pegasii. GREAT pizza and cheap.

Back to the hotel and hopped on a shuttle back to the air port. Of course the gate was A26. And in the Miami air port the furthest gate from the drop off point is A26. So that was a nice hike. Which deserved some ice cream and a rum & coke in the Admiral’s Club.

The flight was pretty quick, only because I slept hard for half of it. Once we landed Christine was off like a shot to Phoenix for a work trip. [And I thought it sucked to be me.] Got the bags and headed to Pho with Shelley and Duane for dinner, to let rush hour die down. Then home for a hot shower.


The Pegasii Cast (in order of appearance) :
Me
Christine
Donna
Sandra {newbie}
Amy
Woody
Danielle & Steve Kautz {newbie}
Shelley & Duane
Dave & Tonya
Ken
Timo
Chris i.e. MacDuff {newbie}
Mike & Cheryl
John {newbie}
Matt & Zahara {newbie}
Gordon
Momo
Paul & Melody {newbie}
Richard & Angie
Eric from Denver
Dan
Uncle Phil
Jeff {newbie}
Jeff's cousin
Tony & Olga
Marie {newbie}