Luray Caverns in Virginia

Luray Caverns in Virginia
Luray Caverns in Virginia

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hocking Hills in Ohio

I have been out and about lately. I have had a bit more time at home though, and I have stayed local, which has been nice, but I don't want to write about something I have written about before.

I did spend some time at Hocking Hills in Ohio. We met some friends from up north and got together at a cabin in this area. Frankly, we mostly just hung out at our cabin and enjoyed being way out in the middle of the woods.

I guess I don't have a ton to say about this place, but it is a very relaxing area with the remoteness that is hard to find these days. This is the perfect area for getting away from everything.

Check out their web site
http://www.hockinghills.com/

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rain

I have had most of my recent travel and game plans cancelled because of the weather. I just haven't done a lot lately. I am making plans though! I did hit a rain delayed Lexington Legends game Friday, and the next night I went to a Florence Freedom game, also rain delayed.

Florence is such an underrated area. There is a lot going on right there that I have talked about before. Their walking tacos and sliders for $1 are about the best ballpark deal around.I've noticed at the last few Freedom games they ask all former and active military guys to stand for a moment of recognition. Pure class. Every team around should be doing that.

The Horsemen did well too. I love this Arena football team. It does seem like they are getting more support. Their on field host Steve is funny as heck.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Billy Bob's Wonderland in Barboursville, WV.




I recently had the chance to go somewhere I have wanted to go for several months now... That's right, Barboursville, WV. My main goal was to catch a performance by the once common, now very rare Rock afire Explosion.

When I was a very young kid, we would go to Evansville, and they had a Showbiz Pizza Place. The place was amazing! It was so unreal and so modern. Now it seems so 80 and early 90s.

Owensboro got one too, and we loved it. My family went there all the time. I have a ton of good memories of that place.

Showbiz had all of the old arcade games, air hockey, ski ball, and the Rock afire Explosion band.

I am not totally sure I have this straight but, if I recall, Showbiz Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese were very similar and competed. They both had the arcade games, the animatronic band, and pizza. Both were fun.

Eventually they merged, one took over the other and then Chuck E. Cheese was everywhere. All of the Showbiz restaurants were converted. The Rock afire Explosion band faded away.

I had heard rumors and read on the internet that a few were still around. The most mentioned one at Billy Bob's Wonderland in Barboursville.

I was there recently. The rumors are true.

I read several reviews on the internet about this place. Many people felt disappointed by the band and the facility. Frankly, I went there expecting to be a little let down. Well, that was not the case.

Billy Bob's was very similar to the way I remember Showbiz, but the lay out was different from the one's in my memory. A lot of the old arcade games, and some of the other more interactive games were there. They had ski ball, tokens, and a ticket redemption area.

The dining area was very similar. Several long rows of tables near the stage. We had a great pizza. Frankly, I can't really remember Showbiz pizza, so this was actually probably better than I remember.

I had heard some pretty critical reviews of the Rock afire Explosion here. They looked and sounded great to me. ANY functioning Rock afire band is a total treat to see, in any condition. It must take a ton of work to maintain one. Sure, there was some lag. Some of the movements, if you look close, are off. These guys are nearing antique status.

I guess, if someone bragged about having an old Model T, I would not expect it to go as fast or smoothly as a modern sports car. I would not look for a CD player or Ipod jack on the inside. If it had been lovingly restored and functioning in a similar way to the way it would have functioned in 1910s and 1920s, I would be very impressed. That's how I feel about this Rock afire Explosion.

Billy Bob's is the kind of place that is just so retro. I LOVE any restaurant where, if you leave your cell phone in the car and if no one is carrying a lop top, you can trick yourself in to thinking you are in a different time. With all of the great arcade sounds and lights, and with the Rock afire band, you could get that late 80s feeling going with no problem! I hope Billy Bob's sticks around for many decades to come.