What to do on a rainy day? L has been so cooped up lately due to the awful weather we’ve had lately. It’s either been oppressively humid or raining so she hasn’t gotten out of the house much. She just stands at the window looking for her friends.
When J got home from work on Monday, she pushed to get out of the house. L and I were still in pajamas and we just needed something to do.
A few months ago, L participated in a bowling fundraiser for work. She took L along with her for a couple of hours and they had the ramps set up for the kids to play. L loved pushing the ball down the lane so we thought we would give her another shot at bowling to see how she liked it.
We decided to go to Airway Lanes in Portage. The bowling area is part of the larger Airway Fun Center, but for the purpose of this blog, we didn’t stray from the bowling alley.
The Fun Center is on Portage Road across from the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. The bowling area is towards to back of the building and it has it’s own entrance so you don’t have to walk through the front of the space that includes the rest of the indoor attractions and a Quiznos.
We weren’t the only ones who decided to go bowling on this rainy day. There were actually quite a few people there and a lot of groups of families. The Monday through Thursday rates before 5:00 are $3.00 a game for adults and $2.50 a game for kids and seniors. That doesn’t include shoe rental, so once that was added on ($10 for the three of us), the total for one game was $18.50.
We were set up in a lane between a group of seniors who were pretty serious bowlers and another family who was just there to have fun. We all picked out our balls and got the shoes on while one of the employees went to get us a dinosaur.
The dinosaur was for L. It’s a plastic dinosaur with a ramp on it’s back. You put the ball at the top and there’s a little stop so it doesn’t just roll away on it’s own. L walked up to the back of the dinosaur after J or I put the ball on top and pushed it down the ramp. When it was her turn, the lane automatically knew to put the bumpers up, so she had a little bit of an advantage and ended up bowling a 51 all by herself. Heck…there have been times I’ve barely hit 51.
J and I actually ended up being pretty evenly matched. I’m a horrible, streaky bowler. I’ve never been able to figure out how the throw the ball properly and end up with a lot of open frames. J doesn’t throw the ball hard, but she’s fairly accurate. In the end, she beat me 131-138. I was pretty shocked myself that I ended up throwing that high of a game and it came down to the 10th frame before J finally put me away.
Before we started the game, J walked over to the snack bar to get us something to eat. I was pushing to eat lunch in the Taproom before we played a game, but J wanted to just start playing and eat in the lane. The Taproom has a pretty great beer list and I felt weird thinking about bringing a beer in to the alley during the middle of the day with so many kids around so I just passed on that part of it.
I didn’t have a menu handy and I was trying to get L’s shoes on, so I told J just to get me a cheeseburger and fries. For herself and L, she got a grilled cheese sandwich then added fries on to hers which she planned on sharing with L.
The sandwiches were delivered to our lane about halfway through our game, so we stopped to take a break. The burger wasn’t really anything special. It’s kind of what you expect from a snack bar. Frozen patty. White bun. Slice of cheese. The fries were about the same. Out of the bag fries served with no salt, but they did include packets of salt with the basket. Neither were really knock your socks off kind of items, but it is what it is and it’s from a snack bar.
The ladies sandwiches were really crispy grilled cheese sandwiches with Cheddar and Provoline cheeses oozing out the sides. L was really hungry and ate hers pretty quickly then started stealing J’s fries.
The meals from the snack bar set us back about another $19. The funny thing was the scoreboard started yelling at us to get back to the game. We noticed it just as we were ready to get back up and finish the last few frames anyway. Not sure how long that message telling us to play had been flashing on the overhead scoreboards.
It’s been a long time since I have actually been bowling…probably close to fifteen years and man, have things changed. I used to sit there with a pencil and paper struggling to keep score (I’m bad at math.) Luckily, that’s not an issue anymore with automatic overhead scoring. I also used to have to help the lanes pull the bumpers in to the gutters and we all had to play with bumpers…now, they’re automatic and only come up when the little one is bowling.
We really had a great time at Airway Lanes. L seemed to have fun again, but was just a little impatient and didn’t always want to wait her turn, but she got better as the game moved on. It was about nap time when we finished the first game, so we decided a second would probably be a bad idea and called it a day to try an avoid the meltdown….but we promised L we would come back on the next rainy day and play another game.