Tampa Bay, Florida – So there we were–the culmination of our stay in Florida. Daddio had arrived from New England. Auntie had arrived from New York. Another Auntie lives in Tampa, so we all made plans to meet at Busch Gardens for the day. It was anticipated to be a highlight of the trip.
The weather report–predictions of rain–did not seem to concern anyone. We confidently paid out some $320 for our tickets. My only worry was that it might be crowded because it was a Saturday.
I needn’t have worried about the crowds.
It poured rain from the moment we parked our car until the moment we left the park. Cold, driving rain. Our ponchos–generously provided by Auntie–had no power against this kind of precipitation.
But getting wet is not a problem for us. We’ve had many excellent experiences in the rain (exploring the cloud forest, for example). I like to think we share the positive attitude of my friend’s teenage daughter, who said “It’s cool, it’s all part of the experience” as she stripped off soaking wet shoes and socks and sweatshirt on the way home from July-4th fireworks.
The problem was that most rides in the park do not operate in the rain. Essentially, none of the rides in the park operate in the rain. There were a handful of kiddie rides running, which I tried to get the twins pumped about. That went over well. (“Stop it, mama. It wasn’t fun.”) Even the animals were mostly hiding.
Of course, the smiling staff had no problem taking our tickets and letting us walk into the park, knowing full well that there was nothing to do in there. That’s what really irked me.
But there was nothing to be done. The essence of life is suffering, said the Buddha. Ain’t it the truth.
Anyway, our tickets were good for two days, so the twins had the chance to come back with their grandparents the following week. I also filed a complaint before we left, so we got meal vouchers and parking vouchers for them to use. They went back on a warm sunny day and by all accounts, they had a great time.
So what’s the takeaway?
How about this: Don’t go to Busch Gardens on a rainy day, fool.