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MegaBus Review

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have always been a family oriented person, which made my decision to move a difficult one. That being said, I am always looking to travel back home to visit with my family. Although, I love my Chevy Camaro, I’ve realized that I’ve been driving my car to death. So, I’ve had to research alternative ways to travel home. Of  course, I could travel by train or plane, but those can be quite expensive.

A few months ago I spoke to a friend about finding a new means to travel home, and she suggested the Megabus. I was reluctant to try it because I’ve never traveled a long distance on a bus. At some point or another, I decided to try it.

Since this was the first time I’ve ever traveled a long distance on a bus, I don’t have anything to compare it to. I had preconceived notions about riding the bus, but they diminished once I had the opportunity to ride the Megabus. The bus was clean, and well-kept. The bathroom was okay, but that was to be expected on a bus. The Megabus also offered free WiFi and charge ports for your electronic devices. This was a great service to have and the most important to me. The noise level was acceptable; there weren’t crying babies or loud talking patrons.

I’d like to say my experience with the Megabus was perfect, but that’s just not my reality. I have four cons as it concerns the Megabus. The first issue is the travel time. From what I can tell, there isn’t a consistency in travel time. On my first trip to Orlando we arrived early, and the return trip arrived on time. My second trip to Orlando, we arrived late, and returned late. The second issue I have with the Megabus is an employee who I thought was extremely rude. He was not helpful and refused to read clearly legible confirmation numbers; the confirmation numbers allow people to get on the bus. The third issue I have with the Megabus is actually its site. I had issues with making a payment and ended up not being able to get the trip that I wanted due to it. From what I was told, if you put a space after your email address, it won’t accept it. Putting a space after my email address was done unconsciously. The last issue I have is that the main amenities on the bus stopped working during one of my trips,which include the bathroom and charge ports. The bus driver did try to amend the bathroom issue by stopping at a rest stop. The charge ports were unable to be fixed during the trip.

Overall, I would recommend travelling on the Megabus. It’s affordable, comfortable, and runs close to the actual time it may take you to travel somewhere. Many of the people I’ve had to interact with were respectful and nice. Now, if you’re expecting complete silence and a first-class type of ride then I would not recommend this form of transportation.

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Howl-O-Scream [2012]

I’ve been going to these Halloween-inspired month-long events at theme parks for the past five years. I’ve made it something like a tradition for myself. The first one I went to was Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). I enjoyed myself, but for the past few years I started solely going to Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream (HOS).

In choosing between HHN and HOS, I’ve come to conclusion that I prefer Howl-O-Scream for many reasons. Busch Gardens has way more rides, the tickets are cheaper, and there are generally fewer people. HOS never disappoints me. I always have a good time because I’m able to go through the haunted houses and ride roller coasters.

As expected, I visited HOS this year. It was fun, but I have to admit that I was a little bummed that they recycled the same theme from last year. I read on their Facebook page that there was a difference between last year’s theme and this year’s. I didn’t recognize it. Not to mention, one of the houses I went through was the exact same as the one I went through last year. That was a turn off, but not a big enough one where I wouldn’t return.

This year I went one weekend before the final weekend of HOS. Last year, I made the mistake of going on the last weekend. I had to stand in line for hours before I could go into a house. I think I only made it through two houses, which really upset me. Moving forward I vowed to always purchase a fast pass. On the night I went this year,  it wasn’t really necessary because it wasn’t that busy. However, it was nice to skip the line and not have to wait in line for more than 5 minutes. I don’t regret getting the fast pass at all. We were able to get through all the houses, and ride all the roller coasters except for one in about 3.5 hours. That was awesome! I will continue to buy the fast pass from this year on out. It’s worth the extra $35, especially since you get 20% off merchandise, and BOGO photos.

I love Busch Gardens and Howl-O-Scream. I always recommend that people go here over Halloween Horror Nights. However, it’s hard to convince some people because HHN is more popular and main stream than HOS. I strongly believe you are getting more of your money’s worth when you go to Howl-O-Scream, especially since I’ve experienced both multiple times. To each his or her own though.

Dave and Buster’s [Orlando]

I’ve visited Dave and Buster’s in Orlando on a few separate occasions including this past weekend. Since I started blogging, I figured I might as well write a review on this establishment.

I absolutely love Dave and Buster’s, but this past weekend was a nightmare. Dave and Buster’s- Orlando is located right on International Drive. For anyone that has visited I-Drive, you’d understand my sentiments. There were a ton of people there, and the parking lot was a mad house! I was in the parking lot for about 30 minutes before I found a space. I’m sure the influx of people can be blamed on the summer season. When I went earlier this year, I was able to find a spot in less than 5 minutes. As I drove around , I also noticed that in comparison to valet, free parking lacked severely. That made me mad, but I know Dave and Buster’s was definitely banking off of that arrangement.

Once I got inside, it was like being at Disney World during its peaks season, just in a smaller space. There was an hour and half wait to be seated in the restaurant and lines for every game. Keep in mind that we didn’t arrive until after 8:30pm, and the crowd didn’t actually start dying down until after 1am.

The food is good. They serve dishes similar to TGI Fridays or Chili’s. This past weekend I had the Lawnmower salad. It was awesome, except for the hair I found in it. The manager came to my table, spoke with me and replaced my salad. I thought I should have at least received a discount for the inconvenience, but I was given an apology and charged full price. The salad was made up of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, red peppers, avocado, bleu cheese crumbles, red onions, radishes and chicken. I ordered the balsamic herb vinaigrette as my dressing. Considering it was a herb vinaigrette, I thought it would have had a lot more flavor. It didn’t.

The service was decent. I believe our server was overwhelmed, which caused him to be less attentive than I thought he should be. I’ve had really good and decent service, but I’ve never experienced a bad server while dining at Dave and Buster’s.

I have to admit that I never go to Dave and Buster’s for the food; I go for the games. I love the games were you have to use your reflexes to stop the moving line at a certain point to win the bonus tickets. I won that game quite a few times. I highly recommend playing that game if you want to collect a good amount of tickets without using a lot of points from your game card. I had over 1700 tickets and 90% of them came from that game. I like to play the basketball shootout game as well, but as I mentioned before, a million people were there. So, the line was too long and I didn’t feel like waiting.

Dave and Buster’s is geared more toward the older crowd. Children are allowed in, but after a certain time they have to be admitted with an adult. I personally think they should stop admitting children after a certain time. Personally, I don’t like to see kids in adult scenes after 10 or 11pm.

If you plan on taking a trip to Dave and Buster’s and I recommend that you do, I’d suggest that you go in the fall, winter or spring seasons. So, that you’re able to fully enjoy all that Dave and Buster’s has to offer without worrying about parking, waiting in a long time to eat or in lines to play games. This place is definitely a place for adults to go, kick back and relax while having a good time.

There are over 55 Dave and Buster’s nationwide. Find the one nearest you and go have a good time!

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