Phase 1: Bowling
Saturday, 11am. BAM Family Fun Center (formerly Century Lanes for those of you that know Holland).
We arrived at BAM to find the Milford crew waiting for us, with lanes 14-16 set up for our Christmas party. Grandpa Dennis and the Roscheks arrived shortly thereafter and we proceeded to get down in proper Vogel Christmas style.
Century Lanes suffered a fire last year and took the rebuilding opportunity to recreate the space as a lounge, modern bowling alley, huge arcade, and laser tag kind of place. By “modern bowling alley”, I mean the kind of place where our kids were trash talking through IM across the three lanes, you could use Facebook logins and other craziness that made me feel old. We did have plenty of fun bowling through.
Despite it being Leah’s first time bowling, she quickly realized that the key to successful bowling, even when using the ramp, is developing a series of post-release foot and leg flourishes.
Aly celebrated her first strike of the day in style:
Aly, Taylor and Leah mugged for the camera while awaiting their next turns:
Kevin killed all of us score-wise, and I’m pretty sure Lizzy did too, both in score and style points, though mathlete Vorn may have outscored us as well.
The girls quickly tired of bowling and gave in to the white-hot attraction of the 50-foot tall arcade beacon at the end of the lanes. The great thing is, kids these days are so used to iPhones, iPads, PS3’ss, and Xbox’s that they don’t even realize we are supposed to give them money to play the games in arcades – they just wanted to walk around and push the buttons without actually playing! Ha – fooled them!
Uh, yes, they’re sitting on a toilet of a game called “Stinky Feet.”
Phase 2: Laser Tag
Saturday, 1pm. BAM Laser Tag.
The new laser tag facility was very nice, though I’m not one to judge, as this was my first trip to any such facility (yes, I know, check my boy/man card). Seth stayed out with Emmy, I stayed out with Leah, and Grandpa stayed out to help keep an eye on all of our stuff. I went upstairs with Lele to the viewing area and she enjoyed looking into the game area. Until they all filed in, at which point she began sobbing inconsolably watching them run around in the blacklit zone.
The boys, Kevin and Devin, had opted to play boys versus girls, so they were outnumbered significantly with Rachel, Vorn, Lizzy, Aly and Taylor on the opposing side. I handed Leah off to Grandpa and then the referee spotted me and invited me to come into the arena to take pictures while the match was still underway. Which turned out to be pretty awesome.
My favorite picture of the match (above). Kevin, pinned down by Rachel and Liz, took a moment to rest. See, the boys had to spend the entire match running to protect their base, whilst the girls could spread out and take things a bit easier. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the girls won. Girls rule. Apparently.
Phase 3: Libations
Saturday, 2pm. Goudie house.
With the actual Christmas party not scheduled until 3, the Milford crew and Roscheks joined us back at 69east where the children amazingly took themselves to the basement playroom and began playing nicely. Devin promptly fell asleep on the couch, leaving the six adults with an hour to kill. Solution? South Side Party Store and a couple of bottles of spirits. No photos necessary, though it may color the events of the later photos.
Phase 4: Presents
Saturday, 3pm. Goudie house.
Once Grandpa rejoined us, and Brandon & Aaron completed the guest list, we got busy opening the traditional first presents of Christmas: the Auntie Car presents (sorry, Unkie Doo, you’re represented in sprit here, but not in name).
From there, we moved on to lots of other cross-family gifts for the kids as the drinks kept flowing.
Phase 5: Family Game
Saturday, 5pm. Goudie house.
After the gifts were all opened, we moved on to the ultimate Vogel family gathering tradition, the family game. Thankfully, we’ve moved on from the tedium of games past like Acquire, which no one liked to play (yes, Seth, no one liked to play it, even you). This year, we started with Telestrations, a game that was introduced to us at our Labor Day gathering at Rock of Ages in Ohio. There was much laughter and all went well until Devin took all the kids to Peachwave downtown for some froyo, leaving the adults (some of whom were in a fun state of mind) to continue playing Telestrations while I cued up some hilarious YouTube videos and we busted our guts laughing.
This caused some odd things to be written while playing:
which led to some even odder things being drawn while playing:
And so it went. At one point before the kids returned, I witnessed this:
But then then kids returned, completed pleased with their trip to the froyo store with Devin and Grandpa, and we started playing another game called “Spot It” that the Milfords had given to Aly. Taylor arrived as the reigning champ, but little did she know that Uncle Aaron was the champion of screaming random noises. This, however, doesn’t score you any points in this particular game, so Taylor remained the champion on this night.