So there we were following a trail of slow movers (elderly) down the sidewalk to the festival center. I should have known this may be a little above our age because there was a giant bingo sign above the entrance. Never the less, there was live accordions playing, dogs on the grill and I was sure kegs of beer inside. I’m kind of like a shark when it comes to beer. If sharks can smell a drop of blood per a million gallons of water than I can smell a drop of beer per one hundred people dowsed in Ben Gay. I know I am ripping on old people but hang in there. They actually rescue me at the end of this story.
Now that I am almost thirty I really feel that I should take full advantage of these festivals. Who cares about being reserve or what others think? When we walked into the festival I saw a sea of people all sporting German clothing, dancing, singing along and just having a good time. Damn it, I’m getting a hat! So that is what I did. I let my my guard down, bought us food, beer, a program, an awesome hat and introduced myself to the strangers sitting next to us. Of course they were as nice as they could be and just like that we were knee deep in Oktoberfest 2007.
I must admit that the fact our hotel was a mere fifty yards away made it hard to turn down my 7th beer and before I knew it the draw of the Orlando based Polka band was too much. We caught the end of a conga line that led right to stage center where it segwayed into the famous Chicken Dance-off. After that I tried my hand at real dancing and what looked simple really was not. I was 35 years younger than everyone there and I was getting my ass kicked on the dance floor. I returned to our seats a little sheepish but it was ok. When I was dancing like I had my legs on backwards a table full of old ladies from a Illinois charter line was watching and took pity and was able to give me guidance while the drummer of the band took my girlfriend on a real polka dance.
It only took a few lessons to really get the hang of it. I learned the two step, the waltz and the polka in less time than I learned I hate black licorice. It took me a few tries to be sure I really didn’t like it. Anyway, I had a blast learning and when I took the girlfriend back out on the dance floor I really turned it up a notch. Mainly because I was sure I wouldn’t break her hip if I had a polka mishap. I rule!
Well, soon the band was finishing up the encore and a bottle of Maalox was being passed around. I have to admit that hanging with these old ladies was the most fun I have had in a long time. They smoke, drink and cuss just like people I love. Too bad that they live so far away but that is always the bad part of vacations. You meet some of the greatest people in the world and at the end all you have is the memories. Better than nothing I suppose.
Well, soon the Oktoberfest was over and we had a blast to say the least. After saying our goodbyes, meeting the band and getting the to-go beer we made the trek back to the room. But I wasn’t ready to surrender yet. It was only 11pm and there had to be after party somewhere! And then I heard it. Someone was rocking Karaoke STYX and that is all I needed to keep the party going. We went into the bar and found a few barfly’s and a DJ that used to be in a KISS tribute band. He and I rocked a duet to “Rock and Roll All Night And Party Everyday.” Perfect end to a perfect day.
Part three is tomorrow and it is all about a quest for the annual pumpkin. It was strange and unusual but something to never forget.