At the beginning of the summer, A & I had the idea to go on a series of "retro dates", taking part in some activities that were big in previous generations. Because Tampa has an apparently unlimited array of retro options, we decided on a bowling/arcade date, a trip Johnny Rockets, & a night out at the roller rink. We even saw The Shining on a blow-up screen at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Downtown Tampa at midnight for free. As it turns out, retro dates are right up our alley: they're cheap & very silly.
For our bowling night at Tampa Lanes, $14 each bought us three games at the pins and 40 (an actual staggering amount) arcade tokens. Heeding to the "best two out of three" philosophy, A & I were tied up heading into the third game (she absolutely destroyed me in the second), but I emerged the ultimate victor. Taking our talents to the arcade was another treat in itself. They actually had a Top Skater game, which I haven't played since I used to spend hours on it in Dave & Busters as a little kid. A proved to be quite the little sharpshooter at both Hoop Fever and Extreme Hunting. You should see that little girl put down an e-Bison. Whoa.
Our trip to Johnny Rockets was a delectable day date. I grubbed out on a classic meat-and-cheese burger, one that I am constantly ridiculed for by waitstaff (I just don't like lettuce or tomato, k?), but A scored an absolutely gorgeous "Number 12", complete with Johnny Rockets' "red-red sauce", aka a chili-ketchup delight that competes with Sriracha sauce for first place in my heart for "condiments that aren't Heinz Ketchup".
We made the pilgrimage to United Skates of America for a night of rollerskating fun. From my days as a kid rollerskating at Kabooms in South Florida & skateboarding endlessly, I figured skating would be a breeze. When we arrived for all-you-can-eat pizza night (I know), we noticed we were at least 5 years older than the oldest kid there. Dodging through 11-year-olds ripping through the rink backwards & trying not to slam into actual children, we realized we looked a little less like Ellen Page from Whip It & a lot more like this guy. If there's one thing A & I are not afraid of, it's making fools of ourselves. Maybe because we can't avoid it.
Retro dating is easy to accomplish when you're looking for some weird, affordable fun. Check out your city's arcades, lazer tag arenas, or if you're lucky like Tampa, drive-in movie theater.