Bowling alleys sure have changed since I was a kid. They used to be smoke-filled, sticky places that smelled like beer and cautionary tales. The bowling alley is where you went to find a guy who knew a guy, if you know what I mean. Well, those days are long gone — today’s bowling alleys sport trendy names like Pinz and Bowlero, and offer menus prepared by renowned chefs.
The kids are off for Spring Break, and since the beach wasn’t in the cards for us this year, we have been trying to entertain them during their “stay-cation.” What’s the next best thing to the beach? Bowling of course!
The bowling scene has been going through a resurgence of late, and our local lanes were recently renovated. I’ve lived here long enough to remember visiting those same lanes every other Wednesday during high school P.E., where the biggest excitement came from learning who got caught smoking in the bathroom, so I was not prepared for what welcomed us when we entered this same bowling alley the other day — neon lights, wall-to-wall video screens, disco balls and music — who needs to bowl?
The best part of the new facility was the automatic scoring. Our waitress (yes, we had a waitress) entered our names into the computer and all our gutterballs were scored automatically on the giant screen for all to see. No more wrangling with the calculus required to score spares and strikes with a stubby pencil and paper.
The food was delicious, the ambience was exciting, the kids had a blast, and none of us needed a tetanus shot before we left. A trip to the bowling alley is now one of my favorite family outings.