Car Rally Is ‘Halloween On Wheels’

Looking for a different way to celebrate Halloween this year? Do you love “The Amazing Race”? Do you like dressing up in costumes? If so, then round up some friends and spend your Halloween weekend going head-to-head with other road warriors in the Rental Car Rally. Described as “Halloween on Wheels,” Rental Car Rally (RCR) sends costumed teams on an expedition between two cities with checkpoints and challenges along the way, and is held multiple times each year in different cities across the country.

Meeting at a secret starting line, teams converge for a kick-off party and receive a briefcase containing a series of checkpoints they must find over the next 24 hours. The team that successfully finds all checkpoints (verified by requiring photos at each one) in the lowest amount of miles wins the prized Golden Gas Pump, and major bragging rights. Style points, defined by “looking awesome,” also play a role in the overall winner. Checkpoints include off-the-beaten-track places like haunted hotels, Cold War missile silos, closed amusement parks and brothels.

The $179 tickets are per vehicle, not per person. Teams wanting extra perks can upgrade to a $699 “Joe Viterbo” ticket, which includes a “deluxe steel briefcase” at the starting line, and a suite and steak dinner at the finish line hotel. There’s even a $2,999 ticket, that no one has ever purchased, and includes a shot of pure human adrenaline. Teams pick their own themes, which have ranged from Gilligan’s Island to Hooters Girls to Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 News Team. While using an actual rental car is not required, it is highly advisable (with full insurance policies) due to mischief along the way.

The rally concludes with a party in the finish line city, which is still unannounced. Organizers say they got the idea of RCR by wanting to participate in international road trip adventure Gumball 3000, but not having the money for the six-figure entry fee. Previous RCR’s include Los Angeles to Tombstone, Los Angeles to Tahoe, New York City to Montreal and San Francisco to Yuma. Two 2013 RCR’s have already been announced for this year: June 21 from Los Angeles and August 13 from New York City. You can find out more at the rally homepage.

[Photos Courtesy Spencer Harrison and Rental Car Rally]

5 Great Pirate Bars In Honor Of International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Shiver me timbers, it’s that time of year again! Break out your eye patch, dust off the plank and raise the Jolly Roger because September 19 is one of the greatest holidays of the year: International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This swashbuckling celebration started in 1995 when two friends, John Baur (aka Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (aka Cap’n Slappy) decided that for 24 hours each year, everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. The holiday has gained popularity primarily due to the rise of social media; Facebook even has a ‘pirate’ language setting.

If there’s one thing pirates and wenches alike love to do, it’s drink. So whether you’re a seadog buccaneer or a city-slicking landlubber, here’s a list of five bars to enjoy some cold grog on the big day.Redwood Bar & Grill – Los Angeles, California (above)
316 W. 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Redwood Bar & Grill is the perfect spot to live out your pirate dreams. Enjoy a drink on the nautical-themed patio outside or step inside and grab a captain’s booth for you and your mateys. On TLAP day, three bands will be rocking out all night long.

Wicked Willys – New York, New York
149 Bleecker St, NY, NY 10012

This Greenwich Village hotspot features live music, DJs, karaoke and beer pong tables – all the essentials for a pirate party. As their motto goes, “Time flies when you’re having rum,” which flows until 4 a.m. nightly. TLAP day festivities include live music starting at 7 p.m. and a DJ from 11 p.m.

Piratz Tavern – Silver Springs, Maryland
8402 Georgia Avenue, Silver Springs, MD 20910

Ditch the DC suit-and-tie types and head to Piratz Tavern in Silver Springs to unleash your inner buccaneer.

The best part about Piratz Tavern? They recently went head-to-head against SpikeTV’s “Bar Rescue.” After being turned into a boring corporate restaurant, the owners and regulars quickly threw out most of the $250,000 SpikeTV spent on renovations, and returned the bar to its original pirate theme. Yo ho ho! The staff includes “Blackjack,” “Boobies,” and “One Eyed Mike.” Yes, “One Eyed Mike” has one eye. Yes, he really did lose his eye while working on a promotion for “Pirates of the Caribbean.” And yes, it is socially acceptable to call him, “One Eyed Mike.”

The Pirate Republic Bar – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
400 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

The Pirate Republic Bar, Seafood & Grill in Fort Lauderdale is the only pirate bar on our list actually located on the water. Offering free docking for your ship, swing by after a day pirating the high seas. Or let the water taxi drop you and your mates off in style. No south Florida pretentiousness here, as locals and tourists are greeted with a hearty “Ahoy matey!”

Smuggler’s Cove – San Francisco
650 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Pirates and rum: There may be no greater love affair in the world. And if there’s one bar that knows rum, it’s Smuggler’s Cove. With 200 varieties available, you can bet there’s something for every shipmate. The bar offers a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, but with a max capacity of 49, you better get there early if you want to celebrate TLAP day here.