Jo Garcia: Gaming Vacation

By Jo Garcia

Jo Garcia hit the road with her Nintendo 3DS and an iPad to keep her company in the Florida heat.

World of Goo was my constant vacation obsession!

Some weeks I think there should be a show called The Crazy Life of Jo Garcia. This week, I jetted to Florida to visit family and enjoy a traditional Puerto Rican children’s birthday party. That means classic games and fun. We played dominoes, splashed on Slip ‘N Slides and ate food. Ok, so the Slip 'N Slide isn’t very traditional, but did I mention there was food, food, food and also food? I hadn’t eaten Puerto Rican food in awhile and I may have gone a little crazy stocking up for the party. I stopped at a Spanish restaurant to pick up the necessary hand foods: rejeno de papa and some bacalitos. Can you blame me if much of what I bought was mysteriously eaten before I even got to the party…

Just a sampling of some of the Puerto Rican delights I took to the birthday party.

The next day, I went with my dad to work. It was kind of like “take your daughter to work day.” I know, I know. So what if I’m a little bit old for it? My dad’s job is awesome. He works part-time at a parking garage in downtown Orlando. He’s known to locals as the Parking Nazi, a kind of distant Garcia cousin to the Seinfeld Soup Nazi. To family and friends he is Junior. My dad doesn’t exactly allow me to just kick up my feet and relax when I visit. He has a reputation to maintain after all. So I spent the day working. I was parking cars until 2AM. I had a traffic glow stick and was flagging cars into the garage and into spaces. In my mind it was a real life video game: Jo Garcia's Parking Tycoon.

I think I looked a bit like a Jedi with my parking glow stick, don’t you think?

Don’t think I was mad at my dad about putting me to work, either. I had a blast. My dad is the coolest. He’s the one that got me into gaming when I was a kid and is still a pretty hardcore gamer even today. Heck, without him there would be no Gamer Next Door. Even his Durango has a bit of gamer nerd in it with the Autobots logo stamped right on the front. Wicked.

My Dad’s Transformers Durango

Usually when I travel there’s a console coming along for the trip. This was a short vacation though so I left the consoles at home and spent the time gaming on my iPad and my Nintendo 3DS.

I’ve been catching up on The Sims 3 on the 3DS. I love seeing the Sims world in full 3D. It’s really immersive, kind of like having a more fully featured Tamagochi in your pocket.

I love The Sims 3 on my 3DS

My obsession with Cut the Rope has taken a backseat recently to some other iPad games. I spent a lot of time in Florida playing World of Goo. It caught my attention awhile back and has been a slowly growing addiction ever since. If you like games where there’s a world to explore that’s full of well thought-out puzzles, World of Goo is that and more. The game keeps you on your toes as you’re always building to get the goo to the tube. I’ve become obsessed with hitting all the goals.

When I got back from Florida, I was itching to get a Six Axis back in my hands and spent some alone time with the God of War: Origins Collection. It’s a great port of the handheld games God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta that are being released in September on the PS3. I suggest you make time for some Kratos related action in the near future.

So I want to know, when you go on vacation, how do you keep up with your gaming? Do you drag a console with you like I usually do or are you strictly mobile? Send me a tweet on my Twitter account @gamernextdoor and let’s explore vacation gaming. And if you don’t follow me on Twitter yet, join the club! When I get to 20,000 followers I’ll release a hot wallpaper right here. Let’s hope I get there by next Tuesday when my Deus Ex: Human Revolution video blog comes out!


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