Birthday Weekend

IMG_5863My son is 8 now, and in an effort to capitalize on the few remaining ‘epic memory’ years, we had a great weekend. It all started throughout the week, as I prepared the treasure hunt…

Treasure hunts are fun, memorable, and a lot of work. Having two kids, they may have one every other year. This year, it was my son’s turn. We were having glorious weather, as usual, so I was planning a bike-all-over-town version, as they seemed to be so popular. God had a great laugh and send us rain. Luckily, I had delayed most of my clue hiding until Thursday, leaving only a single soggy clue.

IMG_5860It all started with a ham & cheese omelet enjoyed next to our ongoing Firefly/Halo Lego game. My daughter decided to sit this weekend out, so that changed the dynamic a bit. The evening BBQ had also been canceled due to illness, so I quickly re-programmed the day.

IMG_5876We started about 9 AM with the first clue, sending him to one of our favorite games, Munchkin. Next he proceeded to my new (to me –1966) truck camper. He got to thoroughly explore it to find his next clue leading to the plum tree. Here he had some difficulty. I won’t mention names, but someone decided to zip-tie his clue up in the branches ;-PIMG_5883

Being a cold, rainy day, we hopped in the truck, and cruised main street in search of a place “with things to fish and hike.” Remembering that there WAS indeed a sporting goods store in town (Sports Corral) we stopped there. My son was elated to find that a new tackle box had already been populated with some bare fishing essentials. (Oh, and a valuable clue.) I got my license, so now there was no excuse to put off fishing trips any longer.

IMG_5889We ventured south to the city park, looking for ‘shoes of old big-rigs.’ Oddly, the clue was taped upside down to the roof of the smallest one. After some protesting from my son, I asked him to imagine me getting it there… No further comment was offered.

Next up was Joseph Hardware for ‘all our fix-it needs’ which today meant a selection of bait and a fishing regulation book. Searching for a ‘stocking schedule’ his next clue fell out, leading him to one of our favorite diners, R&R. IMG_5891

Here’s where I ran into some problems. Originally, I was supposed to have two kids bicycling around on a warm, sunny day. This would have put them at R&R just in time for an ice cream. Minus 1 kid & the weather, they weren’t even open yet. Wanting to implement my back up plan, I issued my son his clue. (I have an entire backup sheet with me…)

IMG_5894Homeward bound, my son went to ‘where his bike belongs.’ (This was intentional, of course.) He searched around the shed for a while without luck. He eventually found the well-placed milk crate, and saw his presents in the rafters.IMG_5908

A glimmer of glee later, he was the proud new owner of a camp chair, stomp-powered rocket, paper airplane manual, & gyro! After a brief demonstration, the gyro became his next great fascination.  This was good timing, as he got to perfect his winding and pulling technique on our 1.5 hour journey to see IRON MAN 3. (Backup plans rule!)

I’ll save you the synopsis, the trailer’s way better. Let’s just say it’s a great movie, and my son was thrilled. We made it a full-featured experience with popcorn, root bear, & sour patch kids. Being in the big city with Birthday money, we had to go shopping. My son elected for an Iron Man wrist-mounted missile shooter and 3 Halo men (courtesy of Megablocks).

IMG_5911We decided to wait it out until dinner and capitalize on some decent Chinese food at Moy’s Dynasty. To fill our time we headed to Riverside Park to play Iron Man amongst their towers, obstacles, and other structures. (For my family, think Wildcat Park on steroids).

With full hearts & bellies, we went home. My son took a shower, while I frosted his cupcakes I had made the night before. With a song and candles, tradition was satisfied, and I read him a story for bed. (We finished “Oh by Jingo,” a book by my late grandfather. We both cried.)IMG_5913

SUNDAY came and was to be a sort of children’s music special. Only we were short on children… Fortunately, their ambidextrous, multi-instrument-playing Sunday-school teacher performed beautifully, and several of us joined in for the chorus. My kids do this brilliant maneuver after church. They grab a cookie, maybe some juice, but then they say ‘meet you in the truck, Dad!” This week was no exception, so I forced my cup cakes on others the best I could and B-lined for the truck.

Apparently, my son had something in mind and convinced me to take him fishing at Wallowa Lake. Despite the weather, we had a great time and I caught & release two rainbow trout. Amongst teaching technique, we also managed to release my son’s “Jr. Deere” travel bug into ‘the wild.’ – A travel bug is a geocaching trinket that travels the IMG_5917globe with some sort of mission. My son’s tag is attached to a side-by-side ATV toy and is meant to get its picture taken with heavy equipment of all walks of life.

Whew! It was a long, epic weekend that I’m not soon to forget. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my next personal endeavor: getting ready for our big summer camping trip by outfitting the new camper. Stay tuned!


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