Competitive!

I left off on my last post about the scavenger hunt! It’s a huge part of our family reunion. My uncle Mike has done it for 30+ years and he does a great job! I asked him this weekend how long it takes him and he said about 3 months to make it. That’s so amazing.

It’s evolved over the years and gets bigger and better every time. In the earlier years it was mostly having to find things–worms, ladybugs, spiders, pennies from a certain year, etc. Then he added trivia questions (which is fun). Then he started adding competition based games–like relay races and stuff. Like I said, it’s different every year.

The teams were boys vs. girls. We were Team G3 (Girls 3). It was me, my aunt Linda, my mom, my aunt Maureen, cousins Lea and Melina and Mia and Noa and Di.

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This year the stuff we had to find was hard to figure out at first. He gave us a list of like 6 things we had to find. Except no one knew the words. At first we thought it was a word scramble–unscramble the letters and then you know the words for the items you have to find. It took us a bit to figure out that it was actually just words in other languages–German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. Once we figured that out we could find the items (lady bugs, spider, etc).

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There was a race where you had to run from the starting line to the end of the garden where there were buckets of water balloons in soapy water (which were really hard to hold on to) then run back and tag the next person in your team.

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Then there was the bowling competition. That is always fun! And of course we’re all quoting The Big Lebowski as we play. MARK IT ZERO! Next up was a really funny game! One team member had to run from the starting line to the end of the driveway, fill a skillet with water, then run back and pour the water into a bucket. The team with the most water in the bucket at the end wins that competition. Except–it’s really hard to run with water in a skillet and NOT spill it. AND people from other teams were throwing tennis balls and water balloons at the runner to get them to spill the water (hence the helmet). Here is a video. See below:

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Hahaha! It gets pretty competitive. Next up was throwing a giant rubber boot. The team that throws it furthest gets the points. It is surprisingly hard to throw the boot. Try it sometime. It doesn’t go very far.

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Then the grand finale: there was trivia questions involving the family history (like what year did the family reunion start? 1981. What is Grammy’s birth date? How did the barn burn down? It was a nut drier. Etc…)

Then each team had one final task. The boy teams had to find a girl’s swimsuit, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lipstick, a towel and flipflops and then put it on and run back to the judges to get your points. The girls had to get a baseball cap, board shorts, sunscreen and boy flipflops. Check out my uncle who was enjoying it way too much. 🙂

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And the winning team:

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Our team won! Go G3!!! Girls rule. 🙂 And of course there is a trophy:

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It was so much fun. It was a REALLY hot day, though, nearly 100 degrees, and we were all melting in the sun. A few times I had to go into the house to cool off for a few moments because I was feeling light headed.

After the scavenger hunt we all went down to the river to cool off! I could NOT wait!

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The water felt FANTASTIC in 100 degrees.

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After swimming and cooling off it was time for the potluck dinner. It’s so good. Everyone brings two dishes and there’s so much tasty food. I went a teeny bit overboard. But…..I had to have sweated off and burned off some of those calories during the scavenger hunt, right?? Potluck:

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A few different kind of salads and casseroles, a piece of fried chicken, some meatballs, and my aunt Maureen made grilled cheese sandwiches on the spot which was probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten. LOL So good.

Saturday night there was another bonfire and s’mores and just hanging out. It was so much fun. In the past we used to sit around the campfire and sing and several people brought their guitars. I’m a little sad that we didn’t do that this year. It was almost my favorite part of the weekend. (This is the reason I know ALL THE WORDS to “American Pie”.)

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Sunday morning we woke up and my aunt and uncle made pancakes. It’s pretty much the only time of the year I eat pancakes and they are amazing.

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It was so good to see everyone! And to spend time with my grandma. She was doing great! And she looks great for 93 years old.

We packed up the campsite, hung out a bit and then made the rounds to say goodbye to everyone. Then it was time to hit the road. We had to get home to pick up Bella.

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My cousin Kristin hitched a ride to Portland with us, which was nice. We got to spend some time together, hang out, chat. We all were super excited to shower and get clean clothes after camping all weekend and then we went out to lunch at Laughing Planet. We all were craving vegetables. 😉 We dropped Kristin off at her friend’s house and then went back to the house (where we discovered our AC broke over the weekend and it was HAWT).

What a wonderful weekend. Going back to “reality” and work on Monday was so hard. I could have used one more day to decompress before going back to reality…

Will Bike For BBQ

Friday Michael and I drove from Portland to Poulsbo, Washington for my annual family reunion. I look forward to this weekend because my family parties are so fun. It was hard leaving the kitties all weekend and Fat Kitty is very skilled at the guilt trip.

"Don't Leave Mom!"

We stopped at Burgerville mid-drive for a quickie dinner. There are not a lot of options from here to Seattle for healthy food.


I ordered the original cheeseburger and had 2 onion rings from Michael’s basket. Something that annoys me about Burgerville: they print the calorie information on the receipts but I want to know before I order what the calories are. (My burger and two onion rings were about 700 calories total.)

We arrived at my cousin’s house kind of late and set up our tent before settling in at the campfire. It was a nice way to decompress after traveling. Saturday morning we got up and had bowls of cereal (and coffee) before a bike ride. My uncle Dick was going to take us on another bike ride just like last year’s Tour de Poulsbo.

We suited up and were ready to hit the road. We followed Dick, who is an amazing cyclist (he’s biked the Seattle to Portland Ride many many times– twice he did it in one day!).

We biked down the road, passed a few farms, barns and lots of horses.

There signs about a cycling event but none of us knew which one until we passed by a Rest Stop for the event.

It was the Grand Fondo! We stopped at the Rest Stop to find out about the event and then continued on.

We biked passed some viewpoints of Puget Sound and up and down rolling hills.

The nice thing about the route we did was that there wasn’t much traffic. It was a remote road through the countryside. We biked through Poulsbo and climbed one of the longest hills I’ve done. It wasn’t steep but it was a slow, constant incline that seemed to never end.

Almost back to the house we had one more mountain to tackle:

A huge hill. Steep. Intimidating. Michael and I tackled it with determination. As a side note, Michael has lost 17 pounds so far. He said that the hill was much easier for him this year than last year because of his weight loss.

The hill was still a struggle for me. Half way up the climb I wondered if I’d have to stop and walk but I made it. I was slow, I was tired, but I made it and recovered quickly.

Ride Stats:
Time: 1:10
Calories Burned: 557
Distance: 13.5 miles

Saturday’s ride meant I rode 3 days in a row! Woot! Back at the reunion I cleaned up and then searched for food! They grilled up hot dogs, tofu dogs and elk sausage for lunch.

There were also some salads, veggies and cupcakes.

I grabbed a regular hot dog, happy to eat after the ride and small breakfast. We had to toast our dogs. It’s kind of a tradition.

Michael might have eaten two hot dogs. I’m not telling though.


I also had some fresh crab that my Uncle Dick caught that morning from his back yard. It’s one of the highlights of the weekend, for sure.

I munched on some fresh peas from my cousin Kristin’s garden too. There’s so much good food all weekend long.


We had a few hours to relax and just hang out with the family before the Scavenger Hunt started!

QUESTION: What’s your method for tackling hills? Slow and steady or tackle it quick and fast?