Jul 222015

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.


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).

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.


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:


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.


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. :)



And the winning team:


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


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!


The water felt FANTASTIC in 100 degrees.



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:

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”.)

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.



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.


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…

Sep 072010

Don’t be intimidated  by the concept of participating in a relay race. While Hood to Coast was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, I don’t regret it at all (and I can totally see myself doing it again someday).

Here are some tips to make your relay race excellent!

1. Pack early and pack in an organized way. But at the same time, don’t OVER pack. If you can coordinate with the other van/teammates to share everything that is best.

2. Help your teammates. Give them emotional support and cheer them on! If they seem to be lacking energy, stop the van and cheer them on or give them supplies.

3. Bring cash! You will need it at random, unexpected times. If you are in the middle of nowhere, there could be no cash machine.

4. Take pictures! You will be glad you did later when you want to relive the adventure. Don’t forget the extra batteries.

5. HAVE FUN! Stay positive. It will make a huge difference for your own abilities AND keep your teammates positive as well!

6. If you can sleep, SLEEP. Most likely you won’t be able to, but try.

7. Bring baby wipes and fresh changes of clothes. It feels fantastic to immediately change to dry, warm clothes.

8. Try to prepare yourself mentally for the challenge. Know and understand you WILL be tired. You WILL be hungry. You WILL be cranky. You WILL be sore. Accept that and try to focus on your goal: crossing the finish line.

9. Definitely prepare yourself physically. Train like you would for a marathon (or equivalent distance to the relay race).

10. Don’t burn out all your energy on your first shift/leg. Save some for the next run too!

11. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch!! Whenever you can!

12. Tell your friends and family so they can come out to see you run and support you!

13. Do everything you can to be AT the Exchange point to meet the person you are supposed to meet!

14. Use the bathroom every time it’s available. You’ll need it. And there will ALWAYS be a line! If you get an upset stomach often with running, be sure to bring remedies!

QUESTION: Have you ever done a Relay Race? Any tips or stories to share?