than being stuck inside on a beautiful day. It’s our last day of school and so naturally my mind is on the wonderfully fun things we could be doing instead. Here’s my random list.
FRIDAY 13: THINGS I’D RATHER BE DOING
Letterboxing: Enjoy puzzles and mysteries? Like your hobby to be low-tech and low key? Don’t mind a little bug spray? Letterboxing is for you. “Invented” in the 1800s in England, letterboxing is a game in which a person hides a stamp that he or she has carved and a log book. He then posts clues online, by word of mouth, etc. and you must find the “treasure”. Once you find it you take your stamp (that you made or bought), stamp it into the hidden log book and then take the stamp that you just found and stamp it into your log book that you carry around with you. You DO NOT take or trade stamps (unless you find a “hitchhiker” that needs to be moved to another box). One of the fun things about letterboxing is that you’re supposed to do the searching and finding in secret. You don’t want anyone to know what you’re doing.
Geocaching: Letterboxing’s younger and more popular sibling. Take on geocaching if you like your hobby to be higher-tech. Using a hand-held GPS receiver the hider hides a “cache” filled with a log book and any other trinkets they might like to share. The finder will go online to find the clues. These caches are found by entering GPS coordinates into your receiver and then searching. Caches can range in size from as small as a watch battery to as large as an ammo canister. One main difference from letterboxing (besides all the technology) is that you can trade items in geocaching. The rule is, if you take something out you should put something back in. Once you find your caches for the day you log your “finds” into geocaching.com. Like hitchhikers in letterboxing, geocaching has travelbugs. This is also a hobby that’s meant to be done incognito.
Camping: Let’s define camping for Vicki. Camping is sleeping in a tent with an air mattress and plenty of sleeping bags and blankets. Camping is having all of the “necessities” within a short walk from the campsite. Campingis bringing food with you to cook, not making do with what you find or catch. Camping is campfires with s’mores. There are many places to camp, but a good place to start is in state or national parks. A few good sites: Recreation.gov–kind of a clearinghouse for federal recreation reservations. Reserveamerica.com is very similar to recreation.gov but it also lists private campgrounds. About.com’s site on camping. Lists all sorts of campgrounds.
Shopping: I can’t believe this isn’t up there at number one. But this is a random list. You don’t have to be indoors to shop. Plenty of outlet malls and even shi-shi-la-la malls make you go outside to get to the next shop. All downtown shopping districts are like that. How close are you to your nearest outlet mall? Outletbound.com will get you to the nearest and best shopping.
Playing cornhole: What? Those of you (un)fortunate enough to be steeped in Beavis & Butthead wisdom, get your mind out of the gutter. Cornhole, or beanbag toss, is really popular in the Midwest. Especially while tailgating. The goal is to toss beanbags into a hole in an angled board some distance away. Another popular version uses little washers or something like that. Du made our set and it’s very nice with GT logos everywhere. I made up the beanbags. With real corn. You could just make a set, or buy one and start tossing. But wait! There’s an official cornhole website, Playcornhole.org, to bring you all the official rules!
- Getting a tan: I only wish I could lay out and get tan. I no longer do this for fear of skin cancer. I get tan nowadays using precise scientific methods…otherwise known as Fake Bake. I miss the heat of the sun on my skin as I doze, flipping over whenever one side gets too hot or too sweaty.
- Riding our bikes: The area in our neighborhood is relatively flat so this doesn’t seem so daunting. I’m deathly afraid of riding on big roads though. I don’t trust myself enough, much less the maniacs on the roads. We got our bikes about 10 years ago and I’ve probably ridden as many times. That thing is probably rusted stiff. Must work on this.
- Rollerblading: We got our rollerblades around the same time as our bikes. I’ve rollerbladed about ten times as well. It’s a good thing we don’t get into really expensive pastimes! I think it’d be fun to get them out though…along with all of the requisit safety pads, and give it a go. There’s something about a warm, sunny spring day that makes you want to be active.
- Riding Route 66. We’ve lived close to this famous landmark a couple of times. Have we taken it? Yes, out of necessity, but not for the fun of partaking in American culture. I’d love to do the whole thing, although I understand that parts of the original route no longer exist. I will settle to ride the part that we live close to. Do you have a famous landmark near you? Take part in American culture and go! Historical Landmarks, American Landmarks
- Go boating: I’d rather be at the ocean any day…unless we’re going boating. I don’t like rocking the boat…or for the boat to be rocking very much. Give me a smooth-as-glass lake where I can ski.
- Horseback riding: I’ve ridden on horses before…while they were walking. I’m not sure how I’d react to one pickingup and running, or whatever you call it that horses do. Maybe, like biking, I have a fear of being on something of which I have no control. Oh, you may have control of bikes and horses when you ride them. Speak for yourself. I’d still like to go horseback riding though.
- Golfing: I enjoy golfing once we’re actually on the course and swinging at the ball. It’s just getting me to the course that takes some work. Not sure why. It’s so gorgeous outside today. And the grass is so green. And I totally rocked at Wii golf the other night. I want to go make some divots and fish my ball out of the water hazards. We’ve played St. Andrews, but there are plenty of local courses that will do in a pinch. Golfcourseguide.org should be able to help me find a decent one.
- Picnicing (or picnicking if that other word looks like pic-nice-ing to you): Today is the perfect picnic day. Fried chicken, potato salad, grapes, chips, cookies, and whatever else can be shoved into a basket. Mind you, in this perfect day that I’d rather be doing things outdoors, someone else will have made all this food and I’m just eating it. We have some wonderful parks in the area with nice playgrounds too.
What about you? What would you rather be doing if it were a perfectly beautiful and perfectly warm day outside where you are?