Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ABC Date Nights "G"

Since our last two Date Nights were more like "non-dates" and the reasons justifying why they basically failed, I was excited that we finally were getting back to normal!  And by normal, I mean:
1.  We actually had nice weather.  (no small feat, as the every date night up until "G" was cold and rainy!)
2.  We were both healthy.
3.  We have appliances. (lol--It does make life less stressful to have these handy items!)
4.  We had an easier letter with options aplenty to choose from!

It was also fun because we tried something new which was the premise to begin with but weather, sickness, stress and difficult letters intervened! Somewhere in my foggy brain, I remembered someone talking about "geocaching" and I always thought it sounded interesting.  I did a little research, polled my friends on facebook and decided to go with it.  Not knowing much about it, naturally I googled it and found an entire website dedicated to how to get started.
GEOCACHING is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online..
The first thing we did was register.  That way we would have a screen name which enabled us to log in and find geocaches near us.  After that, we just typed in our zip code and that brought up pages (!) of sites near us to search. There are codes for how easy/difficult, and how small/large the "cache" is.  It doesn't tell you what the cache looks like (it could be in almost any kind of a container, from the size of a film canister to a bucket!)  The site suggested to start with "easy." Since we get lost everywhere we go, we decided to follow their advice and pursue three "easy" caches.  We borrowed a friend's GPS and entered the coordinates of the sites.  Let the treasure hunt begin!  Since it was such a beautiful night, we walked to the first one. The website suggests once you get within twenty feet of the coordinates to turn the GPS off and just start looking around.
So we did.
We looked.
And looked.
For about 20-30 minutes.
Near a very busy intersection where I'm certain every person who drove by us was looking at us quizzically and wondering,
"What on earth are those crazy people doing?"  
After checking and rechecking oh, about a hundred times, we decided either we were either blind or the cache had been removed.  The website log said eighty-nine people had found it---nine had not.  Guess who rounded that total up to ten?

After some deliberation we decided to move on to our second location.  I mean, how many times can you look in the same place for something you can't find???
The coordinates for the second site took us to an empty, grassy area. Since the directions didn't tell us we had to dig for our treasure we were again perplexed.  Still, we looked far and wide, with no luck. The website log said one hundred and sixty-nine people had found it--six did not! At this point we were starting to think either our friend's GPS was faulty<(probably NOT true) or we were the most directionally challenged people EVER! <(probably true)  Our new adventure was starting to get a bit annoying. You don't want to be frustrated on a Date Night but this was starting to resemble many of our road trips where we ended up lost and yes, frustrated!  "The goal is to spend time together" we repeated to each other lovingly with barely disguised exasperation. Ultimately we regained our composure.  This was Date Night! Onward and Forward!

We approached our third and final destination with fierce determination but low expectations.  This time the coordinates pretty much took us exactly to the spot. And let me just add that no one was more surprised than us!  (note the look of exhilaration on my face!)


Eureka!  Did I mention before that the treasure is usually quite small?---It's more about the hunt---and inside each cache there is a log book for you to log your name and the date you found it.  We were so happy to have actually FOUND the cache that it didn't matter what was in it---even if it was only a cottage cheese container filled with assorted odd items!  The important thing was that we FOUND it!  
I can't say that we are hooked on geocaching although I have to admit before going, I thought it might become a fun hobby.  I think we would have to try it a few more times before we decide if it will become our new favorite pastime.....Still, it was fun to try something different and we were extra thankful for the beautiful night spent outdoors and away from our couch!
(We later went back and found the first cache.  It was pretty cleverly hidden and took us at least another twenty minutes.  We haven't tried yet to find the second one again, but for now, our wounded pride has been partially reinstated!)

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