We were out of ideas of a family activity while Hot Wheelz is visiting. Too cold for the beach, too much like Utah to drive to the mountains. “How about joining a road rally?” I asked.
“That sounds fun,” said the GAP. But after Googling, I found nothing. The price of gas may have discouraged those types of activities for the general public, but not for me. I woke up this morning early and prepared clues for our own home version of the Amazing Race. I placed a $20 bill in each of the envelopes for incidentals needed on the trip.
Two things I did not take into account. Black Friday shoppers and the fact that if I filled two sets of envelopes with the identical clues, it would be like playing following the leader. Team No. 1 joined by the roll of the dice was Grandpa, the Worm, and Hot Wheelz. Team No. 2 was Mr. Greenjeans, the GAP, and the Bug. I rode with team number two so I could watch over the Mouse. “Why don’t we let the first team go for 5 minutes and then we’ll go?” suggested the GAP.
“Good idea,” I responded. Five minutes never seemed to long as we watched Team No. 1 dash out of the driveway.
The Bug opened the first envelope, and read aloud, “Clue #1: Sometimes you throw a dart at me, others use me for shooting practice. I am a…”
“Balloon,” he answered.
His mom laughed. “Uh, Target.” Mr. Greenjeans gunned the car and zoomed off.
“My dad’s a maniac,” laughed the Bug.
“Remember,” I warned. “No breaking the law.”
Clue #2: Correct! Go to the nearest Target store and tell me what kid’s item takes up the most space in the store.
My phone dinged. I soon had a picture from Team No. 1. “Right. Next clue,” I texted back.
We sped from clue to clue. Mr. Greenjeans was out to win, but the Bug had forgotten to take the clue into the store with him. So it took a few more text pictures before, they located the bikes.
Clue #3: Great! Now, get on one of those bikes and take a picture with your team ; Now go to somewhere that never closes where you can ride a bike and go nowhere fast.
Clue #4: Take a picture with one of the employees and your team showing your muscles. Now go to the grocery store chain of only boys, there are no sisters.
Answer: Stater Bros.
Clue #5: Right. Go to the Stater Bros. in Brea. Take a picture with your team looking in the ice cream freezer. Buy an artisan loaf of bread and TRI to find a park where you could find a pond of water? [Editor’s note: I had to emphasize artisan bread because I wanted to feed two birds with one loaf so to speak. I wanted make panini’s for dinner and feed the ducks in clue #7.]
Answer: Tri City Park
Clue #6: Perfect – get going to the park now. What is swimming in the lake?
Clue #7: That’s right! Take a silly team picture feeding the ducks with a piece of your bread. Now think smart. There’s a statue in Brea of a wild animal that might eat ducks. Where is this statue?
Answer: Brea High School
Clue #8: Right. Go there. Take a picture standing by/on the statue. All this running around has made me hungry. There was a movie called “Super Size Me” based on this franchise.
“Where’s the closet McDonald’s?” shouted Mr. Greenjeans. The GAP pulled out the GPS and did a search. Soon they were there. The Mouse ate most of the French fries before they got to clue #11.
Clue #9: Thats right! Go to the closest McDonald’s and buy the Mouse’s favorite food. What is it?
Clue #10: Where could you see giant red ornament balls?
Answer: Birch Street
Clue #11: Right! Hop on over there and take a picture of your team mates eating French fries by the big reindeer. What color is the reindeer?
Clue #12: Where would you go if you had to buy things and nothing could cost more than $1?
Answer: 99¢ Store
Clue #13: That’s right! Find something Christmasy and buy it that you could decorate with. Now race over to the last spot to meet with your decoration. It’s 4 of Santa’s helpers who helps Santa deliver presents. What are they?
Just as Team #2 pulled out of the driveway of the 99¢ store, I got a text that team no. 1 was already done. That meant that team number no. 2 only had 5 minutes to tie. They drove lickety-split and braked to an abrupt stop at the statue of the deer. “Run,” yelled Mr. Greenjeans.
Clue #14: Put the decoration on one of the reindeer and take a picture of your team. Now meet at Grandma’s.
The Bug stopped at the sidewalk surrounding the bronze deer. He turned around and gave a look of what-do-I-do-now. “Run to the deer Nancy boy,” shouted the GAP. Mom and Dad weren’t taking this race lightly.
Team No. 1 met us as we drove up. “We won,” they gloated.
“We can have paninis now,” I said.
“I knew it,” said the GAP.
“We’re not hungry,” said Hot Wheelz. “We got Big Macs at McDonald’s.”
“That wasn’t on the rally,” I said.
“Well, you gave us the money,” reasoned Couponman. “We thought we’d take advantage of it.”
“Yeah, they even gave us free apple pies for our wait,” said Hot Wheelz.
Okay, Team Number 2 may not have won tonight’s race. But if I ever go on the Amazing Race these are the killer type instincts I want on my team.
P.S. Today the garland was still around the deer’s neck. “Didn’t Cheezy get in stopped by the police for decorating the deer?” asked the GAP.
“He and seven of his friends got lined up sitting down on the curb in front of the house while the police interrogated them. He was about thirteen.” Hmmm, had I remembered that yesterday morning, I might not have included that in my instructions for the rally. I guess decorating reindeer runs in the family.
- Thirteen words
- The gaps in my life
- Not much changes over the generations
- Shirley the pig
- Hold my hand