It seems like Andy and I have been tag-teaming our parenting lately. Our weeks are always hectic, and our weekends usually consist of “I’ll watch the kids while you go running, you watch the kids while I run errands” type of taking turns being the parent-in-charge.
So it was a wonderful change of pace to spend the weekend enjoying some family time. Because when Nature hands you sunshine and record high temps, you get outside and enjoy the heck out of it.
On Saturday we headed to a nearby park to try our hand at geocaching. I thought Henry and Eleanor might like to go on a “treasure hunt,” as we called it. I registered at geocaching.com and wrote down some coordinates to caches at the park where we were heading.
We arrived and I typed in the coordinates into my phone. We headed towards the red dot that appeared on my map screen. My phone’s GPS was off by 20 feet or so, and we spent some time looking in the wrong patch of land. We doubled back to head to the other side of the path, found the solution to the clue that was given, and voila! Our first find!
Caches usually have a log of some sort inside to sign. They can also have trinkets to swap out, coins to take and add to another cache, or other collectible items. We added our names to the log, took the special collectible coin another family had left in the cache, and carefully placed it back into its hiding spot, ready for the next geocacher to find.
Henry and Eleanor were excited to try to find another “treasure.” So we set off for another set of coordinates, and…well. Either the coordinates/my GPS was off, or we weren’t good searchers, but after a fair amount of looking we came up empty-handed. Our treasure hunt turned into a nature hike and playground time instead. I’m not a hiking fan, but it was awfully cute to see the kids whip out their magnifying glass or binoculars to check out a flower or chipmunk. Henry was also excited to spot an older man in what looked like a cross between a cowboy and a safari hat: “Mom, there’s a paleontologist here!”
On our way back to the parking lot we attempted one more treasure find. This one had comments on the website such as “my 6-year-old found it,” so how hard could it be, right? Nope, didn’t find it. I’m guessing we’ll never be recruited for a pirate crew. Which is probably for the best, I don’t really like rum.
Sunday was another beautiful day, so in the afternoon we headed to the art museum for a performance by IBEX Puppetry. Called “Celebration of Flight,” it used kites and puppets (and puppet kites) to tell the story of a whooping crane. Henry and Eleanor were able to make their own kites beforehand, which they were overly fired up over.
I was overly fired up myself when I discovered that Heather Henson, daughter of Jim himself, was the main puppeteer.
Despite my guilt over dragging Andy to an event during the Michigan State basketball game, it was a really great performance. We all loved the kites, especially when they would swoop low over our heads. I was impressed that Henry and Eleanor were able to follow along with the story as the crane grew up. Although Eleanor did ask me “is that how big a crane is?” at the sight of the larger-than-life bird at the end of the show.
For the finale the puppeteers invited the kids to come participate with their kites. Henry and Eleanor LOVED this part, and from the looks of it so did all the other kids in attendance. And as if on cue, as the performance ended two bald eagles started circling above. Andy and I were all, “look kids! eagles!” They were more “whatever” and went back to running around with their kites.
So they were less than impressed with our nation’s symbol, but we had a great time experiencing something new, and we made it home in time to watch the second half of the game (go Spartans!)
And Henry and Eleanor can add “performed puppetry with a Henson” to their resume. How cool is that?