Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stacation Day 2: Panic and Clue Town

Not to toot my own horn, but I thought that Stacation Day 1 went pretty smoothly. The complaints were minimal, we all enjoyed the Aquarium and I ended the day thinking I was pretty much the best mother on the earth. Even better, the kids were super excited about our plan to go to Sky Zone on Tuesday and I was excited about visiting Ballard Designs outlet which is conveniently located next to the Roswell Sky Zone. It was a winning plan for all, which is why I was totally bummed when I looked at the Sky Zone Roswell website and saw that it opened at 4 pm. What? I get that when kids are in school, the pool of likely candidates to play trampoline basketball goes way down, but certainly someone can come up with some kind of trampoline exercise for adults. A quick Google search and...oh, of course:

I chose to picture the German version because I think it's kind of funny that it says, "Die Personal Trainerin," which is probably how many people feel after doing trampoline exercise with Gwyneth Paltrow's personal trainer. I'm a little worried, though, that Tracy's shoulders are all jacked-up from getting injured on the trampoline. Her posture looks a little weird, no? But, the point is that Sky Zone has an untapped revenue stream and my Day 2 stacation plans were ruined.

There is another (inferior) Sky Zone location in Suwanee (not to be confused with Sewanee, Tennessee home of The University of the South, which no southerner ever calls "The University of South," but instead refer to as "Sewanee."), but even that location wasn't open until 4pm. I went to bed feeling defeated and panicked that I didn't have a plan for the following day and I was going to have to break it to three kids who wore their special Sky Zone jumping socks to bed that we couldn't go.

Well, the news delivery went about as well as I had imagined: yelling, rolling on the floor, and cries of, "it's no fair!" After Sky Zone was off the table, no one wanted to do anything, but I was determined to find something for us to do...whether they liked it or not. Bwahahaha!

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered that a friend of mine had posted on Facebook about doing a scavenger hunt at the historic Oakland Cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta and the final resting place to notable Atlantans including Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones. I did a little research and figured out that they used something called Clue Town. I knew that the kids were too far gone for me to convince them to go to the Cemetery, but as luck would have it, there is a Clue Town for our little city and we could purchase the book at our visitor's center.

I had to practically drag the kids out the door and throw them into the car to do this "fun" activity. By the time we got to the visitor's center, they were acting a little better, or at least were too self-conscious to scream at me in public. The lady working at the visitor's center was a volunteer and had some trouble locating the book, but the Girl spied it hiding in plain sight in the middle of the most visible display shelf. Too obvious!

The kids were mostly excited that the clue book came with a compass and a tiny mini golf-sized pencil. Whatever works! We headed off in search of our first location:

The book has 13 clues and puzzles to solve that lead you from location to location. It took us about an hour to complete the hunt and for the most part, the kids were engaged. The Baby was a little young to figure out the puzzles, but insisted on helping, which is why one of puzzles was filled in thusly:

Her backwards S's are so consistent that they reminds me of the cutesy purposeful mistakes on the Winnie the Pooh signs at Disney World:

The Baby also got tired of walking and made me carry her (she's not filled with feathers, I assure you) for a couple of blocks uphill. By the time we finished, we were all hot and tired, plus both the tiny pencil and the compass broke, so it was clearly time to take a break. We went to Square Pub to eat lunch, which was great because they have piles of games that you can play while you eat. The Girl picked out Apples to Apples, which was hilarious because, for the most part, the kids had no idea what they were doing. Since the kids had no context for any of the comparisons, I was permanent judge and had to decide, for example, whether Germany in 1945 or Steve Martin is more awkward. (Steve Martin, obviously). Is Puff Daddy or Big Foot more risky? (Puff Daddy, because he's actually real).

After lunch, we headed to our favorite children's bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, and the Boy got to use his birthday gift cards to buy books about Minecraft, trivia, and weird inventions. Naturally, the girls had to get books, too. At this point, I reflected that the money I was spending on this cost-saving staycation was not insignificant. Proving the point, five minutes later I was dropping $10 at Butter & Cream, the new ice cream store in town. It's just expensive keeping everyone occupied and happy, especially at home. Next year we save money and go to the beach!

I think the kids ended up having fun and it was certainly better to get out of our Gloomy Place and do something new. Someday they'll thank me for forcing them to do this kind of thing...right?



  1. Of course they will. Did you know that Jeni's is opening on the square? I can't wait!

    1. I did hear about Jeni's coming to the square. Between that addition and Shake Shack coming to ATL, I'd better up my exercise or do a juice cleanse!

  2. So true about Sewanee. I don't think it has ever occurred to me that anyone, anywhere would actually say University of the South!

    1. For the longest time I didn't know that Sewanee had another name. I think it was when I drove to Nashville and passed through Monteagle that I realized that the real name was University of the South. That area is beautiful, but I'm too freaked out by switchback mountain roads to thoroughly enjoy it.