Challenge Geocaches

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about geocaching, but I’ve got something exciting to report on! My first hand experience anyway.

This post is about challenge caches. A challenge cache does have an actual location, as well as a physical log to sign, but there is an added challenge! These caches require an additional task before they can be considered complete.

My example today is going to be about state county challenges. I was so excited to complete my first county challenge while in Rhode Island this month. For this particular style cache, you have to find a cache in each county of the state.

This was an easy challenge, as Rhode Island only has five counties, but it still takes more effort than your traditional cache. It is usually wise to plan ahead, this way you can be sure that each county is accounted for. It can be simple if you want, grabbing park and grab caches, or difficult, going after the interesting ones.

Luckily for me, Jenna was up for my caching challenge! This allowed us to see the many beautiful sides of the smallest state in our two day trip. We visited Fort Wetherill, home of an amazing quartz filled cliff in Newport County.

We saw the state capital of Providence, in the county with the same name. We visited a beautiful and peaceful cemetary with stones dating back to the revolutionary war in Bristol county.

The actual location of the challenge cache log was even in a tiny cemetary, tucked into the woods. You would think it could be forgotten, hidden as it is, but the flags on the graves show us that it is not.

Challenge caches can be anything from the county kind to requiring you to log a certain number or type of cache prior to logging it. They are a nice change from the traditional cache and worth trying out!

For more information on geocaching, check out:

Types of caching
Geocaching souvenirs

Geocaching lingo


The Bridges to Rhode Island and Back

Jenna may have thought I was kidding about doing this, but nope! It’s happening! 

I love driving places. Flying can be nice, and sometimes required for certain destinations, but driving is my preferred method of travel. I love seeing everything along the way. You never know if you’ll be passing the world’s biggest wind chime, or some other ridiculous thing! 

This October, I had the opportunity to go to a Rhode Island wedding with my friend Jenna. I’d never been before and was definitely looking forward to it! I convinced Jenna that driving was better and cheaper than flying, so off we went. Along the way we saw many beautiful bridges. It’s a crazy thing to get excited about it, but I loved it. 

Here are some of the ones we saw:

This beauty is the George Washington bridge in NYC. It is a pricey one, as the toll to cross was $15. It makes one wonder how people afford to cross it twice a day! We got to enjoy it for a while as we were in rush hour. You have to take your fun where you can find it!

This beautiful bridge was crossed in New Haven, CT. It’s amazing how different things can look when lit up at night. I’m sure this bridge is nothing special during the day, but the blue lights make it beautiful!

This giant bridge is found in Jamestown, RI and will cost $4 to cross. Very reasonable compared to the GWB! It takes you to an island of natural wonders, so it’s definitely worth it. I also especially love these tall bridges because the view from the high point is always amazing!

This bridge is in Bristol, RI and absolutely free to cross. My favorite part about this bridge was the old fashioned light fixtures on it. They were beautiful!

This more simple looking bridge is found in Providence, RI. There is a lot of water in and around RI so there are many bridges!

This industrial looking bridge can be found in Fall River, Massachusetts. 

As you can tell we were treated to many different styles of bridges on our trip, but we definitely enjoyed the view, both of them and from them!

Three Cheers For Animals

Does anyone know what a Daisy Journey is? I had no idea until last year when they were mentioned, and this year we just completed our first one: Three Cheers For Animals. The point of the journey is to teach girls how to take care of themselves by learning how to care for animals.

This journey takes place over several events and meetings. Our first outing as a troop on this journey was a trip to Giant Eagle, a grocery store, for a tour. This was where our troop was led through the different areas of the store, such as produce, meats, bakery, and shown how they relate to the “healthy plate”. The girls were able to sample pieces of watermelon, a delicious pizza and we finished off with a dessert, reminding the girls that it needs to be in moderation. A very informative and very fun outing!

Our next event was girl scout day at the Cleveland Zoo. Aside from crafts that were set up for us, there were many “meet the keeper” opportunities. This gave the girls the opportunity to talk to zoo workers about what goes in to caring for an animal. Things like habitat care, proper diet and exercise. All things that we as people need. A trip to the zoo is always fun for first graders!

Our first meeting focused on healthy eating. This involved making “snack bugs”. Yes, we encouraged the girls to play with their food. The girls had a lot of fun!

Our last outing, and the “service” portion of this journey was an outing to Kitten Krazy, a local shelter for cats. The girls were told about how the cats require food, cleaning up after, and of course play time. This was the best part for the kids, getting to play with kittens!

The girls also got to drop off the cat toys we had made in one of our meetings.

Another meeting involved yoga and some simple exercises. This was a lot of fun because it was a lot of moving around!

The journey had a lot of fun opportunities for the girls, and the leaders. This journey has been a blast and has made me look forward to the next one!

This is the patch that the girls earned by completing their journey.

Busy Life, Happy Life

I’ve really been slacking off on blogging lately. I hate myself for it, just a little bit, but it’s happening for a good reason. A year ago, we were sitting at home, like we always did at the end of the day, doing nothing. Watching TV, kids maybe playing with their toys or tablets, but it was a whole lot of laziness. 

We decided to make a change, well I did. My son was already in boy scouts, my husband as assistant den leader, so my daughter became a daisy scout (that’s the first level of girl scouts) and I got roped into being a co-leader.

Next step was some kind of physical activity for the kids. Chiara has always loved dancing. Since she could walk, if music is on, she was swaying to it. So she was signed up for ballet. It’s been a year and one recital and she still loved it! 

Arthur is not one for sports. My sweet boy just doesn’t have the coordination or the patience for it. I know martial arts are really good for developing  those, so he has now been taking those classes for a year.

Arthur taking martial arts led to me following up on a “help needed” at the dojo, so now I also teach kickboxing twice a week. That’s been a slightly crazy addition to my schedule, but it is really helping me tone up. Double win as it usually pays for Arthur’s karate.

The reason I share all this is because I’m going to start incorporating some of my girl scout experiences into the blog and I didn’t want to startle anyone. There will be mention of crafts and yummy snacks, so it will still be fun! Prepare yourself!

Fire Kit

Ah, the tiny, yet versatile Altoids tin. I love all the stuff you can do with these. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while. Especially since I made my fire starters!

As usual, you start with an empty Altoids tin. Then gather together your items.

In my fire kit I have:

•a flint and steel, found in the camping section at Walmart

•a standard Bic lighter, found anywhere

•lint, found in the lint trap of your dryer

•waterproof fire starter, directions on making and using found here

I wrapped the fire starter in aluminum foil to stop it from spreading it’s stickiness.

Then I put a rubber band around the whole kit to help hold it closed. This kit can help when camping, or, as mine will, it’s going to eventually be in my 72-hour bag.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Drinking Around the World at Epcot

As stated in my last blog, we spent the last full week in Orlando. We had our first day at Epcot, which I enjoyed much more than the first year we went. I planned out this trip out to make the most of it. 

Tony, my brother Josh, my cousin Ben and I were going to drink our way around the world at Epcot. I had read about this on Pinterest and it sounded like a lot of fun. 

We started in Mexico, where Tony and I shared a Mango Margarita. It wasn’t very good, but it got us started. The churros we got to go with it were very good. I had never had them before, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Next stop was Norway, where we had Einstöck White Ale. I’m not a big beer/ale/lager drinker, so I had a few hits out of this souvenir glass. It wasn’t bad, even for a non-ale drinker.

On to China! This drink is called Tipsy Ducks in Love. It is a coffee flavored delight! Tony and I both enjoyed this one immensely. We had to stop for lunch in China because my brother, unbeknownst to me, had drank a shot and a full drink in Norway and China and was a little wobbly. No breakfast and the heat, combined with the alcohol, left him reeling.

Africa isn’t really a country at Epcot, more of a “trading post”, but we still got a drink. This is a Frozen Elephant, which is their fancy name for a Coke slushy. It was really yummy either way.

This delightful shot is called a Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon. You find them in Germany and they are delicious and smooth. I actually stole this from my brother. Didn’t want my baby brother to drink himself sick after all….

Nothing says Italy like a Bellini! Peach was my choice today. There can never be anything wrong with Bellinis around!

Boulder Beer was our choice in America. The boys enjoyed them, with me taking sips to say I did. Just can’t develop the taste buds to enjoy beer, sorry.

Cold Sake in Japan? Yes, I think I will. My brother enjoyed his, but he also spent two years in the real Japan, drinking this all the time. It hits hard, so if this is your choice, available hot or cold, sip cautiously, you’re a little over halfway done.

This is a Sultan’s Colada, found in Morocco. It’s a Pina Colada, but I like those, so it was all good. They had a variety of slushy drinks, alcoholic and non, so we enjoyed a variety at this particular stand.

We backtracked to Norway for our dinner reservations, then made our way back to France to enjoy some wine. Vouvray Sauvignon was my choice, as it was one of the French vintages available. I love whites, so it was a winner. A little drier than I normally like, but I’m far from a wine buff.

This is an English Rose, obviously from the United Kingdom. The boys got their beers and ales, but I went a little fruity. Delightful! The pub where we got our drinks is exactly how I pictured an English pub, so be sure to stop into the Rose & Crown.

Last step was Canada. We barely made it before the light show started, but we managed to get a Labatt’s Blue. Great Canadian Beer, and I have fond memories of it before I was legal, so I managed slightly more than a few sips.

In Canada, we ran into these delightful French guys, who actually work at Epcot, in France as I’m sure you’d guess. They were hammered, had amazing accents, and hit it off with my cousin. Their immediate friendship led to them buying shots for Ben, who had done beautifully until then. The rest of the night was spent trying to keep him out of trouble. All that aside, French guys are fun!

Our trip around Epcot was pricey, but Tony and I offset the cost by sharing drinks. These drinks were mostly purchased at stands you’ll see just walking through. It was a lot of fun and we’re all looking forward to another drinking game on our next trip. Suggestions?

This Crazy Life

Normally during the summer, I’m good about blogging. This year however has been crazy.

Aside from my normal 40 hours at Wal-Mart, I’ve also picked up a second job, teaching kickboxing at the dojo where my son takes karate. It’s usually two or three nights a week, but covering vacations has added a lot of extra days. We also took an early trip, immediately after school let out, to visit the in-laws in NY and pick up my husband’s new parts truck to bring home. We were only there four days, then came back for Chiara’s dance recital.


The recital, her first, was amazing. She loved dancing on stage!

Two weeks later was Tony and I’s 10th anniversary. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years already, but it’s been a great decade. We celebrated with our friends Jenna and Alan, who were celebrating five years married, by going to see Phantom of the Opera at Playhouse Square. A very grown-up night out, and it was fabulous.


Dressing up for a night out doesn’t happen very often, so it’s fun when it happens!

The next weekend was the Brunswick Summer Celebration and 4th of July. This means a day of fair food, rides for the kids, fireworks and a parade. It’s a big hit with the kids every year, and this year was no exception.20160702_170746

Chiara’s favorite ride is the ferris wheel, which she rode many times!

Weekend after that, our summer was scheduled weekend by weekend, was another book signing in Boonsboro, MD. My geocaching buddy, Mark, went with me on the five hour drive to meet Nora Roberts, again, and get more geocaches. He especially enjoyed visiting Antietam. The battlefield was amazing to see.


This is Sunken Road, where 2,200 soldiers died over a few hours on the bloodiest day of the Civil War.

Arthur had an early belt testing at karate because he was going to be out of town for the scheduled belt testing, he earned his blue belt. Then my parents came to town for a long weekend, mainly to take care of vehicle registration, then they went home, taking my kids with them.

You would think that things would slow down with the kids out of town, but the following weekend, I received word that my Aunt died of a brain aneurysm. Sudden, out of the blue, and beyond shocking. This meant a trip to KY for a funeral, home for a week, then off again on our scheduled vacation.

Disney was a fun filled week, which is going to be it’s own series of blogs, but now we’re home, and school starts tomorrow. *sigh* We’ve never had such a busy summer!