Saturday, March 19, 2011

Searching for Treasure

Earlier this week I was cleaning out my purse when I stumbled upon a handful of handwritten notes. Immediately it was as though a breath of fresh air blew through my mind and I could picture myself back in the beautiful front yard of our vacation cabin in southern Chile. I remembered then that I had saved these notes (in reality, poems) for a future blog post. They represent a fun afternoon with the nine Rubin/Garcia cousins on the last full day of family vacation.

The idea of a treasure hunt was Mark's, back in 2008 when we were at the cabin for the second time. He hid clues around the property and sent the big kids chasing after them with the promise of a prize at the end. They loved it! They loved it so much, in fact, that even before we reached the cabin this year they were already plotting and planning to do it again. Only this year the daddies weren't quite into it as before, so it ended up being Jenn and I who put the clues together. We even decided to be creative and try to make them rhyme!

So the Great Treasure Hunt of 2011 went something like this:

#1. Standing tall with
arms stretched wide,
a girl posed here and did not hide.

This took a little brain power and some hints from Mom, but the answer was hidden in a big log out in the field. Eva had posed for several pictures on the log, but one of the cutest was this one with her arms stretched way out to the sky.

#2. Don't get too close
Lest you feel my heat.
Unless, of course,
you're a piece of meat.

Jenn wrote this rhyme and hid the clue in the grill where Mark composed many tasty meals for our crew!

#3. This way or that?
That is the question.
Whichever you choose,
take that direction.

There is a crossroads where the two-track driveway which leads to the cabin meets another drive that leads to the caretaker's workshop. I tucked this clue into a crack in a weathered fencepost directly in front of where the two roads meet.

#4. I bid you welcome
to this place
And wish you the best
on this fine race.

I don't have a picture of it but at the entrance to the land around the cabin, a large wooden sign with the owner's family name hangs over the gate. This clue was slipped into a crack in the gate, but a few more hints were needed to figure it out. :)

#5. Terabithia is quite
a magical play;
You get there by
going over this way.

The kids had many times crossed a picturesque wooden bridge at the edge of the property. I wish I had taken a picture of it on this trip. They promptly rushed to it when they read this clue!

#6. To my edge I
bid you come.
The horse flies
play here in the sun.

Can you figure out this one? It was the river's edge (pictured above) where enormous horse flies did acturally try to make us miserable at times. Jenn made a small pile of stones and tucked the clue inside. There are so many stones there, however, that the kids recruited Uncle Pedro to help them. Micah got bragging rights!

#7. On rainy days
I'll keep you dry.
If you've got wheels,
No wonder why.

This clue was hidden in one of the posts of the carport (pictured above in 2007.) The adults actually sat in its comfortable shade while the kids ran circles around the property. This gave us a good vantage point to keep an eye on them and also allowed for them to check in and receive hints as needed!

#8. Down, down, down
is where we head,
until we hit
the river's bed.

A long flight of wooden stairs leads from the back of the house to the river. I found a good hiding spot among the steps and left a clue there for the young detectives to find.

#9. I stand alone
in a field of grass
One weathered plank:
Don't let me pass.

This ninth clue was actually among the first ones found, although the rule was that a clue couldn't be taken from its hiding place out of order. During our "photo shoots" earlier in the week several of the kids had posed next to this lonely plank in the middle of the field. I loved the weathered mystery of its solitary station.

#10. Under careful lock and key
Where warm bubbly

water should be.

That is where
will finally find me.

Jenn came up with this final clue that was just perfect. The treasure (a giant jar of candy) was placed into the jacuzzi pictured above, which is in a locked room inside of the house. Unfortunately on this trip to the south the jacuzzi was never filled. The group just prior to ours had apparently wreaked havoc on the house so the water was emptied, but the gas needed to warm this amount of water had to be brought via truck from another city and didn't arrive in time. The kids were disappointed (and so were the adults on a couple of cold days) but such is life.

Given the circumstances, though, this final clue was a humorous and ironic ending to our now-famous treasurehunt! :)


Deborah said...

What fabulously creative parents! :) And what fun for the kiddos!

Terri Fisher said...

Very clever, Steph! Sounds like fun!