A few weeks ago, I received a Google Calendar invitation from my dad, inviting me to "Geocaching and Dinner." If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me bragging about this. While it's not the sort of thing that would end up in a Jane Austen novel (for a myriad of reasons), it's the sort of thing that makes me love being part of this family, being a second-generation geek, and having internet access. (On a related note, Kate Chopin is someone I'd love to meet in a hypothetical "have dinner with a dead person" scenario, but I wouldn't trade my internet access for that privilege. Sorry, Kate. Same goes for you, Jane.)
This was the first time either of us had delved into the world of geocaching. My dad is one of those people who does extensive research on the history of a lake and every sort of plant and animal species to have inhabited the area before he will even think about putting his toe in the water, so I wasn't surprised when he sent me two "how to get started" YouTube videos on Thursday (to my company email address and in the middle of the work day) and then printed off a slew of options and let me borrow some gloves and downloaded two apps to his BlackBerry to use in addition to the Garmin GPS unit. You get the picture.
In spite of all this preparation, we actually didn't find anything at the first location. We had what seemed like forty different devices all pointing in fifty different directions, and we left feeling a little disoriented but not too disheartened. The weather was fantastic, and the locations my dad picked all had great stories to add to the fun of the search.
We stopped at three more places and had just the right amount of trouble finding the next three caches. At our first find, we killed two birds — conserving space in the log book and coming up with a "team name" — with one clever stone: (RS)2. (My father and I share the initials "RS.") The one after that was the only cache that was large enough to store goodies, but the item we would have taken just fit too perfectly with the location to be moved.
All in all, it was a really fun father-daughter outing, and we even managed to wrap it up with Portillo's for dinner, which we ate while watching Doctor Who with my mom. You may now proceed to be super jealous.