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It is the day before leaving on vacation. Final preparations have started: grass is being cut, laundry is being sorted, clothes are being packed. The organized chaos flows amongst the early excitement of traveling too long with other family members. The family trip to the beach is finally here.

What started as a family reunion on the wife’s father’s side has become a nearly yearly tradition. The travel to Emerald Isle, North Carolina was first undertaken from Marion, Ohio, but for the last 10 years, Cincinnati has been the place of origin. There is nothing like a 14 hour drive in a car to really bring a family together.

When backs were younger and the kids more likely to sleep, it was a one day affair with driver changes every few hours. Time has plague upon us its subtle cruelty and now the traveling is best split upon two days. This year it is my turn to get the vehicle ready and pick the wife up at work at the end of her slightly shortened day. The schedule is to stop about 4.5 hours at Charleston, West Virginia and stay the night. The second day is still a bit long, but nowhere near the tiring one day event. This year, however, there is something different.

This year, there is Geocaching!

Yes, there are several spots along the way, most notably at the rest areas, where Geocaches can be found. We have to stop anyway, so what is a few extra minutes looking for a Geocache? It helps stretch the legs and get the heart pumping a bit. The high amount of muggles will just add to the fun. Part of tomorrow’s ritual will be viewing the maps on the website and noting where things are. Saturday is the prime day to find them.

And what of our destination at Emerald Isle?

Yes, Geocaches are located there too. Now the bored father can not only look for photographic subjects, he can look for hidden gems amongst the foliage. It is going to be great!

PS – Some may wonder of the family members left behind. My parent’s have graciously offered to walk them at regular intervals, at least till the messes start. Be good Maggie Dog, Snuggles and Bayley. I’m sure the latter will be barking all day long.

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