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going on a box hunt

By Tara Zandra | November 10, 2007

The morning was fine with a crispness in the air. While Chris and Tabitha were at tennis, Daisy and I both decided we wanted to go somewhere today. But where? was the question. Once Chris and Tabi were home we hopped in the car and I took us all to Krispy Kreme as that seemed like a great way to start the day. I indulged in their pumpkin spice donut which had the right hint of autumn- and sugar. Next we got onto the nearest freeway but alas, I had no destination in mind. After soliciting ideas from the family- which included Cotton Candy Land and Toys R Us- I hit upon the idea to go letterboxing today. So we went home so Chris and I could gather the necessary clues.

We decided on Buena Park as our city of interest simply because I wanted to drop in on Hobby City. Now Hobby City is, or rather, was, a unique little shopping area with, among other hobbyist stores, a Cabbage Patch General Hospital, Teddy Bear store (in a tree-shaped building), miniatures shop, and doll museum in a replica of the White House. Sadly, it has slowly fallen apart and very few of the stores are still open.

We made Hobby City our first destination and browsed the doll museum and then looked around at all the closed shops and headed out to the first of three letter boxes. It had been placed by a Girl Scout troop on the outskirts of an elementary school and didn’t really provide much in the way of difficulty or adventure. We quickly signed their book and went off in search of lunch near our second letterbox quest.

At this point we were in an unfamilar area and there really wasn’t anything around for food. We ended up at a coffee shop where we were hopeful for a veggie burger but settled for salads and, for two of us, baked potatoes, and grilled cheese for the other two. Not the most satisfying meal on the planet, but it did it’s job of nourishment. Off we went to a nearby park.

This letterbox had a fun storyline attached to it about a dragon and it’s heart being stolen. Tabitha went off on a tangent creating new chapters to this story as we walked. Once our task was finished, and the slides had been slid down a few times, we went in search of our last letterbox for the day. This one was placed by the same person as the dragon one but he took a different approach to the clues. Instead of a story, it was directions, but the very last direction, meaning, the crucial part, was kind of vague and we never did find the box. There’s a chance it’s simply been removed, of course, especially since it has needed to be replaced in the past. It was a kind of disappointing way to end our day of hunting.

At home, Tabitha and I made dinner including a wonderful Potato-Mushroom with Apple soup. Tabitha had been responsible for finding a soup recipe and making the shopping list for us. I did all the prep-chopping and Tabitha did the actual cooking of the soup. Such a lovely addition to dinner.

We’re going to really step up the cooking lessons for Tabitha and this was kind of the starting point. She understands baking as she has been baking with me since she was Daisy’s age. But when she’s on her own she cannot subsist solely on brownies and cookies so real cooking skills are necessary. For now my goal is simply to get her used to what all the cooking terms mean and she can learn the theory behind it all. Next week she wants to come up with her own tofu marinade. I have faith she can blend flavors in a palatable way and that will lead the way to instinctual cooking in the future as opposed to being tied to cookbooks.

Topics: Life |