Gas is cheap. School is not in session. Spring is in the air. Sounds like a recipe for a family road trip. Right?! Wrong! It’s COVID-19 season and we can’t go anywhere… but can we?
My parents live in Cincinnati and I live in Dayton. I needed to meet up with them halfway, as we often do, to exchange a dog cage. (That’s right. In the midst of all of this pandemic stuff, we are supposed to be getting a puppy!) Usually, for a meeting like this, we chat a little, exchange a few hugs, kisses, and laughs, and be on our way. But not this time. This time we kept our distance. Staying away from my dad almost felt like I was in middle school avoiding the boy who had cooties.
Crazy times such as these require all of us to think outside the box.
I had already planned on taking the kids on a ‘scavenger hunt road trip’ after our meet up. The concept was simple. I would just start driving. The kids would take turns as we approach intersections and would tell me to turn left, right, or go straight. The world would be our oyster, and when we lost interest, I would just put ‘home’ into the GPS and find our way home. To be “COVID-safe”, we would only have household members in the car, and everyone had to go potty before we left for there’s no bathroom breaks on the road.
Then it occurred to me! My parents could join us on this adventure from the comfort of their own car! I ended up being the lead car and we communicated via our phones on Bluetooth. Everyone, including my parents, took turns choosing the turn at an intersection, and we discovered some really cool places! These were all in and around the Middletown, Ohio area.
- Barbara Park – This was exciting because my mom’s name is Barbara.
- Jacot Park – Looks like a good place for a walk, fly a kite, or play on the playground.
- Heatherbrook Farms – Driving past and looking at this unique property, we knew it was something to check out. Their website says it’s a colored alpaca farm! Who knew we had such a thing in Franklin!
- Casper & Casper Law Firm – It might seem strange that a law firm made it on our list of cool places. It was because we have been friends with the Casper family for many years but never knew exactly where the law firm was.
In addition to these cool places, we saw some beautiful properties, local businesses to check out when normalcy returns, and historic homes. These are places that we likely would have never discovered if it weren’t for fear of being together with my own extended family. I look forward to our next scavenger hunt as being contained looks like it is going to be the reality for a while.
So thank you COVID-19 for making me think outside the box for a new way to experience life together. Now kindly go away so that we can do the scavenger hunt again and actually get out of the car for a bite to eat.