Category: Adventure

Unexpected trips, honors, or opportunities that come up.

Having Adventures While Sitting at Home

Having Adventures While Sitting at Home

The TraveLangs spent most of October on one adventure or another. It felt at times – to me and to others – that were never home. Sometimes that is good. Sometimes you just want to hang around the house for a bit.

The change in time and the change of month left the TraveLangs stranded at the house. Add to that an injured dog (that should NOT be left alone) and I am longing for those days of multiple adventures.

The truth of the matter – for most of us out there, the constant adventures are not a possibility. We have jobs. We have school. We have obligations that land-lock us. The TraveLangs are in that spot.

Stay-at-home adventures with the TraveLangs

We are finding ways to have fun adventure without stepping a foot outside our door – okay, maybe a foot or two, but that is all.

The TraveLang Guide to Home Adventure

  1. Game Night – and I mean a FULL night of games. Go ahead and line them up and then knock them down. Include team games – maybe Spades. Include active games – have you ever heard of Farkle? Include mystery games – can you say CLUE? Set up a bar of snacks and finger foods – but be sure that the food and drinks are kept apart from the games so that there is no chance of spillage.
  2. Do a craft project – something that you can complete and clear out in a day. This is the perfect adventure for the holidays because you can do family holiday cards, from scratch. You could also do a day of cooking. We have a house full of boys so cooking is always appreciated (even if they have to give part of it away).
  3. Set up a scavenger hunt – the more creative the better. Let the kids set up a scavenger hunt for you – or you could each set up a hunt and then draw names to see who goes where. Make it a full day of hunts.
  4. Bring on the guests – invite others over to the house for some outdoor games. Our boys have made up a role playing type game where they go on quests together. My friends and I use to play our version of Narnia. Get into the act with them to take the fun to the next level, but let them have the lead.
  5. Build a better adventure day – fill a can or bowl with home adventure ideas. Let the kids add their own ideas as well (but you may want to set up restrictions for those). When the need for adventure strikes, then have someone draw from the bowl. You can do the one item on the paper or you can spend the whole day drawing adventures from the bowl.

Getting away from it all has its advantages. Finding adventure on your own in your own back yard does as well.

Back in Time with the Alabama Renaissance Faire 2014

Back in Time with the Alabama Renaissance Faire 2014

The Alabama Renaissance Faire became a family tradition moment we discovered it several years back. Any excuse for costumes sends the family scurrying to find the perfect outfit. Where have had conflicts with the annual event comes around that has kept us away. Some years the weather did not cooperate. This year, nothing was going to hold us back.

The older boys started planning their costumes before October arrived. They researched the renaissance era and more than a few arguments ensued as to what would constitute a “proper” outfit for the time.

There had been talk about utilizing the pirate costumes from “National Talk like a Pirate Day,” but that idea went out the window as the boys discovered images they wanted to copy instead. We had some of the pieces in the costume closet (everyone needs a well-stocked costume closet), but had to get a little creative with some the pieces. One or two were purchased at the local thrift store.

We packed a lunch, some snacks, and drinks for the journey. The goal originally had been to do the Florence letterboxes while in town. We were halfway to the Faire when I realized that I had left the letterboxing items back at the house – probably sitting under my pirate hat.

We stopped just outside Florence for a break and some lunch. One lady in the store asked me if we were going to the Renaissance Faire and I almost asked her, “What’s that?” Instead, I just smiled and told her yes.

Finding a parking place can always be a challenge at the Faire. Parking a Suburban makes the job that much more of a challenge. We found a place and only two blocks from Wilson Park where the Alabama Renaissance Faire is held every year.

The festivities were underway by the time we arrived. The sound of bagpipes filled the air. Costumes ranged from whimsical – we saw a fawn lady – too scary. The King and Queen of the Faire were walking around and visiting with their subjects.

We made our way around the Faire and visited the many vendor booths. The older boys were on the hunt for swords. The youngest wanted a sword and shield combo. I just wanted to see the amazing handy work of the people – and did I mention the costumes?

The youngest and his dad took time to float a boat around the fountain while the rest of us shopped. We visited with the torturer at the stocks. He was funny – and I enjoyed his taunts. I watched the swordplay while the rest of them went back to the car for refreshments (I had my water bottle in my pack).

The sword purchases were made and we had watched most of the performances. We loaded back up and made the return trip to Guntersville.

Gas: $42.00
Costumes: $15.00
Souvenirs/collectibles: $60.00 (the boys all paid for their treasures with their own money)

Total cost for a day of family fun and entertainment stirred together with imagination and creativity: $57.00

Learn more about the Alabama Renaissance Faire by visiting their website, follow the Alabama Renaissance Faire Facebook page, and be sure to make your plans to visit the Faire next year!

The Things We Do for Doughnuts

The Things We Do for Doughnuts

Q: “What is a pirate’s favorite letter?”

Q: “Where does a pirate go when he gets injured?”


These were just a couple of the delightful jokes I encountered leading up – and on through – National Talk like a Pirate Day. It does not even begin to shed light on the constant pirate conversations that overwhelmed our home (or the fact that I secretly considered abandoning ship).

You have to understand that “normal” has never been a word I used to describe our family. We had a costume closet before we had kids. Kids just added to the excuse. Accents are as common as song lyric references or movie lines when it comes to the conversations that go on during an average day in our house. We are overflowing with the over dramatic, the melodramatic, and the occasional Drama King – or in this case the Pirate King.

I know that the moment my family discovered it was National Talk like a Pirate Day, they would have spent the day in character. We have pie shaped food on National Pie Day (March 14 for those who are wondering . . . bonus points for those who know why). We like to get into the celebration of it all. Once they discovered that a treasure awaited them, my entire crew became obsessed with creating the look that would be deemed “most piratey.”

I think the only saving grace was that my middle son had signed up to attend an event near Florence – which forced the journey north. Otherwise, I suspect the Pirate King would have headed south where they could have sailed into the multitude of Birmingham Krispy Kreme establishments.

The first stop took them to the Huntsville Krispy Kreme where they were each (count that as four) showered with a dozen glazed donuts for their Pirate efforts. It was then on to Florence Krispy Kreme where the next part of their treasure was awarded.

They filled their treasure chests with glazed donuts, spent the day together acting like pirates, and left me alone for the bulk of the day to write. It turns out we were all given treasures.

I guess the bad pirate jokes, the puns, and even the constant pirate references were a reasonable price to pay for such a high seas adventure.