Thankful Thursday – Poke-Cation GO!

We had a long family conversation before we left on our Southern Oregon vacation. The kids wanted to bring computers and games to play during down-time. The parents wanted everyone unplugged, but mostly we wanted peace. Kids got their way this time with the caveat that they had to instantly put it away when asked. They agreed and (mostly) complied.

We had no comparable conversation about their phones, however. Even though Tween’s “phone” is a donated iPhone 5 with no SIM card or data plan, both boys have phones firmly in their possession at most times. And both have, on said phones, the Pokemon GO game they have eagerly anticipated for the last year. So Guy downloaded it as well, and we played as a family.OR pokemon

Pokemon roam a wide habitat, and so we avoided arguments about any destination. Pokemon of many varieties, a Pokestop, a lure, or a gym could always be found–even on hiking trails and in National Parks. Spontaneous conversations bubbled up among strangers all searching for the same things, and so we shared laughter and camaraderie with people we’d never met. A comment by one stranger sent us to a darling nearby town we would have missed entirely except that it had more Pokestops than anywhere else we’ve seen. The dog got more exercise than ever in her life because Pokemon eggs incubate as you walk. The parents got an afternoon ‘off’ to wine taste in the Rogue Valley while Teen drove Tween around town hunting Pokemon. The kids didn’t fight but rather worked together…all week long!

Early on Tween declared, “This isn’t vacation. This is a Poke-Cation!” And I expect that our shared play time will make this trip memorable in more ways than one.

We also found Great Cats: http://www.greatcatsworldpark.com/

We also found Great Cats: http://www.greatcatsworldpark.com/

and Teen's favorite snake: http://thereptilezone.com/

and Teen’s favorite snake: http://thereptilezone.com/

OR corn flower OR dragonfly OR berries

Deschutes River, Bend

Deschutes River, Bend

Thankful Thursday – Southern Oregon Summer

My gracious in-laws offered us the use of their home in Medford, Oregon while they’re travelling (French & Italian Riviera). We had been planning a camping road-trip around college visits for Teen, but our kids gently pointed out that, ahem, as Scouts they camp all the time, and could we please not camp on vacation? Especially considering Teen just returned from two weeks of pack-rafting in Montana and both boys will go to week-long Scout camp a few days after we get home, they had a solid point.

This trip is a great compromise–Southern Oregon provides lots of gorgeous outdoor activities and home-base has, well, all the comforts of home. And we can have our dog with us.

We’re eating simple-prep meals (yay for Trader Joe’s) and spending most of our time outside, while still sleeping softly at night. So much so that Tween slept almost twelve hours last night, remarkable for a kid with life-long insomnia!

I am grateful for time away, for natural beauty, for family, for rest. Teen has us listening to a lot of country music (not our standard fare) and this line from a Keith Urban song grabbed me today: Ain’t it funny how the best days of my life//Was all that wasted time…

Here’s to wasting time with those I love most in this world!

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Medford Growers Market

Medford Growers Market

Lithia Park, Ashland

Lithia Park, Ashland

OR feet

Cheers! to Oregon beer

Cheers! to Oregon beer