Life in General

Just another Chol Hamoed Trip…

Full disclosure – it was actually Isru Chag. Since Chol Hamoed Succos was busy with our Sukkah mobile, we planned our Chol Hamoed trip to be delayed. Same planning strategy, same rhythm.

Thursday morning, as Isru Chag dawned, I was right on schedule and got straight to work googling – I knew what type of place I was looking for, something super cool and fun and exhilarating for kids ages 1-16, with more focus on the big kids that it should be up to par. After all, considering that we now had three kids in school a plane ride away, these trips didn’t happen as often.

I found the ideal place within minutes! Rappeling, zip line, rope course. Outdoors, gorgeous weather, it was all perfect! I couldn’t help but feel pleased with my quick work.

I tried to book online but it kept giving me an error, so I called the place. And they told me they were closed until Sunday.

Bummer. Back to google. One place opens at 4, another is closed on Thursdays.

Jas Laser Tag it is; not as cool as the first place, but hopefully fun enough. I check the website, they open at 11. Perfect! We quickly eat lunch (somehow it’s already after 12… don’t know how that happened) and pack into our big Ford Transit. I grab a bag of chocolate bars and some bottles of seltzer and we are off. We drive the 15 minutes and pull into a deserted parking lot… as we slowly approach Jas Laser Tag the place looks eerily empty… the sign on the door clarifies. They open at 3. 

But the website says 11! There isn’t even anyone there to complain to. Back in the van, back to google, reassuring the crowd in the van that we have another great place to go to, we are just figuring it out. I pass out the chocolate and that buys us some time.

Scavenger hunt at the Capitol. That sounds fun.

It’s a walking hunt, you download an app and follow the clues; this could be fun.

We drive off to downtown, just another 20 minutes and we even find parking not too far from where we want to be. Finally we get out of the van and first stop; bathroom break.

We traipse into Starbucks, they don’t seem to be so familiar with this Chol Hamoed trip custom. We also get some cups of ice water, another Chol Hamoed trip ritual. We head over to the Capitol and start looking for the first clue. But the nice weather has turned hot, rising above 90. And we can’t find the answer to the first clue.

And then the kids see scooters .

Electric scooters available for rent to get around downtown. My husband rents one and the kids take turns, definitely raising the score of this Isru Chag – Chol Hamoed trip.

But we still can’t find the answer to the first clue. And it’s getting hotter. And we finished the chocolates and the water. There’s nice gardens and fountains and memorials but the kvetching is growing, and I’m trying hard not to join the chorus. We decide to put the scavenger hunt on hold and start the trek back to our van. The baby finally falls asleep as we reach the van and of course awakes as soon as he’s settled in his car seat.

My daughter has a Covid test scheduled for 4 pm since she’s traveling back to Canada for high school within the next 72 hours, but it’s at a place back near our house and we won’t be back in time. We do some more quick googling and find a testing place just a few minutes away – which of course Waze has a hard time locating so it takes 25 minutes. Thankfully they do the Covid test and we are ready to head home, and I’m not quite sure this day trip is called a success.

I eye my husband and nod, he nods back.

Decision made; we head to 7-11. Everyone gets a medium slurpee and chips. Cheers and joy fill the car as we head home, everyone as happy as can be, followed by choruses of 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate. 

Maybe it was a success after all. 

What were our goals anyway?

To spend the day together and everyone should have a great time.

Judging from the sound of the happy slurping and gulping, it certainly looks like we did both – and it cost less than $20. Not bad at all. Chol Hamoed success.

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