After Vacation Bible School ended yesterday the kids and I drove to Gulf Breeze to spend the afternoon with my dad for his birthday.
I haven't been caching much lately and since I knew of several parking lot micros between here and Gulf Breeze I decided this would be a great time to find them.
I waited until we were all in the car and on our way before I told the kids we would be cache hunting along the way. There were the usual groans of complaint and even talk of a mutiny but once they realized that I am the only one who can drive a car they called off the mutiny and resigned themselves to micro hunting.
I don't understand why they don't enjoy caching as much as I do.
The first cache was Navarre Grab and Go and the GPS led us to a drug store parking lot in Navarre. We circled around and honed in on the area the cache should be and parked.
As we got out of the car I realized this was going to be much harder than the usual grab and gos because there were at least 1.2 million people driving by.
The coordinates led us to a corner and there were cars and people everywhere. We tried to be discreet but really how can you be discreet looking under a power meter in the median?
So we resorted to our usual trick of just pretending that we were invisible and that there weren't people everywhere watching and wondering what we were doing.
I spotted the cache stuck to a sign post and was able to grab it without being too obvious. My theory is that we just look like idiots while we're looking under and around things but as long as I can grab the cache without being noticed we've been successful and reduced the chance of the cache being Muggled after we leave.
I palmed the little box and we got back in the car to sign the log. Once we signed the log I had to return the cache to its hiding place but now there seems to be even more cars and people around.
I decided to use the Youngest Island Boy as a decoy.
He developed a weird attachment to a giant panda bear that belongs to his sister this morning so he had the panda and I told him to get out with the panda and to act strange.
This proved to be a good distraction because the people around us were more curious as to why the little boy was dancing with the giant panda than why his mother was lurking around a power meter.
I snapped a quick picture of him and the panda and then returned the cache to it's hiding spot. Mission accomplished! One found and 4 to go.
We got back on the road and drove to the next cache on my list.
This cache called Dogs Like Me and when we pull into the convenience store parking lot I see a fire hydrant out in the grass next to Hwy 98.
Hmm. There were millions of cars driving by and I just didn't see any way we could grab this one without drawing a lot of attention to ourselves.
I thought about it for a minute and decided to try this one another time when there aren't as many cars on the road.
Off to the next cache which was another convenience store parking lot but it's on the other side of 98 and traffic was so heavy that I decided to grab that one on our way home instead of trying to cross the highway.
A little farther down the road we come to the next cache and it's on the other side of the road also. Another one for the ride home.
We get to the last cache on my list and it's on the other side of the road as well but traffic has thinned out some so I cross the road and pull in.
This cache was Le Tour De Tour De Tom Thumb 2. We were able to pull right up next to it and can tell immediately that it must be under the light post skirt.
Not too many Muggles around so we jump out, grab the cache and get back in the car to sign the log.
We signed the log and are ready to return the cache and all of a sudden there are millions of people in the parking lot.
Someone was getting air right next to the light post and there were cars lined up along the road next to the light and there was no way I could return the cache without being seen.
So we waited and then we waited some more.
I needed fuel so I pulled over to the pumps and filled up, all the while wondering how on earth I was going to put this cache back.
After filling up I pulled back over to the spot next to the light post and waited some more.
The kids were raising cane wanting to get to Pop-pop's house and go swimming but we waited some more.
Finally, there was a break in traffic and I jumped out and replaced the cache as fast as I could.
I hope no one saw me but who knows - this was one of the hardest micros I've found just due to the number of Muggles around.
That was the last one on my list so off we went to my parents house. Those grab and gos can be harder than ammo cans in the woods when you factor in the Muggles you have to avoid.