Day 1 : Amazing Race

Woke the kids up with the theme song from Amazing Race blaring. The kids were groggy and confused as they came into kid city {our name for the kids room} and found their Amazing Race shirts, an envelope with their first clue, and a backpack to pack their stuff in. Sage excitedly asked, “Are we going to be on Amazing Race?!”

the first challenge was to pack a very specific {and short!} list of items. Believe it or not our family of five is traveling on this adventure in our Honda Civic! WHY?! You ask? Our Honda happens to run on natural gas and to fill up our tank is always under $10.00. As in TEN dollars as opposed to $100.00 for our mini van! I am also very aware this is probably the last year we will all be able to fit in this car for a trip and we are taking FULL advantage of our kid’s convenient travel size. They are so portable!

The kids quickly packed up, super excited to finish the task to get their second envelope. The second clue told them they needed to think up a pretend name and place their order because they would need their energy for the day. The kids figured out we had to go to our favorite sandwich place 40 minutes away. We always write a funny name on our sandwich orders when we visit Gus’s Grocery so we started on our trek heading south.

We got to Gus’s, filled out our orders with the names Cheesebol, Miss Fluffy, Fish Face, Rumplestiltskin, and Willy Wonka. When our names were called and our sandwiches handed over, Cheesebol’s sandwich had an envelope wrapped around hers!

Bailey read the clue and found out we needed to drive to a beach with the same name as the hospital Mr. John was born at. They could ask someone who was there, but not Daddy. The kids gathered around the phone and called grandma and oin unison asked her where she delivered. They found out it was at Huntington Memorial Hospital and decided we should start the 4hour drive south to Huntington Beach.

We drove, we sang, we played games… In short we had a blast driving. When planning this trip John and I were a bit concerned about the close quarters we would be sharing, but the kids were amazing! No iPods, no movies, just talking and laughing.


At the beach the kids got a challenge to fill tiny cork topped glass vials with 6 grams of Huntington Beach sand. I pulled out a little scale and they got to work, measuring and filling. After we got the right amount, we all jumped in the ocean and played for several hours. I can’t believe how much warmer the water is than our home beaches! It was heaven!

Back at the car there was some how, mysteriously a clue left on our windshield with the address of our next check-in. The kids typed in the address in Mr. john’s phone and had to navigate us to our hotel. There we opened our last envelope of the day, telling us our next leg would start at 9:00 am the next morning…. We slept WELL!

Some crazy things we saw today:

  • Dolphins splashing through the waves
  • A car covered in grass
  • A cute little pig sticking his snout out the window
  • Lots of surfers


This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Can't wait to hear what's next! Wish I had done this when our son was little. . at 15 he's not quite as willing! Enjoy!

  2. Sara

    This is awesome! Can't wait to follow along and see all the great clues/challeges!

  3. Jan J.

    Wow Liz, what an Amazing Idea! They will remember this the rest of their lives. What fun for them to be so involved and follow clues.

  4. Vtay

    Love the look on your little girls face when they are sitting on the bed! What an incredible thing you are doing for them……..I had a very creative mom growing up – it is those memories of family vacation that are the most vivid in my head to this day.

    How did you manage the t shirt and the clue cards??! You must have majorly planned ahead!!!

    Can't wait until the next "leg"

    vicki T.

  5. Kristin

    Could you please tell me how you made the T-shirts and the clue cards? Super FUN!! What a great memory they will have of this trip!

  6. LOVE the no electronics for the car trip. Makes the kids really pay attention to the scenery and I can tell you, they will never forget this vacation. 🙂

  7. Anonymous

    Brilliant! Great job! I am sure the kids will have great memories of that for all their lives!

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