Category Archives: Games

Have You Ever Been Geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which people use a GPS device to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere and everywhere in the world.  James found his first geocache in 2004.  There are log books within the caches to where you can write a message or just log your user name, saying “I was here.”  Some caches are even virtual.  There is also an online site to log your finds.

It was a fun “game” that got us out exploring different places where we wouldn’t otherwise visit. AJ was a baby back then, so I’d stay at home while James would go out traipsing in the Arizona desert, mostly to come home with cholla cactus needles stuck in his socks. Thinking back, I have to laugh because it amazes me that he would venture to some of the places he did and put his hands in “holes” where no one would otherwise dare put their hands (because you just don’t put your hands in unknown holes in Arizona).

The geocaching continued on while AJ was growing up.  This is AJ taking Flat Stanley geocaching (he’s holding Flat Stanley and a GPS):

2010 April 026

And this is AJ getting excited about finding a micro cache:

2010 April 046

Lots of caches also contain little treasures and toys, so it was usually rewarding for AJ to find one.

Fast forward to today and we now have the Pokemon Go phenomenon, not too dissimilar to geocaching, albeit totally different.  I say brilliant.  Okay, not so brilliant when someone is crashing their car into a tree or falling off a cliff due to extreme lack of intelligence (can’t blame an app for stupidity), but still, what a fun family activity when played responsibly!



My name is Paula.  I run half-marathons.  And I, too, hunt Pokemon.

The Castles of Burgundy… game review

wpid-20150802_194629.jpgJust so you’re aware, I’m not all about running.  My family and I are big gamers.  We love to play games… board games as well as video games.  It promotes excellent quality time, strategic thinking, and sharpens problem solving skills.  While our son prefers video games to board games (what 10-year-old doesn’t), we still can get him to play board games with us occasionally.  Okay, we MAKE him play board games with us occasionally.  But then sometimes we regret that decision because when he plays, he usually blows up our meticulously thought-out strategy and wins.

James is the big researcher of which new game we should try.  Recently he purchased The Castles of Burgundy by Ravensburger (they make fabulous puzzles too).  The game takes place near the Renaissance age, with castles, and ship trading, and farms, etc.  You are trying to build a kingdom.  The games pieces and the art work are incredible.  High quality.

Very briefly, this is how it’s played.  Players roll 2 dice.  You can choose 1 of 4 actions with each dice… move a game tile to your player board, place a game tile from your “stock” onto your kingdom, sell goods for coin and victory points, or change the dice in for 2 worker’s tiles (worker’s tiles allow you to change the number on the dice by +/-1).

wpid-20150802_194553.jpgThe object of the game is, of course, to score as many victory points as you can through game play and bonuses.  There are 5 phases in the game, each phase with 5 turns.  The game ends when you’ve played through the 5 phases.

This is an excellent game for just 2 players.  You can play with more people, but it’s important that it be fun for 2 players as sometimes it’s only James and I playing.  We took it along on our recent trip to Boise and played at night in our hotel room, so it travels well too.  Like I said, we’ve just recently obtained it, so we’ve only had a chance to play 4 games… I’ve won 2 and James has won 2.  We’re going to sit on it for awhile now and let that score fester until it’s time to break the tie.  I feel the stars aligning just right and Mercury is in Mars and the Moon is in Jupiter and the solar flares are emitting the perfect energy for me to win the next game…

If you’re a game lover… try it, you’ll like it!