Tuesday, April 27, 2004: Picked up the kids at 4pm and we went Geocaching for several hours. This is the first time I’ve ever taken them and they really enjoyed it. Our first was in a cemetary which was hidden inside a hollow tree and Emily found it within a few minutes. The kids traded in some of their own useless toys for some new & improved useless toys. The next one was in the middle of nowhere by a creek, hidden within a few trees. They traded in even more toys, then we walked down to the creek and played under the bridge for awhile. We tried one last cache but failed to find it after about 30 minutes of looking. Hung out at a park for about 30 minutes, stopped by McDonald’s for supper and dropped them back off at their mom’s. After that I hung out in Fred Meyer’s parking lot and played on the wireless internet for about an hour.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004: I pick up the kids at 4pm and ask them what they want to do. “Treasure hunting!” is the answer. So we go geocaching again. Only this time I don’t research the first hunt too good and I just pick the first one on the list. It ends up being a 1.3 mile hike through the woods. They had a pretty good time anyway, though, even if they got a little tired, hungry and whiney at points. At the end of the trail, there were some areas to sit around the river. We looked for the cache for awhile but couldn’t find it so that was a little disappointing after such a long walk. So we walked back and then went to Burgerville for some supper. Then we went to Baskin Robins for free scoop night but the line was going around the building so we went to a different ice cream shop instead. No free scoops but we didn’t have to wait for 45 minutes to get inside.
Thursday, April 29, 2004: Worked all day until 5pm. Then went to Taco Bell for some supper, walked around K-mart for awhile and then went to Emily’s school to watch her do a singing program with her class. After that I drove to Corvallis and walked all over downtown for a few hours. I really should have brought my bike to Oregon with me so I’d have something to kill my free time with.
Cellular coverage SUCKS in Albany. I can’t use my cell phone anywhere indoors. And when you try and talk while you drive around Albany, the calls always drop. The motel manager told me it’s not just my cellular carrier, it’s all of them. So if I want to make a call, I have to go stand out in the parking lot. But from about yesterday evening until the afternoon today, my cell phone wouldn’t work at all. The signal looked normal but when I tried to make a call I would always get a “network busy” error. I was reduced to buying a prepaid calling card to make a few long distance calls with. I guess in Albany they’re not worried about the cellular phone system when they’ve got the modern convenience of CB radio everywhere. To top it off, my internet connection at the motel is running anywhere from 14.4 to 19.2kbps. I’m spoiled with high-speed access, this sucks.
Another weird thing I’ve noticed about Oregon is that phone booths are everywhere. You don’t see that anywhere else in the country (that I’ve noticed, anyway) but it was one of the first things I noticed when I crossed the Oregon border and stopped at a truck stop for gas. I know in Alton there’s only one phone booth. And when the movie Phone Booth came out, an article I read said there’s only 2 phone booths left in New York City. But for some reason, every single city in Oregon seems to have them everywhere you look, even in Albany. I wonder why Oregon is so stuck on keeping them around. I’m not complaining, I think it’s pretty cool.
Friday, April 30, 2004: Picked up the kids at 4pm and we went to see Home on the Range. What a dumb movie. And Rossanne Barr sucks. But yeah, it was still fun. I think I might be going back to Illinois after this weekend so I’m trying to figure out something fun to do with the kids around here tomorrow.
Saturday, May 1, 2004: Me and the kids went to a theme park near Albany called Enchanted Forest. Spent a lot of the day there and had a really fun time. Emily had already been there before when she was 5 but she still seemed to remember everything. This was mine and Payton’s first time there. It’s kind of like a Six Flags for younger kids. Payton was scared to death of the log ride but I made him go on it anyway. He was crying in line and then shaking while the log drove around. But once we started going down all the hills, he loved it. On the car ride home he said the log ride was his favorite thing. Although I couldn’t get him to ride it a second time while we were there.