Saturday, April 9, 2011

winnahs and champeens

Today was the Second Annual Johnston Town Scavenger Hunt, in Johnston, RI, where we lived before we came to Watertown. As we are explorers at heart, and since we won the first hunt, we had to go back and defend our title this year. The weather was great - 60 degrees, sunny, a slight breeze. This year Team 41 consisted of Chris, his mom Joanne, his cousin Eric, and me. A dream team if ever there was one. Flash stayed with Auntie Julie and had a great time, which is good because a toddler would definitely have slowed us down. The first year we played, I was nine months pregnant with Flash and had my pregnant belly on the front page of the Johnston Sunrise, so I think it will be romantic when he can really participate in the hunt with us. He already enjoys hiking and general outdoorsiness, so I think it will be an easy transition. On to the hunt!

I'm not sure I like the look on that frog's face.

Zeppoles, get yer zeppoles!
It's amazing how differently you look at things when you're looking for things. I have driven by this funky mural a hundred times, and never noticed it.

Of course, Johnston is has a strong Italian-American heritage, and the Italian bakeries to prove it.
An honest-to-goodness outhouse. Historic, of course.

Four hours of driving, searching, running, and taking pictures really doesn't leave time for bathroom breaks. Luckily, this was on the list!
Hint: He's wearing a red tie.

We almost went crazy trying to get this ten-point item - a picture of a team member with Johnston's mayor, Joseph Polisena. After a false start and wasted trip to his house, we tracked him down at the grand opening of the new Mohr Library (which I intend to...check the near future - a little librarian humor for you, there).
My favorite flavor - chocomint! Oh, and my favorite man.

This was the pinnacle of a decision we had to make: would we trust my father-in-law's internet search skills to pursue a ten-point Indian soapstone quarry, or pick up five or six 1-2 pointers in the last twenty minutes of the hunt? We opted for the latter, and it paid off. Eric and I hopped out of the car, ran into the bowling alley for a photo of a duckpin bowling ball, got that mural photo, ran to Stop and Shop for a picture of Kenyon's Corn Meal, and hoofed it over to Newport Creamery where Joanne and Chris awaited us with this refreshing Awful-Awful, one of two delicious list items we consumed today. The other, a hot weiner!
I've always wanted to ride one of these! While playing a theremin!

Last year (and I'm talking scavenger-hunt years, not chronological actual years - it got rained out last actual year), we got tricked pretty badly by some list items that were very close to the starting site, so we got back a few minutes early to check out the area. I found this old-timey bicycle inside the Johnston Historical Society building. Apparently, it's called a penny-farthing bicycle.

Eleven teams competed, but only one could win it all. With a total of 223 points, Team 41 walked away with a basket of Italian foods, some gift cards, and a nice coffee-table book about Boston (which no other team would appreciate the way Chrissy will, I'm sure). We only won by 11 points this year, as opposed to the forty or so we won by previously, so either we are slipping or others are upping their games. If we had taken my father-in-law's erroneous advice, we would have tied for first. This must not happen. We'll be back next year, with a renewed drive to win. I hope they update the list with new items, because some were repeats from last (scavenger-hunt) year and we didn't have as many chances to learn weird or new or cool things about local history. But as they say after every Johnston Town Scavenger Hunt (so far): Team 41! Team 41! Team 41!

1 comment:

Kay Jay Elle said...

So cool! I wish my city had scavenger hunts. Well, I guess we do, but they're unofficial and if you get caught you go to prison. It's not very well coordinated now that I think of it. Anyway, I'm glad to have an update.