Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Easter Bunny's hunt

Ever since I was a baby, my dad has arranged an Easter egg hunt. There exists a home video of me toddling around my old yard, picking plastic eggs out of the sandbox and behind trees, and ultimately finding the grand prize: a tiny white patent purse. As I got older and my brother and sister joined the festivities, the hunt got more intricate, and my dad made us work for our Easter baskets by sending us all over the yard and house (and sometimes into the adjacent cornfield) to get from one clue to another. As you can imagine, the hunt ramped up another level when I got my driver's license. We got sent all over town: to the water tower, to a bridge over a highway, and so on. As we got older, we also got to hear some behind-the-scenes details about how a father's good intentions can sometimes be confusing to local police officers as he lays out one clue after another around town late at night before Easter morning. Really, the whole thing is amazing.

And then last year it all halted abruptly! Not because we were all well in our 20s - don't be silly - but because Dad was out of town for work. We all gave him a healthy amount of guff but also wondered if 2012 was the end of the scavenger hunt.

We heard murmurs of a hunt this year, but the cards were stacked against the hunt again when Dad left for another work trip days before Easter Sunday. I think my dad planned out a couple of scenarios, and I heard rumors that my brother was being briefed to lead the effort. Luckily, Dad came home just in time, and I mean just in time. He flew in Sunday morning and got back to our house minutes before the scheduled start time!

We started with a new element for 2013: a quiz (20 questions, I think) incorporating Easter Bunny jokes, trivia from previous family vacations, and impossibly hard questions such as the number of steps to the second floor in our house. I thought that was the replacement for the scavenger hunt given Dad's travels. But then a mini-hunt began!

We pondered the first clue over caramel rolls. (Photos courtesy of my mom, by the way.)

That clue sent us downstairs. I forgot to mention earlier that the clues usually aren't little index cards. Sometimes they're in a huge plastic egg. Sometimes they're...a gigantic cardboard rabbit.

This one had text on it welcoming Wish to the group, and we were given instructions that he was to accompany us for the duration of the hunt.

Per my request, we paused briefly to snap a First Family Easter photograph with the pup. Wish hated the cardboard rabbit and stayed as far away from it as possible for the rest of the day.

That clue led us to the mailbox. Argh! I wish I had copies of the clues. They usually rhyme, poke fun at us for being one step behind the Easter Bunny, and tell more Easter Bunny jokes.

And that one sent us to the park, to Wish's favorite off-leash tennis court. He went wild while we retrieved our next clue. I wish I had a photo of that. I think he hip-checked my sister mid-air.

The off-site clue is key, because it gives the Easter Bunny a chance to bring our baskets out from hiding. We were directed to each of our rooms, where our baskets were waiting!

Wish might have been the most excited about his, because 1) he did not know he was getting a basket and 2) it was filled with dog treats and a new squeaky toy. I think he is trying to eat his basket:

My favorite part about that photo might be the mega-creepy rabbit shadow in the background. Oh, my.

Kudos and thank you to my mom and dad the Easter Bunny for another great year, for one of my favorite family traditions.

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