From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Santa’s Good Noodle

pickles blanket

Hi Friends!

I’m happy to report that once again I made it on the Good Noodle List and Santa tumbled down our Chimney and brought lots of presents.  Of course it was all because of me since I’m the only one in the family who wrote him a letter this year.

He didn’t bring the laptop I asked for so I’m still sneaking on moms.  But I did get some yummy cookies that are shaped like little T-bone steaks and a new fuzzy bed that you can crawl in.  I usually lay on top of it though because it’s just a little snug.  I think Santa forgot that I’m a bit longer this year.  Princess got a new bed too and Bam got a new HUGE dinner dish.  I mean I could fit like 12 of my ‘Lil Caesar’s dinners in his new bowl. I have a plan to take it over, I can hide it under the bed.  But…. It’s big and really heavy and I can’t pick it up in my mouth like the water dish.  So, I plan to push it all the way to the bedroom.  I’m the only one who can get under the bed so it’s a perfect hiding spot!  But it’s hard to push it with my nose so I haven’t gotten very far yet.  Stay tuned….

Teagan and Dawson got a lot of cool stuff too, like clothes and smell good stuff and money.  I really could use the cash too but whatev’s.

Dad got Mom a new ring.  I was specifically told not to go near it, not to look at it and under no circumstance was I to confuse it for a chew toy or food.  I mean seriously, it’s like she doesn’t understand the what a GOOD NOODLE is.  It is shiny though and I bet I could really dig some teeth into it.  But, it would also look fabulous on my collar next to my name tag. Darn it I should have asked Santa for a collar with bling! Next year, there’s always next year.  After all it’s never too early to get started on next years letter to Santa.

I’ve had a lot of fun recently with my new human trick.  Every night at about 2 or 3 AM I decide I need a drink of water, so I go stand in Mom’s bathroom and bark until she gets up and gets me a cup of water.  It doesn’t matter if there is a full dish of water in the kitchen and she has to get the water in my special cup that she’s required to keep in the bathroom. (insert evil laugh)

In case anyone is wondering I have not made any resolutions.  I mean why mess with perfection?

Until next time……… Keep it cute, keep it long and short and keep it classy San Diego!



Santa’s Secret List

This is a re-print of the list I posted in December 2009 when Teagan was in First Grade…. re-posting it again to remind a Sophomore about the Magic of Christmas!


For those of you who don’t know, Santa has a secret list.  I’ve had to share the list with Teagan this year.  Dawson heard the same list about the time he was in first grade too.

This is the list of things Santa only tells certain people so keep it quiet!

1.  Santa can’t make people who are sick get better and can’t bring people and pets who have died back to life.  You can still wish for people who are sick to get better and Santa can wish with you but even his magic can’t cure everything.

2.  Santa cannot bring puppies, kitties, ponies, donkey’s, hamsters or any other live animal for Christmas.  There are FAA flight regulations preventing live animal travel in sleighs not to mention that the ponies can make a big mess and no elf wants to clean pony poop out of the sleigh.

3.  Santa has a limit on his Best Buy credit card which means he only has so many electronic games and gizmos he can give out each year.  To accommodate this problem, the elves put all the names on the “good” list into a bin and hold a lottery to see who will win.  This is why some kids get Xbox’s and Wii’s and iPod’s and others don’t.  At this time Sony, Nintendo and Apple are still protected under copyright laws and the elves can’t get license to build them.

4.  Santa can’t bring you a cell phone.  There are no service providers in the North Pole, not even Verizon so there is no way to get a cell phone from Santa.

5.  Santa rarely leaves the North Pole after October so the Santa’s you see at the malls and at Christmas Parties are really just men dressed up like Santa – that’s why some of them look like they are only 25 years old and some aren’t fat and don’t have white hair.  But all the mall Santa’s wear a secret microphone that transmit’s directly to the North Pole where there are special dispatcher elves who enter your Christmas list into the computer.

6.  Santa requests that children keep their Christmas lists to a minimum of 3-5 items that you REALLY REALLY want.  Not just everything you see or all the same things your friends are asking for.

7.  Santa cannot provide employment or a change of employment for your parents.  So if you wish for your dad who is an accountant to become an astronaut – it isn’t going to happen, Santa has limited influence on NASA.  Unfortunately Santa is NOT an equal opportunity employer and only hires elves, so unless your parents are elves Santa can’t provide a job – but remember Christmas is a magical time and lot’s of good things happen to people this time of year.

8..  Cookies are really good and so is milk, but Santa also likes any leftovers from Christmas Eve dinner like those BBQ meatballs or a slice of the cheese ball and crackers and a Diet Mt. Dew would be GREAT!

and most importantly……

9.  If your mom and dad said “no” to something, don’t bother asking Santa because he always follows mom & dad’s rules first and foremost.

This is Santa’s highly coveted secret list so share it if you must but remember not everyone knows these Santa secrets. 😉

I think I also need to share this list with a very long diva dog with an even longer Christmas list!

From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Macy’s Parade Star

I have to be brief in my writing today because I’m planning on riding down 34th Street soon.  Bam says the parade is all the way in New York City, but what does he know anyway?  Next year I think I should be one of the giant balloons.  I’ll need to write Macy’s again and express how this cuteness must be a balloon:

long nose

Bam said after the parade there is also the biggest dog show of the year.  I didn’t know they had contests for the best dogs.  Mom should have entered me because I definitely would have won “Best in Show.”  Maybe I’ll go to the dog show and find a new girlfriend to replace Killer.  Killer ran away with a Husky named Tobey, I don’t want to talk about it.

Mom actually let me use her computer today so that I could tell everyone what I’m thankful for today. Here’s my list:

  1. I’m thankful for my family, both human and furry.  Oh yeah, and fin-y, I forgot Dawson’s fish.
  2. I’m thankful for the firefighters at Dad’s station who helped me feel better after my recent injury following a tragic fence incident with Princess and the dog next door. My brother Dexter’s mom was there that day, and she was happy to help.  I don’t want to talk about it…. It was awful.  I’m OK now though.
  3. I’m thankful for my chew toys and my fuzzy bed and my hand knitted blankie that Aunt Jacque made me.
  4. I’m thankful when Dad makes bacon. I’m more thankful when he shares it with me.
  5. I’m thankful for Police K9’s (yes even Killer) who are working today instead of getting to stay home with their families. And Mom says their human officers too.
  6. Mom says I need to be thankful for all the humans who are working in emergency services today, like police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, EMT’s and paramedics, doctors and nurses.
  7. I’m thankful for the military too…. maybe I should join the military! General Mr. Pickles, or maybe Admiral Mr. Pickles.  I should investigate that.  I could fly fighter jets!  Do you think I could take my blankie with me to fighter jet school?
  8. I’m thankful for my back yard and continue to vigilantly keep it rid of tree rats and racoons. Well, Princess helps but I do all the hard work!  Barking is hard.
  9. I’m thankful for cookies.
  10. I’m thankful for Holidays where a lot of food is fixed, and a lot is accidentally dropped on the floor.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Suck. Bang. Blow. A Vacation Story


Before anyone gets the wrong idea, Suck Bang Blow is a popular biker bar in Murrells Inlet South Carolina where my family recently went on vacation. But, as I was thinking about vacation it seemed like a good descriptor.  There was the suck – it’s a long drive and there are multiple drivers who don’t understand some basic rules of the road.  There was the bang – the fun parts of vacation like being at the pool and beach.  And the blow – um yeah, I needed to think this through better.

For all you technical readers, suck bang blow is a motorcycle term to describe the cycles of an internal combustion engine:  suck in the air and fuel mixture, it bangs when it’s compressed and ignited and then it blows it out the exhaust.

(Alice wanted us to leave this space open – see below)

Teagan is helping me write this blog, and we’ve tried several times to write all the stuff that happened and we decided the easiest way is the “Alphabet” vacation blog:

A – is for Alice.  Alice Flagg is the most famous ghost along the Grand Strand.  You can Google her name and get all the info about her history.  We decided to visit her grave at the All Saints Cemetery in Pawley’s Island and play along with the legend by leaving rings at her gravesite.  My ring flipped over after I put it on her grave.  Dawson is convinced now she’s going to haunt us.

B – is for Baskin Robbins.  Have you ever been really excited when you’re on vacation because they have a store that you used to have where you lived but now you don’t?  You’re super excited to go there.  Baskin Robbins broke my heart.  I was super psyched to get classic chocolate chip ice cream.  We arrived at 8:59 pm and by the time we got out of the cars and found the correct door we walked in at 9:00 pm to be told (angrily – I might add) “WE’RE CLOSED!”  Um… excuse me?  First, your sign says 10:00 pm.  Second, the guy who walked in literally 30 seconds before us you’re helping.  B is also for bitch.  And Bu-bye because now I don’t plan on going to Baskin Robbins – ever.

C – is for Cardinal.  On Sunday a pretty red cardinal landed on the fence around the pool.  Hi mom! Glad you could join us.  The same cardinal also saved us from the scary evil squirrels that lived in the tree in the front yard – that or they were battling over the weird seed/pod things the tree was dropping.  I prefer the story where the cardinal was protecting us though.cardinals

D – is for Dead Dog Saloon.  This is that one place you find on vacation that you fall in love with.  It was great food, great service, great location, great atmosphere.  So great we went there twice.  The fun part was the first night, to win scavenger hunt points, Dave and Sara both ordered in fake accents which cracked the waiter up.  We really should have gotten video.  The waiter was from Indiana too, like he used to work at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Southport.

E – is for Exit 21B on I26 in South Carolina.  It is the Bermuda Triangle of this trip.  First, it has a drive thru only Chick-Fil-A (like a Rally’s).  Second, if you get stuck in the Chick-Fil-A drive thru line, there is no getting out.  Third, there is an A&W/LJS that is nearly impossible to get to unless you make several illegal driving moves.  Fourth, the A&W/LJS is sloooooooower than snails.  So after all these issues, you would totally stop there on the way home too, right?  One car got stuck in the Chick-Fil-A lot again.  One car made multiple illegal U-turns to get to the Wendy’s then back on the interstate.  LJS ended up being speedy compared to Wendy’s.  And, nobody’s hamburger was cooked.

F – is for Fish.  Fish were hard to come by, except for the bait.  PS you should never accidentally leave bait out in the car port.  Teagan, however, cast out one time and caught a fish.  Of course she did!  Total fish count this trip:  3 and one blue crab that got away.

G – is for Golf Cart.  We stayed in a “golf cart community.”  People take these things seriously.  They were tricked out with stereo systems and all kind of bells and whistles.  As a matter of fact, golf cart with subs is on the next scavenger hunt list. (yes, we saw one) Also, the Garden City Mini Mart which is smaller than my living room, but handily had a Styrofoam cooler to put the fish in.

H – is for Hypothermia.  Which is what you got when you jumped in the pool.  It was not heated.  I’m guestimating that it was somewhere in the 70’s.  Teagan thought it was fine.  Here’s the thing I don’t understand.  I was happy sitting on the side, with no intention of ever getting in, but when my sister challenged me to jump in, I jumped.  Why is sister peer pressure even a thing?

I – is for Ice Cream.  After the Baskin Robbins incident we did find an awesome local ice cream place that was ACTUALLY open until 10 like they advertised.  It was called Meyers Ice Cream Parlor and it had about 1000 options to make all your ice cream dreams a reality!  Sadly no one heard Jacque request we bring her back a cup of chocolate chip.

J – is for “Just a little way down the road.”  This is how Kim described the beach shop that was nearly a mile and a half away when she suggested everyone walk there to buy beach chairs.  Luckily, Dave and I didn’t go because about an hour into the excursion we got a call to come pick everyone up.

K – is for Dachshund Kisses.  For a minimum of two hours after picking the dogs up from the All-Inclusive Resort for Puppies you receive aggressive dachshund kisses.

L – is for the Lewis and Clark Bridge.  The cable-stayed bridge at the Indiana/Kentucky border that crosses the Ohio River on what is or will soon be called I265.  We crossed it on the way home during 25 mph sustained winds.  Yep, just gonna leave that up to everyone’s imagination.  Shit. Got. Real.

M – Is for Marsh Walk.  The Marsh walk at Murrell’s Inlet was the most popular place on vacation.  There are a lot of restaurants, the Lazy Gator gift shop, a seafood market, and Perry’s bait and tackle shop.  We spent a lot of time here.

N – is for Fish Net.  Dustin wanted a net to cast out to catch fish.  A guy down the beach had one and was successfully catching fish.  Note:  When researching “where to buy fish net” you will be directed to the local lingerie store.

O – is for Western Omelet.  Holiday Inn has not mastered the Western Omelet.

P – is for Mr. Pickles.  Who, thanks to his “voice” (aka Teagan) asked daily in his nasal baby voice “How many more sleeps until you come home?” And, “I’m scared you’re leaving me here poreber.” (F’s and V’s are hard to say).

long nose

Q – is for Quahog (aka clam).  Sadly, the only reason I know that quahog is a clam is because of Family Guy.  Happily, I was able to answer an $400 Jeopardy question correctly because of my knowledge of quahog.  Also, we saw a sign for clamshell recycling on this trip, which may also make it to the next scavenger hunt.

R – is for Rap Snacks.  Rap Snacks are chips featuring moderately popular rap stars on the bag.  We found them in The Middle of Nowhere South Carolina at a gas station time forgot.

S – is for Stars.  Teagan attempted to use her telescope, but we had trouble with the focus.  Also, you’re supposed to set it up 2 hours before dusk and have it focused and ready, not “Oh hey it’s dark and the moon is cool let’s set up the telescope”

T – is for Towel.  Sara wanted to learn how to snap a towel.  She did.  And she snapped it on Kim.

U – is for U-Haul.  We may need one for the next family vacation.  As a whole my family would not fair well if we had to pack for an emergency evacuation.

V – is for Vacation.  Duh!

W – is for Wahlburgers.  There were burgers, tater tots, grilled cheese …. no t-shirts though☹.

X – is for Xbox.  The boys love playing Xbox on vacation.  It’s not my favorite thing on vacation but that’s another battle for another blog.

Y – is for Yuengling.  Beer. Is. Good.  I mean after all its vacation!

Z – is for Zombie Cat II.  Stray cats seem to find us in South Carolina.  This one was a black cat lurking in the shadows and scaring the begeezus out of Dawson one night.  I thought he was seeing things until I saw it a few days later by the golf cart rental place.  He’s convinced Alice sent it.  I’m convinced it was hungry and found the bait they accidentally left in the car port.


And there you have the Suck. Bang. Blow of vacation.

(Yep still haven’t come up with anything clever for blow).

What a veteran mom learned about Childhood Cancer this month

soccer net

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

If you search my blog from 2007 to the present, there isn’t a blog sometime in September that doesn’t start with that sentence.  It’s usually followed by a lot of facts or figures or rants about how underfunded childhood cancer research is.

Not this year.  This year I’d like to share what my daughter taught me about childhood cancer.

In late June my daughter came to me and explained she wanted to try out for the school soccer team.  I’m not sure who reading this has ever watched soccer but despite its classification of being a non-contact sport it’s a very contact-oriented sport.  It’s not like she came to me and asked to run on the track team or swim on the swim team.  Not to diminish track or swimming in any way, they are both strenuous sports.  But neither track nor swimming involves a 5’7” 135-pound girl running full speed at you attempting to take a ball away without using her hands.

Thinking she would be discouraged I told her she needed to find out more about practices and try-outs.  Less than an hour later she told me they practice every night from 5:30-7:00 and try outs are on July 31.  This was a Friday, she told me she planned on starting the following Monday.

I sat at my desk trying madly to come up with excuses not to let her play.  She had played up until she was 12 and quit when the girls started getting a little more aggressive and a lot bigger than her.  I stopped short of just saying NO and I tried to gently point out the challenges she would have to overcome.  I should mention at this point that she’s had 2 brain surgeries and multiple surgeries on her left arm, hand, leg and foot to correct some of long-term effects from the brain surgeries.  What long-term effects?  Oh… yeah, she’s hemiplegic on her left side.  And she has NO peripheral vision on her left side either.

I gently reminded her that she would need to run, and she hadn’t been working out regularly – so she should consider that.  In my mind I was recalling my son playing soccer in high school where he ran a minimum of a mile daily all summer long including when we were on vacation.  She put on some running shoes and came back, fairly quickly and dejected.  She had tried to run around our neighborhood which is exactly 1 mile around the outer roads and she said she couldn’t.  I told her she could cry for 20 minutes and she needed to pick herself up and move on.  Secretly, I was kind of hoping that she would see this obstacle as too much to overcome.

She did exactly what I told her to do.  She cried for about 20 minutes, came out of her room with shin guards and cleats and told me to get in the car because practice started in 30 minutes.  Sigh….. OK I’ll take her to practice.  We arrived and only a handful of girls were there, a few more arrived a little later.  The coach, Sarah (who is amazing – by the way), showed up and started running drills.  I watched, anticipating that at some point she would realize she was in over her head, but she kept pushing on drill after drill.  And not to diminish her success, but I was expecting soccer like I had experienced with my son – cut throat competitive “take-no-prisoners” travel soccer which spilled into the suburban high school level as well.  This was a group of high school girls who thought it would be fun to play soccer – which in all honesty is what school sports should be.  On senior night, every one of the girls was going to college with a scholarship for music or art or their 4.6 grade point average – none of them mentioned continuing their soccer career.

She was super excited after practice, talking non-stop and when I asked if she wanted to go back tomorrow she said “YES!”  So, we practiced, night after night up to the day of tryouts.  Sarah had talked to her about her limitations and they came to an understanding about what she was and wasn’t capable of doing.  Their school is a small urban college prep academy with a focus on fine arts and music – so they only have a Varsity Girls soccer team.  But the coach is a heads-up kind of lady who realized that she could have the underclassmen play on a “B” team and the upperclassmen play on the “A” team and the “B” players could gain experience as necessary.  Teagan, with all her hard work and challenges, made the Varsity “B” team playing defensive back.

I was proud, but still very nervous and skeptical.  Sure, the girls on her team weren’t “do or die” soccer players but what about the teams they would play against? I have nail bitten my way through several games while she plays about 10-20 minutes as a relief for her “A” team counterpart.  And she’s good, she knows where to play on the field, she doesn’t back down from a challenge – she has proved me wrong.  For all I know that has been her motivation the whole time.  And she loves it and she’s having a great time being part of the team.

My “learning moment” however didn’t really come until August 31st.  I received a group email from her coach stating that she had been nominated by a teammate to be the “Man of the Match.”  She didn’t win because she scored a goal or blocked a goal or for that matter even set foot on the field.  One of the upperclassmen’s locker had jammed and she couldn’t get to her jersey, shin guards or cleats.  She gave the upperclassmen her uniform, shin guards and cleats so that she could play.  Her coach pointed out in the email that she always gives 100%, never misses games or practices and was “a stellar example of a perfect player.”

I cried a bit that morning. There were happy tears because I was proud of her for her accomplishment.  But there were guilty tears too.  I was ashamed that I had assumed she wasn’t capable of achieving this goal because of her disability.  In all fairness I was mostly concerned for her safety because she trips over air on a good day and you can literally be standing next to her on her left side and she can’t see you.  Neither of which lend to success in a sport like soccer.  But she was determined, and she showed me and a lot of people she’s got a lot of resolve packed into a very small package.

I guess I didn’t learn anything “new.”  Mostly, I forgot that she is more than just her brain tumor.  She is not defined by the tumor she had when she was five and all the damage it left behind.  She is in control of who she is and who she’s going to be. She is writing her story and the tumor was a chapter but it’s not the whole book.

I won’t forget that anymore, I promise.


PS.. really not loving the “soccer mom” title again, jus’ sayin’


From the desk of Mr. Pickles, Professional Competitive Eater

picles hot dog 2

Hi everyone, sorry I’ve been out for so long.  It’s a busy life being a long dog.  Plus, Bam is the only one who knows how to log on to mom’s laptop and he and I got into a bit of a snit over my chew toy – he doesn’t seem to understand it’s my job to take out the squeaker.

I’ve been looking for a new career lately.  Back up singing was a little harder than I thought it would be.  Britney still loves me, but the choreography was hard with my stubby legs.  I also recently found out that stubby legs make it hard to do the Kiki challenge.  Kiki (that’s my nickname for Killer) do you love me? Of course you do, everybody loves me.

Anyway, no worries I’ve found the perfect new career.  This morning on TV they were talking to Joey Chestnut about an ice cream eating contest at the Indiana State Fair.  This guy’s whole job is to eat more pints of ice cream than any other guy in the contest.  Uh hello??? Have you ever met a dachshund who can’t eat three times it’s weight in one sitting?

I looked up this Joey guy on Google and found out on the 4th of July he ate a record 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  PPHHBTTT! I can totally do that, I’m just sayin’ I could probably eat 75.  I mean I’m totally built to consume hot dogs, I even LOOK like a hot dog.  Even though Bam says he rocked the look first and I’m just copying, whatev’s Bam. (Was he really that little?)


There’re all kinds of eating contests, not just ice cream and hot dogs.  Tacos, Pizza, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Strawberry Shortcakes, Oysters (um… what are oysters?), Sandwiches – the list is endless.  There’s even a Major League Eating organization.  Mom’s going to send in my application next week.  Some of their upcoming contests are: Cheese Curds, Gyoza (I have no idea what that is, but I’m willing to eat anything), Buffalo Wings (YES! Dawson wants to enter that one too), Cheeseburgers, Tamales, Pork Roll Sandwiches, Moon Pies, and Catalina Croquetas.  I’m not sure what Catalina Croquetas are either, but mom said we can go because it’s at Calle Ocho in Miami.  I guess its Cuban food?!?!

I didn’t see doughnuts on the list, I would like doughnuts.

Mom said Teagan won an eating contest once.  She challenged one of the firefighters at dad’s station to a HoHo eating contest.  She ate 13 in 15 minutes.  She doesn’t eat HoHo’s anymore.  The sight of them makes her nauseous.

In other news I was playing hide and seek with RJ the raccoon that lives under our mini barn.  I found him hiding in the trashcan but he wouldn’t come out.  That’s not how the rules work.  I was too short to get into the trashcan so I did what any respectable hide and seek player would do.  I went inside and got my big brother and big sister to help.  Mom got really mad at us for trying to knock over the trash can.  Then she got even madder when she heard RJ inside.  She made Princess, Bam and me go inside and then she let RJ out of the trashcan. Not cool mom, not cool…. That’s not how you play hide and seek.  Now RJ won’t come and play anymore.

my friend RJ <——That’s my friend RJ

Teagan made the soccer team at school.  I’m totally going to be the mascot.  I just have to find an Achaean outfit and get over my fear of soccer balls.


Hmm that might be harder than I thought! Where do you get a broom helmet and scary creepy face shield?  Too bad she doesn’t go to Frankfort High School,  home of the fighting Hot Dogs.  I mean for real I need to apply to be their mascot!

Well, I’ve got to go practice for the next hot dog eating contest.  I’ve just got to figure out how to get mom to let me eat 75 hot dogs.  Bam says he can eat 76.  Maybe when you were younger buddy, but I got this now.  It’s a young pup’s game.  Oh, I better be nice to him or he won’t log me on the laptop again. Um…. Yeah Bam, buddy you got this!

Peace, Love and hotdogs…..

Mr. Pickles

The hunt for Red October


Sorry guys, Mr. Pickles is taking a break from blogging this week, he’s busy working on his next career goal.

Since it’s summer I thought I’d share something my family does on vacation.  It started as a random thing I decided to do to beat car trip boredom.  I made a scavenger hunt for the trip.  The first was on our girls + Dawson trip to Charleston and it ended up being pretty fun so I kept making them.

Just looking at the lists makes me laugh at some of the silly things that we’ve seen or done to check off the list.  It also doesn’t help that my family is super competitive and things like my sister and my nieces racing to the Love’s Truck Stop entrance to get a Java Amore coffee cup or everyone forcing my sister to eat gas station roller food, make for fun memories to look back on.

If you’re travelling, and bored or if you just want to have a little fun for the remainder of the summer I present you with the McClark Family Scavenger Hunt lists.

Side Note: No, no one in my family has the last name McClark, but one pre-vacation night at my mom’s we were trying to make an acronym of our last names and couldn’t.  So, we decided on Clark – for Clark W. Griswold.  I don’t remember where the “Mc” came from……. because we’re not Irish. 🙂


2013 Charleston Fall “Girls” Trip Scavenger Hunt

  1. Gas Station Attendant who looks like Elvis. 5 points       (8 points if it’s in TN)
  2. Car with 10 or more bumper stickers. 5 points
  3. Gas Station with more coolers full of beer than any other drink . 5 points
  4. Find a sign for a Candy Shop (on the upcoming Exit signs). 10 points
  5. Find a sign for a “Specialty” hamburger restaurant 10 points.     (no fast food chain, Red Robin, Bagger Dave’s etc.. local)
  1. Hurricane Evacuation Route sign. 5 points
  2. Palm Tree with Halloween lights. 8 points
  3. Sign/Advertisement for fresh/local fudge. 5 points
  4. Tunnel Ahead sign. 3 points
  5. People taking pictures of themselves by road sign.  5 points
  6. Sign in the shape of a food item or an animal. 10 points
  7. Sign for a strange roadside attraction (e.g. largest ball of twine).  10 points                    (subtract 5 points each if you use Ruby Falls or Rock City)
  8. Three-tiered fountain. 5 points
  9. The word “brilliant.”   8 points
  10. An ‘at night’ postcard – where the post card is all black. 10 points
  11. A matchbook with a restaurant logo on it. 15 points
  12. A bus schedule. 5 points
  13. Something that describes (team member).  5 points
  14. A historical marker.   2 points
  15. A fortune cookie. 3 points

(extra points if the word “happy” appears in the fortune cookie note)


BONUS:    UFO.    100 points

2014 Charleston – Destination wedding scavenger hunt.


  1. Item from a gas station/truck stop bathroom vending machine. 10 points
  2. Maps of at least 2 states from a rest area. 10 points
  3. Picture with your team setting off a firework on side of road. 50 points
  4. License plate # from a semi in the mountains. 10 points
  5. A “” picture. 30 points
  6. A bag of Gilliam Horehound Sanded Candy. 10 points
  7. 1 point for each condiment stolen from Chick-fil-A. unlimited
  8. Picture of a working payphone. 25 points
  9. Fortune Cookie from a Chinese restaurant. 5 points
  10. Bonus points if the fortune in #9 has the word happy in it. 10 points
  11. Weekly store ad from a store that we don’t have in Indiana. 5 points
  12. A Sand dollar (not purchased from a store). 50 points
  13. Get someone named “Sara” or “Teagan” to sing a “Tegan & Sara” song.  5 points
  1. Find a gas station with more coolers of beer than pop. 20 points
  2. Picture of (team member who doesn’t like seafood) eating seafood. 30 points
  3. Best Reason to disqualify someone’s “Slug A Bug.” 15 points **
  4. Matchbook from a restaurant w/ their logo on it. 100 points
  5. A receipt for exactly $4.38. 20 points
  6. Folded napkin art with a fast food napkin. 10 points
  7. A lottery ticket from each state we travel through. 20 points

** You can’t call a slug bug because….. it’s red, it has a bumper sticker etc.. make it up as you go.

2016 #bamafamavacation Scavenger Hunt

  1. Expired Cat Food at a Gas Station. 10 points
  2. Neil Diamond look-alike. 30 points *
  3. Lottery Ticket from any state but IN.  5 points each
  4. Belt Buckle larger than 3.5 inches. 10 points
  5. Carpool Karaoke video. 40 points **
  6. Java Amore coffee mug/cup. 20 points
  7. “Wash Me” written on a car (you can’t write it). 10 points
  8. Picture of local Mexican restaurant (not a chain) that doesn’t have Los or El in the name.  45 points
  9. Dress up a fire hydrant like a celebrity. 30 points
  10. Mystery Item. up to 100 points
  11. Poster, Flyer or Shirt for local festival. 30 points
  12. Bonus if item 11 doesn’t involve fruit or veggie. 15 points
  13. “Cake by the Ocean.” 10 points
  14. An Elvis impersonator. 75 points
  15. Place that serves “World Famous (____).” 15 points
  16. Vehicle with duct tape/plastic window. 10 points
  17. Team member eating “roller food.” 10 points
  18. Unicorns – anything with a unicorn on it. 5 points each
  19. Logo Matchbook from a restaurant. 75 points
  20. Comic Book Hero lunch date. 75 points

* Bonus of 50 points if you can get that person to sing Sweet Caroline

** Bonus of 20 points if props/costumes are used

As you can see we have a fun with our long road trips. Sometimes if no one finds something on a list it goes on next years list.  In 2016 they even made team names (TicTac Chicks, Aunt Eaters and No Ragrets).  I always feel sorry for Teagan because she has to team with her brother and her dad (because I make up the list) and they are less than enthusiastic about playing.

I hope your family has as much fun as mine did with these.  And for my family I already have started the list for October.

If Mr. Pickles would have written this blog the scavenger hunt list would be:

  1. Cookie. 10 points if you give it to me
  2. Dog Food. 10 points if you give it to me
  3. Cookie. 20 points if you give it to me
  4. Dog Food. 20 points if you give it to me
  5. Squirrel. 100 points if you let me say I caught it
  6. Cookie. 30 points if you give it to me
  7. Dog Food. 30 points if you give it to me
  8. Bacon. 50 points if you give it to me
  9. Cookie. 40 points if you give it to me
  10. Dog Food. 40 points if you give it to me

Mr. Pickles is NOT helping me with the Fall Vacation list.

You get 10 points for reading this blog (just to see which family members read it all the way to the end).