Back and Re-Unfocused.

We had a kickass vacation at the beach, active and outdoorsy and fun, with great weather. Now I’m back at work, it’s gray and stormy out, and I’m exhausted and feeling blah, with too much to do and no ability to focus my attention more than a few hours in the future at the expense of some significant deadlines coming in the next couple of weeks. So I’m going to share a couple of the highlights of our vacation instead.

We hauled our bikes more than 800 miles this trip, and got a lot of use out of them. The kids rode their own bikes several times on the quiet streets around the beach house, and the Siren and I rented Trail-A-Bikes to attach to our bikes, which let the kids ride behind us on several longer rides, including two that were 12 miles or more, mostly on a forested trail built on an old railroad right-of-way. We also took up a new hobby: letterboxing. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s following clues on websites like or AtlasQuest to little boxes hidden somewhere in the world (often in the woods, but sometimes in surprising urban locations) containing a stamp and a logbook. You stamp your own rubber stamp into the box logbook, and the box’s stamp into your own logbook, then hide the box where you found it. The kids thought it was very exciting, but I think the Siren and I enjoyed it at least as much as they did. We found letterboxes all over our part of Delaware, including along the trail. You can see one hidden in the brush at the base of a tree here:


The kids and I even took a tour of the Dogfish Head Beer brewery, which was great fun.


I also ran two 5K races, and placed third in my new, ancient age group in the second one which was on the morning of the Saturday we left. My time for that second race wasn’t a PR but was still pretty good – 21:05 – and the medal doubles as a bottle opener, which is awesome. I love small races – limited competition and cool prizes.


On the drive home, we stopped to find one more letterbox in a park in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where we stopped for the night. It was on the side of a small drop-off over a landing leading to a cliff:


Best vacation ever. Only 50 weeks to go until the next one.


6 responses to “Back and Re-Unfocused.

  1. Sounds like a great trip! We have to get you guys and your bikes out to the Harry Potter trail in Palatine sometime.

  2. Cool vacation! I was looking at the Letterboxing site, there are a few close to our house. Maybe I should have the kids check it out.

    Hope work calms down soon for you.

    • Thanks, and you should definitely give it a try. We’re going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire today and there several of them there so we’re bringing our log books.

  3. Sounds an awful lot like geocatching, but without the expensive GPS units.

  4. We love letterboxing. I’m hoping to do some this fall. It was just too hot this summer.

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