The WiFi Treasure Hunt

787337_96637039_400x300I have a friend who owns a vacation home near Lake Tahoe and, being pretty much the most generous person in the world, he lets us stay there when he’s not using it.  We took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend and went up for a quick break.  We weren’t expecting great weather so we planned on just hanging out, enjoying the views, and relaxing quietly. We drove up on Saturday and after unloading the car and putting groceries away, the kids started in on a game of Monopoly.  That kept them busy for a while — long enough for me to learn that my laptop’s hard drive had died.  It also kept them away from their tablets long enough that they didn’t think to ask for the WiFi password until bedtime.  With a promise that they would get the password in the morning, they quickly turned in for the night.

I knew, however, that sleep would not come so easy for me — I expected a long night of worrying about how much data I might end up losing.  With that in mind, I came up with a plan to ensure that the kids weren’t getting us up too early.  I grabbed some Post-It notes and put together something to keep them occupied for a while: a treasure hunt.

First, I wrote down the WiFi password and, carefully moving cards and game pieces out of the way, attached it to the bottom of the Monopoly board.  I then went around the house placing more Post-It notes to lead the kids on a merry chase.

It worked better than expected — we got to sleep in far later than we had in a long time as the kids followed instructions and then celebrated with some tablet time.  And, as an added bonus, it made sure that they cleaned up the Monopoly game.  Two weeks later, the kids are still talking about the treasure hunt I made for them.  I think I’m going to stock up on Post-It Notes for future trips.

The first note was on the dining room table.

The First Note: If you want the WiFi password / You'd best make sure you aren't heard / When you check the lake so blue / To find your next clue

If you want the WiFi password
You’d best make sure you aren’t heard
When you check the lake so blue
To find your next clue

On the wall hangs this map of the lake.  The next clue peeked out from behind the bottom corner.

The Map of Lake Tahoe

The map of Lake Tahoe concealed the second clue.

The note by the map of the lake leads to the washing machine in the laundry room.

The Second Clue

If your socks are not too clean
Put them in the washing machine
Or check on top for your next clue
Which will let you know what you must do

One room on the lower level is the Library where the walls are lined with shelves packed with books.

The Third Clue

Keeping quiet even still
Think about this if you will
Where would you go to find a book
That is where you ought to look

There are two fireplaces, one near the Library and one upstairs in the living room.

The Fourth Clue

Onward, Onward you shall go
Keeping very quiet though
Fireplaces, there are two
Check the one closest to you

Might as well visit both fireplaces while they were there.

The Fifth Clue

It seems there’s been a grave mistake
The kind it seems I’m prone to make
Try the fireplace upstairs
It’s confusing when things come in pairs

Ice Cream is a popular treat any time of year and something in which we tend to indulge when we’re on holiday.

The Sixth Clue

Keeping quiet as a mouse
The coldest spot in the house
Holds yummy treats for after meals
And a clue it reveals

The next note was in the shower downstairs by the room in which they were sleeping.

The Seventh Clue

If you were to wash your hair
You’d find a clue hanging there
Don’t look upstairs but rather down
Taking care not to make a sound

And the final clue kinda gave it all away.

The Eighth Clue

Go back up and finish your game
Monopoly is its name
When it’s done and cleaned away
The WiFi password it will say

They ended up here where the board hid the WiFi password beneath it.

The Ultimate Goal

The game of Monopoly
It was put away by the time we got up

Everything was cleaned up and put away by the time I got up and the kids were all playing happily and, perhaps most importantly, quietly with their tablets.


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