Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Lots of birthday companies have pirate birthday party ideas. But outside of Toronto, this pirate birthday party isn't an idea... it's the real thing!
On this adventure groups don't just play pirate... they come dressed as pirates! These pirates, journey in a ship with other thieves at sea. With their map, each team searches for the clues to the buried treasure. And to the most clever, goes the chest of gold, awaiting at the end.
This birthday pirate adventure was designed for kids and men! It takes place on the Grand River, one hour west of Toronto. Each team gets a ship (a large self bailing raft), there is a chest with a map and tools, and a pilot-mate for hire. The only rule... everyone must come dressed as a pirate. The adventure can be played in one raft or competing rafts.
Once on the water, the team cracks open the chest, reads the lost letter and reviews the clues. There is an inventory of the tools, strategies are planned and a "haggling" of booty-share with the pilot-mate for their services. Once done, the anchor is lifted and the crew heads out to sea.
A little ways down, the sounding of the shore gong is required for the pilot-mate to go further. In competition, a leading team can easily become the last team until the gong is found and sounded. From here, the clues are sought out, found and plugged into the map. It eventually comes to the attention of the crew, that the pilot-mate seems to know everything. This makes him the "go-to-hero" in the boat... but for his answer, there is a percentage of the booty.
Once all the clues are plugged into the map, the crew can paddle directly to the location. Upon arrival, the team faces a new challenge. They must use a compass and chain to locate the buried treasure. Coincidentally the pilot-guide turns out to be an amazing instructor on compassing and chaining... a lost pirate art!
By compassing, chaining and solving a riddle, the crew arrives at the location of the treasure. The location turns into an absolute mystery to everyone, except for the smiling pilot-mate, who by now has probably accumulated 90% shares in the booty! At the discovery of the treasure, there is absolute delight as to what it contains... and with every good pirate hunt, everything is shared.
This pirate quest takes about four hours to play. It is for youth 8 years and up. Although this treasure quest was designed for kids, adults have become the major players. Child or adult, it seems that when the imagination is played out... simple events become an amazing adventure. Just like the real thing!
For further information about a pirate birthday party on the Grand River near Paris visit 'The Pirate Adventure".
Friday, November 11, 2011
Every river guide has a legendary story... well this is mine... and it's true!
It was a windy Sunday afternoon and I was requested to take a woman called "Peggy-Sue" on a three hour guided canoe trip down the Grand River.
I put the canoe in the water and helped her in the front. When she was seated... I handed her a paddle. She looked at me in surprise and said "Oh, I won't be needing that!" I graciously smiled and launched the canoe into the wind.
Once on the river, my client turned sideways... put her feet in the water... dragging them in the river. She said she wanted to see me as she talked. I was informed she was marrying Sylvester Stallone's son and that she was doing this paddle to get in shape to have babies. (my lip started to bleed from biting it). She then informed me there were body guards following us along the river to keep her safe. She also mentioned that she was bipolar but no longer needed her medicine. (I am not sure if it was the wind making my eyes water).
You know that famous expression... "talk your ear off". Well that phrase became very real to me. My three hour cruise became a five hour listening marathon. I was never so happy to get out of a canoe in my life. But as fate would have it... I blundered making the comment that I did night paddles.
A couple of nights later I got a call for a night paddle and to bring my wife... Peggy-Sue had such a good time... she was coming back (there's tears in my eyes but no wind)!
Peggy was late by an hour, so we shoved off in the dark. My wife sat in the front seat with a paddle. Peggy Sue sat on a floor seat facing me. No sooner were we on the river... then out came a camera with a flash that could burn the eyes out of an owl. She used an entire roll shooting the dark (after that lightning show I didn't need lights... all I had to do was blink my eyes).
We came to a spot called the "Bloop" where the water rolls over the canoe bow. Peggy-Sue definitely wanted to shoot the Bloop. So over we went and in came the wave... her tight velour pants immediately sucked the water up. Peggy-Sue let out a gasp"oh, I am getting cold!" My wife told Peggy-Sue to take off her pants and wrap our spare nylon jacket around her. Peggy-Sue thought that was a great idea. (I was starting to wish my wife was not there). As Peggy-Sue started peeling her wet velour, she suddenly said "Oh, I don't have any underwear on! The boat went silent.
Peggy-Sue proceeded to peel the velour off, but the pants got stuck around her ankles. I told her I was not going to help her. She then got laughing so hard that she started peeing in the boat. Finally she got the pants off and my wife suggested that Peggy-Sue get out to finish peeing in the river.
While Peggy-Sue was peeing, she decided she wanted her picture taken. I had her camera bag... but I wasn't taking a picture of a bottomless woman urinating in the river. I gave my wife the camera. After the flash show, Peggy-Sue complained her back was sore from sitting on the floor and asked my wife to trade places. Without thinking my wife said "yes". As Peggy-Sue got in, my wife suddenly remembered the urine all over the seat. So she quickly sat on the thwart in front of me. As my wife paddled, I distinctly heard her say "I hate this job!"
Peggy-Sue suddenly announced that she was having such a good time and that she was going to call her friend Calvin Klein to let him know (he must of designed those tight pants). After a 15 minute conversation with Calvin missing at the other end... she said goodbye.
When we arrived at the end, my youngest 14 year old son was there, and I did not want him seeing this bottomless woman. Luckily I had a blanket in my car. We then drove to our home and gave Peggy-Sue a pair of my shorts. At Paris, Peggy-Sue had left something in the outfitter shop, so my wife went to get it.
While alone, Peggy-Sue said "I don't really drink, but you two have gone way out of your way for me. Would you like to go across to the hotel for a drink as a thank you?" I suggested we ask my wife. When my wife was asked, she replied "ask Garth". Peggy-Sue immediately said "Garth said yes!"
While we are splitting a beer... Peggy-Sue ordered five fingers of scotch on the rocks. And she puts the glass back with one gulp! My wife smells the empty scotch glass and says"it's the real stuff". Our dry Peggy-Sue orders another 5 fingers. In a half hour Peggy-Sue has consumed 13 fingers of scotch and is making out with an Italian who she claims is her bodyguard.
Practicing "due diligence", we offer to drive Peggy-Sue and her vehicle back to her hotel in Brantford. When we arrive at the hotel, Peggy-Sue states there are no bodyguards to meet her and wonders if we can escort her. So we take her to her suite. On the way we are stopped by three Italians who check us out (I said to myself "you've got to be kidding"). They let us go by and we step into her suite.
Peggy-Sue informs us that she has lost her mouth guard and asks us to help her find it. She informs us that she was a ballerina at one time and I get my own personal ballet performance... which was not "Swan Lake"... more like "Grand River". Then she shows us her favorite lingerie.
We finally got out of there at 2am in the morning. As we were driving home, I said to my wife " I wonder why that woman was put in our path". My wife burst forth "I don't know... but I never want to meet her again"! Then my wife says "but I am so glad I went with you tonight, because if you had gone alone you would have been in so much trouble". I turned to my wife and said "Not so, because I would have never asked her to take her pants off!"
A year later! I was guiding a Six Nations group on Big Creek for three days. We had a nurse traveling with us. Around the campfire the nurse tells this story of her new patient who was found dancing naked in the middle of a road. This patient is going to marry Sylvester Stallone's son... (there's tears in my eyes, but no wind).