Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Five: Games!

Jan, at RevGalBlogPals, writes:
"In less than three weeks, my family, including children and their partners, will be gathering in Seattle, WA for 12 days. After various days in Seattle sightseeing and in Bellingham seeing family, we will travel to the coast of Washington State to spend three nights in a large rented house. With nine adults (from almost 20 years old and up), I am thinking that we need to have some activities pre-planned--like GAMES! (Any ideas will be appreciated.)

So this Friday Five is about games, so play on ahead. . . ."

1. Childhood games?
Indoors, we played Go Fish and War with cards, and later on Monopoly; I also remember playing Careers and The Game of Life at other kids' houses.
Outdoor games? Hide and seek (we said "Ally ally in free" if I recall), dodgeball, Red Rover are some of the more formal games I remember. But what I remember best are the numerous "forts" we had when I was 8 and 9. There were some vacant spaces still in the Hainerberg housing area in Wiesbaden, Germany. In spring we made clod forts (and threw clods); in summer, grass forts with cut grass (not sure what the missile was there); in fall leaf forts and in winter snow forts. I don't think it was all war games, the building of the forts was great fun.
2. Favorite and/or most hated board games?
I like Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, CatchPhrase, and two terrific but not as well-known games, Compatibility and Twenty-Five Words or Less. The former is fun whether you play it with someone you know well or the reverse; the latter is good for teams as well as smaller partnerships. I also like a game called Encore but I can hardly ever get anyone to play it with me. Maybe because it involves me singing?
3. Card games?
I am, very slowly, learning bridge now. Hitherto, cribbage, gin rummy, hearts and Oh Hell! have been much played. Oh, and 21 -- I think that's the non-gamblers' version of blackjack.
4. Travel/car games?
Counting cows -- person on each side of car counts cows they see, but if you pass a cemetery all your cows are dead and you have to start over. Also not exactly a game, but license plate watching is fun, and probably more challenging now that many states have multiple charity license plates. In Maine, watching for vanity plates is fun too -- they are a little cheaper here than some places so lots of folks have them. I saw one once that read "XEGSIS", always wondered whose it was!
5. Adult pastimes that are not video games?
Charades, of course. Some of my extended family are great at coming up with obscure and difficult titles to act out. Also Botticelli or Twenty Questions are fun.
Bonus: Any ideas for family vacations or gatherings?
Putting on my genealogist's hat for a moment (and what would that look like?), spend some time collecting family/childhood stories on tape or video or, if it's an off-the-grid type holiday, write them down. Take pictures -- candids and posed. Take along some pedigree or family group sheets (there are numerous places to download and print blank ones for free on the Interwebs) and get them filled out -- don't neglect the in-laws and outlaws, and get some of their family stories too. And, of course, introvert me says: leave some time for solo walks on the beach, reading, running, or whatever people like to do alone. Unless you have a whole family full of extroverts -- eek!