As I purposefully shy away from trends and adamantly avoid hopping on bandwagons, I was ripe to avoid PokemonGo completely.
But I saw potential. Potential for entertained kids and interesting hikes.
I mean, I’m pretty dang good at making hikes interesting. Sometimes we even find abandoned boobs! But despite how AMAZING I am, and despite the fact that they (almost) always enjoy it, my kids still whine and groan every time I say we’re going on a hike or a walk.
Sure it’s July in Alabama and 456 degrees outside. But still. Exercise makes Mommy feel better, kids. Get on board.
I downloaded the free app Monday morning. Noah was already downstairs but Ali had yet to emerge from her room. I told Noah, “Oh look! There’s a Pokemon in our front yard! Let’s go out and catch it.”
We ran outside and sure enough, there on my phone screen, we could see the front yard and a Pokemon sitting in it.
I hadn’t read any directions or helpful posts about how to catch Pokemon yet, so we failed miserably on our first hunt. Noah lost interest and wandered away to complain about breakfast options, and I sat down to read a Wiki.
OOOOHH….you swipe quickly with your finger. I can do this.
So I gathered Noah again and we went outside and caught ourselves a Pokemon.
After breakfast, I told the kids.
“We’re going on a Pokemon Hunt. Get your shoes on.”
Noah was thrilled, but Ali was skeptical. Usually my less whiny child, she had a problem with everything on this stroll. It was hot. It smelled bad outside. Where were the Pokemon? How long would this walk take?
We found our first Pokemon.
And she was the one who caught it.
Then it became the best walk we’d ever taken.
There were none on our street, but Not-Crazy-Renee’s street was teeming with them.
In fact, they seemed congregated around her house – perhaps they were attracted to her snake.
We came, we caught, and Noah even wore a couple Pokemon.
And it really was the most delightful neighborhood walk we’d ever taken.
Ali, Now PokemonGo’s biggest fan, began naming all the places she wanted to go hunt.
I bet Oak Mountain has 223 Pokemon! Oh! And Aldridge Gardens! There are plenty of places to look there. And Pop and Gramamma’s house. We could find all kinds of Pokemon in their woods!
We decided on Gramamma’s house. It would be a family service, after all, to help her with her Pokemon Infestation.
So we drove out and took Gramamma on a hike, teaching her about the game as we traversed.
See, you keep the app on your home screen, and it knows where you are, and you can click on the bottom right corner to see how close you’re getting to a Pokemon, and then when one shows up, you see it on the screen in the real world, and you’ve got to throw the ball at it to capture it.
We found the ever-frightening Zubat,
Ali slapped a Nidoran,
Gramamma got viciously attacked by the butt end of a Slowpoke,
And Shadow went after,
And then carried away, a Charmander.
We even checked the bridge – just to make sure it wasn’t covered in the monsters, you know.
While on the hike, we found real, live, actual cool things as well, thereby making it totally educational.
Anyone want to steal a veggie or two from her?
In total, we found another dozen or so at my parent’s house, therefore saving their property from the perils of loose Pokemon.
On the way home, we saw a PokeSpot and a PokeGym on the map, so we pulled off to get special rewards.
And, in the process, discovered the Alabama Veteran’s War Memorial.
And our PokemonGo experience became even more educational.
We talked about all the names and what they meant…
And why no, we could not take any of the flags. Geez kids.
And of course, when Chris got home, the first thing the kids wanted to do was go on a walk – to teach him how to play.
And so. In our first day’s journey of Pokemon catching, we:
– Hiked/walked a total of 5 miles four different places without a SINGLE KID COMPLAINT (at least after the first Pokemon was bagged.)
– Made it to Level 6 and joined Team Valor.
– Saw all kinds of actual nature (including a rabbit, too fast to be pictured.)
– Visited and learned about the Alabama War Memorial.
– Caught 53 Pokemon on my phone – I don’t know how many Chris caught.
– Took turns catching said Pokemon and cheered ridiculously loudly for each other when a successful catch was made.
– Ran my phone battery down four times. External chargers are a nice asset for heavy Pokemon hunting.
– Only tripped while staring at the phone screen a couple times. Each.
– And one fantastic diary entry was created via Ali, an entry that should be able to help if you’re still unsure how to play.
Well, you get the picture.
You’re welcome, Moms of the world. Your summer just got exceedingly better.