Monday, September 27, 2010

Yes....We are Crazy!

It's that time again, and the crazies are heading out on another trip. We normally head down to FL in the Fall, but since we going there to share our turkey dinner with Mike's parents in November, we thought a different venue might be in order.

Hence, the alternate trip to New England. We'll be staying in The Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Our goal is to venture up into New Hampshire and Vermont, make a stop in Maine and explore throughout MA and Rhode Island. The Fall colors should be absolutely fantastic in October and we're really looking forward to this latest adventure.

As insane as this sounds, after this trip and another visit to Florida in November, we will have visited 32 of the 50 States! THIS YEAR! Holy smokes! It will leave us with 5 States that we haven't Geocached in yet (AK, HI, LA, MS, & NM) and Mike will be down to only ONE State that he hasn't had the privilege yet of visiting. Can you guess which one? It's Hawaii! I haven't been either so maybe in 2012...we'll see!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The story begins back in early 2001, when a beautiful Pie-faced Lovebird was born. Since I'm so allergic to our furry friends, I didn't have a lot of options when it came to pets. Growing up, I had my share of frogs, turtles, lizards, an occasional fish and a gerbil named Dusty. But, I never had a pet that was long term, like a dog or cat. So, when we moved into our 2nd house, Mike said that we could get a pet and I choose a lovebird. We named him, Tiki, after the tropical birds in the Enchanted Tiki Room at Walt Disney World.

It wasn't until years later, that we found "he" had laid an egg! I guess poor Tiki was a "she" all along! Sorry!

Tiki was our guard bird, always chirping to alert us that someone had arrived or something out of the ordinary was going on. She was unusual in that she talked. She said her name, "Tiki", as well as "Tikibird" and "Pretty Bird". She also loved to mimic and would cough, laugh or sneeze when we did. She sounded just like the microwave as well, and confused us daily with her "beeping".

In late 2003, we finally tried this crazy sport called "Geocaching" that we had been hearing about, but before we could log our first find, we needed to come up with a Team name. Some teams just used their real names or some variation of it, while some teams highlighted their professions, hobbies or family.  We wanted ours to be unique and easy to remember, so we came up with The Tikibirds.

We found a graphic of two lovebirds in a tropical setting and it became our logo. We used it for our pathtags, geocoins, shirts and signature cards and still do to this day. Tiki became our mascot, as well as an important member of the family. When the twins were born, she wasn't particularly fond of their cries but in time, she grew to love interacting with them and showing off for them. The girls became known as the Tiki-Twins in our geocaching circles and that was just fine by them!

Last week, I came home from lunch with Mike and shopping afterwards, to find Tiki on the bottom of her cage. This is unusual, since birds rarely walk on the bottoms of their cages. She also didn't welcome me home like she always does, which alarmed me right away. As I looked closer, I could tell she wasn't with us anymore. I broke into tears. She was mine. We had had her for almost 10 years and the loss was devastating to me. Neither Mike, nor I, ever had a long term pet growing up, so the sudden and unexpected loss of our Tiki was profoundly sad. The girls had never known life without her and their tears only increased ours.

We held a private ceremony in the backyard and said prayers and our goodbyes. The house is SO quiet without her here and I miss her. I think we'll get another lovebird, maybe for Christmas. We do have some fish now but they just aren't cutting it. We were blessed to have Tiki in our lives, and her name and spirit will live on. We'll always be The Tikibirds, and remember the wonderful times we shared with her.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010