Adventure Travel (II).
By Doug Sassaman
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|"On the way to Tauranga Bay, New Zealand (a five hour drive from our home in Auckland) for a sea kayaking adventure my daughter Emma opened my eyes. There is a definite cycle a nine-month-old baby goes through in a long car trip.
The first thirty minutes are characterized by joyful play, then a slug of milk, and if you timed your departure right, a blissful two-hour nap. A wakeful period follows, where she stares out the window and wonders where in the hell we're taking her. Her musings are interrupted by a pang a hunger. A squawk, a bottle, and for the moment, all is well again. It's when the bottle thuds to the floor that my adrenaline gland stirs. A small whimper is uttered and a toy is flopped onto her lap. She regards it for a count of five and unceremoniously bats it to the floor. A fuss, another toy, and in seconds it joins its brethren under the drivers seat, perhaps never to be seen again.
In a chance discovery one day long ago, I found that non-toys held a child captive for much longer than bright yellow giraffes or fuzzy colorful balls. An empty beer bottle becomes the eighth wonder. I also uncovered an unsettling parallel, the more dangerous an item, the longer the interest in it. If I could trust her with a bag of glass or a bottle of boric acid, I've no doubt her fascination would be boundless."
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