I’m going to break with tradition with choosing a Photo of the Day from our Flickr pool and post a photo from on location. I’m currently traveling on the Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta, staying outside the small town of Xagra (oh, the things we do to bring new destination content to our readers!). Each night, I walk to the town square with my husband and baby and watch as the whole town assembles for eating, gossiping, and apparently, bingo. At first we thought the church was setting up for an important religious ceremony, as hundreds turn out each night and wait expectantly for the church bells to sound at 9pm, but it’s just good old-fashioned bingo. Old ladies, teenagers, and couples arrive with their markers, hoping for their number to be called.
On New Year’s Eve I spent an hour or so engaged in the board game Battle of the Sexes with friends. I think that was the name of it. We were on vacation at their house in Ottawa, Ohio. A few hours before the game, the female half of this couple took me on a drive through town to show me where the water line was when the town flooded this summer. Their basement family room was royally trashed by water.
Thanksgiving weekend, I spent an hour or so playing some other brain engaging activity with my husband’s family in Hinckley, Ohio (It’s where the buzzards come to roost each spring.) It was a short vacation; we didn’t stay overnight, but the trip involved 5 hours of driving, so I call that getting away. I can’t remember the name of Thanksgiving’s game, but I do remember it involved drawing, acting and trivia.
According to a post at Intelligent Traveler, this game playing is part of a travel trend. Wow! I would have done a better job and won if I knew I was cutting edge. Since playing games gives your brain a workout AND helps you relax, people in the hotel business are wooing guests by providing game playing and brain exercise options.
Some, like Hyatt Resorts are providing board games for guests to use. Seminars, workshops and classes on how to get your brain on fire with vim and vigor while you’re on break from the rest of your life are also in the mix. Westin Hotels have brain exercises they hand out to their guests.
When I stayed at the Westin in Taipei, I was so thrilled with the bedding and the bathtub since it was such a contrast to the funky, odd, kind of uncomfortable apartment we lived in Hsinchu with its hard as a rock mattress, tub that you really couldn’t sit in, and hot water that barely lasted through one shower , much less two, that brain food would have been a distraction from the luxury.
After reading about this game trend, it occurred to me that southeastern Kentucky is way ahead. One of the regular activities at the Buckhorn Lake State Park resort is playing Bingo. That’s a game I can win. The last time I stayed there, I left with a ceramic mug.
This idea isn’t new. A simple Google search of “cow chip bingo” brings up a similar event that has taken place the past four years at the Jefferson County Fair in West Virginia. Amanda Thomas was crowned the 2007 Cow Chip Bingo Queen by selecting the correct square of I-10. The fair’s website has several photos of the event, including some rare shots of a tortilla chip superhero and the post-game playing field. Mmmm….
Photo by Reuters/Sebastian Derungs [via]