Nancy Vogel's family did what most of us could only ever dream of doing (or maybe nightmare of doing - depending on your outlook on phyiscal activity):  stopped living their routine, normal life and took to the road for almost three years to travel from Alaska to Argentina.  On bikes.  With two 10 year-old kids.  For real.

In 2008, as the Vogel family was preparing for their adventure of a lifetime, Nancy decided to add a fun incentive for their two boys on what would surely be a trip filled with challenges and long, grueling days.  She contacted Guinness World Records (GWR) for guidelines to qualify for "Youngest Person to Pedal the Length of the Americas".  That's 17,300 miles, or 27,841 kilometres for us metric nuts.  Or 304,000 NFL football fields for you sports nuts.  Or, more miles than most people will travel in their cars every day for a year.  You get the picture.

GWR happily sent her the guidelines and they were off, with a new goal in mind.  Her sons were excited at the possibility of being internationally recognized for their extraordinary effort, and used it to motivate them on those days when all they wanted to do was hop on that ferry or in a minivan that would have gotten them to their destination a little sooner and a little less tired.  They chose the long way down in order to keep with the guidelines provided to them by GWR.

Fast forward to July 2011.  The Vogel family is back home, a little leaner, a little wiser and ready to formally submit their application to GWR.  Nancy receives an email stating that Guinness World Records recently decided to do away with the category and will not be recognizing the boys' effort. 

While recognition from GWR certainly isn't the reason they embarked on their life changing adventure, it did help them get through those tough days on the road.  GWR has stated that they no longer recognize the category "due to the fact that the record would reach an age where a person would no longer be able to break it or attempt (i.e. a two-year old attempting to do it) and as it would become limited under these terms, we choose to to no longer recognise it".

I get it.  Unfortunately, there are people in this world that are driven to do things for the wrong reason and don't hold safety at the forefront (and would possibly endanger a child's life for the sake of a record). Nancy Vogel and her family aren't these people.  And, the fact of the matter is, the category existed when they left, they notified GWR of their intent to pursue this record, they contacted GWR during the journey and never were they told the category was in danger of being eliminated. 

Therefore, I think they deserve the recognition.  I understand the GWR likely didn't know that the category would be dissolved when they first heard from the Vogels, but GWR must also acknowledge that, in order to accomplish such a feat, it will take considerable time to complete and should grandfather in any attempts that were started prior to the category being dissolved.

What do you think?  If you agree, click here to see how you can help. 

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beeeer!
Growing up in the country meant going anywhere was a "trip": to the grocery store, church, grandparents, which meant I became a pro at reading in the car and playing car games. My favourite car game was "Geography".  It goes a little something like this:

Someone starts by naming a place (city, town, village, province, state, country, continent, and so on), the next person must name a new place starting with the last letter of the previous place. For example:
Rio de Janeiro
Osaka get the idea.

The game ends when someone can't think of a new place within a reasonable time.  The only hard and fast rule is that you can't repeat place names.  As I got older and realized it was really easy to stump people if you said "Ajax", I also added the rule that you weren't allowed to say places that ended in "X".  I just had too much fun playing the game and never wanted it to end!

Then, on a bank holiday weekend a few years ago, we decided to drive from Oxford to Cornwall with some well-traveled friends.  We started playing the game and decided to play it as long as possible. Much to my husband's chagrin (who had been tasked with driving as the only one with a UK licence), the game lasted the entire weekend and he has refused to play it since. 

Once JR is old enough, I plan on secretly teaching him the game, because I know that daddy won't be able to refuse his son's sweet puppy dog eyes when he begs to play!

What fun car games do you play with your kids?