I Love You, But I Won’t Kayak to Japan To Prove It.

A MagiQuest Wand with a Dragon Topper

I’ve been a little consumed by my youngest son’s obsession with a place called MagiQuest.  We discovered it last summer during a trip to Great America.  Here’s Nate’s description:

It’s a kingdom where you have wands and you go around doing quests and missions or you can just go around MagiQuest getting lots of points and stuff.

My own description goes a little bit like this:

It’s a place where you enter and exit through an overpriced gift shop.  The time spent between the entrance and exit gets spent a) running around opening treasure chests with wands, b) using the restroom, and c) asking when we can leave (through the gift shop) to buy something.

On a recent day off of school, we took a trip to the city of Lombard, Illinois to check out another MagiQuest outlet.  Why would I even go back to such a delightfully expensive place?  If you have a child obsessed with something, you get it.  If you have more than one child and the obsession begins to degrade your family’s quality of life until such obsession is quelled, you and I are leading parallel lives.

Yorktown Mall in Lombard, Illinois, has it’s own MagiQuest location.  I steeled myself for another day with “the Magi” and requested backup in the form of my dear friend, Becca.  We took six kids for the day and I made this brief video of the experience:  click here for the video.

After all that fun, I’d hoped the MagiQuest phase would have run its course.

It did not.

Did you know, for instance, that you can hold a BIRTHDAY PARTY there?  Why yes you can.  And, did you know, there are MagiQuest locations across the country?  Why yes there are.  Pigeon Ford, Tennessee’s MagiQuest is a mere 10 hours and 13 minutes from our house.  Myrtle Beach and East Hanover, New Jersey are 16 hours and 13 hours, respectively.

The mother of all MagiQuest locations, though, has to be the one located in Tokyo Dome, Japan.  That’s the one, Nate pointed out, “with the bridges and the rooms and all the cool stuff.”

Well, I can’t let myself think of the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Japan this week. Considering there was a massive 8.9 earthquake, a tsunami and the explosion of a nuclear reactor, I’m guessing that MagicQuest location might be temporarily closed. While I pointed this out to my son this morning, he was ever the optimist and still undeterred in his (Magi) quest to somehow get to Japan.

“Fine,” I said, sighing.  “Let’s plug in the directions and see how long it’ll take to get there.”  I entered our address, just as I had done for Pigeon Ford, Tennessee, for Myrtle Beach and for East Hanover.  This time, the travel total was 35 days and 17 hours.  Why?  Well, check out #22 on the directions provided:

8,798 mi (about 35 days 17 hours)
3. Take the ramp onto I-94 W 7.4 mi
4. Continue onto US-41 N/Skokie Hwy 25.6 mi
5. Take the ramp onto I-94 W 

Entering Wisconsin
33.8 mi
6. Take exit 316 on the left to merge onto I-43 S/I-894 W toward Madison/Fond Du Lac/I-894 Bypass 

Continue to follow I-894 W
9.5 mi
7. Take exit 1B on the left to merge onto I-94 W toward Madison 

Entering Minnesota
313 mi
8. Take exit 249 for I-694 N toward I-494 S 0.7 mi
9. Merge onto I-694 W 29.9 mi
10. Continue onto I-94 W 

Passing through North Dakota
Entering Montana
818 mi
11. Merge onto I-90 W 228 mi
12. Merge onto I-15 S 7.6 mi
13. Slight left at I-90 W 

Passing through Idaho
Entering Washington
579 mi
14. Take exit 10 to merge onto I-405 N toward Bellevue 3.5 mi
15. Take exit 14 to merge onto WA-520 W toward Seattle 6.0 mi
16. Take the Montlake Blvd exit 0.5 mi
17. Merge onto Montlake Blvd E 0.3 mi
18. Slight left at NE Pacific St 0.8 mi
19. Continue onto NE Northlake Way 0.1 mi
20. Turn left at 6th Ave NE 79 ft
21. Turn right at NE Northlake Way 1.0 mi
22. Kayak across the Pacific Ocean 

Entering Hawaii
2,756 mi
23. Continue straight 0.1 mi
24. Turn left at Kuilima Dr 0.5 mi
25. Take the 3rd right onto HI-83 W 12.4 mi
26. Continue straight onto HI-99 S/Kamehameha Hwy 6.5 mi
27. Slight left at HI-80 S/Kamehameha Hwy 

Continue to follow Kamehameha Hwy
2.1 mi
28. Take the Interstate H-2 S ramp to Honolulu 0.2 mi
29. Merge onto I-H-2 S 7.9 mi
30. Merge onto I-H-1 E 4.7 mi
31. Take exit 13B toward Halawa Hts. Stadium 0.3 mi
32. Merge onto I-H-201 E 4.1 mi
33. Merge onto I-H-1 E 4.1 mi
34. Take exit 23 for Punahou St toward Waikiki/Manoa 0.2 mi
35. Turn right at Punahou St 0.1 mi
36. Take the 1st right onto S Beretania St 0.1 mi
37. Take the 1st left onto Kalakaua Ave 1.9 mi
38. Kayak across the Pacific Ocean 

Entering Japan
3,879 mi
39. Turn left toward 県道275号線 0.4 mi
40. Turn left toward 県道275号線 358 ft
41. Turn left toward 県道275号線 0.2 mi
42. Turn right at 県 道275号線 0.1 mi
43. Turn left at 国 道125号線 499 ft
44. Turn right at 県 道24号線 0.6 mi
45. Turn left at 千 束町(交差点) onto 国道354号線 2.0 mi
46. Turn right at 中 村陸橋下(交差点) to stay on 国道354号線 1.0 mi
47. Take the ramp to 常磐自動車道 

Toll road
0.3 mi
48. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for 東京 and merge onto 常磐自動車道 

Toll road
23.8 mi
49. Take exit 三郷 JCT on the right toward 首都高・銀座・湾岸線 

Toll road
0.7 mi
50. Merge onto 首都高 速6号三郷線 

Toll road
5.8 mi
51. Take exit 小菅 JCT toward 湾岸線・銀座 

Toll road
0.3 mi
52. Merge onto 首都高 速中央環状線 

Toll road
0.4 mi
53. Take exit 堀切 JCT on the right toward 銀座 

Toll road
0.3 mi
54. Merge onto 首都高 速6号向島線 

Toll road
5.4 mi
55. Take exit 江戸橋 JCT on the right toward 神田橋・北池袋 

Toll road
0.4 mi
56. Merge onto 首都高 速都心環状線 

Toll road
2.4 mi
57. Take exit 三宅坂 JCT on the right toward 中央道・新宿 

Toll road
0.5 mi
58. Merge onto 首都高 速4号新宿線 

Toll road
2.9 mi
59. Take exit 首都高新 宿 on the right toward 新宿出口 

Partial toll road
0.5 mi
60. Turn left at 新 宿中央公園南(交差点) 266 ft
61. Turn left 0.1 mi
62. Turn left 0.1 mi
63. Turn left at 都 庁南(交差点) 

Destination will be on the left
0.2 mi

Unfortunately, we do not own a kayak.  Additionally,  I don’t read Japanese, so #39-63 might get a little dicey.


11 responses to “I Love You, But I Won’t Kayak to Japan To Prove It.

  1. Chrissy, as I read your story I was reminded of a dictum about writing–I can’t remember if this was a James Thurber or an S.J. Perelman– one of them said you can write about a chicken farm and people will read it if you do it well enough.
    You do it extremely well. Not only did you write a wonderful story but the video–WOW! I am impressed about how you managed to get the words in there not to mention how clever it was. AND great to see the kids. Back to the story for a moment–I loved the directions to Japan. I am going to be able to say– I knew her when! Love you, Joan

    • Thank you, Joan. Thanks for reading and laughing along at the hilarity of it. If Henry had been in the video, he’d be holding his hand out to me, asking for payment. He now requests to be compensated if his “antics” make it into any of my posts. Love you right back, Joan.

  2. Hilarious! You are one funny woman. If you really loved your son, you’d buy a kayak.

  3. I think you need a car that turns in to a kayak because otherwise how could you drive across Hawaii and drive once you get to Japan?

    I really am not supposed to be laughing this hard – it hurts!! But, thank you for the humor I needed today!!

  4. Oh lord! Oh Lordness 🙂 THAT is funny…kayak shopping today, perhaps?

  5. So when is Nate going?

  6. GREAT post! I love your 7 year old’s determination (and fixation), and I just love those directions. My husband recently came back from a business trip to Tokyo and commented that even in an English book store, the proprietors did not speak a work of English!

    My advice: get him hooked on dinosaurs 🙂

    Loved the post, will come back for more.

    Meryl Jaffe

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