Watervale Bingo: Mark Your Cards for Days 3 and 4

Watervale Bingo: Mark Your Cards for Days 3 and 4
Watervale Bingo Card

You know what the great thing about vacation is? The lack of schedule. There was a moment yesterday when I was standing on the steps of the Inn and asked myself, "what day is it?" That's truly the sign that I've checked out of life as I'm accustomed to it and am fully engulfed in vacation mode. It took me 2 1/2 days to get there this year, which is a miracle. It normally takes me anywhere from four to six days and then it's time to step back into reality.

It's been a busy couple of days. I hope I'm able to recall it all. Get out your Watervale Bingo cards and start marking boxes.

Sunday began with me showing up to breakfast early. My dad has a rule that breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. SHARP and every year I try to negotiate that we meet for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time. My belief is that I'm on vacation and that means I don't watch the clock. We disagree on this and a few other things. Not to worry, even though my plan to miss breakfast failed, I still accomplished a few things:

  1. I kayaked for almost 2 hours on Lower Herring Lake, which was the temperature of bath water, and on Lake Michigan, which was the temperature of hypothermia. I'm not sure what that temp is, but I was damn pleased I remained upright in my kayak especially considering how far out into the Lake we went. I found it odd that Lower Herring was so much warmer than Lake Michigan, given that they are connected. We did not kayak to Elberta though; we've got that planned for later in the week. Yesterday was about me getting my "kayaking legs" again and feeling comfortable. I did not achieve 10,000 steps, although with almost 2 hours of kayaking, my arms now look just like Michelle Obama's arms (I wish).
  2. I skipped bread at dinner. Believe me, this shocked my dad and Dave. Never before in the history of time have I ever skipped John Hultman's Honey Oatmeal bread or Watervale Cracked Wheat or French bread. It's all made daily. In fact, I made the Cracked Wheat and French breads each morning when I worked here in 1991. So dad and Dave thought I might be running a fever when I skipped the bread. I also skipped the Creme Brûlée for dessert, which is also a first. Trust me, I regretted both decisions all night.
  3. After dinner, I chose not to head down to the Big Beach for the sunset because I was tired and I the haze and cloud cover would prevent a visible sunset. I was wrong in a major way. The good news is that standing on the dock on Lower Herring Lake provides a spectacular sunset in its own right. The sunset was amazing in the way it reflected off the lake. Sunset #1 of 3 needed to mark the square.
  4. I completed 10% Happier by Dan Harris. This is a tremendous book that I will review in a later post. I've read it a couple of times now and each time get more and more out of it. That's book 1 of 3 for your Bingo card.
  5. I drank 64 ounces of water today. Day 2 of 5 down.

After going to bed super early on Sunday night, I awoke on Monday morning to once again make it to breakfast early, but sat down to the sad news that my college mentor had passed away. The day quickly picked up however.

  1. I got 8 hours and 43 minutes of sleep on Sunday night into Monday. More importantly, I only woke up twice. Frankly, this is a world record for me. I typically wake up numerous times throughout the night and have a tough time getting 6 hours of sleep. I could really get used to this 8+ hours each night. That's 2 of 3 days needed to mark this square. I'm really hopeful I can pull this off again tonight.
  2. I drank another 64 ounces of water today. An interesting side note, until lunch today, I had not had any Diet Coke or any caffeine at all since I had about 2 ounces on Saturday. So really, it was Friday. Yay me! 3 of 5 days of water down.
  3. Shortly after breakfast, sitting on the front porch of the Inn, I met someone I've long admired in Chicago media. Truly, this was the highlight of my day. Well, if you ignore what a star-struck dork I was. I was cool for the first five minutes and pretended I didn't know he was a big deal, but then I couldn't help myself. Fortunately, he was super cool. I'd like to think he was equally star-struck in meeting me, but ya know, we can't have everything we wish for. I'd tell you who it was, but that would be so uncool of me.
  4. Because it was a gray day, I convinced dad we should head into town for a bit and have lunch at The Cherry Hut. He was reluctant, but ended up having a good time and enjoying himself. It turns out that he was reluctant because he'd never been there before, which completely surprised me. It's been a good 20 years since I've been there, but it hasn't changed at all, which is what I love about it.
  5. After lunch, I finished my second book, Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster. As I'm thinking about it tonight, today was a very Lake Forest-centric day (Jen is from Lake Forest). It was a fun beach read. That's book 2 of 3 for your Bingo square. I predict I'll finish book three tomorrow.
  6. About 3pm, I looked down at my Jawbone app and realized I had not taken as many steps as I would have liked, so I went for a two mile walk from the Inn to M-22 and back on Watervale Road. After dinner, in an effort to help me get the last 1,500 steps I needed, Dave and I walked from the Inn to the Outlet on the Big Beach, and I ended the day with 11,750 steps. A storm is coming in, so there was no visible sunset. That's day 2 of 5 of 10,000+ steps for the Bingo square.
  7. Of course, the sad news about Robin Williams came as we sat down for dinner. My first thought was, "Oh captain, my captain. RIP." The news spread like wildfire on the East Porch and my next thought was, "Just a few years ago this sort of news happened and everyone at Watervale was oblivious until at least the next morning, if someone went into town for a paper. Otherwise, we might go the whole week without hearing it. Times sure have changed." I miss those good old days when being at Watervale meant we were truly out of touch with the world. Robin Williams, in case you didn't know, was also originally from Lake Forest. See what I mean about today being a Lake Forest day?

A full photo gallery of the last two days will be shared tomorrow. And it will include a surprise I didn't mention.

In honor of Robin Williams, I close this post with my favorite scene from Dead Poet's Society.

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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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