Monday, July 3
Our final destination was Jennifer and Lee’s house at Buckhorn Lake. We had a great time there two years ago, so we’d all been looking forward to going back for more than a year! We arrived in the afternoon, got settled in, and headed down to the lake to get acclimated. The kids were a bit timid, but that wouldn’t take long to overcome. On our way through Millersburg, we’d seen a sign for a brew pub, so we decided we wanted to go into town for dinner that evening. It would be the only meal we’d eat out the entire trip! The Otts were happy to join us, but it turned out that the brew pub was actually two separate things, and the brewery was closed. The restaurant was open, so we had some dinner and headed back for bed. Benjamin had decided he wanted to sleep in the pack-n-play, but in the big kids’ room, so all five kids planned to sleep together in two bunk beds plus a pack-n-play. As always on the first night with new sleeping arrangements, it was a bit chaotic, but they eventually fell asleep. Dave and I watched a movie while Jennifer and Lee taught online courses. (I can’t remember the order, but we watched Logan, Edge of Tomorrow, and Lego Batman: The Movie in the evenings. I slept through almost all of all three of them.)
Tuesday, July 4
It’s always fun to wake up whenever you want, eat some breakfast, and wander down the lake…vacation! On the fourth of July, my brother Matt and sister-in-law Erin joined us at the lake house for the day. We all went out on the boat for a while and took turns tubing. Later in the afternoon, Phoebe and I headed back to the house to make deviled eggs and six-layer salad for our cookout dinner. Phoebe deviled a dozen eggs all by herself, making half with paprika and the other half with capers. The others, including Benjamin, went out on the boat some more and Dave, Lee, and Matt did some high-speed tubing. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, and Long Island Iced Teas made with Matt’s clear liquor combo. It was a lovely way to spend the Fourth of July.
Wednesday, July 5
On Wednesday morning, I went out for a run—I meant to circumambulate the lake, but I got lost and ended up seeing only one side of it. It was so hot and muggy by 7 a.m.! I didn’t take any photos on the fifth. We spent most of the day down at the lake. Dave got a chance to drive down to Urbana to see his college saxophone professor; we’ve kept in touch with Hap and Mary Ann all these years through Christmas letters. They had a really nice conversation, reminiscing about their time together and talking music.
Thursday, Phoebe and I got up before everyone else and went down to the lake for our biennial mother-daughter kayak trip. We made it all the way to the playground, which was our goal! I absolutely love to be out on the lake in the morning; we had it to ourselves. Phoebe felt too tired to make it back, and cried quite a bit, but she didn’t really have a choice except to keep going, and she ended up being tougher than she thought. Later in the day, she was talking about how much fun she’d had.
Every chance we got, Jennifer and I snuck out to the front porch to read. I had started (and am still finishing) a terrific book my friend Karen gave me for my birthday, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, by Bob Shacochis.
Last full day at the lake. We were pretty much done with the boat and tubing, and we’d started to have some afternoon thunderstorms. We still managed an hour or so at the lake, but the kids played inside a lot, especially a car-racing video game. After the kids went to bed, Jennifer and I spent an amusing hour or so looking up people we remember from our Wittenberg days on Facebook.
I went running in the morning and was finally able to make it around the lake! We were able to stay at the lake house until it was time to go to the airport, and the weather was cooperating, so we did a bit of swimming and then got everything packed back into the Ottmobile. Jennifer drove us to Cleveland, and we buzzed through security and had plenty of time for dinner before we got on the plane.
Dave and I were so glad to get back to the dry air in Colorado! You can tell you’ve had a nice long vacation when you’re ready to go home afterward. My friend Reneé picked us up in Cherry Blaze, and we got home right around bedtime. We had Sunday to recover before going back to work. It was so great to see family and friends. The kids were terrific, and our vacation was a highlight of a busy and fun summer!