This weekend was completely perfect, folks.
I didn't blog because the house my family rented for my sister's and my Fall Break didn't have Internet access, and I wasn't about to find a library in BFE to post a few words. So, I'll just cram it all in now!
The house we rented was in a quiet, secluded lakefront community, so we had as much peace and quiet as we could handle. I had truly forgotten how much I enjoy reading for pleasure. I brought schoolwork with me because I'd have felt guilty if I didn't, but I had no intentions of touching it. This weekend was all about rest and relaxation. The rest part was a bit dicey, considering the twin bed I called my own for four nights was about as comfortable as a few reams of printer paper... but I think that was my only complaint.
Thursday, my parents picked me up at my apartment around 12:30, and we hit Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Honestly, I'll never turn down the Chick'n Strips Salad and a Diet Lemonade. Then we were lake-bound! I was in comfy clothes with hot tea and a new book in my hand faster than you could say vacation.
I lazed around, read (Kristin Hannah's Magic Hour), cat-napped, and soaked up the beautiful weather. Mom and I had planned scrumptious, health-conscious meals, so Thursday night, my parents and I made gigantic spinach salads topped with salmon.
I even indulged in the random assortment of beer Dad brought along ;)
I'm not sure whether I'm embarrassed to say we watched and commentated the VP debate... but I can say I learned virtually nothing.
Friday, after Mom and I snooped around the gorgeous house next door which was for sale and poked around the dock, Caroline arrived. We elected to have turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, and salad for dinner to "carb up." We spent the evening watching an episode of Jeopardy!, sipping hot tea, and reading.
Saturday, we were up before the sun to be in Vinton -- 45 minutes from our rental property -- for the 5k. I was more nervous than I anticipated being, and the 40-degree temps didn't warm my confidence. You know you're participating in a small race when it begins with some guy in an orange vest shouting instructions and then pressing an air horn. I was also surprised by how many cross-country runners and sprinters participated in this small-town event. I tried not to focus on how far we'd run, and instead focus on the scenery and the town. The course was out-and-back, so I got to see everything twice as the sun melted the frost and brought neighbors out to the blocked-off course.
When I thought we were probably nearing the finish line, Dad said, "Just up around this bend, go around the block, across the street, and we're there." He confirmed that we were on pace to finish in 35 minutes. We picked up our pace as we passed back over the creek, especially after he reported, "Less than five minutes." My lungs were burning and my legs were getting a bit tired from pounding pavement, but I said, "Run!" when he reported that we had 30 seconds left. We sprinted across the finish line in exactly 35 minutes. He stepped back to let me pass a few seconds ahead of him, and I felt so triumphant that not only had we completed the race together, running the entire distance, but we accomplished our goal. My dad knows how to inspire, y'all.
After we changed into warmer clothes and hydrated, we made our way toward the pancake breakfast. Let me tell you, those were some of the most moist pancakes and some of the juiciest sausage I've ever tasted. After breakfast, it was only 9:30, so we began meandering among vendors' booths. The Vinton Fall Festival was actually pretty cool, and there was a lot of interesting stuff for all ages to do and see.
Later that afternoon, I was torn between my mind craving more reading, and my body craving a nap. I compromised by reading until I dozed off. Yeah, I'm 90. Saturday night, we made BBQ sandwiches topped with angel hair cole slaw (I literally did not know such a thing existed) and accompanied by veggies and fruit. I was satisfied to be in my tiny, rock-hard bed early Saturday night.
Sunday, I slept in until the very late hour of 8:45. We had decided to rent a pontoon boat for the day to cruise the lake. My face got pretty sunburned because I spent four hours in the bow, scoping out million-dollar homes and delighting in the wind and the waves. We pulled up to a small marina for 30 minutes or so to have an on-board picnic lunch, and then we were back at it. Sometimes I feel like I was born to be on the water.
Sunday's menu consisted of chicken, mushrooms, onion, and asparagus over whole wheat pasta, with sides of fresh strawberries and light garlic French bread. After everyone was done lounging and digesting, we wandered down to the sandy beach in front of the house to set up the "instant fire pit" my mom found. I toasted one marshmallow after another until I was s'mored out. We read until everyone was pooped, and then called it a night.
This morning, it was gloomy and pouring when my alarm went off at 8:00. It was the usual frenzy to pack everything up and be out of the house by 10:00. I always hate the sad, slow feeling that inevitably means it's the last day of vacation. I'm pretty sure my family and I are Smith Mountain Lake lifers. Now it's back to the real world...
P.S. As always, I hardly took any pictures to document my adventures. I need a new memory card for my new digital camera. I'm working on it!