Sheridan, Illinois Vacation Day 6

Well, this is it – the last real day of our vacation. Tomorrow we get the pleasure of loading up the car, packing ourselves into it and driving half way home. Tomorrow we get to visit new restrooms and eat crappy food along the side of the highway. Tomorrow we get to find out what we forgot to do during this long, lazy week.

But that’s tomorrow.

Today is now and today I am on vacation so I’m going to let tomorrow worry about tomorrow while I worry about getting internet access.  Yes, yes, I’m still on about the stupid internet. I need to get this stuff to my editor!

So, I marched back down to the activity center and demanded the location of the nearest internet café.  One wide-eyed young lady smiled at me and said she could help. her angelic voice soothed my internet-starved soul, calming me like a choir singing famous Barry Manilow or Air Supply tunes might do.

Well, okay, that’s a terrible analogy because a choir singing “Copa Cabana” or “Making Love out of Nothing at All” would irritate me quite a bit.

See? This internet withdrawal has taken away my ability to make good analogies. This has never happened to me before. No, really. I’m really embarrassed. If this happens to other guys, then I hope there’s a little blue pill for it soon, because this is terrible.

So where was I?

Oh, the lovely young lady, I’ll call her Angela because:

  1. it’s a girl’s name
  2. it starts with “Angel”
  3. she said those angelic words: “I can help you.”

So, Angela says, “There’s a coffee shop the next town over.  They have free internet. Here, let me get you directions.” 

Now all of the maleness in me cried out to tell her that I’m a man and I don’t need no stinkin’ directions, but I resisted this because I didn’t want to derail my impending internet fix. Angela returned, smiling at me, with a paper that contained directions to the next town. I thanked her, stopping short of planting a big, sloppy kiss on her because, well, I’m sure she just saw me as some creepy old dude and therefore it would have been inappropriate. 

Anyway, directions in hand, I skipped back to the timeshare. Okay, so I walked, but I was skipping on the inside. I explained my adventure to Ginny and the kids and they were visibly underwhelmed.  Disappointing as this was, I got them moving and we had some lunch. We decided to play our miniature golf game later and Rosa decided to join me on the trek to Internet-land.  Nick and Ginny decided to play some tennis and swim while we were gone.

Rosa and I set off after dropping the other ones off at the tennis courts. We drove. And drove. And drove some more. Apparently what Angela forgot to tell me was that the next town was 40 minutes away.  But whatever, we came into town and found a parking spot near a movie theater. I’m not certain that we were parked in a place we were allowed to park – the signs are so different out West – but all’s well that end’s well, right?  No parking ticket means it was a legal spot as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, we went into the coffee shop, a wide-open place with a few tables in it and fewer customers.  Rosa helpfully pointed to the “Wireless available” sign in the window. I feel guilty using someone else’s wireless without buying something, so I bought myself a coffee. Rosa got all doe-eyed or puppy dog eyed as I ordered, so obviously I had to get her something, too. I was going to do so anyway, but for some reason she seemed to think otherwise.  The drinks were made, or poured as the case may be, and we sat down at a table right in the middle of the store. I figured I wanted to ensure that my poor, internet-deprived laptop would get as much of a jolt of wireless juice as possible. 

Booting up, I was met with the lovely message that internet connections were available and I clicked on it with glee. Then I watched in a combination of joy and horror as Microsoft Outlook proceeded to download 1200+ new emails.

1200.

Plus.

And that wasn’t including the spam.

I skimmed the subject lines and picked out the ones I could dismiss outright.  Then I picked out the ones from my editor who was worried that I’d dropped off the face of the earth.  I read through the Facebook notices from people who were missing my witty banter, but decided not to reply to them all at this point, just because I didn’t want to get absorbed into Facebook for hours on end.

I sent out my three Chinese Whisperings documents and responded to several urgent work-related items. Before I knew it, two hours had passed. Rosa didn’t care, really, because she was reading.  But I figured I should trek back to the timeshare – I mean, there was a critical mini-golf event awaiting our return!

Forty minutes later, we were back near the resort.  Ever the man of efficiency, I stopped at the gas station to fill up ahead of our long drive tomorrow, saving us a critical 13 minutes in the morning. We then went back to the resort, waved to the security guard who may or may not have noticed us at all, and went to the pool.

Collecting Nick and Ginny, we went into the activity center to get golf clubs and balls.  While waiting for the requisite restroom visits, I watched a lady walk over toe the plastic ware to get a knife. She violently grabbed one knife and pulled it out, knocking five more out and onto the ground as she did so.  She then grabbed thirteen ketchup packages (or so), dropping several more of them onto the ground as she yanked her greedy, clumsy hand away from the bin.  Once again, she didn’t pick them up.  She did, however, stare at them for a few seconds before using her foot to push the packets over toward the corner. I’m sure she did this to prevent any ketchup-related accidents.  She’s so thoughtful.

We collected our golf equipment and went out to play.  Suddenly, Rosa and Ginny decided they didn’t feel like playing, so they headed back to the timeshare to pack.  But we had already taken four balls and four clubs, so Nick and I did what any self-respecting miniature golfer would do – we decided to play as though there were four of us playing.  So, we played for ourselves as well as for the girls.  Our plan was to keep the best scores for ourselves and then assign the lower scores to the girls as punishment for breaking our Unbreakable Golf Tradition.  We used their clubs and balls for what would be their turns. As it turned out, we didn’t need to fudge anything – the scores ended up being very similar to what we all scored normally, so we just kept them as played.  The scores were:

 

Par

Nick

Rosa
(by Nick)

Ginny
(by Rob)

Rob

Front Nine

20

25

27

25

23

Back Nine

21

30

29

26

20

Total

41

55

56

51

43

If you review the scores from previous Events, you’ll note that these are reasonably consistent with past performance.  Must be something about the clubs and balls chosen by each player.

We returned our clubs and went back to the timeshare to help with the packing.  Well, “help” is a relative term where packing is concerned; with packing, I help by staying out of the way and letting Ginny do it.  I pack the bags into the car, she packs the stuff into the bags and we all live happily ever after.

Tonight’s entertainment was “Prince Caspian”, another great selection.  Then, after the kids were in bed, we finished off the wine and our current season of “Heroes”.  Then it was off to bed with visions of highway construction (aka Indiana) dancing in my head.

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