I woke up to more weather today.  It was sunny and warm.

What?  That’s still weather, even if it’s not a big bad windy and wet storm, isn’t it?

Anyway, it was planned to be a somewhat lazy and laid-back day.  Partly that’s because I don’t feel like driving 40 minutes or more just to get to civilization. Partly it’s because I have some editing and reflection pieces to write for Chinese Whisperings.  Partly it’s because it’s vacation, gosh darn it, and we’re supposed to be lazy and resting!

So, I spent the morning lamenting the lack of internet in the villas.  I had things to send to my editor, stuff to do for work and a general addiction to email, so this missing feature of the resort was causing me some stress.  People think I’m addicted to coffee, and while that may be true, I get far more withdrawal symptoms from a lack of internet than I do from a lack of coffee.

So, each of us had a good morning.  I wrote and had some coffee. The kids watched TV and movies. Ginny slept.  I suppose, in a way, this is exactly what we each wanted to do with our vacations.

A little before lunch, we wandered over to the recreation center and borrowed some clubs and balls to play miniature golf.  We play some cutthroat, no holds barred miniature golf, so there was taunting and chanting and name calling.  Okay, so maybe I did most of the taunting and chanting and name calling, but the rest of them allowed me to do it so they are part of it.  besides, if I’ve learned anything from watching news coverage of Little League coaches, or from watching that scene from the movie “Miracle” where the hockey players are throwing up all over the ice, it’s that yelling and screaming at people always results in better performance.  But you can be the judge.  I’ll post our daily scores so you can see how it goes.

But I fear I’ve gotten ahead of myself.

Before we went to play miniature golf, we had an eventful, laid back morning.  Except for the burner that got left on on the stove and the locked bathroom door behind which there was no one to unlock it… it was rather dull.

The burner being left on was exciting.  We have an electric stove in our villa. The burner was on high. I don’t know what made me realize it was on. Maybe I saw the smoke. Maybe I felt the wasted electricity burning a deep mark of doom into my soul. Whatever it was, I caught it before it melted the frying pan in which we had made grilled chees sandwiches.  I did not catch it before the house filled with smoke, though. I like to think I caught it just before the smoke detector sounded the alarm and brought the Chicago fire department and hour and a half out of their way to save us… but I suppose the smoke detectors could have just been decorative; things really are different out in the far west here in the Chicago region.  But not as different as they are in the south…

Anyway, all the ceiling fans got turned on, windows and doors were opened and soon enough the smoke had cleared. So we decided to go swimming and play miniature golf.

That’s when we discovered the bathroom was locked.

Apparently, Mr. Nick decided it would be exciting to lock it.  He forgot, or didn’t know, that unlocking a bathroom door from the outside isn’t easy.  Eventually, I tired of hearing the naysayers among my family(read: all of them) who had decided I couldn’t unlock the door and that I needed to call maintenance.  So, I sent them away to start swimming without me.

Now I must admit that I had my doubts about my ability to unlock this door. I simply didn’t have the right tools for the job. It took me about 45 minutes and several attempts to take my car apart looking for any sort of tool I might use, but I finally got it unlocked!  In the end, I had to find a pen with a sturdy ink well/tube/thingy in it. I took about 20 pens apart but eventually found one I could use to pop the little spring release inside the door knob, freeing the towel and goggles from their bathroom imprisonment.  I was their hero (the goggles’ and towels’ hero, that is)!

Pleased with my victory over the evil forces of door locks, I headed out to join my loving, supportive family at the pool. We swam and frolicked for a while.  Well, I didn’t “frolic” because I am a man, but I did stoically enjoy the pool.

After the pool, we played the first game of miniature golf for this vacation.  Now that you’re caught up, here are the results:







Front Nine






Back Nine












I never said any of us were actually any good at this game…

Competitively drained, we walked back to our timeshare.  The girls went in and did whatever it is that girls do when boys are not around.  Nick and I took the baseball and gloves out to play catch and let Nick practice his pitching.  I am sure he has gained another 5 mph on his fast ball since the spring!  And, even more important, he has maintained his accuracy while increasing that speed.  He is pretty incredible!

The rest of he day sped by pretty uneventfully.  The kids watched some TV, Ginny read and I worked on some more of my Chinese Whisperings commitments.  Over dinner we watched “Bedtime Stories” which was fun. 

During the movie, I received a text message in which Rosa was offered a part in the chorus for “The Music Man.”  I was offered the part of Mayor Shinn!  We are both very excited to have gotten parts. I’ll never know if my part might have been different if I had been home for callbacks, but I do like the role I was offered.  Rosa and I can’t wait to start rehearsals!

All-in-all, it was a good day with just enough stress to keep it real.  Keeping it real is what I’m all about, after all.