Her hubby has been hard at work around there... so much has changed since I was there last time. The old boat house was torn down and a new one built in its place. A new road-sized path has been carved into the hill, ready to be paved, so we can drive all the way down to the shore. Right now we have to park at the lake house and walk down the steep hill about 100 vertical feet to get to the shore. It's not a problem going down, but going back up will knock the wind right out of you if you're not used to doing it every day.
I also finally got to see the tennis court they have up the hill from the house. I'm not sure whose property that's officially on, but all 3 houses are owned within the family. Anyway, it's a really nice court with a cute little combination storage house and viewing pavillion. All the kids were up there swinging wildly at the ball. I happened to have my own racket in the back of my car, so I went down to get it and came back up to get in on the action a little. For a while, Kate and I played back-up for Elizabeth and Spencer, hitting the ball whenever they missed it. Then we played a real game without the kids, and I won. :)
I stayed there for the night and on Saturday we went swimming. They have water trampoline anchored a short swim off their shore. The water was frigid, but as always, not so bad once you just take the plunge and deal with it. So we swam out to the trampoline. It's a big square tubular inflatable raft with a trampoline frame built into the center. There is another tube attached to one side that sticks out, and I guess that's for playing one of those games where you try to knock your opponent off the log. But it's so unstable that you can't really even stand on it in the first place. So we tried to see who could get a running start and get the most steps towards the end before falling off. That was much easier once I tightened the straps that kept it from spinning so much. There's also a slide that goes off another corner of the raft, but I didn't try that. It looks quite shallow and boring. If I'm gonna splash into that cold water, I want it to be worthwhile, like what Andy did. He got jumping high on the trampoline, then worked towards the edge and got one final hop out towards the water and did a flip. So I gave that a try too. That's fun. :) Sometimes it's enough of a challenge just to stay standing on the raft while someone else is jumping, because it moves around so much, courtesy of Isaac Newton's laws of motion. It was also quite difficult to get ONTO the thing from the water. There's a ladder up one side, but there's nothing to grab onto on the top to pull yourself up. Maybe it's easier for the kids, but Andy and I had to find something to grab, which ended up being the metal frame of the trampoline underneath the protective pad, which I'm sure the designers didn't have in mind. Oh well.
It was a constant workout to be out there. Swimming to the trampoline makes you too exhausted to climb up the ladder. Climbing up the ladder makes you to exhausted to jump up and down. Jumping up and down makes you to exhausted to swim. Then again, I'm out of shape. :)
When we had enough, I "carried" Spencer back to shore. The kids were all wearing life jackets but the adults weren't. So while I'm trying to swim back under my own power, Spencer's holding on to me, floating along effortlessly thanks to his life jacket. Actually for much of the way, he wasn't even touching me. I guess he just wanted a guide back to shore more than anything else, so he doesn't drift out into the lake. Not that I would've been in any shape to rescue him if he did. I just barely made it back to the shore as it was. (Keep in mind I was exhausted from jumping all over the trampoline. Swimming TO it was no problem.)
So that was enough swimming for me. I got showered and got lunch and everyone left soon after that, so I did too. I followed my parents back home so I could practice on their piano and bum a meal. ;) This new Jon Schmidt song I'm working on uses too much of the keyboard to practice effectively on my 61-key synth.
Well, the family's getting together again over at my parents' house today, so I'm gonna head over there sometime soon.