The past few weeks have been busy – lots of long hours at work, miscellaneous events on the calendar, and nights spent falling asleep with my ‘to-do’ list flashing before my eyes.  Which is why I was indescribably thrilled to hop in the car after work on Friday and head toward the little lake-side house we had rented for the weekend with a couple of friends.  And I was overjoyed when we pulled into the driveway and found that ‘lake-side’ truly meant lake-side, with a back porch and hot tub that looked right onto Mission Lake, a little dock, complete with a canoe, a row-boat, and a paddle-boat, and a fire pit that screamed to me “Eat s’mores HERE!”  Within minutes of our arrival, I had slipped into the sweatpants that would become my weekend uniform, Shane and Jason had tossed dinner on the grill, we had cracked open a bottle of wine, and I was thinking, ‘Life is good’.  Once darkness fell, the gentlemen got the fire started and we dessert-ed on s’mores under the stars.  I fell into bed that night with a smile on my face, reveling in the feeling of all of my “to-do’s” being very far away.

Shane was up at dawn the next morning, eager to explore our new digs – he and Jason had already taken a spin around the lake in a canoe before I had even considered opening my eyes (which is why I must credit him with the photo below – the sun was much higher in the sky by the time I got out of bed).

Saturday was spent sitting on the dock with my book and my mug of peach tea, napping on the couch, paddling around in the canoe, soaking in the hot tub, rinse and repeat.  Everything a vacation should be.

Grilled kabobs for dinner, another bottle of wine, and the day came to a close with us sitting at the table, talking, drinking, laughing, eating… Over the past few months, Shane and I have spent countless evenings sitting around the dining room table or standing at the kitchen counter chatting with Jason and Nance about…life, I guess.  Our conversations flow so freely that it’s hard for me to pinpoint what exactly we talk about – I just know that at any moment I may be asked a soul-baring question, or I may be laughing out loud over Jason’s attempt to rap along with 2Pac.

Sunday was more of the same, which was perfectly ok with me.  I lounged, wandering from the couch to the dock and back again.  And Shane got to spend some more quality time with his best bud, G-man, which is always a good thing.

Sunday evening, we all piled into the rowboat for a cruise around the lake.  The tour-du-lac took a bit longer than expected, since Shane and Jason spent more time rowing us in circles than rowing us forward, but still, a good time was had by all, and our captains eventually navigated us safely back to the dock.

I put a lot of ‘effort’ this weekend into resting, while Shane and Jason chose to focus their energy on playing.  Seriously, these boys played hard this weekend.  Whether it was darting off to the frisbee golf course for a ‘quick’ round of 18 holes, mad-ballin’ at the hoop in the driveway, busting out the croquet set buried in the front closet, jumping in the lake (then the hot tub, then the lake, then the hot tub…), or trying out the assortment of boats at our disposal, it was so fun to just watch ‘boys be boys’.

Sunday evening meant another dinner fresh off the grill, more talking/drinking/laughing/eating, and one final soak in the hot tub.  It was hard knowing that we’d have to bid farewell to our little lakeside paradise the next morning…

And sure enough, despite my resistance, Monday morning rolled around we were off to catch an early ferry back to Seattle, so that I could get back to the office to work toward my Monday night deadline – the phrase ‘back to reality’ smacked me right in the face with a string of stressful meetings and a thirteen-hour work day.  Yuuuuuuuuuck.  But the peace and calm was certainly nice while it lasted, and the upcoming three-day weekend holds some definite relaxation potential.  Even if our own little backyard doesn’t have a view quite like this: