Yesterday was the last day the girls had before school officially started, and I wanted to do something special to mark our “end of summer”. So, I planned a trip to a spot in Connecticut we’ve been wanting to visit all summer – Sonny’s Place.
They have quite a bit to do there – go-karts, batting cages, a zip-line, an arcade…. We decided, though, to keep it simple for our first visit and confined our activities to a round of mini golf.
I’m so glad we did, because Monday was incredibly hot – probably one of the hottest days we’ve had all year. Add to that the fact that we were there at two in the afternoon, and…well, you get the picture. We were roasting.
However, I want to emphasize that if it hadn’t been so hot, we would have thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The mini golf course at Sonny’s is excellent.
And, Pepper was excited to have a golf ball that matched her newly dyed hair (a temporary spray dye, in case you’re wondering).
There were fountains and pools of water everywhere – which we normally love to see, but yesterday, it was torture. We wanted to be in the water, not just looking at it.
The party in front of us – a woman and two children – quit at the fourteenth hole. The last I saw of them, the kids were in the back of a mini van, guzzling water from their sippy-cups, their damp hair plastered to their foreheads. Ginger called it quits at hole 16. Pepper and I stuck it out to the end…but just barely.
After that, it was ice cream and water for everyone, which salvaged the experience somewhat, but it was hard not to feel disappointed. I had wanted it to be an occasion for all of us – a nice, pleasant way to end the summer. Things just didn’t go the way I’d planned.
Now, contrast yesterday’s adventure with today’s.
Today, we finished school and decided – spur of the moment – to head to the spray park one town over. I sat in a lawn chair (in the shade) and read. The girls ran through the water or played in the creek. Pepper found an egg-shaped rock…
and I tried to think of different ways to photograph it.
Then I collected acorns that had fallen in the parking lot.
We didn’t spend a cent. We didn’t drive far. We didn’t do anything new or “exciting”, but, everyone went home happy. It was wonderful.
So, this evening, I’ve been reflecting on the things we plan versus the things we don’t plan, wondering why it is that the unplanned ones usually work out so much better than the ones we plan. At least that’s been my experience.
Maybe it has to do with expectations. Or, maybe there’s another explanation, entirely. Whatever the reason, it’s interesting to think about.
From the dining room table, having just placed all of those acorns outside for our squirrels to find,