Friday, August 08, 2008

Beach Day

Of all my readers out there, I’m not sure if any of you watch the television show “The Office.”  If you don’t, maybe you should reconsider how you spend your Thursday nights because it is a fabulous show.  If you do, then you might understand the reference that this post’s title makes to a specific episode in which the whole staff goes to the beach for a day to compete in trivial games for a promotion.  We did not participate in any such activities, but we did take our office staff to the beach.  However, it was only the student workers and we went after the Admissions Office closed.  We grabbed a volleyball and hopped in the Toyota Corollas driven by two of my coworkers as soon as the workday ended.

From Calvin to the beach at Grand Haven is about an hour-long drive so by the time we got there we were ready to start cooking some food.  Everyone had been assigned an item to bring, so we had the makings of a great picnic.  An and Dave got started on the burgers and hot dogs right away while the rest of us enjoyed the view from Pamela’s host family’s lakeside cottage (Pamela is from Zimbabwe, but there’s a generous Grand Rapids family who hosts her over breaks and the summer).

Sitting in the sunshine, overlooking the lake, the food tasted especially good.  We each ate our fill and we even had a few leftovers to send home with those of us whose families are not near enough to live with over the summer (i.e., we buy and prepare our own food). 

After cleaning up, we headed down onto the beach to play some volleyball.  There were some rainclouds out over the lake, so initially we stayed right by the cottage so if a storm blew in we could get inside quickly, but after a few rounds of netless volleyball the clouds appeared to be moving off to the south instead of heading inland, so we walked the half-mile down the beach to the volleyball courts. 

My coworker Dave plays beach volleyball regularly.  The rest of us, not so much.  And it was clear when we tried to play.  We ended up mostly just serving to each other but never getting a real volley going, but we did have fun.

Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t too long before the stormclouds changed direction and we started feeling a few sprinkles.  We stayed hopeful that the brunt of it would miss us, but when the heavens opened up and the rain started coming down in sheets, we ran.  Luckily there was a shelter just a few yards down the beach, so we took cover and waited for the worst of it to pass.  However, by the time we got there, we were soaked anyway, so some of us went out to play in the rain.  We had our bathing suits on, after all!

This was actually the first time I’d been to the beach all summer.  I was a little disappointed that it was raining instead of sunny, but we made the most of it.  When we got back to the cottage we made hot cocoa, put on sweaters and wrapped up in towels while our clothes tumbled around the dryer.  There were some games in the cottage so some people played Scrabble while I played Euchre with Dave, Meredith, and David.

Eventually the weather cleared up and we ended up with a beautiful sunset and a story to remember.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 08/08 at 01:14 PM

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