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THE LONG VIEW | Mountain air revives

Just getting back to posting after a much-needed vacation break. My family and I spent the last few days with my best friend Scott and his family in a home in Wintergreen, Virginia, basically doing nothing but enjoying the cool mountain air, wonderful views like the one above, rekindling memories and creating new ones.

Scott and I were friends back at Valley Heights High School in Kansas and our families (he and wife Tresa have four children – boys ages 17, 15 and 7, and a delightful daughter who’s 14) have been vacationing together most summers for the last 10 years. We’ve done a number of beach trips and last year did an adults-only trip to western Canada. This summer, the Burgers spent the first part of their two-week trip east in Washington, D. C., and Williamsburg, Va., taking in American history-related stops. We gathered together Thursday night up at Wintergreen Resort in a rented house and had absolutely nothing on the agenda except to decompress. We did have a single round of golf planned (Scott, who plays a lot, shot 76, and I staggered home in my second round in 10 months with an 86; Scott’s son Jason shot 96 and my son Zach, after a 48 on the front nine – his first round in exactly a year – ended up at 107), but that was it as far as pre-planned stuff.

We hiked, we swam, we took the girls shopping for Webkinz, we spotted a couple of bobcats, we looked at stars and we had a “movie of the night” each day, including our annual tradition of watching “Notting Hill” and laughing hysterically at many parts of it. The highlight was probably a big tuna & steak cookout our first night on the big grill, with 30-miles views of mountains around us, and the final two nights, where we left the kids “at home” for a couple of wonderful dinners. (We were only going to do a single adults-only dinner, but we came home after the first one and the kids had cleaned up the kitchen and straightened up, and there were no bruises or fights, so we repeated it the following night.)

We love the mountains and the temperatures were in the mid-80s during the day, but in the low 60s at night, if not cooler. I read it was near 100 degrees in Sanford. It’s good to be back home, but it makes me really look forward to fall…

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