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It’s Finish the Sentence Friday time!


The sentence this week is:

“My best summertime memory this year was… “

Easy:  Our August long weekend family trip to the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid.

Photo courtesy of Expedia.com

Photo courtesy of Expedia.com

First off, if you aren’t familiar with the Inn, go have a look.   I’ll wait.

This is the second time we have gone with my parents, my brother and his wife and stayed there.

It’s wonderful.

Really.  It’s a weekend where I get to experience how the other half lives! [And my parents graciously pick up the tab]

The hotel has a private beach, and both an indoor and outdoor pool that the kids love.  The Inn itself is pretty fun for the kids to explore too.  There is a daily tea time (with cookies) that my 3-year-old daughter thought was simply DIVINE.  And – AND – there were always freshly baked cookies at the front desk.

Also – all of the staff are just so pleasant.  I imagined the owner giving the staff a pep talk about making the guests feel special.  As one example, I walked into dinner one night and the woman at reception said, “What a beautiful dress!  It looks fabulous on you!”  Well!  The only way she might have made me feel even more awesome is if she added that it made me look totally skinny and 8 years younger.

It was three days of REALLY good food – both at the Inn and around Lake Placid – and of just plain relaxing – be it at the Inn, or meandering around the shops and pubs.

Regarding shopping, I bought a wonderful long flowing skirt.  As I was paying, I realized it was the same store I had bought a very similar skirt at 15 years ago.  I had a moment.

I managed to relax enough that I got up two mornings on my own to go swimming at the indoor pool before the kids got up.  The pool was empty except for me.  There’s a waterfall at the end that just trickles along.  After about a half hour of laps, I could hit the hot tub.  Really – just wonderful.

So, about the penguin, you ask?

This is Penguin:

Penguin with my eldest - early 2010.

Penguin with my eldest – early 2010.

Sorry I don’t have a more recent photo.  He’s posing here with my eldest when she was about 4 months old.

I bought Penguin as a Christmas decoration before the girls were born.  I then realized he was pretty comfy to sleep with, so he sometimes comes to bed with me.  As you can see from above, him and my eldest go WAY back.

I’ve written before about how she’s really attached to a stuffed bunny.

In the same way that she has Bunny, she’s decided I have Penguin.

We go to watch TV, and she goes and gets Penguin for me.

We settle down in her bed to read a bedtime story and she has to quickly dip out to run to my room and get Penguin for me.

You get the idea.

So, we were almost packed for Lake Placid and ready to get in the car, when my eldest realizes:

“Mommy, you forgot your Penguin!”

And so that is how Penguin came to Lake Placid with us.  Sandwiched between the two girls in the backseat of the car.

He spent most of his time in the room.  But he was there for every story time.

As an aside, unlike Penguin, Bunny and Lamb (my youngest’s stuffie) went EVERYWHERE with us in Lake Placid.  So much so, I decided to do a photo spread:

Anyway, like all good things, our weekend comes to an end and we pack up.

With a family of four, this is major operation.  Multiple trips to the car; sweeps of the room; checking of drawers etc…

We leave; we drive home; we enjoy our evening; we put the girls to bed.  It’s about midnight before I realized we’d left Penguin in Lake Placid.

Hidden from our sweep; under bed sheets.

Sneaky fellow.

My parents were still at the hotel for another night, so I called the front desk and had what was, admittedly, a rather embarrassing conversation:

Me: Hi, we checked out today and I think we left something in our room.  My parents are still there, so if it’s there, they could bring it home for us.

Reception: Okay, what did you forget?

Me: A stuffed penguin.

Reception: A what?

Me: You know, a stuffed animal.  For kids (they don’t need to know ALL the details, right?)

Reception:  Oh.  Well, I’ll leave a note for housekeeping to check tomorrow morning, but if they noticed it when they were cleaning, they probably have it.  Can you describe the penguin?

Me:  Well, it’s a penguin.

Reception:  How big is he?

Me: Oh, about two and half cabbage patch kids.

Reception: Oh! That’s a big penguin.  I’m sure they would have noticed that.  We’ll send it home with your parents tomorrow.


So yes.  Of ALL the things to forget, I forgot a big stuffed penguin.   And on top of that, didn’t notice it was missing for, say, the entire ride home.

I think forgetting him summed up how much I’d needed the holiday.

Fortunately we got him back before my eldest noticed he was missing.  I’m not sure I would have lived that down.  Because there’s forgetting your penguin and then there’s FORGETTING YOUR PENGUIN.

But thinking back on it a bit more?  I think maybe Penguin HID from us so he could stay at the Mirror Lake Inn a little longer.   I bet he checked out the pool once we left.  And swung down to the lobby in time for tea and cookies.