It’s not easy being The Bear. Of the 24 hours that make a single day, he’s asleep for roughly 13 of them. The only time he spends away from the house on a daily basis is a 30-40 minute workout at the Maplewood Dog Park — which consists of a tedious and monotonous throw, run, catch, return and repeat. And the highlights of his day happen once in the morning and again in the evening when downs his bowl of food… in less than 60 seconds.
The same-old hum-drum routine (oh, the cruelty) makes a Teddy vacation a required vacation for us Rileys, and this year was no exception.
In all seriousness, this annual trip to the Lake of the Ozarks started out as a quick getaway with Mikey, The Bear and my parents. But we soon realized that The Bear was the one who actually had the most fun during these lake visits. Scroll through the photos below, and you’ll see why. So we later dubbed it “Teddy’s Vacation”.
This year, we rented a lake cottage in Rocky Mount, near Mile Marker 6 of the Main Channel. The cottage was nestled along the shores of Possum Hollow Cove. Thankfully, we didn’t encounter any possums, although The Bear has taken one down in our backyard within the past year. (The Bear fears no possum.)
As always, our short three-night stay was relaxing as can be. We left the cottage only to pick up a few staples at the store and visit the outlet mall in Osage Beach. Other than that, it was nothing but swimming, sunning, grilling, reading, napping, movie-watching, laughing and chatting. For The Bear, it was a whole lot of dock diving and frolicking around in his little green life jacket.
One thing to note is that this Teddy Vacation goes down in history as the first trip that I have completely unplugged from the internet, social media, work e-mail, personal e-mail, everything. My goal was to leave no digital footprint behind, and much to my surprise, it was a success. Most days, I had no concept of what time it was. Without any commitments or yearning to pick up my phone, I was left to my own devices (no pun intended). I had all the downtime in the world to sit out on the three-tiered lake cottage deck with a glass of my Summer Cookout Sangria (recipe here) and let the clock tick away.
I’ve decided to do this whole “disconnect to reconnect” thing at least once a year. The fact that our lake cottage didn’t have WiFi was a huge help to keeping my phone at bay, but with 4G always at your fingertips and telecomm companies touting more bars in more places, sometimes internet access isn’t as remote as you’d like it to be.
There are many reasons why we choose the Lake of the Ozarks for Teddy’s Vacation. It’s no more than three hours away. There are a slew of vacation rentals available on sites like HomeAway.com, VacationRentals.com, VRBO.com, etc. And you can find a no-frills place to stay for pretty cheap. Despite all these pros, we’re actually thinking of switching up next year’s Teddy Vacation by renting a house on a real beach. Maybe Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head or the Outer Banks. I’m already dreaming up 100 different scenarios.
I’m sure we’ll be back to the Ozarks again. But for next year, I’ve got my sights set for much larger bodies of water.