We knew something was up when Robbie's Uncle Lew started surveying the lawn. He nonchalantly walked from one end of the lawn to the other, checking out trees and hills and the beach. Finally, he was ready to show us what he was up to. Amidst all the surveying, Lew laid out croquet wickets from one end of the lawn to the other. And not in easy places. Some were right alongside the lawn-to-beach ridge, some were next to trees and others... well, they had some Fireball whiskey next to them.
Here's Uncle Lew walking us through his cross-country croquet course.
We drew cards to randomly pick teammates and it was clear that some of the teams were stacked.
Matt & Dianne:
Sydney & Pam & Hayden:
Jessie & Tim:
Robbie & David (they definitely rigged the team assignments).
Eric & Marilyn:
Me & Sam:
And finally the mastermind himself, Lew and Mark:
When we started, we had no clue that the game was going to take hours. We thought, eh- an hour tops. WE WERE SO WRONG.
Lew had very specific instructions when he showed us the course. For example, at this wicket you couldn't just go through it, you had to go through it a specific way. You had to go through it tree-side out to the open side.
For this wicket, you had to go through the wicket and take a swig of Fireball or some kind of butterscotch liqueur. We didn't mind this rule too much.
The worst was hitting it on the beach. There was a ridge from the lawn to the beach that made it near impossible to get back onto the lawn. Here's Uncle Mark helping Matt get back onto the lawn by making a ball runway.
Paddle added for a extra insurance. :)
And yes, Matt was a champ and made it up the ramp in one shot!
Marilyn going through the Fireball wicket.
This was another tough hole. The lawn sloped toward the beach, so nearly everyone ended up on the beach at some point.
Like me and my partner. I hit it on the beach and our ball ended up in the water (whoops!). Poor Sam had to take a swing at our floating ball.
After a couple swing and misses (the ball kept floating away!), Sam finally hit it back up onto the lawn.
Roberto and me. :)
Hayden hung in the game as long as she could til she got bored and decided the beach was more fun.
Somehow these guys got way ahead of the rest of us.
The game was taking a LOT longer than we thought, so we moved the Fireball to another wicket!
Lakeside view. The lake house was gorgeous and had a beautiful view of sunsets at night.
These two held on to the paddle that helped them get back onto the lawn and used it whenever they needed a little extra help. They called him Mr. Fix-it.
After quite a few hours, these boys finally won, fair and square. Nobody was even close to catching up to them!
We heard that there was a bachelor party going on a couple cabins down from us, so Uncle Lew and a couple others headed over to check it out. Of course we had to bring some Franzia. This particular group of gentlemen were British! They had never heard of "slapping the bag." Yes, I know what you're thinking and yes, we DO keep it pretty classy at the lake with Franzia and Fireball.
We had the best time in Michigan.
Can we please go back?