Following our whirlwind day in Boston, we decided to make Thursday a bit more relaxing. We started the day doing what we do best: sleeping in until mid-afternoon. We lounged around the house, eating breakfast, eating lunch 45 minutes later, and playing with Belle, the best dog in Worcester, before heading off to Walden Pond. At the pond - which, for the record, is significantly larger than either of Notre Dame's "lakes" - our first stop was the site of the cabin where Thoreau wrote and lived in the 1840s. For a group filled with liberal arts majors, this was a pretty serious pilgrimage site. The same can be said of the person who wrote "Katy Perry <3" on a rock in the pile on the cabin site next to all the Bible quotes and memorials of people's trips. (Yes, we left a rock with our names on it. I'm pretty sure it just said ND Vision, but I think we should've quoted "Some Nights." Inside joke with the Woo-town group; commence the laughter of 7 people.) More humor ensued when we realized that one of our group was sitting off to the side of the cabin, wearing a "Keep Calm and Drink On" bro tank, talking to her mom on her iPhone. At Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond. This, friends, is the life of the American college student. Following the cabin visit, we found a secluded little spot and went for a leisurely swim in, I repeat, Walden Pond. Our lives are not even real. The night ended with an hours-long Hot Seat session during which I decided that, if I were allowed no more friends in life than the six people on the trip with me, I would be happy.
Just when we thought our week could not get any better, Friday came along. Friday, we had decided earlier in the week, was to be our day in Newport, Rhode Island, on the sailboat one of our guys' families owned. This was the best idea ever. The day began with the Ocean Drive, a ten-mile stint around the town's edge highlighting its ridiculous mansions - the group is saving up our Vision salaries to buy one for next summer, obviously - and even more ridiculous ocean views. We ate yet more delicious food (a theme of this trip in general) and headed out to the boat. If there was any hope left that my life was real and not just some weird dream/joke, that hope flew out the window when we stepped on that sailboat. These people, who, for the record, are now the favorite aunt and uncle not only of their actual nephew in our group but of all seven of us, live on this boat all summer, so it is absolutely beautiful and spacious and fantastic. They taught us the literal ropes when it comes to sailing, we sailed around for the entire afternoon, and we ended the day with dinner on the boat as it sat at the dock while the sun set behind it.
This was my week, people. New York City. Audra McDonald on Broadway. Boston for the Fourth of July. Incredible fireworks in a beautiful rainstorm that, yes, did include...lightninguh. Swimming in Walden Pond. Hours of sailing off Rhode Island. I'm sure that Cedar Point and the houses everyone else went to on Lake Michigan were lovely. Really. I am thrilled about the great times you all undoubtedly had. But this was the best week of my life. When our tear-jerker keynote speaker tells us all this week to bury our heads in our hands, listen to Miley Cyrus, and count our blessings, I know exactly what will be at the top of my list.