Lab Retreat! #5

Last week was a bit unusual because on Monday and Tuesday, the whole lab was up north at our PI, Ormond’s lake house for the annual lab retreat. This was my first year attending, so I didn’t really know what to expect. However, after the experience was over, I felt so lucky to have had the amazing opportunity. We all left Ann Arbor Sunday morning and carpooled to the property, arriving around 2pm after a stop for lunch. We promptly donned our swimsuits to take advantage of the gorgeous lake while Ormond and his wife began dinner prep. I was astonished at how wonderful the whole complex was. Our guest house was oriented such that the living room, which was encased by a whole wall of windows, faced the lake and provided a pristine view of the water and trees nearby. I could’ve sat there all day taking in the peaceful view. Of course, with all the fun activities going on during our stay, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to appreciate it. On both Monday and Tuesday, Ormond made multiple trips out onto the water for skiing and tubing. Growing up on a lake myself, I felt right at home cruising through the turquoise water feeling the wind in my face. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to ski or tube in years, so I was absolutely thrilled to get the chance to do what I had always cherished in my youth. Surprisingly, I got up on my first try skiing, which was kind of exciting. Everyone on the boat cheered me on, just as they had for the others before me that had attempted to get up. Tubing was also very exciting. Ormond was quite the driver, throwing people off the tube left and right. But for me, that’s what makes it fun. The food Ormond and his wife cooked for us was absolutely exquisite. There were so many little details in the preparations that really put the dishes on another level. I’ll certainly miss eating all their gourmet creations. I really enjoyed being able to bond with the other lab members in this setting because it allowed us to get to know each other in a more friendly and less professional way. I work with these individuals every day at the lab, but I think it takes a trip such as this one to initiate a deeper connection within a group of coworkers. We all had a wonderful time laughing, sharing stories, and living in the moment, and I know these things brought us closer together in spirit.

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