It is true that not everyone is cut out for this thing. As a point of fact, this is the case for nearly every thing. For instance, I am not cut out for rock climbing. I have seen this done on the smooth face of bald rock cliffs and thought, that’s not for me. Another thing I’m not cut out for is being eaten to death by a bear. I’ve seen it happen, at least nearly so, on the silver screen and I decided that I am very much against it. Because of this assertion, I will never place myself into a situation where death by bear may occur. In the same way, some people are not meant for Lake Geneva.
While it irritates and appalls me to suggest that this is indeed the case, I know I am not alone in thinking this way. Some people don’t like it here. I’ve heard of these people, though I don’t believe I’ve ever had the chance to look one of these people dead into their mistaken eyes and suggest, however tactfully, that they are being lied to by Satan himself, still, I know they exist. Some of the people that feel this way have come here for a while and found that the schedule of their lives does not find time for a lake house. These people get a pass, but not a full pardon. These are people who have made decisions to pursue other things, but in that wayward pursuit they have not pinpointed that Geneva is not for them. They’ve just chosen another way, albeit the wrong way.
The people of which I speak are generally home buyers. Ambivalent, some. Others, aggressive and searching, but uncommitted when it comes time to pull the trigger. What if I don’t like it there? They ask. What if things aren’t like I perceive them to be? They balk. Never mind that my voice of calm reason is consistently assuring them that they’ll like it here. That they’ll fit in. That they’ll feel a tug to come back as many weeks or weekends as their schedule allows. When one of these would-be-owners gives me their list of 10 data points that they value, I always remind them that at Lake Geneva we’ll gladly deliver on 6 of those 10 points, but never, ever, on all 10, let alone even, perhaps, 7. This is the way our market behaves, and if you come here with some ambivalence and expect to be met at each of your concerns, you best move along. Lake Geneva doesn’t bend to a buyer, a buyer must bend to Lake Geneva.
But this isn’t about these buyers, this is about the test. And in my most professorial way I will tell you how this test is administered. First things first, stop visiting only on weekends. This is a mistake. A huge mistake. There are but two seasons here. Weekdays and Weekends. The test is only offered on weekdays. This is why you must reign in your schedule and find a day to visit. Fridays are acceptable, but not preferred. On a Sunday, look at the forecast for the week. Pick the best looking weather day. Plan on that day. On that day collect your family or friends or just drive up by yourself, it doesn’t matter. The test doesn’t rely on more than one participant. Ah, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves and there is more work to do before you get into the car.
I used to suggest that a homebuyer should rent a boat on this lake and drive around. This was bad advice. What a terrible way to introduce yourself to a lake like this. What are you going to do, rent a pontoon boat and drive around in a carpeted, open air living room to see a scene like this? This is akin to finding your way to the finest of restaurants and wearing torn shorts and that shirt you have with the armpit stains. Don’t do this. If you make the egregious mistake and rent a boat, you’ll be tossed around like a rabbit in my dog’s mouth. The outcome for you and the rabbit are the same: pain. This is why you’re not allowed to take this test on some silly rental boat. You must charter a boat and take this test in style.
A cursory review of boat rental options on Geneva finds most boat rentals costing between $300-500 for 2-4 hours. This is expensive for the sort of boats that you can rent. And, in the spirit of transparency, I have several basic goals for Geneva Lake. 1. Ban Pontoon Boats. 2. Eliminate Boat Rentals. 3. Increase Launch Fees 10 fold. (If we did these things, the lake would be better off, so if anyone is reading and would like to discuss these paths, I’m here to help facilitate). Why would you rent a dumb little boat when you could charter the Lorelei, a most stunning 41′ cruiser and have someone else drive you around the lake? Best yet, even with taxes and fees, the Lorelei will run you around $400 for an hour tour. You don’t need more than an hour to indulge in the lakefront scene. Imagine the grief I just saved you by informing you of the proper option here. No standing in line waiting for the rental company to prepare your embarrassing rental boat. Just a high class, white glove experience aboard a beautiful chartered boat. This is the way to take in the lake.
But this Lake Geneva litmus test is not yet complete. Once you’re done with the boat, you must find a place to eat food, lakeside. You could stay in Lake Geneva, that’s up to you, but you must eat lunch or dinner on the lake. Is our food scene amazing? No, aside from a few standouts, it is not. But if you’re eating lakeside everything will taste just a bit better. Eat your meal. Then, walk the shore path in some direction for 15 minutes. Longer if you insist, but at least 15 minutes. Leave from Williams Bay, Fontana, or Lake Geneva, but get away from town quickly. Walk a ways. Gawk a bit. Imagine walking up one of the lawns to the screened porch that you might someday own.
This is the end of the test. Nothing more is needed. If you follow this program and at the end of the day you hate Lake Geneva, then there is nothing more than can be done for you. You are a lost cause. It’s not entirely your fault, because some things are not for every person. For instance, some people eat poultry medium rare. Other people that I’ve seen on TV eat eels that are still living. Some people bought PT Cruisers, in yellow. To each his own, but if you’re in the mood for a lake house and you’re uncertain as to your geographic aim, just follow my test and when you’re done you can call me and tell me how it went.