Monday, July 9, 2012

Home Sweet Boat

Joel and I didn't take a single picture so here is a stranger on the boat.
Hopefully, someone will post pics and then I'll post them for you.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we're back from the houseboat trip, and I finally have the energy to write about it. Technically I'm also procrastinating unpacking, doing laundry, and cleaning the house. Joel has already left to work at the farm this morning and when he asked what I was doing today, and I shrugged, frankly, I think he judged me. But we had a big long weekend, and I need time to recuperate.

So the trip was amazing from start to finish. I say that, but you have to keep in mind that we had to pull the jet ski to the lake. The only vehicle we have with a trailer hitch happens to be the only vehicle we have without air conditioning. We'd gone over this in our heads for weeks and determined that it was going to be at least $500 to fix the truck's AC OR $500 to put a trailer hitch on my Escape (which we plan to sell if anyone would act the least bit interested in it). So we rationalized that it "wouldn't be that bad."

Our version of AC
And at first it wasn't. I mean, we were hot, but we'd stocked the cooler with cold water and stripped down to what we deemed to still be legal while inside your own motor vehicle. Most of the drive down was just fine, but closer to the end of it, we were starting to get a little grumpy (and, for me, dizzy and disoriented but I was trying to be a trouper). Add to this the fact that we didn't pack the GPS and were relying on our phones for directions (to which I'd simply typed 'Dale Hollow Lake' not realizing it's like as big as country, and that there are tons of marinas on the lake). About an hour into the trip, we lost cell phone service altogether. So not only could we not rely on our maps app, but also, we couldn't call anyone to get the address to the marina. Luckily, Joel is a really good guesser and got us there just fine. But two hot, grumpy, heat exhausted adults trying to figure out directions not knowing an address or anything can be quite comical (or also considered a miracle that someone didn't get punched).

Once we got there, the fun began and didn't stop until we got BACK into our hot ass truck to go home. To spare you a million inside jokes that you won't think are funny and a blog that is 64 pages, I'll highlight the trip by saying there are so many things I did on this trip that I'd never done before. Here goes:

--Been on a houseboat. I mean, I've walked onto one, but never spent four days on one.

--Been on Dale Hollow Lake. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

--Driven a jet ski by myself. I've taken rides while someone else has driven plenty of times, but always been too scared to try it on my own. Joel took me out once and showed me the ropes and then I got to do it by myself. Awesome.

--Kayaked by myself. Again, I've kayaked in pairs but never handled one on my own. When I saw that we had two one-person kayaks, I resigned myself to just not getting on them the whole trip. Joel talked me into it, and I'm ready to go cross-country in a kayak! Not really, but I'm so super comfortable on them on now.

--Drank Fireball. In fact, I'd never heard of it. But it tastes like liquid red hot. It's delicious and makes me feel super fun. (Warning: it burns going in and burns coming out.) And on that note:

--Gone #2 on a houseboat. Yeah, yeah, I know it's too much information but it's also quite the experienced. It can be likened to using a food processor for the first time. We all enjoyed it so much that we tried to do it as often as possible. Some people upwards of 5-7 times a day. That also could have been the gratuitous amount of food and alcohol we were consuming.

--Jumped off the top of the houseboat (SORRY, MOM). This probably was one of the highlights of the trip. The boys were all jumping off the top, and I jokingly said I would. I knew I had a huge fear of heights and could never actually make it happen. I had planned on just getting up there and being silly. So I'm standing on the top of this thing, and the boys are below cheering me on. I decide maybe I'll go ahead and do it, but then I can't get off the top. I keep running to the edge and freezing. So Joel came up top, grabbed my hand, and we jumped together. I think maybe I flailed my feet around like a rag doll, and may or may not have ripped one of my boobs off when I hit the water, but it was exhilarating. I also blew about a gallon of water out of my nose in front of everyone when I came up. (Pretty.) Then I decided to do it again and chickened out again, so Joel grabbed me, and we jumped together again. Had I tried it a third time, I probably could have done it on my own.

Other people jumping off of a houseboat
--Slid off the water slide of a house boat. Again, when I saw this thing, I thought, "no way in hell am I going down that." But after I had plummeted off the top of the boat and not died, I realized the slide couldn't be nearly as bad. That was super fun because it pushed you into the water with a little bounce and speed. The boys were going down backwards and head-first, so I didn't want to steal their thunder and just kept going down on my butt. It was a blast.

--Sang in front of people. If you know me, you know I have a terrible singing voice and that I absolutely refuse to sing in front of people. But if you give me enough alcohol and put me in a setting where there are constant songs being played, it turns out, I'll sing for you. For me, this was so much fun, because although I'm horrible, I do love to sing. For other people, it was probably just horrible. But no one was rushed to the ER with busted ear drums and at least I couldn't see the cringing on people's faces. And once I got started, I demanded Joel play songs until his fingers (almost) bled. Sorry, babe.

--Walked a tight rope. There was a rope that was tied from the tree on the bank to the back of the boat. Granted, this "tight rope" was in water, so it was exponentially easier to walk on than a real tight rope, but we all became obsessed with walking and sitting on it, and I begged the whole time for someone to reenact the scene from Dirty Dancing with me. (Joel finally agreed but said he wanted to do it on, no.)

What I kept imaging whilst on the tight rope
--Taken a lake bath. The first day, Joel taught me the beauty of bathing in nature. (We had our suits on, I can't add "skinny dipped" to this list, unfortunately.) It was so nice to take baths in the lake, so we did both Friday and Saturday. I did on Sunday too, but Joel convinced me to come in and try out the shower on the boat, so we proceeded to shower in the world's smallest stand-up shower.)

--Not shaved my legs for four straight days. This is something I am a nazi about. I have to shave my legs every single day. Even when I'm sick, I'll eek my way to the tub and shave up. But bathing in the lake and the tiniest shower in the world meant that the legs were the sacrifice. I was so preoccupied with how miserable it felt that I shouted out a disclaimer any time anyone got even remotely close to me. However, I was mesmerized by how awful it felt and made Joel feel it every few hours. On the ride home, I was almost delirious thinking about the sweet glory of shaving my legs the minute we walked in the door.

Clearly, this was a trip of firsts, and we had an absolute blast. I met lots of really amazing people that I hope will become good friends. I can't wait to take another houseboat trip and was even trying to pull for one in August. I think maybe everyone else is willing to wait a bit longer (was it my singing?). The good news is that I didn't get sunburnt, I didn't throw up (someone did, but I'll never tell who!), and didn't get motion sickness until we headed back to land the last day. That was just a little bit of a sicky stomach and subsided after I had some delicious catfish at the marina close to ours. The trip was everything I'd hoped it would be and more, and if we could have stayed another four days, I would have agreed in a split second (that is, if I could have figured out a way to shave my legs).

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