Yesterday marked our third day houseboating across Norris Lake.
Our days have found a comfortable rhythm and are filled with the easy-breezy, laid back activities that make houseboating an ideal vacation for our crew.
So, how does one spent their time on a houseboat, you might ask…
How do you fill a week-long vacation while trapped on the open water?
Here is a peek into some of our daily activities.
The view from our bed. What a way to wake up!
Everyone wakes at different times with Woody, Olivia and Tyler usually up first. Woody usually heads out fishing while Tyler gets his meds and some cereal. We will usually put on a movie in an attempt to keep him quiet so everyone else can sleep in.
Then the boat slowly comes to life.
Our day seems to revolve around meal times, much like being at home, with meal prep, meal eating and meal clean-up anchoring the hours of our day.
Before we left on our trip, Lana and I sat down and made a menu for the week and split the grocery list. This is a chore that requires extra diligence as stopping at Walmart halfway through the week isn’t and option when you are cruising through the week in a boat.
For meal prep and clean-up, we either take turns or cook together.
The kids have also paired off and each have a few nights when they are responsible for making dinner.
Molly and Tatum also made a fruit pizza for dessert one day. Look at the artistry of their creation!
Our daily schedule looks something like this…
After waking and eating breakfast, the morning is spent swimming and fishing.
Around 1:00 we have lunch and clean up.
After lunch we untie the houseboat from the spot we “parked” for the night and we head out to explore more of the lake and find a new spot to tie off for the night.
We all love riding on the top deck while the boat’s moving.
The stunning vistas paired with the warmth of the sun on our shoulders and the cool breeze against our faces, makes it a wonderful way to travel.
The remainder of the day is spent exploring our new location,
Enjoying the water,
Riding the water slide,
And maybe even doing a little self-pampering…
This is especially true for the girls who have loved this concentrated, uninterrupted time with their best friends. The added responsibilities of growing up and having to “adult” leave them with little time for each other in comparison to the time they were able to invest in their friendship at age 12.
It has been a great blessing for all four girls to have had this week together before Molly and Tatum head off to college and the responsibilities of adulthood crash down on Olivia and Grace.
Yesterday we carved out some girl time with all four friends and the mommas too. I ordered some fun Color Street nails for this houseboat vacation so that we could have a manicure day.
I ordered a wide variety of colors/designs to choose from and let everyone pick the set they liked best.
It was fun pampering ourselves and prettying our nails as part of the summer vacation experience,
And the finished results were adorable!
Our nail party took place as we were traveling from one stop to another and it was during that jaunt that our move was rudely interrupted by a summer storm that came upon us with little to no warning. We were outside enjoying the trip to our next docking location, and choosing our nail sets, when we noticed a wall of rain moving towards us from the opposite side of the lake.
Not even a minute passed before we found ourselves in the thick of it!
The manicures were paused as we scurried to gather towels and floats that were at risk of blowing away and carried everything inside.
While we were buttoning down the hatches Woody was trying to keep the boat from capsizing, while Toby made sure we didn’t lose the fishing boat out back.
It was short-lived but incredibly intense. To say it made for an exciting adventure is an understatement!
The following day our “typical” scheduled switched up by the need to stop at the marina for a gas tank and water tank fill-up.
Part of the rental agreement states that we can’t drive the boat into the marina. Instead houseboat renters must call the marina and request docking. An employee will then drive out in a little boat, tie off to the houseboat and drive the big boat into dock. I’m sure this is for liability reasons, as they don’t want inexperienced boaters driving an eighty-foot houseboat through narrow passages lined with expensive yachts.
Once docked the kids were set free to walk around on solid ground and explore the gift shop.
They were each allowed to get a treat at the café while dock employees unloaded our garbage, filled the gas tank, and refilled our water tank.
This process took about an hour then we were driven out of the marina and set free to explore on our own, finding our next cove to call home for an afternoon of fun in the water.
Evenings on the houseboat are laid back and relaxed, with the hot tub being a favorite place to congregate after dark.
The stars are gorgeous here. There are so bright, with the only ambient light being the beautiful blue lights that color the water around the boat.
Then it is time for bed, with the adults usually turning in before the teenagers, who giggle, talk, and watch movies late into the night.
Everyone sleeps hard after a full day of swimming and sunning.
What a glorious way to spend a week!