Tag Archives: vacation

Stormy Seas

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On Friday we woke up ready for a day of sun and sand on Cassaway Cay, the private island owned by Norwegian Cruise line. We met up with the kids at breakfast, gathering on the top deck to eat our breakfast. Everyone was busily lathering up in preparation for our trip to the island on small transport tenders, when an announcement was made over the load speakers. Due to an incoming cold front that would case chopping conditions, it was deemed unsafe to transport guests to and from the island on the small boats.

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This port would have to be bypassed.

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Although disappointed at the lost opportunity to snorkel, our crew quickly rallied, embracing the adventure of a day at sea and a full day of fun on the ship.

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We headed back to our rooms to change out of our swimsuits, take some motion sickness meds in preparation for some choppy seas, and grab the new daily newsletter that listed the day’s “at sea” activities.

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The ship offered hourly activities throughout the ship, including: classes, games, movies, trivia competitions, poolside parties, athletic competitions and live shows.

Knowing we had a free day ahead of us, Braden headed straight to the basketball court where he participated in a free thrown competition and a three-on-three competition,

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And Tyler headed to the teen lounge to enjoy a full day of fun planned activities with the teen councilors and his new friends.

The cruise ship adjusted its course and began skirting its way around the storm on the way to our next port. While we traveled, the rest of the family enjoyed a full day of fun, taking advantage of many of the offered activities.

Documented below is a pictorial of our day of fun at sea:

The kids headed to the library to play board games,

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And then attended a few classes together, including a napkin folding class.

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At dinner they showed off their newly acquired skills!

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We also all enjoyed the ice carving demonstration offered poolside in the afternoon. It was amazing watching the ice artist race against the Caribbean sun to carve a block of ice into a swan before it melted away.

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The middle of the day was spent poolside, as everyone enjoyed the luxury of unlimited ice cream cones and many free hours to read or nap in the sun.

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In the afternoon we met up in the lounge to participate in a trivia game as a family. The game host displayed childhood photos of celebrities and we had to write down who we thought they were. Zach and I were particularly adept and brought home a second place win for our team.

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Before dinner we took part in the Deal or No Deal live show offered on board. Some were more actively involved then others. Braden and Tyler were the loudest voices in the audience as they shouted to the contestant the case they felt should be opened next. You would have though it was their money on the line with how emotionally involved they were in the outcome. Their commentary was more entertaining than the show itself!

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That night we enjoyed another amazing dinner and a fantastic comedy show.

It wasn’t the day we planned, but it ended us being a lot of fun. After all, who can complain about life making waves when you are riding them out on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

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Where the heck is Wall Drug?!

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As the rain settled in over the Badlands, we took our leave and headed 20 minutes away to Wall, South Dakota, home of the kitschy mecca: Wall Drug.

Wall Drug is huge tourist trap, but one that must be visited at least once in your life. Anyone who traveled across South Dakota as a child will remember with delight their stop at Wall Drug.

I remember being in awe of Wall Drug when we stopped there when I was a child. I thought it was a magical place with its giant roadside statues and sprawling aisles of bumper stickers, magnets, souvenirs, and t-shirts.

For those who have never heard of Wall Drug here is a bit of their story, as taken from Wikipedia:

“Wall Drug Store, often called simply “Wall Drug,” is a tourist attraction located in the city of  Wall, South Dakota. It consists of a drug store, gift shop, restaurants and various other stores. Unlike a traditional shopping mall, all the stores at Wall Drug operate under a single entity instead of being individually run stores. The New York Times has described Wall Drug as “a sprawling tourist attraction of international renown [that] takes in more than $10 million a year and draws some two million annual visitors to a remote town.”

History

The small town drugstore made its first step towards fame when it was purchased by Ted Hustead in 1931. Hustead was a Nebraska native and pharmacist who was looking for a small town with a Catholic church in which to establish his business. He bought Wall Drug, located in a 231-person town in what he referred to as “the middle of nowhere,” and strove to make a living. Business was very slow until his wife, Dorothy, thought of advertising free ice water to parched travelers heading to the newly opened Mount Rushmore monument 60 miles (97 km) to the west. From that time on business was brisk. Wall Drug grew into a cowboy-themed shopping mall/department store. Wall Drug includes a western art museum, a chapel based on the one found at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa, and an 80-foot (24 m) apatosaurus (formerly brontosaurus) that can be seen right off Interstate 90. It was designed by Emmet Sullivan who also created the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park in Rapid City and Dinosaur World in Arkansas.

Marketing campaign

Wall Drug earns much of its fame from its self-promotion. Billboards advertising the establishment can be seen for hundreds of miles throughout South Dakota and the neighboring states. In addition, many visitors of Wall Drug have erected signs throughout the world announcing the miles to Wall Drug from famous locations. By 1981 Wall Drug was claiming it was giving away 20,000 cups of water per day during the peak tourist season, lasting from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and during the hottest days of the summer.

Most of Wall Drug’s advertisement billboards can be found on an approximately 650-mile-long (1,050 km) stretch of Interstate 90 from Minnesota to Billings, Montana. Wall Drug spends an estimated $400,000 on billboards every year.

Today

 

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To date, Wall Drug still offers free ice water, but as they have become more popular, they have started to offer free bumper stickers and signs to aid in promotion, and coffee for 5 cents. Some popular free bumper stickers read “Where the heck is Wall Drug?”, “How many miles to Wall Drug?”, and “Where in the world is Wall Drug?”.

When the United States Air Force was still operating Minuteman missile silos in the western South Dakota plains, Wall Drug used to offer free coffee and doughnuts to service personnel if they stopped in on their way to or from Ellsworth Air Force Base (50 miles (80 km) west on Interstate 90). Wall Drug continues to offer free coffee and a doughnut to honeymooners, veterans, priests, hunters, truck drivers, and other travelers.

Ted Hustead died in 1999. The following day, the governor of South Dakota began his annual State of the State address by commemorating Hustead as “a guy that figured out that free ice water could turn you into a phenomenal success in the middle of a semi-arid desert way out in the middle of someplace.”

Media references

In 1981, Wall Drug was featured in Time magazine as one of the largest tourist attractions in the north. In his 1989 book The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson wrote, “It’s an awful place, one of the world’s worst tourist traps, but I loved it and I won’t have a word said against it.”

Braden had no idea what to expect as we entered the doors of Wall Drug. He was left feeling puzzled after I shared with him the story of Wall Drug, wondering why we were stopping at a drug store for free ice water.

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When I mentioned the shopping aspect, he was 100% on board. Of all my kids he’s the boy who loves to shop, and he had saved his previous two paychecks for such an occasion as this!

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We stepped inside and his jaw dropped.

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It was old 1950’s, roadside America at its best, with everything tacky and delightful that goes along with it.

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All three kids enjoyed the sites and shopping adventure of Wall Drug, each spending some of their hard earned money on kitschy souvenirs,

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Before enjoying bison burgers for lunch at the café.

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Here is a peek into our stop at Wall Drug:

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The Corn Palace

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It was so CORNY

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But we had to stop.

The Corn Palace, located three hours east of Badlands National Park, sits just off Route 90. Its convenient location, coupled with the unique experience it offers, draws thousands of visitors off the exit every year.

This was one of the most memorable stops on our epic bus trip vacation three years ago, and we knew we needed to stop here again so that Braden could see for himself…

“The World’s ONLY Corn Palace!”

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After a full day of driving from Nauvoo, Illinois, we arrived after hours. We weren’t able to tour the inside of the corn palace, but we were able to appreciate this unique work of art from the outside.

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Here is a little history about the Corn Palace as taken from their website:

“The World’s Only Corn Palace is Mitchell’s premier tourist attraction. Some 500,000 tourists come from around the nation each year to see the uniquely designed corn murals. The city’s first Corn Palace was built as a way to prove to the world that South Dakota had a healthy agricultural climate.

A Rich History

Eight years before the turn of the 20th century, in 1892 (when Mitchell, South Dakota was a small, 12-year-old city of 3,000 inhabitants) the World’s Only Corn Palace was established on the city’s Main Street. During it’s over 100 years of existence, it has become known worldwide and now attracts more than a half a million visitors annually. The palace was conceived as a gathering place where city residents and their rural neighbors could enjoy a fall festival with extraordinary stage entertainment – a celebration to climax a crop-growing season and harvest. This tradition continues today with the annual Corn Palace Festival held in late August each year.

By 1905 the success of the Corn Palace had been assured and a new Palace was to be built, but this building soon became too small. In 1919, the decision to build a third Corn Palace was made. This one was to be permanent and more purposeful than its predecessors. The present building was completed in 1921, just in time for the Corn Palace Festivities. That winter Mitchell hosted its first boy’s state basketball tournament. The building was considered to have the finest basketball arena in the upper Midwest area.

In the 1930’s, steps were taken to recapture the artistic decorative features of the building and minarets and kiosks of Moorish design were added restoring the appearance of early day Corn Palace.

The Corn Palace Today

The Palace is redecorated each year with naturally colored corn and other grains and native grasses to make it “the agricultural show-place of the world”. We currently use 13 different colors or shades of corn to decorate the Corn Palace: red, brown, black, blue, white, orange, calico, yellow and now we have green corn! A different theme is chosen each year, and murals are designed to reflect that theme. Ear by ear the corn is nailed to the Corn Palace to create a scene. The decorating process usually starts in late May with the removal of the rye and dock. The corn murals are stripped at the end of August and the new ones are completed by the first of October.”

Braden found it as oddly fascinating as we did the first time we drove down main street and caught a glimpse of it for the first time.

He didn’t believe it was made from corn cobs until we got out of the car and viewed it up close, seeing the individual elements that create the murals that look like paintings from a distance.

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This year’s theme was a tribute to the military, with each corn mural honoring soldiers…past and present.

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As we took in this unique work of art, Braden exclaimed, “I’m craving corn on the cob!”

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Since it was dinnertime anyway, and since we still had a three hour drive ahead of us, we decided to enjoy dinner at the grill that sits next door to the Corn Palace. It was a perfect September evening and we sat outside enjoying the beautiful weather and view of the corn palace while filling our bellies with food.

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You will never believe what was highlighted on their menu…

Yep! Braden got his wish and enjoyed a buttered ear of corn on the cob while dining in the shadow of the Corn Palace.

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Fun Times!!

 

Saying good-bye to an AMAZING week!

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good friends

It has been a wonderful week.

This was a vacation built around rest and relationships…

Exactly what we stood most in need of during this season of life.

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With our shared path forking into multiple directions in the coming month, this week of connection with friends and family was a wonderful gift before everyone embarks on their individual adventures.

The houseboat provided us the forced rest and stillness that is so hard to find in most other vacations we take. Rather than soaking up local sites and experiences, we soaked up sun. We moved through our days at a languid pace with no agenda or responsibilities driving us.

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It was a week built on simply being present,

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And was such a blessed gift.

Much of our week was spent floating in the water with the sun warming our faces,

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But we also spent time pampering ourselves,

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Playing games,

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Feasting on good food,

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Making friends with the local wildlife,

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Toby came very close to accidently stepping on this copperhead hiding in the brush.

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Soaking up the beauty of God’s creation,

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Capturing it through our lenses,

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And enjoying the blessed gift of laughter with friends.

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It was sad to see our time on Norris Lake come to a close, but all good things must come to an end.

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On Friday morning we prepared to disembark at the marina. The boat had to be returned at 10:00 am. Knowing this, the kids woke early for a final swim and kayaking through the morning fog that had settled on the lake.

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Bags were packed and piles we gathered as we headed back to the marina.

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We enjoyed a final ride on the top deck, soaking in the scenery and reflecting on the beauty and blessings of the week.

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Then it was all ashore as we unloaded the boat and repacked our cars for the trek home.

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It was an amazing week…

Simply magical.

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How grateful I am for this time of rest and renewal and the people I got to share it with!

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Ready for an Adventure!

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Part of the fun of vacationing on a houseboat is the fact that you aren’t tied down to one area and one view for the week. Each day we are able to untie from the previous day’s location and go exploring for a new “home.”

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Riding on the top deck while we are moving from one location to another is my favorite part of houseboat vacationing. It is so thrilling to head out on the water with the wind blowing your hair, uncertain of what you will find around the next bend.

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On Wednesday, we found our best cove yet!

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It was tucked away off the main channel, and was stunning!

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The rock formations erupting from the water made the cove appear magical, as if at any minute we would spot a mermaid sunning herself on one of the rocks or Peter Pan and the lost boys peeking out from the surrounding trees.

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It was our favorite stop so far!

We spent the afternoon enjoying our private cove.

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Some of the kids headed out on the paddle boards to explore.

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And Gracie took Tyler and Olivia out for a ride in the boat.

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When everyone returned home from their adventures, we reconvened in the water and watched as the kids jumped from the upper deck.

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Eventually, our numbers started to thin as some took a break from swimming and others left in the fishing boat to try their hand at fishing.

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Those left behind decided to undertake an adventure of their own and swim a ½ mile to check out the cluster of massive rock formations at the mouth of our cove. It was an impromptu decision, made with enthusiasm.

With everyone grabbing a board or floatation device we began the swim, eager to check out the garden of boulders rising from the water.

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We arrived and the kids climbed atop the rocks for some cool photos and the opportuning to jump from the boulders to the water below.

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It was amazing!!

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Well worth the laborious swim to get there!

Just as we were preparing to swim back to the houseboat, angels of mercy arrived in the form of Woody and Tyler in the fishing boat. Back from their excursion, they volunteered to tow us back to the boat a few swimmers at a time.

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It was a lovely turn of events as everyone was a bit weary from the against-the-current swim it took to get there.

Toby and I were the last group to be towed back to shore. I climbed aboard his paddle board and enjoyed the ride back to the boat.

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This wasn’t an adventure planned ahead of time,

It was one of those spontaneous, magical adventures that we find ourselves stumbling into when we are cruising along with the Hudak family.

Oh, how I love moments like these!

 

 

Pretty as a Picture!

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The area we have been sailing this past week is as pretty as a picture.

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The views are stunning…

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Well-deserving of a portrait.

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So, on Wednesday afternoon we pulled out the brushes, paints and easels we packed, in preparation for our planned painting party.

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We usually plan a craft or two when we vacation together and as we were planning this houseboat vacation Lana suggested we bring supplies for everyone to paint a memory of this houseboat experience. So, we each gathered the plethora of supplies we have acquired as a result of our kids’ membership in mural club, and planned an afternoon painting party on Norris Lake.

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Tyler, still chasing down fish, opted not to participate,

But everyone else gathered on the top deck to paint.

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The scenery inspired creativity.

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Some opted to paint the views from the upper deck of the houseboat,

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While others chose to paint a particular favorite memory from this vacation.

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It was fun to watch everyone work and see their personal artistic styles unfold on the canvas before them.

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Here are some of the finished works of art:

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What a perfect way to memorialize a wonderful week with friends!

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Sending Hopes to Heaven

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Hope Floats is one of my all-time favorite movies.

I have always loved the concluding line of the movie:

“Beginnings are scary.

Endings are usually sad,

But it’s what’s in the middle that counts.

So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up,

And it will.” –Hope Floats

I find myself teetering on the edge of one ending and the start of another beginning, and in the midst of that transition I find myself awash with these very emotions. Life is transitioning from one season to the next, and as wonderful as that transition is, and as happy as it makes me to see my children growing into amazing adults, with any change comes feelings of grief. Endings are sad, even when an ending is necessary for the next beginning. And the unknown of a new beginning is scary, despite the eager anticipation of the changes it will bring.

This trip has been an amazing blessing and a special gift of family time in the midst of riding this wave of change that is playing out in front of us. My goal this trip has been to do as the quote above councils and recognize the gift of the middle…that time that exists before the end of one season and the beginning of another. I have tried to allow myself to simply be, to rest in the present moment, and appreciate the gift of today and the magical experiences this vacation offers.

Yesterday marked the halfway point of our houseboat vacation and last night we had one of those magical experiences planned.

We brought with us 10 sky lanterns, knowing that we wanted to recreate some of the special moments from our past houseboat vacations.

The dark night, lit only with stars, made the perfect backdrop for this magical experience.

We told the kids we were sending hopes and prayers to heaven.

With a black Sharpie each person wrote upon their paper lantern the hopes and prayers of their hearts. Many in the group were feeling that same sense of nostalgia, as we all recognize the change of seasons that is bearing down on us. With kids leaving for school, working, getting married and nearing graduation, etc. everyone was more thoughtful about their prayers and wishes they wrote down.

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Toby and I shared a lantern and here were the hopes and prayers we penned:

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When everyone was done writing down the wishes of their hearts, we headed upstairs with our sky lanterns and a lighter.

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Woody and Toby helped everyone light their lanterns and one by one the kids sent their prayers to heaven on the back of a lantern.

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We stood on the deck watching our prayers float upward until they were specks of light, eventually lost in the shadows of the stars.

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And it was beautiful.

“So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up, and it will!”

Here’s to hopes, dreams, and prayers for beautiful bright beginnings.

Lake Livin’

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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?

It’s easy!
Here is a peek into some of our daily activities.

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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.

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Then the boat slowly comes to life.

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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.

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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.

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Molly and Tatum also made a fruit pizza for dessert one day. Look at the artistry of their creation!

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Our daily schedule looks something like this…

After waking and eating breakfast, the morning is spent swimming and fishing.

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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.

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We all love riding on the top deck while the boat’s moving.

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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.

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The remainder of the day is spent exploring our new location,

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Enjoying the water,

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Riding the water slide,

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Playing games,

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And maybe even doing a little self-pampering…

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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.

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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.

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I ordered a wide variety of colors/designs to choose from and let everyone pick the set they liked best.

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It was fun pampering ourselves and prettying our nails as part of the summer vacation experience,

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And the finished results were adorable!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Evenings on the houseboat are laid back and relaxed, with the hot tub being a favorite place to congregate after dark.

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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.

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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.

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Everyone sleeps hard after a full day of swimming and sunning.

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What a glorious way to spend a week!

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Splish Splash!

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Day one of our houseboating adventure began at 3:00pm on Friday when we were allowed to check in. All our gear for a week on the lake was unloaded from the cars, wheeled down the dock, and put away in the boat. Day one was spent getting settled in and becoming familiar with the boat. Saturday morning was when the fun really began, and much of the fun occurred in the water as we enjoyed the beauty of our own little cove on Norris Lake.

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Connected to the back of our houseboat is a water slide that goes from the top deck to the water below. That slide got a lot of use yesterday!

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The slide wasn’t the only creative way to enter the lake. Others chose to jump or dive from the top deck. The lake is extremely deep and the shore is extremely steep with depths ranging from 40 to 80 feet, making such antics safe for those who are brave enough to try.

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Others chose more relaxed ways of cooling off and enjoying the water. We have a nice selection of floats to enjoy…

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As well as four paddleboards and two kayaks for the kids to use to go exploring.

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Regardless of how each person chose to make a splash, all found themselves in the water for the majority of the day. With the sun beating down from above and the water cool against our skin, it felt like summer.

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What a wonderful way to vacation!

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Houseboating Adventure- Round 3!

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We were only home for a short minute before packing began again, this time for our long-anticipated houseboat vacation!

Toby and I arrived home on Monday evening after picking up Braden from his Pap’s house. We arrived home to find that everyone has survived our two day absence. The next two days were spent preparing for the next summer adventure as piles began to sprout up throughout the house in preparation for our Thursday morning departure to Tennessee.

This vacation has been on the calendar for over a year and when it was planned life was quite different. Ozzie was still at home, Braden wasn’t even a thought on our minds yet, Grace wasn’t dating anyone, much less engaged to be married, and we didn’t have any idea that Molly would be headed 2500 miles away for college in September. It is crazy how much life can change in a year.

How grateful I am that we took the plunge and booked this vacation before all the craziness of life kicked in, because now this week-long excursion is all the more needed and treasured, as it will probably be the last family trip before the family unit changes once again.

On Thursday morning we headed south. It was a nine hour drive south, broken up by bathroom breaks and quick meals along the way. We did stop make a quick stop at New River Gorge visitor center.

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Every time we head south we pass over this massive bridge, but this time we decided to stop at the visitor center and overlook.

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It made a good pit stop along the way so that everyone could use the bathroom and stretch their legs. I didn’t realize it was a National Park and we enjoyed strolling through the visitor center learning about the area and the construction of this mammoth bridge.

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We then walked the path to the overlook to check out the view.

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It was a great stop along the way and gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs and mark another national park off their list.

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It was then time to get back in the car and finish our journey to the lake that will be our home away from home for the week.

We will be spending the week in Tennessee on Norris Lake. We have rented a houseboat with our dear friends, and vacation buddies, the Hudaks. This isn’t our first trip with them and it isn’t our first time on a houseboat. This vacation will mark the third time we have gone on a houseboat vacation together. Each time has been wonderful and filled with marvelous, memory-making adventures and we can’t wait for this week of fun with our dear friends.

On our first houseboat vacation we traveled to Sutton Lake, West Virginia. It was 2012 and Tyler had just joined our family, literally. He moved in on a Friday and on Sunday we left for a weeklong vacation on a boat. The timing wasn’t intentional. When we planned that trip he wasn’t even a blip on our radar, but it ended up being a great blessing because that week away accelerated our bonding in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened at home.

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The next houseboat vacation occurred in 2015. This time we traveled to Lake Cumberland, Kentucky and Ozzie was our newest addition. It was a beautiful lake and we created more exciting memories with our dear friends as we spent the week cruising the lake, swimming, fishing, and living the houseboat dream.

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Here we are four years later and we are houseboating once again. The location is a new one but the company is the same, with the exception of Ozzie’s absence and Braden’s presence. Ozzie was unable to join us on this houseboat trip, as the staff didn’t feel he was ready for home visits quite yet.

This week Braden will be experiencing houseboating for the first time. He is going to love it!

  We are looking forward to a wonderful week connecting as a family, resting from the cares of life, and making magical memories as we float our way through the week.

Let the Norris Lake houseboating adventure begin!!!

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Arriving and catching the first glimpse of our houseboat.

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It is beautiful!

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There are seven bedrooms and two bathrooms on board. Half the room sit below the water level and half sit above.

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On the upper deck there is a bar, grill, hot tub and a slide into the water.

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I don’t think there is any risk of going hungry this week!

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Some of our cruising crew…

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Everyone loves the slide!

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