Sunday, September 9, 2012

Motor Boatin'.

Holy shizzle. I haven't posted on my blog in over a month. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother for Pete's sake. Between a vacation, an insane work schedule, and some health issues over the past few weeks, I have not had much energy left to put into blogging. I'm really sorry! I'll do my best to elaborate on some of those things in the near future, but for now, I just wanted to back track a bit and talk about my awesome houseboat trip! For those of you who are unfamiliar or who have never been on a houseboat, I highly recommend giving it a whirl! We did it once a long time ago as a family, and I loved it, but those memories were pretty few and far between. I was definitely excited to try it again and the trip did not disappoint! Our friend Eric was the primary planner of the trip, and we ended up going with a boat company called S&S Houseboat Rentals out of  Lansing, IA. They had several different models of boats, but because of our larger group, we went with the Sharpe model, which I explained in the previous entry.

Prior to the start of the trip, I went up to La Crosse for the weekend to spend a little extra time with L. We had a really nice time and then got up pretty early on Monday morning (8/20) to drive down to our boat. There was a lot of logistical things to figure out - who was riding with who, who needed to bring what, etc. - but fortunately we were a pretty coordinated group. It was a super foggy morning and to cross into Iowa, we had to cross a bridge that looked like it was going into heaven since you couldn't see it through the fog. Super scary. My mom would've been crapping her pants. ;) Anyway, we loaded up the boat, and then came the interesting part. To rent one of these boats, you don't really need much for credentials, licenses, etc. The guy who runs the place came onto the boat and told anyone who was interested how to run certain things, how to dock the boat, how to avoid shallow spots, etc. We did a quick practice docking a little way down the river with him, and once we dropped him off, we were on our own! Kinda scary to think that pretty much anyone can drive these things. And I must say, for about the 30 seconds that I tried driving on the last day, it scares me even more because it wasn't a very easy task to keep it straight! Fortunately for me, there were plenty of people who were more than willing and capable to handle that part of the trip. ;) When we weren't cruisin' along the Mississippi, we were docked at various sandbars doing a bunch of different things. Sitting on the beach. Swimming. Exploring the shoreline. Building campfires. All sorts of good stuff, and not to mention, the weather was perfect. I still daydream about the boat quite frequently.

In case you're curious, we had a couple different traveling options. From Lansing, we could have either gone north (towards La Crosse) or south (towards Prairie du Chien). We chose to go north. It was an awesome path and we saw lots of cool things. I'd be curious about the other direction if we do it again (which we've talked about already!) We were on the boat 4 days and 3 nights, and I think that was a pretty perfect amount of time. We probably brought way too much food and alcohol, but overall, I think everyone was well prepared and had a great time. You definitely want to know and enjoy the people you go with because if you don't, you're just stuck on a boat with them for days. We were lucky in that we didn't have any problems! Evidence? There was a nice TV on the boat, and we didn't turn it on once to watch movies or anything. We all just did our own things and enjoyed each others company. Just the way I like it. Once we got back on Thursday, I spent the next few days in La Crosse again, so that was pretty perfect. I was in desperate need of the vacation at the time it happened. I wish we could go back now! Anyway, if you have any questions about the trip, feel free to ask! Until then, I'll just let you look through A LOT of pictures and make you feel jealous. ;) Enjoy!

 Bags were packed a couple days in advance. ;)
Me and L when we first started going. I was cold. He wasn't. ;)
A few of the crew members enjoying the upper deck!
We docked at the first sandbar, and L was immediately on the lookout! :)
Some random shells I found on our walk!
A few random shots...
 L pulling up the anchor. He looks so far away!
(This is when I started taking pics on my tablet b/c I dropped my camera in the toilet. Sad.)
 Pulling away from the first sandbar we stayed at!
 Gotta love cut-off jean shorts. Ha!
 Cool view after making it through the lock and dam!
 While I wasn't driving here, I like this shot! How pretty is this view?!
 Intently scoping out something along the way.
 Not exactly model material, but I still like this shot. :)
 These little lovebirds got engaged on our trip!!!!! :)
 Seriously, could it get any prettier?! The water is so still!
 Nothing like a little yoga on the top of the boat!
 Always posing. ;)
 Enjoying the awesome weather and view.
 Me too. :)

 The boat!
 Coronas in the fun little bucket I got for L.
 The ladies (minus Lindsay) relaxing! :)
 Random crew just chillin' and playin' L's homemade Monopoly game! :)
 My 30 seconds of driving. That was enough. ;)
 Pretty bridge as we were coming back into Iowa!
Me and Kayleigh at Top Shots once the trip was over!
Me and L at Top Shots. :)


Anonymous said...

wow,you were right, mama would love to bring back the memories of one of the best trips we had. Im so happy that you got to reexperience a trip like that. Great pictures even tho there was a camera episode. Love you. Mama

Renee said...

Thanks, mama!! We had a total blast and I am so happy I went! It was a good thing I had my tablet along to capture most of the photos! :) Love you too!