Dom’s favorite vacation is a houseboat on a lake. We went a few years ago with friends and then Dom went again last year for his Bachelor party. When we were planning a vacation with some of our other friends for this summer it came up because it is inexpensive and so much fun. Since the vacation we were originally planning was way too costly, we opted for this instead and it did not disappoint!

Us ladies, of course, over-planned everything. We spent hours putting together a long packing list and brought so much more food than we needed. We wanted every night to have a theme though and food that went right along with it.


we did not run out of food OR beer…

The plan was for Dom and I to leave early Friday morning, pick up Arielle and James at Arielle’s mom’s house, and then be on our way. Of course, when you have a plan it never quite works out the way you want it to.

Dom re-packed the car in the morning because he changed his mind as to how it was while he was sleeping and that got us to a later start than we had anticipated. Then, the jeep started overheating. In order to have enough room, we had a back hitch and a front hitch and we were figuring out that the front hitch would not allow any airflow. We stopped a few times to readjust, but it became pretty obvious that we would have to ditch the front hitch when we got to Arielle’s mom’s and put the coolers in the car. This meant we couldn’t fit Arielle and James which pretty much defeated the purpose of going out there. When we arrived we threw all their stuff in our car so it’d be easier to unpack at the lake and then took two cars the rest of the way.

Cell service was spotty at best but we were able to talk with Gabby and Billy and meet them at the dock not too late. All of us except for Dom took the boat driving course (since Dom has his boating license) and he started unpacking the car and loading the boat. We were boat #7, The Seaweed. After we got everything unloaded and ready to go, off we went!


We found a spot to tie up and enjoyed the afternoon and evening on the lake. The first night’s theme was Pirates and we made skewers. I wanted shrimp skewers because I figured pirates ate whatever seafood they could find. We also made chicken skewers (pre-marinated from Costco and they were delicious!) and vegetable skewers with peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. Everything was delicious and we ate every bit of it!

After dinner was a pirate ship rum cake that Gabby made and it was amazing! We also decided to go exploring after dinner. Our goal was to find a rope that had been there on Dom’s Bachelor weekend but broke, in hopes that someone had fixed it up. We took the two paddle boards and canoe and eventually found the right spot.

Pirate night was a blast!




Saturday morning we woke and decided to move the boat to where the rope swing was. We went over there and spent the day hanging out in the water and enjoying the rope. In the afternoon we decided there were too many other people around and we wanted to go somewhere more private so we took out the map and chose a spot with access to a trail and close to some cliff jumping. We set sail.


ALL the pineapples

We tied up right at a patch of red clay and when we walked further up the hill we discovered that the path was right there! We found the exact spot I was hoping for! Dom and I took a short stroll through the woods but came back quickly because he didn’t wear the right shoes and I figured we’d all go exploring later.

That night was luau night and we had some amazing pork shoulder in the crock pot with pineapple and made pulled pork sliders on Hawaiian rolls. It was, again, so delicious! We enjoyed our luau and ended our night with a card game Arielle had bought which was a blast.


I look more like I’m trying out karate than hula…

Sunday morning Billy left on a run and Arielle and I decided to take a two-mile run. It was tough terrain and we felt accomplished by the end of it. We slowed our pace because of the constant up and down and trip hazards but it felt really good to get a run in when I didn’t anticipate have very much room even to walk. When we got back Arielle took the paddle board out to do her stretching / gymnastics and Gabby and I tried to get pictures.

By the time Billy got back from his run, we were all ready for our big Sunday brunch! Gabby was starting to not feel too well from the heat, the exhaust fumes, and probably combinations of things so she rested for a bit. We made French toast in the crock pot, James made eggs, and Arielle chopped up a fruit salad and we feasted.

We then decided that where we were didn’t have enough air-flow so we decided to find a spot that had more wind. Dom and I remembered an island we liked from our first trip so we went in search of that. We landed on one side, but the air was still not the best. Dom and James went around to the other side of the island on the paddle boards and discovered that the opposite side had way more air flow so we untied and went there.

The breezes on that shore felt so much better so we enjoyed the water and the breeze. Dom and I decided to take the canoe out after lunch and had a nice time just the two of us. By the time we got back and spent a little more time in the water we were ready to bring out the mystery cheese! We cut some up and enjoyed the snack.

Dinner for Sunday was burgers made from fresh meat from the meat market by Arielle’s mom’s house. It was so tasty and we enjoyed them immensely! After dinner Billy told us that he had found a geocache on the island so we all followed him to see it. We brought a few things to put inside – a lei from Hawaiian night, a bug bracelet, and a close-pin – so that we could take something with us. We ended up with Mr. Krabs who was the perfect mascot for our pirate ship 😉

By that time everyone was feeling better so we decided to commence our Survivor Night!

We started with an individual immunity challenge where each of us needed to stand on a noodle for the longest time. After a certain amount of time passed, it was no arms and one leg, then spinning in circles, then spinning and singing…it was all very intense and Gabby ended up the winner.

After that we did two team challenges. The first had one thrower, one catcher, and one swimmer. The thrower stood on the top deck and threw two water balls to the catcher who was standing on the stand-up paddle board. If the catcher missed, the swimmer needed to retrieve the ball and bring it back to the thrower. It was a great plan in theory, but we didn’t make it hard enough, or maybe the paddle boards were too close because James caught both balls immediately and then Dom slid down the slide and he and Billy swam to James winning it for the boys before we could retrieve the one ball that I threw too far away from Arielle.

The second team challenge was more of a relay. Each team had one life jacket and everyone started in the water. The first person had to put on the life jacket, swim to the boat, stand on the ladder so everyone could see it was correct and then swim back, take it off, and hand it to the next person. The ladies ended up winning that one by a hair since the guys couldn’t get the life jacket off quicker.

After that we were getting cold in the water so we went inside and played the game Arielle brought again.

Monday morning meant breakfast and clean-up and packing. We got everything together and Dom steered us back to the dock. We didn’t want to leave each other and it had been a fun weekend but we needed to get back home.

In all, it was a great time and we may just do it again one day – but with a bit less food.


About Juli

I received my B.S. in Counseling and Human Services and a minor in Theology and Religious Studies and my M.A. in Organizational Leadership in Higher Education. Through a strange twist of fate, I ended up in the Human Resources field and at a company that I really love. I'm not much of a writer because I tend to write how I talk and when I tell stories I tend to ramble and tell way too many details. I love writing though because it's fun to get all my thoughts down. I also love drawing, I love photos, and anything artistic really.

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