Hi everyone! Hope this finds you all doing well, and enjoying your Labor Day Weekend. I just got in last night, around midnight. Still trying to recoup. I missed my kids desperately...had never been away from them for this long, but it was very sad to leave, at the same time. It was honestly the best vacation I've ever had! As I told Peanutt, I couldn't have been happier had I been vacationing in the tropics...this was truly paradise!
The first day was lots of work, with loading the boat full of enough rafts, life jackets, clothing and food for 6 couples for 9 days on the water. We also had to drive the 16x80 foot boat to our first location which, at 6 miles an hour, takes a really long time. LOL We finally found a nice cove and parked it, tied up, unpacked, and got in some time for some wonderful food. We played some euchre and watched some movies and then it was off to bed. The next morning we all got up really early and I actually caught a beautiful sunrise, right over the mountains. (Pictures to come later today or tomorrow). The weather was a little iffy for a while there, but we got a few hours of sunshine each day, for the first few. I was also pretty sore from the long drive, but I did make my way to the waverunner after a day or so of recouping.
The lake is just miles and miles of unspoiled beauty. You are surrounded by mountains, beautiful coves, beaches, and a ton of slate. There were blue herrons and cranes everywhere, and Brian and Terry even spotted a bald eagle, right at the end of our cove. There were also many many islands, some with sandy beaches, others strictly made of slate with a few trees on top. There were no houses down near the lake, only a few scattered way up on top of the mountains. It was so tranquil.
The houseboat itself had a living room and kitchen, 2 full bathrooms and 6 bedrooms. Not all of the bedrooms were of the same size, and we actually lucked out getting one with a closet and drawers, and one that you could actually stand upright in. (Well Brian could almost stand upright...LOL) The front of the boat has a large deck where we barbequed and had all of our coolers. The back was where we stowed all of the life jackets and rafts. The upper level had a slide and a 6-8 person jacuzzi. It was wonderful.
After the first few days of limited sunshine, we did have lots of rain. It was mostly at night, but it drizzled and was gloomy for about 3 days. The last 4 days or so were just picture perfect. We took the jetskis about 30 miles away, to the dam and basically just did some exploring. We also got to see the Kentucky/Tennessee border, which was awesome. There were cables and markers above the water, red on one side, green on the other to indicate which state was which.
One of the couples also brought their boat and we took a ride at sunset one of the nights we were there. We had our hearts set on dinner at one of the marinas, but we hit 2 of them and they were actually closed, due to preparations for the holiday weekend. The third marina had really good pizza, so we settled for that. On the last night there, we also hit one of the marina's for dinner. It was pretty good. However, the best part of it was the little trick that they played on me, telling the waitstaff that it was my birthday. I had my back facing the kitchen and waitresses, so at the end of dinner, someone comes and throws a hat on my head (little did I know at the time, that it was a Dr. Seuss type of hat, only with purple and white stripes), and they all start singing "Happy Birthday", to me! I could have died of embarassment, but it gave us all a good laugh and I got my meal and dessert for free! LOL
It was a wonderful escape, and one that I needed desperately. I'm glad to be back home in alot of ways, but I still miss Dale Hollow Lake. Counting the days until we go again next year!
Pictures to come soon...just downloaded them!! =)