Christmas in June, a Damn Good Time! 

Christmas in June, a Damn Good Time! 

Recently we finally got to cash in on our family Christmas gift. For the past 5 years, we’ve opted to give more experience gifts at Christmas. All of my immediate family lives in Illinois where I grew up. So for the past 4 years, we’ve gone to a Cubs vs. Cardinals series because all of us are fans of either team. It’s a big family rivalry and makes for a great activity.

Last year was a bummer as it was the first year that we planned to see the game at Wrigley instead of Bush. We’ve not gone previously to Chicago for the trip mostly because my wife, kids, (like they have a choice let’s be honest) and I are giant Cardinals fans. When covid hit our plans were ruined like so many people’s vacations.  Instead of issuing some token gift, we decided to parlay the money we would normally spend into a “Covid proof” gift for this year.

So the planning began on how we could go on a trip with the family and have it be Covid proof. I remembered an amazing memory on a houseboat as a teenager. I had gone with another family to Kentucky Dam and spent a few nights on a houseboat. I talked to my wife and plans were made to rent a 6 bedroom houseboat in the middle of summer.

We gave the gifts by way of a “simultaneous” envelope opening and everyone was ecstatic and excited. It was about a 4-5 hour drive from where my parents and siblings live in Illinois down to the marina where we rented the boat. We flew into Nashville the night before. We stayed at the Opryland Hotel, had a nice dinner, and went to bed.  The next morning Mom went shopping and the kids and I hit the indoor waterpark. HOMERUN for those of you who haven’t been, it was well worth it and I highly recommend it. We went about 10 when it opened and left at 2 PM and headed for the boat.

When we got to the marina at Kentucky Dam, we grabbed a bunch of wheel barrels and carted all our beer, wine, groceries down to the boat. It took about 30 minutes or so and we were ready to set sail. My favorite part was the “captains meeting” where I totally thought they would tell us how to do important things like driving the boat, for example. Nope, no such class. They basically said bring it back in one piece, don’t flush anything that hasn’t been eaten down the toilet, and have fun.

The boat was worn and beat up but really comfortable. We had a large deck on top with a hot tub, waterslide, grill, big screen TV, and fantastic sound system. It was pretty much everything you needed for an amazing weekend with family. We drove it to a nearby cove, anchored down, and seldom moved for the weekend. The temps were in the low 90’s and the water was cool and inviting.

We spent the days floating in the water, while the kids flew one by one off the slide and jumping off the top deck. The adults just floated on pool noodles in deep conversation and occasionally jumped out of the water to go grab a round of drinks. We also rented a small boat to take the kids tubing and check out fishing spots. Every hour or so a few people would drive off and pull the tube around the cove.

I’ve got to be honest, it felt really good to be on vacation with my family. It was a perfect way to have some needed conversations and love on people that I haven’t been able to connect with face to face for some time. It was the perfect long weekend getaway and an unbelievable Christmas memory in the middle of June.

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