Mostly we just laughed-- over silly puns, goofy faces, made-up games and all the inside jokes a family accumulates over the years-- in fact, we laughed so loudly and so late into the night, I was afraid the sorority/fraternity group across the bay would scold us for disturbing their sleep.
Nearly a year had passed since out last family vacation and I realized over and over--- this is why people go away, to leave the schedule and lessons and ringing phone.
Ben's name was spoken over and over and I looked for memories of him around every corner-- he's never been on the houseboat with us, but his jokes and nicknames cover every inch of the boat. Above are the tube cushions he named the pirates--- inspiring us to use pirate talk whenever we play on the tube.
And all our lame card games were taught us by Ben.
You'll be impressed to see, Ben, Stef is getting good on the ski.
But no one can pull the water out of the lake like Dad.
Mary and Gabe made the switch from "little kid" rides to joining the big boys on tube rides. Screaming and yelling, they begged Erik to go faster and wilder and kicked me off when I got scared.
Erik and Mary played round after round of "I'm two."-- the challenge is to make the other person laugh first.
Throwing Erik's sleeping cushion in the lake, Xander came up with a new game, "Disco Dancing Floor of Doom"-- you have to sing and dance while balancing on the slippery air cushion. I never made it past "Disco Dancing" but I'm sure I developed better ab muscles from laughing and pulling myself up over and over.
Of course we jumped off the houseboat.
Lake Powell makes our hair crazy
and burns our skin.
But the view couldn't be lovelier.
I scared everyone by taking photos while driving the boat-- how could I resist? (you can see Stefan's right eye is nearly swollen shut. Note to little boys with wrist rockets-- shooting carrots is NOT a good idea)
Baby Bear avoids the water.
We felt like we were watching Hans grow before our eyes. Smiley one minute,
suave the next.
Everyone has their spot on the boat. Mary on Stefan's lap,
Gabe on the floor.
Xander hides in the storage cupboard.
Swimming with a diaper lifejacket is surprisingly fun. We all tried it, but only Gabe was willing to be photographed (and it was his idea so he deserves credit).
More than anything, the lake is about time, time, time
to be ourselves
act a little crazy
Goodbye until next year, our darling lake.