My husband grew up going fishing every year (sometimes multiple times a year) with his family, and this has been a tradition we have kept going even once everyone was married and starting their own families. The first year we were married (summer 2016), we went to far south Texas where Steven grew up going- Choke Canyon State Park. This was fun because we got the true camping and fishing experience- we stayed in small cabins and cooked everything at our campsite, and used a public restroom for showering… definitely roughing it for me! Steven’s granny wasn’t able to go on that trip because the set up is just too hard on her, so the next year his mom looked into renting a lake house at Richland Chambers Reservoir (which is geographically more centered between all of us) so that she could still come along, and this is what we have done the last several years. This year was Livy’s 4th year at RCR- I was 7-8 weeks pregnant with her in 2017, she was 3 mo old in 2018, she was 15 mo old in 2019, and this year, she’s 2 years 4 months, but this was Henry’s first time. (I wasn’t pregnant yet last year, and he was two months old this year, and it’s the same story for our sweet niece!)
Each year has looked a little different- we’ve gone back and forth between our house and the lake during the week (it’s about an hour and a half from our house), we’ve been able to go for the weekend, we’ve gone for a little over a week, and this year we went for about five days, but it’s always fun! We’ve rented the same house every year, and we have direct access to a dock for the boats (we have a boat, Steven’s parents have a boat, and our brother/ SIL have a boat, but we don’t always have all three), and a pretty good section of lake shore in front of the house. My favorite part is the house’s wraparound porch, and sitting on the porch and talking, or reading, or drinking coffee early in the morning. Now we’ve got sweet kiddos playing on the porch with bubbles and kiddie pools, and it’s even more fun! My MIL books this close to a year in advance so we obviously weren’t anticipating all the COVID craziness when we started planning, but it turned out to the be perfect quarantine vacation- we were just there by ourselves without anyone really around. In years past we would go into the nearby towns for groceries, to shop, we went to the movies one year when it was raining, we went and bought our Yeti cooler when ours flew out of the boat on the way there one year, haha! But none of that this year- we went to town once for more bait and a watermelon, but we masked up and came right back home!
We got there on a Tuesday in the late afternoon, and basically everyone unloaded, we ate dinner, and just got settled in for the week. On Wednesday morning, Steven, Livy, and I went with my father-in-law to the boat ramp to put the boat in the water. This was Livy’s second time to ride in the boat in her life, and it sparked an interest in the boat.
The boys went out on the lake that afternoon to put out the trot lines and us girls stayed cool inside and snuggled all the babies! I got to feed our sweet niece and snuggle for a little bit while Granny held Henry and Livy took a nap. (Steven held her right before they went out, and then we traded 😉 ). Later on, I wore Henry while we got dinner going, and he was so out, he slept in the carrier all through cooking and eating, haha! He’s such a good little sleeper!
Later that night, we sat on the porch for a while and Steven and Livy played a little soccer…
Steven, Livy and I also drove around in our Gator (we brought it along so Granny could get around easier, but we all loved having it there to get around the property!), and we discovered a zip line. I was honestly shocked when Steven hopped out and climbed up the tree to ride down it, and it ended up being hands down one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! He’s okay- he had a little bruising from his dismount, and we won’t likely do that again, but this will always make me laugh!
The next day, we had breakfast and then we took some pictures of the kids in their little future school gear that Steven’s mom picked up for them from a local screen printer. Even though we’ll all be in the same area, we are in two different school districts, so we’ll have two schools to cheer for!
After our photo shoot, Livy and I geared up and went out with Steven and his dad to check the trot lines. She loved riding in the boat!
Then the rest of the afternoon/ evening was spent with Livy and Steven taking Granny for a Gator ride while Henry and I worked on my Bible study…
Later we blew bubbles and sat around chatting on the porch while the boys checked lines again…
Friday started with Livy heading out in the boat with the boys!
And then we rode around in the Gator while Steven’s parents took the jet skis out. We ended up handing Livy off to them so she could ride them, too!
Then after dinner that night, Steven and I went jet ski riding! Steven loved it, but I had a hard time shaking my scaredy-cat-ness- I just kept feeling like I was going to fly off! I’m hoping over time I get more used it to it though because everyone else had so much fun on them and I’m mad at myself for being so nervous!
We attempted Pioneer Woman’s giant skillet cinnamon roll for breakfast on Saturday. It was delicious but just a scooch time consuming, and super sweet (and that’s saying something since I LOVE sweets!).
Then it was time for family pictures!
While the boys were taking up the lines that afternoon, we put the babies in their swimsuits and they “swam” in the kiddie pool on the porch, and it was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen!
That night we had our end of the trip fish fry, which was probably one of the most delicious we’ve ever had. One of the best parts of going to the lake is all the wonderful food all week and this year definitely didn’t disappoint!
And did I mention we had eight dogs there the whole time? We had our three labs and two bullmastiffs, plus Avery and Shelby’s blue lacy and goldendoodle and her mom’s goldendoodle. Boudreaux had to stay in lock down in our room since he’s still recovering from his TPLO surgery on his knee, but Ruger, Gump, Pecos, and Amos (plus Drover, Marshall, and Norman) had plenty of fun for him!
On Sunday we were up bright and early and packed up to head home. Another year in the books, and we’re already excited for next year with our five dogs, a three year old and a one year old!
Linked with Lindsey for Hello, Monday!