Sunday, August 06, 2006

Oh boatman come put off your boat / Put off your boat for golden money

Bill's 17-year-old nephew was in town last week so he & Quincy rented a pontoon boat yesterday and invited us all to spend the afternoon with them on Lake Travis. Water-related activities are A Big Thing in central Texas, as they're the only way to make the heat palatable should you find the courage to venture into the terrifying, terrifying outdoors. (All of Austin's lakes are atually dammed-up parts of the Colorado River... they may be the temperature of bathwater, but we take what we can get!) There were 10 of us plus B&Q's friend Craig who generously volunteered his sober services as our designated boat driver. So here's how you spend an afternoon on Lake Travis:

1. Show up with a cooler of beer/sangria/cider and a flotation device (boogie boards, styrofoam "noodles," and inflatable Spiderman rafts purchased at H-E-B on the way out to Lake Travis are all acceptable options).

2. Your designated driver will putt-putt the boat across the lake and drop anchor in a cove. (Make sure to leave enough time at the end of this step for everyone to wait warily to see if the hilarious chunk of metal that passes as an anchor is actually touching bottom and holding the boat in place, or if the waves are slowly carrying it closer and closer to the perilously rocky cliffs at the edge of the lake. Feel free to leave poor sweating Craig in the boat as you all go swimming so he can move the boat should the anchor prove unseaworthy.)

3. Grab a flotation device, leap into the water, and paddle around with an alcoholic beverage for half an hour. (Discard beverage if your can/bottle goes underwater, since you DEFINITELY don't want to imbibe whatever lurks in Lake Travis' tepid waters...)

4. Re-enter boat, eat salty decadent snacks, pull up anchor, head to a different part of the lake, repeat steps 1-3.

We were out there from 11:30-3:30 and truly the hottest part of the afternoon was walking from the dock to the car afterwards. It's amazing what a little tepid water can do. Afterwards we went to B&Q's for Bill's required "wind-down" - he's a big fan of the post-event gathering at which everyone can sit around lazily and discuss the day's happenings. We played some dominoes and read some New York Times, then went home and put our sunburned selves to bed.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that R & I have made it halfway through our first southern summer and are (mostly) none the worse for wear. Richard's plans to look for a summer job in Juneau next year and my countdown until I can move back to someplace where it snows has nothing to do with living in Texas... really... We can tough it out. Please save us from this burning wasteland. We're doing just fine.

Okay, off to make the most of my Sunday, which will involve some combination of cleaning the house and going swimming with Noelle. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

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