Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th of July

In my opinion, there's not better way to spend the 4th of July than boating.

Apparently, the people who work where Shannon's family stores their boat feel the same way.  So much so that they took the day off and weren't even open on what is probably the busiest day of the year on Lake Tahoe!

That meant we were forced to launch the boat ourselves.  Shannon, Ryan and myself.  I'm certainly no seasoned boater, and was pretty much worthless.  Thank goodness the other two eventually got it figured out with just a couple of snafus, and we were on the flat, blue water EARLY!

We had heard horror stories of lines around the block and hour long wait times just to launch your boat on the 4th, so we decided to get there plenty early.  And since we did, of course there was not one other person trying to launch.  No lines, no waiting, no stress.  Perfect.

Just because there weren't people trying to launch doesn't mean the place was empty.  The private beach was literally already covered (completely covered) with blankets, towels, and tents to stake out their space for the show that night.  And the crazy thing is, the gates opened at 5am and people RAN in to get their spots.  There was a line to get in AT FIVE IN THE MORNING.  These people take their fireworks seriously around here.

Incline's private beach at 8am.
I was so happy we were getting away from all that craziness...and in to the water to relax!

Before we got far, we picked up our friend (and old co-worker) Kelsey and her boyfriend at the Hyatt pier.  We were all matching in red hoodies...so that required a picture for sure.

Once we got everything - and everyone - organized and situated, we cruised along the east shore for awhile.  Mornings on the water are just breathtaking...the blue and green water so flat and the sun coming up over the mountains.  It was definitely perfect conditions for wakeboarding, so Ryan got ready and went first!

It was a pretty chilly morning, and when we got going fast, it was down right cold.  Hence the towel being used as a blanket. :)

Kelsey's boyfriend was up next on the wakeboard...

And then we talked Kelsey in to going...but not without her wet suit!  

Seriously, look at that water!

Kelsey is quite the wakeboarder and I loved watching her jump (and put the boys to shame). ;)

We just cruised around the lake awhile longer while everyone relaxed, and eventually decided to cross the lake and go to Chambers for an early lunch -- before the madness we witnessed there last year.

Shannon and I had 1.  Matching hoodies  2.  Matching tutus and 3. matching Patagonia backpacks.  
We have a problem. ;)

Once we got there, we were told we couldn't get off our boat (and on to the dock to the bar) until 11am.  So we got all decked out in our 4th of July gear while we waited.


We were all worried about the crazy long line forming on the beach - which we thought we were going to have to wait in - but turns out we got right off the dock and walked right up to the bar, and got to bypass the absurd line.  Thank goodness.

Look at that line...full of 21 year olds waiting to get wasted.
Shannon and Ryan got their drinks, and we snagged a great people-watching spot on the pier...and enjoyed our front row view to the pending craziness.

(Look how far the water is down this year!  The drought is so sad...)

Group picture time!

After a couple of drinks, we had had enough, and decided to go along the west shore of the lake for awhile.

That didn't last long, and we decided to cross the lake again to try and find a little cove on the east shore with a nice beach so we could get off and eat/relax for the afternoon.

(The water along most of the east shore is crystal clear)

We found the perfect spot (it was called Hidden Beach), but we definitely didn't have it to ourselves.

Once the boys got the boat anchored, we spread out our towels and umbrellas and coolers and bags of food...and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful afternoon on the sandy beach.

(Side note:  my phone case melted when I left it next to me in the sun!)

The typical afternoon wind picked up and the waves started rolling in, so we decided to head back to get off the boat.  We probably picked the most inopportune time to do just that.  The waves were BIG and my lunch almost came back up, but I survived.  (Where is that dramamine when you need it!)

I jumped off the boat with the boys and waded in to shore to wait while they went to get the truck/trailer. No more waves for me. 

Once we finally got the boat off the water (Shannon did a crazy good job managing the waves and getting it on in one try), we gassed it up and took it back to the boat place.  The whole process just takes a lot longer than you would think...

And then we had to get back to the house to grill burgers.  I mean, it's not 4th of July without grilled hamburgers and watermelon, right?

Everyone in the kitchen working on dinner
Dinner was delicious, but interrupted and brought to an abrupt hault when Shannon got a phone call from her Aunt.  She had just won the jackpot on a slot machine at the Hyatt and needed Shannon to get her drivers license from her car ASAP.  The machine wouldn't quit going off until she claimed her prize, and she couldn't claim her prize without he drivers license!

So we dropped everything and jumped in the car to get her and then to the beach for the fireworks!

I just barely missed the beautiful sunset, but I can't complain, because I got fireworks...for the second night in a row!

I lucked out and found us a pretty good spot right next to the boat ramp and down by the water.  Just enough room for us to throw out a blanket!

And then the show started.  The best fireworks show.

I could look at these all day.  I have videos, too, but I'll spare you.  

(Although, I have to say, you can't imagine the colors reflecting off the water and the echoing rolling through the mountains...and the videos might show that a little better than the pictures!)

There really couldn't have been a much better ending to the 4th of July than that fireworks show...

We went back to the Hyatt after the show to get the car, but decided to just wait it out there for awhile.  I mean, you can't imagine the sea of people -- and cars -- trying to get around down there.

Ryan gambled a little while I sat on the couch and tried to stay awake.  Shannon and her aunt chit-chatted away next to me,  but I should have just given in and slept like this guy in the lobby, haha!

Traffic was still ridiculous when we decided to leave an hour later, but Shannon knew a back way that wasn't quite as bad.  I was so tired I just laid down in the back of the car.  The late nights -- two hours later than I'm used to - were killing me.  Plus, we had to get to bed and rest up for another early day on the boat on Saturday!

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