Good Samaritan Society residents enjoy houseboat trip

September 2010 News BRENDA JONES -

Not exactly tropical - but all the elements are present - water, people, decorations, music, food, sunshine and excitement. Pine trees replace palm trees and the thermometer's reading is a little low. But these are minor details that no one will mind, because this is a special day - the annual houseboat trip.

The mid-August day starts early with staff and volunteers loading pre-packed bins of supplies and food to be used throughout the day. Residents of Good Samaritan Society-International Falls are dressed and ready to go. Shortly after breakfast the buses arrive and the residents anxiously await their turn to board.

The anticipation builds as the buses pull into the unloading area of Rainy Lake Houseboats. The Dougherty family has graciously hosted this annual outing for many years. For some residents, this is a voyage taken before. With four houseboats decorated Hawaiian-style, no time is wasted. As residents board, a lei is placed around their neck and flowered hair clips are donned. Staff and volunteers get into Hawaiian garb and the boats leave the bay and merge into the big waters of Rainy Lake.

A 15-minute cruise brings us to our destination. The scenic spot, set in open water with a few islands dotting the horizon, is spectacular. The clear sky and calm water, dark but vibrant blue, is the perfect background for a luau. All four boats are tied together to form a small, floating city which allows staff to traverse from boat to boat. By now, it's getting close to 11 o'clock in the morning - time to think about lunch.


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