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Fourth of July on the houseboat

July 2010 News
Our usual tradition of going to Winter Park's festivities (in Florida) was traded in this year for a day on Jeremy's aunt and uncle's houseboat on the lake. We had so much fun! Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa live on the houseboat full time, and have for about a year. The boat is pretty amazing; it has a big living room, a kitchen, a dining area, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a basement! Out front is a porch/deck area with comfy chairs and flowering potted plants. In the back is another deck for jumping off of and swimming. On top is a huge deck with a canopy shelter and a big table under it, a bar with barstools, and a big sunny area with lounge chairs. And a slide. Yes, it has a slide with water going down it that goes from the top story to the lake. How fun! Cory really, really wanted to go on the slide, but after I tried it, I thought the drop at the bottom would be too much for him even with a life jacket on.
Lake Lanier is so beautiful. It was man-made, built with the completion of a dam in 1956. It's huge! It is in five counties and has 692 (!!) miles of shoreline, and it's over 1000 feet deep. The purpose of the lake was to provide hydroelectricity, flood control (it's only flooded twice in Metro Atlanta since the completion of the Buford Dam - once was last year!), and drinking water. Florida, Alabama, and Georgia all fight for the rights to water from this lake. And some of the summer Olympic events from 1996 were held here. 
The most Romantic bit about this lake, though, is that the Army Corps of Engineers actually flooded a valley to create it. They had to buy land from people and relocate 700 families! And then they cut down the tallest trees and took out some buildings, and flooded it! So there are still some trees and buildings down there, and apparently during a bad drought, you can see the tallest stuff. Fascinating!
On to pictures:
I took the boys out around the back of the boat in the float. They loved it, and so did I! It was really deep out there, but they had life jackets and the very steady float, so they did great. Later, Phil and Kelly, Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa, Jeremy, and some of their friends joined us back there and we had swam, floated around, went down the slide, and got some sun. Eventually Jeremy and I ended up with a boy on each lap as we sat in the floats, and both boys put their heads down and may have even dozed a little bit.
Because the houseboat was docked at a little island, we had to take another boat to and from it and the dock. Phil and Kelly rode back with us. That little boat could move!

The highlight of Iain's day was when he got to drive the boat.
I could definitely get used to life on the water.

Although we couldn't stay for the fireworks (they didn't even start until after nine, and we had two boys who had skipped their naps), we still had a great time. What a fun day! And, as you can guess, I found the lake beautiful and fascinating. Although Lake Howell, where I grew up, doesn't have such an interesting history, the day at Lake Lanier still made me miss "my" lake. Lakes are among my favorite places on earth; I'm glad we live near so many up here. Thanks for such a great day on the water, Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa! 
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