• A Unique & Affordable Waterfront Vacation

Well this is one of those posts where you’re either going to think I’m super cool or REALLY weird. I’m hoping for the first response. :) If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that we love our families… we also love our family vacations. However, MY family has NEVER been one to have a “normal” family vacation… you know, where you rent a beach house or stay at a hotel and go lay out by the pool or go to the beach everyday? I’m sure those vacations are super relaxing and enjoyable but for a family full of fair skin red heads, baking in the sun isn’t ideal. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen my dad sit and do nothing on a beach all day. That would drive him crazy! …. Same for my brother, Corey!

After knowing this about my family, it probably isn’t surprising to learn that we love RV’ing and boating! Well, if you want the EXTREME of both of these activities…. you rent an 80 FOOT HOUSEBOAT for your family vacation!!! We’ve done this once before and it was a ton of fun and round two didn’t disappoint at ALL! It was a new boat, a new crew of mostly first-timers and Michael and I got to stay the WHOLE time!! We have had this week blocked off for almost 8 months now and we have been looking forward to it ever since!

Last Sunday we drove to Knoxville, TN and then drove out to Norris Lake on Monday morning (after buying 7 carts worth of food at Sams Club!!) to load the boat! I’m going to walk you through our trip via our pictures so that if you have every wanted to do a fun, unique and affordable vacation on the water, you can learn all about it! This trip averaged around $300 per person and included food, lodging, and gas for the boat over the course of 4 nights and 4 days! So here you go! Welcome to our Houseboat Adventure 2015!

So what does DAY ONE look like on a houseboat vacation?! Well, you have to have an UNLOADING PARTY. And you have to view it as a party because let me tell you, buying and loading food for 19 people for 4 days isn’t fun…. unless you make it fun. :)

See! Perrin is having fun!!

Then, you take a little tour of your floating home for the next four days! Top deck layout area, check!

Top deck bar area, check!

Kitchen and living room…. YIKES! Don’t worry, after we put our stuff in our rooms, it was a lot cleaner!

Then, the captain (aka Daddy) gives us the run-down….

And then it’s time to blow up Tahiti Island! We see you Greg!

Then, we wave “Bon Voyage!” and set sail for the week!

And the speed boat and jet ski follow close behind as we leave the marina! Hey Ben!

And then you gather the whole crew for the inaugural cruise on the top deck!

And then you ask Michael to take cute sister pictures!

And again….

Then, you do a little dinner prep!

Then the initial cruise is over and it’s time to dock for the evening! …. It’s a dramatic ordeal!

And then?! The fun begins!!!


Just chillin! And sliding… and belly flopping… etc.

And then it was time for dinner!

Sometimes we ate up top…

Sometimes we ate down below!

Then time for a few glowy pics with sweet Sarah before heading down to the speed boat!

Then you take a cute picture of your brother untying the boat! This guy is about as selfless as they come. Ex: Us girls were chatting out on Tahiti Island one night and before he went in for the night, he brought out towels for us so that we wouldn’t freeze when we got out of the water…. what a guy. :)

Time for TUBIN’!!!!

And sunset cruisin’!

These pictures never get old!

Watch out Ben!

And daddy’s hair doesn’t always look like that….I promise!

We lost one!

And then day one ends with the a little night time swim… with the under water LED lights turned on! (THAT may be the most redneck part of the boat!:)

Day two!!!

Breakfast time! Now that I have bragged on my brother… let me brag on my sister for a second! She organized ALL of the food. All of it. She had a FOLDER full of recipes, spreadsheets and shopping lists. I have no idea how she did it… but I think if we’re lucky, she’ll do a little HMH post about it one day!

After breakfast, it was time for some fast cruisin’!

And the redheads put on their sunscreen!!! :) One shoulder one pieces for the win!

Yes I tubed in the middle of wedding season… But I try not to push the limits!!

Air born!

Three sister duos!

Just floating!!!

Lunch time! Yum!

Then it was time to do a BIG BOAT cruise to a new part of the Lake!! Push-off can be tricky! When an 80 foot boat settles into the shoreline, it gets stuck. So it requires some pushing on the front, jumping and extra weight on the back and sometimes a little tugging from the speed boat!

This push-off stirred up QUITE a bit of mud. oops!

Then daddy drives…

And the board games begin!

Some just enjoy the view from the front…

And some watch from the back!

Some read…

Some hang…. literally….

And some have dance parties!


Hey look! I’m in a picture! Thanks Perrin! :)

Norris Lake is full of little floating houses! They’re so cute!

Time for another tie-off!

The feet get a LITTLE muddy…

Ohh this is fun! ….Some of you may think it’s weird… but it’s hard to get shower time with 19 people on board and only two showers! Sooooo we had a few shampoo parties in the lake!

Day three! We didn’t have enough bedrooms for everyone so some of the boys had air mattresses that were deflated each morning…. this morning it was deflated by the parents!


Another day of water fun!

Michael’s hair… we’re aware that it was struggling.

Day three included cliff jumping!


PARENTS going tubing!!! What?!

This is my momma and Michael’s momma!

ha!! I have no idea what was happening! But I’m assuming his back was burnt! I just think this is hilarious!

The scariest thing about tubing isn’t falling off… it’s when someone else falls off and the un-manned tube goes ROUGE!!!

Watch out PERRIN!!!!

Then the rains came…. and they broke out Settlers of Catan!

And then Corey and Michael B made us custom milkshakes!

And then the blender exploded!

Every night we all got together and had a slideshow of that day’s pictures!!

and just in case you were wondering how we kept the speed boat and the jet ski close, we tied them to either side of the big boat and we only had one of them flip the whole trip! :) It was the jet ski… no big deal!

I think what I loved the most about this trip were the conversations…. you just don’t get time to talk like this when you’re in the midst of normal life!

The last day included some more tubing… and falling..

and pushing!

And more pushing…

And some magic!

Snuggie for the win!

And the whole reason this group of people know and love each other is because these three guys have known each other since high school! It all began in Winchester and we’re so thankful that it did! Loved seeing Daddy get to spend quality time with some of his best friends! :) And I’m so thankful that not only do they love each other… but their families love each other too!

The sistas!!!

The whole crew!!!

Until next time houseboat! We will see you again!!!

Details: $300 per person included: Houseboat rental ($1000/day), Gas for the big boat (around $500), Food for all four days. They train you on how to drive the boat. Just daddy was in charge of ours. It does help to know how to drive a regular boat though! :) The speed boat and jet ski belonged to families on the trip but you could rent those as well if you wanted to. Tahiti Island was $100 and you can find them at Costco! :)

xoxo, Katelyn
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