Table Rock 2011 Day 6: The Last Dance…

We hit the lake earlier than we have been because it’s our last day.  It turns out for the best because of two things.

First, it’s Friday, and the weekend visitors are starting to roll in.  That makes for a busy lake and crappy boarding water.

Second, the clouds have moved in and threaten to bring in some rain.  At the very least, the wind is picking up.  Great for heat relief.  Crappy boarding water.

Seeing a trend?

I get back to the music basics and pull out the CD that was last year’s soundtrack almost exclusively:  Cross Canadian Ragweed’s Back to Tulsa.  Great music to watch Max tear it up on the board by going out of the wake both directions (hard to believe this is the same kid who was literally shaking when we put him in the water with skis last year…and we didn’t even move the boat then).

Max’s boarding close up

Outside the wake…on the “hard” side

Not to be outdone on a number of fronts, Mara kicks it into gear and loses a tooth plus also goes outside the wake.

Tooth in hand…but hard to see a gap when her mouth is shut

Surfer girl!

We manage to hold on to our new anchor, have one last round of shaved ice and a final campfire complete with burnt marshmallow s’mores. Plus, we are packed and ready to hit the road bright and early back to KC.

Love that green apple with extra sour…Yum!
The flash sorta dims the light of the fire…

Table Rock 2011 Day 5: Everyone Boards Then the Sun Sets

You knew it was coming.  I had to get out from behind the wheel and take a ride on the board.  The pics make me look cool…and in control.  I wasn’t either one of those and I took a nice, hard head slap on the third run.  Gotta learn to bend those knees!

Not driving…and not falling!

While jammin’ to Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits, the rest of the crew took turns and got in some of the best runs of the trip.  Mara skied, boarded and surfed.  Max and Mike boarded…with a Max boarding and Mike surfing combo not to be missed.  (They are out at the same time but the surfing happens really close to the boat while the boarding doesn’t…pretty cool really.)

Mara on skis (so she doesn’t forget…her words)

Mara and her tube throne

Surfing + boarding…at one time

We wrap up the day with one of our favorite things:  sunset watching.  It just doesn’t get any better than seeing the colors fade over water.  We had plenty of these in Hawaii…check them out here and here.  They don’t quite have the same flash as they do at the ocean’s horizon but there is still something a little magical…and peaceful.

Hard to get better than this…

Table Rock 2011 Day 4: Parasailing + Max as Superman

Today’s soundtrack is eclectic and brought to you by….

Given our anchor loss, I make a quick (defined as 1 1/2 hours) trip via Jerry’s Shuttle Service (the same one we used last year to go to Silver Dollar City) to the newest Branson Wal-Mart Super Center.  I swear you can find everything there…except Hornito’s tequila.  I did snag an anchor, anchor rope, two life jacket options for Mara, strawberries, peaches, 1800 tequila, cheese dip, a pair of flip flops, and some sunscreen.  Oh, and cash from the ATM to pay for the cab. Everything, I tell you, everything.

Later that afternoon, the kids and I scratch an item off of their bucket list by going parasailing on the Patty Anne.  The boat is named after the captain’s (former) mother-in-law whom he calls a kindred spirit that helped him start the business 15 years ago.  She loved the color purple and dragons, so in addition to the name, there is a great purple dragon on the back.

Patty Anne’s dragon

Up, up and away

Not satisfied with his flying through the air under a parachute, Max decides to do a Superman impersonation when he and Mike are tandem surfing later in the day.  They are trying to be all cool for a photo op (below) – and Mike falls.  Max hangs on to the rope and body surfs.  I am so busy yelling for him to let go that I forget to stop the boat.  Good thing we’re only going about 10 mph.

Mara and I can’t stop laughing…even though we totally missed getting a pic of that.  (We find out over the course of the trip that we are not great at capturing the crashes…too bad because there are some great ones.)

Max + Mara in deep discussion
180 degrees, baby!
So cool…and then they took a dive…

Table Rock 2011 Day 3 – Part Two: Mara & Murphy Become Friends

Throughout our eventful day, we’ve kept the Van Halen coming.  Not too many pics on the water – apparently we were afraid they would look too much like yesterday’s.  Go figure.  We did get a couple of great ones during lunch at Danna’s (after losing the tooth and anchor but before the towel)…

Not to harp on the bad ju-ju from Part One of this day, but by the day’s end, Mara is crabby.  In that quiet “this sucks but I’m not saying anything” way that Mike totally attributes to my genes.  Her life jacket has rubbed raw patches on her upper arms and neck.  Which makes her not do well as either surfing or boarding. She does not take any of these things well.  (Also why you don’t see any pics of that here…)

Then Max drops the built-in cooler lid on her toe.

And, finally, something stings her finger while she is waiting for the rest of us to head back to the RV.

Mara – meet Murphy.  The equivalent of “this day is going from bad to worse, and I thought it already sucked.”  Fortunately, she manages to make it back to the RV where some air conditioning and food revive her.  Whew…bullet dodged by the rest of us.


Mara and her cool glasses

No hands – or rope!

Table Rock 2011 Day 3 – Part 1: 3 Losses & A New Business Idea

Today’s soundtrack is brought to you by Van Hagar, I mean Van Halen’s Balance.  We love Sammy!  (And, yea, Alex, Eddy and Michael…)

Given the amazing vacation so far (because we love the heat and the water), it sounds like whining to tally the losses of this particular day.  Except that they make a pretty good story, and I’m all about the story!

First loss: Max keeps his streak going and loses a tooth while on vacation.  Four teeth lost:  one in Hawaii, one in St. Louis, one at home and one at Table Rock.  We convince him to make a wish and throw in the lake.  The tooth fairy will still come, and we don’t have to try to keep track of a little baby tooth.  Win!

Max’s new gap (on the right) and his little tiny tooth

Cool straw tricks with his new “tooth” gap

Second loss:  We anchor at the back of our favorite cove when we are not boarding and surfing in it.  Apparently, there are a number of trees that have sought their final resting place in that same area.  Two of which Mike has expertly snagged on Sunday and Monday with the anchor.  We know this because they were still attached to the anchor when he pulled it up – they must have wanted to move to a different spot.  Today, the anchor is stuck and staying.  Probably jealous of the trees.

After visiting 3 different marinas and hearing the words “No one really sells anchors on the water” Mike and I start formulating a plan to do just that.  Seems like that is exactly where you’d want to sell anchors.  On the water.  Where boats might actually need an anchor – like maybe after they lose one to the lake gods.

Third loss:  Towels dry faster when hung from the boat tower (remember, it’s a competition wakeboard boat so there is a nice tall tower) AND you go really fast.  Except when they fly off and land in the lake.  Sinking remarkably quickly for something that you would think would float at least a little.

Wondering where the tales of surfing and boarding are?  Check out Part Two…

Table Rock 2011 Day 2: Jumping In + Catching A Log

It’s the first full day of vacation – or at least the first full day without travel.  Big sigh – one full of air-conditioned air courtesy of the RV.  Yep – very thankful we are not tent camping.

Today’s soundtrack was even more Jason Aldean – although I turn the music down when I’m driving.  It’s hard to hear “Hit It!” and “Down!” when the tunes are cranked.  And, boy, do those people in the water get testy when you don’t listen to them.  Geez!

Everyone got a turn today…Mike, Mara and Max.  In all sorts of ways. We are on our standard schedule – it looks pretty much like last year.  Hey – don’t fix it if ain’t broke! Simply put…

Lunch at Danna’s + Oasis Shaved Ice (at the Marina) + Water + Sun = Awesomeness!

We also manage to hook our second tree with the anchor.  This one is even bigger than the one on Sunday.  We’re all about trading up – assuming that we can still get our anchor back in the boat.  (That turns out to be a bit of a prophetic statement (hint, hint…foreshadowing…)

Mara’s first wakeboard ride…

…and Max’s first too

More tandem surfing of Mike + Max – with the high sign

Mike catching some wakeboard air…

…and then cutting it hard

It’s Table Rock Time!

We are on the road at 7 a.m. and not even to the stop sign at the end of our street when I realize one thing (and, as it eventually turns out, the only thing) we have forgotten.  My sunglasses.  When we are spending a week at the lake.  The hottest, sunniest week of the year.  Being that it is the third year in a row that we have selected said hottest, sunniest week (we even managed it last year after spending two months’ in Hawaii), we contemplate getting jobs at the Farmers’ Almanac but they don’t appear to have any openings.  And we don’t turn around or stop for my glasses.

We roll into Hollister, MO in record time (about 4 hours later) just in time for lunch at Max’s favorite “fast food” – Subway!  We put gas in the RV and the and discover that not all gas stations carry cheap sunglasses.  So I take Max’s – pulling rank is one of the advantages of being the parent.  That, and I’m the boat driver.  Two points in my favor!

This first afternoon brings the standard menu of activities:  tubing, surfing and wakeboarding by Mike and some tandem surfing by Mike and Max.  The soundtrack courtesy of Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party and Cross Canadian Ragweed’s Happiness and All the Other Things.

Max + Mara on the tube

Mike + Max tandem surfing