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Monday, August 26, 2013

Suzapalooza 2013, the story


Suzapalooza this year was the best yet. The entire weekend was jam packed fun.  Patti and Dwight got their speed boat out of its six year hibernation and had it up and running for the weekend.  Its arrival at the dock was met with enthusiastic jumping up and down. 
 

Sandi and her two sisters are tubing superstars.  They literally spent entire days of their youth tubing away summer days on the lake.  They like to tube fast and furious and the competition, not with each other but with the tube and the waves and perhaps their parents circling the lake trying to throw them, is intense. 
I think I have been tubing twice in my life and that was probably close to 20 years ago.  I made sure to have my first ride be with the eight and four year old.  It was a rather sleepy affair and a perfect primer.
This was the first time the Carvers had used this quad tube and while we were slowing down for our return to the dock we quickly learned what precautions needed to be taken to account for the wide bottom base.  As the boat let up and we were remained lying down, the water soon came flooding over the front of the raft and the tossed us all very unsuspecting into the lake.  Ella got really freaked because when she tried to come up the raft was over her head momentarily.  Makenna took it in stride but later said to her mother, "I guess that was fun.  Except the part when we went under the water."



Tubing practice over, it was time for the real party to begin.  To quote Beckett: "Happy Ooza-pa-ooza!"
It was so fun to have so many people I love come to celebrate with a day on the lake!

(Now, lots of these pics will be duplicates from the video but I really wanted to have them just to keep here on the blog-unlike a video that isn't printable- and also to tell the story of the day. Plus, for me pictures such as these could never be redundant.)








 




 





 
 
 




In case you don't believe me about the kind of tubing that Sandi and her sisters do let me show you.  This, my friends, is the kind of standard the inexperienced such as myself are up against.



Tough chicks go tubing.



So when Trish suggested that she and Brock and Sandi and I ride the quad I thought, how bad can it be on that giant thing that Sandi almost took a nap on?


I was TERRIFIED.  Not that you can tell. 



 

Then it was time for tubing school.  Brady and Brevan handled the tubing simulation station (rowing the quad out and then quickly pulling it in on the rope toward the dock) for anyone who wanted to get a real-life feel for being pulled behind the boat.

While Sandi gave some basic instruction on how to get going without getting a face full of water.  (Note: she is not a real teacher.  She is holding a beer in her hand, afterall.)
 

I was super proud of Ella for getting back on the tube.  She thought this would be a better fit to be on her own tube with us on either side.  She did a great job until she hit the wake sideways and went out over the front of the tube...She was crying and it was very painful for everyone. 



But she got back on that horse!





Trish, Grace, Mikayla and Alex had a blast!


I want to say how proud I am of others like me who were a little scared and went for it anyway.  Kim was another brave soul.  Because she and Kristi were running the quad for the two little ones in the middle, we gave her very specific instructions on the severe rear lean required to not dump the tube as it came to the dock. 

Kim did such an incredible job with this that we decided to coin a term for the lean.  It is called to "Kim it." Used in a sentence: When the boat slows down, you must Kim it or end up in the lake.
We did some tubing with Sandi's cousin, Katie, outside of the party and the pictures are just too good not to share. Again, my hats off to the fearful.


 
 
Such a cool day on the lake.


 
 
I started to take a picture of this bird, assuming it to be a loon and Kristi said, "Oh that is just a shag."  This is some sort of sub-level bird, I guess.  I began to click wildly and say, "A shag! A shag!" as though it were just what I wanted to photograph.  Later, I told Sandi I had seen a skank and thought it was a loon and she was like, "You mean a shag?"  Apparently I need to go to remedial avian class.




This is just the way Maya likes to wear her life jacket. There is no convincing her otherwise.


A sea plane even landed!



 
 
 


I began to notice a pattern in myself.  The tubing was frightening and fun but I was so preoccupied with the children that I had a hard time enjoying the fun since I was so frightened.  When we went in this conglomeration- Ange and I with all these kiddos, I found myself so worried about Kaylee who looked impossibly small to my right and Ella who was way over next to Ange.  My head was on a swivel of worry, accounting for each child in turn and then starting again at the top of the roster.  I was a ball of nerves.  When you get thrown from a tube you hit the water hard and, even though I planned to jump off if one of them went in, I was still worried about how scary it would be.
 
They were too busy screeching and shreiking to worry, however.

 
















I was pleased each and every time we returned safely.

Ange, Kristi and Billy took a group of kids and then a fellow boater ran out of gas and they got ditched in the lake for a while...

And then they finally got going again and the boat broke down.  Poor Billy didn't have a suit and was wearing his shorts in the water an extended period.  They had a major freakus getting to camp and so it was late in the day by the time they arrived. There was no drying off for him. 
Dwight decided he was going to get Billy tubing and he took him for a real ride once the boat was up and going again. 


And you know you want it...here are some wipeout pics. 


Kristi, flat on her back skidding along the surface of the water.


And me, plugging my nose. (It wasn't my fault, the tube flipped over.)

 
The dock jumping contest, which is well highlighted in the video, was overshadowed a bit by the fun of tubing.  I'm all for fun being replaced by fun.  We did have several categories with prizes and Kim was once agian our illustrious judge.  I was so proud of the kiddos for their jumps!

 


I have to tell you that, finally, when I had tubed so much I could barely hold on anymore my arms were so sore, I got a feel for it. I could let go and not worry so much. I began to ride the waves better and understand how to maneuver my tube. I even smiled.
I also got a tiny bit of air.
 
 
But then to look back at the pictures, I still know I played it pretty safe...(This picture is HILARIOUS to me.)
 
Ange made me the most amazing birthday cakes! As in two! Peanut butter chocolate and coconut.  I mean, for real.  They were beyond divine.
 



I was so sore the few days following all the tubing I felt like I had been in a car accident.  I may have actually sustained some whip-lash like injuries.  I've never had so much fun from pain.  I felt so blessed and love to share this wonderful, happy day with so many of the people I love!

A special thank you to Sandi, Ange and Patti for all they did to make it what it was for me! 

 

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