We awoke in Louisville on Friday June 27 with butterflies and more in our stomach. Not only was today the BIG day hence the butterflies, but the reminance of the previous night's Maker's Mark session was also fluttering about a bit.
We dusted ourselves off and headed for a quick gym session to get a sweat on and then grabbed a bagel and coffee and headed out of Louisville.
The plan was to stop briefly in Elizabethtown, KY for a few supplies and to grab a SIM card for our prepaid cell before making the last push to the Green River where we planned to arrive ahead of the Lutzke's to hide on the boat for the big Surprise.
Elizabethtown was a nightmare. 1st I advised the wrong exit which ended up being an 18 mile detour as the road had no exits and no way to turn around. Back in town we hit every light and traffic was awful. The AT&T store was nowhere to be found and then it was totally packed...the lady who helped me was originally from the Bay and wanted to have a detailed chat about it. Just one needle after another...
We pulled into Taco Bell as our last stop before heading back out of town a little frazzled. What should have taken 45 minutes took 2 hours, but we were on the road and still ahead of the Lutzke's so we were alright. (How good is Taco Bell, for the record?!?)
One last stop at the Fireworks stand and we were finally driving the last hour to Campbellsville where the boat awaited. For my money few things say: "aMERUKA" like a Hill-Billy fireworks stand...and this one was awesome. Immediatly after seeing the Wisconsin plates on Bryan's car they asked if we voted for Scott Walker...uh... "no comment".
It took all my willpower not to purchase the $160 "Hell Yeah" firework. That was literally the name: "Hell Yeah". Like I said: "aMERUKA!!!" So awesome, God Bless it.
We rolled out with a few smaller pieces for a little hooting and hollering on the houseboat, but next time when I actually have a job and am no longer on a 'fun-employment' budget, I am buying the "Hell Yeah".
We got to the houseboat and settled in to wait for an hour or so till the Lutzke's arrived. Thankfully Bryan had a few extra ciders in his cooler because we found ourselves in a dry county and it was HOT, plus, after our run around Elizabethtown we all had a thirst water just could not quench.
We have been going back and forth for months on how best to pull of the surprise. In the end we went with hiding behind the counter and jumping up: "Surprise!" Simple, yet effective.
At last the moment arrived and we spied the Lutzke car pull into the parking lot. We sprang into action, Bryan up to intercept them and us to our hiding place.
Bryan told one last white lie to get them down to the boat to "check it out before signing in" and attempted to herd them in simultaneously.
As it happened Steve came in first, but we were still able to time it so that they both saw us at about the same time. "Surprise!!!!". I got the thing on video, but it doesn't quite do it justice. Suffice to say: they were VERY surprised and there were many hugs and even some tears.
After an hour or so of schlepping gear and food and beer onto the boat, we at last set sail fully loaded: 11 adults, 2 toddlers.
Because of all the surprise mayhem and loading, unpacking/settling in it was several hours until finally we found ourselves sitting around the front table enjoying the scenery and a cold drink: Steve, Lynda, Bryan, Gina and I. We shared a few cheers to being on the boat and I took the opportunity to drop the last surprise: We're getting married!! I'm happy to say everyone was pleased and I was welcomed into the family with plenty of hugs. For all you traditionalists, I had a little off the record chat with Steve when he came to visit us in Melbourne a while back, so, fear not, we took care of that formality too.
The rest of the houseboating trip was spent doing the following activities in various patterns:
The good news is that if anything can prepare you for such a rigorous schedule it's 13.5 months on the Pro Liesure Tour...so luckily G and I were in good form to pull our weight on the boat.
Yeah...it's a tough life, I know.