March 1 + SW Texas = sunburn (jealous?)

One of the guys Hubs graduated with lives in the same complex as us. He’s a young, single guy, cop in his former life, with plenty of income and free time. And he has a boat!

After the week we had (miscarriage, for those of you who haven’t checked up since the last update-email), Hubs and I were very gung-ho for a trip to Lake Amistad. It’s a man-made lake that straddles the US-Mexico border. D (the roommate) offered the use of his 1987 pontoon boat (in excellent condition) and we offered to buy some food.

The group was essentially the same as the San Antonio group, minus our other married couple (they had to work), and with one new guy. So everyone knew everyone. Which was nice. Arrived in Del Rio around 11am, in a swanky Land Rover with just about every bell and whistle you could imagine. Except the TVs on the back of the head rests. D priced the TVs, but they were just a bit much. A 4WD safari-vehicle with TVs is pretty much a paradox, anyway.

Hubs and I hopped out at Rudy’s, (the best BBQ joint in the area) to stock up on brisket, baby-back ribs, and whole chickens (4.5 lbs of meat in total; we were like kids in a savory, smoky candy-store) while D et al headed over to Wal-Mart for snack food, ice, and adult beverages. While we waited for the other half of our gang to swing back around, we witnessed an SUV packed with people drive up (one painfully Caucasian guy in the bunch, driving), unload, reload, and drive off. A young girl lost her lunch (4 times) in a glorious display of projectile vomiting. I was wondering why the girl was just standing there, looking lost, between heaves until someone directed her toward the nearest trashcan (3 ft. away). Hubs noted, rightly, that you don’t really learn the art of vomiting until you reach adulthood. Until then, it’s such a rare occurrence that you’re sort of freaked out and lost whenever it happens. He’s so smart. Also, a stunning pair of satin, neon orange bermuda shorts arrested our attention for a good three minutes. The art of hiding a good stare is becoming obsolete down here. We get stared at, we stare. Why pretend we’re doing something else? It’s not like we blend anyway.

Next stop was the boat-yard, where the boys clamored aboard like giddy school-kids while us girls stood back and watched. We tried to help, but were pretty much useless. Fastest loading/hitching of a boat ever. It took less than 30 minutes to hit the water from the time we pulled into the boat yard.

Let me just say, for the record, that Amistad is a gorgeous lake. For those of you familiar with Smith Mountain Lake, in VA, Lake Amistad is similar. About 5-10 years younger, Lake Amistad also seems to be a bit smaller, and the water is more clear (from what I can recall. It’s been a while since I visited Smith Mountain). We were met by another work buddy, who was perched atop a JetSki. We made our way across the lake, avoiding submerged trees and all the fast boats (I think 13 mph was our top speed that day) to a little cove, protected on 3 sides by “islands” (hilltops, at one point). Music was plugged in (someone brought a boom box), battled over (80s and 90s music from us, techno-club gangsta’ music from others), and food and beverages were broken out.

The water was freezing, but the sun was warm. As the afternoon wore on, our bathroom standards gradually devolved. At first, all three of the girls (including myself) insisted on being ferried back across the lake (on the JetSki) to the bathrooms at the dock. After each one of us had taken one ride, and thoroughly disgusted the JetSki guy, who was unable to eat or drink due to his chauffeuring duties, we suggested that the boys get as close as possible to shore, and we could go find a spot amidst chaparral (low brush, for you non-Spanish speakers, ha!). That was both doable, and exciting, due to the steep grade. We pretty much beached the boat. After a brief stop, and some crazy thorn-avoidance, we made our way back to the boat, pushed off, and were free. The next time the pee-pee wave rolled around, we had imbibed enough to brave the frigid water. Only D and Hubs ever actually jumped in (and they only tried that once or twice). The rest of us just climbed as far down the ladder as was necessary, then quickly climbed back up. I managed to get a shot (of D) of the kind of faces that were made any time someone headed to the ladder. Good in the picture, much better in real life.

Hubs eventually got bored, and decided to adventure. He swam to shore, climbed the hill (to the left of the hilltop; if you click on the picture it’ll open up bigger), walked the crest, and climbed back down. It was all very impressive, given the water temperature, the hateful bushes, and the cat-calls he endured throughout. Took him a good 45 minutes to complete. By the time he got back, everyone was sunburned, and tired. The sun was on its way down. We decided to pack it in. After wrestling the anchor away from a tree, Hubs made himself useful tying knots and daisy chains in all the spare rope.

The boat yard was locked and abandoned by the time we made it back, so we towed the pontoon home with us. It’s currently parked in the back of the complex lot, to be towed back to the lake next weekend. We all had such a lovely time at the lake that we’ve decided to repeat the experience next Saturday. This time we’ll probably bring some firewood and do a cookout on the shore. When it gets warmer, we’ll camp. Everyone’s excited about the opportunity to get out of town and do something vacation-y. Especially because none of them will be eligible for vacation until almost Christmas, and their free weekends will be ending soon (when their training program ends).

Chalk one up for Texas. It’s March 3rd and I’m sunburned.

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