July 25, 2011

What Happens on the River...

Guess what, friends?!?!

I survived Float Trip 2011.

As you may remember, I was a bit nervous.

We left Thursday at around 4:30 PM. I decided not to bring the DSLR, but I did take a self-portrait or two just in case. I would want my family to have a recent picture of me and all...

We hit the road, chatted it up, and made a stop here for dinner in Independence, KS. Fun times.

We arrived at our hotel after 10:00 PM. We checked in, got settled, and headed to Walmart next door to shop for snacks and lunch for the following day. We headed back to the hotel, ate some snacks, had a drink or two, and went to bed.

Friday morning, we met for a continental breakfast (i.e. stale toast and cereal) at 7:00 AM. We went to Walmart, bought all the supplies we needed to get our coolers set up (i.e. ice, water, pop, and alcohol), and headed to Shady Beach in Noel.

It was 9:45 by the time we set out on the 5-mile course (the only course available due to the low river levels), and we had a rough first mile. Like, it took us over 2 hours, and involved lots of getting out, dragging our raft, and cursing. And drinking.

Not long after mile one, we got into our groove and had a blast! We paddled, floated, laughed, ate an amazing lunch, swam, and laughed some more for the better part of the day. I did take some pictures with the disposable underwater camera left from our cruise, and I'll share some of those once they are developed.

Friday was wonderful- every once in a while, we'd see some other floaters and say hello. But, for the most part, it was quiet, serene, and relaxing. We got off the river just after 4:00 PM, headed back to the hotel, showered, and headed to Bentonville, Arkansas for dinner.

We ate here. It was pretty tasty. Enjoyed my first, albeit short, visit to Arkansas.

We had to stop again at Walmart for lunch supplies for the next day. We saw this in the parking lot. HILARIOUS!

Friday night, we hung out in the hotel room, had some snacks, and went to bed pretty early.

No amount of sleep could have prepared me for Saturday, however.

We ate McDonald's for breakfast Saturday morning, did our cooler run, and went back to Shady Beach.

Immediately, I could tell it was going to be a different kind of day. School buses were lined up one after another to shuttle people to the river rather than the 15-passenger vans from the day previous. It was BUSY!

There were gobs of people on the river. There were lots of college kids. Younger than college kids. The music was loud. The swimming attire was skimpy. The alcohol was flowing.

The only thing I can equate it to was a pseudo-spring break atmosphere. With a Mardi Gras bead theme going. Yeah.

I saw more private body parts than I care to disclose. You couldn't help it. Everywhere you turned, people were going crazy!

It was fun. We met some interesting folks. We did our fair share of partaking in the adult beverages. Like I said... fun...

...until it wasn't. But, what happens on the river stays on the river. Let's just say that we ended up down 1.5 men, and thankfully, I was not one of them. HA!
Despite all the craziness, we all made it back alive, and awake buy the time we reached out take out point. YEAH!

We had a lovely dinner here and sat out by the hotel pool until the wee hours of the morning having some wonderful, much needed girl time. ♥

After three nights of less-than-stellar sleep and a dose of Dramamine yesterday in the car, I was DONE by the time we got home yesterday afternoon.

Float Trip 2011- a success!

Float Trip 2012- details to come...

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