Oh Canada Part IV: Jumping Into the Abyss

This was my kids’ first extended trip on the water so I wasn’t sure how they’d react to our week of boating Okanagan Lake in British Columbia. I suspected Hadley would love it because she’s a fish but Bode only recently started really swimming after we had to pay for private lessons last year.

Judging from some of his dock jumps, the dude is finally enjoying the water.

He wasn’t the only one to try new things. Because my brother Pat’s new boat is weighed down by fat sacs when we surf, it creates a huuuge rooster tail at the back of the boat. One of their favorite activities is jumping into it. Water Adverse Amber of yesteryear would’ve said NO FREAKING WAY but Water Loving Amber gave it a try. It’s a scary sensation when you first get sucked under, almost like you’re in a swirling toilet. But then it shoots you waaay back like a cannon and you pop out behind the wake. We went one right after the other so there was minimal distance for my brother to come retrieve us after.

This picture of Hadley launching into the rooster tail for the first time is my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

Taking flight

Not only does it represent boldly trying new things but if you look closely you can see a line of heads bobbing up in the background, representing our supportive family who had gone before.

Speaking of trying new things, both kiddos enjoyed kneeboarding.

But no one was more accomplished than dear ol’ Dad. Not only is it tough getting up from your stomach but his kneeboard somehow got turned sideways during his run so he was fighting the current the entire time. The dude is strong!

I tried to convince Hadley to wakeboard but she had no interest. We called Jamie and he tried to up the ante: “Tell her I’ll buy something special for her when she gets home.” I relayed the message, to which she responded, “Unless it’s a pony, I’m not doing it.” And. She. Meant. It. Welcome to our world of having the most unbribable kid out there (and a glimpse at why potty training her was such a nightmare).

My niece Emily just graduated from high school and Ashton is a mama of two in her 20s. I never thought my kiddos would be the same age as hers but that’s how it worked out.

Mom with gorgeous deck views

Our daily schedule (if you want to call it that) was the same. Each morning, I’d get up early and go kayaking while Pat and Co. went for a morning wakeboard while all the kids slept. Around 10:30 a.m., we’d have Jane’s huge ‘n delicious breakfast and then everyone would load up on the boat for several hours. We’d head in mid-afternoon, grab some snacks, play on our beach and off the dock and then have a huge dinner. In the evening, we’d sometimes head back out or have a great time playing on the lawn of our cabin. Soccer got pretty heated as Ashton’s husband Fred and I battled out the glory days while pretending to teach our kids how to play. :)

But nothing was more fun than disco soccer by strobe light.

Hands down, my favorite day was when my brother took us all to the more cossetted west side of Okanagan Lake. Not only were the houses bigger but the water was warmer. Pat cut the engine and we played all afternoon–from diving contests (Ashton beat Pat, a huge upset; or rather, he was hugely upset) to splashing around to races around the boat.

Hangin’ on the boat


I came away thoroughly converted. Maybe I am a water person after all.

Here’s for Vernon, British Columbia 2014!


Oh Canada Part I: My Home and Native Land

Oh Canada Part II: Home on the Range (errr, boat)

Oh Canada Part III: How Not to Die When Surfing Behind the Boat

Oh Canada Part IV: Jumping Into the Abyss

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