We had the great pleasure of being invited down with some wonderful friends for a long weekend to Lake Cumberland. Lake Cumberland is located in Jamestown, KY and is the third largest lake in the state, with the main lake being over 101 miles long and over a mile at its widest. It is by far the largest lake I’ve ever spent time on. Josh and I flexed some time throughout the week so that we could take a half day and head to the lake on Thursday. Dell and Steve picked us up and we set off to meet Dave & Angie at the marina. Nala, their adorable, very sweet (and very large) Irish Wolfhound, was there as well. When we arrived, the houseboat was all ready for us to load up and head out. My idea of a houseboat has always been something similar to a pontoon, a wide open area where everyone sleeps on the couch or the floor and “roughs” it. I was very wrong! The houseboat was larger than our actual house and so nice. We each had our own bedroom and bathroom (for those, such as myself, not well read on houseboat rules you cannot flush toilet paper as it could clog the pipes, so you throw everything away in a trashcan…that definitely took some getting used to!). There was a full kitchen and plenty of room to lounge in the dining room/living room or up on the top deck. It was quite a sight seeing the houseboat leave the dock- they have the entire process fine tuned for sure. I can tell you that I would never want to be the one driving it in and out of the dock! We all sat up top with music playing over the speakers and enjoyed the beautiful weather on the drive over to our private cove.
Once we arrived at “Quiet Cove” (as our friends have dubbed it), it was like a well oiled machine the way the tying up process went. It was very interesting and fun to see how effortlessly the boat was tied up for the weekend using jet skis and rope. When we got all tied up, it didn’t take us long to change into our bathing suits. The water there is so clean and fresh (and so clear I could see past my feet). We ate a quick lunch and hopped on the Malibu (the coolest boat ever- complete with a touch screen dashboard, great sound system, a heater, lots of room for people to lounge, and super fast for all the water sports you could imagine!) to try out some wakesurfing. Wakesurfing is similar to wakeboarding, but appears to be easier as your feet aren’t strapped in and you just ride behind the boat’s wake instead of being pulled by a rope behind it. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Steve and Angie wakesurf. You can tell they’re both really comfortable on the water. Steve is especially fun because he is fearless and tries all kinds of fun tricks (like 360’s) that others aren’t as sure about trying. And I don’t blame them- I didn’t even try any water sport activity but stayed put and enjoyed the show on the boat!
After a bit, we headed back to the boat for dinner. Dell fixed up some delicious pulled chicken tacos and her famous homemade guacamole. Josh and I brought our food scale so that we could weigh out everything and stay on track for our nutrition challenge as best we could! Definitely not easy on a weekend trip away, but it is doable. We ate up on the top deck, taking in the relaxing scenery and listening to the cicadas chirp. The evening was a quiet one, ending with us chatting and relaxing in the living room until an early bedtime.
Saturday morning we slept in (really slept in too!) until almost 9 am. That’s quite unheard of for Josh and I, as even on days I don’t set my alarm I’m usually up by 7 am. Cell phone service was pretty spotty out on the lake and I spent most of the time completely unplugged from my phone (except for a few check-in texts to family and friends). I can’t remember the last time I didn’t keep my cell phone by my side and just really unplugged and relaxed. It was beyond needed and amazing! Dave and Angie fixed us up some scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, sausage patties, and fresh veggies for breakfast. The weather was kind of chilly and cloudy, but we went out for a quick run on the Malibu anyways. Steve, Angie, and Dell all took a turn wakeboarding. Steve jumped really high in the air over the wake and even did several flips! I was impressed with how easy Dell and Angie made it look when they went. And then it was Josh’s turn to try! They all told us it is actually quite hard to stand up on the wakeboard when you’re first starting and that most people usually take 20-25 times to actually stand up for the first time. Once they do stand up, they said it only takes about 10-15 seconds for them to fall back down. Josh was able to stand up on his second try and stayed up for almost 20 seconds! It was so much fun!
After a few more short runs for Josh, we were getting hungry and headed back to the houseboat for lunch. We had a very yummy meal of pulled pork and brisket that Dave had smoked, fresh tomatoes, fruit, and guacamole. Josh went up to the top deck to take his medical terminology quiz while we stayed downstairs and Angie headed into the marina to pick up Cass and Brittany. The weather ended up clearing up and we had blue skies and sunshine peeking through between a few clouds. We grabbed our floaties and drinks, jumped in the water, and floated to soak up as much sun as we could before the storms. When Angie got back with Brittany and Cass, it started getting cloudy and cool, so we made our way inside to relax. Josh and I grabbed our afternoon snack and we all settled in the living room to watch “The Martian” while the rain poured down outside. I had been wanting to see the movie for awhile, but for whatever reasons hadn’t had the chance. The movie is about an astronaut who is wounded in a storm on Mars, thought to be dead, and gets left behind by his crew as they head back home to Earth. When he wakes up, he begins setting up his camp to survive and sets about finding a way to let those back on Earth know he needs rescued. I really enjoyed the story line and the movie had a great cast.
For dinner, Dave grilled the biggest, juiciest NY strip steaks I’ve ever seen. Angie made some homemade cocktail sauce with shrimp, boiled beets from their garden, and had a side salad with all the fixings, along with guacamole that Cass made. I have never had beets before and was pleasantly surprised to find they’re very similar to a potato. It was one of the yummiest meals we had all weekend! The rain had stopped while we were getting ready for dinner, so we were able to sit on up on the top deck listening to Piano Guys and enjoy the quiet solitude and each other’s company. Since the weather cleared up, we headed back out on the Malibu after dinner for wakesurfing and cruising around. Dave & Angie have been going to Lake Cumberland for many years and know all the best spots to cruise around to, so Dave took us to a cove a ways away from ours to see a waterfall. It was very pretty- the water roaring down the sides of the rock into the clear lake with bright green trees all around.
After our post-dinner lake cruise and wakesurfing, we gathered around in the living room for coffee and bedtime snacks of smoothies, protein shakes, and fresh blueberries, strawberries, and peaches.
Saturday morning was another slow morning of us sleeping in and lazing around. Brittany fixed breakfast tacos for us with scrambled eggs full of sausage, red and orange bell peppers, and spinach with guacamole and salsa verde. I am quite addicted to that salsa verde now that I’ve had it…I think I put it on pretty much everything I ate after that. Saturday morning was quite miserable weather-wise- it was completely cloudy, around 70 degrees, and windy. We all bundled up in our sweatshirts and sweatpants and loaded up on the Malibu to get in some more wakeboarding. I snuggled up next to Nala to help stay extra warm. Brittany, Josh, and Steve got in some good wakeboarding before Cass and Angie slalom skied. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them all out on the water, you could tell they were all having such a good time whipping back and forth over the wake.
We eventually got cold and hungry enough to head back to the houseboat. Steve and I decided to get a quick workout in while we were waiting on lunch to be ready. We did a workout with dips, burpees, pull-ups (lat pull downs for me), sit-ups, push-ups, and pistols (air squats for me) with a swim at the end. It felt really good to be up and moving, as I had sat around and been super lazy since we arrived. The water felt great during the swim, even though I’m super terrible at swimming lol. No amount of practice will ever help me, I’m convinced. By the time we finished, lunch was ready and some friends of Dave and Angie’s had arrived to join us for the afternoon. Dave grilled up bratwursts and apple chicken sausages along with the most buttery, garlicky Brussels sprouts. We also had coleslaw, side salad, pulled pork and brisket, leftover NY strip steak, watermelon, and potato chips. A smorgasbord of delicious houseboat vacation food. Somehow, magically, after lunch the weather completely turned around and was gorgeous! A few clouds rolled through, but for several hours it was clear blue skies and sunshine! Most of the group headed out on the Malibu, while Dell, Josh, Cass, Brittany, and I stayed back at the houseboat to lounge in the sun. We got all set up with floaties, pool noodles, and drinks, blasted Today’s Greatest Hits over the sound system, and floated in the water to our heart’s content, while Josh read his Kindle and took a much needed nap on the upper deck.
Dell, Brittany, and Cass took turns paddle-boarding around the houseboat and our cove. While I’m not great at it, paddle-boarding is really fun the few times I’ve done it.
After all the lounging we could handle, it was game time! With a group this active, it’s hard to be lazy for too awful long. Josh, Dell, and I played a great couple games of Sequence. Dell & I had never played before, but it was super fun! Probably because I won one of the games! When Steve got back ,we switched to a pitiful game of Euchre. Unfortunately, none of us are very good or know a whole lot about the game, but it was great to just play for fun and not be super competitive. Dell and I fought hard, but couldn’t come back to win after the boys took an early lead. Next time, we’ll take them down!
Saturday night was another delicious dinner- kabobs of juicy grilled chicken, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, guacamole, and a side salad enjoyed with lots of laughs and conversation on the upper deck. Saturday was Dave’s birthday and after dinner we all gathered around to sing “Happy Birthday”- their tradition is to sing as loud and off key as you can. So fun! Nala even joined in with some howling, even though I’m pretty sure she was actually trying to tell us to be quiet! Cass had made a homemade chocolate Texas sheet cake with chopped walnuts on top. I must confess, I saved up all my carbs from a few meals just so I could enjoy some of the cake and peanut butter cup swirl ice cream. So worth it! We spent our last evening on the houseboat enjoying each other’s company and playing Bananagrams (a game very similar to Scrabble, but without a board- each person arranges and rearranges their tiles any way they want, building off the words until all the tiles are gone). It was such a fun way to end the weekend!
Sunday morning was a bit of an earlier start so we could get everything packed up and cleaned to head home. Angie fixed bacon, spinach, cheddar cheese omelettes for us along with fresh cantaloupe…and leftover cake of course! Untying the houseboat was just as quick and effortless as tying it up and it wasn’t long before we were on the way back to the dock. This weekend at Lake Cumberland was one of the best long weekend getaways we’ve ever been on (we were beyond spoiled with the accommodations and the company) and I definitely can’t wait to make another trip down there to enjoy the peace, quiet, and beauty there.
You can even pay a quarter to feed turtles at the marina!