Sunday, June 1, 2014

Take a Trip to the 2014 Cross Lake Floatilla: Loving the Lake Life

Despite the threat of rain and some occasional ominous clouds, the 2014 Cross Lake Floatilla was spectacular yesterday.  This was the twenty-third year for the event on Cross Lake which is basically a huge party on land and water and is also a major fund raiser for the American Legion.  The weather all week has been just a soggy mess; it had rained just about every day this week and there was a 50% chance of rain predicted for yesterday.  We were undeterred.  Unless it was truly storming with thunder and lightening we were going to be there.  I nervously checked the weather app on my phone almost hourly for days leading up to the event.

The fun began on Friday night with a pre-party at the Legion.  We went and ate fried catfish, bought t-shirts, and registered for the poker run.  A.J. and the Two Tone Blues Band was playing in the legion lounge and we sat out on the patio, visited with friends, and enjoyed the evening.  And checked the weather app some more.

Steve and I don't have a boat but we have a good friend with a boat who has been kind enough to take us out the past couple of years.  We arrived early at the Legion boat launch Saturday and the plan was to get the boat in the water before it got crowded and then go eat breakfast. This was a good plan: we didn't have to wait in line to launch the boat and we had that baby in the water and tied up at the end of the pier in no time.

We opted out of going off-site to eat breakfast once we discovered the breakfast burritos.  (You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.)

We bought five of them and some Bloody Marys and went back to the boat to enjoy our breakfast.

We were perfectly positioned for the opening ceremonies and the presentation of flags by the Boy Scouts.  They did a fine job.

One by one they all marched out and placed their flag and after the national anthem played it was time to party.

We were still missing three members of our crew so we just stayed tied up to the dock for a while.  Had a couple more Bloody Marys. People watched.

"Margaritaville" was blasting from the PA system when we spied our friend Sue dancing on the shore.

Before long we were all assembled and on the boat, had fresh Bloody Marys...

...and it was time for the poker run!

If you're not familiar with the poker run, basically what you do is visit seven designated docks across the lake in two hours.  At each dock you get a sealed colored envelope with a card inside.  They initial your little piece of paper, and you dash off to the next dock.  At the end you'll have seven different colored envelopes which is your "hand."  You return to the Legion, turn in your cards, and they'll open your envelopes and see how your hand turns out.

There is also a dock decorating contest so the poker run participants vote on the best dock at the end.

This was our first stop.

If it looks familiar, it was also the first stop last year.  They had an adorable dog helping with the cards...

...and then we were off to stop number two.  Along the way we at chicken salad sandwiches stuffed in pita pockets and finished off our Bloody Marys.

The lake is beautiful and I loved the lily pads near the shore at some of the docks but they do make a mess if it all gets tangled in your motor.

I didn't get a picture of stop number two; that was about the time our poker slips blew into the water and we had to hook them out.  Bummer.  I learned to keep them in the plastic baggies after that.

This might have been stop two or three - I can't remember.  Anyway, they had a band, which was pretty cool.

At this stop they had jello shots!  They're in that blue ice chest and he's about to bring us a few...

And leaving the jello shot dock for the next one, off we go across the lake.

Look at that gorgeous blue could anyone stay home on a day like that!?  Attendance seemed to be down this year and I think people were afraid of the weather.  As we were going through the poker run I noticed that there was not the usual backup of boats waiting to get cards.  We passed through each dock without a wait.

This wasn't one of the stops, but they were having a great time!

This was stop number six.

We got tangled up in their balloons...

...and so the balloons came with us.

I could totally live on this houseboat.

Approaching our second to last stop...

...where they have margaritas for $1.00.

And sausage on a stick for $1.00.  We loaded up on both, got our card, and pulled off.

Steve is loving the lake life.

We hit our last stop and then made our way back to the Legion to turn in our cards.  It took us about an hour and a half, maybe, to complete the poker run.  We had plenty of time.  We bagged all our envelopes and the signed tickets and got them ready to turn in.  We just pooled our four tickets and if any one of the four won, we would split the pot.  Better odds!

The party was in full gear on the shore as we made our approach, and the boats were getting into position for the decorated boat contest.

Here's Bonny, the master mixer of Bloody Marys.

Cathy Cascio is checking poker hands.

Dan is keeping a close eye on the poker board.

And in the end we came in second place!

I think we had three of a kind.  I'm not sure.  Anyway, time to get back out for the boat parade.  I ran up to the balcony to get a shot of the boats - not too many this year.

The Backbeat Boogie Band was still playing...

... and Sue was still dancing, so all is well!

Elvis led the boat parade:

The Gilligan's Island boat was pretty awesome.

Gilligan and Ginger:

The Redneck Yacht Club:

They were having a good time!

This boat was awesome:

They were blowing bubbles!

I loved the pirate boat:

I think it's the one that won.  The bubble boat came in second place.


Time for more Bloody Marys and to go float for a while.

Despite the rather low numbers compared to last year, it seemed like everyone was having a safe, fun afternoon.  And let it be noted that not a drop of rain fell on us all day.

The clouds came and went but mostly kept it from getting too hot.

A hug for the soldiers:

The obligatory floatilla dog shot:

And another:

And Sue is still dancing!

We scooped her up and put her in the boat for one more cruise around the lake and around Buzzard Island before we called it a day and headed in.  The clouds were building and it was time to get off the lake.

And while no rain fell while we were on the water, about thirty minutes after we came in and after all the tents had been packed away for next year, we did indeed have a brief little rain shower.

I talked to some of the vendors when we came in who all said they had a very good day and are already looking forward to next year.

If you let the weather keep you in and you missed the floatilla this year, I sure hate it for ya.  We had a wonderful time and hopefully the weather will be more cooperative next year!

Float on!

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

1 comment:

Jayhawk said...

Be glad you still have a lake to cross. There are eight foot trees growing in the bed of what used to be Lake Hodges.